In This Episode
On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight do a song and dance with the Joker, meet a cute boy with a questionable Porsche, hone their Rebel Alliance strategies, and celebrate Pride! First in Previously On (4:51), Jason and Rosie discuss the Across the Spider-Verse villain announcement and the fact that Todd Phillips’ Joker 2 may be a musical co-starring Lady Gaga. In the Airlock (19:05), Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeeep) into the second episode of Ms. Marvel – recapping as well as theorizing the origins of Kamala’s bangle and powers as well as the mystery of her visions; then they dive deep (deeeeep) to recap and discuss Part 5 of Obi-Wan Kenobi (43:26) – exploring character choices as well as the depictions of power across the Star Wars universe. In the Hive Mind (1:47:16) X-Ray Vision welcomes Dani Fernandez to discuss her Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy story in DC’s Pride 2022 comic as well as Pride in the year 2022, which superhero Dani would like to play, and more. Finally, in Nerd Out (2:30:00) Micah pitches us on the Toy Story franchise in anticipation of Pixar’s Lightyear.
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Listener’s Guide to X-Ray Vision
Batman & Robin (1997) – Directed by Joel Schumacher, starring George Clooney as titular Bat (replacing Val Kilmer) and Chris O’Donnell returning as Robin; available on HBOMax.
DC Pride 2022 – With work by numerous, including Kevin Conroy and Dani Fernandez.
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Jason Concepcion: Warning. This podcast contains spoilers for Episode five of Obi Wan Kenobi plus spoilers of Episode two of Miss Marvel. You have been warned. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion and welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked podcast where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture. Today’s episode on Previously On Across the Spider-Verse Villain, the sequel to the hit movie Into the Spider-Verse has been announced. Joker two is now potentially a musical. What’s In the Airlock? Ms. Marvel Episode two and Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode five Discussion in the Hive Mind we’re celebrating pride with writer and actor Dani Fernandez, and in our Nerd Out segment where you tell us what you love and why, Myka tells us about the Toy Story franchise to mark the release of Pixar’s Light Year out today. Now, of course, as always, if you want to jump around, check out the timestamps in the show notes for detailed information about all of the things that we talk about. And now to help me talk about the stuff. Is the great, the wonderful, the charming, the super brilliant walking comics encyclopedia, Godzilla writing Rosie Knight. Rosie, how are you?
Rosie Knight: Oh, I’m good. It’s good to be here. It’s nice to see you. And yeah, that’s good stuff. Lots of things going on in the world.
Jason Concepcion: Lots of things going on.Thank you for one, I want to shout out my I want to shout out to producers Chri and Saul for for struggling through COVID on consecutive weeks.
Rosie Knight: Killing it has as always.
Jason Concepcion: For killing the virus and killing the game. And then I want to and then thanks to everybody on this on the zoom right now Rosie, Chris, Vacilis, Dylan for for making the time so that we could do this pod as I am currently on the road in New Mexico where we’re shooting the the sitcom that is Shae Serrano’s story of his life. And we’re really excited to bring that to people at some point. But thank you. Thanks, everybody on the zoom for for putting up with that. Rosie, how are you? What are you doing?
Rosie Knight: I’m good. I’m good. I’m surviving. I’m coping. I’m this is a really excited exciting episode. We wanted to have Dani on for a while, so it’s super rad. Also, how’s the how’s the shoot going? I’m so excited for you.
Jason Concepcion: So it’s been really it’s amazing to watch something that you and other people have been collaborating on and creating come to life. It’s really amazing. It’s just a really amazing process to be like, Oh, I remember when we came up with that. Now here are these here, these people playing these characters saying this stuff. It’s really amazing. It is like truly in the most sincere way possible. You like it’s emotional to be like, Wow, we’re making a show that’s based on my friend’s life. How cool is like, that’s. That’s amazing. Who would have ever thought this would have happened? Like, we will go to lunch and sit there like can you believe we’re doing this, you know, like, you know, Shae, of course, is along with TV’s Mike Shore. And the and the super talented and experienced Peter Marietta and Lisa Bryant are all EPs of the show and so you know, all day. The people are coming up to Shae like hey, did you like the shirt color? Do you like green or blue if you weren’t sure? Hey, what do you think about this lettering? Okay, so here are the enchiladas for the cookout scene. Do these look good? Do you want this more mud on this character’s face? More blood? Do you want the like. It’s just, like, all day. And it’s really amazing to watch. It’s it’s incredible. Everybody here in Albuquerque is really, really nice. Like, very warm. All the experiences I’ve had have been fantastic, like, wonderful conversations with all my all my Lyft drivers. People will just come up and chat with you and they’re so nice. The scenery is incredible and it is so fucking hot like I have to be broiled alive out here. But it’s been really amazing. It’s been incredible. Yeah. Let’s get it to the Airlock. No, let’s get into the Previously On.
Rosie Knight: So we’re just skipping.
Jason Concepcion: The Into the Spider-Verse a sequel is coming. It is looming. One of the greatest comic book movies legitimately ever made.
Rosie Knight: Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever.
Jason Concepcion: And the film’s Twitter account tweeted out a first look of classic Spider-Man, kind of like low stakes villain, The Spot who.
Rosie Knight: Incredible, just absolutely incredible.
Jason Concepcion: Who apparently will be voiced by Jason Schwartzman. The tweet reads Meet The Spot. Miles Morales, his most formidable foe yet voiced by Jason Schwartzman, see him in action in Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse, exclusively in movie theaters June 2nd, 2023. Rosie, tell us about The Spot who. Listen, I’ll just say it. The Spot gets his ass kicked all the time. But that’s The Spot’s role at all times.
Rosie Knight: Look, if you have. Yeah. If you have recently Googled The Spot, which you may have done.
Jason Concepcion: You may have done that.
Rosie Knight: Because of this news, you will see him come up mostly on lists of ten worst Spider-Man villains of all time.
Jason Concepcion: Right.
Rosie Knight: But I obviously we love like we’re deep cut stuff here. So I think. This is such a poor choice. The Spot is like a really weird mid-Eighties villain who first was in a book called Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man debuted in Issue 98, created by Al Milgrom and Herb Trimpe.Two of the best to ever do it.
Jason Concepcion: Two of the best to ever do it. .
Rosie Knight: Ever, ever do it. And his like body is white with black spots. The representation in the movie is very.
Jason Concepcion: It’s very.
Rosie Knight: Realistic. It looks real name Jonathan Ohnn spell very funnily. And I have to say I think this is so clever because immediately from the image that they show you. In the comics, The Spot is just getting beaten up, right. But from what they show us, on that image, you can tell this is going to be some kind of dimensional cosmic villain whose body and The Spot’s are going to interplay with this animation. And we know that this is called Across the Spider-Verse. So I wonder if maybe he holds the multiverse in the holes or something. I just think this is so cool and it speaks so much to the love of the comics that the people making this have, which make sense because a lot of comic books creators are involved. But I just thought this was so, so great.
Jason Concepcion: It’s a really, it’s a really fun one. And I love that pull because so in the comics, The Spot is your typical computer, your typical scientific genius who experiments on themselves and then turns themselves into a powered individual. In this case, The Spot who has these spots are like interdimensional. It can teleport, create spots like in surfaces, like in a wall, and then he can have half his body, like standing there in front of you with the other half hanging out of the wall.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, kind of like the Dr.Strange powers that we’ve seen the way he opens the portals in the MCU which by the way that is just it’s just so clever for the context of the movie to use this character.
Jason Concepcion: And I, I firmly agree. Now, in the comics, The Spot wielded these incredibly, almost godlike teleportation powers to just, like, rob banks and shit.
Rosie Knight: Yeah. And he and he’s connected to the Kingpin, which I’m sure will probably come into play here because he was working for the Kingpin. So it’s really funny because like you said, he is very like low level villain, but he can literally like go into different dimensions and stuff, but he’s like, Oh no, better, like grab a handbag.
Jason Concepcion: I’m super excited about that. I love The Spot. The Spot is super fun, super fun, deep cut Marvel villain.
Rosie Knight: Okay, so do you think this means that we will see the the famously known super villain team that he was a part of called The Legion of Losers?
Jason Concepcion: I. Yes. But not name the Legion of Losers.
Rosie Knight: Yes, I believe the official name is like Spider-Man Revenge Squad. But with people.
Jason Concepcion: Yes.
Rosie Knight: I would love to see them bring in a bunch because we we know we’re going to see a lot of different Peter Parker’s and different spider-men from all across the universe. So it will be interesting to see what villains come into play with that.
Jason Concepcion: And I just want to say also in the Spider-Man’s villains, when they team up, there’s always some absolutely terrible fatal flaw in whatever their fucking plan is to defeat Spider-Man. Going all the way back to the debut of the original debut of The Sinister Six, where here comes Spider-Man’s six most potent villains. They can’t beat him one on one. So they decide, okay, let’s team up and we’re finally going to take him out. But then they can’t. They’re all so prideful that none of them want help. So they fight them one at a time. And of course, they all get beat up. It’s like, why are you guys a team if you’re not going to jump him all at once? What the fuck is this shit?
Rosie Knight: Or too honorable. They know what they want to make it an equal fight.
Jason Concepcion: Next up, Joker two. Todd Phillips recently shared the title to the sequel to his 2019 movie The Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Titular Joker. And it is. Yeah. I’m apologizing now to the francophone audience of X-ray Vision. Joker Folie a Deux. Which means two people who share the same mental disorder. And it’s presumed that Lady Gaga is currently in talks to play Harley Quinn. And the scuttlebutt is that this movie could be a musical, though. I have a hot take. I’m not a great fan of the Todd Phillips oeuvre. Not at all. That said. I think that there’s a chance like that this could be really interesting. Like just as a as a as a mental exercise. If you tell me the Joker and Harley Quinn in a live action musical, I’m like, Huh. I want to see it.
Rosie Knight: I agree.
Jason Concepcion: So I don’t know if it’s going to be good. So I think it’s going to be bad, but I’m interested.
Rosie Knight: This feels to me like like a Cats level, like shit post. Like I can’t, I’ve kind of become obsessed. I feel like it broke my brain. Like, we’ve all been on the edge with 2022, but this is like, this is my Morbius like, this is like all I can think of is that.
Jason Concepcion: You’ve been morbed.
Rosie Knight: I know, I’m going to I’ve been morbed. This is my I need to start The Joker 2 musical discord fan community. Like I, I was, probably surprising, not, I’m not a huge fan of of Joker as it was known. Joker
Jason Concepcion: Sorry is it The Joker or Joker? Sorry. Joker. I apologize
Rosie Knight: It’s Joker because it’s serious.
Jason Concepcion: I apologize to my to my Joker stans out there. Joker
Rosie Knight: It wasn’t really for me.
Rosie Knight: And when I herad this news, I thought I was going to die. And I saw a tweet by @SageHaydn. And this tweet sums up absolutely to me, Joker 2 as a musical is literally the most chaotic decision any movie studio has ever made. Everyone that was excited for a sequel is mad. Everyone that thought a sequel was unnecessary is excited. Pure chaos. You love to see it.
Rosie Knight: I agree. I agree.
Jason Concepcion: Absolutely.
Rosie Knight: Absolutely. I encourage the chaos. I mean, the timelines.
Rosie Knight: I know we’re Canon heads over here and the Joker timeline is its own thing.
Jason Concepcion: We are Canon heads.
Rosie Knight: But like, how could Harlequin be that old? I don’t know. At least.She is, at least she’s age appropriate, I guess. And also is what I mean. I want it to be absolutely ridiculous and wild and just totally. That’s the only way because I don’t really need to see like Harlequin is a social worker at the Gotham, you know, Family Council. But the good thing is, when I saw the name, you know, Folie a Deuz, I assumed it was Harlequin. The first rumor and reading of that was that it was going to be Joker with his followers, who at the end of the movie, spoiler alert, there’s like a Joker cult, kind of there’s a riot, and people like him, he’s doing a dance, you know, that’s what he likes to do.
Jason Concepcion: They carry him.
Rosie Knight: They carry him. He’s like, Jesus, he’s like Joker. She’s like clown Jesus, you know? And and and that was what a lot of people thought it was going to be about. I far prefer this version.
Jason Concepcion: Same here.
Rosie Knight: So I need to know more. I far prefer the Joker. Let’s not have any you know, let’s not have any. famed like child molesters on the soundtrack of the musical. Let’s let’s not do that this time. But otherwise, like. Let’s let’s do it.
Jason Concepcion: Here’s I completely agree. I and I, of course, firmly acknowledge that there’s every possibility that this could be terrible. That said, it’s interesting, and while it may be horrendous for our ears and eyes, it’ll be great content no matter what you talk about. So I’m eager for it.
Rosie Knight: I’m ready. I’m ready for the chaos.
Jason Concepcion: You know what else I’m eager to do? Talk about Miss Marvel and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Let’s do it.
Jason Concepcion: [AD]
Jason Concepcion: We’re stepping out of the Airlock to talk about episode two of Ms. Marvel and then part five of Obi Wan Kenobi, both out now on the Disney Plus List, my former colleague, Andy Greenwald, you say? Here we go. Let’s get into it. Ms. Marvel, Episode two Crushed. Written by Kate Gritmon, directed by Meera Menon. And having discovered that she now has powers at Avenger Con, Kamala walks in a school like 20 feet off the ground. She could not feel better. She could not feel more confident. She is swaggering around the hallways in slow motion. Everybody like finger guns pointing at her and shit is great. How could it get better? How about this? The appearance of Kamran, played by Rish Shah, a very handsome young man of British Pakistani descent who is apparently a student classmate of our hero. And folks, we’re seeing sparks explode literally on the sKreen. Bruno, who is going to be increasingly anxious about the development of Kamran as part of their friend group, asks Kamala about her powers. How do they work? What can you do with them? And she’s like, I’ve just been doing Ant-Man shit. I’ve been trying to shrink. I’ve been trying to fly. I would try to to talk with the ants. It’s not working. Bruno is like why Ant-Man powers? And Kamala’s like, listen, what can I say? I’m a huge fan of the Scott Line podcast. And then we get a fun like Scott Lang slash Paul Rudd, is super good looking for his age. A wonderful a wonderful reference to the real life meme that is Paul Rudd who is. I just need to know what the with the skin hydration regime is.
Rosie Knight: How do he do it?
Jason Concepcion: How does he do it? Our resident mean girl Zoe is also soaking in the soaking in the the acclaim and the attention from Avengers Con and her. She is more than willing to exploit her near death due to the sudden emergence of a person with powers into a burgeoning her influencer numbers. Later in the theater prop room, Kamala is trying to test out her powers, trying to feel like, you know, trying to figure out what they do. She gets her embiggen hand to pop out, but it gets too big and she figures out, okay, super strength is not one of my things. Then Bruno goes and helps Kamala basically become a better superhero. It and it’s and it’s push ups. It is running laps. It is rooftop attempts to walk on her quote, to walk on her little hard light creations. She’s able to, like, create these little circles of hard light and walk on them, which she will do later on in the in the episode. Bruno notices that the bangle has the the bracelet that she has. The bangle has some writing on it that resembles either Arabic or Urdu. And gradually, bit by bit, Kamala starts to get the hang of what this bangle can do. Here we get a wonderful plot about Kamala and Nakia at the mosque and their their endeavors to improve the women’s side of the mosque. Later, Kamala apologized to her mom for sneaking out mostly as a prelude to to go to Zoe’s party. Muneeba agrees. Someone offers Kamala a drink and lies to her about what it is. It turns out there’s vodka in it, which is one of the most terrible. Like that person actually should be.
Rosie Knight: It’s so awful.
Jason Concepcion: Thrown into the pool. It’s really shitty. Like, really one of the. The awful things that happened. But then a good thing happens, which is Kamran gets out of the pool and folks, he looking real good. He looked good. And the show shows you that he’s looking good. With its now typical wonderful visual style multiple hundred percent and flame emojis flashing around. His his his shirtless body, then switching over to Kamala as she’s like just completely besotted with crush feelings for him and like all this wonderful, like very comic book imagery around her, I will say. So he gets out of the pool and it’s this wonderful, like eyes lock moment. He’s walking towards her. It’s happening like in slow motion. There’s all these sparks. And then he’s like, Oh, you’re standing on my, you’re standing on my shirt. And then he goes to put it on without toweling off.
Rosie Knight: Oh, yeah.
Jason Concepcion: What kind of what kind of psycho gets out of the pool and then just puts on a dry shirt without fucking toweling off?
Rosie Knight: I was shocked by this. But now, as we will see in the rest of the episode, I’m assuming this is foreshadowing actually about hey, because I agree with you. I agree with you. Who does that?
Jason Concepcion: I thought that as well. But, so. Spoiler alert, we’re going to find out some stuff about about this person later on that could lead us to believe that maybe he has powers and there’s like something else going on there. But why like, almost.
Rosie Knight: Or maybe he’s just a psycho.
Jason Concepcion: Why almost out yourselves as a powered individual by like like, steam drying all the liquid off your body.
Rosie Knight: Did he want to look cool? Like, I mean, it did look cool. I have to say. I think we only probably know it’s because we’re old people. We were like, aren’t you going to get the chills?
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, I know. Now, of course, Bruno, who has feelings of his own for Kamala, is not too happy about this ongoing development. He feels it’s. It’s he feels really shitty about it. Let’s talk for briefly about the the bangle, Rosie.
Rosie Knight: Mm hmm.
Jason Concepcion: We’ve been saying the Quantum Band, and I think that’s right. But I also think now increasingly, that what they’ve done here is just basically take the mega band and the quantum band and smash them together. And it’s. Some kind of version of both. Like, it would not surprise me at all.
Rosie Knight: I agree.
Jason Concepcion: Whatever this is is connected to the Kree, but also somehow to the negative zone. Yadda yadda yadda.
Rosie Knight: So. So. Something that I think is really interesting in this episode, Bruno realizes, like, if he puts the bangle on or if someone else puts on, it’s not going to give them powers like the Bangle is channeling something that is inherently inside Kamala. I find that very interesting. Also, Kamala works out that her powers are, as she calls it, feels like an idea come to life. So this is an imagination based power that is, is channeled by a magical artifact that you wear on your hand or arm. This is basically the Green Lantern. They’ve given Kamala Khan Green Lantern powers. And very specifically with the family aspect, it feels like there was a recent Green Lantern book about a young kid who got their power ring from their grandma. And this feels like it could very much have been inspired by this kind of storytelling. So I think this is I think you’re right. I think this is an amalgamation of two different of the quantum band and the mega bands. But it’s also going to be about something within Kamala. I don’t necessarily think it’s like I like the idea that she’s chosen because I think those are stories are always fun, but I don’t necessarily think it’s going to be a worthiness like the Green Lantern.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: I think as we will get into by the end of this episode that this is a family based power in more than just the Bangles.
Jason Concepcion: So Kamala is very interested in exploring this familial connection. So when her brother Amir brings his fiancee Tyisha around for dinner, this gives Kamala the opening to kind of probe around, ask her mother, Muneeba, about the family’s family history and maybe get some information about how the family came to be in possession of this band. This leads to a really like well done, very like entertaining and refreshing conversation about the family’s personal history regarding the partition of India after the after the announcement of India of Indian independence. This is in 1947. It was a epoch shifting events that resulted in a rolling civil war. Numerous instances of unrest. Millions of people on the move. And many, many, many, many, many, many deaths. And of course, that trauma touched this family in specific ways. And I think one thing, if anybody’s ever had any experience with South Asian communities, Pakistani communities have Pakistani friends is Pakistani, you know that like every family does have some kind of story and also none nobody talks. This is not like a thing people talk about. So I found this scene to just be like, Wow. I love that they’re going here.
Rosie Knight: This sums up what so great about the show so far as this this warmth and balance and love for the character and love for the comics, but recognizing who the character actually is and what it means for that character. And I absolutely this is where we start to really get that hint of how this could be a familial power. And I love that they write it in that way.
Jason Concepcion: I absolutely I absolutely love it. And so Kamala asks her mom about her mom, Sana, and then her great grandmother, Aisha, that this is Kamala’s great grandmother, Aisha. And this is a very touchy subject. It’s clear by Muneeba’s response she talks about potential sexual impropriety on behalf of Aisha. She talks about a mysterious disappearance. But the takeaway is we do not,we just do not want to talk about this. Whatever this is, we’re not talking about your great grandmother. Kamala then has, as tensions and emotions start to rise on the subject of her great grandmother, Aisha, the bangle it starts to glow. Something happens. And Kamala has a vision which seemingly emanates from the bangle of like this portal opening. And there’s a person there. And who is this person with their hair flowing and energy crackling all around her? And the next thing you know, Kamala is like is coming to. She has passed out, fainted on the ground with her loved ones, all concerned, looking down on her. And what is this vision that just happened? Do you have any thoughts on what it is?
Rosie Knight: So.
Jason Concepcion: Yes.
Rosie Knight: I believe. They talk in this moment of how Muneeba’s mom, so Kamala’s grandma Sana which is obviously I believe is. Yeah. So it’s a it’s probably a a hint to Sana Amanat, who created was a co-creator of this novel. She got lost and separated from her family and she was able to find her way back. According to her, as a child on a on a trail of stars and nobody knows what happened to Aisha. And it all seems very mythical. I fully believe that what happened is Kamala’s great grandma fell in love with a Kree. Had a baby with a Kree. Who is Sana? And I believe that there is a legacy of Kree, DNA or blood that runs in Kamala’s family that allows her to use these powers that, as Kevin Feige has said, would put her more in line with the Marvel’s who will be her team. And it would make her. I love how close it would make her to Carol. Now, I also think there’s a different version where it’s not necessarily a genetic power, but it was more like that. Aisha was the first person to be chosen to wield the bangle, and then from there that was able to be passed on through her family. But I think that this is essentially a nod to the Kree or some kind of alien intervention, which is going to explain Kamala’s powers.
Jason Concepcion: The next morning, we discover that Kamala’s parents got together in part because of a shared love of the music of Bon Jovi. And then Kamala asks about Aisha again and Muneeba again, just like, shuts her down. We’re not talking about this. The family then goes to the mosque to celebrate Eid. Nakia is making the rounds as she is now running for the board of election of the mosque. You know, leadership of the mosque. This puts her into direct competition with one of Kamala’s dad’s friends, which is a little touchy. Kamala then volunteers to talk to the Illuminati. Illuminati? I can’t even say it. Illuminanti, Illuminantis, in her words, to try and get some more information on her great grandmother. Meanwhile, Zoe is been brought in by the Department of Damage Control as they are seeking more information on who this person that displayed the powers at Avengers Con is. And here we get. As, uh, as Agent Deaver starts to kind of like, run through who the suspect might be. We eventually land on South Asian Muslim person. To which agent Cleary notes that, okay, well, we have to be careful because we already know that the FBI has these communities under surveillance. Here again, is a is a moment that I found. So refreshing and like, Yeah, we’re just going to go there. I love that they went there. I love that they’re referencing the fact that in the post-9-11 world, the FBI in a number of cases that I think fair minded people, if you look at them, are were basically entrapment schemes by the FBI, which the FBI, number one, had various informants at mosques, you know, often going in with these kind of strong arm techniques like, well, if you have nothing to hide, you’ll let us do this. And, you know, we live, you know, we’ve been attacked. And so if if you don’t let us listen in on your on your on your worshipers and investigate them, then we are going to believe that you have something to hide. And also the FBI going forward and entrapping people into plots that they would not have been involved with otherwise. And here is a clear reference to that very real world event. And I was just in shock that they referenced this.
Rosie Knight: I thought this was really, really, really well done. And I think that something I’m very interested to see is is where the Department of Damage Control will go because this is very different to the Dwayne McDuffie Department of Damage Control. They were not cops. They were not a government agency which fits into the world of the MCU. But I would love to see with that critique that was put into the show, I would love to see a version that’s more like that. We clean, we’re tired, we clean up after the superheroes kind of situation. But another moment I thought was really powerful here was they did a really good job in the comics. Zoe, the mean girl, that is, she is on a journey of of growth and will become a larger part of the comic and largely likely the show. But I thought they did a really good job and that actor in particular of realizing when she like directed them to that community, she looked horrified. And you can just see that that’s a that’s a moment where I’m I’m pretty sure we’ll see her go and try and rectify that. But that whole scene was yeah they they they lure you in in with some warm moments and then they just they just say it how it is really.
Jason Concepcion: I mean, the show is just really, really, really well done. First of all, like the most easily the most visually creative Marvel show on Disney Plus.
Rosie Knight: Truly. You can say there’s nothing like it. It’s there’s nothing like it.
Jason Concepcion: There’s nothing like it. Every scene has a moment that just pops. Whether it’s the the comics inspired, like, almost drawn on effects and lettering that appears like on surfaces or on the roadway or on the wall or at or the scene from episode one in which Kamala like, flops down, like on the divan and the camera flips over like fully like 180, like vertically so that it’s looking at her now upside down. All of these little visual things make the show so fun to watch. And then they hit you with. This really big hearted depiction of a Pakistani-American family, child of immigrants, that does not pull its punches on any of the issues that that intersect with that community. Really great shit. This is a good episode for TV.
Rosie Knight: It’s the good stuff.
Rosie Knight: Yeah. It’s the really good stuff.
Jason Concepcion: Back at Eid. The aunties reiterates Kamala that Aisha, her great grandmother in some way, that is not laid out, brought shame to the family. Some say she was a snake. She was putting curses on people. She had an affair. She ran off and then they killed somebody during the partition. Nobody’s really sure. But whatever it was, it was bad. As this is going on. A kid who climbed up the mosque tower falls and now has to be rescued. Who will do the rescuing? Guess who Kamala Khan suits up. She gets her first super big super hero moment. She successfully creates her little hard light steps that allow her to step out over, like high over the street and reach up an end and grab this kid and save him. She creates a little hard light platform for him to fall on. Then she takes a little too early of a victory lap and the kid ends up falling many, many stories towards the ground. Hurtling towards the ground. Quick thinking. Kamala manages to make various platforms to kind of break his fall. But he does fall reasonably hard.
Rosie Knight: Reasonably hard. Reasonably hard. Reasonably hard.
Jason Concepcion: Breaks his ankle. And then Kamala flees away as she is fleeing damage control. Spring’s its trap using drones, which I was very surprised to see. Like, this is like mysterious tech. Is this what’s happening?
Rosie Knight: It feels very stark. Which.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: We know that we need to be laying the groundwork for Armor wars. So the idea of people having stark tech that someone like Rhodey would not agree with them using. In some ways I feel like profiling and, you know, illegally watching marginalized communities of color. Rhodey probably wouldn’t be down with that. So this could definitely be a kind of early nod to where the technology has gone since Tony died.
Jason Concepcion: Kamala takes out the drones. She’s running away. But she she’s getting blocked in by damage control. They’re waiting for her at the end of this alley. She creates her heart like steps, steps up over them, jumps down on the other side into the street. And who should pull up? But Kamran, in a Porsche. This kid drives a Porsche. He says it’s not his, it’s his uncle’s. But still, there’s a kid driving a Porsche, which should have been a red flag earlier. And now here’s a bigger red flag. Kamala gets in the car, car pulls away. In the backseat, there’s a mysterious woman, and it’s the woman from the vision. And she says, Kamala, I’ve been waiting a very long time to meet you. And Kamran is like, That’s my mom. Is this Aisha? Kamala’s great grandmother. Tune in next week to find out. Bah bah bah bah. I love this episode. The central mystery
Rosie Knight: Is so good.
Jason Concepcion: Is so good. I love that. That I love the appearance of Kamran what it means for for the Bruno friendship slash potential romantic relationship because I love a love triangle that makes it really juicy. And then the fact that man, this woman that Kamala has been having visions of is his mother. Okay.
Rosie Knight: Yeah.
Jason Concepcion: Who are these people? Let’s. Let’s quickly theorize, Rosie.
Rosie Knight: Okay.
Jason Concepcion: Who? Who are these people?
Rosie Knight: I think that I think Aisha is her grandma, but she’s looking great grandma. But she’s looking very young. So we can assume some power situation we have, as already suggested, that Kamran may have powers, I have to say. So I think that him and Kamala are going to end up being related. And I think it’s just they used a very mean tactic, which was knowing he was handsome, to kind of lure her in, because earlier on in the episode, they go on a kind of half date where they meet in a diner and it’s it feels like something’s there. And then they have to cover up by saying that he is their cousin. So I feel like it all ties into this idea that this is basically going to be we’re going to find out that there is a side of Kamala’s family that has powers. And I believe that actually would make a lot of sense because in the comics, her brother actually gets powers as well at one point via an inhuman style situation, which we know is not going to here, which we know is not going to happen here. So it would make sense if this was a legacy power that could maybe be connected to by more than one family member once they accept it. I’m very. This show has been so wonderfully balanced so far for me between the action and the family and the the lived experience. And I love how they touch on these, like deeper, more important topics while still giving Kamala this overly stylized teen movie life. I’ll be very interested to see how in the third episode you continue that balance while starting to expand on this central mystery of the bands and her family and what it all means and who has the other band? Because we can assume that there’s going to be two.
Jason Concepcion: There’s got to be two. There can’t be one. There’s got to be two. There’s got to be super. I’m really loving this. I’m really loving the show. I can’t wait to see the next episode. Up next, Obi-Wan Kenobi, part five, written by Joby Harold and Andrew Staton and directed by Deborah Chow. We open on Coruscant, the Jedi Temple flashback to Before the Fall of the Jedi. Obi-Wan Kenobi finds his padawan, Anakin Skywalker on a balcony. He’s looking out over the skyline of Coruscant. And he says, I was beginning to think you weren’t coming. Master. And I love the pause before saying Master says so much, because in that pause is the growing willfulness and rebel, you know, a loaded term for Star Wars, but rebelliousness of an Anakin Skywalker, who is already thinking, is this guy really worthy of being my master? I think I’m better than him.
Rosie Knight: I also think it’s like this really good. I have to say this.
Rosie Knight: This is a this is a really fun episode. But these flashbacks, which we had, by the way, we’re right. We knew that there was going to be flashbacks. So that was going to be flashbacks. I think there’s so much powerful storytelling done in those moments, and they do a really great job of building out on the Anakin Obi-Wan relationship. And something I love about it is it’s a mixture. I totally agree with you that it’s just like willfulness in this kind of like he’s already questioning. But I also think it’s this, like, really deep closeness.
Rosie Knight: This is his friend. This is like his brother. So it’s kind of that.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, more than friends. They’re close as brothers.
Rosie Knight: Two sides of Anakin like you wouldn’t like. They have been so close and together for so long. Is it weird to call them master? So I think there’s all these layers to it.
Jason Concepcion: That’s a great point.
Rosie Knight: That they do in such a good way because those are the two sides of Anakin that especially in this episode in the series are defining him which is this closeness that he had to Obi-Wan. But the way Obi-Wan failed him and how the the path of the dark side tore them apart. I just I also have to say I think they used a very perfect amount of de-aging because it this just it.
Jason Concepcion: It was just the right amount. It didn’t ;ook unrealistic.
Rosie Knight: It looked perfect. It looked real life.
Rosie Knight: Hayden looked a little bit older, but I was okay with it. Who cares? It looks good. I was. It looks good.
Jason Concepcion: Even Gregor somehow looked exactly the same.
Rosie Knight: Yeah. Looking exactly the same. I just. Look.
Rosie Knight: I feel like we were all waiting for these kind of this reunion of this era for them. And so I. I love to see it. I love to see it.
Jason Concepcion: I love to see it, too. They, the pair, ignite their light sabers and they are about to launch into a duel. We flash forward two years later, Darth Vader is on his flagship. He is staring out now into the vastness of space, much like he once was years ago, looking out over the skyline, of Coruscant. And it’s clear from the way that cut happens that Darth slash Anakin is remembering these things.
Rosie Knight: This is his life. That he’s thinking about.
Jason Concepcion: As as he grows closer towards having Obi-Wan Kenobi in his clutches, he’s thinking about these moments that they shared together in the past. Reva comes before him and she is fucking pumped up.
Rosie Knight: She’s stoked.
Jason Concepcion: Lord Vader, I got to tell you, it is such a fucking honor to be on your flagship. It’s. It smells great. What is that? Febreeze. It smells great in here. I love it. I love what you did with the place where you austere.
Rosie Knight: You’re looking great. Looking. Very.
Jason Concepcion: You’re looking great. Wonderful. I’ll be on. Thank you for having me on. This is awesome. And by the way that tracker thing, when I tell you it worked, it fucking worked. Obi, Leia, and Tala are en route to Jabiim. And Vader’s like great work, kneel. He awards her the thing that she has been aiming for all these years, we think. Put a pin in that. We’ll come back to it later. It is the position of Grand Inquisitor. Huge day for Reva. Gives her a pin that signifies you are now the Grand Inquisitor. And next up, folks, Jabiim. On Jabiim, Roken’s cruiser arrives. Several dozen refugees are there awaiting in the hangar bay, including children and families. And they all meet the ship. Roken comes out to just say we got her, we saved her. Absolutely zero mention of our good friend Wade.
Rosie Knight: Sorry. Wade.
Jason Concepcion: Who fucking died at the battle. Can’t even get. Can’t even get and by the way, we lost Wade. All right, Pete Wade, who got no love from his community.
Rosie Knight: Wade is absolutely just continuing the tradition of like he just absolute doesn’t-matter-deaths in Star Wars is like collateral damage of the rebellion. Sorry, babe. You got blown up. No one’s going to think about it.
Jason Concepcion: Can one person shed a single fucking tear for Wade? Please.
Rosie Knight: Sully cried about Wade last week, and that was it. Now it’s like everyone’s moved on.
Jason Concepcion: Anyway. We. We barely knew him, Wade. But we remember you. Obi finds Haja among the refugees, and he says, I had nowhere else to go. And also, I’m a wanted man. The Empire’s is looking for me now. But you know I’m here on Jabiim and I’m on The Path. And you know what I see? I see credit signs. I see I see a juicy business opportunity, along with an opportunity to help people. So that’s what Haja’s up to. Obi talks to Roken about, hey, I got to get back to Alderaan because there’s we got Leia now and there’s this whole other thing that I have to do, but Roken says, okay, first things first. All these folks, all these refugees here, they need to get out of here. They’ve been waiting for months for a safe window to leave in. And they had to delay that because, you know, we needed to go get Princess Leia. And I acknowledge and that was very, very important. But now the window is fast closing and we got to get them out of here. And Obi looks around, he looks at all the beleaguered faces, all the family members that are, you know, hanging by the edge of their courage and Obi’s, like, we’re going to help him. We’re going to do it. But Vader is fast approaching. He orders Reva to use Lola to hack the security system on Jabiim and lock down the stronghold that the the refugees are in. Lola goes to work. Meanwhile, Obi notices some graffiti on the wall there in the in the path complex, and it says the light will fade but is never forgotten. There’s some other stuff on there that that you notice. That is confirmation of various legends things. What did you find, Rosie Knight?
Rosie Knight: Yes. There is some legends characters in Aurebesh. Dan Casey at night is actually has found like way more so. They have a really good Easter eggs breakdown. But there’s like Corwin Shalvey, who’s an NBC from a Star Wars RPG that became part of Legends Jedi, trained after the purge, Drake Logan or Lo-gan from an old StarWars webcomic that was released around the time of the Clone Wars, who was a Jedi Padawan. And then there’s a Tiberius, which is probably mate like Tiberius and Locke, which is maybe Tiberius was from the Star Wars Galaxy’s game. So that really building in. It’s interesting. It’s like they’re building this stuff in and saying, Hey, this is canon, but how much will they bring it? Because like I know a lot of people were really hoping to see Quinlan here, in The Path, you know, and it’s not something that we’ve seen. So it’s it’s still really exciting though. And the Aurebesh is really fun because like, everyone is getting together after watching the episodes and like, yeah, teaming up to like source code like Aurebesh just like translations.
Jason Concepcion: Right near this graffiti, Obi sees a cache of of Jedi stuff. There’s no, there’s no better way to say it. There is a small crate there that has various light sabers in it. Nearby he finds some Jedi robes or as Obi-Wan would call them, my disguise when I’m trying to pretend not to be a Jedi.
Jason Concepcion: And now I found all this, I found all this stuff interesting because. How do we think? What do we think happened here? Did Jedi’s, who were on the run, come to Jabiim as a stop on on The Path and say, okay, I have to get rid of all my Jedi shit because this marks me as a target I’m giving I’m leaving it all here. Or did their loved ones take it there and deposited there after their loved ones were killed in the purge or some other way? I’m a little bit I want to know more about how this stuff got here.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, I totally agree. I think that’s a really good point. I think it’s going to inspire probably a lot of fan fiction. I would love to know more about it in a canon sense. I my gut feeling says it was Jedi who died either at The Path helping people get there. It was also let’s be real. This is one of those funny things about Star Wars that we kind of talk about. How successful was Order 66? Not very successful.
Rosie Knight: You know, know what there is in Star Wars always just hanging about. There’s just like lightsabers like a part me like some kids probably just like found one and bought it because like, you know, we ended up in the new trilogy with like one of the most important lightsabers in the world was just in the basement of, like, a tavern, you know?
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: It was in the right place. In the end, the force does what it does, you know.
Rosie Knight: But like.
Rosie Knight: I think that it’s a it’s likely. I think it’s meant to be an evocative thing of like, are they from Dead Jedi? I also like the idea of like Jedi is who chose to give up The Way because like, there’s always been this notion of Jedi as to exist on both the light side and the dark, and who can use both. And I feel like they may have been the ones who had maybe lose hope in the force, but they want to leave something for the people who come next. So I thought it was very interesting. It was very interesting.
Jason Concepcion: It’s such a great point about the lightsabers, because.
Rosie Knight: Right.
Jason Concepcion: To add on to that, to add on to that, notably, you know, after the rise, directly after the rise of the Empire, Grand Vizier of the Empire Mas Amedda like melted down like a thousand fucking lightsabers.
Rosie Knight: Not enough.
Jason Concepcion: Not enough apparently. But then, so Obi sees all this Jedi stuff, but then, boom, the building goes into lockdown. Sully and Roken are like, What’s happening? We’re not controlling this. And Roken is like, Oh, my God, there’s an imperial cruiser in orbit. And then Obi-Wan says, Well, you know what that means Darth Vader’s here. So what do we do? Obi-Wan tells them, Okay, Vader’s next move is going to be just all out attack. Aggression. He doesn’t have patience. He’s not gonna wait to, like, starve us out. He’s not got to put up a siege and just wait for us to all die. He’s going to try and force his way in here. How do you know this, Obi-Wan? Well, long story. Flashback now. Back to the duel. And it’s another one of those teaching duels that we have seen, albeit and a good fight over the years. Obi is preaching patience and letting go to these kind of like specific, dogmatic goals of victory and winning, whatever that means. That’s not why the Jedi struggle. Not to, quote unquote win. But Anakin is just like about competition, about that grind. To him, every engagement, every relationship is a zero sum game of Somebody’s got to win and somebody’s got to lose.
Rosie Knight: Yeah.
Jason Concepcion: He wants to win at all costs.
Rosie Knight: This is a classic like, look, I love these characters. Yeah, we both.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: We all love it. This is a classic moment.
Rosie Knight: I’ve always been a Obi. I won’t say. When I was younger, I would have said a hater. I would say that now, as an older, more seasoned person with more love in my heart, I’m a Obi-Wan. questioner, right. And this is one of those moments where I say Obi-Wan, stop teaching him things during duels. He was not noticing it like this kid loves fighting. He loves chopping, giving away the lightsaber. Like, just drink some tea and have a chill conversation. Chanel it somewhere else, my friend. Like, this is not going to end well.
Jason Concepcion: More meditation, right?
Rosie Knight: Yes
Jason Concepcion: More Jedi meditation, less light sabers. I think that’s really one of the missteps from from the Training of Anakin Skywalker. The Imperial assault begins. OBI Obi-Wan Kenobi gives the worst pump up speech in the fucking history of inspirational speeches. Everyone. Everyone. I understand you’re scared. Everybody’s looking around. Yeah. We’re scared. The empire will attack soon. Now there is legitimate people fainting. They’re stronger than us. Somebody just wet their pants, better equipped, better trained kids. If we fight them, we will not survive. Whoa. I can’t wait to get into it. Oh, God. You know what? I was like, I was like, I’m not sure we can fight the Empirer, but but now that you said we’re going to get fucking wiped out. I 100% hard no way. Obi. Obi. What are you doing?
Rosie Knight: What are you doing man? Like, Can you believe I’ve never heard a worst speech.
Jason Concepcion: It was so great.
Rosie Knight: Absolutely incredible.
Rosie Knight: C’mon this is not getting me inspired to do this thing that we got to do, now.
Rosie Knight: Can I just say he is like Charles Xavier at a high level. Charles Xavier Yeah, especially in the movies. If that guy turns up somewhere, your whole family’s going to die.Like wherever you think about Logan, yeah. He takes them to that nice family they’re looking at. And then guess what? They all get murdered by evil. Evil Logan. Right. I just feel like Obi-Wan, you got to do a much better job because legitimately, the only reason that these people.
Jason Concepcion: I need a little more.
Rosie Knight: Who have been waiting four months for safe passage, you came here with your little drama, and now they are all going to die. And you can’t even be like, We’re going to do it, guys. The force is with us.
Jason Concepcion: That’s. Yes. Thank you.
Jason Concepcion: Like to quote a great space captain and and legendary smuggler. Never tell me the odds. Fucking lie to me, please. Obi Wan, don’t tell me the truth.
Rosie Knight: Please
Jason Concepcion: Now our own Chris Lord, along with Mallory Rubin, when I raise these issues to both of them, in turn, both said, okay, well, here’s the thing. Obi-Wan spent the last ten years like cutting fish and then living alone in a fucking cave. He does. It’s like, you know, after two years of pandemic and you know. a year and a half of lockdown, like we didn’t know how to talk to people. And that’s absolutely right. I get it. It’s it’s weird talking to people and making, you know, inspiring pre battle speeches after you haven’t done that for over a decade and oh and by the way, the last time you did that, you lost that war. I understand that’s tough. At the same time. Fucking read the room, Obi Wan.
Rosie Knight: Great character.
Jason Concepcion: Everybody looks like you know, he’s terrified. Don’t, Don’t end with we will not survive.
Rosie Knight: There are so many force sensitive kids in this room, man. I can just do a little bit of inspiration. Do some force, some magical.
Jason Concepcion: He ends. He ends on a stronger note. He closes strong, which is great. He says, Listen, yes, if we fight them, we will all die, okay? But we’re not gonna fight them now. We’re not going to fight them. All we need to do is harden this facility, guard the points of entry, and fight for every inch so we can buy time. So all of us get on the ships and leave. Great. Okay, let’s do that. And by the way, here in this moment is the birth of what is essentially the tried and true rebel alliance strategy that will carry that armed force throughout its long war against the empire. Shoot and scoot. We hit the empire and then we get out of here, whether it’s Hoth. This is what they did on Yavid. This is what they did on Crate later in the in the in the later trilogies. It’s hit and run. And here is legitimately, I think, the first example of that rebel strategy, although it’s just what they have to do in this moment. So the refugees fly into the action. The blast doors are barred and welded shut. Roken, Sully and Obi are looking at various maps. Meanwhile, Stormtroopers are amassing outside the gates and they’ve got heavy guns. Reva makes landfall. She’s here to command the assault from the ground while Darth Vader’s up in his ship. They begin pounding the main blast door with that gigantic mounted blaster. Inside Roken is like, man, we can’t get the hangar doors open, so we can’t actually the escape part, like the holding off part is going kind of okay, but the escape part is not going to work. If we kick these doors open, Hydra comes up and says, Well, okay, it looks like the wiring runs through that vent. Why don’t you go up in the fucking vent and fix the wiring and Roken’s like Man, I’m too big to go in there. Is that Princess Leia’s music? Yes, it’s Princess Leia’s music. Ten year old Princess Leia is like, Fuck it, I’ll go up. I will.
Rosie Knight: She’s like get a ladder. She like get out of the way.
Jason Concepcion: Give me a ladder, you fucking losers. By the way, she doesn’t say this, but you could tell she’s thinking it. Who fixes the doors when they break?
Rosie Knight: Where does the asteroid Mech?
Jason Concepcion: What’s going on? Ben tells Haja to keep an eye on Leia. I have to go make a phone call. He runs out, makes a phone call. It’s Bail Organa, a.k.a. Jimmy Bags. I call him that because he keeps collecting those big bags for beaded.
Rosie Knight: Everyday.
Jason Concepcion: Star Wars. I love it. He’s calling from Alderaan, of course. And he says, Listen, I’m worried because you have left me on read for all this time since I contacted you about rescuing Leia. You don’t call me back. I have no information about what’s going on with Leia. I don’t know if you’re dead or alive, what’s going on with either of you? And if I don’t hear back from you, I guess I got to go to Tatooine to check up on, quote, unquote, the boy, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker, because I know that Owen Lars now is not to be able to do it wears, by the way, no mention of Beru. Thanks a lot. Okay, guys, we get.
Rosie Knight: Disrespectful.He knows actually, Beru doesn’t need help. He’s like, just Owen. Owen needs it.
Jason Concepcion: Owen is kind of a mess. It is a mess.
Rosie Knight: He’s very angry, man.There’s something really interesting here, right? Honestly, I love Bail Organa one of my all time most flawless Star Wars characters. But don’t say that on a communicator, please. Even just the implication this is bad, don’t put out that is going to end badly for you.
Jason Concepcion: Leave it as a video voicemail, a hologram voicemail. Like if you need to see, say, yeah, don’t, don’t do that. And Ben is like, Ben gets this and he’s like, Oh fuck, shit, things are going bad. Tala comes in and she’s obviously anxious and very worried about these developments, you know, the empire here and attacking and Obi’s like everything is going to be found Tala than shares her own imperial origin story. She was obviously an imperial officer. She was part of a roundup operation of force sensitive families that turned out to be a catch and kill, you know, offshoot of Order 66, basically a wipe out mass murder operation. And she says of that, so now I do this. And this means helping refugees escape from imperial clutches and killing imperial forces. Roken then comes in and he’s like, Shit is hitting the fan, the blast door is holding out but is getting warped by the barrage of this heavy blaster. So Obi’s like, Okay, I got to buy us even more time for the doors get fixed and everybody escape. I am going to have a one on one with Reva and so he walks up to the door and they communicate using the force through the door. She’s like, I know you’re stalling for time. It won’t work. Vader wants to capture you, wants to torture you, and he’s here and he’s not going to be stopped and all that stuff. And then Obi is like, Oh, interesting. How by the way, how did you know that Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader? That’s not a thing that anybody wants out there that certainly Vader would have wanted to keep that secret. How did you know? And then he works it out. Ah, you were a young ling. You were at the temple on the night of order 66, you saw Anakin Mass murdering.
Rosie Knight: Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.
Jason Concepcion: Reva. We got it. Absolutely right. Now, small note. I actually think you didn’t need this mysterious reveal, I. I think you could have gone. I think you could have opened the same way with the with the flash back to order 66 and then smash cut to Reva and we get it. Like, I don’t think you needed to hide this. I think it made it a little too. Like, I don’t understand Reva’s truly, like, what’s going on inside of Reva. That said, here is a confirmation of what we and many other people were saying, and all of which is say, we are right. Reva then says, heartbreakingly, we thought he was there to help us. We thought Anakin was there to help us. Of course he wasn’t. He was there to kill everyone. She survived by pretending to be dead amongst the amongst the slain on the floor, feeling their bodies go cold. And it was her disgust at her own weakness and her own inability to do anything about this that has led her on the path to become more powerful and thus led her on the path to becoming an inquisitor. And Obi realizes. Oh. So your quest to become the Grand Inquisitor is actually a mission to get closer to Vader so that over time, as his guard goes down, you will have the opportunity to kill him. I’m right. Right. You want to take revenge? He’s absolutely right. And this is real Sith rule of one type ideology. This is how it happens. It’s not that. You know an a Sith takes, you know, takes a learner and that person then becomes so evil that they kill their master. It’s they’re so tortured and and and and mistreated by their master that they feel like I have to stop this person because that’s doing good. Like, it would actually be a good deed for me to kill this person. So I have to become powerful enough to do it. And that is how the dark side seduces you.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, I think that’s such a good point and I, it’s, I totally get what you mean. I like, I really love the revenge. I think that is the smartest twist. I think we all knew she was a youngling like that that was clear. But she Moses is great. And to hear talking about and evoke those kind of horrible memories and not nod, like you said, back to, you know, the first kid who sees Anakin come in.
Jason Concepcion: Awful . Till this day, awful.
Rosie Knight: Masterful Master Skywalker. Oh, you’re like your dead. And it was really I and I really like I just really like the revenge aspect. But in respect to Reva, who I do rate and I rate this is a motivation much more than joining the Jedi to like joining the Inquisitions to kill your own people. That’s messed up. Revenge. I can get down with it, but I feel like that was multiple times that she could have already killed Anakin.
Jason Concepcion: She was literally on his fucking ship.
Rosie Knight: And she literally just on his ship . And she could have just been like the classic like you put it. You’re like, Oh, you’re going to put it through the tummy or something like. But you know what? Reva is that she is a dramatic person who likes to create an event, as we are about to find out, because one of the moments that you had cracking me up so much about is about to come up right now.
Jason Concepcion: Well, yeah, let’s talk about these issues more in a bit, because I’ve really been thinking so much about the way Star Wars frames power.
Rosie Knight: Mm hmm.
Jason Concepcion: And makes us empathize with people who have power. But let’s table that for a second. Ben then makes a pitch to Reva. Hey. Team up. Like, together we can take him down. We can put a stop to this. I can help you do it. And Reva turns it around and is like, where were you that night? Where were you? He was your Padawan. Why didn’t you stop it?
Rosie Knight: Important questions?
Jason Concepcion: Obi has absolutely no answer. Then, Reva cuts through the gate. The blast gate. With one stroke of her lihgt saber.
Rosie Knight: Drama. Drama. That’s what I’m saying.
Jason Concepcion: Folks. Folks. Why did we fucking set up the heavy blaster?
Rosie Knight: They were outside for like 45 minutes or something? Like how did.
Jason Concepcion: Wait, wasted the ammo with the heavy blast to get in there with the light saber. Cut the fucking door open. Jesus. What are we doing?
Rosie Knight: Maybe. Okay, so this. I will say this is. I’m building a reading of Reva, right? With some actions that she takes where it doesn’t necessarily fully cohesively gel with what we saw of her in the first few episodes where she was so.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: Just ruthless with the power that she wanted to have that she was going to torture her baby.
Rosie Knight: But I do believe I feel like maybe the reason that she didn’t do it straight away is because she didn’t want the stormtroopers and the weapons to end up getting to the children and the rebels. And I feel like there’s a couple of moments here where they lean into that, but still narratively absolutely hilarious moment.
Rosie Knight: And I’m just like, Reva, what are you doing, babe?
Jason Concepcion: Walk, walk up and slice the door. And they were inside.
Rosie Knight: I know. They also have more than one lightsaber in that crew.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: We know it.
Rosie Knight: We know there’s a lot of light sabers.
Jason Concepcion: Big fight pops off. Obi uses the force to to push Reva back outside the gate. And here we’re seeing that Obi-Wan Kenobi connection with the forces is rejuvenated, is growing stronger by the moment as he’s rediscovered his mission to do good to help people and. Here we see a battle for every single inch of the facility. The the the the rebels. We’re just going to call them rebels. Even though they don’t think of themselves as quite that yet, they’re not quite organized to do it. But this is this is the beginning of the ideology of the rebel alliance. They are outgunned, but they are absolutely courageous, fighting and falling back all the while towards the hangar bay, meanwhile. Leia is up in the vent and she’s struggling to figure out, okay, what the where’s the breaker? Where’s the right one? And also, I have to mention, Roken, the vent is not that small.
Rosie Knight: No, the door to it is like small ish. But once you’re in there, there’s a lot of space, thee’s a lot of space.
Jason Concepcion: I feel like Leia is almost are standing up, you know.
Rosie Knight: Like, could you could they not have like sent out Roken to like tell her about how it works inside.
Rosie Knight: Or something like this is a ten year old and she’s just like a little electic. I mean, she’s force sensitive.
Jason Concepcion: Meanwhile, but still. You’re like Roken get up there and be like, Yeah, I think it’s over by that. Why are you standing by the fucking button helping no one? Just be like You got it yet? You got it? No, she’s ten. Help her out. Huh? Anyway, in the fight Tala falls and this is heartbreaking. Her loyal droid Ned B then shields her with with its body. Shades of k-2so on Scarif. But Tala then makes the ultimate sacrifice detonating a grenade, killing herself in a squad of stormtroopers. But the sacrifice is absolutely crucial because it buys minutes that the rebels absolutely need to get away. OBI And the refugees are now falling back to the very, very last position to the hangar bay. Leia is up in the vent and again, she’s only ten, but she’s kind of choking here and it is getting a little touchy about it. They’re like, Hey, how’s it going? She’s like, I’m looking. Okay. And listen, Princess Leia, I get it. You’re put in a really tough position. No one is really helping you find the breaker. But like, can we tone down the attitude because people are dying down here, the people are getting fucking murdered down here. So we’re everyone’s is like a little hot about when is the when are you going to figure out where the fucking breaker is?
Rosie Knight: I’m not blaming I’m not blaming or blaming anybody. It is also is also her droid, which that’s the issue closed with this whole time. So like very please observe the droid.
Jason Concepcion: Also, did you not like the eyes of the droid were very, very obviously red. Did that not raise in you?
Rosie Knight: They are evil Sith red.They are corrupted. Kyber crystal red light, please.
Jason Concepcion: Leia, we’re going to need to unpack this when this is all over. But that’s we’re in an emergency right now, so let’s just keep going. With the facility breached. Vader is like, All right, everybody, time out. I’m Coach Vader is coming down. I am getting on the field. I’m putting myself at the game. We get another flashback. Anakin has now cornered his master against the balcony balustrade and batters him to the ground. But Obi won’t admit defeat. We go back to the present Obi, much to the contrary, is coming to a quite different conclusion about this battle on Jabiim. He Decides, You know what? We can’t win this. I am going to give myself to Vader and maybe that’ll stop the carnage. Roken is like, No, don’t. Which I was like, Roken, wait. First of all, yesterday you were like, Get this fucking Jedi out of here. And now and now this Jedi is like, Well, I’m going to I’m just going to give myself to Vader, and maybe that’s out. And now you’re like, Don’t. Haja can’t believe it either. Obi-Wan says, Don’t worry, don’t worry about it. Then it truly like you. Crazy for this one, Obi-Wan move. He gives up his blaster, light saber and cell phone.
Rosie Knight: Cell phone is the most important part, you know that everything else you have the force but the cell phone. Just keep it tucked inside many robe pockets, Obi-Wan.
Jason Concepcion: Or take your lightsaber and destroy it. You got the information? Don’t let this fall into anybody’s hands anyway.
Rosie Knight: Delete it. I’m sure there’s an option on that. Wipe it.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, there’s got to be a delete.
Jason Concepcion: He goes over and he surrenders. Stormtroopers present him to Reva. Reva says, Hey, guess what? Daddy Vader is on his way. And then Obi then says, The absolute hardest line in the entire episode is.
Rosie Knight: It’s so tough.
Jason Concepcion: You’re not taking him to me. I’m bringing him to you. Oh. Oh. Now here Obi-Wan is making a very, very smart play using almost Sith like seduction techniques. Right. But for good here, he says. Hey. Getting in touch now with Reva’s feelings. But from the light side right hurt her hopefully still intact. Instinct to protect the defenseless. Hey, there’s kids in here in this family’s in here, you know, let Anakin do it again. You’re going to murder kids again. We can end this together, I should add. There are 200 stormtroopers watching this conversation take place.
Rosie Knight: These two ae talking loud. Did we not, did we not, did we not just see them? Did we just see them communicating via the force? They could have just been having a little force chat, just having a little for, you know what this does play into one of my absolute favorite favorite like Star Wars things, which is just like Stormtroopers are like so sick of everyone’s shit. They don’t care. They’re like please fucking defeat Darth Vader. This shit is annoying. Like, I want to go home.
Jason Concepcion: They’re just, They’re just like you know, they’re just talking about, like, critters and stuff.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, but the longer it went on, I was like, You got to be joking. I’ll let you do a not even whispering. I was like, This is this is going to end badly for you.
Jason Concepcion: So Reva doesn’t say yes to the pitch of Let’s take down Vader. But she says, okay, but what do we do? If Vader is expecting us to do that, like that’s this is all some elaborate ruse. Ben is like, don’t worry. He will be so laser focused on me. He won’t notice anything else, which is actually a pretty good point. Stormtroopers. Then the stormtroopers then escort Obi-Wan back inside the facility. Okay. Table that detail. For now, we go back to another flashback. Ben escapes the corner. He, Anakin, smashes the lightsaber out of Obi-Wan’s hands, disarming him. But Anikin’s lust for winning has blinded him to really what the Jedi’s true weapon is, which is themselves and their desire to do good and to protect and to uphold the light. Vader arrives on Jabiim in the in the present day and is like, Where the fuck is Obi-Wan? What happened? Do we not just have him? You had him. Really? Where he’d go? Didn’t you said that. You just said you had him.
Jason Concepcion: You just texted me. I got him that, not you. And then Reva’s like, now he’s in the facility with the two stormtroopers that were escorting him in the facility and then he got away and you got to go chase him because he’s in there. Vader’s like, Fine, I’ll go get him. Meanwhile, Ben is running towards the hangar bay. Leia, finally in the vent, notices her good friend Lola. This is crazy shit. Here’s Lola. Glowing red eyes right near the circuitry that has been fucking sabotaged that is keeping them from escaping and Leia’s like. Oh, Lola, what are you doing here? How about, like, fucking everything up?
Rosie Knight: Leia, I love you. I love your short legs and your force fast running your love you want. But but but in every other episode this droid has been at your side.
Rosie Knight: You are putting people’s lives at risk for the Droid. You love the Droid.
Rosie Knight: You look at the Droid, you take it everywhere with you. That is how they were able to put a tracker in.
Rosie Knight: But now the Droid is a stranger. The Droid is a myth to you. The Droid is. Where’s the droid and how did it take her this long? I do not buy it unless the droid had some kind of like the droid actually.
Rosie Knight: Like had a Sith inside of it. That was like you now at the docks. I’m sorry.
Jason Concepcion: Leia.
Rosie Knight: Shocking.
Jason Concepcion: Leia sees Lola and is like, Oh, Lola. Hey, honey, you were you being like, what are you doing in this vent? It’s so weird that you’re here where all the equipment is in sabotage and honestly would not have realized, despite the glowing red eyes. Except Lola then attacks her.
Jason Concepcion: And she grabs.
Jason Concepcion: She. She grabs Lola and sees that it’s got this little bitty restraining bullet.
Jason Concepcion: Very the smallest restraining bullet that has ever been put on a droid. She takes it off and that fixes that. It fixes stuff. Lola’s eyes all of a sudden turn blue, and then Princess Leia is able to fix the doors. Doors are now open. The refugees are making a run for the transport ships. Ben arrives and is escorting Leia to the transport, but Vader is hot on their heels and when Vader gets into the hangar bay, he sees one of these cruisers taking off. It’s about to take off. And then, in an incredible display of strength and dark side power and will Vader reaches out with the force, pulls the ship back down as its thrusters are struggling mightily to have it. Tap the ship, power the ship out, out of orbit. Vader pulls it down. It lands with a thud. He tears open the doors, peers inside the ship. But guess what? The ship was a decoy. There’s another ship. That ship flies away, and Vader is now like in force cooldown for 15 seconds or 30 seconds or whatever, and he just is too exhausted to do anything about it. And Ben and the fucking rebels have escaped. We go back to our duel on Coruscant, in the past. Obi dodges Anakin attacks using the force. He takes an offense light saber and says, you’re a great warrior Anakin, but your need to prove yourself is your undoing. In this moment, the lesson is clearly accepted by Anakin Skywalker. But as we know from the life of Anakin Skywalker slash Darth Vader definitely not learn. She definitely did not internalize this as Vader is breathing heavy because he’s just exerted like mega, mega, mega force powers. And he’s staring up at this ship that is now flying away from him, powerless to stop it. Even though there is an imperial fucking cruiser up there somewhere and apparently nothing can be done. Reva then chooses this moment to sneak up and try to backstab Vader. Guess how that fucking goes?
Rosie Knight: Well, she yells. That’s my biggest problem. That she does a martial arts movie yell that is done.
Rosie Knight: So that for choreography, right? In martial arts movies you yell so you know where you’re coming from. So you can hit, so you can fight. It’s incredible. My, my dear, my dear Reva. You could have just been quiet and stabbed him. This again also.
Jason Concepcion: Oh, yeah. Also when he like using all of his might to hold on to the ship and pull it back down to Jabiim, right then, walk up and cut off this guy’s legs in half like, Please Reva. Vader then says, Oh, he was wise to use you against me. And they fight. And it’s a really cool reversal of the last bit of the duel that we saw in the past. Anakin versus Obi Wan in which Obi Wan disarmed just simply dodges all of Anakin’s attacks. Here, Vader does the exact same thing.
Rosie Knight: And he’s using the force..
Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Telling you that he is he is still thinking about that duel he was remembering and he’s thinking about that moment. And he is just dodging her attack. She’s swiping at him, swinging at him, slicing at him. And he is just dodging left and right, left and right. Finally, she ignites her lightsaber to its full length, like a staff, like a Longstaff and engages inquisitor spinning mode with it with the light saber. And I have to say, whatever amount of billions of credits the inquisitor fucking force invested in creating spin lightsaber tech. It was a waste. It doesn’t do shit. All spin lightsaber tech has ever done is defend against blasters. Kind of because the inquisitors are not that adept at the force, not like Jedi or Sith to be able to like block stuff, you know. So they have the spin, but the spin has never killed anybody who is trying to defend themselves. It doesn’t work.
Rosie Knight: This is my Obi-Wan.
Jason Concepcion: The spin doesn’t work, Inquisitor.
Rosie Knight: This show is truly built on my. My favorite. And this is my inquisitor theory. None. They are all like deep down the light side is just like making them shit they like don’t actually want to kill all the Jedi. So, like, every choice they make that should be like. Like making this super sick lightsaber. But it never works. Like, it doesn’t worry. They have, like, the most badass looking lightsaber in the whole world. Guess what? Is not going to work. So the Jedi again.
Jason Concepcion: It’s not going to work.
Rosie Knight: A 66. It’s failing. I feel like maybe that’s actually their secret agenda at this point.
Jason Concepcion: I know,Right?
Jason Concepcion: So she can get it. She engages spin mode. Vader uses the force, he slows it down so it’s no longer spinning. And then he disarms her, snaps her saber staff in two and then gives her the other half.
Rosie Knight: I love that.
Jason Concepcion: So now it’s the first live action red lightsaber on red light saber duel in Star Wars history. This is like this is iconic and historic stuff folks in a proper duel. Which of what do you think? It’s fucking Darth Vader. He wins, he guts stabs Reva, and she falls to her knees. And in that moment. Her thoughts returned to the massacre and the fear of order 66. Here it is happening again. Vader says I. I saw this coming all along.
Rosie Knight: Even cool the young ling.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Now you are of no further use to me. And how did he figure out? Well, Reva, along with the many, many clues that you left. How about the fact that you had a public conversation in front of 200 stormtroopers with Obi-Wan Kenobi about switching sides and betraying Darth Vader in front of over 200 imperial soldiers who were just like, Oh, cool, this is a cool conversation. How about that.
Rosie Knight: So,If she remembers that night, which we know is like basically that was like the most important night in Anakin Skywalker’s life and his transition to the dark side. Like, if she remembers his face, He probably remembers the face of everyone who he killed or who he thought he killed. So she bro, he probably just saw her and was like I knew this was coming. That’s what keeps him up in the back the tank is like which ones survived.
Jason Concepcion: So Reva is perhaps mortally wounded. She’s on the ground now writhing in pain. She’s in and out of consciousness, just barely holding on. The real Grand Inquisitor comes out the original the O.G. Grand Inquisitor, now fully healed from his gut stab, the back to tank, doing it’s where he comes out. And let me tell you, my guy is extremely proud of himself for doing nothing. For doing nothing. He’s just a fucking dick.
Rosie Knight: Zero
Jason Concepcion: Here he. Here he is acting like he hit the game winner. You didn’t do shit. He’s a fighter.
Rosie Knight: He’s a smug job. He’s like look at me.
Rosie Knight: You couldn’t catch Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Rosie Knight: You couldn’t stop Reva. You didn’t know she was a spy. You did nothing apart from be chillin in the back of a tank, which hopefully Reva will be headed. Yeah.
Jason Concepcion: Other than tongue licking Darth Vader’s armor clean. What do you do? He then.
Rosie Knight: Nothing.
Jason Concepcion: Here’s what he does. He reaches down. He plucks the Great Inquisitor badge off of Reva’s armor. He puts it on his own chest and he says, See you later, alligator. Bye. And they don’t kill her. They leave her there. Okay. Big mistake, obviously, because. Well, for Obi-Wan, really? Because Reva sees Obis smashed cell phone there on the ground, she’s like, What’s that? She crawls over to it. Darth Vader, the great inquisitor, gone. They have left.
Rosie Knight: They went quickly,. Darth Vader usually walks slowly. But in this case, he was gone.
Jason Concepcion: He well, he needs to they need to catch Obi-Wan, so needs to get a move on. So Reva crawls over, manages to get a hold of the phone and presses play. Now it’s been damaged and the message is incomplete, but she’s able to make out something about a boy, something about a person named Owen, and then the planet very clearly of Tattooine on the outer rim, everybody knows Tattooine. Meanwhile on the escape ship, Roken and the refugees and Ben. Ben. Can sense with the force that something is wrong. The thing that’s wrong is Reva just saw the message about Tattooine and the boy and whatever, but he’s he can feel it. Something is is not right. Roken comes up is like, hey, so it’s a little bad news. Roken’s like, Hey, a little bad news. The Darth Vader ship is, like, right behind us, and our hyperdrive is out. But. But you look, like, really pale, Obi-Wan. Like you look like you just see. Are you good? And then Obi-Wan is like. I’m sure it’s nothing. Absolute fucking flat out lie. You choose now. You could have lied when you had the inspirational speech. But I get it. You. There’s no reason to alarm these people now. Thank you for doing the right thing. Here we go to Tattooine and this has left me thrilled. We’re floating over the sands towards a familiar set of buildings. It is the Lars moisture farm, the home of Owen and Beru, and of course, a young man who is sleeping in his bed. The young Luke Skywalker. Ba ba ba ba. We go to end credits, folks. Rosie. Well, listen, I know I am I have been very critical of Reva’s strategizing and her planning in this, but what a thrilling episode of television.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, this is so thrilling. And it’s so charming. And look.
Rosie Knight: This is the real truth. And everyone who listens knows this. We know.
Rosie Knight: This. We’re positive people. We love this.
Rosie Knight: Stuff. But you know what’s really, really fun about stuff that you.
Rosie Knight: Love when you’re talking about it with your friends and you’re like picking apart like, why did they do this? Like, how does that work?
Rosie Knight: You know, that’s the fun of watching this stuff.
Rosie Knight: And like.
Rosie Knight: The good thing is Moses just sells Reva’s journey so much that, like, you want her to survive, you want to know what happens next. You can relate to the horror of the younglings and everything that happened and why, you know, being in there’s lots of narrative ways we could explain it, like being on that edge between the dark side and the light side and being a force user, but not really ever connecting to either side of the force. There’s many reasons you could be making some silly decisions. There’s also definitely an arc of like by the end post, almost torturing Leia. She she wants to she doesn’t want to stab someone in the back in a silent way. She wants to let him know it’s him and have a fair fight. There were these little moments.
Rosie Knight: But also like.
Rosie Knight: This is just such a fun show. And I think this really.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: This really shows the power of. When there’s there’s that great pulpy way Star Wars tells that Star Wars tell stories like The Mandalorian, which is like sequential serial storytelling, like you’re watching a Saturday morning show and I love that they can have that and then they can have something like this that just feels like this epic, singular story where you just care so much about everything that happens. And also, like, they’re so good at doing those endings. Like this gives you that same feeling as when Obi-Wan said, Anakin, and then he opened his eyes, you know, Do you? So do you. Okay. This is what I want to know, do you think? Obviously we’re going to see Luke next episode. There’s two questions I want to know. Do you think him and Leia are going to meet. I will probably cry. And do you think this to me feels like everyone always thought this series was going to be about Luke and Obi-Wan and Luke? Does this feel like season two? The inevitable season two is going to be like Luke and Obi-Wan. Because that’s what this kind of feels like to me.
Jason Concepcion: I, I think that Leia and Luke are going to almost meet several times in anguish. It’s going to be like.
Rosie Knight: We’re going to be crying about it by next week.
Jason Concepcion: If he had just if Luke had just turned the corner and looked to his right, she would have been there if if Leia had just done this, they would have met. I think we’re going to get a lot of near misses. And then I think you’re right, we’re going to be set up to have Ben as the more active protector of the young Luke Skywalker in the ten years that are going to lead up to the eventual battle of Yavin, the emergence of Luke Skywalker as this galactic figure. To to return to Reva for a second. I think I’ve been thinking a lot about. The kind of. The central theme in Star Wars of of. Overcoming trauma and being forgiven. You know, like the original trilogy ended. On this really like heartwarming, big hearted note of Anakin Skywalker coming back to the light. Meeting his son, being a part of his son and his daughter’s life and. Actually putting the force back into balance. Mm hmm. Tied up in all of that, though, is how can we? And I think that central idea, which is is so compelling of like, listen, we’ve all done things in our lives that we feel bad about, you know? But that doesn’t mean that you are beyond forgiveness, knowing that you can you can forgive yourself for for the mistakes you’ve made now. We have not made mistakes that include like the wiping out of entire genocide. So it’s a complete planetary genocide. And that leads me this is where I’m not going to say I love Star Wars. I’m very passionate about a star wars. Sure everybody here listening understands that we are very passionate about. Yeah, but my feelings are complicated in that. Can we? How can we forgive Darth Vader for all that he’s done? Killing the light, the younglings, various massacres across the galaxy in the 20 years until the battle of Yavin, the destruction of Alderaan. He didn’t pull the trigger, but he was there. He was a part of it. He was part of the imperial regime that did that. How can we how can we forgive a person that did that? And which leads me. This is what I was thinking about with Reva’s turn, which is just. How seductive power is. How how it tells you that, listen, you’ve been hurt. You’re going to take revenge. You’re going to do something that is good. You’re going to stop this villainous person from doing more bad things. But all the while, as you accrue the power to do that, you are turning bad yourself. The thing that I found really compelling about Reva’s arc is that. Unlike Darth, who is just like pure evil right now, even though we know that there’s a spark of light inside him, Reva sees herself as the good person. Everyone’s failed her. The Jedi failed. Obi-Wan Kenobi walked away as far as she knows, from his Padawan and his responsibility. And that person unleashed and killed everyone and she couldn’t do anything about it. Now, here she is, doing what she has to do to stop it. But at the same time, How can we forgive Reva for. Yeah, yes, it’s true. She didn’t torture Leia, but she was gonna. She was one step away from doing it. Just the torture machines took too long to boot up. How could we forgive her for all the things that she’s done? Which finally leads me to my the final central question that other people have listened to other listen to binge watch Star Wars. I’ve heard me talk about this, which I want to pose now to you, Rosie. Is that. And it’s light. And it’s the one. It’s the. It’s the kind of like, you know, how Anakin has like the hint of light inside of him still as he’s Darth right now. Here is the hint of doubt inside me regarding Star Wars and its depiction of forgiveness and power. Is that Star Wars hacks our empathy program, which is when we engage with stories, we want to empathize with the person who has power. We don’t want to. We don’t want to engage with a story about the stable boys before they learn how to use the force or the regular people in the galaxy who are just doing regular people shit working like cutting whale blubber from the from some carcass on the sands of Tattooine. We don’t care about them. We want to know about the Sith and we want to know about the Jedi. And we don’t want to know about the stormtroopers and and the inquisitors and all the stuff that they’ve done. But at the same time. There’s like this is a massive galactic war that has taken billions, if not trillions of lives. And. We don’t think about those people and I and it just gives me pause because I feel like it’s a it’s it’s a kind of a metaphor for what we deal with in life right now. It’s like we want to focus on the politicians who are running things and the bad actors that we know about and the and the this talking head that is terrible. And this influencer, that is a piece of shit at the same time, like. There are truly like powerless people in the world who we for whatever reason, because instinctively we don’t want to empathize with them, because we don’t want to feel like we ourselves are powerless. We want to. We want to, even if it makes us enraged. We want to think about the powerful people who are fucking things up rather than the powerless people who are under the boot of those forces. And that’s what Star Wars makes me think about. I was thinking about this entire episode. What do you think about that, Rosie? Does that give you pause?
Rosie Knight: I think it’s really true. I think it’s one of the ultimate conundrums of Star Wars. It’s also one of the talking points that I think fans talk about a lot. I think. So I think that for me.
Rosie Knight: I feel.
Rosie Knight: Everything. I totally agree with everything you’re saying, but almost more from like in an outside perspective, because I agree that that is essentially a central thematic issue with Star Wars. And really any film about war, honestly, is it focuses on the people who are committing it rather than the people who are victims.
Jason Concepcion: Of the people who won.
Rosie Knight: And also the history is told by people who won. Right. That’s we always know that. But I have to say that I think that personally, like the one, especially as I’ve grown older, this has changed. But like going back to that central, the first thing that that we believe about it. Right, which is the Vader. I really I.
Rosie Knight: Don’t know.
Rosie Knight: If I believe that we’re supposed to forgive him or that it’s supposed to be anything other than a father just doing the right thing by his kid. I don’t know that that act is meant to make him absolved. I just feel like in that moment, the light wins over the dark, you know? And that’s I think that’s kind of. Again. It’s that thing when we take the power away from Vader and the idea that he could just suddenly everything’s fine and he’s like Annie again. Then it’s like he was our dad, when really it’s just one person making one choice that in that moment has a really positive impact. It doesn’t negate all the negativity that he did, but in that moment it puts us on a different path.
Rosie Knight: And like for me.
Rosie Knight: Something and I mean, we’ve talked about this, of course, but like. I think this is such a central kind of conundrum within Star Wars. It’s why so many of us were so deeply excited by the end of, you know, The Last Jedi, because suddenly it was about the kids who were the stable boys, who were the servants, who actually guess what, they could still use the force. They just used it for their chores because they didn’t know it was magical because no one had ever. Actually, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it like nobody had ever come and told them, You’re worthy. This is a power that you have. You can do something with this. And I think the other aspect that I really struggle with, with Star Wars I think fits into this is like that kind of elitist of bloodline, nature of the Jedi and this kind of idea that, like certain people can, and you have to live by this forceful way. And I say I have a problem with it, but what I actually love is I love delving into the Star Wars stories. And again, The Last Jedi, I think, does a brilliant job of this, looking at the the abusive relationship between the master and the student and how that can so easily be turned. You know, Chris, our super producer, Chris made a great point about a scene in this episode where as we see lightsabers in The Path and we’d seen lightsabers in the Inquisitorius and I think that is really the power of Star Wars, is the constant comparison between the Jedi and the Sith and the light side and the dark side. And how so much of what we critique about the way that the Sith use power or the Sith seduced people is actually very similar to what the Jedi do. It’s just that the reasons behind their different or the way they wield the power ends up being different. So, I mean, those are the kind of conversations, I think, and the kind of. You know wider galaxy brain takes. That’s how we can still be into it and be passionate about it decades later. Because if you just watch it and you’re like, Oh, this is good and this is bad, I think those conversations, you know, the way that they used to be in like the nineties and the Zeros, it was always the conversation of like was the empire, right? Surprised? No. But those political conversations.
Jason Concepcion: No, absolutely not.
Rosie Knight: But like those conversations of like and the clerks conversation, you know, I’ve put that one out before, like all the people who died on the Death Star. Like when we start digging in to what it really means to live in that world, and we can be the ones who change the meaning of the story. We can be the ones who care about the younglings or the person who works. We can be the one who cares if Max Rebo. Max Rebo survives. You know, it’s just a question of whether the people telling the stories will reflect that. You know.
Jason Concepcion: That’s a that’s a great point and a very powerful and I think the thing that keeps you and I and other people coming back to Star Wars stories so much, that’s just very well said. We are the change in the story that we want to see from the story. I will say, at the end of Return of the Jedi when the fucking Ewoks are going apeshit and Anakin’s there in his glowing ghost form. It does feel very celebratory of my guy.
Rosie Knight: I agree with you.
Jason Concepcion: Definitely, no, Definitely no asterisk, this guy killed billions.
Rosie Knight: At that point. At that point they’re just like it’s just your dad again. And I’m like, no, I’m going back to that one choice you made that one moment that also I have to say as a number one Ewok lover I’m always just in that moment like, yeah, like this is how you defeat the Empire. Baby is just like absolutely loving, crazy animals with sticks like that. Just, like, living life with some queer flying around.
Jason Concepcion: Quick final question. We got to see Qui-Gon Jinn in the finale, right? It’s got to happen.
Rosie Knight: Has to be. I feel like well, and I definitely think you touched on this earlier, right. Where you were like. We see in this episode that Obi-Wan is reconnected to the force.
Rosie Knight: And I also.
Rosie Knight: I like the kind of I don’t know. I feel like him and. I thought that they might lean into the idea of him and Anakin being some kind of creating like a force dyad, even though I know that that was more connected to like Sith bloodlines and stuff, but it seemed like there was something there. And I do still feel like it’s no coincidence that while Anakin was so focused on these lessons that he’d had with Obi-Wan that were based around the Force and the Jedi and lightsabers, and Obi-Wan was at the same time getting connected to the force again. That feels very relevant to me. So, yeah, Qui-Gon Jinn I think that’s quite likely. Maybe Luke will be in grave danger. Maybe there is something along those lines. Maybe it’s to do with Anakin. Because let’s not forget who is at fault. Qui-Gon Jinn. So he needs to come and pay for his pay for his mistakes.
Jason Concepcion: Next quick question. Are the force users in Fortress Inquisitorius in some kind of stasis or are they dead? Secondary question off of that is that is Roken’s wife there? Because it feels very much like why I mentioned it. I’m waiting for that shoe to drop. Roken’s wife is going to show up somewhere.
Rosie Knight: Is Roken’s wife Mara Jade who I was sure that I saw in the space.
Rosie Knight: The EU goes crazy. Gosh, I would love that. I don’t I have to say itLlooked stasis-y, right? I feel like.
Jason Concepcion: It looks stasis-y with the eyes open. Like that felt very.
Rosie Knight: My gut says I this would be my, my, my logical reading. The Padawan looked dead. I think that was a dead body that they put into that because they want to look Kreepy.
Rosie Knight: Nobody’s his face is all fucked up like that maybe sad.
Rosie Knight: R.I.P. to that Padawan but it I believe that it could keep dead bodies looking young so you can Kreepily look on them and be like, look all these people we killed.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: Or it could potentially keep some people in a stasis style situation. And you know what? That would make a lot of sense because as we’ve said many times, not great actually stopping the Jedi. So putting them in stasis and then inevitably allowing some of them to escape is very much on the inquisitorial kind of path.
Jason Concepcion: Well. Catch us next week when we will be talking about the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale.
Rosie Knight: Dun dun dun.
Jason Concepcion: Same. Same bad time. Same bad channel. Up next Hivemind featuring Dani Fernandez.
Rosie Knight: Oh, hey, Dani, it’s so lovely to have you here at X-Ray Vision. how are you doing?
Dani Fernandez I’m doing good now that I get to see you.
Rosie Knight: Oh, it’s so lovely to see you, too. And I’m so excited to talk about your amazing comic book debut.
Dani Fernandez Yay. Thanks for supporting it. I saw you picked up a couple of issues, so.
Rosie Knight: It’s got to be done. I mean, we are living in a truly great time when we get to see our favorite superheroes openly celebrating queerness and celebrating pride and to assess fans. It means a lot like there are a lot of deep layered conversations to be had. But generally the fact you can go into a comic book shop or a kid can go into a comic book shop and pick up an issue that says Pride and read a ton of queer stories. That’s just a great win and it makes me so happy that you are involved in it.
Dani Fernandez I know, it’s like wild. I’ve loved these two forever and I feel like kind of came full circle with them. So to me, they’re like the two most iconic queer characters in DC history. Aside from Wonder Woman, which I love and I’m excited hopefully to see more of her queerness, especially in live action, I’m going to like, you know, if you need a girlfriend.
Rosie Knight: Let’s manifest it. Everyone would love to see it. Dani, you can just be yourself. It’s just Wonder Woman dating Dani.
Dani Fernandez It’s just Dani Fernandez.
Rosie Knight: So, like something that we always love to ask our guests when they kind of. Come on here is what’s your comic book origin story like? What was the moment that you fell in love with comics?
Dani Fernandez Yeah. So mine, I would have to say, is like comic adjacent in that I fell in love with Manga being like, obsessed with DBZ. I have it tattooed on me. It’s just so iconic and has affected so much other anime and other Manga artists and storytellers. And so I use it used to be really hard to get a hold of. I want to tell people this. Like you would, it was either like some little video store, like an indie video store, and they would also have like bootleg anime DVDs and you could get some Manga or like now there’s a whole section at Barnes and Noble, but sometimes it would find its way over there and you could like find Manga sometimes in Barnes and Noble, which was crazy.
Rosie Knight: The kids like nowadays they do not know the horror of like having to get the they would have like vouchers in the back of magazines and it would be like, you know, send off for a VHS. And it’s like three episodes. It was $30. Or like you said, it’s like you got to find little places. I remember in Soho in London, there was a old laundromat that was actually among a bookseller, and most of it was in Japanese. So good luck. You can just enjoy the art, but also like you’d occasionally find a couple of some like things that had been either sub if it was anime or translated. And I’m really glad you picked that because I actually think, you know, in a world of Big Two superheroes and Western comics, people don’t often think about Manga as as something that is the same. But actually Manga is like this incredibly storied old version of comics that way out date Western comics. And it’s been so influential and is also so influential on so many creators like you and creators is that we love especially who are now making amazing comics. Yeah, I love that that was, you know, and.
Dani Fernandez Just like big storytellers that are making big action movies, I know Jordan Peele has talked extensively and I know like friends that work for him that said in his office he had like anime.
Rosie Knight: Yes, he and then he put the Akira slide into the international trailer. So when I saw that I was like, come on, that’s like.
Dani Fernandez I know he said that that and then Taika obviously because he was signed on to do that, but like Taika Waititi and there’s so many people who have been heavily influenced and this is always my soapbox, is that a lot of people will say, well, that’s like super mainstream, like, let’s say DBZ, which is one of the biggest anime of all time. Like, oh, that’s a real Normie one. And it was like, okay, but this Normie one, which by the way, again, was so hard to get a hold of, I know that everyone now sees it on Crunchyroll and it was on Funamaition and like Tsunami, but like it used to be really hard to get a hold of here in the States. But this Normie mainstream anime affected so many other anime and manga creators, and that’s what they grew up with. So the people that are now our age that are creating it, they grew up with those. So yeah, to me it’s like, okay, it’s mainstream. So is like, so is Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
Rosie Knight: So like Superman and Batman. We’re living in an age where those are the most mainstream things ever and I actually love how much more mainstream like DBZ especially has become, you know, with like record breaking box office releases. Yeah, it just makes it more accessible. It means more people can find these stories.
Dani Fernandez Yeah. And it’s just exciting to see because then it’s like, okay, well, maybe you’ll get a subscription to like Country Roll or something. Crunchyroll Pay me because now I’ve said your name like three times.
Rosie Knight: Crunchyroll please give Dani and also me a free subscription.
Dani Fernandez I’ve Worked with Funimation. I don’t know if I’ve done stuff with Crunchyroll. Maybe I have the. There’s a lot of changeover, but. Well, they’re going to say, Oh, yeah, so maybe you subscribe to it because of my hero academia or whatever. But then you’re finding because there is a wealth of library in there, so then you’re finding smaller ones that might be not as quote unquote mainstream, you know. And so that is a good way to get in. You know, they say it’s like a gateway anime, but I’m like, okay, well, it’s a good way to find other, other lesser known ones.
Rosie Knight: I also think as well, like. It’s a gateway for a reason. That’s one of the few anime that, like you say, you could get a hold of, even if it was hard to get hold of. Yeah. And Sailor Moon, those were. That was your Sailor Moon. Those were your two big available ones. And that’s why to so many of us, they were such establishing kind of spaces and the place that we found that love.
Dani Fernandez Yeah.
Rosie Knight: So I guess because so Dani perfectly teased this at the beginning it almost sounded like it was planned by not telling us who their D.C. story was about. So it’s about Harlequin and Poison Ivy.
Dani Fernandez Mm hmm.
Rosie Knight: They’re legends. So I would love to know. And what was your origin with them? When was the first time you found them and you realized that these were characters you cared about or you felt represented by, or you just loved that kind of like chaotic bisexuality?
Dani Fernandez Yeah. You know, I grew up watching Batman The Animated Series, and so, I mean, I feel like we all did, but that was just so iconic, still, like beautiful artwork. I feel like you can freeze any element of that show and also segway into the fact that Kevin Conroy, who is the voice of Batman, who was the voice of Batman for so many of us growing up also has a story in this comic.
Rosie Knight: It is unbelievable. That is one of the bravest, coolest, most wonderful inclusions. And I thought DC did such a great job.
Dani Fernandez Yes. And so that’s all to say. I first met them in animated form. That was my first introduction to them. And that kind of stayed. I, my love of them over the years also would be in movie form. I would say Uma. I will go to bat.
Rosie Knight: Do not get me started. Do not get me started.
Dani Fernandez Literally any day.
Rosie Knight: So many articles I love that movie is a masterpiece and Uma is that is going to be one of the best superhero supervillain castings of all time.
Dani Fernandez As a comic book writer, can we say it is one of the best adaptations of how a comic book feels?
Rosie Knight: Yep.
Dani Fernandez It’s campy AF. If you’ve read a comic. Yeah, especially nineties comics. They were so campy. The dialog is so corny, you know, even even going back to Adam West, Batman. Corny
Rosie Knight: Exactly.
Rosie Knight: The one that channels it the most. And I think. Yeah. That you can like Joel Schumacher who made that movie that’s he’s a gay icon and he made a gay iconic movie.
Rosie Knight: And I’m sorry if you’ve got a problem with that.
Rosie Knight: It I can’t relate to it because I love Batman and Robin.
Dani Fernandez We got the nipples
Rosie Knight: You got the nipples
Rosie Knight: You know, and you have an Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s doing an incredible job. Like he is being as quippy as any Batman supervillain should be. The costume designs are perfect. No, I feel you.
Dani Fernandez It’s bright.
Rosie Knight: It’s beautiful.
Dani Fernandez So colorful. Yeah. And when you watch it as a kid, it was like, yeah, this is exactly. These are my cartoons coming to life. This is the Batman that I know coming to life. This is the Poison Ivy. Like this is this is my comic books coming to life. Also, I got to say one before I hop off this, because I know I’m supposed to be talking about HQ and Ivy, but George Clooney, to me, I think I tweeted this the best Bruce Wayne.
He is a brillant Bruce Wayne. He’s the most charming billionaire. Because what the city of Gotham trusts a billionaire. Which side eye, but if you’re going to trust anyone and you’re going to be like, oh, well, he’s the Bachelor of our times. It’s George Clooney. He is the most likable to me. I also love Ki. I mean, I love all the Batman, but like Keaton is second. But I feel George Clooney is the best Bruce Wayne, philanthropist, like ladies man. To me.
Rosie Knight: He’s absolutely the most believable ladies man. And I also I love him in that movie. So, yeah, I love this and I’m so happy to find out this is another thing that we share. Yes Uma.
Dani Fernandez Uma. Literally I am posting. By the time this is come out, I have posted a Poison Ivy photoshoot that I did and I used one of her quotes about tending that it was like, Come join us and come join me in tend to my garden. So I’m all about it. I love her Poison Ivy.
Rosie Knight: In incredible news, we have been joined by Jason Concepcion, my incredible co-host, who was summoned by the mention of Batman and Robin.
Dani Fernandez Summoned by the nipples.
Jason Concepcion: Nipples, nipples, nipples. On the Bat suit. What a legendary thing that was that they had the the nipples on the Batsuit. It was beautiful. I agree. I was just listening in. George Clooney is a fantastic Bruce Wayne, so debonair and charming and brought a level. Listen, Keaton is great. Val Kilmer, very good. But like he brought a different level of like acting maybe because I don’t know if he liked what he was doing, but he brought like a different energy to it that was really debonair and good.
Dani Fernandez Yeah. Yes.
Rosie Knight: I love that. And it’s like it’s something I really liked about Robert Pattinson’s Batman was how, like, grimy he was. That to me is like a realism Bruce Wayne. It’s like he’s like a grabow who lives in a train station and can’t go outside because he’s dedicated his life to, you know, avenging his parents and making Gotham a better place. But in that idealistic, like, comic book world of Batman and Robin, Bruce Wayne is charming. And you believe that these women want to throw themselves at him and he’s arguing with Robin over Poison Ivy like that. It’s tonally just perfect. And I truly I love that movie so much. I’ve talked about it on the podcast. I always say to people, Just go and watch it because you will have fun. So I’m glad I have once again been supported.
Dani Fernandez Love it. Yeah. You’ll have to do a bonus episode of Have me on to just watch it or like a watch along or something.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, we’ll just do our own. It’s our director’s commentary.
Rosie Knight: Just us talking about it.
Rosie Knight: So yeah, you’ve talked about how you came to know these characters and loved them. So what? How did it come about that you were going to write them for this pride issue?
Dani Fernandez Yeah, so I actually met with DC a couple of years ago and told them that I wanted to write them. Or like I said, Diana, who’s another woman that’s very near and dear to my heart. And then I just went off and wrote TV for a couple of years, mainly during the pandemic that I’ve been. Actually, all the last three shows I’ve written on have been Warner Brothers shows. This is a Warner Brothers property. I’m working on a Warner feature right now, so I feel like I’m just me and Warner Brothers are just, you know, I’m I’m I’m in the tower up there.
Rosie Knight: So you live in the live.
Dani Fernandez Live up in the tower. And so they hit me up for this pride. They wrote my manager and we’re like, We want Dani to write a Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy story. And I think it helps that I had the background I did that I had been as vocal about loving them. Also, I know the guys over at Harley Quinn, the animated series. I’ve also worked with Charlie Adler. He directs and does voices in it. But anyways, that’s all to say. I’ve been in this wheelhouse, I’ve been in this family. I’ve hosted I was on the crisis aftermath panels with Kevin Smith on the CW. So I’ve definitely been in the DC Warner Brothers family, but I was just over writing TV and so I was very honored that they wanted me to write these two huge icons for this. And then I had to come up with a story, short story no less, which is like I’m used to at Netflix. I’m writing, you know, like 60 pages an hour long drama. And so it’s actually very difficult to write a short story because it’s like, you got to get in and out, but can’t be too quick. You can’t take too long. You know, you have to have it resolved by the end. And I really just wanted them to have fun. Like, I know that we’re going to be talking about queer stuff on here. And so like that was one of my biggest things is I want the ability to have the range where if you want to talk about things that are a little heavier or things that are really heavy or trauma or whatever I am, anyone that follows me on Twitter knows I talk about trauma a lot, but sometimes in my art I don’t want to and I just wanted them to get to play. And so there is a little bit of a discussion of their past selves in this and some of the and some of the stuff that they some of their deepest fears, I will say. But other than that, I really just wanted to see what I could do. In fact, when they asked me that was the first thing I said was, What can I get away with? And Jessica Chen, my editor, was like, Let’s see. So she was very natural. Answer Yeah, she’s also a queer woman of color, and so it was great to work with her and just kind of we I would send her stuff and ideas and she would get really excited and I would get really excited that she was excited. So we have some really beautiful scenes in the comic between the two of them.
Rosie Knight: Yeah. Something that I was going to ask you about. One, Jess Chen like if you look at the best DC Comics coming out right now, Jess Chen’s name is on them. So as soon as you said that was you working with them, like that makes sense. So you talk about what you could get away with, something you build in areas like there are elements of like rope bondage and different kinds of knots said that the Ivy uses on Harley could you talk about that? Because it’s very cool to see that. Yeah in DC Comics and Zoe Thorogood does such a brilliant job of bringing it to life.
Dani Fernandez Yeah. So we wanted something that was like, if, you know, you know, we kept calling it like the a tip of the hat that we’re like and then the tip of the hat. And so it was like, if you’re into BDSM or you would, you would very clearly identify the type of knots and bondage or wrap. What I will say is she’s wrapped in Harley is wrapped in Vines from Ivy. But if you don’t, it just looks like she’s wrapped up. You know, she’s caught in this in this trap. And so that to me is what I want it to be. You know, I want if you’re you’re sexually active, you know, to it. But but, you know, if you’re not and you’re giving this to your mom, although she might be, too, you really don’t know that. And it’s fine. She wouldn’t know. She wouldn’t know anything. And so that’s kind of what I like playing with sometimes. There was another scene that I had the where I wrote Zoe, if she can do a sweeping kiss like Morticia and Gomez, which is the end of Addams Family, where they’re in the doorway, and he kind of is bending her over. And to me, I just want to say, because I have this platform. Gomez Addams is queer. He’s sexually fluid. There’s there’s no way you’re telling me that man, who is that, like, suave and that he’s not sexual? That man is sexually fluid. I’m going to go ahead and say that they both have easily had thirds and he is also a bi icon. So I basically what’s fun about getting to create art is taking from things that influenced you when you were growing up of like, this scene is so iconic for me. Can we take my characters and make this scene?
Rosie Knight: Mm hmm.
Jason Concepcion: I apologize if you discussed this before, but Harl-Ivie is one of the most beloved couples. Probably in DC, maybe in comics in general. Well, what was it? What was it about them that that drew you to this idea of doing a story?
Dani Fernandez I just love. Yeah. That there’s yeah, I love that they’re so unapologetically themselves, which is something the comics obviously are doing, but also I love seeing on HBO, Max, with the animated series.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah. It’s so funny.
Dani Fernandez How They Get to Batman. Yeah, yeah. Because that’s what they would do. And it’s so funny. I’ll make fun of Batman on Twitter. And of course, people get mad and I’m like, Can’t we have some fun at expense of the bat? Like, I always like I’m.
Rosie Knight: He’s a billionaire. It’s fine.
Dani Fernandez Yeah, but I’m also like, so are you only going to Bat for the Bat like or are you allowed to play as some of the other characters? And so I just love that they just don’t care. Like, they just they just don’t care about pleasing anyone else. And, you know, they’re still figuring out their journey, you know, that they’ve been written by so many different creators now and there’s so many. It’s great that my story can exist and another story can exist. There can be so many different tellings of them. And my favorite stories are the ones where they’re figuring out their relationship with each other, because I truly don’t think anyone else really knows what it’s like to be them than them. Right? So that’s why they have such a strong bond. And but what happens when your lover is your best friend and now you lose your best friend when you lose your lover? And that was a concern. I know when I got announced, I saw several fans that were like, oh, is she going to break them up? Because, you know, they got broken up by another bi woman, which I was like, Oh God. I was like, Yeah, let me have them meet Dani Fernandez. Like, literally Dani, I’ll just put myself in the comics. I’m like, I’ve already been animated. I’ll just put myself in. Yeah, I’ll just put myself in there.
Rosie Knight: Animal, man style. You’re just like, the writer is in the book now. I really love that. And like something I thought was really cool about this comic, which is out there now. So I’m going to say this because it’s not telling the story, but it’s a it’s a it’s an important point, something that I really love as you have that challenge, you have that sourciness, you have that fun. But there’s this big moment where like love is this most powerful thing and saying, I love you. And that’s really it’s so it feels so warm and striking and in tone with them. So could you talk a little bit about that moment and why it was kind of so important?
Dani Fernandez Yeah, I mean, I think these are two women who rightfully have walls, have so much trauma and rightfully might not feel haven’t been exposed, I would say, to the unconditional love, love without conditions. And they get that in each other. And I think it’s still you know, when you’ve been burned so many times, I think we can all probably relate to this. When you have something that feels good, you sabotage it or you just question it. And so this story is kind of feeding into their worst fears about that that I don’t deserve. That’s another thing. I mean, how many times is Harley her entire life her that she doesn’t deserve, that she’s not worthy of love, you know, of of being fully herself. And these are they can finally put let their guard down. It’s like but are you going to is the other part of that now that you finally can. And so I think I think their love for each other in that moment just kind of like triumphs over their fears. I actually have I have like I’m looking at it right now. I have a sign that says Choose Love, but I often tell myself, choose love over fear in so much of my life. Like I had it as my wallpaper on my phone forever. Just because it can be really easy to resort back to holding myself back or sabotaging or, you know, trauma based things which, like I said, rightfully, but it takes a lot of courage. It’s like very brave to love, to catch feelings. To catch feelings is very brave.
Jason Concepcion: What you talk about there, how these two characters have experienced a lot of trauma come from trauma. And a lot of ways something I think about it a lot with comic book stories that are so rooted in, you know, origin stories that are often terrible, horrific events, etc.. How do you? How do you balance talking about trauma in a way that isn’t exploitive? You know, like how do you how do you how do you how do you walk that line? And is there is there do you have like a meter in your head that lets you know? Here’s here’s the kind of space that I want to work in when I’m talking about these kind of subjects through these characters.
Dani Fernandez Honestly, with them. Well, to answer your question on, like everything that I’ve worked on, it really just depends. Sometimes I pull in the trauma more just because I feel like the story calls for it and to understand. I always say that it it explains someone’s actions. It doesn’t excuse them. I know that we talk about that a lot in the mental health community. And so sometimes you need to know the trauma in the back. You need to see it to be like, why is this person acting this way. With them though, if you’re a DC reader, I feel you’re pretty familiar with their drawings.
Dani Fernandez Parents being murdered. Well, you know.
Jason Concepcion: Well aware.
Dani Fernandez You’ve seen it.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, well aware.
Dani Fernandez You know. And so do you need to see that? I think instead I just put snippets of it. Again, it’s just a short story. But in my in my other creations, in my other work, definitely I might dive in a little bit more. I just feel like I’m kind of moving away more and more. I feel, yeah, you know, I feel that. I feel the audience knows that that’s one way is like treating the audience as if they’ve been through this. Because I can imagine, even if you don’t relate to, let’s say sexual trauma or relationship trauma, maybe parent trauma.
Rosie Knight: Mhm.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Dani Fernandez And there’s so many other basically what I’m saying is that. I don’t always know if we need to see it.
Rosie Knight: Yeah.
Jason Concepcion: Right.
Dani Fernandez But watch. I come out with something and it’s just all over the place. And people are going to bring this up and I’ll be like, Oops.
Rosie Knight: So I was like, That kind of ties into something I was really interested to ask you about, which was like that balancing of like celebration. And then like reality you mentioned Kevin Comery has a story in this issue which is this incredibly moving, autobiographical comic. And you grew up like we both did, like we all did with, you know, Batman The Animated Series. So what’s it like for your first published comic One to be with DC? Like, just starting at the top and two, to be alongside, you know, our generation’s Batman.
Dani Fernandez It’s very validating. It’s very I have to say, it’s very validating. Like, I’m so honored to write them, but I also just feel like I have been I mean, you know me for a while now, I’ve been hustling Rosie and I DM a lot because I’m always like, you know, I’ve been I think I was I was struggling to break into comics. I’m struggling to break into TV. I’ve been, you know, despite my years of training that I’ve had, both as a writer and an actress, this industry is not easy to break into. And even when you break in, I was listening to a Jensen Ackles story about getting Soldier Boy this a different franchise, but it was like he had to fight. He had to fight. Even though he’d worked with Eric, he had to fight to get that role. And I remember some of my acting friends were like, Are you? That’s even at that level, they were like, this exhausting. And so to have the validation of the years of work that I have put in, because I think if you’re listening to, you’re like, Oh, well, this was just handed to I was like, No, no, no, no, no. There’s years, like I said, that I’ve worked at Warner Brothers. There was years that I was working with, like I said, with DC and hosting and having shows at Nerdist, talking to female creators. Like I’ve been doing the work behind this. I sold a show to HBO. Max It’s another Warner Brothers thing. So I’ve been behind the scenes writing scripts, submitting, auditioning, pitching, pitching again, selling things that you haven’t even heard of or seen. Having those dropped behind the scenes, being dropped from things like picking myself up again and again and again and again. And so it gets to a point, though, where I love when things can just come in easier, like when it can just be like an offer. And that’s what this was. And what that says to me is that I have made such a name for myself that they knew who I was, they knew my work, they knew the things I’d written for and been on that they trusted me. So I think it was just validation of all the years of hard work that I put in behind the scenes.
Jason Concepcion: You know, Pride this year really has me thinking about that particular cultural moment we are in where it feels like using the platform of anti-trans animus. All of a sudden, all the rights that have been won in recent years seem like everything’s under threat. It seems like, you know, homophobic language that was once commonplace like in the nineties, you know, is now just thrown around. Like you go on the Internet now and it’s just everywhere with, you know, the grooming discourse and this very toxic rhetoric aimed at LGBTQAI people. What does it mean to to have a story in this year’s DC Pride issue? And what does it what does Pride mean in 2022? Because it feels like this is just me speaking for me personally. I almost feel like I took it for granted a few. Like if we could go back in time, like two years, where my inner feelings on a lot of this stuff was, there are bad people out there who hate, hate gay people, hate the LGBTQAI community in general. But but largely by and large, LGBTQAI people one that one you continue to march on. It doesn’t feel like that anymore. It feels a lot scarier, in fact. And so I was wondering if you could just. Talk about how it feels to have this story this year and what does it mean to. What does pride mean in 2022?
Dani Fernandez Yeah, I really think that pride for me in 2022, like being openly queer and even like wearing our flag, our rainbow flag like, feels like is an act of bravery. And I know I was in Greece right before the comic dropped, and I was talking to Hossein at this hotel. And like, I was staying there for a couple of days, so I would see the manager and they’re always like, Oh, what? What are you wearing today? Because I was getting all dressed up. Like every time I would go out into the town, I’d always get dressed up. And then I came down in a rainbow gown, which I ended up wearing when I did a DC Pride signing. And his face changed. And it was so I just didn’t expect it. It just was like, Oh, and there was business as normal. Instead of like, Oh, what are you doing? Where are you going? Like being really excited. It was just like, Oh, nice to see you, you know? And I was I’m kind of like you were. I was like, Oh, I thought we were past that. I didn’t also I was going with my girlfriend, so I feel like they were like these two clearly are people that know us, even people that knows who you are. And all the photos together, they were like, Are you all together? I had no idea. And so they’re just a couple of gals. We are we were friends. But it was just funny that we’re travel. We’re traveling without men. We’re traveling together. You know, we’re living the high life in Greece. Now, I sound like Uma and and I was so sad, you know, I had, like, built this, like, oh, you know, like talking, talking to locals. And I want to say Mykonos. Like, that’s also where I was, which we I remember turning my friend. I’m like, there’s so many gay bars here. There’s so like everyone’s gay. And I was still caught off guard by their reaction. And I guess I’m just not I haven’t had to deal with that. You know, you think like, Oh, I come out with this in Lubbock, you know, yeah, I’m going to get some looks, but I’m in WeHo where I’m in Mykonos. Like I don’t expect anyone to treat me differently. And yet and yet we are. We are. See, not even in L.A., you know, you can be there’s hate crimes happening in L.A. So yeah, it was it was a kind of a gut punch. And I agree with you. I feel like I’ve been a little sheltered being in Hollywood, not from comments, I would say online.
Rosie Knight: No.
Dani Fernandez Just you know, you could you could be like half naked and whatever, like on the street and never no one’s going to look twice. But I forget that even where I grew up in Texas, it’s still it’s still a battle. So. Yeah.
Rosie Knight: How does it feel then to be? To have this platform to tell this story that is joyful and about queer love and about two women who love each other and about us and a badass and be putting that out in this space.
Dani Fernandez Yeah. I mean, it feels. It feels like I won.
Rosie Knight: Good.
Dani Fernandez I mean, getting paid to write queer stories. But, you know, I had a tweet that was like, the gay agenda is just keeping us alive. Like, everyone keeps talking about the gay agenda at Disney, the gay agenda in DC and the gay agenda. Marvel that. I’m like, we just exist. And like, that’s what I did with these two. They’re not fucking talking about like, they’re just existing as girls. They’re having a fight that they would have any type of defining the relationship type of thing that anyone goes through, whether you’re queer or not. They’re having a fight about it, you know, or they’re they’re, you know, having some some misconceptions and miscommunication. And so it’s it’s such a it’s really difficult because there’s a lot of talk about not queer baiting, you know, and not having just queer characters, but not showing anything behind the scenes, not showing them being queer. But then a large part of me is like, I just want them to exist and not be like, You know what? It’s the same thing I deal with with like LatinX stories where it’s like, I don’t want to talk about deportation, you know? I just want you to go on a date and not talk about your parents, like getting deported. And but it’s hard because I want the storytellers who do want to talk about that be able to, you know.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, I struggle with that as well in terms of, you know, you know, like no one wants to it to your point, no one. Everybody wants to just tell a story about people in love going about their day, living their life, unafraid to walk around and be themselves. And at the same time, man, does it feel evermore important sometimes to highlight, hey, this is here are the dangers. Here are the bad things that happen. Here are the things people go through all the time when they are persecuted for loving a person. It it’s just that’s why I’m so glad that we have you on and we’re talking about this story in this issue because it just, you know, again, stuff that felt like I personally took it for granted. The progress that had been made over the last several years and decades now feels like, man, all this stuff can go away. So now we have to, like, hustle backwards. Talk about stuff that had seemed one, a few years ago and even maybe even subjects that, you know, we felt like we were a storytellers had moved past. And now it’s fun to tell those stories again. That’s why I’m so happy that we have you on.
Dani Fernandez Well, one thing I do want to say, though, is I would just encourage any storytellers that come from a marginalized background. Obviously, if you feel called to that story 100%, we need those stories. To me, I had to start checking myself of why, like when you said, Oh, it’s so important to educate. So I’m like, Well, who am I writing this for?
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Dani Fernandez Do my people need to see more trauma? Mm hmm. I don’t know. They know it. Do, but is that a part of that story? Sure. That’s why it’s such. There’s no. I want whoever is listening. There is no correct answer.
Jason Concepcion: There’s no correct answer.
Dani Fernandez It’s just when you feel like, well, I need to speak on this because they need to be seen it. Who is they?
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Dani Fernandez No, but seriously.
Rosie Knight: No, it’s true.
Dani Fernandez We talked about black and brown trauma. When you’re talking about that, it’s like, do they need like do your own people need to see that? And maybe your answer at the time is yes. Maybe the answer at your time is no. I actually just want to focus on black joy. I just want to focus on brown excellence. I just want to focus on, you know, it’s like you should be allowed the range, though, I really want to say that. And so I had to start checking myself of like, why do I feel if I, if I’m having an immigration story, who am I teaching this to? And why do I feel they need to see this is it for my people. They’re very aware of this. So who and that’s fine. But I think it’s having that conversation of our responsibilities, our platforms and what you actually want to do. Like when I look at how many white group of friends just dicking around like I want to write a story about my my dumb ass friends in college.
Jason Concepcion: Just simply dicking around.
Dani Fernandez Just dicking around, you know, sitting on people’s faces, sticking their dicks places and like, you know, just having fun. There’s a lot of drama that comes with that. There’s a lot of juiciness, you know, that can come with that. That isn’t necessarily related to hate crimes. And so this this is going to sound like I’m against some I’m not. I sold a show that was about trauma, that was about suicide. It was about my life. And so I definitely have written about trauma. But I also want the luxury of not of not even looking at that sometimes. So I’m glad that both can exist. And I really want marginalized groups to be able to have both exist.
Rosie Knight: Okay. I’m just going to just because I want to know this this is just I’m really glad. One, I’m really glad that we had you on, like, you know, talking about queer superheroes, talking about your space, your platform, the stories you want to tell. Who is like the superhero that you would most like to play?
Dani Fernandez Oh, um, gosh. You know, I look the most I feel like Jessica Cruz. So I like how fans do art and they’ve sent me art. There’s probably not like, I don’t know how I look now, but there are definitely times in photoshoots where like we have the same jaw. So her I mean also another DC. Yeah, I think I’m trying to think of other ones, but she’s the one that comes to mind the most. So and she’s also a trauma survivor. Every superhero is a trauma survivor.
Jason Concepcion: Literally all of them.
Rosie Knight: Every single.
Jason Concepcion: Literally there there’s not every single one there is not a single one that that is not that which is honestly, you know, a lot of what I love about the genre and fantasy stories and sci fi stories, because it’s a lot about finding power from traumatic events and taking ownership of that and repurposing that, you know, under your own agency, taking those things that happen to you and making them your power. Yeah, is just a very compelling idea that I think we all wish we could do as we move through life.
Rosie Knight: Mm. Yeah, yeah. I love that.
Rosie Knight: That was very good Jason. So have you watched Ms Marvel yet?
Dani Fernandez Mm hmm.
Rosie Knight: And what are you feeling about it?
Dani Fernandez I loved it. I saw it at the premiere. They showed us two episodes. So those are the I think I’m caught up now with everybody, kind of. Gosh, it is so refreshing. And I love the fact that it feels different than any of the other properties. It honestly the the risks that they took and incorporating animation and things like that in the editing in which I want to show editors don’t always get as much love, but like editing the directing, like the writing, all of it, the acting top notch. It reminded me kind of of what Marvel slash Sony is doing over in the spider-verse with getting to play with Miles Morales and like different types of animation and pulling. You know, we saw a little bit of that in Doctor Strange as well, like when they’re going through the different universes. Yeah, but I just love that. Like, you take risks, you know, have fun, do do something different than than what we’re seeing. And I really feel like they’re doing that. They have a lot of social commentary, you know, that they had in the comic that is that has stayed in possibly more, you know, they might possibly even have more. And I think that’s so necessary. I think that’s really cool. I think it’s really cool that Disney is having them do that and I love it. Yeah, I love it.
Rosie Knight: We loved it so much. And I love those aspects, like the way they build comics art and cartooning and all that kind of stuff. And the production design is so inventive and fun. And yeah, I actually wrote a piece recently where I was like, She’s definitely the MCU’s first like fully fledged cartoonist. But I had to shout out Miles because that was the experimental space that made a young superhero an artist. And, you know, that’s so key. And I love that because in the comics they’re friends. So I imagine that if they ever meet in the MCU, they’ll be like making a jam comic together or something, or like doing a mural.
Dani Fernandez So cute.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, and our other big show that we’re talking about a lot is Obi Wan, and I know you are a Star Wars lover. So
Dani Fernandez Yeah.
Rosie Knight: Have you been watching over us?
Dani Fernandez Yes. Our friend Christina Arielle is in it.
Rosie Knight: Yes. I couldn’t believe it. She kept that one on the DL as well.
Dani Fernandez Yeah. The NDA .NDA. Yeah. So she’s in it. Moses is obviously amazing. And yeah, I’m really excited for this next chapter in Star Wars. I’m super excited for Andor as well. And just like I was on celebration, I was on a panel about Latinos in space and I’m just like, we are taking over. Excited about Rosario as leads.
Rosie Knight: Mm hmm.
Dani Fernandez So, yeah, but I. Same thing. I’m. I’m. I’m curious to see what else they have up there up their sleeve. Yeah.
Rosie Knight: So it’s very exciting time if you love this stuff. Tiring time. It’s a lot of TV. It’s like, oh, but but he’s really exciting, Dani, thank you so much for coming on X-Ray Vision and talking to us about all this amazing stuff.
Dani Fernandez Thank you for having me.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, it was such a joy. And where can people find you and what do you have to plug? Just tell us everything.
Dani Fernandez Yeah, I’m @MsDaniFernandez. It’s M s D A N I F E R N A N D E Z. And pick up DC Pride 2022. Got my girls in it. So also our friend Stephanie Williams, she did Nubia. Yes. And she has a new Nubia comic out. But you get to see them wrestling so.
Jason Concepcion: Well. Hello.
Dani Fernandez Yes. She was also like, what can I do? I bet. Yeah. You know, we just we’re just. We’re just pushing our hot girl agenda, that’s all. That’s the agenda. It’s just hot girl. So
Jason Concepcion: Dani, thank you so much for joining us.
Dani Fernandez Thank you.
Jason Concepcion: Up next, Nerd Out. In today’s Nerd Out where you tell us what you love and why. Micah pitches us on Pixar’s Toy Story franchise. To mark the release of the latest film in that franchise Light Year out now.
Micah My name is Micah and my Nerd Out isn’t exactly an obscure property, nor is it especially new, but it’s something that I’ve just written into and it really blew my mind this time around. I encourage everyone to give it a second or third or hell, maybe even 15th. Look, I’m talking about one of the greatest movie franchises ever made. Toy Story. The first movie deals with external threats as Woody tries fending off his perceived enemy in Buzz at the start. What do you see any favorite? There’s zero competition in that regard. As such, Woody has never had to undergo any meaningful introspection, since he has yet to face any significant hurdles or setbacks. Buzz’s arrival upends Woody’s position and reacts the way many of us respond to external threats with pouting, jealousy and rage. When he kind of inadvertently knocks Buzz out the window. His immediate concern isn’t for the harmful act he just committed. Rather, it’s for himself and how he’ll be perceived by the rest of Andy’s toys. However, by the film’s final scene, the gang anxiously awaits to hear what new toys Andy has received for Christmas. But now it’s Woody, who was seen casually lounging while Buzz, is visibly anxious. Woody’s grown comfortable in is standing still prideful of being one of Andy’s favorites, but no longer needing to be the unquestioned alpha. The second movie moves the crisis inward, as Woody has to decide whether he wants to abandon his friends to be preserved for all posterity in a museum or stay with them as Andy grows. Even with the knowledge their time together will ultimately end. The manipulative Stinky Pete tells him. Do you really think Andy is going to take you to college or on his honeymoon? And he’s growing up and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s your choice, Woody. You can go back or you can stay with us and last forever. Earlier in the film, he’s confronted with his own mortality and the natural aging process as an accidental rip of what his arm might have to fear that he is damaged beyond repair. Additionally, in this film, he learns he has no ordinary toy, but actually the legendary leader of the famed Roundup Gang. And if he chooses to embrace this side of himself, he will indeed live forever emblazoned as an icon for generations of children to gaze at, albeit from behind glass. The third movie deals the difficulties of aging and the inevitable change that comes with that. For most of the Toy Story experience, Woody is our proxy and our guide, our entry into this mysterious and magical little world. At the end of the film, we are all Andy. Whether you grew up with the Toy Story films or they mostly predate you or you came to them later in life as an already grown adult. We all recognize the confusing confluence of emotions Andy feels as he prepares for a new chapter in his life. Andy’s ready for the next step, as evidenced by his gifting of his toys to Bonnie. Except he’s not entirely ready. There’s one toy. He is not ready to part ways with his beloved sheriff cowboy doll. When Bonnie reaches toward Woody, Andy instinctively withdraws his hand as if to say, No, not that I’m not ready to leave that part of me behind. But ultimately, of course, he realizes he is ready. In arguably my favorite ever cinematic shot. We see Woody centered in the frame as Andy holds him by one arm while passing him to Bonnie, who grasps his other arm. Andy has learned to move on, and Woody and the gang have accepted. No, embraced their new beginning as well. Andy’s final gasp as he waved goodbye reminds us that new adventures will not always be easy, but he will indeed be okay, and so will we. And finally, the fourth film, the one that yields most widely varying opinions, but one that I’ve grown to truly love, examines what we do wants to be achieved, everything we set out to achieve. How do we continually find purpose in this world, even when we’re past our prime and has met our goals? Towards the end of this film, after saving Gabby, Gabby and gifting her his voice box words, he prepares to part ways with Bo Peep. He goes to joined by Buzz, who, upon seeing the hesitation of what his face delivers, arguably his most poignant line of the entire series, She’ll be okay. Bonnie will be okay in saying this, but not supporting to truly break free from the hold the past has on him to enable him to journey onwards. His long year spanning journey towards self-actualization is complete. It’s some deeply philosophical stuff. There isn’t light your film on the horizon, but before you saw Into the Cosmos with Buzz, I’d recommend taking a look back to the franchise that kicked the whole Pixar universe off and see it takes a piece of plastic to explore our humanity to our fullest extent to infinity and beyond.
Jason Concepcion: Thanks, Micah, for submitting. If you want to be featured, send your nerd out pitch to x ray at Crooked.com. Instructions in the show notes. Big thanks to Dani Fernandez and of course, big thanks to Rosie Knight for hosting this episode with me. Rosie, plugs, plugs, plugs what do you have to plug.
Rosie Knight: You can still unbelievably excitingly, you can still preorder my Godzilla comic. And when this episode comes out, there will be an exclusive preview of that Godzilla comic on Nerdist dot com, where you can see some of Oliver Ono’s amazing art and you can find me @RosieMarx. That’s my Instagram and my letterbox, and then you can find me here talking about all this good stuff.
Jason Concepcion: Yes, folks, you want to check out our videos on the uncultured YouTube channel .You got to do it. Check the shownotes for the listener’s guide to X-ray Vision, where we provide more details and all the things that we talk about in the show. Catch the next episode on June 24th, when we will continue to dive into the Feast of Culture with Obi Wan Kenobi and Ms Marvel. See you next time. Don’t forget five star ratings on all the platforms where you can give us ratings either give us no review or a five star review. Those are your two choices. That’s the dyad. That’s the light and the dark of it. The light being five star reviews. X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by the Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you, Brian Vasquez for our theme music. See you next time.
Jason Concepcion: Everyone. Everyone. The Empire is here. With approximately 500 heavily armed storm troopers. There is an imperial ship up there with a firepower to turn us all to ash. They have a heavy blaster which once screwed into the ground, will pound through our blast doors. In something like ten or 15 minutes. But of course, that doesn’t matter because they have two lightsaber wielders who can easily cut through the blast doors. Although I. Are you getting to the part where we’re going to win this? No. Hold on. No, please don’t interrupt me. I’m losing my train of thought. Okay. Once they get in here, if we try and stand and fight them, we’re fucking done. They’re going to cut us up like sushi. My friends, we’re dead to us. Who’s crying? Stop that child for crying. I’m trying to make an important announcement about the dangers we face. It’s okay, though, because I have a plan. Here’s the plan. Run. Run for your lives. Run to the ships. Get out of here now while you still survive.
Jon Favreau: All right, guys, so this summer, we got a bunch of really terrible Supreme Court decisions coming down on reproductive rights, climate change and gun control.
Jon Lovett: We know times when the news is rough. It can be hard to know what to do and how to get in the fight. So we’re committed at Crooked to providing you with the most up to date coverage, commentary and ways to get involved all across the crooked network.
Tommy Vietor: So unless your name is Ginni Thomas or maybe I mean she’s welcome too, you should listen too, Pod Save America, Strict Scrutiny, Hysteria and What A Day each week to stay up to date on all the latest happenings at the courts and everything else.
Jon Lovett: Then head to Vote Save America dot com to find out how you can fight back.