This is the final episode of Beltway Banthas, and a massive thank you to all the listeners and those interested in digging deeper int Star Wars politics.
Star Wars deals very directly with questions of justice and injustice. Mohammad Shakibnia wrote an article for ElevenThirtyEight on the messages of social, racial and economic justice that can be derived from the Clone Wars
This week on Beltway Banthas, Robby Soave of Reason Magazine joins the show to talk the politics of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. We cover trade disputes, slavery on Tatooine, the aloof Jedi Order and Vladimir Putin.
This week on Beltway Banthas, a discussion of the prequel trilogy as George Lucas’ broadside against the neoliberal world order and capitalism. Stephen is joined by his brother, Michael Kent of the Toxic Schlock horror movie podcast to discuss and debate Lucas’ critique of neoliberalism since the 1980s and how well he executed his analysis in Star Wars.
Does the Star Wars franchise do a good job of exploring trauma of aggrieved parties like Rey, Luke, and Leia? What causes villains like Darth Vader and Kylo Ren to commit egregious actions, and how can they repent and atone?
Jar Jar Binks changed the course of galactic history during the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Love him or hate him, this bumbling alien is important. This week we review Jar Jar Binks rise and fall in politics, the impact he made and what we as citizens in a republic can learn from his story.
Rogue One contains a powerful message about engaging in the world around you. Jyn Erso accepted oppression as a status quo while Cassian Andor was raised in the fight for freedom. On this weeks show we are joined by Kate Sanchez of But Why Tho? for a discussion of Cassion Andor’s complex, the midterm elections and why people get involved in politics.
Were the Jedi sincere in their pursuit of balancing the Force? Luke Skywalker didn’t seem to think so in The Last Jedi when describing the Jedi Order to an impressionable Rey. He sees balance as allowing for light and dark to co-exist, compliment and challenge the other. How far can one take this before people get hurt?
Swara Salih and John Liang of Beltway Banthas review the new Star Wars: Resistance series, plus assess and debate the firing of Chuck Wendig by Marvel. Is politics too hot for creators to voice their opinions?
Are Russian bots behind the divide around The Last Jedi? Stephen chatted with researcher Morten Bay to discuss the results of his study on Twitter reaction to the film. Swara and Stephen discuss whether or not Russian bots and trolls amplified the negative reaction to the film.
Welcome back to Beltway Banthas and brace yourself for a ride through hyperspace in higher quality audio with host, Stephen Kent. The show had some hiccups this week with the whole team migrating to new homes and getting unpacked, but Stephen found a closet and an article in SyFyWire about Star Wars politics to review.
Welcome back to Beltway Banthas! Swara and Stephen are BOTH moving this week to new homes and this was as good a time as any to share some audio from over the summer. Stephen met up with New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat for a discussion on Star Wars and politics. It’s a well-rounded conversation with a lot of focus on Star Wars strengths AND weaknesses. We hope you enjoy and aren’t distracted by the ambient noise of the conference.
Bethany Lacina is an associate professor of political science at the University of Rochester and she took a dive into “Star Wars Twitter” to get a better understanding of fandom and why it’s so toxic. She looked at the vitriol surrounding Kelly Marie Tran and wrote “How common is such harassment? In my research, I have investigated this phenomenon on Twitter, where offensive language and hate speech have a modest but clear presence — not because of automated accounts (“bots”) but because of humans. People use degrading language more frequently when they talk about women and minorities and when they talk to female fans.”