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Force Material: A Star Wars Podcast

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A deep dive into the secrets and source material of Star Wars with hosts Rohan Williams and Baz McAlister. Discover the influences and inspirations behind the Star Wars saga, from films and folklore to history, politics and geography. These are the stories behind the prequels, the sequels, and everything in between!

A deep dive into the secrets and source material of Star Wars with hosts Rohan Williams and Baz McAlister. Discover the influences and inspirations behind the Star Wars saga, from films and folklore to history, politics and geography. These are the stories behind the prequels, the sequels, and everything in between!
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A deep dive into the secrets and source material of Star Wars with hosts Rohan Williams and Baz McAlister. Discover the influences and inspirations behind the Star Wars saga, from films and folklore to history, politics and geography. These are the stories behind the prequels, the sequels, and everything in between!






The best Star Wars TV series never made

This week, we descend into the Underworld for a look back at the unmade TV series that set the table for The Mandalorian! Star Wars: Underworld would have explored the seedy underbelly of the Galaxy Far, Far Away, covering the early years of Sheev Palpatine, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and more in an an ambitious series from George Lucas and the writers of The Favourite, Broadchurch, Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Lucas worked on the series for years, but it never...


Galactic Empire Interview

YouTube sensations Galactic Empire tell us how they turn classic John Williams themes into heavy metal bangers! Galactic Empire are bringing their fully armed and operational battle station to Australia in November, so we got frontman Dark Vader (aka Chris Kelly) on the phone to talk about the band's unique Star Wars covers and music videos; how the music of the sequel trilogy compares to the scores we grew up with; the future of Star Wars music after John Williams; and his fan expectations...


The Rise of Skywalker Final Trailer Breakdown

Ready or not, the end of the Skywalker Saga is almost here. From the Emperor's new groove to the Reylo bait, we break down every shot in the final Rise of Skywalker trailer! Earlier this week, tragedy/idiocy struck when I forgot to hit 'record' on our live Rise of Skywalker trailer reaction, and we talked into the void for an hour and a half without realising. But it's not all bad news — now we've had some time to cool off, mull the trailer over and come up with a more measured response....


The Mandalorian With No Name

This week, we explore how Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo and Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars could influence The Mandalorian! Leo Tolstoy once said there are really only two plots — "a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town". Most of the Star Wars stories we've seen have been variations on the "man goes on a journey" story, but in The Mandalorian, it looks like a stranger is coming to town. Pedro Pascal, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have said that the work of Akira Kurosawa and...


Is Star Wars better off without George Lucas?

Was Disney right to reject George Lucas' sequel trilogy story treatment? This week, we compare what George had planned to the films we got! Disney CEO Bob Iger has written about George Lucas’ disappointment in The Force Awakens in his new memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company. Of course, that's not new information — we've known George had his misgivings ever since he called Disney "white slavers" in 2015 — but we thought it was a...


Triple Force Feige

We discuss the blockbuster Kevin Feige news and everything we learned from the Triple Force Friday reveals on this week's episode of the Force Material podcast! We begin this week's show by discussing The Hollywood Reporter's 'Star Wars shocker' — Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige is taking his talents to a galaxy far, far away! Then, we share our favourite announcements from the Triple Force Friday live stream event, as new toys and details were revealed for The Rise Of Skywalker, The...


The Lore of Mandalore

Is Boba Fett a Mandalorian? Is Jango Fett a Mandalorian? Is anyone a Mandalorian? This week, we take a deep dive into the head-scratching lore of Mandalore! With The Mandalorian just under two months from debuting on Disney+, it's the perfect time to delve into this fascinating — but often confusing — corner of the galaxy. From the origins and earliest appearances of Boba Fett and Mandalore to the current status quo heading into the new series, we attempt to explain it all in under an hour!


A Long Time Ago in Hollywood

Take a wild ride with us back to 1969, as a young George Lucas comes of age as a filmmaker, starts a rebellion with Francis Ford Coppola, and crosses paths with the Hells Angels! From his marriage to Marcia Lucas, to the rise and fall of American Zoetrope, to the notorious Altamont Free Concert, 1969 was a wild year in the life of George Lucas. This week, we take a trip back in time to this formative year for the Maker — and take a detour to share our thoughts on the new film from Quentin...


D23 Recap w/ The Rise of Skywalker Trailer Breakdown

Skywalkers and Mandalorians and Kenobis, oh my! We're breaking down all the news that's fit to pod from D23! From a shot-by-shot dissection of the new Rise of Skywalker footage to our thoughts on The Mandalorian trailer, Ewan McGregor's return as Obi-Wan Kenobi and the rest of the Disney+ slate, we're celebrating all the Star Wars announcements from Disney's wild weekend!


John Carter of Mars

Our look at the history of space opera continues with John Carter's journey from the page to the big screen. He’s the grand-daddy of them all. The man who not only inspired Star Wars, but also Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon - and, in a roundabout way, even cleared the path for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. Join us as we meet the wild west hero who went to Mars, and handed Disney one of their biggest box office flops ever...


Flash Gordon Part Two

He'll save every one of us! Our deep dive into the history of Flash Gordon continues with the cult classic 1980 movie (and Queen soundtrack), animated adventures, and the future of the franchise! From the troubled production of the film to Stan Lee's contributions to the Flash Gordon mythos, we break it all down. Finally, we peer into our (faulty) crystal ball and try to guess what Taika Waititi has in store for us with his animated Flash Gordon reboot!


Flash Gordon Part One

This week, we begin exploring the most important Star Wars influence of them all — Flash Gordon! Our deep dive into the creation and legacy of a sci-fi icon begins with an examination of the Flash Gordon newspaper strip and movie serials, and how they eventually inspired a young George Lucas to make Star Wars. Next time, we'll be back with a look at the history of Flash Gordon after the release of Star Wars — including the infamous 1980 film!


Buck Rogers

Take a trip to the 25th century with Buck Rogers, one of the pioneering heroes of science fiction! Before Luke Skywalker, before Flash Gordon, there was Buck Rogers. This week, we explore how Buck Rogers shaped the space opera genre and influenced Star Wars — and how Star Wars influenced Buck Rogers!


The Fan Theory of Everything

Are there two Luke Skywalkers? Is the Emperor a dad? Was Obi-Wan a clone? This week, we're breaking down the best and worst Star Wars fan theories of all time! As we build towards The Rise of Skywalker, the speculation is reaching fever pitch — so this episode, we're diving into the history of Star Wars fan theories! We talk about our favourite and least favourite theories; the ones that came true and the ones that definitely didn't come true; and the most likely outcomes heading into The...


Alien w/ Brandon Wainerdi

In a galaxy far, far away, no one can hear you scream. This week, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ridley Scott's masterpiece by explaining how Star Wars influenced Alien! This week's episode is a special crossover event, as we're joined by Brandon Wainerdi — host of the great Talking Bay 94 podcast, and the VP of Marketing at legendary horror and cult film magazine Fangoria — to explore the connections between Star Wars and Alien. We also break down all the other influences that make...


Knights of the Old Republic w/ Alex Kane

Pop culture writer Alex Kane joins us to discuss the development and legacy of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic! Alex Kane has written for Rolling Stone, Variety, Polygon, and more, but for his first book, he's taken a deep dive into the making of one of the most beloved Star Wars video games of all time, Knights of the Old Republic. This episode, Alex joins us to talk about how KOTOR bridged the gap between film and tabletop role-playing games; the influence of KOTOR on...


Avengers: Endgame Spoiler Discussion

This week, we're taking a break from the Galaxy Far, Far Away to take a deep, spoiler-filled dive into Avengers: Endgame! We begin this week's spoiler-heavy pod by discussing our favourite moments from the film, before we explore what life is like for the citizens of the MCU after Endgame, what the events of this film mean for the MCU going forward, and whether the MCU will ever resemble the world outside our window again. Finally, we debate whether The Rise of Skywalker has any chance of...


The Rise of Skywalker Teaser Trailer Breakdown

The Rise of Skywalker is upon us, and the speculation is on! This episode, we break the trailer down shot-by-shot and dive deep into what it might all mean for the future of our favourite franchise. Is Rey connected to Palpatine? Will Kylo be redeemed? Is JJ's vision compatible with Rian's? And which Skywalker is rising, exactly? From haunted helmets to Japanese arts and craft, we go all-in with the answers and share our wildest theories in this special episode of the Force Material...


The Phantom Menace Commentary

This week, we're partying like it's 1999 with our feature-length commentary track for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace! The 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace and the upcoming reunion panel at Star Wars Celebration had us feeling nostalgic, so we decided to strap in and break down the good, the bad and the ugly of this landmark film. We discuss our earliest memories of The Phantom Menace; how public sentiment turned against the film (and eventually turned back); the influences...


Triumph of the Will

This week, we break down how the Nazis have influenced the Empire, the First Order —and the Rebellion. This episode is all about how Triumph of the Will — an infamous propaganda film made by Nazis, for Nazis, starring Nazis — influenced George Lucas in the creation of Star Wars, and the wider influence that Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany have had on the Star Wars films over the years. We begin by discussing Triumph of the Will; director Leni Riefenstahl's relationship with Hitler; and the...