Beltway Banthas: Star Wars, Politics & More Podcast Image

Beltway Banthas: Star Wars, Politics & More

A Star Wars, TV and Film podcast featuring Stephen Kent
Good podcast? Give it some love!

Podcast Episodes

Mark All
Search Episodes...
Interview: Glenn Beck on Star Wars, redemption and a culture of anger
Hold on to something! This week we've got a bonus episode of Beltway Banthas, a conversation with Glenn Beck, radio show host and founder of Blaze Media. Stephen Kent met up with Glenn at FreedomFest in Las Vegas to talk about his earliest memories with Star Wars, lessons on the political power of fear, generational change and the evolution (plus consistency) of Star Wars' message.  Now, THIS is podcasting!! If you follow this show closely you know that Stephen started appearing of Glenn's show regularly since 2017 to break down nerd culture and Star Wars news, so this marks the first time Glenn has come on Beltway Banthas turf.  If you liked this you should also check out an interview of Glenn's longtime collaborator and co-host, Stu Burguiere. You can find that here. 
Ep #72: The Fandom Reformation
The week on Beltway Banthas, in a 90-minute marathon run, we cover a lot of ground on Star Wars, politics and religion. In the main segment Stephen Kent is joined by Matthew Neugebauer to analyze Star Wars fandom and its troubles over the decades. A video from Wisecrack serves as the starting point for an analogy of fandom by understanding Protestant Reformation and the concept of a 'legitimation crisis'. Basically, in social science, what does it take to unravel social order and how can that be applied to the life of Star Wars fans.  Starting off the show, Caleb Franz guests to talk about D23 announcements and the new Rise of Skywalker teaser, an Obi-Wan Kenobi series and much more. 
Ep #71: What If We're On the Wrong Side
Welcome back Banthas! The Beltway Banthas podcast has returned with regular shows now through 2020. Starting off this new season of Star Wars & politics chatter, Stephen Kent is joined by guest host Nick DiColandrea for a dive into the political conscience of Padme Amidala. In Revenge of the Sith, she opens up to Anakin about her uncertainty with the Republic's democratic virtue. What got Padme to the point of questioning her entire political position and that of the "democracy" she has served?  Stephen and Nick also spent time on the 2020 Democratic primary, what Nick is seeing on the ground and the state of Star Wars in the Disney era. Bloomberg reports that Star Wars Galaxy's Edge isn't catching fire, we'll talk about why and the demographic challenge Disney is facing.  Follow Nick @NickDico  Follow Stephen @Stephen_Kent89 Follow Beltway Banthas @BeltwayBanthas 
Ep #70: The Last Fodder
Hello Banthas! Since it's launch in 2015 during the heat of the presidential primaries for 2016, Beltway Banthas has been a proud home of political discourse within Star Wars fandom. We've featured prominent politicians, journalists and political operatives on the show to explore how Star Wars impacted their worldview and careers. 70 official episodes and well over 120 episodes including interviews and bonus content.  This...is the last fodder. Join host and creator Stephen Kent, alongside producer John Liang and Joe Tavano of the Retrozap podcast network for a discussion of the shows central themes.  The Force of Star Wars' politics is strong. Let's discuss! Follow Joe Tavano @JoeyWanKenobi John Liang @JuanJohnJedi Stephen Kent @Stephen_Kent89  
Ep #69: Racial, social and economic justice in Star Wars
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 than can be derived from the Clone Wars animated series. He joins the podcast this month to co-pilot the show and discuss these themes with host Stephen Kent.  Stephen and Mohammad get into the weeds of Clone Wars era politics, talk about Star Wars Celebration, their entry into fandom and share Bantha Fodder. 
Ep #68: The Not So Phantom Menace
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.  Robby and Stephen get into the weeds of Star Wars Episode I and also share thoughts on the Gillette controversy, the Women's March and what is like to write a book.  Follow Robby Soave on Twitter @RobbySoave
The Force Will Be With You, Always // Updates on the podcast
Hello Banthas, as you head into the weekend there are some updates on the podcast you should know about. Stephen Kent is here to share some news with you and reflect on the past, present and future of Beltway Banthas.    MTFBWU
Ep #67: You were my brother! Now you're a neoliberal shill
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 1980's and how well he executed his analysis in Star Wars.  Michael and Stephen also chat about the role horror played in Star Wars early on, old Star Wars horror novels and the battle between Netflix and the Academy establishment.  -- -- -- -- --- -- -- -- -- - Read the discussion piece at Making Star Wars on neoliberalism in Star Wars here Follow guest Michael Kent on Twitter @Mikeyago_go and @ToxicSchlock
Ep #66: Politics, Grievance & Redemption
Dr. Andrea Letamendi (Lattes with Leia, The Arkham Sessions) joins Swara as they discuss not only one of the central themes of Star Wars, but also redemption and the grievance of galactic victims, both individual and galaxy wide. Does the 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? Swara and Drea also talk a bit about Episode IX title and teaser rumblings and further legal troubles for the Trump administration. We cover all our bases! Connect with Us Join us now on our Discord channel to keep this episodes' conversation going at: https://discord.gg/zYc9uYn. Please share our show with a friend, review us on iTunes and shoot us some feedback. We grow in quality every time someone reaches out to tell us what they liked. We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on the show and topics at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com.
Ep #65: Jar Jar Binks and political ignorance
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. Swara and Stephen also react to some new Star Wars books, talk trash about some real-world politicians and opine on the latest Star Wars news making the rounds this week.   Connect with Us Join us now on our Discord channel to keep this episodes' conversation going at: https://discord.gg/zYc9uYn. Please share our show with a friend, review us on iTunes and shoot us some feedback. We grow in quality every time someone reaches out to tell us what they liked. We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on the show and topics at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com.
Ep #64: Now The Rebellion Is Real For You
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.  We also react to news of a new Cassian Andor series coming on Disney Plus, assess the "blue wave" and offer some Bantha Fodder as usual. Thanks to Kate Sanchez for joining us this week and offering her perspective on Star Wars and politics. 
Ep #63: Powerful Light, Powerful Dark
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?  In this episode, Swara and Stephen discuss the wildly varied outcome of the 2018 midterm election. It was a purple spatter more than a blue wave. Is there something Star Wars can teach about why this is good for society? Hopefully, we will come to an answer you can appreciate.  Connect with Us Join us now on our Discord channel to keep this episodes' conversation going at: https://discord.gg/zYc9uYn. Please share our show with a friend, review us on iTunes and shoot us some feedback. We grow in quality every time someone reaches out to tell us what they liked. We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on the show and topics at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com.
Ep #62: Politics in Star Wars Resistance, Chuck Wendig
Welcome back! This week Swara Salih and producer John Liang dig into the new Star Wars series "Resistance". There are several rich political elements in the background of the animated series, and we leave no stone unturned.  Also, Star Wars author Chuck Wendig was fired by Marvel and taken off the future Star Wars comics. He presumably won't be used by LucasFilm and Disney for books in the future. Wendig is notably the author of the Aftermath series and is known for his aggressive political rhetoric on Twitter. Marvel fired him, citing the Tweets as vulgar and out of step with their expectations. Is there merit to this move by Marvel and what is the best defense of Wendig? We'll get into it.     
Ep #61: Revenge of The Russian Bots
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.  Stephen and Swara also hash out their reactions to the new animated series Resistance, dish out their Bantha Fodder, and much more! Connect with Us Join us now on our Discord channel to keep this episodes' conversation going at: https://discord.gg/zYc9uYn. Please share our show with a friend, review us on iTunes and shoot us some feedback. We grow in quality every time someone reaches out to tell us what they liked. We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on the show and topics at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com.
Star Wars Get Out The Vote: A Stephen Kent Story
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.  Ana Marie Cox and Cher Martinetti sounded off on how RD-D2 and other characters would vote in a piece titled "SPACE THE NATION: R2-D2 IS A LIBERTARIAN". Naturally, this is provocative but perfect for a spin on Beltway Banthas. Join Stephen for s 30 min review of the analysis with his own spin on the characters signed up by SyFyWire to vote!  Connect with Us Join us now on our Discord channel to keep this episodes' conversation going at: https://discord.gg/zYc9uYn. Please share our show with a friend, review us on iTunes and shoot us some feedback. We grow in quality every time someone reaches out to tell us what they liked. We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on the show and topics at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com.  
Interview: Ross Douthat of The New York Times
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.  Here are supplemental materials for Douthat's writing about Star Wars https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/12/star-wars-last-jedi-review-lost-space/ https://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/08/the-politics-of-star-wars-2/ https://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/the-politics-of-star-wars/
Interview: Who Hates Star Wars For It's Newfound Diversity?
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 surround 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." There are a lot of fascinating numbers and takeaways from the study WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE.  This interview with Bethany was taped on September 7th and goes over the findings + her broader views on Star Wars fan culture. 
Ep #60: I AM A PART OF THE RESISTANCE INSIDE THE EMPIRE
Hello Banthas! Swara and Stephen are back for Episode 60 to with some exclusive audio from Dragon Con 2018, a great panel on Crime & Politics in Star Wars. We also riff on the bombshell anonymous op-ed in the New York Times by a member of the Trump administration about the work being done on the inside to restrain his worst impulses from the inside. Is there a Star Wars tie-in? You bet there is! And finally, we talk about the Disney union workers vote for higher wages - with a little disagreement to be had on the topic.  Dragon Con Panelists include Thomas Harper (@thomasLharper) , Matt Rushing (mattrushing02) , Bethany Blanton (@BethanyLBlanton), and Brandy Blanton (@BrandelineB) Swara Salih, Data Analyst at Johns Hopkins' Center for Government Excellence (GovEx)   Connect with Us Join us now on our Discord channel to keep this episodes' conversation going at: https://discord.gg/zYc9uYn. Please share our show with a friend, review us on iTunes and shoot us some feedback. We grow in quality every time someone reaches out to tell us what they liked. We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on the show and topics at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com.
Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict
BONUS EPISODE! Beltway Banthas Contributor John Liang chats with author Max Brooks about Star Wars and the lessons that can be applied to today's modern military. Brooks wrote "Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict"
Ep #59: Imperialization Politics in Star Wars
The Empire is coming for your moisture farm! Today on the show we discuss politically charged deleted scenes that never made it into the final cut of Star Wars films. Our main focus is a discussion between Biggs and Luke Skywalker about the "imperialization" of industry. Abby Gleason fills in for Swara and we are joined by Brittany Hunter to talk socialism in space, bourgeois Biggs and more. Also on this episode, Abby and Stephen talk about the latest in Trump drama surrounding Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort. Also, an op-ed from Kelly Marie Tran (Loan) about her identity, race, consumerism and toxic fandom. This is a jam-packed episode you don't want to miss. Kelly Marie Tran OP-ED (NYT) Star Wars Deleted Scene Shows Socialism of the Empire (FEE)   Connect with Us Join us now on our Discord channel to keep this episodes' conversation going at: https://discord.gg/zYc9uYn. Please share our show with a friend, review us on iTunes and shoot us some feedback. We grow in quality every time someone reaches out to tell us what they liked. We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on the show and topics at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com.
Ep #58: Enemies Of The People
We're back! Stephen and Swara are back to discuss whether President Trump treats the media like Palpatine treated the Jedi Order during the Clone Wars. Both institutions are meant to be a positive check on power and injustice, but has Trump succeeded in changing the public narrative against the media as Palpatine did with the Jedi? Tune in to find out! We also discuss the state of toxic fandom as reported in the past several months, and how and whether we can take steps to combat it and make fandom a more welcoming place. Join us now on Discord to keep the conversation going at: https://discord.gg/zYc9uYn   Get in touch with everyone on the show! Leave us a review on iTunes and tell us what you think of the show! Subscribe and connect with us on Twitter: @SwaraSalih1 | @Stephen_Kent89  Please share our show with a friend, review us on iTunes and shoot us some feedback. We grow in quality every time someone reaches out to tell us what they liked. We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on the show and topics at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com.
Beltway Banthas Special: Solo, Politodope, & Fodder
We have a jam-packed episode for y'all before our hiatus! First Stephen and Swara give their review of Solo. We then present Swara's conversation with Matt Rogers (@Politodope) to talk about the politics of the Resistance on the Left and parallels we find with Star Wars, all from the prequels to the sequels. Finally the hosts give their final Bantha Fodders for the season before our two month hiatus! Matt also discusses his project to get young people involved in politics: "Politodope", Stephen and Swara debate the controversial issues surrounding Solo, and much more! Join us now on Discord to keep the conversation going at: https://discord.gg/zYc9uYn Announcement: Beltway Banthas is going to be taking a summer break during June and July with a comeback set for early August. This show has been going strong for two years with weekly episodes and we felt now is a good time to pause, do a summer of research, reading and thinking about what topics to tackle this year. THE SHOW WILL GO ON! We hope you'll stay in touch with us on break on Twitter and Discord, where politics & Star Wars never sleep.
Ep #57: The Politics of Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill is a Hollywood legend for his depiction of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies. He is also a staunch believer in speaking on about politics. In this weeks episode we look at Mark Hamill's public stand on gun control, President Trump and how he balances Star Wars with politics alongside the fans. This is part of a larger conversation on pop culture and whether or not our hyper politicized society has made it harder to enjoy art. In the intro Swara & Stephen give final thoughts on Solo: A Star Wars Story and dive into the controversy around Lando's sexuality as described by screenwriter Jon Kasdan. We also share Bantha Fodders and make some announcements which are laid out below. Join us now on Discord to keep the conversation going at: https://discord.gg/zYc9uYn Announcement: Beltway Banthas is going to be taking a summer break during June and July with a comeback set for early August. This show has been going strong for two years with weekly episodes and we felt now is a good time to pause, do a summer of research, reading and thinking about what topics to tackle this year. THE SHOW WILL GO ON! We hope you'll stay in touch with us on break on Twitter and Discord, where politics & Star Wars never sleep.   Get in touch with everyone on the show! Leave us a review on iTunes and tell us what you think of the show! Subscribe and connect with us on Twitter: @SwaraSalih1 | @Stephen_Kent89 | @AbbyGleason | @Britt_the_wit Please share our show with a friend, review us on iTunes and shoot us some feedback. We grow in quality every time someone reaches out to tell us what they liked. We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on the show and topics at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com. If you like this episode, check out our previous one!
Beltway Banthas: Star Wars Representation Matters ft. Daniel Jose Older
The Star Wars franchise has been becoming more visibly diverse on the screen, but will LucasFilm go further on issues of representation? Swara, the hosts of Book Wars Pod and Rebel Grrrl, are joined by Star Wars: Last Shot author Daniel Jose Older and others to discuss this topic. The online campaign that emerged as a result of this effort is called #SWRepMatters. Come check out and join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #SWRepMatters! Get in touch with everyone on the show! Leave us a review on iTunes and tell us what you think of the show! Subscribe and connect with us on Twitter: @SwaraSalih1 | @lu_sitania | @semirose  | @spacejessss | @shannonjoy26 | @djolder | @ohcatrina  Please share our show with a friend, review us on iTunes and shoot us some feedback. We grow in quality every time someone reaches out to tell us what they liked. We want to hear from you! You can send us your thoughts on the show and topics at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com. If you like this episode, check out our previous one!
Ep #56: The Public Service of Bail Organa
Abby and Swara discuss and analyze the life of one of their favorite fictional politicians of all time, the wonderful and estimable Bail Organa of Alderaan. What drove him to sacrifice so much for the good of the galaxy? How can we learn from his amazing example? Why does he give us so many feels?!? Listen to find out! We also dig into the Donald Glover's appearance on SNL, his "This is America" music video, the latest in the Trump scandal news, dish out our Bantha Fodders, and much more!
Rate Podcast
Followers
Podcast Details
Started
May 1st, 2016
Latest Episode
Sep 5th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
114
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
No
Do you host or manage this podcast?
Claim and edit this page to your liking.
Are we missing an episode or update?
Use this to check the RSS feed immediately.