Category: Beltway Banthas: Star Wars, Politics & More (page 1 of 6)

Beltway Banthas is a Star Wars podcast about the intersection of fandom and the things that drive daily life. For hosts Stephen Kent & Tirso Perez, one of those things is politics. Star Wars draws from our worlds politics just as much as it contributes to it by influencing policy makers, journalists and thought leaders.

This podcast will seek to understand how Star Wars impacts the world we live in, while also covering the Star Wars news, gossip and hype of the day.

Ep #38: Galactic Peacekeepers ft. Steele Saunders

“For over a thousand generations the Jedi were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic.” Were the Jedi effective were they as galactic peacekeepers? Should they have been so beholden to Republic law? This week with guests Steele Saunders of the Steele Wars podcast and Mark Eldridge of the Jedi Archives podcast and ElevenThirtyEight, we discuss this topic and much more!

We go through the representation of the Jedi in the films, whether they had a good system with the Old Republic, and ponder if the Jedi could have stopped the First Order. We also talk about the latest Han Solo movie news, new vehicle reveals from The Last Jedi, and much more!

Follow Steele Saunders on Twitter at @SteeleWars

Follow Mark Eldridge on Twitter @quigonsmith

 

 

Beltway Banthas Interview: Vince Houghton of the International Spy Museum

LIES! DECEPTIONS! In our latest interview episode, John Liang speaks with Vince Houghton, historian and curator at the International Spy Museum. He’s a massive Star Wars fan. They talk about how he he fell in love with Star Wars, why he thinks Princess Leia is the most famous fictional rebel spy in history, and all the great lies and deceptions in Star Wars spy craft! This is really unique conversation we know you’ll enjoy!

Follow Vince Houghton on Twitter @intelhistorian

Follow John Liang on Twitter @JuanJohnJedi

 

 

Ep #37: The First Order’s Fire & Fury

The First Order are an ideological and vicious military organization dedicated to one thing: making the galaxy great again. But for whom? This week with guest Ross Brown of FanGirlBlog.com we look at how the First Order rose to be such a threat to the galaxy.

In the wake of the events in Charlottesville, VA – we thought it necessary to talk about a how cultural resentment and political ideology can fuse into a radical movement. The First Order seek to reclaim the glory, order and promise of the Empire. They capture the essence of neo-fascist movements across our own world, as well the chaos of nuclear proliferation by rogue states like North Korea.

Follow our guest Ross Brown on Twitter at @Wolfesghost

 

Return of the Masket: Amusing Ourselves Into Tyranny

Seth Masket, political scientist and professor at the University of Denver, sees something ominous in the background of the Star Wars Holiday Special. He wrote about the politics of the campy Star Wars program in Mischiefs of Faction, a blog for Vox. The piece is called Amusing Ourselves Into Tyranny, sound familiar? 

Before the interview, Swara and Stephen react to news of Disney pulling out of their deal with Netflix and the promise of a Disney streaming service. Is this capitalism run amok or the best thing that’s ever happened? Join us for the discussion.

 

Follow Seth Masket on Twitter @Smotus

Swara @SwaraSalih1

Stephen @stephen_kent89

and Beltway Banthas @BeltwayBanthas

 

Ep #36: Race, Representation & Reconciliation

Today on Beltway Banthas, Swara and Stephen reconcile a dispute. Representation and diversity on screen is the hot topic of the day and it’s more charged than ever. We discuss a disagreement had off the air in total transparency. Our goal was to better understand some feelings about identity politics in pop-culture.  

The reason we say feelings, and not arguments, is because there is a time for for both. People seek to be understood, listened to and not disparaged for the feelings they are trying to explain. On Beltway Banthas we want that to be something we can take on, perhaps while many in Star Wars fandom and on social media struggle to communicate on this topic.

This episode was a delight to do. Hard at times, but rewarding. All we ask of you the listener is be gracious – to the hosts – and to other fans – as we all attempt to open these dialogues. We want to hear from you about this episode, so please email us atBeltwayBanthas@gmail.com if you have something you’d like to have discussed in the future.

 

Interview: David Barnes (Generation Opportunity) & Al Downs (Americans for Prosperity)

 

This week for our interview series, Stephen sits down with David Barnes of Generation Opportunity and Al Downs of Americans for Prosperity. Barnes is aformer guest of the show and Al is a first timer. Both come with a deep love and knowledge of Star Wars.

We discuss the political message of the prequels, libertarianism and how it does or does not fit into Star Wars and also how vulnerable America may be to dictatorship. Al Downs and David Barnes dissect the Republic’s deregulation of the banks and whether or not that is an accurate reflection of how government handles crisis, and they also share their favorite moments in the saga.

Follow Al Downs on Twitter @AlbertJDowns 

 

Ep #35: Politican Profile of Princess Leia Organa

Today on Beltway Banthas we shine our politician spotlight on the greatest politician the Star Wars universe has ever known, the beloved Princess, Senator and General…Leia Organa. Our very special guests are Charlotte Errity and Caitlin Plesher of the Skytalkers Podcast and show producer John Liang. Together we discuss the history, politics and power of Star Wars most iconic politician/princess.

Obviously with the loss of our beloved Carrie Fisher this was a difficult episode to record. Throughout our conversation we discuss how Leia and Carrie have inspired each of us. We look at  how Leia & Carrie inspired the world at large through cinema and real life. We also discuss The Last Jedi sizzle reel from D23, what Carrie’s role might be like in the film. Enjoy!

Follow Charotte on Twitter @crerrity!

Follow Caitlin on Twitter @caitlinplesher!

Follow John on Twitter @JuanJohnJedi!

 

Interview: Graham Vyse (New Republic)

The latest in our interview series! Swara interviews staff writer at the New Republic magazine, Graham Vyse! We cover everything from his fandom, to Virginia politics, national politics, Star Wars parallels and more!

The New Republic is one of the oldest progressive publications in the U.S., and Graham is one of their best new writers. We had a great discussion about the origin of his fandom, how Star Wars informed his politics, and cover state and national politics. Later we go into what Star Wars and George Lucas were trying to teach us about our own government and how to counter illiberalism.

Follow Graham on Twitter @GrahamVyse!

 

Interview: Andrew Heaton (Reason TV)

Andrew Heaton is a comedian in NYC who is a growing staple of libertarian media. He worked with John Stossel at Fox Business and now at Reason Magazine working on The Mostly Weekly Show. Andrew is an incredibly funny guy and uniquely deep Star Wars fan that go on and on with anyone about the politics, philosophy and humor at length.

He has a voice for radio and TV that could have only been made by Zeus himself and it was really great to get his take on Star Wars humor and more. Andrew shares his fondness of Ewoks, why he thinks Jar Jar fell flat and Obi Wan’s comedic sensibility.

We also talk about where politics and science fiction collide, and if stories thrive when politics are put first rather than second.

 

 

Ep #33: The Politics of Thrawn

This week, Stephen and Swara are joined by good friend of the show, blogger at BrownsReview.com and Fangirlblog.com, Ross Brown! We discuss the politics of Timothy Zahn’s novel Thrawn. The Banthas discuss insights into Imperial social hierarchy, the Empire’s alien policy, the meteoric rise of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Governor Pryce and much more! 

 

 

We also discuss what we think of Colin Trevorrow directing episode IX after his latest film has been trashed by critics, delve into our Bantha Fodder, and much more on this packed episode!

Follow Ross on Twitter @Wolfesghost

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