As a long time listener of Star Wars podcasts, I've traversed all of these branches of fandom in audio form and have encountered many fine examples of Star Wars podcasting. My tastes have evolved over the years. Whereas once, I sought out podcasts with a specific bent - like collecting, nowadays I find myself drawn to more general conversations about Star Wars that speak to me as life long devotee of the franchise - podcasts that remind of the kind conversations I used to have with my childhood friends growing up in the 80's.
In the past two or three months, I have come to the podcast Rogue Won: A Star Wars Podcast For Winners. Adapting its name from the most recent film in the franchise, Rogue Won is hosted by New Jersey native Johnny Grasso, Alabaman Hawes Burkhardt and New Yorker Michael Pappas, Rogue Won is a weekly show that explores the most recent news pertaining to the franchise and engages in a lively banter about Star Wars that harkens back to those distant back and forths I had from childhood.
The genius of Rogue Won lies in the engaging personalities of the hosts - the razor sharp and lovable smart arse in Johnny Grasso, the gravelly acerbic and witty raconteur in Hawes Burkhardt and the bolshie tough guy with a heart of gold in Mike Pappas. They bring the show together from across considerable distances in North America to present an almost small town audio love affair with Star Wars that oozes charm and recreates the child like appeal that Star Wars draws from within all of us fans.
Rogue Won's on air team (L-R) Johnny Grasso, Hawes Burkhardt, Mike Pappas.
And yet, underlying this veneer is a smart and analytical exploration of franchise news, franchise politics and fandom - aided by the fine repository of up to the minute content from the team at Making Star Wars - that goes beyond the superficial. It is often fearless, unafraid to poke holes in the imperfect beast and it baulks at the kind of sycophantic devotion to Lucasfilm inherent in other podcast offerings. But it does so while maintaining a respect and reverence for the franchise and, as such, this sets Rogue Won apart. As a result - and in quite a short span of time - Rogue Won has cultivated a loyal army of listeners and fans which has undoubtedly contributed to its rapid rise on the iTunes charts.
For me, Rogue Won: A Star Wars Podcast For Winners rekindles that old school innocence of 80's Star Wars fandom and as such, it rises above many of the other podcast offerings out there in the wilds.
Visit Rogue Won: A Star Wars Podcast For Winners here.
Subscribe to Rogue Won at iTunes here.
Join the Rogue Won Army here.