I spoke with Lauren and Andrea from GALactic Podcast about their love of Star Wars and how that love has translated into their own podcast.
What is your first memory of Star Wars?
Lauren: My most vivid memory is watching the opening of The Empire Strikes Back. The AT-AT walkers, the Snowspeeders, the Tauntauns. It was visually something that has always stuck with me. Seeing Darth Vader walking through the snow base of the Rebellion will be one of my favorite shots in Star Wars.
Andrea: I don’t remember which came first.. sitting on the floor in front of an old console television seeing Darth Vader walk onto an all white spaceship while eating popcorn with my family overwhelmed with complete awe. Or, a Christmas morning (1983) I’m 3 years old. I walk out to the living room. It’s very early, still dark and I step on something. I turn a lamp on and under my feet is a Kenner Star Wars action figure still packaged. Across the floor lay over a dozen other characters still package but no Christmas wrappings. Come to find out Santa (my mom) didn’t have time to wrap all of them. There is also Luke Skywalkers X-wing and a large Darth Vader carrying case for the figures. For as long as I can remember, Star Wars has been in my life. These aren’t just my first Star Wars memories. I truly believe these are my first actual memories as a child.
Who are some of your favorite Star wars characters and have those favorites changed over time?
Andrea: Darth Vader. As a kid he was powerful and the perfect villain. Large and menacing. And dang, did he look cool. I remember being fascinated with the scenes of him sitting alone, meditating. I would think he was in complete control of himself and in those times at peace and magical. I remember as a kid wanting to mediate and “transcend” into a different dimension or universe. As an adult, I appreciate him living and surviving through struggle and loss. Knowing more of his psyche now through canon novels and comic books I see his suffering more clearly. Giving him a soft interior. Sometimes I call him “squishy”. His arc is constructed perfectly. But still, at times, Darth Vader is one of the most misunderstood fictional characters of all time.
When did you make the decision to start your own Star Wars podcast? Had you been a part of other podcasts (either as a host or guest) before?
Andrea: Never podcasted or hosted a thing. Lauren just said one day “I’m really wanting to start a podcast”. This was a few months after her brother had said to us during a family event we should start a podcast. As we were sitting around a kitchen table debating over Reylo or Snoke or Canto Bight he said “This is it. This could be a podcast”. I never thought it would be something that came naturally to us. But we stay true to who we are and keep it light and fun.
How would you describe your podcast to someone who hasn’t heard of it yet?
Andrea: Our podcast is a casual yet passionate Star Wars conversation. With a dash of humor. We like having fun and cracking jokes.
Tell me about your first episode (or first few episodes) and how your podcast has changed since those first few episodes.
Andrea: I was nervous and overwhelmed. To have so much Star Wars love in your brain and not spew it out all at once was difficult. Over time we got better at staying on topic yet still keeping the conversation loose.
How do you decide what the subject of your podcast is going to be? Do you know what you’ll be talking about months out ahead or do you decide more in the moment?
Lauren: Star Wars has always been a part of my life in some way, shape or form. When The Force Awakens came out I really started deep diving into the canon books and comics so it just felt natural to talk about it on a podcast. I knew Andrea loved it as much as I did so to have my cousin as my podcast partner made sense as well. We are definitely more “in the moment” with our topics. We usually will text one another if an idea for a show pops in our head. There are certain topics that we plan out more, for example our book review or interview. But when it is just us we have a topic idea and just run with it.
Andrea: We are very flexible with topics. If something hot hits we are cool with putting things on the back burner. But when a topic is set we do our homework, take notes, and bounce ideas back and forth with each other.
Do you have favorite parts or least favorite parts of producing a podcast?
Lauren: Favorite is definitely talking Star Wars with Andrea or any guest we have on. Everyone sees Star Wars differently so getting fresh perspectives from other fans is always fun. You learn from their experience and might pick up on things you never did before. Least favorite has to be promoting it (lol). Trying to get people to listen while there are so many other fantastic Star Wars podcasts can be challenging but we believe in the content we are creating so just have to keep at it.
For new listeners can you recommend three episodes that would give people an idea of what the podcast is like?
Lauren: The first one that comes to mind was our collaboration with The Bombadcast. Scotty and Gerry were one of the first podcasts that reached when we first started and wanted us on their show. So, naturally, we had to get them on our show and it was fantastic. In the episode we talked about different ‘What Ifs” scenarios in Star Wars. The conversations that came from everyone’s different ideas was a lot of fun. We had blast with them and really enjoyed just having fun talking Star Wars.
The second one was our interview with Kevin Kiner. He was our first really big Star Wars guest we got on the show. He was such an amazing guy to talk to. His story of how he got into music and the different inspirations he uses for his work was fun to find out. We couldn’t believe we got to talk to him just after the 7th season of The Clone Wars ended. That will be one we will never forget for sure!
The third one would have to be our reaction to The Rise of Skywalker. According to our analytics, it is our most downloaded episode. Obviously, the movie has been a much talked about topic as its predecessor The Last Jedi was and still is at times within the fandom. We really gave our honest opinion and balanced both the positive and negative criticism. We find enjoyment out of any Star Wars content and TROS was not different for us.
Who are a few people you’d love to have on your show as a guest in the future?
Lauren: There are so many Star Wars creators/actors/actresses we would absolutely love to have on our show. One that stands out is Ashley Eckstein. We are both HUGE Ahsoka Tano fans. That character has meant so much to, not only all Star Wars fans, but specifically female fans. To have Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan be a female Jedi was so incredible. Ashley really did such a tremendous job with that character. Her work outside of Star Wars is very inspirational as well so to be able to talk to her would be an absolute dream.
Another person would be Freddie Prince, Jr. Kanan Jarrus has turned into one of my favorite Jedi ever since Rebels came out. Freddie brought so much depth to him and was perfectly cast in my opinion. He is such a huge Star Wars fan as well so to just sit and talk Star Wars with him would be a real honor. Another really big dream interview would be Dave Filoni for so many reasons. I could and listen to him talk about the lore of Star Wars for hours. It would be something special to have him on the show.
Tell me about your previous Celebration experiences if you have been to one? Highlights? Lowlights?
Lauren: Out of the two of us I am the only one who has been to a Star Wars Celebration. I, friendly of course, remind Andrea that I attended Star Wars Celebration Chicago just to rub it in a little bit (lol). Celebration Chicago was my first con of any kind so it was a real eye-opening experience. Being at a huge event like Celebration and meeting new people who love the franchise as much as you do was a big highlight for me. Especially seeing so many female fans was just amazing to see. The cosplays were phenomenal! The creativity and work those cosplayers do is mind blowing. The panels I was able to go to were awesome. The one that sticks out was The Mandalorian panel. To see how much Pedro was excited to be in Star Wars, let alone be the lead was truly inspiring. Hope to get to Celebration 2022 and get Andrea to have her first Celebration experience. And who knows, maybe do a podcast episode from there.
What are you the most excited to see or read in the Star Wars universe coming up in the next year?
Lauren: The High Republic has me really intrigued! Looking forward to seeing how the galaxy was during this time period. Excited to learn more about these new characters and the adventures they will be taking us on. The authors attached to this whole project are some of the best. Cannot wait to see what they have in store for us.
How can people who want to listen to your podcast find it and help support it?
Lauren: We are on various podcast platform. If listeners go to https://linktr.ee/thegalacticpod we have all of our links there with more being added. If you are on Twitter you can find us @theGalacticPod. You can follow me, Lauren Romo on Twitter and Instagram @LoRoKnows. And you can follow Andrea on twitter @R2_DTWOSTEP.