Early on in Now Playing Podcast’s Star Wars review, creator and host Arnie Carvalho is asked whether he thinks George Lucas’ legacy blockbuster is the best film ever made. It’s a question that deserves more than a simple yes or no, and the answer is just one of many revelations listeners can expect throughout the podcast’s 11-episode retrospective series, which began Tuesday and will continue past the release of December’s The Force Awakens.
The retrospective is poised to be the biggest in Now Playing Podcast history, not only because of its cultural relevance, but because the show is breaking from a long-held preference not to review the franchise. Carvalho touches on this in the first few minutes while discussing the backbiting that exists with the Star Wars community, and how it discouraged him wanting to talk about the films outside of sister podcast Star Wars Action News.
Longtime listeners who have been demanding these reviews for years will relish these “inside baseball” chats, while casual Star Wars fans will enjoy the sparks of childhood nostalgia as Carvalho and fellow hosts Stuart Atkinson and Jakob Brewster navigate the Star Wars universe. Atkinson, the only one of trio who is not a hardcore fan, has a wonderful moment early on in which he relays his limited Star Wars knowledge in a jumbled paragraph that may enrage some die-hard jedi. It will be interesting to hear his take when the hosts review the non-theatrical entries in the saga.
Like all Now Playing Podcast retrospectives, this one will hit the high, low, and forgotten entries in the Star Wars franchise, including TV movies Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and the Star Wars Holiday Special. I’ve only seen clips of the Holiday Special on YouTube, but I remember those Ewok films (Caravan of Courage is followed by Battle for Endor, starring Wilford Brimley!).
And that’s always been the appeal of Now Playing Podcast retrospectives. Every discussion stirs a recollection of your childhood movie-going experiences, while pointing out the “gee whiz” moments you might have missed in a way that’s more inclusive than any Blu-ray bonus feature or Easter Egg infographic. This show has a way of connecting with you, whether you’re the kid who snuck into a theater to see Friday the 13th or if you waited in a line around the block for Indy’s Last Crusade, Now Playing Podcast always makes you part of the conversation.
The next few months should be fun.