129 episodes

Beltway Banthas is a bi-weekly Star Wars podcast about the intersection of fandom and politics. For host Stephen Kent, 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. On this podcast the hosts 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.

Beltway Banthas: Star Wars, Politics & More Stephen Kent

    • TV & Film

Beltway Banthas is a bi-weekly Star Wars podcast about the intersection of fandom and politics. For host Stephen Kent, 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. On this podcast the hosts 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.

    Star Wars' Identity Crisis Mirrors Our Own

    Star Wars' Identity Crisis Mirrors Our Own

    Kat Rosenfield wrote for Reason Magazine a feature piece on how Star Wars' three trilogies aligns almost perfectly with the politics of the time they were made in. What makes the sequel trilogy so unique, Episodes VII-IX, is that their chaotic nature almost mirrors the era we live in today. 

    • 43 min
    Michael Steel on the DC cantina, Han Solo and Star Wars' case for democracy

    Michael Steel on the DC cantina, Han Solo and Star Wars' case for democracy

    Michael Steel is a Republican strategist and partner for Hamilton Place Strategies. He served as a communications officer for the likes the Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan and John Boehner. He caught the eye of Beltway Banthas when on Kasie DC (MSNBC) he knocked the Trump administration for approaching staffing like it was the Mos Eisley Cantina. We get into how Jeb Bush & Marco Rubio's 2016 feud sparked this podcast into being and also how Star Wars makes the case for democracy...but perhaps not with total devotion. 

    • 37 min
    The Tibetan struggle and the Force's threat to tyrants

    The Tibetan struggle and the Force's threat to tyrants

    No tyrant can fully control a people if they believe in something higher than their worldly ruler. This is reason all memory of the Jedi must be wiped out by the Empire. The Force is a threat. Ashwin Verghese of the Internation Campaign for Tibet sees this struggle playing out between the Tibetan people and the Chinese government. He joined Beltway Banthas to share his fandom, talk about Tibet, China, Yoda, Naboo and the future of Star Wars. 

    • 50 min
    Mayor Betsy Hodges on surviving, governing and escaping to Tatooine

    Mayor Betsy Hodges on surviving, governing and escaping to Tatooine

    Mayor Betsy Hodges may be the former mayor of Minneapolis and now Washington, D.C., but she's really a citizen of Tatooine. In this special interview episode, the progressive activist and mayor joins Beltway Banthas to share how Star Wars saved her life (The Mary Sue). Beyond her personal story, which is a remarkable one, Stephen Kent and Betsy Hodges trace how Star Wars explains redemption and why that matters for the world we live in. 

    • 52 min
    Ben Domenech (The Federalist) on The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian and democracy

    Ben Domenech (The Federalist) on The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian and democracy

    To supplement your social distancing we have a bonus episode with Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist. Ben and Stephen review the ending of the sequel trilogy and the case for The Mandalorian as the future of Star Wars storytelling. Ben makes a compelling point about why Star Wars raises some questions about the value and trade off's of democracy, and why people like Anakin Skywalker end of wanting something else. 

    • 59 min
    The Clone Wars and the politics of starving

    The Clone Wars and the politics of starving

    Season 7 of The Clone Wars is live on Disney+ and it's as political as ever. Characters have to make real hard moral choices given their economic status, which is the making of a great Beltway Banthas episode. Bernie Sanders organizer Mohammed Shakibnia joins the show to dissect The Clone Wars political themes. Plus! Herb Scribner of the Deseret News makes a guest appearance to reflect on the messages of "The Bad Batch" episodes, and what they say about war, trauma and fandom. 

    • 1 hr 5 min

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