Hyperspace Theories

There’s much to discuss on this month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories. Tricia, B.J., and Kay begin with a quick look at the recent Star Wars news since our last episode, including reports of Keri Russell and Billy Dee Williams joining the cast of Episode IX, updates to the Lucasfilm corporate website, and the delay of Indiana Jones 5.

For the meta segment, we revisit a foundational topic in Star Wars – the Force – from the perspective of the third storytelling trio in The Last Jedi: Rey, Luke, and Kylo Ren. In addition to those characters, the movie and other recent Star Wars tales reveal more insight into the nature of the light side and dark side, and the role of the Jedi Order as an institution in serving, sometimes unsuccessfully, the principle of balance in the Force. We also share our thoughts on some points raised in discussions among online Star Wars fandom on these topics.

The storytelling segment centers on the Hero’s Journey for Han in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Unlike the other films of the Disney era, Solo draws upon the classical monomyth framework described by Joseph Campbell, rather than the modern cinematic model developed by Christopher Vogler. This has interesting implications for the structure of the story as well as the portrayals of the main characters.

Our world-building segment focuses on an article from Tom & Lorenzo analyzing Rey’s costumes in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Their insights include the symbolism of the colors and clothing styles, as well as interconnections with costumes in previous Star Wars movies for Luke, Han, and Leia.

 

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Direct download: HT_40_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am EDT

Last month Solo: A Story Wars Story hit theaters, and the newest episode of Hyperspace Theories features Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Kay sharing our reactions and analysis. Needless to say, the episode is chock full of spoilers for Solo. You have been warned!

Direct download: HT_39_Complete.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT

With the home-video release already reaching our personal screens, Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Kay Serna continue our analysis of The Last Jedi. First, though, we make a brief detour for a “Spoilers Beware” segment to share our reactions to the series finale episodes of Star Wars Rebels and the teaser trailer for Solo: A Star War Story, both of which aired since the three of us recorded together.

We begin our discussion on The Last Jedi with the “Expanded Edition” story contained in the novelization of the film by Jason Fry. We consider how the novelization adds to the story of the movie, including new scenes and character points-of-view. We also examine the ways in which the book avoids elaborating or clarifying on story points where the film is best left to speak for itself, or where fan speculation and opinion is better kept unrestricted.

For the world-building segment we discuss the impact of Snoke’s death on the First Order and the progress of the story going forward into Episode IX. Both Kylo Ren and Hux are portrayed as characters with significant disadvantages in leading such a large entity, including their inexperience and personal traits. This is potentially a weakness the Resistance could exploit, but the instability in the First Order also could make its leaders very dangerous.

In our storytelling segment, we analyze another character triangle envisioned by Rian Johnson in writing the script, as noted on page 111 of The Art of The Last Jedi by Phil Szostak. This month we consider the triangle centered on Poe Dameron, and how his interactions with General Leia Organa and Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo shape his path from hotshot flyboy to Resistance leader.

 

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Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_37_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:34pm EDT

In a Star Wars Battlefront II focused episode, Kay hosts a roundtable of gamers to break down the story mode. The panel includes Linda Hansen-Raj (FANgirl, StarWars.com), Kelly Knox (StarWars.com), and Bria LaVorgna (Tosche Station, White Hot Room).

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Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_BattlefrontII_w_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:47am EDT

The Last Jedi provides no shortage of topics for discussion, and this month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories provides the first opportunity for Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Kay to dig deep into the story told in the movie and the storytelling decisions behind it.

First, though, we kick off with a brief Spoilers Beware segment to share our first reactions to the mid-season trailer for Star Wars Rebels. The trailer previews the final seven episodes of the animated series, which concludes its four-season run with two episodes on Monday, February 19, two more on February 26, and a three-episode Rebels “movie” finale on March 6.

Our meta segment about how to speculate wisely often delves into topics such as the storytellers who are creating Star Wars and the sources that inspire them. This time, we have the opportunity to lift the veil after the fact and examine the creative process behind The Last Jedi after the fact. The lens for our discussion is the book The Art of The Last Jedi by Phil Szostak, published the same day as the movie’s release with a foreword by Rian Johnson. The book is filled with a wide variety of intriguing concept art from the film’s production, and its prose provides a behind-the-scenes look at how Johnson’s story came together.

The world-building segment considers the balance that every new Star Wars movie must strike in the new era of annual film releases: the balance between tapping into the power of fans’ nostalgia for the Star Wars stories already told and the need to tell a story that stands on its own within the franchise. Although conventional wisdom suggests that The Force Awakens leaned too heavily on nostalgia and the story structure of A New Hope while The Last Jedi took more risks and broke new ground, we use Episode VIII’s dramatic under-performing at the Chinese box office as an angle to discuss the ways The Last Jedi, and particularly its use of Luke Skywalker, may have relied too much on nostalgia and the expense of the new characters.

Our storytelling segment returns to another idea drawn from The Art of The Last Jedi. In the book, Rian Johnson explains that the character dynamics in the film are structured around three “triangles” of characters, with a principal hero (Rey, Finn, or Poe) at the apex of each. In this episode we discuss Finn’s triangle, in which his character development takes places between the contrasting influences of Rose and DJ in urging him to face and choose his destiny.

 

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:59pm EDT

The wait is over, and The Last Jedi has arrived! Even having seen the movie only a few times each, we already have so much to analyze and discuss from Episode VIII. Before we delve into any of that, though, we share our initial reactions to the movie. Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Kay Serna are joined by Looking For Leia producer and director Annalise Ophelian to break down our rollercoasters of emotion from experiencing The Last Jedi.

Naturally, this episode carries a massive SPOILER WARNING, as we do not hesitate to get into the biggest and most surprising moments in the movie.

We begin by considering whether the talking points, trailers, and other promotion for The Last Jedi provided fans with accurate guidance on what the movie ultimately would unfold. We then talk about the themes and influences that first caught our attention in watching the film. From the big picture we transition to our reactions to the arcs for the principal characters, including Rey and Kylo Ren, Rose and Finn, Poe and Holdo, Leia, and Luke. We conclude by picking our favorite moments from The Last Jedi.

Needless to say, this movie will provide topics for discussion on the podcast for many months to come.

 

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Direct download: HT_35_The_Last_Jedi_Is_Here.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:20pm EDT

This month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories marks our final show of speculation before the release of The Last Jedi, which no doubt will bring months of analysis – and future speculation – to the Star Wars fandom galaxy. Excitement and anticipation abounds!

 

Before turning to the imminent Episode VIII, though, Tricia, B.J., and Kay first consider the recent announcement that Lucasfilm has hired Rian Johnson to develop more Star Wars films. “In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga,” the press release said, “Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.” We share our thoughts on the possibilities offered by this new direction in Star Wars movies, as well as how they may relate to the other films in development at Lucasfilm. In addition, the announcement clarified Johnson’s role in the trilogy of films as “the first of which he is also set to write and direct.” We express our hope that the remaining two movies will provide opportunities for more diversity in the screenwriting and directing positions in the Star Wars franchise, especially in light of the commercial and critical success of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok.

Promotion for The Last Jedi has been in full swing, with more hints about the direction of the story and characters. We break down our thoughts on the international trailer, which takes a more story-driven approach than last month’s U.S. trailer, as well as additional footage seen in various television advertisements for the movie and the cover story on The Last Jedi in the Thanksgiving week issue of Entertainment Weekly. Tricia shares her insights from the media preview of the newest version of the Star Tours ride at Walt Disney World, which includes the battle sequence on Crait as well as several characters from the movie. While a variety of new glimpses from the film have emerged, we conclude that most of the story’s key developments and secrets remain hidden. Fortunately, it’s time for The Last Jedi speculation to end.

It seems clear that the nature of the Force, the light side and the dark side, and the role of the Jedi in the galaxy will be significant themes in The Last Jedi. With that in mind, our worldbuilding segment considers some of the recent lore and themes about the Force revealed in other materials, including Star Wars Rebels.

Finally, the storytelling segment evaluates a prominent trend in recent Star Wars publishing: the use of in-universe storytelling as a mechanism to tell fun Star Wars tales without pinning down specific facts or events as any form of objective truth. Delilah Dawson’s novel Phasma, for example, has a frame story with an unreliable narrator, leaving open the possibility that any part of the story could be incorrect or misunderstood by its participants. Similarly, The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu uses a frame story – deckhands on a ship sharing the tall tales they have been told about Luke – as a mechanism to deliver some fantastical adventures for the Jedi Knight. At the same time, each tale in the book illustrates a core aspect of what makes Luke an heroic figure in the galaxy, showing that even the most outrageously improbable legends still have a grain of truth at their core. The anthology From A Certain Point of View also contains a number of short stories that likely don’t hold up as having actually happened, at least the way they’re told in the book, but nevertheless contain key themes and morals to the story that fit right in with the Star Wars galaxy.

 

Related Links

  • The Last Jedi international trailer (YouTube)
  • “Directing The Last Jedi” (YouTube)
  • The Last Jedi television ad: “Awake” (YouTube)
  • The Last Jedi television ad (15 seconds) (YouTube)
  • The Last Jedi television ad: “Heroes” (YouTube)
  • The Last Jedi television ad: “Kylo Failed You” (YouTube)
  • The Superweirdo Behind “Thor: Ragnarok” (New York Times feature on Taika Waititi)
  • The Rise of Rose: How A Badass Nerd Became The New “Star Wars” Lead (Buzzfeed)
  • The Last Jedi: Venture into the Star Wars galaxy with four new EW covers (Entertainment Weekly)
  • 14 new Star Wars: The Last Jedi images from a galaxy far, far away (Entertainment Weekly)
  • Kylo Ren vs. Rey: In The Last Jedi, the danger is becoming allies instead of enemies (Entertainment Weekly)

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Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_34_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06pm EDT

The theatrical trailer for The Last Jedi is here! The evening after its premiere, Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Kay recorded a special episode of Hyperspace Theories with our reactions and analysis. We consider the visuals, dialogue, and music in the trailer, as well as connections to the previously released teaser and behind-the-scene reel. Although the trailer is strong at conveying tone and themes and light on story details, we also incorporate some (spoiler-free/rumor-free) informed speculation about what might happen in The Last Jedi.

 

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Direct download: The_Last_Jedi_Reaction_Final.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 10:03pm EDT

Tricia Barr, BJ Priester and Kay from FANgirl Blog discuss changes in directors on Episode IX, Star Wars animation and Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray.

The Star Wars movie news keeps coming, and we delve into it on this month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories. We begin with one of the recent photos from the Untitled Han Solo movie shared on social media by director Ron Howard. Does the image and its caption – “Spicey?” – hint at the appearance of the long-notorious spice mines as well as the legendary Kessel Run in the film?

The big developments since our last episode, though, involved Episode IX: Colin Trevorrow is no longer involved in the movie as either writer or director, and J.J. Abrams is returning to Star Wars to direct and co-write the second sequel to The Force Awakens. Tricia, B.J., and Kay discuss our reactions to and analysis of the news, including the official announcements from Lucasfilm as well as the reports in the Hollywood industry trades. While the removal of Trevorrow from the project is a positive change, the sources of the conflict that led to his departure were very much predictable at the time he was hired; the upheaval in the production process at this point, about four months prior to the intended start of principal photography, was preventable if a sounder hire had been made in the first instance. Fortunately, after the box office and fandom success of The Force Awakens Abrams had enough influence and credibility with the Disney brass to insist on pushing back Episode IX’s release date to December 2019, giving him at least six additional months to work on the script. Abrams has essentially the same amount of time to work on Episode IX’s screenplay as for The Force Awakens – but this time with considerably less work needed on the world-building and character arcs compared to kicking off the trilogy. Overall, though, we’re certainly far more optimistic about Episode IX with Abrams at the helm than we were a few weeks ago.

We also share areas of concern with Abrams’ leadership of Episode IX. On The Force Awakens, Abrams often worked in seclusion at Bad Robot in Santa Monica, in contrast to Rian Johnson’s work in residence at Lucasfilm while writing and completing The Last Jedi. With the Story Group and other members of the creative brain trust at Lucasfilm having accomplished some great successes in interconnectivity and long-term payoffs over the course of stories released since 2015, it would be a shame if Abrams’ return also meant a recurrence of the lack of communication that led to key creative executives at Lucasfilm being unaware of major storytelling decisions made while finalizing The Force Awakens until the film’s release. Similarly, Abram’s co-writer on The Force Awakens was the esteemed Lawrence Kasdan; his writing partner on Episode IX is Chris Terrio, who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Argo but also wrote the screenplays for Batman v Superman and Justice League, which like Rogue One ended up undergoing substantial revision, if not re-envisioning, during reshoots. Finally, while Abrams is certainly a known quantity and trusted creator to Lucasfilm, it is disappointing to see yet again that two middle-aged white men have been handed the keys a Star Wars film – and this time, one that has to provide satisfying, empowering, and worthy conclusions to the Sequel Trilogy character arcs of Rey and Leia.

For all the upheaval in the production processes on the Star Wars films over the last few years, though, lots of great Star Wars stories are being told outside the movies. In this month’s episode we discuss the second season of LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, the first eight Force of Destiny animated shorts, and the young-adult novel Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray. We have high praise for each of them, although as longtime Star Wars books fandom participants, each of us was particularly excited to finally see the kind of official young Leia book we’ve always thought the character deserved. As part of the Journey to The Last Jedi publishing program, Gray’s novel also contains some intriguing hints for Episode VIII, including some that are overt and others that left us wondering – and speculating.

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Category:general -- posted at: 2:28am EDT

Tricia Barr, BJ Priester and Kay discuss Entertainment Weekly's Fall Movie Preview cover article on The Last Jedi.

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_August.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:57pm EDT

On this month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia, B.J., and Kay delve into the Star Wars news revealed at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim. We begin with our reactions to the Behind the Scenes reel for The Last Jedi shown during the Star Wars segment of the Live Action Movies panel, then break down our highlights and favorite moments from the video. As usual, we also speculate about what the reel might reveal about the film, its story, and the character arcs.

Next we turn to the teaser posters revealed online shortly after the panel presentation ended. The color red is certainly a noticeable theme in the art, along with the obscured faces.

After talking about The Last Jedi, we talk about the other big Star Wars news from D23: the Disney Parks announcements of the official name for “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” at Disneyland and Hollywood Studios, as well as a luxury resort hotel in Florida. Star Wars entertainment will be part of our real world sooner than we think. The Battlefront II videogame and Star Wars fiction publishing also were included in the D23 presentations.

Finally, since our last episode the new director for the untitled Han Solo movie, Ron Howard, was officially announced by Lucasfilm. We share our thoughts on Howard as a director and his role in bringing the movie to its culmination.

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Direct download: HT_31_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:14pm EDT

The team from FANgirl Blog planned on discussing a director's role in Star Wars after Colin Trevorrow's The Book of Henry release, and then things started breaking on Han Solo...

Direct download: HT_30_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:57am EDT

In this month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia, B.J., and Kay look ahead to the next Star Wars movie and consider how the books have supplemented the previous one.

We begin with a brief Spoilers Beware segment sharing our reactions to several items about The Last Jedi in the news recently, including John Boyega showing Finn’s blaster, Oscar Isaac discussing filming a physical interaction with Carrie Fisher, and Rian Johnson’s storytelling tweak to the ending of The Force Awakens.

Our meta segment on speculating wisely delves in detail into the Vanity Fair features on The Last Jedi from the magazine’s June issue. We talk about our favorite images from the Annie Liebowitz photo spread, as well as some intriguing nuggets of information revealed in the text of the cover story and supplemental online content. These include Rian Johnson’s approach to the characters and world-building during his writing process, the role of the Story Group in Star Wars storytelling, and Kathleen Kennedy’s latest remarks about the future of General Organa in Episode IX.

In the storytelling segment we discuss three books released in connection with Rogue One: Alexander Freed’s novelization of the movie, Beth Revis’ Rebel Rising, and Greg Rucka’s Guardians of the Whills. We emphasize how the books add layers to the characterization and motivations of the key characters in the film, especially Jyn but also Chirrut and Baze, Cassian, and Mon Mothma.

 

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Category:general -- posted at: 9:32pm EDT

Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Kay had the pleasure of attending Star Wars Celebration in Orlando last week, so of course we couldn't pass up the opportunity to record this month's episode of Hyperspace Theories in person from the convention. What better topic for discussion, too, than the first teaser trailer for The Last Jedi, which was revealed on Friday morning by director Rian Johnson at the conclusion of the movie's panel.

In the episode we share our first reactions to the teaser trailer. We consider the imagery shown, the dialogue included, and the themes and connections to The Force Awakens and other Star Wars stories that resonated with us in the teaser.

At the time we recorded this episode, we had viewed the trailer twice at the panel and several more times on a laptop on YouTube. Upon closer review with better equipment, we had more success with determining the words spoken by the whispering in the background audio:

  • just before Rey says, "Light," and underneath the flute motif that introduces Rey's theme: Princess Leia saying, "help me, Obi-Wan."
  • just before Rey says, "Darkness," and underneath Kylo Ren's theme in horns: Ben Kenobi saying, "seduced by the dark side."
  • just before Rey says, "the Balance," accompanied by violins holding a note: Yoda saying, "surrounds us ... binds us"

Celebration delivered much more content than The Last Jedi teaser, and we'll be breaking it all down in detail on upcoming episodes of Hyperspace Theories.

 

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Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 12:07pm EDT

In this month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories, we discuss Star Wars storytelling from a range of mediums, including books, television, and movies. Kay, Tricia, and B.J. are joined by FANgirl contributor Linda for our discussion and conversation.

Before getting into storytelling analysis, we share our reactions to recent officially released Star Wars news. We talk about the toy box character images for The Last Jedi, the announcement of major panels at Celebration for The Last Jedi and the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, and the beginning of principal photography for the young Han Solo standalone movie, which also included confirmation of several additional cast members.

For our meta segment, instead of examining our usual theme of speculating wisely we delve into the ongoing problem of unapproved spoiler leaks made by individuals with review copies of books. The situation garnered widespread attention this month in connection with Chuck Wendig’s new novel Aftermath: Empire’s End. While some amount of leaks on social media has been typical, this time major genre sites such as Mashable and io9 reported on an interlude in the book prior to the book’s release. Although screener episodes of television shows present a similar risk, Star Wars fandom has been fairly lucky in that regard compared to extensive leaks seen in The Walking Dead fandom. We discuss the obligations owed by reviewers to other fans, as well as potential reactions by Lucasfilm or other franchises to reduce the occurrence of these spoilers.

Star Wars Rebels aired a pair of episodes centered on Sabine Wren, “Trials of the Darksaber” and “Legacy of Mandalore,” that take the focus of our world-building segment. We examine Sabine’s story arc over the three seasons of the show, culminating in these episodes, especially the development of her interactions with Ezra and Kanan. We note in particular, too, the importance of “Legacy of Mandalore” as a mother-daughter story, which so far have been sparse in Star Wars. With their inclusion of the Darksaber legend and the political upheaval within the culture, these episodes also position Mandalorians as a powerful third faction in the galaxy along with the Jedi and Sith or the Rebellion and the Empire.

The storytelling segment this month revisits Rogue One to analyze the controversial use of computer-generated effects to create the faces of Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia in the film. While storytelling sometimes requires the inclusion of certain characters due to the context or themes of a tale, only the live-action cinema side of Star Wars raises the issue of casting those roles with actors. In Rogue One some characters were played by their original actors, others were recast, and CG was used for Tarkin and Leia. Guy Henry’s interviews with Business Insider and The Hollywood Reporter provide insight into the creative process of performing the role, but do not answer the question whether it was necessary to digitally substitute the late Peter Cushing’s face for Henry’s. With the Han Solo movie also recasting several iconic characters, we share our thought on whether Lucasfilm should ever repeat the digital-face technique after Rogue One.

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:20pm EDT

This month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories continues our discussion of storytelling lessons to be learned from Rogue One. In addition, we look ahead to the next Star Wars film and share our thoughts on the legacy of Carrie Fisher.

We begin with our reactions to the newly revealed title of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. The title has connections to The Force Awakens, of course, as well as to familiar themes from other Star Wars stories and the Legends tales. We also ponder the potential implications of the red lettering used in the title announcement.

In our meta segment on speculating wisely, we evaluate the role of movie trailers in speculation on future Star Wars films. For both that film and The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm has released trailers which seek to convey the tone, themes, and feel of the story but which include scenes and dialogue that do not appear in the final film. We discuss the merits and risks of this approach, particularly if the franchise is trying to maintain a lockdown on spoilers. On the other hand, it is now clear that both The Force Awakens and Rogue One were undergoing major editing, reshoots and pickups, dialogue replacement, and others changes in the months, even final weeks, before the films’ releases. With Rogue One in particular, some of the seeming inconsistencies in the characterization of Jyn Erso in the early trailers compared to the later trailers and advertisements may have arisen from the changes made during Tony Gilroy’s significant reworking of the story. This raises a comparison to Star Wars Rebels, which, like The Clone Wars before it, has a consistent track record of trailers that include scenes and dialogue matching the final episodes to air. We wonder whether Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, which already is deep into editing and seems to have avoided the mad dash revising of the previous two films, will have trailers and marketing more comparable to Rebels than those movies.

Our segment on world-building also revisits the production process of Rogue One and its ramifications on the story and characters. Relying on the information revealed in The Art of Rogue One, as well as a number of recent interviews by the film’s editors, we discuss major shifts in the development process. The stage of development for the characters and story of Rogue One include the initial treatment and sizzle reel by John Knoll, creative development in 2014 led by Gareth Edwards and Gary Whitta culminating in a screenplay by Whitta, a script rewrite by Chris Weitz (including, among other things, the creation of Chirut and Baze), principal photography by Edwards in 2015, extensive script revisions and reshoots from Tony Gilroy in the summer of 2016, and then final editing of the film into its ultimate form. We discuss how these instances of significant rethinking, over a relatively short span of time, impacted the tone, feel, and internal consistency of the plot and characters.

This month’s storytelling segment is dedicated to Carrie Fisher. In addition to talking about her importance as Leia Organa, both within the story and to fandom and the real world, we also share our thoughts on Carrie Fisher as a storyteller herself. From her script doctoring to Postcards from the Edge and The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher could make us laugh and cry, and sometimes both at the same time.

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:57pm EDT

The team from FANgirl reacts to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

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Category:general -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

Tricia Barr, BJ Priester and Kay ponder the imminent possibilities for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, out December 16th. Looking ahead to Episode VIII, they consider Rian Johnson's impact on the franchise, including a look at his film camp. Star Wars Rebels Season 3 gives us a chance to discuss fan service versus character growth.

Direct download: HT_23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30pm EDT

For the third consecutive year, I was delighted to moderate a panel on the Heroine’s Journey at GeekGirlCon in Seattle. Inspired by The Force Awakens and its breakout heroine Rey, we titled this year’s panel “The Heroine’s Journey: Awakening Its Potential.” Tricia Barr and Jennifer K. Stuller returned again as panelists, and we were joined for the first time by Teresa Jusino, a feminist pop culture critic and an assistant editor at TheMarySue.

After introducing the panelists and our respective backgrounds and interests in analysis of the Heroine’s Journey, we briefly reviewed the contexts of our prior discussion for those attendees who hadn’t seen the previous panels. We emphasized that Joseph Campbell’s famous Hero’s Journey framework has its roots in historical myths that arose from patriarchal, misogynist, and unjust societies – yet many storytellers today continue to reflexively rely on its familiar elements without considering the implications for contemporary characters and audiences. The goal, though, is not necessarily to reject Campbell out of hand, but rather for storytellers to make sure they undertake informed decision-making about creating heroes and their character arcs.

We then turned to sharing our thoughts on recent stories which have succeeded in creating Heroine’s Journey tales that can serve as good models for other storytellers. Tricia talked about Rey and The Force Awakens, and Teresa praised the joy of Kara’s adventures in CBS’s Supergirl. Jen noted the great dynamic between Brienne of Tarth and Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones, which inverts medieval fantasy tropes. Netflix also earned acclaim for shows including Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Stranger Things. Common themes we identified in well-crafted Heroine’s Journey include the roles of sisters and mothers, teamwork with allies instead of solo heroism, the importance of mentors, and an emphasis on love and compassion.

We also discussed the pros and cons of the concept of a Heroine’s Journey framework in storytelling. The similar idea of “strong female character,” for example, often is misunderstood as referring to physical prowess rather than other forms of strength such as willpower, or misses the point that advocating for more and better “complex” or “well-written” female characters is the most important goal. On the one hand, show like Jessica Jones or Game of Thrones illustrate that the value in not limiting the focus to heroism as such, but rather encouraging the creation of more stories of all types with women protagonists. More female characters with nuance and agency in lead roles will make a huge differences in evolving tropes, even if some of them are anti-heroes or other non-heroic characters. On the other hand, Tricia pointed out, Hollywood often only understands simple terms, so the terminology of the Heroine’s Journey may be valuable as a form of consciousness-raising to keep the goal of creating aspirational heroes for girls and women at the forefront of the discussion in the entertainment industry. Ultimately, we urged storytellers to consider both perspectives – all in service of the goal of ensuring thoughtful decision-making about how Heroine’s Journeys, and other stories with female protagonists, are designed and written.

 


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Direct download: GGC16_HJ_panel.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 4:07pm EDT

This month Lucasfilm released the full-length theatrical trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. After our first recording of our reactions to the trailer was mangled by a pack of electronic gremlins, we sat down to record them again. In the meantime, several more interesting comments about the film emerged in the entertainment press, so we were able take those into account in our comments on the trailer this time.

This trailer for Rogue One is notable in several respects. For one, it continues the trend we've discussed previously: portraying Jyn much more as an inspiring leader taking charge of a mission against the Empire, rather than the belligerent criminal reluctantly conscripted into the Rebellion we saw in the first teaser. This also calls to mind Kathleen Kennedy's description of Jyn back in June, but with more emphasis on Jyn as "a kind of Joan of Arc in the story" rather than as a "streetwise delinquent."

In addition, this trailer has marked differences from the trailers for The Force Awakens last year. It appears to flow roughly in chronological order for the film: from Jyn's childhood to her liberation from Imperial custody by the Rebels, to the Yavin base and on to Jedha, and then to Scarif. The Rogue One trailer also reveals much more about the story of the film: who the protagonist characters are and what they are fighting for. While we still wonder whether the timeline placement in relation to the other Star Wars films will be clear enough to the casual audience who hasn't been paying close attention to the marketing of Rogue One to date, this trailer is a definite improvement in providing an "elevator pitch" for the movie to those fans. Now we have a better sense of who these characters are, and why we should root for them.

Check out the episode for our full thoughts on the trailer, including Director Krennic, Galen Erso, Darth Vader, and more.

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Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_Rogue_One_Trailer_Dissection.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:09pm EDT

Maybe you don't need an excuse to re-watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but we'll give you one any for #InternationalPodcastDay!

Hyperspace Theories had its origins in significant part in the excitement of the buildup to Episode VII, when our interests in storytelling and informed speculation converged. At that time, we were endeavoring not only to sift credible rumors from less plausible ones from among the reports in fandom and entertainment media venues, but also to work through the storytelling decisions necessarily involved in crafting the movie's characters, world-building, themes, and plot. From that dual exercise, the format of Hyperspace Theories was forged, and we have since explored numerous aspects of informed speculation, storytelling, characterization, and world-building in Star Wars.

Given that origin story, then, it only makes sense that our first movie commentary track episode is The Force Awakens. In addition to sharing our thoughts and reactions to our favorite aspects of the film, we also discuss how the movie presents its storytelling choices to the audience.

Cue up your DVD, Blu-ray, or digital copy of The Force Awakens and watch along with Tricia, B.J., and Kay as Rey, Finn, Poe, and the rest begin the next trilogy of the Star Wars saga.

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Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_TFA_Commentary.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 9:19pm EDT

We’re beginning to learn more about the production and story of Rogue One, and these developments are the focus of this month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories.

Whether based on information revealed previously or the newer details, speculation about Rogue One has to take into account the involvement of a significant new player in the movie’s production: Tony Gilroy. The Hollywood Reporter disclosed his prominent role in both the filming of reshoots and the editing of the film in post-production. Subsequently the latest teaser trailer confirmed that Gilroy also is a co-screenwriter – Rogue One has “story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta” and “screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy” in the credits. Under the WGA’s rules for awarding writing credit, this means Gilroy made major additional contributions to the screenplay after Weitz’s version, which itself was a complete reworking of Whitta’s draft. Gilroy is highly regarded for his work on the Bourne movie series, produced by Frank Marshall, as well as his own project, Michael Clayton. He also previously worked with Gareth Edwards in completing Godzilla, so the collaboration on Rogue One seems to be a natural fit. Further insight into Gilroy’s perspective on storytelling and movie-making appears in his BAFTA screenwriter’s lecture, which is definitely worth the time.

Before concluding our meta segment on speculating wisely, we also discussed Kathleen Kennedy’s comments on the importance of female executives in the development process, and Kay shared her thoughts on Carrie Fisher’s appearance at Wizard World.

Our world-building segment turns to the two Rogue One teaser trailers released recently. One aired on NBC during the Olympics; the other premiered in Japan. We share our reactions to the two trailers, and note how they convey different messages about the story of the movie and its characters.

We also consider Edwards’ comments on what the title Rogue One might mean, and some hints about the planet Jedha from Entertainment Weekly. Additional images from the film appeared in Empire magazine and EW’s gallery.

For the storytelling segment, we turn to the characters of Rogue One. So far the most has been shared about the lead, Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. She spoke to EW about her character, as well as to Kyle Buchanan at Vulture, who shared several outtakes on Twitter. Additionally, Forest Whitaker at EW offered some intriguing insights into Saw Gerrera at the time of Rogue One, including a fascinating parallel with none other than Darth Vader. While hardcore Star Wars fans have been excited by what’s been revealed so far about the movie, we noted the ongoing discussion in fandom and the media about whether the marketing has been doing enough to reach casual fans. The Hollywood Reporter noted that reaction in China has been muted, especially compared to other properties, like the Marvel films, which already have a large established presence in the country.

We conclude the episode with our plot bunny giveaway, with inspiration drawn from the Rogue One trailers.

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Direct download: HT_20_final_rev.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23am EDT

For the July episode of Hyperspace Theories, our topic of discussion naturally is Star Wars Celebration Europe, held in London on July 15-16, 2016. Tricia Barr and B.J. Priester attended the convention, and Kay caught up on all the excitement with the official livestream from The Star Wars Show and the other great video content shared on the official Star Wars YouTube channel.

The show opens with overall reactions to Celebration. In the end Tricia, BJ and Kay agree with the assessment of Graeme McMillan’s article in The Hollywood Reporter that the convention focused on the fans and their engagement with and passion for the franchise, rather than on breaking news or seeking coverage in the entertainment media. One major theme of Celebration, like last year’s convention in Anaheim, was how much Lucasfilm understands and appreciates the importance of the fans to Star Wars’ success.
Another interesting theme at Celebration was Lucasfilm’s goal of leading the push into the future of storytelling mediums. Tricia and B.J. both got to experience the ILMxLAB virtual reality short story “Trials on Tatooine.” The interaction between technology and storytelling also played a big part in the panel on STEM Heroes & Heroines of Star Wars that Tricia organized.

Discussion moves on to the two tentpoles of Celebration Europe this year. For the upcoming standalone movie Rogue One, the Hyperspace Theories team analyzes the panel, the sizzle reel, and the exhibit of costumes on the show floor. For Star Wars Rebels, the big news is the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the iconic villains of the Star Wars Legends tales, as the featured adversary for the Ghost crew in Season Three. Our last episode covered the 25th anniversary of Heir to the Empire, the novel in which Thrawn was introduced; at Celebration, we learned that author Timothy Zahn also is returning to pen the new novel Thrawn to reintroduce the character’s story leading up to his appearance in Rebels.

The show concludes with the Future Filmmakers panel, which was light on information but gave a lot of insight into the directors of the next Star Wars films. Rian Johnson shared a list of classic movies that comprised a “film camp” he held as inspiration for the people working on Episode VIII. Phil Lord and Chris Miller brought both humor and heart, as well as new Han Solo actor Alden Ehrenreich, for their untitled movie.

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You can also listen to Hyperspace Theories at Libsyn or download the show there. Or subscribe on iTunes. If you listen, please rate us and write a review as a simple offer of gratitude. Hyperspace Theories is now available on Stitcher, as well.

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Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_19_main.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48am EDT

The team from FANgirl Blog dive into the New York Times Bestselling novel Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray.

Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:35pm EDT

This month on Hyperspace Theories, we discuss how the music of Star Wars enhances the storytelling in The Force Awakens. Joining Tricia, B.J., and Kay for the episode is Sarah Woloski, who co-hosts Fangirls Going Rogue with Tricia and Teresa and Skywalking Through Neverland with her husband Richard. All four of us have instrumental musical backgrounds, and we share how our experiences learning and performing music have shaped our appreciation of the music of Star Wars.

In previous episodes, we’ve used the meta segment – where we talk about how to speculate wisely – to analyze the impacts of some of the foundational figures in Star Wars storytelling, including George Lucas, Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and more. This month, we add maestro John Williams to the list. Of course, his amazing career spans dozens of famous movies and numerous famous musicals themes – Jaws,Indiana Jones, Superman, E.T., and Jurassic Park, to name only a few – but just as Star Wars is in a class by itself in cinema history, so too is Williams’ iconic Star Wars music. As much as anyone, Williams has added to the language of Star Wars storytelling with the themes, melodies, motifs, and other musical details weaved throughout the Star Wars films. From the powerful tones of the “Main Theme,” “Imperial March,” and “Duel of the Fates” to lyrical refrains like “Han Solo and the Princess,” “Yoda’s Theme,” and the “Force Theme,” the music adds considerable depth and emotional weight to the story.

In the worldbuilding segment, we consider how the soundtrack of The Force Awakens elaborates upon the characters and storytelling in the movie. Williams has described his use of deliberate musical connections to the previous films in some respects, while also shaping new music for other places in the film. Among the tracks we discuss are “The Scavenger” and “Rey’s Theme” for the new heroine, Kylo Ren’s motif for the new villain, “Torn Apart” for the fateful showdown, “March of the Resistance” and “Scherzo for X-wings” for the new heroes fighting back against the First Order, and “The Journey Home” and “The Jedi Steps” that bring the movie to a close.

With so much to say about Williams and his music, we’ll resume with our other usual segments in the next episode. Stay tuned for more analysis of The Force Awakens and the future of Star Wars storytelling.

You can also listen to Hyperspace Theories at Libsyn or download the show there. Or subscribe on iTunes. If you listen, please rate us and write a review as a simple offer of gratitude. Hyperspace Theories is now available on Stitcher, as well.

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Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

Rey's Hero's Journey in The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been a record-smashing box office success, a reinvigoration of the movie side of franchise for longtime fans, a launching point for new fans of all ages – and the origin story of a fan-favorite new character in Star Wars, Rey. The film’s plot structure and protagonist’s character arc also provide an excellent touchstone for examining one of the iconic features in discussions of storytelling: the Hero’s Journey.

In this special edition of Hyperspace Theories, we use the prominent Hero’s Journey frameworks by academic Joseph Campbell and screenwriting consultant Christopher Vogler to analyze the elements of Rey’s progression from Jakku scavenger to Jedi apprentice over the course of The Force Awakens. Along the way we compare Rey’s story to other well-known examples of the Hero’s Journey, including Luke Skywalker, Katniss Everdeen, and Dorothy Gale. This episode will appeal to fans of Star Wars intrigued by the deep storytelling themes in The Force Awakens, as well as anyone interested in learning more about the Hero’s Journey in modern storytelling.

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Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_SE_Rey_HJ_final.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 11:12pm EDT

After last month’s episode sharing our initial reactions to The Force Awakens, this month’s episode begins our analysis and discussion of the new movie, as well as the lessons about storytelling and speculation that can be learned from it. Needless to say, we’ll have plenty more discussion of the movie to come in future episodes.

Before turning to The Force Awakens, though, we start off the show with a different topic for our meta segment on how to speculate wisely – the Star Wars Rebels midseason trailer for the back half of Season Two. We consider some elements of the trailer that make connections to The Force Awakens to increase interest in Rebels, such as the Jedi crossguard lightsaber, a Jedi temple site, and the appearance of Princess Leia. We also discuss the trailer’s links to prior Star Wars lore, such as a Sith holocron, Twi’lek freedom fighters and Mandalorian warriors from The Clone Wars, and the “Old Master” Ezra encounters. Another feature of note was the social media message shared by showrunner Dave Filoni prior to the trailer’s release, advising fans about its spoiler-heavy content.

For the world-building segment, longtime fan of the Empire, Jay Shah, joins us to talk about the First Order in The Force Awakens. In some ways the First Order operates as a direct descendant of the Empire, but in other ways it differs significantly. Some of these distinctions, Jay points out, have significant moral implications for whether fans would feel willing to root for the First Order in the way they may have done previously for the Empire. In addition to the politics and military statuses of the galaxy, we share our views on the individuals who lead the First Order, including Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo Ren, and General Hux.

The storytelling segment focuses on the use of the Original Trilogy’s legacy heroes in The Force Awakens and the hints at their post-Return of the Jedi backstory revealed in the movie. A key touchstone for our discussion is Devin Faraci’s article at Birth Movies Death on the portrayal of Han Solo in the film. Faraci analyzes Han’s character arc in The Force Awakens as a regression to his early Original Trilogy persona rather than progression forward, and maintains that alternative characterizations and backstories for Han could have kept his role in the movie essentially the same in relation to the new generation heroes while making his characterization stronger and more believable to the audience. Our discussion of the legacy Big Three agrees in large measure with the kinds of concerns Faraci raises, and we discuss similar dilemmas with the portrayals of Leia and Luke in the movie, as well as Han.

Our plot bunny giveaway draws upon one of the great open questions after The Force Awakens: how missing scenes might be used to reveal or further hint at Rey’s heritage.

You can also listen to Hyperspace Theories at Libsyn or download the show there. Or subscribe on iTunes.

 


Hyperspace Theories is on Twitter @HyperspacePod!

Tricia is @FANgirlcantina on Twitter, as well as posting at FANgirl Zone on Facebook and on Tumblr.

Kay tweets @Geek_Kay.

B.J. tweets @RedPenofLex.

Jay Shah tweets @admiraljello.

Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_16.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 10:28pm EDT

The Force has awakened. In the December episode of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Kay from the popular Star Wars critical discussion site FANgirl Blog share their initial reactions to Episode VII. We discuss the characters, plot, and more after multiple viewings of the film, with minimal additional information from opening-weekend creator interviews or the opening-day book releases. We also address the storytelling decisions to withhold certain key information from the audience in the first movie of the new trilogy, as well as the trailers and other marketing containing imagery and dialogue that do not appear in the final film.

This episode contains discussion of all of the major spoilers from The Force Awakens from the opening minutes of the show, so steer clear if you haven't yet seen the movie.

You can also subscribe on iTunes. If you listen, please rate us and write a review as a simple offer of gratitude.

Hyperspace Theories is on Twitter @HyperspacePod!

Tricia Barr is @FANgirlcantina on Twitter, as well as posting at FANgirl Zone on Facebook and on Tumblr. Email: tricia@fangirlblog.com

Kay tweets @Geek_Kay. Email: Kay@fangirlblog.com

B.J. tweets @RedPenofLex. Email lex@fangirlblog.com

 

Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_15.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 10:13am EDT

Johnamarie Macias from The Wookiee Gunner joins Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Geek Kay for a wide-ranging discussion on storytelling in Star Wars.

We continue our exploration of the individuals influencing the future of Star Wars storytelling with Diana Williams, a member of Lucasfilm’s Story Group. In October, Johna attended “A Conversation With Diana Williams” at the New York Film Festival, in which Williams talked about her upbringing, her path into the entertainment industry, and her perspective on transmedia storytelling and other technological changes altering the ways people can tell stories. At Lucasfilm, Williams is the Story Group’s lead on videogames, including the recently released Star Wars Battlefront, which offers a wide variety of gender and ethnicity combinations for players to use. She is vocal on Twitter about her criticisms of Hollywood for its problems with diversity, inclusion, and representation, and she no doubt speaks her mind within Lucasfilm’s creative team, as well. Thank you to Johna for sharing her report and reactions to Williams’ presentation.

For our world-building segment, we discuss Claudia Gray’s novel Lost Stars, released in September as part of the Journey to The Force Awakens. Like the three regular hosts, Johna also is a big fan of the book. We praised Gray’s effectiveness at designing the two cultures on the planet Jelucan, the valley kindred and the second-wavers, to create the personality traits in the lead characters, Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell, which ultimately motivate the choices they make as the Empire and Rebellion clash over the course of the story.

The early season two episodes of Star Wars Rebels are featured in our storytelling segment.

Johna is keeping spoiler-free for The Force Awakens, so Tricia, B.J., and Kay conclude the show with a Spoilers Beware segment examining the new information and clues revealed in the marketing for the movie since our last show.

Next month The Force Awakens arrives! Look for a reaction show from Hyperspace Theories soon after opening weekend.

 

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Hyperspace Theories is on Twitter @HyperspacePod!

Tricia is @FANgirlcantina on Twitter, as well as posting at FANgirl Zone on Facebook and on Tumblr.

Kay tweets @Geek_Kay.

B.J. tweets @RedPenofLex.

Johna on Twitter @bluejaigeyes

Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_14.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 6:46pm EDT

In the October episode of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Geek Kay of Fangirl Blog share our reactions to the newly released full-length theatrical trailer for The Force Awakens. We also connect the images, dialogue, and music in the trailer to our earlier episodes and speculations about the movie.

You can also listen to Hyperspace Theories at Libsyn or download the show there. Or subscribe on iTunes.

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Hyperspace Theories is on Twitter @HyperspacePod!

Tricia is @FANgirlcantina on Twitter, as well as posting at FANgirl Zone on Facebook and on Tumblr.

Kay tweets @Geek_Kay.

B.J. is @RedPenofLex on Twitter.

Buying tickets to see The Force Awakens through our Fandango link and help support FANgirl Blog.

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_TFA_Trailer_Reaction_Show_Oct_2015.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

The FANgirl Blog team roll up their sleeves and read a lot of Star Wars books. The Journey to The Force Awakens publishing push offer hints and clues about the state of the galaxy far far away. 

Did Leia find a way to balance love and duty? Is Han still on the skids after all these years? And how much does Luke know about being a Jedi? 

Tune in to Episode 12 of Hyperspace Theories and find out what we uncovered.

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:15pm EDT

On the heels of D23 Expo, Ryan Hurley from Turtle Power Podcast joins Tricia Barr, BJ Priester and Kay from FANgirl Blog to discuss how Disney will affect the Star Wars galaxy. What happens when Lucasfilm's ownership transitioned from a sole patron to corporate stakeholders? How did this affect script changes? Ryan Hurley relates his experience covering the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reboot by Michael Bay and how fans affected the script and final movie.

 

Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_11.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 10:43pm EDT

Join Tricia Barr, BJ Priester and Kay of FANgirl Blog plus special guests Sarah and Richard Woloski of Skywalking Through Neverland podcast as we break down what was and wasn't said at The Force Awakens panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2015.

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_SDCC2015_Special.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 1:06am EDT

Spoilers, speculation and storytelling serve as the foundation for this episode. From Cover Girl makeup to leaked Russian images, Tricia Barr, BJ Priester and Geek Kay of FANgirl Blog break down recent spoilers for The Force Awakens. (Want to skip the major spoilers then jump from the Spoiler Intro to the 30 minute mark.)

The Meta segment looks at the potential influence of Hayao Miyizaki after Dave Filoni revealed last year it was a foundation suggested by Kathleen Kennedy. We've already seen Miyazaki's influence in The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

How to resources affect storytelling? The Hyperspace Calculations segment mulls lightsabers, kyber crystals and the reasons Rey might be on Jakku. 

Then there is that matter of the MacGuffin in The Force Awakens...

 

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_10.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 7:50pm EDT

Not only did the June 2015 Issue of Vanity Fair give fans a cast of new characters to ponder, it provided a slew of interviews that revealed quite a few things about Star Wars' storytellers.

Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_9.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 11:19pm EDT

BJ Priester rounded up Geek Kay and Tricia Barr to recap Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. The fans have awoken!

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_SWCA_Fri_On.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 10:24pm EDT

Day One of the convention was all about the Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams panel for The Force Awakens. Hear our thoughts!

Direct download: SWCA_Apr16.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 10:44am EDT

Tricia, B.J., and Kay share their adventures at Disneyland on the day before the convention begins. Linda Hansen-Raj from FANgirl Blog joins us. 

Direct download: SWCA_Apr15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:37pm EDT

Season 1 of Star Wars Rebels has opened up an infinite number of possibilities for the future. Join Tricia Barr, Geek Kay and BJ Priester of FANgirl, to consider the future for your favorite Rebels Hera, Kanan, Ezra, Sabine, Zeb and Chopper.

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_8.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 10:32pm EDT

With Star Wars Rebels Season 1 now over, B.J. Priester, Tricia Barr and Kay provide insights on executive producer Dave Filoni's career and contributions to Star Wars. They also break down where you can find Dave Filoni at Celebration Anaheim.

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_7.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 7:21pm EDT

We start at the very beginning, with one of the earliest hires in the reinvigoration of the Star Wars franchise: Simon Kinberg. He is definitely a Jedi Master of movie-making. From there, the discussion dives into the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, including Mark Hamill's recent discussion of the character.

Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_6.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 11:39pm EDT

In this episode Bryan Young from Full of Sith joins Kay Serna, BJ Priester and Tricia Barr to explore The Force Awakens screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan's career and consider the ways he will influence the story. Afterward, we discuss mirroring and parallels in storytelling and antagonist journeys.

Direct download: HyperspaceTheories_5.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 5:48pm EDT

In this episode Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester and Geek Kay try to peek inside the Mystery Box of The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. They take a look back at his career - its successes and failures - to predict what he will bring to Star Wars. The teaser trailer and the name reveal provide an opportunity to discuss naming characters and ponder what names like Poe, Kylo Ren, Finn, Rey and BB-8 might mean. The storytelling segment considers the stories in movie theaters and television that may influence how the protagonist's or protgonists' arc may flow through the Sequel Trilogy. The closing plot bunny giveaway is holiday themed.

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_4.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 6:59am EDT

The fandom has awakened with the first The Force Awakens teaser trailer dropping online and in theaters. Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester and Geek Kay share our initial reactions!

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_3x.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 10:26pm EDT

In this episode, Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester and Geek Kay explore the career of Kathleen Kennedy and what she brings to Lucasfilm. The Force Awakens inspires an infinite number of possibilities considering the philosophies of the storytellers and the storyverse. For the storytelling segment, Tricia, B.J. and Kay look to other succesful heroic stories made recently that suggest how the Hero's Journey will be modernized. The plot bunny giveaway this month is inspired by the Episode VII title.

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_3.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 9:04am EDT

Megan Crouse joins Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester and Geek Kay of FANgirl Blog to discuss the legacy of George Lucas on Star Wars. The speculation segment considers context and how one picture can be interpreted many different ways. The potential effect of Star Wars Rebels is explored before plot bunnies inspired by the show are shared with listeners.

 

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_2_Final.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 12:17am EDT

 

Today marks the release of the first episode of Hyperspace Theories, a new Star Wars podcast centered on speculation and storytelling in the galaxy far, far away. We plan to record our shows monthly, although we may release shows more frequently on occasion if we have more to say!

 

The regular co-hosts of Hyperspace Theories are Tricia Barr, my editor and storytelling collaborator B.J. Priester, and FANgirl contributor and longtime fandom pal Kay. For the first show, to introduce the podcast and our goals, we’ll cover all the discussion. In future episodes, we hope to have a guest join us for our conversation.

 

In our inaugural episode, we begin by introducing ourselves and the goals of the podcast. In our discussion segments, we first talk about the stakeholders whose perspectives will shape the future of Star Wars stories, and how keeping their interests in mind can guide speculation on what choices are being made. Next we consider a key world-building element facing the Story Group and its storytellers: the Force, and how it will be portrayed in the movies and other media. Finally, we end with our short segment just for fun: the Plot Bunny Giveaway.

 

We hope you’ll give the episode a listen.

 

Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_1_Final.mp3
Category:Star Wars -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

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