'Mandalorian' politics, a new podcast and a BOOK DEAL
Oh and Joe Biden is going to be President of the United States
The 2020 election is drawing to a close with Joe Biden set to become the 46th President of the United States. President Trump will contest this in court, he will lose and Biden will be inaugurated in January. That’s it, folks! Maybe a little drama between now and then. The U.S Senate remains up in the air as Georgia’s races will go to a run-off in early 2021. The distribution of power remains a question mark. If you’re perhaps, not a fan of the current President, you might appreciate this message of redemption for the good people of Pennsylvania (lol)
‘The Mandalorian” has returned to Disney+ and it is every bit as awesome as you could expect. The season’s first episode is wildly fun and draws on the best “western” elements of the Star Wars universe. One note on politics: the main feature of the episode is the clash between Tatooine’s native population, the Tusken Raiders (or in problematic speak, Sand People). Not everyone is pleased with it, naturally.
Over at INVERSE, “The Mandalorian lends itself to this “Cowboys and Indians” model in some pretty obvious ways. The Tatooine mining ghost town of Mos Pelgo represents the pioneer settlers. The crude Tusken Raiders, so-called “Sand People,” are used for their millennia of experience dealing with Krayt dragons and thus fill a Native American role.”
What Inverse gets at here, is that Star Wars storytelling assigns the allegorical role of Native Americans to the Tusken Raiders, but while they focus on their demonization by the Tatooine settlers, the Raiders are still used as meat for the grinder, if you will.
“While there are efforts to portray the hesitation of Cobb Vanth and the rest of Mos Pelgo in a negative light, The Mandalorian still managed to show that while the townspeople and the Tuskens are working together, one group is superior to the other. In many shots of the confrontation with the Krayt dragon, many nameless individuals get swallowed up as a way to raise the stakes. On a second watch, a solid 75 percent of these casualties are Tusken.”
Inverse has a point here. The show pays lip service to the “Sand People” being “people,” but doesn’t go so far as to treat them as such. Fair enough.
NEW PODCAST! Beltway Banthas assembled a pre-election roundtable to discuss the episode we did with David French (The Dispatch) on the Death Star level-threat of our national politics. Included was Gabby Martin (Director of Communications for the Connecticut House Democrats) and Joe Tavano (Founder & Chief of Retrozap.com)
I HAVE SOME NEWS MY DEAR FRIENDS AND BANTHAS - This whole thing started with an idea that there are a ton of Star Wars fans out there who aren’t afraid of mixing fandom and politics, and more than that, LOVE DOING IT. The Beltway Banthas Podcast has flourished since 2016 on this idea and it has changed my life in ways you can’t imagine. One of those ways is that in Winter 2021, I’m going to be a published author. I can now say with certainty…I have a book deal pending with Hachette Publishing on their Center Street imprint, to write “HOW THE FORCE CAN FIX THE WORLD: Star Wars as a Guide to Personal Growth and Political Reconciliation”
What comes next is I will be busily writing a stinking book between now and the Summer of 2021. On the menu for exploration is redemption, hope, balance, humility, patience and empathy. What you heard on this month’s episode of Beltway Banthas in part draws from the chapter on Balance.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to every listener and friend of Beltway Banthas and Politicize Me who has stuck with me on believing Star Wars can still bring us together instead of dividing us. I mean it. This was only possible because the podcast has an audience that keeps tuning in and cares about this mission.
That’s all for now. May the Force be with you, always
It’s me, Stephen Kent! I’m the curator of Politicize Me, host of the Beltway Banthas Podcast forthcoming author of ‘How The Force Can Fix The World’ (Hachette-Center Street). You can follow me on Twitter @Stephen_Kent89.