FTN contributor and 80s author/speaker Chris Clews takes over the show to challenge Scott, Darth Taxus and Matt More with some 80s-themed questions, including:
Thanos snaps his fingers and takes out all but one of Corey Feldman's movies. Which one do you save?
What recent movie would fit perfectly into the 80s movie library?
If you could go back in infuse modern CGI/effects into an 80s movie, which would it be?
Join us for those questions and more, plus a Top 10 Disney+ 80s movie list in this week's episode.
Many of the stories that we love have more depth than we realize, including Star Wars. Amy Richau discusses examples of love and relationships in the Star Wars universe and how they represent different scenarios in our daily lives.
The words "I love you, I know" have become iconic in the Star Wars fandom and are among the most famous quotes about relationships. You can now find people showcasing those very words in a variety of ways, including t-shirts, hats, and even Valentine's day cards!
Most importantly, you can find it as the main title of the book ( I Love You, I Know: Lessons in Love and Friendship) written by Amy, a Star Wars fan and writer for starwars.com, Star Wars Insider, and 365starwars.com.
The idea for the book was from DK, the publisher. They released similar books to I Love You, I Know that take a small bit of text and an image and connect them to a real-life person or situation in your world.
There are so many pairs in Star Wars, and the book could have been five times as long. This book is not something that you need to read from the beginning to the end or in one sitting - you can open it up to any page. Different people will connect with the book’s examples depending on their relationship with Star Wars or personal history.
These examples aren't limited to the movies. One of the chapters is about True Love, which covers quotes about love and relationships or moments from Clone Wars, Rebels, the prequels, Solo, and more.
Amy narrowed it down without watering it down.
While the publishers wanted it to be a film-heavy book, Amy pushed to include a little bit of animation. In the end, the publisher's goal for a film-focused book made it easier because Amy used the 11 movies to create a rough outline, taking at least one relationship from each to dissect.
From family to friendships, Amy sought to hit as many different relationships as possible, but admitted that she didn't even scratch the surface.
Still, certain relationships had to be included to avoid a fan uprising.
Therefore, the most recognizable thing is to put the "I love you, I know" front and center.
Han and Leia
The book opens with arguably the most famous, but maybe universally the most unique exchange in Star Wars, and that's Han and Leia's "I love you, I know." This interaction is used as an exploration to understand how two different people might express themselves, which is ironic considering that in the script, Han Solo was supposed to say, "I love you too." Instead, Harrison Ford thought it wasn’t how Han would express himself.
Their relationship, and a lot of really great relationships, aren't predictable, which is why this is such a famous quote about love and relationships. In short? It's relatable and real.
Han and Leia weren't alike. They challenged each other, which is one reason it was hard for them to stay together, but it also was one of the things that made them an epic love story.
Darth Vader, Luke, Anakin and Padme
It's not just about romantic love and relationships. One of the lessons from The Empire Strikes Back is that you can't choose your family. What better example is there? When Vader tells Luke that he is his father and offers the chance to join him, the stage is set for understanding boundaries.
There's a lot of tragedy in Star Wars, which makes this book so attractive because many relationships within these stories (romantic, familial, or platonic) don't or shouldn't work out. Everyone agrees that Padme was right to leave, but it didn't mean that she no longer loved Anakin. Similarly, Luke clearly loved his father, and their dialogue signaled the beginnings of redemption for Anakin.
This is one of the book's greatest strengths - it shows that even if relationships go wrong, that doesn't mean that there isn't love, even though that relationship wasn't meant to go on.
Anakin and Shmi
A great non-romantic relationship example is Anakin and his mother, Shmi. That challenging moment of someone going off to college, or having to let someone go to find their own path, comes a little sooner than usual, creating in-depth topics to explore.
Galen and Jyn
Also, under family relationships is the moment when Galen Erso tells Jyn Erso, "Whatever I do, I do to protect you." It’s a memorable quote about relationships between parent and child. This is showcased as an opportunity to look for understanding when talking about parental relationships.
There are so many moments where you may not realize why loved ones, maybe it's parents or caretakers, do things a certain way. Jyn considered her father dead because she felt abandoned. After all, she knew he had gone to the Empire.
But as we get older, we start to see our parents more as people, rather than like parents or heroes. This example allows you to reflect on your relationship with your parent as it changes throughout life. Jyn wasn't blind to the choices Galen chose to make and didn’t agree with the choices that he made. She just chose to understand what she could and allowed herself to love him again.
Finn and Rey
One of the friendship stories that must be highlighted is between Finn and Rey.
"You looked at me like no one ever had."
Before Rae, Finn was just this letter-number designation. That was his identity amongst a bunch of other people that were nothing more than letter-number designations. This statement's power is in the simple way that we can talk, treat, or even look at someone.
The trust they had in one another and the love they had for one another is an excellent part of their story. Rae was so touched when Chewbacca told her that it was Finn's idea to come to get her from Star Killer Base in The Force Awakens.
People don't focus so much on how the relationships between characters are so important to Star Wars because it's easy to get caught up in the Light and the Dark, the Force and the iconic battles. However, none of it would mean anything if you didn't care about the characters.
Princess Leia and Vice Admiral Holdo
In recent years, due to the tragic loss of Carrie Fisher, the fandom has been taking more time to understand how meaningful certain things were. They've started to share and discuss the impact that Carrie had on the community and Leia's importance as a character.
As the saga expands, Leia is essential, not only because of who she is and her romantic relationship with Han, but also because of her friendship with Vice Admiral Holdo. For many, this relationship was essential to see on display because it's rare to see female friendships shown on screen.
Sometimes It's Just Complicated
A relationship isn't easy when it comes to Agent Kallus and Zeb. Still, the lesson is to be open to unlikely alliances.
Their scene features an all-time favorite quote, "Well, we didn't kill each other, so I guess we're friends now."
It's a small example of the chaotic nature of war. While stranded on a planet - one's an Imperial and the other a rebel, they call each other scum while realizing they needed each other at that moment. A lot of Kallus's growth happened off-screen, but because Zeb was such a gruff and blunt character, his acceptance of Kallus was the sign to the viewers that he'd transformed as a character.
Enduring Love and Relationships
The book concludes with a chapter dedicated to enduring love.
It starts with two characters who appeared in all nine films, plus so many other stories in the Star Wars universe.
Of course, we're talking about C-3PO and R2-D2.
Whether it's a friendship, a partner or even a coworker, people are going to annoy you. Sometimes you can focus on the things you don't like about someone or the things that annoy you. But these are the things that you would miss if they were no longer in your life.
In the first movie, it seems like C-3PO is always complaining to him, even when they land on Tatooine. But on the flip side, you hear him tell Luke that R2-D2 is a perfect droid. When things go wrong, C-3PO is the first person who says he's willing to donate parts to make R2-D2 work again.
You can tell that no matter what kind of smack-talking, they really do care about each other and want to have their droid buddy with them.
There's a lot more relationships and themes to get from the book - all from Star Wars. Hopefully, there's going to be much more to love about this year, but in the meantime, this book gives us a lot to discuss.
Check out more episodes of our show and reach out with any questions or comments!
Today's episode features a talented special guest starring in a time travel mystery series and two memorable conversations in honor of Black History month.
Landon Gordon plays Wyatt in The Disney Channel's Secrets of Sulphur Springs, a TV series featuring time travel, town secrets and unexplained phenomenon. After his father unexpectedly moved the famiy away from Chicago, Wyatt and his siblings soon realize their new home (a hotel) might be haunted by a missing girl. As his brother (Griffin) and his new best friend (Harper) investigate the mysteries, Wyatt and his sister set out to get some answers of their own.
Landon joins Scott on today's episode to discuss the role, time travel, generating scares and much more.
In honor of Black History Month, Scott also shares his memorable 2013 interviews with two Tuskegee Airmen - Master Sergeant Joseph Montgomery and Brigadier General (then Colonel) Charles McGee. These interviews were conducted in conjunction with the release of the George Lucas movie - Red Tails.
Both men discuss the challenges of fighting wars on a global scale while enduring personal battles at home.
Remember conventions? Remember when we could go to them? Remember San Diego Comic-Con? Remember hearing all those BIG announcements? Those were the days.
This week, FTN contributors Tiffany Ojeda, Mia Dallas and Nathan Chick join Scott to discuss their convention memories. They'll talk about memorable moments that stand out for the right and wrong reasons, as well as funny stories, celebrity meetings and future hopes (once we can go back).
COVID-19 Forced Fan Conventions to Close Their Doors
Once the pandemic took hold, people were no longer able to gather at in-person events. Everything from Star Wars Celebration to San Diego Comic-Con were cancelled, and many events went virtual. Even with hopes for things to get better in 2021, some conventions (like the New York Toy Fair) have already cancelled plans for this year.
In previous episodes of the podcast, FTN contributors likeElise Baughman shared some advantages to virtual conventions (like accessibility), and Scott talked about finally getting to meet celebrities like Jane Badler and Frank Ashmore (from 'V') through a virtual event.
Nonetheless, nerds are waiting with bated breath to see if any conventions will re-open their doors sometime in 2021.
Memories Prove the Impact of In-Person Conventions
It wasn't difficult for anyone to discuss memories in today's podcast.
Fandoms Applied to other Aspects of Life
Anyone who's known Scott for awhile knows he often ties real-life things to movie and television scenes. So, when he was tasked with tying pop culture characters to his Master's Degree, he couldn't wait to jump on it.
The assignment was to pick characters from television and movies who demonstrate leadership and highlight their behaviors. He not only had to pick characters, but pick scenes that compliment the selections. His first choice (of three ) was James T. Kirk who's leadership style includes not believing in a no-win situation.
While For The Nerd is not the first show to talk to voice actors, oftentimes the emphasis tends to be on TV, movies, and video games. While the guests on this episode have worked on all types of media before, they are perhaps best known for their work on something a little more nostalgic: cereal and fruit punch commercials!
Even if we might not think about them much on a day-to-day basis, there are characters out there who've been around for decades and whose catchphrases have been repeated for years by kids and adults alike. Phrases like “Follow your nose!” and “Oh yeah!” are simply part of the vernacular of the Western world now, ingrained into the subconscious of the many people who got a glimpse of those gleaming mascots in store aisles and saw them on their television sets.
These are mascots who real people get a chance to embody, as is the case with Matthew Curtis (the new voice of Toucan Sam of Fruit Loops), Robb Pruitt (Frankenberry, Chip the Wolf of Cookie Crisp), and Brock Powell (the new voice of Kool-Aid Man).
But before we get to them, you might be wondering: Why are these brand mascots so important to us in the first place? Well, to find the answer to this question, let us cast our minds back to an era when cereal wasn’t just something you ate in the morning - it was an experience.
A Trip Down Memory Aisle
Cereal has a strong association with childhood. This is because it used to be something of a universal language for children. There were Saturday morning cartoons, action figures involved, and so many delicious options that it felt like choosing something at a toy store. In the modern world, there might not be quite the same selection as there once was, but back then, the cereal aisle was a whole magical world to be explored.
Granted, in the last few years, the aisle has regained some of its long lost magic, but the selection is neither as creative nor as expansive as it once was. When The Mandalorian gets a cereal, it’s just more of the same in different packaging. Back in the day, there were cereals made for ET, C3PO, the Gremlins - you name it, they had it. Each one was different. They even had one for the candy brand Nerds -- how fitting. It was all so exciting.
Yet now, you can take five steps and be pretty much out of the cereal aisle already.
The one thing that has remained true in the world of cereal are the advertising icons, the legendary characters that grew up with us. Even now, after so much has changed, they are still around. With different voices, perhaps, but with the same exuberant energy as always.
Speaking of... here are a few thoughts from the voice actors behind some of the most iconic commercial characters on the silver screen, on the ups and downs of a little-talked-about industry.
Building Your Own Brand
Taking over the shoes (or beak) like Toucan Sam’s, which formerly belonged to legendary voice actor Maurice LaMarche, is difficult business -- Matthew Curtis can attest to it. Many wonder how you even get a gig like that in the first place, with the competition being so high to be the face of Froot Loops’ new marketing campaign.
According to Matt, the biggest thing that’s helped him is being the one to scout out his own jobs. For him, the real tough leg work is in finding the role for himself, before he can start on the meaty work of diving into a character and giving them a voice.
But for high profile roles like Toucan Sam, that’s where the importance of agents and managers come into play. Matt says he has his amazing team of agents to thank for his spot as an up-and-coming advertising icon, and that it’s truly incredible how much the voice acting industry has changed in order to allow his contributions to be recognized by a wider audience.
Being Up Against the Big-Wigs
Not all change is good change. Another big shift in the voice acting industry is a focus on bigger name celebrities over blue-collar voiceover artists. It doesn’t matter what the talent level of the actor is -- if their name can be put up in big font on a poster, then the producers know they have a winner.
Matt says he’s felt discouraged by these changes, but that it’s the nature of the industry. Besides, he argues, a lot of celebrities get to where they are by being genuinely talented, so there’s no harm done in the end.
At the end of the day, he’s just glad he gets to do what he loves for a living.
Bringing Your Own Flavor
The first time Brock Powell heard Kool-Aid Man’s signature phrase, he was both horrified and inspired. He had just heard Frank Sims’ deep voice bellowing it out, and although he didn’t know it yet, it would become a well-remembered experience for him.
At the end of 2015, Kool-Aid decided to find a new voice for their classic character, and that was when Brock Powell put his admiration for Frank Sims and his own talents to good use.
For Brock, it’s all about bringing his own energy, his own character, and his own quirky voice to the mix. Kool-Aid Man has a long history of voice actors behind him, and he stands as an advertising icon for mascots of every brand. So, to put his own spin on the big red pitcher was the only way Brock could see himself leaving a mark on the character’s legacy.
Now Bring It Again, and Again
Unfortunately for voice actors, one time repeating a catchphrase just won’t cut it. In order to get the part of Kool-Aid Man, Brock had to go through three rounds of auditions, each one making him say those two words over and over again in every possible way.
Robb Pruitt, of Frankenberry and Chip the Wolf fame, says that this is what it is to be a voice actor. How easy would it be to simply say two words and leave the studio? Too easy. In order to be the voice of one of these iconic mascots, Robb says that one has to come in ready to do every take a different way until the right way is found.
Yet to him, it’s not hard work -- at least, not in the traditional definition of the word. It is difficult and tiresome, but in the end, it’s well worth it to be part of the legacy of such influential advertising icons.
If you want to find out more about advertising icons and all the influence they’ve had on the voice acting industry and the world, check out the panel Icons of Advertising, virtually hosted by Galaxy Con on February 14th and featuring all the lovely people you’ve met in this article.
We've known about the Marvel television shows on Disney+ for some time. However, when fans got to see trailers for WandaVision, Loki and Falcon & Winter Solider last month, there was some confusion - especially from fans who haven't read a lot of comic books.
How are Scarlet Witch and Vision living in a sitcom reality?
What is happening to Loki, and who took him captive?
What are Falcon and Winter Soldier doing after the events of Endgame?
Comic book experts and FTN contributors Matt Moore and Regina Davis are here to provide some context.
Also, Scott share his thoughts on the drama and emotions following Luke Skywalker's appearance on The Mandalorian.
In the last episode of 2021, Scott talks about some notable stories and interviews from his podcast experience. Then Lou Mongello (WDW Radio) joins the show to discuss his new book The Disney Interviews: Volume 1 and how his passion for Disney led to some amazing opportunities to speak with some big Disney names. Lou also shares advice for aspiring interviewers and podcasters.
You can find more from Lou at WDW Radio
This week, Scott talks about toy collecting from childhood to adulthood. Then, FTN contributor Anita Castellar (FanGirl Consulting and Brand Management), James Zahn (Toy Insider, Pop Insider, The Toy Book) and Jennifer Lynch (The Toy Association) discuss some notable toy trends and some unique toys to find this holiday season.
The Toy Association
The Toy Book
Fangirl Licensing and Brand Management
Panda Mony Toys
If all goes well, we'll get a lot from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2021, including Shang-Chi and The Eternals. How could they fit into the MCU, and can audiences get invested in them like they did The Infinity Saga? FTN contributor Matt Moore has some thoughts on the matter.
Also, Scott shares three of his favorite holiday movies (that aren't A Christmas Story and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation).
Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Paul Watson talks about his book Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition - the historical story behind AMC's The Terror (Season 1).
If you want to stream an episode, search by topic or get links mentioned in the show...you'll find it here!