Year: 2016 (page 1 of 4)

Ep #19: Rebellion & Radicals

It’s finally here! Our pre-Rogue One episode! As we get increasingly amped up to see the film, Stephen, Swara and special guest Brittany Hunter delve into a discussion of why rebellions and revolution occurs. To do this we look at case studies including the American Revolution and the Arab Spring and compare these events to the formation of the Rebel Alliance.

We also speculate with Brittany Hunter on what motivates individuals to rebel, and at what point they may be compelled to join movements they were once reluctant to support. Social movements are complicated, so we attempt to dissect them in this special 90 min episode. Leading up the main segment of the show we welcome Joseph Tavano of RetroZap to the show to explain how he started up the website that is now home to Beltway Banthas.

EP XVII: Built On Hope


Stephen and Swara dig into the results of the 2016 election with guest Bobby Roberts! In the final days and hours of the elections, Star Wars references, memes and jokes abounded as Americans digested what they saw on the news. In this episode, Beltway Banthas seeks to understand why this happens and much more.

This 2016 election season has been nothing short of exhausting. For some, the results of the 2016 election might be more troubling than the process that got us to this point. In this episode of Beltway Banthas, we unload all the feelings we have about the outcome and what it means, in the context of our Star Wars fandom. Star Wars teaches us about democracy, the troubles with it, and it also teaches us how to stand in the face of oppression and seemingly insurmountable odds. Are you a rebel? What does that mean in culture, politics, and Star Wars? Force Ghost Bobby Roberts joins the show to help us sort through it all.



EP XVI: Star Wars Goes To Washington

Welcome to the 16th episode of Beltway Banthas! We had the privilege of visiting Richmond, VA for Virginia Comic Con, to do a panel titled “Star Wars Goes to Washington” So we captured the live audio to give you a glimpse inside the panel.

Star Wars Goes To Washington is really the crux of this podcast. How has politics and government been impacted by Star Wars? Each generation of Star Wars interacts with the politics of its day in different ways, some that are subtle and some that are the opposite. From Reagan to Obama, election 1980 to election 2016.


We’d love to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the show and even questions at

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Contact the Hosts on Twitter!

Tirso Perez : @itsjusttirso

Stephen Kent: @stephen_kent89

Swara Salih: @SwaraSalih1

Episode XV: Star Wars Propaganda

Hello There! And welcome new listeners and long time listeners alike; to the 15th Episode of Beltway Banthas. We had the privilege this week of getting to read Pablo Hidalgo’s new book titled ‘Star Wars: Propaganda’ which offers a detailed look into the journey of the galaxy, through the eyes of propagandists and artists from around the Star Wars universe. And we take the time to discuss some major points, as well as aspects of the book that we found interesting regarding propaganda.
Our guest today is Brittany Hunter; persuasive art expert who is well versed in the area of Nazi propaganda. And we have a brief chat with her on the science of persuasive art.
So sit back! And enjoy this week’s episode of Beltway Banthas

Exicted for Star Wars Propaganda by Pablo Hidalgo? Order online here:…ive/dp/0062466828

We’d love to hear from you! You an send us your thoughts on the show or even questions

Find us on Twitter! @BeltwayBanthas


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Guest Brittany @Britt_The_wit

Interview: Eric Geller of POLTICO

Stephen sits down to chat with Eric Geller of POLITICO pro, Cybersecurity writer and well known Star Wars aficionado.

Leave us a review on iTunes and tell us what you think of the show!
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and todays guest @EricGeller

Beltway Banthas is part of the Retrozap Podcast network!

Ep XIV: Sounding Like A Separatist

Hello there. This is the 14th episode of Beltway Banthas, now proudly a member of the RetroZap family and podcast network! We are really excited for this next chapter in the podcast as we continue to explore the politics of Star Wars, and how Star Wars has impacted our own worlds politics. That is what this show is all about!!

Our guest today is Mike O’ Connor, author of the piece “Sounding Like a Separatist” (Retrozap, Newsweek, RawStory) which offers a liberal interpretation of the Star Wars story. We loved the piece and brought Mike on to talk about it and have some fun banter around the topic.

Beltway Banthas is a non-partisan podcast and we are committed to journeying through the many layers of Star Wars fandom and the sagas inner workings. We are committed to respectful, fun and honest discourse. No posturing. Star Wars is for everyone and there is room for lots of interpretations. Except for Mace Windu is Snoke. That may be a bridge too far. 

We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on  the show and topics at…

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Force Friday: A Force For Good

Hello Banthas! This is a special release of Beltway Banthas that we are excited for you to hear. Stephen has a chat with James Floyd (Club Jade, Big Shiny Robot and, the “force” behind the #WearStarWarsEveryday project.

Find out more and get involved at and if you contribute, do so ON FRIDAY September 30th. Mention Beltway Banthas in your submission. We want to show the podcast world what awesome listeners we have on this show.

May the Force be with you!



EP XIII: One Horny Politician

This week, we will have order! In this episode we delve into the character of Mas Amedda, that horned blue guy who lingers behind Palpatine throughout the prequels. Yes he is important. Yes he is powerful. His political career is meteoric and something fascinating that we discuss with Mike DeRose of the “You Seek Knowledge” podcast. Mike was an Amedda fan before it was cool.

Connect with Mike on Twitter @LiveTheForce 
Tirso and Stephen also discuss Mark Hamill backing California legislation, Star Wars Rebels and dish bantha fodder.
Our audience is amazing and so is this project. #WearStarWarsEveryDay founder James Floyd has a GoFundMe up to benefit the Collateral Repair Project, which  helps urban refugees with emergency aid, education, and community building in Amman, Jordan. Please consider checking out this project and giving on or before Force Friday, Sept 30th.
Cite Beltway Banthas in the description of your donation! Let’s show the Star Wars universe that the Force is strong with our audience.
Find Tirso Perez on Twitter
Stephen Kent
Please do leave us a review on iTunes and shoot us email! We’d love to hear your thoughts on the topics and get your feedback.
May the Force be with you this week

I, Politiphobe: A Star Wars Story

By: Eric Onkenhout

Politics to me is such a dirty word. It brings to mind words like corruption, betrayal, treachery, and deceit. I don’t like politics. Never have, never will.

When Election Day comes in November I will vote, but not for who I really want because that person is already out of the race. No, I will be voting for the lesser of the two remaining evils. I don’t trust either remaining politician, and I firmly believe either one will say whatever it takes to get elected. I don’t believe either candidate has any concern for my well-being, it’s all about power. I guess you could say I’m the Obi-Wan of planet Earth, much like the Negotiator, I don’t like politicians. Now let’s take this situation and place it in a galaxy far, far away—where war and corruption are on a galactic scale.

I’ve been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember, and besides the usual things that interested me about Star Wars like the Jedi/Sith conflicts, and the mythological aspect, there’s one thing that has always made me think—what’s it like to be a regular citizen in the Star Wars galaxy? A regular person not involved in the ongoing war, or not a Force sensitive; just someone who is just trying to make their way in the universe. In a galaxy where the old republic pulled the wool over the eyes of its people and transformed into the Galactic Empire, to serve the people in a safe and secure environment.

As a citizen of the United States of America, with a population of approximately 300 million people, I already feel just like a number to those in office. What could a galactic government do for a family on Lothal? Yes each planet has their own government, just like each state has theirs. But not everyone in the galaxy is a Leia Organa or an Anakin Skywalker, what about the little guy, the guy who goes to work every day to support his family. The guy who struggles to make ends meet, whose voice is nothing but an insignificant cry in a vast sea of stars? Who represents him? With galactic conflicts a norm this galaxy, who speaks for this person? Who has time to listen to his pleas for help, his concern?

Jedi have been known to resolve conflicts between citizens peacefully. But it seems to me in a galaxy where everyone’s concern is who is going to the next leader of the Republic, or where the Jedi are when they are needed, the little guy gets left to fend for themselves. It’s a wonder that no one has stepped up to make their case known. I suppose the rebels in the upcoming Rogue One movie represent the unrest felt across the galaxy, but again who leads the rebels but another aristocrat, former senator called Mon Mothma. The insurgent Saw Gerrera fights for the people, but his morals are in question—his antics a bit extreme for most. Then again fighting against a corrupt Republic and then an oppressive Empire will push a person to the brink of rationality.

Perhaps if elected officials listened to the people who put them in office in the first place, relative trust in politicians  and the process would exist once again. 

Eric Onkenhout


@EricOnkenhout on Twitter (willshatter82)

Are you with her? Princess Leia….

We have brand new 3″ Leia 2016 pins #ImWithHer means you stand with the Princess of Alderaan! Get em while the gettin is good!

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