Revisiting The Phantom Menace with Nerd Lunch

Shmi Skywalker

Discovering a new-found appreciation for Shmi Skywalker – the woman who started the bloodline that would change the galaxy. Image:

After completing our run-through of the Original Trilogy, the time has come for the Nerd Lunch crew to revisit the Prequels. Hosts Pax, CT, and Jeeg, invited Michael May and I back as guests for Episode I: The Phantom Menace discussion.

This movie is a bit of a sore spot for me since I was really excited for it and brought friends along to my first viewing in theaters to convince them how wonderful Star Wars is. They were not sold and the movie was not what I was expecting.

I hadn’t watched The Phantom Menace in at least eight years before picking it up again in preparation for the podcast. Amazed at how many lines I still remember word for word, there were still elements that bugged me but there were parts I’d forgotten how much I liked too.

Listen in to our discussion as we cover our experiences with the movie as well as Qui-Gon, Shmi Skywalker, Pod-racing, Darth Maul, costume changes, and the new aesthetics of the galaxy far, far away.

You can also find Nerd Lunch on iTunes and Stitcher.

Be sure to also check out our previous Star Wars drilldowns with A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and the podcast episode that started my journey as Nerd Lunch Leia – Setting the Table on Star Wars.

Kay . . . → Read More: Revisiting The Phantom Menace with Nerd Lunch

To Disney Infinity And Beyond To Force Friday: Fangirl Chat


What to do when the next episode of Fangirls Going Rogue is a couple of weeks away and Disney Infinity hits shelves on the eve of Force Friday? Sarah Woloski joins Tricia Barr and Teresa Delgado on Fangirl Chat to give advice and tips on playing Disney Infinity 3.0. From riding tauntauns in the Tool Box to unlocking Hera Syndulla, Teresa and Sarah have got this one covered.

#onlyinthetoybox Ahsoka on a TaunTaun! @icecoldpenguin @fangirlcantina

— Skywalking Neverland (@SkywalkingPod) September 1, 2015

Then Tricia hops on her Segue to determine where to spend our Force Friday and what to spend our hard-earned fangirl dollars on.

Direct Download or subscribe to the show on iTunes

Related links:

Nerdist Disney Infinity interview by Amy Ratcliffe Force Friday Preview on

You can find the ladies of Fangirl Chat as follows:


Fangirls Going Rogue: @FGGoingRogue

Tricia: @fangirlcantina

Teresa: @icecoldpenguin

Sarah: @JediTink


Facebook: Fangirls Going Rogue

BB-8 Inspires STEM For Everyone


A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Tricia Barr thought bubble, “#ILookLikeAnEngineer”

…Cole Horton, co-author of the upcoming Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need To Know, and I sat at the DK Publishing booth at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim after watching BB-8 roll out on stage during The Force Awakens panel and pondered how the droid worked. I guess this is my contribution to #ILookLikeAnEngineer, a viral online campaign to combat STEM stereotypes. The above picture is my contribution, because I really am a licensed engineer, in addition to an award-winning author, blogger, podcaster, dancer, and equestrian who has competed at the national level.

The founder of the #ILookLikeAnEngineer talked about the inspiration behind the movement in the Washington Post:

Gender diversity challenges seem to be what mainstream media has picked up on the most. While I think that it is absolutely wonderful that this has sparked so many positive discussions about the way that women are treated in STEM, I want to clarify that #iLookLikeAnEngineer is intentionally radically inclusive.

It’s not just about me and it’s not just about women.

#iLookLikeAnEngineer is about anyone and everyone who wants to pursue STEM, regardless of their external appearances.

Labeling this as a “campaign for women” is very limiting, and will only further separate us from everyone else in the community.

We see ourselves as equals, so we must also recognize others as equals, starting with our own actions and words.

From the moment I first saw BB-8, . . . → Read More: BB-8 Inspires STEM For Everyone

Sarah Michelle Gellar Stars In Star Wars Rebels’ Second Season

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Star Wars Rebels Season Two returns October 14th, 2015 with new star Sarah Michelle Gellar. . . . → Read More: Sarah Michelle Gellar Stars In Star Wars Rebels’ Second Season

Fandom Fashion Friday #4 – Accessories Edition

Ewok Coin Purse

On our previous Fandom Fashion Friday, we covered new items from Her Universe as well as collector’s items and I said next time we’d focus on accessories, so let’s do it!


Image: ThinkGeek

Image: Hot Topic

Starting off with some pieces that lean toward the subtle fandom side, only a few people will mistake these for a moon: Death Star Jewelry ($14.99-$29.99 at ThinkGeek) A ring, necklace, and earrings are available in this style, so take your pick.

Or if Rebels are more your thing, there’s a Rebel firebird Insignia Ring ($22.50, Hot Topic). Now we just need one in blue for the Resistance.

You can keep your fandom in your pocket or purse as well with wallets whether you support the Empire, wish you flew an X-wing, have a fondness for droids, ($16.50 each at Hot Topic) or are a bounty hunter from Mandalore ($19.99 at SuperheroStuff).

Image: ModCloth/Loungefly

If you need something smaller, check out these next two. This C3P0 faux leather coin purse ($22.99, SuperheroStuff) or Ewok the Walk coin purse ($19.99, ModCloth) would be happy to hold small items for you. Although I don’t know if I could handle opening that Ewok’s head to store pennies.

If those are too small of a bag, Loungefly’s Luke & Leia Poster Art Tote is lined and can be found over at Modern Pinup for $56. There’s also a Darth Vader/Dark Side Tattoo Tote that’s embossed ($69.50, Hot Topic). The Disney Store has several . . . → Read More: Fandom Fashion Friday #4 – Accessories Edition

Hyperspace Theories Episode 11: Disney Influences, Shifting Scripts, and the Star Wars Everyman


The topics for this month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories practically generated themselves. After Star Wars Celebration earlier in the year, in August the city of Anaheim hosted another huge fan gathering: the D23 Expo featuring all things Disney. In addition to major news about a Star Wars land coming to Disney Parks, The Force Awakens and Rogue One also put Star Wars movies in the spotlight at the convention, along with major coverage in Entertainment Weekly. Joining us for the episode is Ryan Hurley of Turtle Power Podcast, whose core fandoms – Star Wars, Disney, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – fit in perfectly with our topics.

We begin with considering the influence of Disney on Star Wars now that the multinational, publicly traded company owns Lucasfilm. In addition to its own creations, Disney has managed the successes of fellow subsidiaries Pixar and Marvel. Observing how Disney protects the images of its characters in its theme parks, for example, may indicate how Star Wars characters will be handled in the future. Another important impact of Disney’s influence on the future of Star Wars was the willingness of Disney’s leadership to transition away from the treatment for Episode VII created from the notes of George Lucas to a script written by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams instead.

For our speculation meta segment we discuss the challenges of speculating about a movie when multiple versions of a story or screenplay exist during the course of the development process. Ryan shares his experience . . . → Read More: Hyperspace Theories Episode 11: Disney Influences, Shifting Scripts, and the Star Wars Everyman

Daisy Ridley Roundup: August 25, 2015

Empire Magazine TFA hero cover

The Daisy Ridley Roundup for August 19-25, 2015. . . . → Read More: Daisy Ridley Roundup: August 25, 2015

Alyssa Rosenberg: Reporter, Feminist, Science Fiction Fan

Alyssa Rosenberg

by Priya Chhaya

There was a time a few years ago where I lived to get my pop culture commentary from the Washington Post (WaPo). Mostly it involved weekly live chats about a little show called LOST with Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly. But when the column, Celebritology, went defunct I parted ways with the Style section and leaned on other blogs like Vulture and Entertainment Weekly for my daily dose of movies, television, and books. Then, as a true child of the digital age, I found myself sharing pop culture articles from the WaPo again and it was a few months before I realized they were all by one person: Alyssa Rosenberg.

Her column, Act Four, covers a wide array of topics – in one week you could find her waxing over a plot point in Orange is the New Black, providing recaps of Game of Thrones, all the while covering the culture angle of a particular real life event (such as the tragic movie theatre shootings). As I read her work I realized that there are two things that I really love about her writings. The first is that no matter the subject, Rosenberg is incredibly honest and fair with her commentary. The second is that when dealing with tough subjects she does so in a thoughtful and respectful manner.

This is most evident in four pieces she put together in the last year:

Two Magazine Covers and the Fight for Transgender Equality Want to Celebrate Southern Heritage? . . . → Read More: Alyssa Rosenberg: Reporter, Feminist, Science Fiction Fan

Tricia Barr Talks Star Wars Land and More on Jogcast Radio


Apparently the ladies of Fangirls Going Rogue have a fanbase in Australia! Tricia Barr joins Jogcast Radio to discuss D23 Expo news, including Star Wars Land, the Drew Struzan poster for The Force Awakens, and the Rogue One cast photo. Simon Pegg’s role in Star Wars resulted in differing opinions.

Plus, Tricia gets a chance to share some insight on her award-winning space opera Wynde.

Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She is one of four authors of Ultimate Star Wars from DK Publishing, has written several feature articles for Star Wars Insider magazine and is a contributor for Her Universe’s Year of the Fangirl. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and RebelForce Radio Presents Fangirls Going Rogue.

Tricia Barr’s novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library’s successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena’s Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to

For updates on all things FANgirl follow @FANgirlcantina on Twitter or like FANgirl Zone on Facebook. At times she tries the Tumblr.

. . . → Read More: Tricia Barr Talks Star Wars Land and More on Jogcast Radio

Daisy Ridley Roundup: D23 Expo

Drew Struzan D23 TFA poster

The summer convention season has presented great opportunities to learn more about The Force Awakens’ leading lady Daisy Ridley. If you missed our San Diego Comic-Con Daisy Ridley Roundup, be sure to check it out. Club Jade’s post-SDCC Twitter Roundup provided more glimpses of Ridley and John Boyega enjoying the convention hall via Dustin Sandoval and Jimmy Boy. One lucky Rey cosplayer shared her experience meeting the actress in person on her Tumblr page.

Lucky for Star Wars fans, Ridley joined director J.J. Abrams and fellow cast-mates Harrison Ford, Lupita Nyong’o, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac at D23 Expo last weekend. (top image via Pete Morrison)

HEY INSTAGRAM! Coming to you live from #D23EXPO #starwars #theforceawakens (trying to keep my dress crease less!)

A photo posted by @daisyridley on Aug 15, 2015 at 11:10am PDT

Ridley announced her arrival at the Disney fan spectacular with her new Instagram account. The actress previously had left Twitter during the filming of Episode VII. Of all the social media venues, Instagram might be the best venue for fan outreach in that its strength is sharing rather than conversation, creating a buffer against bullies and trolls. Ridley has already proved she can ham it up, showing excitement for the Drew Struzan D23 exclusive poster and getting her fangirl on with a . . . → Read More: Daisy Ridley Roundup: D23 Expo