158 episodes

Beltway Banthas is a monthly Star Wars podcast about the intersection of Star Wars and politics. Host, Stephen Kent, draws from politics IRL and connects the big problems we face to lessons in the Star Wars universe. Whether it be discourse about redemption, empathy, humility or hot button topics ranging from racial justice to cancel culture, Beltway Banthas takes it all on.

Beltway Banthas Stephen Kent

    • TV & Film
    • 4.6 • 118 Ratings

Beltway Banthas is a monthly Star Wars podcast about the intersection of Star Wars and politics. Host, Stephen Kent, draws from politics IRL and connects the big problems we face to lessons in the Star Wars universe. Whether it be discourse about redemption, empathy, humility or hot button topics ranging from racial justice to cancel culture, Beltway Banthas takes it all on.

    Walk The Way: A New Podcast from Stephen Kent

    Walk The Way: A New Podcast from Stephen Kent

    If you loved Beltway Banthas, you can still keep learning from Star Wars. Stephen Kent has a new podcast with co-host Riley Blanton, it's called Walk The Way. Inspired by the writing from How The Force Can Fix The World and This Is The Way, Walk The Way is dedicated to building a community around popular fiction and self-improvement. Myth can make us better, George Lucas knew that.

    Find WALK THE WAY on your favorite podcast app today and Subscribe



    Spotify

    https://open.spotify.com/show/23aR2KZ1r8l65SFQsqVtAI?si=06199c5c8d5d4e1b



    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/walk-the-way/id1698316253



    The YouTube channel is just getting started, but you can Subscribe here

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrtAeMhf3qJcD2xjeMNNE1A

    • 2 min
    FINALE: Do you want to know the REAL politics of Star Wars?

    FINALE: Do you want to know the REAL politics of Star Wars?

    Join me at ThisIsTheWay.substack.com for the next chapter of Star Wars + politics and whatever else. Beltway Banthas has been one of the great joys of my life, and it's time to let it go. I believe even better things will come. I hope you'll come along with me. 

    Twitter: @Stephen_kent89

    The Force will be with you, always. 

    • 27 min
    THIS IS THE WAY: An N95 masked bicyclist, The Phantom Menace and the problem with pride

    THIS IS THE WAY: An N95 masked bicyclist, The Phantom Menace and the problem with pride

    Have you ever felt anger, hatred or contempt toward someone? What about a total stranger? If you hadn’t, you might not be a human being. Just something to consider. This episode of Beltway Banthas: This Is The Way, is a reflection on loving your enemies. Not such an easy thing to do, and we don’t have all the answers, but you can start with addressing your Pride. Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace has a wonderful message on pride, humility, power, and contempt. Queen Padme Amidala Naberrie offers a masterclass in humility and healing the wounds of contempt on her planet, by making peace with the Gungans’ leader, Boss Nass.

    Email the show: BeltwayBanthas@Gmail.com 

    Subscribe to the newsletter at thisistheway.substack.com 

    and pick up my book, How The Force Can Fix The World: Lessons on life, liberty and happiness from a galaxy far, far away TODAY

    • 11 min
    THIS IS THE WAY: General Leia, Marcus Aurelius and the state of the Beltway Banthas podcast

    THIS IS THE WAY: General Leia, Marcus Aurelius and the state of the Beltway Banthas podcast

    What's going on with Beltway Banthas?! Why is Stephen Kent speaking so softly and what is this lovely background music?! Beltway Banthas is in a new season of it's life called 'This Is The Way,' a run of episodes focused on taking Star Wars wisdom and turning it out onto real life. Today Stephen answers a listener feedback email and has a call to action for everyone tuning in. 

    This is also the first episode of Beltway Banthas with a sponsored message for Anchor, a podcasting platform by Spotify. You'll hear that midway through. We use Anchor the production of this podcast and can't recommend it enough. 

    www.anchor.fm --- go there TODAY and sign up to start podcasting with all the tools you need housed in one app. It's so easy. 

    And if you're with us in the new leg of the journey at Beltway Banthas, go to thisistheway.substack.com and subscribe to the newsletter. Join the community. Let's make the world a better place with Star Wars as our guide. 



    This is the Way

    • 12 min
    THIS IS THE WAY: Yoda, being prepared and a prayer for Ukraine

    THIS IS THE WAY: Yoda, being prepared and a prayer for Ukraine

    Introducing THIS IS THE WAY, a new series from Beltway Banthas focused on putting the virtues and lessons on living from Star Wars into action. Today's episode is a reflection on Preparedness, or being prepared. There are a lot of things in the world you can worry about, lose sleep over or feel anxiety over, but what you do with those feelings is a choice. News is a fine example. Why do we watch the news? If it is merely to be informed, well you're taking on an awful lot of weight for such an unclear purpose. What you do with information, the actions you take based on knowledge, that's a game changer in how you can live. 

    Remember why Yoda brushed off the idea of training Luke Skywalker? "A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing." From Yoda to Obi Wan to Qui-Gon, there are numerous subtle moments in Star Wars aimed at focus, attention, duty and preparedness. Perhaps from IRL history, consider the words of Seneca..."Everyone faces up more bravely to a thing for which he has long prepared himself, sufferings, even, being withstood if they have been trained for in advance. Those who are unprepared, on the other hand, are panic-stricken by the most insignificant happenings."

    As Russia wages an unjust and ugly war against its neighbor, Ukraine, those of us on the sidelines have a choice to make with how we interact with this fact. I would never ask you to jettison empathy and care, but I would ask you to remember to care for yourself so that you can best serve others. This podcast will lay out why and how. 

    THIS IS THE WAY is going to be appearing in the Beltway Banthas feed regularly to fulfill this podcast's promise of weaving together IRL politics and Star Wars. These reflections are inspired by passages from my book, How The Force Can Fix The World. 

    You can follow me on Twitter @Stephen_Kent89 and subscribe to the This Is The Way newsletter, https://thisistheway.substack.com to read these reflections and other stories on living from your favorite pop culture tales. 

    • 12 min
    THIS IS THE WAY: Empathy, anger and Qui-Gon Jinn meditating during battle

    THIS IS THE WAY: Empathy, anger and Qui-Gon Jinn meditating during battle

    Have you ever spoken in anger or put your foot in your mouth? It's sort of the way of the world these days, in case you haven't noticed or been online much. Today's podcast is an honest reflection on an experience I had with my own anger, understanding its source and a lesson on empathy. The Greek stoic Zeno once said, “Better to trip with the feet than the tongue.” This is true in so many ways. 

    If you read How The Force Can Fix The World, you'll recall Chapter 2 on Empathy and the importance of being present when engaging with others. One should then in theory, be extra present when engaging with the world...which is what Twitter is. The words we choose matter more than the viewpoint they're meant to communicate. 



    Tweets mentioned in the podcast

    https://twitter.com/Stephen_Kent89/status/1472745173532790790

    https://twitter.com/TriadOfTheForce/status/1472767880584384512



    Email me at BeltwayBanthas@gmail.com

    Subscribe to newsletter at www.politicizeme.substack.com

    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
118 Ratings

118 Ratings

Tomes JT ,

Civil yet Provocative Star Wars and Political Commentary

I have been listening since the start, and appreciate Stephen’s stewardship of the show. He brings his opinion and principles into the show with full disclosure and sound logic without the shrill emotive arguments that permeate both Star Wars and political commentary.

It is a place that people of many views can participate in a challenging and fruitful discussion on two of my favorite topics.
If I could make one suggestion I would love for him to incorporate more international politics/relations into the Star Wars discussions as there is significant relevancy behind domestic political discussions.

I look forward to many more seasons and his upcoming book. Also I enjoy this newer format as him as the singular host with compelling guests.

DestructiveCriticism! ,

A thoughtful and fresh perspective on my two biggest passions

I have been following this show for the last several years, and it seems to just get better and better. Stephen really does a great job of getting a wide range of opinions and perspectives, and has so much nuance in his insights into politics and Star Wars.

Davidmwein ,

Great show!

While not the biggest Star Wars fan in the world I can still appreciate this one! The hosts have a lot of passion behind Star Wars and politics which leads to a really unique combination of ideas.  

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