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  1. State of the Empire :: Episode 60 :: Lucasfilm’s ’83 Animated Feature: Twice Upon a Time

    This episode of State of the Empire widens our lens to the rest of Lucasfilm and examines how the innovative production company shaped the world of film as we know it, even through now-forgotten features.

    1983, same year The Star Wars Saga ended, a very different kind of Lucasfilm hit select theaters. Twice Upon a Time, directed by John Korty and Charles Swenson, is an animated feature the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Using a unique rear-lit animation style called “lumage” and myriad mixed media techniques, the fractured fairytale stumbles its way through its narrative while sticking the landing on startling and uncanny visuals.

    Twice Upon a Time might be off-the-beaten-path, but it casts a long shadow. Join Cap, Doug, and Matt for a journey to “a place so far out, you’ll never, never land” and discover how this Lucas-backed project served as an incubator for talents behind The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pixar, a young David Fincher, the music of Bruce Hornsby, and some Michael McDonald-produced Yacht Rock.

    And hey, if you’re looking for our trademark Star Wars speculation, never fear – we’ve got a hot take on who Keri Russell is playing in Episode IX that’ll really Teek-le your fancy. (more…)

  2. Wicked Anime :: Episode 146 :: Detective Conan O’Brien

    Wicked Anime brings you awesome animated commentary every other week!

    It’s said that on the Wicked Anime… that the cast eventually talks about anime. Stick with us and I’m sure you’ll get to hear all about it. In the meantime, there are just some episodes that can’t help but stay in the West for a little bit longer than usual! Let’s talk about Conan, Nickelodeon, Matt Groening, and more!

    Join Jonstar, Andrew, Evan, Derek, Victoria and Greg as they talk about what’s happening in anime and the things we’d do for charity! PLUS – New Netflix original movies, speed running visual novels, and The Zapp Brannigan Effect!


  3. State of the Empire :: Episode 59 :: Star Wars: Episode IX Leaks and the Phantom Menace of Fake News

    State of the Empire is a Star Wars speculation podcast where we “look for news in Alderaan places”.

    Filming for Star Wars: Episode IX has begun and already the leaks are pouring in… but can they be trusted? Sure, there’s some exciting and authentic on-set photos that have found their way onto the internet, but moreso there’s more fan theories and uninformed conjecture posing as “journalism” than ever before. Here on State of the Empire, we celebrate “looking for news in Alderaan places”, but our crackpot theories are always to be taken with a modicum of spice! Join us as we pick through an Ord Mantell-sized pile of garbage, dig up the sordid history of Star Wars fake news, and share what’s really going on with JJ Abrams’ forthcoming feature.

    We also discuss the possible focus of Jon Favreau’s forthcoming streaming live action Star Wars TV series, the ties it may have to The Clone Wars, our first takes on seeing the animated series Star Wars Resistance in action, an Original Trilogy era romance that came to Cap in a dream, and a tome of bygone Willow fandom on the deep web.


  4. Wicked Anime :: Episode 145 :: G (Not For) Kids

    Wicked Anime brings you awesome animated commentary every other week!

    Jonstar is back from his honeymoon! Hear about his trip to Disney and his TSA troubles. While Disney is an animator’s paradise, you’re here for anime! Well, we got some new movies and manga that we review and recommend as well in our new “Book Club” segment!

    Join Jonstar, Andrew, Evan, and Derek as they talk about what’s happening in anime and what’s no longer just for the kids! PLUS – TSA, I’m Badminton, and adult Blue’s Clues!


  5. Willow Watch :: Early Scripts & Roads Not Taken

    Welcome to Willow Watch! State of the the Empire‘s spin-off podcast dedicated to the 1988 Lucasfilm fantasy epic Willow – In which breaking news comes in all sizes, and obsessive fandom is the greatest magic of all.

    This may be a show about Willow, but we’re starting to feel like Indiana Jones the way we’re unearthing all these forgotten artifacts from the film’s past. We’ve regaled you with tales from the Willow expanded universe, which we suspected were based on unused sequences from the film. We’ve discovered production notes hinting as drastically different scenes… and now we’ve found the tome that answers all our questions and pieces our crackpot theories together: a first draft, third revision script of Willow.

    Brace yourselves for elves that steal baby tears, inflatable crabs, man-beast troopers, a romantic rivalry between Madmartigan and Kael – and that’s just for starters. We use a hitherto unknown Willow young readers film adaption by Hugo-winning author Joan D. Vinge to help us determine which draft of the script the entire Willow expanded universe was based off of. Then we explore the very divergent roads not taken in this early Willow script – specifically a “selling draft” used to secure finances for the film. Find out what would happen if Willow was sent alone to the crossroads, discover the truth behind Moebius’ “King Kael” illustration, and just what was that stinky spell Willow was making?

    Through our Willow archeology, we’re not just uncovering the untold history of one of the most beloved fantasy films of all-time, we’re also gleaning an unparalleled look into the Lucasfilm franchise machine in its prime. (more…)

  6. State of the Empire :: Episode 58 :: The Journey to Episode IX Begins

    State of the Empire is a Star Wars speculation podcast where we “look for news in Alderaan places”.

    The filming of the final movie in the Skywalker Saga is upon us, and with it is the cast announcement of all the old faces returning and new editions to galaxy far, far away. The results are more revealing that we’d expect – including two confirmed rumors, a Force ghost, a loose plot thread we didn’t think was gonna get tied up, and a surprise posthumous appearance of Carrie Fisher. Will any of our Episode IX theories come to pass, or will they just end up being a “story for another time?”

    We’re excited for the forthcoming release of the new animated series Star Wars Resistance, and even have some leaked details to share, but we were floored at the recent announcement that The Clone Wars is coming back. It’s an episode of surprising returns, including another installment of Indy Inquiry, where we dredge up unused Indiana Jones scripts so we can guess where the series might head next. What parts of the Crystal Skull-heavy “Indiana Jones and the Saucermen From Mars” will make it into the next adventure? Will Gary Fisher be mo-capped for Episode IX? What previously-unknown Willow treasure did we find? Unlike Maz Kanata, we’re not gonna leave you hanging. (more…)

  7. Wicked Anime :: Episode 144 :: Summer 2018 Anime

    Wicked Anime brings you awesome animated commentary every other week!

    The Summer 2018 season of anime is upon us and Wicked Anime is watching all of the shows so you don’t have to! Listen to which of the new shows we all liked and disliked . . . and you’ll never guess which list is the longer list.

    Join Jonstar, Andrew, Evan, Derek, and Greg as they talk about what’s happening in anime and the Summer 2018 anime! PLUS – Zombie girls, butt glue, and theme songs! (more…)

  8. State of the Empire :: Episode 57 :: Indiana Jones and the Semi-Canonical Fart Wedding

    State of the Empire is a Star Wars speculation podcast where we “look for news in Alderaan places”.

    Pop culture is a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. From the film scripts that never see the light of day, to the regrettable transmedia tie-ins that’d be better off staying buried; it’d take some kind of whip-cracking archeologist to uncover these forgotten relics… or perhaps some wise-cracking podcasters.

    In this episode we raid the Lucasfilm tombs and discover that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is fantastic – compared to the ghost-hunting, rhino-riding, suicidal student-screwing antics of Indiana Jones in an unmade Chris Columbus script. We also gain some insight into the upcoming animated series Star Wars Resistance and speculate how the show might overwrite existing Star Wars canon for the better. Exhibit A: The “fart wedding” – a notorious event, recently written out of continuity, in which Poe Dameron let loose “the most atmosphere-ripping flatulence the galaxy ever heard.”

    We also discuss the Episode IX casting news with Keri Russell and Billy Dee Williams, shed light on the state of Star Wars cinema via directors Chris McQuarrie and James Mangold’s tweets, explore some fascinating Disney patents that could indicate jaw-dropping experiences to come at Galaxy’s Edge, and spend some time with Captain EO and Willow too. (more…)

  9. Wicked Anime :: Episode 143 :: My Waifu’s Inside Me!

    Wicked Anime brings you awesome animated commentary every other week!

    With the Spring anime season coming to a close, we look back fondly on what we’ve seen and pick what we thought what really was worth our time. And when we’re out with the old, we’re in with the new! We preview the new season of anime for Summer 2018!

    Join Jonstar, Andrew, Evan, and Derek as they talk about what’s happening in anime and some hockey! PLUS – The end of a horse-girl era, Olympic table flipping, and we don’t bathe!


  10. State of the Empire :: Episode 56 :: Fandom’s Edge

    State of the Empire is a Star Wars speculation podcast where we “look for news in Alderaan places”.

    If there’s a bright center to the Star Wars fandom, we’re currently on the planet that it’s farthest from. Fans are as polarized as an Old Republic throwdown and every news outlet is spreading enough confusing, condemning, and confounding headlines that we’re beginning to sound like Saw Gerrera screaming about lies and deceptions. This world of space fantasy escapism is looking far too much like reality.

    Fortunately, State of the Empire is here to restore balance to the Force.

    We discuss the cloud surrounding Solo: A Star Wars Story and search for the truth in the articles and unnamed sources that purportedly know how the film’s financial performance has (or hasn’t) affected the future of Star Wars spin-offs. Then we venture off to Black Spire Outpost aka Batuu aka Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge aka “Star Wars Land” with a map and a decoded poem to help us discern what and who we’ll be encountering in the interactive theme park. We also explore new ways the comics are expanding the universe and informing other corners of the transmedia empire, learn about Jim Rash’s character in Star Wars Resistance, consider the future of Captain EO, and learn about some big shakeups for the forthcoming fifth Indiana Jones feature. (more…)

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