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  1. 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…)

  2. 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…)

  3. 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…)

  4. 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…)

  5. 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!

    (more…)

  6. 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…)

  7. Wicked Anime :: Episode 142 :: Clear Eye for the Straight Guy

    Wicked Anime brings you awesome animated commentary every other week!

    Would it surprise you if Wicked Anime had an episode where they derailed just a little bit? Well, with the abundant amount of strange Japanese news to share, all the games from E3 2018, and the dads in anime who probably didn’t get a tie this past Father’s Day – there’s no way we could cut any of this chaos!

    Join Jonstar, Andrew, Evan, Derek and Victoria as they talk about what’s happening in anime and some hockey! PLUS – Manly hotel bells, pizza-ass, and Assassin’s Creed: Grease! (more…)

  8. Willow Watch :: Behind-the-Scenes & Beyond the Film

    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.

    If you think you’ve got the world and characters of Willow all figured out – it’s time to forget all you know, or think you know.

    Lethal fishboys, deathbears, sorceress love triangles, and shocking backstories abound as we dig into the film’s deleted scenes, the extra context of the novelization, and the universe-expanding sourcebook. We also look to Moebius’ concept art for Willow, props and production notes revealing what might have been, the animated series that never happened, and the television show that Lucas himself teased.

    Willow is a film that builds a big world out of small perspectives – working magic that larger fantasy epics struggle to, even with modern effects. The further down the Nelwyn mine we go, the richer and more exciting the movie becomes. Hear us dramatically recreate tale of how Sorsha chose the sword over sorcery, and indulge in awesome character expansion for unsung heroes like Vohnkar and even get some charisma stats on Llug. (“Wanna breed?”) (more…)

  9. Wicked Anime :: Episode 141 :: The Hate Smile

    Wicked Anime brings you awesome animated commentary every other week!

    It has been 20 years since one of Wicked Anime’s favorite shows made its presence known to the anime scene. Gainax and Production IG gave us FLCL, absolutely one of the strangest shows the world has ever seen! Now, we have been blessed with the presence of a sequel, FLCL: Progressive, running on Adult Swim right now and a third series on the way later this year. Is it going to hold up? Listen to Wicked Anime’s speculation and find out!

    Join Jonstar, Andrew, Evan, Victoria and Greg as they talk about what’s happening in anime and some hockey! PLUS – Studio Bones made everything, expensive melons, and saying four-letter words! (more…)

  10. Wicked Anime :: Episode 140 :: Sean Bean Bandit

    Wicked Anime brings you awesome animated commentary every other week!

    The fans have spoken and they want to help us develop our new hit hockey anime! While we do have a butt-load of news to go over, we’re also reading fan feedback and putting together our little ole’ Google Doc about what is assured to be the sports anime to end all sports anime.

    Join Jonstar, Andrew, Evan, Derek and Greg as they talk about what’s happening in anime and some hockey! PLUS – Blonde and white Rally, mad about video games and movies, and top buns!

    (more…)

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