Star Wars: The Mandalorian S3 Ep 7 + Renfield w/ Ben Schwartz | Crooked Media
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April 14, 2023
X-Ray Vision
Star Wars: The Mandalorian S3 Ep 7 + Renfield w/ Ben Schwartz

In This Episode

On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight fly – not walk! In the Previously On (1:15) Jason and Rosie react to the news from Star Wars Celebration plus the new The Marvels trailer. In the Airlock (26:38), they dive deep (deeep) into season 3 episode 7 of The Mandalorian, recapping and discussing flying vs. walking, spies, and more. Then in the Hive Mind (1:06:05) X-Ray Vision is thrilled to welcome actor and comedian Ben Schwartz for a delightful conversation about his latest movie Renfield, getting fit for a film, his favorite comics, and creating new Dracula canon. Then in Nerd Out (1:30:44) Jason and Rosie discuss a listener theory about Mando chapter 22.


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Send a short pitch and 2-3 minute voice memo recording to that answers the following questions: 1) How did you get into/discover your ‘Nerd Out?’ (2) Why should we get into it too? (3) What’s coming soon in this world that we can look forward to or where can we find it? If you’re sending a theory, feel free to send only a summary of your theory (no audio needed) for Jason and Rosie to react to on air.


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The Listener’s Guide to all things X-Ray Vision!

Dar-Benn – created by Ron Marz and Ron Lim; first appearance in Silver Surfer #53.


Avengers #346 – written by Bob Harras, pencils by Steve Epting, inks & colors by Tom Palmer, letters by Bill Oakley, edited by Ralph Macchio.


The Lost Commanders – season 2 ep 3 of Star Wars Rebels.


Is Spider-Man Jewish? He might be → ScreenRant


The Moth Keeper recommendation from Rosie.






Jason Conccepcion Warning. This podcast contains spoilers for season three Episode seven of The Mandalorian and the movie Renfield out now in theaters. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion.


Rosie Knight And I’m Rosie Knight.


Jason Conccepcion And welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked Media podcast, where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture.


Rosie Knight In this episode, it’s a packed Previously On some of the Star Wars celebration news, boom, boom, boom movies, TV, everything, and a breakdown of the Marvels trailer. In The Airlock, it’s season three, Episode seven of The Mandalorian. In case you haven’t been Star Wars out by Star Wars celebration, it’s happening. In The Hive Mind, just absolutely delightful chat with actor and comedian Ben Schwartz to discuss Renfield starring Nicholas Hoult and Nick Cave. Delightful movie Dracula, actually. Very delightful and quite profound in some ways.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight And in Nerd Out, we have a theory for Mike on The Mandalorian.


Jason Conccepcion Let’s go. Coming up, Previously On. First up, let’s talk about the some of the big news coming out of Star Wars celebration. And I think the headline for me at least, is going back to the movies.


Rosie Knight Three big movie project announcements.


Jason Conccepcion No titles as yet, but the attached director is. And then kind of what the movie is about, we’re announced we have a James Mangold project that we’ll talk about, basically The First Jedi, the first Connection, the Force, the Dawn of the Jedi. We have Dave Filoni project, which will wrap up all of his New Republic projects in a live action film. This is, I guess, our chance to see Grogu and Din and the rest on the big screen. And then Ms. Marvel director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will direct the sequel to the Ray Saga. Ray is coming back. We would assume Finn is coming back as well. We’re going to find out what she’s been up to. And what she’s been up to is training the next generation of Jedi. Does that mean we find out Finn is force sensitive, I say yes. Now.


Rosie Knight Correct. I mean, he is. Let’s be real. They better bring John Boyega back or there’s going to be a problem.


Jason Conccepcion These all sound really great. We were we were talking in the in the pre pro what of these three how many get made.


Rosie Knight Okay I am of the belief looking at recent past and the the success of announced Lucasfilm movies making it screen. My gut says I would bet that one of these 100% makes it to screen and I think it’s the right movie. I agree. I agree with you. My hope is a Ray and Finn and Poe movie. You know, that’s the trio that I care about. I think that the Filoni movie is second most likely a great because people love the Mandalorian. Grogu is very toy attic. You can make a lot of money from selling toys from him and Rebels has gained a true.


Jason Conccepcion A real following.


Rosie Knight Harty following. Yeah. And with Ahsoka coming, I think that one seems quite likely. I just the slight doubt I have is how likely is it for us to see something in the star world make that big leap from TV to film rather than film to TV? I would love to see it, but I think it’s quite ambitious. Least likely. But the one I would want to see most is this like biblical epic 25,000 years before the Star Wars, the Skywalker saga, James Mangold Like Beginning of the force. I just think it’s. Is two huge.


Jason Conccepcion It’ too huge.


Rosie Knight It’s too huge. I would love to like, do I want to see like a, you know, Lawrence of Arabia style Star Wars movie? Absolutely. Yes.


Jason Conccepcion Absolutely.


Rosie Knight Is it likely? Probably not. That’s my feeling.


Jason Conccepcion Right there with you. I think your read is exactly right. I put the Filoni movie at. Something like a coin flip. Obviously, this is not. But but but, you know, depending on how the reception for Mando and for Ahsoka goes, I could see them flipping that cachet into a into a big movie project. That would be pretty cool. And I think but I agree with you, it feels like just to huge swing for what has been I think. A historically. Conservative movie project space for Star Wars. It. Maybe they’ve changed their tune. But what we’ve seen from the last few Star Wars movies, not counting Rogue One has been a. We’ll. Kind of a a real kind of aversion to kind of breaking the mold or doing anything big. And this would be this is as big as it gets.


Rosie Knight I mean, you’re talking about set in a movie like 21,000 years before Knights of the Old Republic. Like, this is so much further back than anything that we’ve ever seen. It’s such a cool idea. But what we’ve seen from the Star Wars TV shows especially, I feel like less so in the movies, though I wish they’d have done it more. We’ve seen them taking very selectively from established pre. Disney canon like legends and making it canon again in the Disney World. This would be James Mangold, who I love. I mean, Logan, he’s on screen with Disney. He’s doing this Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny film, you know. This would be basically giving him carte blanche to create an entirely new era of Star Wars, which I think is very exciting but slightly unlikely, unless perhaps we end up in a kind of high Republic esque situation where they use a new set of authors and books and comics to kind of establish that and.


Jason Conccepcion Lay the groundwork. Yeah. I could see that  happening.


Rosie Knight That could maybe happen because basically one of the as we’ll get into in a little bit with the TV stuff, we are now seeing them start to pull from the High Republic, which they established in those books. So maybe but I definitely think that saw that’s a long shot, even though I would absolutely love to see it.


Jason Conccepcion Also, the risk I think is. It’s hard to kind of overstate, I think, the risk. Recall the uproar when Medic Chlorians appeared on the scene. Yes. As as a you know, the the first kind of real fleshing out of the underpinnings of the force. Mm hmm. And people didn’t like it. And I and, you know, the force is this kind of, like, mysterious connective tissue that runs through the galaxy and the universe. There’s something fascinating and intriguing about the mystery behind it. And so obviously, to.


Rosie Knight Matic and the ether role and.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah, and so too, to really kind of pin it down and define it in this way is a high risk, high reward. I would love I would fucking love to see it, but my guess is that they pull back from actually doing this.


Rosie Knight Also does hypothetically, if this is the same biblical epic you talk about, the first person to ever use the force, is this like a Jesus situation? Is this like an actual space? Jesus, like the first person to use the force gains a following? Are we going to see the. I think it’s so much fun to imagine it because it is so huge. But like you say, what does that do to the thousands of years of canon that comes after it? Like, when do you what are these two alignments? When does it split between the dark side and the light side? Do you have to bring back Gray Jedi, which have been canonized in a very serious way? I think it’s it’s so huge, but it’s very exciting to imagine it. And I would love if the movie doesn’t get made, I’ll definitely be seeking out that script.


Jason Conccepcion Absolutely.


Rosie Knight And in years to come.


Jason Conccepcion And what I think is really the other thing that I think is really, really cool about these announced projects is you’ve basically gone to the very beginning and the very end. You’ve pushed our.


Rosie Knight Latest.


Jason Conccepcion That we’ve ever gone in Star Wars. We’re going the The Rey project is going to be, according to Kathleen Kennedy, 15 years out from rise of Skywalker postwar post first order, she says, and the Jedi are in disarray. So that’s as late as we’ve been in Star Wars, the furthest out and then the furthest back. If they end up making this movie that we that we’ve ever seen in the Star Wars universe would be this 25,000 years before this the Skywalker saga, before the the first Republic, before all of everything we know. So that part of it is really intriguing to kind of push the edges of the timeline out as far as it’s ever been. That part of it is cool. Up next, the Ahsoka trailer. I’m in.


Rosie Knight I, I mean, come on. I mean, we went to we were deeply targeted by this.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Rosie Knight I like, it’s all Rebels.


Jason Conccepcion The casting looks amazing. The, you know, building off what we’ve seen from Andor, from the Mandalorian, it looks movie quality, the trailer, you know, the practical effects plus the make up look amazing. I was so chuffed to see it. My Star Wars wife, Hera Syndulla and our good friend Chopper, one of the one of the greatest mass murderers in Star Wars history.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Conccepcion For being.Extra. It looks freakin it looks freakin great when there’s a loth-cat. It looks great.


Rosie Knight My gosh. Yeah. Multiple loth-cats love to see them. Also, I think that they’re having a lot of fun in this trailer, not only showing us who’s coming back, but also like, only showing Ezra via a hologram. So you kind of don’t really know. But the fact that we are confirmed now to get live action Thrawn, which is huge and obviously for the first time this is doing what we always wanted. When they would announce something for the MCU, we would expect that the TV shows would immediately tie in. That never really came across like Spider-Man at the end of Hawkeye and those kind of things that people wondered if they were going to do to tie these worlds together. We get the Lars Mikkelsen announcement. He’s going to be coming back. He’s going to be playing Thrawn in live action. We see the back of his head in this trailer. And then as we will get into this episode of The Mandalorian immediately ties into that, you know.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight This is that kind of connective tissue we always wanted. And with Thrawn being a major part, then we know that we’re going to see Ezra, irl. But they’re having fun with this kind of like he’s only on the hologram. Is that where is he? It’s very mysterious, very awesome. I love Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera. That’s super fun. What Great casting.


Jason Conccepcion Incredible casting. And now we have husband and wife in the Star Wars universe.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Conccepcion I. Where do you think Ezra and Thrawn are and how much and how much of this how much of the upcoming Ahsoka season is the search for Ezra and how early do they find him, you think?


Rosie Knight I think the Ezra search is going to be a key part of the mystery, I think Ezra and Thrawn are somewhere on the outer rim. That’s generally like my feeling of where Thrawn has been. And I feel like with the stuff we’re seeing in The Mandalorian is probably tying in to that. What has Thrawn been up to? That’s the big question. And that’s kind of something, again, that we get into in The Mandalorian, like what is his plan? What is his scheme and how is he going to play into the future of what we see? I mean, I’m so excited to see live action, Ezra. I love him so much. Okay. This is a question I have for you because one of the things I immediately thought about. So I love Rebels. Obviously you love Rebels. The end Rebels was like so crazy because they gave us not only like one of the best final couple of episodes of all time, but when we get that, skip forward to see where everyone is. We meet Hera’s kid, you know, who’s named after Luke Skywalker’s kid from Legends, Jason. And that was like this huge thing, this huge moment, right? I was like, Are we going to see the kids, too? But when do you think this takes place? Because I think there’s been a lot of conversation of between the end of what we saw in Rebels, and that’s where we meet them in the step forward. Is it in between that time? Is it after that time? Whereabouts do you think it’s going to take place?


Rosie Knight I think it’s going to take place, like before the skip forward.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm. Mm hmm.


Jason Conccepcion While the rebellion is still happening and or maybe even just brewing, like I think it’s going to be very close to Andor. I think it’s going to be close in in in time to when and or happened. But I don’t think it’s going to be I don’t I don’t think it’s going to be after the script for it. I think it might be before.


Rosie Knight That’s in between.


Jason Conccepcion Which what do you think?


Rosie Knight I think you’re right. I would love to see the skip forward life because I love the idea of seeing the kids. And but the truth is that it makes a lot of sense from what we know and what we saw at the end of Rebels, that this essentially acts as almost like an expansion. It’s a nice inversion of what we’re used to with the animated series, where the animated series builds out what we’ve seen in live action. I like the idea that this is a huge expansion of this tiny moment that we got in the animated series. I it looks so good. I can’t even I.


Jason Conccepcion It looks really great.


Rosie Knight Really kind of mind blowing. I think also, I think that you’re absolutely right. If this show blows up and becomes the best Disney Plus show of all time or in a long time since Wandavision whatever the biggest one is, then I think that Filoni show becomes a near certainty.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight So I think you’re absolutely right. I think those two things are directly connected.


Jason Conccepcion One more thing about the timeline. You know, one of the things that the these projects, you know, one of the Jenga obstacles that these projects kind of have to thread is, you know, why wasn’t Ahsoka at the battle of Yavin? Why wasn’t where were Din and Grogu during XYZ fight And I think. That to me is you can really kind of solve that with this show and show that like, oh, Ahsoka was tied up doing whatever. That’s why.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Even like, well beyond worlds, you know, you want to get into that kind of strange, more mystical side of the force that Sabine and everyone from Rebels is a little bit more aligned to. It’s a lot easier to argue why they weren’t necessarily involved in, like, a military rebellion.


Jason Conccepcion Next up, The Acolyte. They showed footage from this, but no footage yet has come out publicly. They also did that for Andor, but that was apparently just kind of like a sizzle reel. So The Acolyte is this is our high republic. Yeah. Show hundred years before the Phantom Menace created by Leslye Headland of Russian Doll fame. And it’s a star studded cast, including Amandla Stenberg. Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto. And more. This is super exciting and I’m .


Rosie Knight I can’t wait


Jason Conccepcion Sure fans of the High Republic books and comics are going to be pretty stoked.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I think that they they definitely actually brought in Vanesta Rowe, who was from the Republic novels. They announced Rebecca Henderson would be playing her. We got a journalist who took over playing Chewbacca from Peter Mayhew. He’s getting to create a new Wookie Jedi, which is really cool. And also, this is going to be our first time with a movie or a TV show that is directly focused on a true villain, even though obviously there are some movies like the prequels. You could argue that all of Star Wars and the prequels is about Darth Vader, but you know, they each have their heroes. This is going to be about a young Sith acolyte who is played by Amandla Stenberg and Leslye Headland pitched it to Lucasfilm as Frozen meets Kill Bill. And the idea is it’s kind of this like the how and the frozen aspect comes from this idea of you think this person is the villain, but here is their story. And the kill Bill aspect is because it’s going to be like a badass revenge story. But what I thought was really interesting is Leslie said, this is the Sith when they are just the ultimate underdogs. This is a time when the Jedi is ruling everything. Yeah, everything is Jedi, Jedi, Jedi, High Republic, Utopian state. So if you are a dark side force user, if you are if you are like a non citizen, you don’t really exist. So that was kind of the intrigue that she laid out there. I mean, Russian Doll is one of the best TV shows I’ve seen in a long time with the incredible obviously Natasha Lyonne, who we love. So and it’s really subversive and weird and twisty, and it totally turns the time loop on its head. So the fact that letting Leslie do one of these shows and it has, like you said, this Squid Game start. Daphna Keane has x 23 in it. You know, this is just like Jodie Turner-smith icon, like so many good Carrie-Anne Moss playing a Jedi. I guess that kind of seemed to leak from what they’d said, from the what they’d shown at the. The show. It just looks and sounds very, very cool and I would love to see it. Like, I’m not a Sith apologist. I don’t feel like Lesley’s going to do something. Like, you should feel sorry for the Sith, but I always want to see a different side. I would love to a different side of this world that we love.


Jason Conccepcion I will say that the way it was described felt a little bit like. It’s your fault. I’m the Sith. You know what I mean? Like the Jedi. Why are you making me use the dark side?


Rosie Knight I will say that the first comparison does make you think.


Jason Conccepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight That’s the story about the Ice Queen, you know this traditional villain. So you wonder, like, what could that argument be? It will be very interesting to see. This is a hundred years, like you said, before, The Phantom Menace. So the politics and things that drove the Sith could arguably be established to be very different. We could learn very different things. But yeah, I’m interested to see. I’m sure it’s going to be really cool and great and probably totally upend whatever we’re expecting it to be. But I’m ready for them to release that footage because I want to see it.


Jason Conccepcion Switching Universes Now. The Marvel’s trailer dropped, hitting theaters November 10th, 2023. Here is our first Marvel project that is unambiguously launched by the television offerings of the MCU, starring Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, and Tina Parris is Monica Rambeau and Samuel L Jackson returns as our friend Nick Fury new villain Dar Ben, played by Sally Ashton, one of the weirder minor Avengers villains you’ll ever see.


Rosie Knight You’re you’re really you’re really getting into that joyous space here that we’ve talked about many times before. This is a character has two appearances. This is classic. But I will say I am look, the trailer looks so cute. I was loving it. I was slightly nervous about this one, but it came out looking beautiful. Look great. It looks gorgeous. I definitely think that they have strayed. I think originally this was meant to have more of an Ant-Man color palette from all the marketing that they did, and I feel like they’ve strayed from that. I think this looks so cute. I love Kamala. I love the interactions they’re having, the Rick Jones kind of body switching Freaky Friday, which we saw teased at the end of Ms.. Marvel. But all of that is to say, I do need to talk about Dar-Benn because there’s two appearances. But


Jason Conccepcion Please, please.


Rosie Knight Look, this is the truth. Yeah. Zawe, who’s absolutely stunning British actor in this unbelievable film called Dreams of a Life Theater icon, Just wonderful. This is a character who’s a Kree, only had a couple appearances, Pop. And look, I might be getting carried away, but this is a very specific character and the appearances are very important in. Their first appearance, they debuted in An Infinity Gone, the crossover issue from 1991. That was called That was Silver Surfer 53. So first of all, there’s a Silver Surfer connection. They establish this. Which I think could come into play in this film, which is it’s this pink and blue Kree-war, which is this idea that there’s two different kinds of Kree basically human looking Kree like Captain Marvel and Blue Kree, who you have seen in Ronan the Accuser. And there’s this. It’s like a kind of clunky, recurring part of Kree Law, but in this comic Dar-Benn teams up with Ael-Dan, who is a blue, and they decide they’re going to do a coup of the Kree and become the joint kind of force to rule Kree for the good. And they’re going to bring the pink and the blues together. How do they do this in this issue, in the debut issue? They use the Silver Surfer to murder basically the person that the Supreme Intelligence had put in place as a Kree leader. So are we going to see Silver Surfer in this movie? Probably not, but that is a direct Silver Surfer connection. And interestingly, they don’t actually really use the Silver Surfer. They use a robot of the Silver Surfer. Feels very relevant to me. And you mentioned Avengers because this was they were in Avengers villain in Avengers 346, which is the part of the massive Avengers crossover Galactic Storm. Which you may know because it became a video game. And The Avengers on Hello. We know that at least some of this movie is probably going to take place at home. Yeah. And this is really I think as I’m a Silver Surfer Stan, so I had to bring up the first appearance connection. But this is really what I think is exciting and weird about them choosing this character. This is a massive X-Men storyline, and in this issue it’s a cry versus the Shia storyline. Like a key part of X-Men lore. Yeah. And this isn’t you know, Dar-Benn and Ael-Dan, their little Kree pink and blue kind of leadership party that they’re trying to make. They end up getting killed by none other than Death Bird, who is the sister of Leandra, who is, you know, Charles Xavier’s lover and has all these connections with Corsair and these different kind of key X-Men characters. So this feels like there are places that they can go with this if they want to dive into the Marvel Cosmic and how it connects to bigger characters like Silver Surfer and also the X-Men. And that’s the second to last issue of Galactic Storm. And the next issue is called Annihilation. And we haven’t seen a big marvel annihilation yet. So I feel like there’s so much fun stuff. Also importantly for me, this is the issue where the Avengers get their jackets and officially become the jacket Avengers. I just want to say huge.


Jason Conccepcion If we are when we go to Hala, I just want to see the you know, the. The. The old school Supreme Kree Intelligence, not played by Annette Bening. Like the Big Head in the Jar.


Rosie Knight Big Scary Head in the Jaw. We need to see it. And also, it does seem like in those two issues that Dar-Benn is in, it’s like the Kree intelligence has kind of been manipulating the Shia. So they will kill these people who want to take over. And it does look like, from what we’ve seen, that Carol is going to have to go to Hala and fight. It looks like she fights Dar-Benn. I just wonder if we’re going to see some aspects of this idea of somebody trying to take over the Kree home planet of Hala, re-imagine the way that it should be run. And then have Carol have to go back and, like, save her planet. I’m doing big inverted commas here because, Carol, not been very good at that so far in her canon. And all of that is very deep cosmic lore that I am excited about. But what I really want to see is these three characters switching bodies like Freaky Friday.


Jason Conccepcion One more thing. Monica’s got to stop touching stuff.


Rosie Knight Oh please.


Jason Conccepcion It’s so funny in the trailer, it’s like she’s, you know, floating up to an alien energy space portal. And it’s like, once again, you’re touching, stop touching stuff.


Rosie Knight She’s just like, What’s this?


Jason Conccepcion Now, I you rightly pointed out that, listen, the last time she touched a weird thing, she got powers. And I think if there is one lesson you take away from not just Marvel Comics, but superhero comics in general is like, touch it, touch the radiation, touch the radioactive spider. Like, let the radiation spill on your face. You know, all of the weird things that you definitely shouldn’t do. Get locked in the room that that, you know, get bombarded with energy, like all of the stuff, like, touch it. But you still. Monica, There’s no way this is scientific. Don’t touch the thing. Stop touching stuff.


Rosie Knight Especially after this specific touching where you send a teen into space in your place. Think you can learn that touching is bad. Also, I will say something interesting about this, especially that shows up when Marv, when Monica touches something she shouldn’t touch. They say this is a saber space station where Haron Sam, a.k.a. Nick Fury. So I’m very interested because Saber is not something that’s in the comics and I guess it’s going to be an arm of Sword or a different version of Sword, maybe something to separate Sword off from the Skrulls who helped establish it. But I thought that was an interesting note. But yeah, looks really fun. We don’t know much about it yet, but Dar-Benn is a great deep cut pull that can hint and we get see these three having like a ton of fun.


Jason Conccepcion All right. Up next, The Mandalorian.




Jason Conccepcion Folks were stepping out of The irlock and into a galaxy far, far away. For season three, Episode seven of The Mandalorian titled Chapter 23 The Spies. We will talk a lot about what that means.


Rosie Knight The spies.


Jason Conccepcion In the course of this recap. Directed by Rick Famuyiwa and written by Jon Favreau and a guy named David Filoni, who you might have heard of.


Rosie Knight May have heard of.


Jason Conccepcion We open on Coruscant down on the street level where all the gritty, grimy, really dangerous stuff happens.


Rosie Knight Blade Runner, Neon lights.


Jason Conccepcion It looks gorgeous.


Rosie Knight It’s happening.


Jason Conccepcion And we see G68 Elia Kane, she’s out of Amnesty house, skulking around the alleyways. She meets her contacts. An imperial probe, joint *Makes robot noises*. And it connects G to her boss, Moff Gideon. Hello.


Rosie Knight We were right just that night. And we knew. I mean, everyone knew, but it was him. The most obvious thing of all time. Come on New Republic.


Jason Conccepcion G then tells Gideon that the pirates on Navarro ran into a little trouble, and he’s like, Oh, was it the. You said The New Republic wouldn’t get involved, Which is like, Well, it wasn’t The New Republic. It was Mandalorians led by Din Djarin and Bo-Katan. Gideon is pissed, but that’s what happens when you hire amateurs to do a job That should have been it should have been a pro job. And he’s alarmed because. Bo and Din together, doing something, leading a force of mandalorians that represents a potential unification love of mandalorian tribes that were previously at each other’s necks. And that is a threat to whatever plans he has. So he’s like, okay, I’ll deal with this. He gets off the phone with G and walks back to a Zoom call. He’s having a Zoom call with a bunch of commanders from what will eventually be the First Oorder. And they’re talking about how they need to continue to pretend to be disorganized, like imperial remnant warlords, just like hijacking ships and doing weird crimes across the galaxy, when in reality what they’re hiding is that they are a unified force of Imperials who’s hoping to, you know, spoiler alert, bring imperial rule back to the galaxy and the person who they are hoping to lead them there is none other than Duncan. Everyone from the Chiss, the Chiss immigrant himself. Grand Admiral Thrawn. Bom bom bom.


Rosie Knight As a huge moment. We get a funny Legends throwback with Captain Pelion, who was a Thrawn ally who kind of talks about here. So this is probably the most important zoom call of the Galaxy.


Jason Conccepcion Absolutely. Now, there’s only one problem, and that’s since the end of Rebels, Thrawn is missing. No one knows where he’s at. And there are doubts swirling about whether he’s gone for good. And one of the people on the zoom. And you can count, by the way, Moff Gideon is one of those people because he’s definitely like, you know.


Rosie Knight He’s a doubter.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah. Where is this guy? Now, one of the people on the zoom is Commandant Brendal Hux, dad of future Screamer, General Hux, General.


Rosie Knight Nepo baby.


Jason Conccepcion Nepo baby, one of the one of the Nepo babies himself. Now, Daddy Hux is working on something called Project Necromancer, which we’re going to go ahead and guess is Project Bring Palpy back. Right? Got to be.


Rosie Knight It’s got to be I mean.


Jason Conccepcion Got to be.


Rosie Knight The name is so good and over the top and just totally fun and silly and it’s exactly what it says, Project Necromancer. So they want to bring people back from the dead. And we know that that will lead to Pal P Somehow coming back in the sequel trilogy. I love this name. Totally silly, totally TV Pulp, serialized nonsense and I’m so happy that it’s canon and it’s so creepy and good and yeah, it’s bring him back, I’ll be back.


Jason Conccepcion And now Moff Gideon is like, Well, let’s talk about the Thrawn stuff for a second. He says, quote, I hear whispers from one end of the galaxy, the other basically saying no one’s more plugged in to what people are talking about than me. And then he continues, he says, and never a word of Thrawn. You have spoken of his imminent return. Perhaps it’s time we look to new leadership. Yeah. Where is this guy? This guy’s been gone. No one knows where he is, and the necromancer comes back up. Hux is like, Okay, well, you’re shitting on our Thrawn dreams. Whatever happened with Dr. Pershing, who apparently is the only guy in the fucking galaxy capable of doing genetic research? It’s like we need this guy for Necromancer, whatever necromancer is. And Gideon is like, Oh, yeah, it’s like The New Republic got him. But like, I’ve got, I’ve got my people on that. I’m working on that. He doesn’t say more than that, but he’s he suggests that he’ll have a fix for that soon. Hux then calls out Gideon for doing some like off the books research with Pershing on Navarro that no one knows about and then he freezes to talk about and Gideon very, very ably sidesteps the topic doesn’t admit that yes I was on Navarro doing research for Dr. Pershing that I’m not going to talk about. He basically just like flips. The accusation was like, No, no, no, clones are your obsession, not mine. I was doing some other fucking shit over there, which we find out at the end of this episode exactly what that was, which is taking the best bits of different warrior societies and creating his super soldiers. Gideon then flips the discussion again is like, okay. What do you what are you guys going to do for me right now? Because you had you all have been hoarding resources and I need stuff. What do I need? Here’s my shopping list. I need pretorian guard down, I need tie interceptors. I need tie bombers. And they’re like, man, this is some serious weaponry for, like, what are you scared of? An assassination? I was like, well, you know, like, here’s what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned about Mandalorians. They’re coming back. They’re coming back for their homeworld. And as we all know, people on this is whom we have. We have some important projects going on on Mandalore, and we don’t want to share it. So give me my stuff. And it’s pretty clear he’s going to get his stuff. We go to Nevarro, where an Imperial fleet shows up over over the town. But then it turns out No, no, no, Greef Karga says, don’t worry. My my terrified protocol droid. That’s the end of the Imperials. Look at that. Look at the paint on the bottom, that mythosaur skull on the bottom of that light cruiser. Those are the Mandalorians. Now, let me ask you, how many gallons of paint did it take to paint the bottom of this? Like a billion gallons of paint?


Rosie Knight At least. To be able to see it? You’re talking about a year of manpower and like so much paint, you can’t even comprehend that I can’t imagine.


Jason Conccepcion 24 hours, 24 hours a day.


Rosie Knight This is like if you did the zoom in, you’d see one man and he’d be painting like, right. And you’d zoom out and it would be like, you know, a centimeter on there and you have like 25,000 men. I don’t know how they did it. Good for them. Maybe the baby did it with the force. But yeah, too much pain is how much it costs.


Jason Conccepcion So the Mandalorian fleet containing, of course, Axe Woves’ people, and of course, Bo, Grogu, and Din is making landfall by this You know that new passel of of real estate gifted by Greef Karga and The Armorer and her folks are already there in a bow is worried because the helmet ons and the helmet off. These two groups don’t get along. They don’t like each other. We all know about the history of internecine squabbling between Mandalorian sects, but Din is like, No, no, no. They’ll cooperate because they need to to survive. The Armorer welcomes everybody and says, Hey, we’re going to make dinner. What do you guys want for dinner? Greef then comes up. He’s got a gift of booze, one bottle of booze for however many Mandolorians that shown up.


Rosie Knight It’s a shame because, like, this was a good idea. Like, get them drunk, you know, it was a good idea, but, like, what’s everyone having, like, one tiny snifter? I don’t even know if everyone’s getting a sip.


Jason Conccepcion But that’s not all. Oh, that’s something. He’s got something very, very special planned. And it’s baby’s first Gundam suit and Elian’s mechanic comes in to Greef’s office, and he’s driving the chassis of IG11, now known as IG12 because they lobotomized IG11 taken out all his like, you know, memory and drive circuits. So it’s just kind of like the the stuff that keeps him working, the core systems. And then there’s a little pilot’s a platform on the chest where the pilot can stand. And just with two little joysticks like run the run AIG 12, it’s more like a vehicle, Greef says, because Dean is like, this is weird. And DNA is like, okay, well, Broca’s, too, is a baby. We can we really have him driving cars and alien.


Rosie Knight In there, surely, Like, you know, you’re not going to put the baby in there.


Jason Conccepcion And Grogu is not like, No, no, no, I want to do it. I want to do it.


Rosie Knight Grogu wants to be in a mech, who can blame him? Baby in a mech.


Jason Conccepcion Grogu gets in the mech and Din’s like, okay, this is all fun and games, but get out. And there’s apparently two buttons on the console, one for yes and one for no. And Grogu is just like every time Din is like, get out. He’s like, No, no, no, no, no, no, no. And then Greef is like, he seems like he seems like he’s doing well. He’s piloting it pretty well. And then Grogu is like yes, yes, yes,.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah, yeah, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, Yeah. And he just like strong arms, Mando to like you better get out of the way. And he’s like, No, I’ve got a body now. He’s like bye.


Jason Conccepcion Aand then he just starts stumbling out to like the, the market street, grabbing fruit and crushing it, like, just to show like what he could do and. And making daddy Din have to pay for all this.


Rosie Knight Din is like, you pay for that. Like, what is going on? And this is a terrible, I’m happy the baby got a mech. But on a parental level, I understand why Din does not want that.


Jason Conccepcion I understand now, there’s no as far as we know, IG11 was of course a very, very dangerous robot but with like blasters and stuff.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Yeah.


Jason Conccepcion And it appears that there’s no, you know, built in hardware weaponry on IG 12. So I think so I do wonder.


Rosie Knight I think I think Greef made the mech with the intention of it being for Grogu. I think from the moment that Din had his insane very project necromancer idea to take this poor dead body of this droid that had been turned into a statue and try and reanimate it with a brain chip card that, by the way, didn’t just got distracted and navigate.


Jason Conccepcion We don’t care about the brain chip card.


Rosie Knight Don’t care about that anymore.


Jason Conccepcion We’re trying to repopulate Mandalore We don’t have time for side quests.


Rosie Knight Got to go for a bath. The side quest is over. The side Quest has been taken over by a more important side QUEST And I think that from that very moment, the Anxellions who loved the bad baby, they think he’s quite cheeky. And Greef I think they came up with this plan. So really, Din’s been outvoted, but does it have weapons? Probably not. Seems like it would be a silly idea, but it does feel like we’re going to get to see some hefty Grogu action in the mech in the finale.


Jason Conccepcion I just I understand that he has the little beskar chest plate that is just held on by the tension shirt, the tension of his robe. But like I can we get a blast cover? Like, you know, he’s so exposed.


Rosie Knight He needs the helmet now.


Jason Conccepcion In the front of it. Yeah, he needs something.


Rosie Knight The time has come.


Jason Conccepcion Something like a canopy with a little like a little black bombardier slit. So you can see.


Rosie Knight I like that.


Jason Conccepcion I just feel like he’s, like, everybody’s going to be shooting at center mass at eye.


Rosie Knight But it’s like a pull down some a little shield, something.


Jason Conccepcion I can’t have the baby get hit, but it looks fantastic job. Great idea Greef. I love it. That night over some gross gigantic animal that the mandalorians killed because they loved to do that. Helmet offs are eyeing each other warily and Bo is like, okay, I’m going to I got to make the we got to pull together speech. She gets up, she makes the speech, She proposes returning to Mandalore. She’s like, We’re going to go to Mandalore. With a scouting party. We’re going to find the Great Forge. And then once we’ve secured that, we’re going to create a little base. And then at that point, we’re going to start bringing people back to Mandalay. We’re going to retake the planet. So I want volunteers for the scouting party, and it’s got to be from both tribes, which is a great idea. And there is no wonderfully there’s no shortage of takers. And that group includes Din, Grogu, Axe Woves, Paz and many, many more. But those are the hefties.


Rosie Knight It becomes very it’s very Spartacus. At first people are a little wary. And then Din says yes. And then suddenly it’s this is the way and everybody’s going.


Jason Conccepcion And they head out with honestly, for how many people say, yes, a shocking amount of ships. They take the light cruiser.


Rosie Knight They waste in the ship like.


Jason Conccepcion A dozen other.


Rosie Knight Ships.


Jason Conccepcion They take what looked like the entire fleet goes to Mandalore. Now they arrive on Mandalore with and they just take one of the smaller, you know, scout ships and they go through the atmosphere. Of course, that Bo takes pains to, you know, tell them, Hey, when we go down, we’re going to cut off. No, nobody’s going to be able to communicate with us. And then. They land. And then for some reason, Beau is like, Hey, the Greef, we’re just like somewhere in that direction. Let’s walk.


Rosie Knight I have to need to know. I need to know.


Jason Conccepcion Bo, why are we not, like, just fucking fly there? Why? Truly.


Rosie Knight You all fit in that one ship. You can just fly. Just fly till you see it. And then land, babe. Just fly. It’s not exactly scenic walk. Like this is not good times.


Jason Conccepcion And by the way, it’s my other thing. And the main worry, I think part of obviously, the squabbling is a big factor in, you know, why they’ve found themselves in a position they’re not not to victim blame again, but but but it was a factor. And then I think another factor that they need to learn is like. Combined arms like take. Okay. If the ships can’t communicate with the other ships to the atmosphere, just have everybody come down into the atmosphere. Like, why stay up there and everybody come down? Because the upside of that is anybody that might come, enemies that might come looking for, they have no idea where the fuck you are because he can scan through the atmosphere and now you can communicate.


Rosie Knight That’s a great point.


Jason Conccepcion With your people if they’re all in the atmosphere. Don’t just leave most of the ships up there and you don’t know where they are and then you walk away from your spaceship. So what happens if there’s like an emergency going to run back to the fucking ship like ten miles or however far you guys walked.


Rosie Knight Bad idea I guess.


Jason Conccepcion Anyway, just take the ships.


Rosie Knight Please.


Jason Conccepcion Why are we walking? Later, they encounter like this really, really cool. Like sailing barge that slides so cool. Very reminiscent of the kind of walker that Rex and the older clones were living in. When we catch up with them again in season two of Rebels, the episode Lost Commander’s that really, really cool to see this. It floats up and big surprise for Bo. It’s crude by remnants of the Night Owls, which were an elite fighting force that was once sworn to bow. And they make it clear that, hey, we’re still with you. We have failed you, they say, but our blasters remain in your service. Very touching moment. They look haggard like I interact. They’ve been going through it. The very first thing they ask is, You guys got anymore food?


Rosie Knight Got anymore of that giant roasted beast?


Jason Conccepcion And you guys. Yeah. You guys get any of the meat of giant?


Rosie Knight Mythosaur jerky?


Jason Conccepcion So everyone gets on the night owl ship because again, they left their ship behind in what could only be described as one of the most unwise moves we’ve ever seen. You guys could have just gotten on your regular ship that had, like, weapons and stuff. Anyway, the Night Owls then tell the story of surviving the on the on the planet while the purge was going on. They apparently, like, moved across the surface from place to place, just kind of like dancing through the through the fusion bombs. And they say of their experience, you know, the empire punished us because we refused to surrender. And Bo then says, no, that’s actually not true. And she tells them that in her desperation, when it seemed like everything was lost and Mandalorians truly faced extinction, she met with Moff Gideon and basically forged a deal that they would submit to the empire and disarm. And then all the mandalorians would be spared. And of course, Moff Gideon double crossed them and just decided to, like, kill everybody anyway, and then took the darksaber on a huge, huge.


Rosie Knight Huge.


Jason Conccepcion Mission as a huge, huge reveal. And it’s also, you know, for a mandalorian to actually surrender, that is must have been really, really way.


Rosie Knight Yeah. It gives, it gives a lot of complexity to bow a character and I feel like a lot of people either love or have a quite complex relationship with after seeing her in the TV animated stuff. Yeah. And I think the bow, the way they treated bow hair and the performance that Katy gives and the additions. Of context around the choices that she made, especially this conversation is really huge, and I think it adds a lot to the character and to what we know about Mandalore.


Jason Conccepcion Agreed. The arrival of the Night Owls now adds another faction to this very combustible mix of Mandalorian. Bo insists again, Hey, we need to overcome our divisions. We got to avoid these mistakes that have torn apart in the past. If we want to rebuild. Din comes away with a real appreciation for Bo and for the way the helmet off’s live their version of Mandalorian ness. And he notes, he says, look, you know, basically says, We’re survivors, right? He says, we’ll rebuild it. It’s not our history. And bow. You know, talks openly, very vulnerably about her fears, about not being the leader that this moment needs. She says, I hope I can keep everyone together, which I think is the thing that you want your leader to worry. Yeah. You know, that’s.


Rosie Knight 100 Percent.


Jason Conccepcion You would. I You definitely want that. You don’t want over. Oh, yeah, I got it. And that person too.


Rosie Knight That’s always what goes wrong. You always want the person who doesn’t think they can be a leader to be the leader because they’re being chosen by the people around them. Yeah. Very interesting moment between Din and Bo here, because he just straight up says to like, I will serve you. Yeah. He says I, I will serve you because you have honor, because I trust you. And I think Bo being vulnerable and Bo being honest, it upends what Dean has been told, what the Death Watch used to say about her. She was selfish. She would never surrender. She wouldn’t fight hard enough. Yeah, she learned said that that was essentially propaganda, that this is a real human who tried to make a decision to save her people and was betrayed. And this is a huge. This man has gone from being a bounty hunter who works for money and credits to now saying he pledges his allegiance to Bo and he will try and rebuild Mandalore with her. That’s massive.


Jason Conccepcion It’s massive. And it’s. I love that Bo is really grabbing the mantle of Duchess Satine, who? Similarly.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Conccepcion Was just trying to hold her people together, trying to forge this new path, a political path, less warlike path.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Conccepcion And was, you know, the focus of a lot of violence from her own people for it.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Conccepcion And now here is Bo essentially doing the same thing. But after you know, her people have almost been wiped out. It’s really heart rending.


Rosie Knight I love that.


Jason Conccepcion Now, many of the Night Owls are not well. They’ve been living on the surface, bombed planet, eating who knows what. And.


Rosie Knight Crystals? I don’t know. Not healthy.


Jason Conccepcion Crystal something. So The Armorer is like, I’ll take them back up to the ships that we left for some reason up in orbit. And I’ll be back.


Rosie Knight And let’s let’s let’s remember that as we go forward.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah. Yeah. And the rest of them. The rest the Night Owls, like who are good enough, who apparently have been who are healthy enough to continue. They’re like, Oh, the great forge. Yeah, we know it. Like, just it’s right over here. So they had their leader on the ship as their enroute to the Great Forge, Paz and Axe get in a fight over a board game which I get it I’ve been there.


Rosie Knight It’s it happens, it’s relatable.


Jason Conccepcion It immediately turns into this kind of like symbolic fight of between these two tribes and no one is sure what to do. The blades come out, Bo is a little bit frozen by it, you know, like a protocol would seem to suggest. Like you don’t get involved.


Rosie Knight You can’t do it because it’s two separate tribes. So you’re not supposed to overstep.


Jason Conccepcion You’re not supposed to.


Rosie Knight Stop it.


Jason Conccepcion And Din follows Bo’s lead, but of course, Grogu as it, Grogu has the the the liberty and the clarity of being like disconnected from history and steps up with his mech between them and everybody actually chills out they’re a little chastened because when a baby is like you guys are acting like babies that it really hits. Yeah.


Rosie Knight When a baby in a crying suit is like, Please calm down.


Jason Conccepcion Soon after this, a giant Kaiju monster not the mythosaur burst through the surface.


Rosie Knight Not the mythosaur, very confusing.


Jason Conccepcion Very confusing. And this this is a fantastic episode of the Mandolorian program, television program. But this was the only moment where I was like, We already are primed to be waiting to see the minister again. It’s a little weird to then have a very similar looking.


Rosie Knight Giant seamonster like arrives and it comes at like an important time. Yeah, it seems to be doing something that’s relevant, but it’s just the sea monster doesn’t have just a, just a cool sea monster, which. Great, because I love a cool sea monster. So I appreciate it, but slightly confusing.


Jason Conccepcion It then wrecks the Night Owls barge.


Rosie Knight God.


Jason Conccepcion And not every Mandalorian makes it out. You see several casualties in this explosion, but thankfully the mandalorians with dialog do manage and. The new Mandalorians then head underground for shelter and they come to the ruins of the Great Forge. Suddenly they are ambushed by death troopers with jetpacks clad in Beskar. Yeah, the fight they fight is brutal.


Rosie Knight They basically look like stormtroopers crossed with Mandalorians.


Jason Conccepcion Absolutely. They have jets.


Rosie Knight Unbelievable. Totally unexpected. And like you said, that fight is brutal. They seem equally matched, which we don’t usually see with any kind of trooper.


Jason Conccepcion It goes it’s there’s shooting. It’s hand-to-hand. It is. It is. It’s really bad. And so Axe is like, I’ll go for reinforcements to the ships that we left outside the atmosphere that we should have just like had trailing us. But I’ll go and and I guess how would he would he fly, like, all the way up?


Rosie Knight I know. Did he refill his jetpack? Because we know he didn’t want he was looking for his son.


Jason Conccepcion But how? No, no, no. This is Axe.


Rosie Knight It says he’s going to go. He seems like he would be better.


Jason Conccepcion No, but I’m saying, like, can they can you fly all the way up into into orbit with just the jetpack? Like, didn’t The Armorer take the ship?


Rosie Knight I know.


Jason Conccepcion How is he getting up there?


Rosie Knight Seems unlikely, but I guess they’re trained mercenaries, So I tried.


Jason Conccepcion I trust him. I trust the ax knows what he’s doing. And it’s only when he goes up and in this really heartwarming sign of the unity that this tribe is experiencing now, Paz is like I will lay down covering for he lays down, covering fire and flies up to the hole. The new Mando’s beat the troopers back and they go to pursue and finish off their wounded enemy. But then they find themselves in a trap. It’s a hidden imperial base. There’s tie interceptors all around and it is Gideon that has sprung the trap. Gideon takes Din hostage as the rest of the party trapped behind the blast doors watches helplessly. Grogu is like crying. Moff then tells the new mandalorians that what he’s been up to and here and here. This basically tells us what he was using Kroeger for. He says like, you know, I’m taking all the best bits from all the best warriors from all around the galaxy Beskar, from the Mandalorians DNA from Jedi, our little friend Grogu over there, other stuff. And I’m going to create this like super, super soldier army. And with that army, I’m going to fucking conquer the galaxy. He’s then is like gets on the horn with his Thai bombers and is like, go destroy the ships. Gideon then makes Bo an offer. Listen, surrender right now. Give me the darksaber. Tell all your mandalorians to lay down their weapons and follow me and I’ll spare everyone. But like, how can you trust the guy? It’s absolutely. Yeah. No. They start shooting at the glass, which doesn’t do anything. But like, these guys loves to shoot at stuff. And then Bo cuts a hole through the blast door in the back, and they all escape. Well, meanwhile, the front glass door opens, and here come all these death troopers and Paz is like I’m fucking going out like a fucking Viking. I’m going to shoot him. He goes, He basically goes like on a 50 person killing streak. It’s like a 50 to 1 KD ratio until those pretorians that that Moff Gideon ordered on Imperial Amazon arrive and they take them out.


Rosie Knight Yeah. In a great scene. A really.


Jason Conccepcion Great scene. All that said, R.I.P. to Paz.


Rosie Knight R.I.P. to Paz. He did great. I hope he’s not really dead, but he’s definitely really dead. He’s dead. They they mark him. Also, I just want to mention Moff Gideon has like sic Darth Vader crossed with Mandalorian as Captain Phasma. Yeah, and I think he calls it is a dark trooper armor that he’s created. And it’s this beskar Darth Vader armor. And obviously he basically made it because he wants to have the darksaber and be the dark trooper. That’s not happening for him. Game. Okay. Yeah. So IMO, but this is really cool. I love this unexpected twist, this kind of. Dueling ideas of wanting to rule Mandalore Bo wants to do it for the mandalorians and the people. And Gideon sees it as like a power vacuum where he can become a new version of Mandalore.


Jason Conccepcion A free planet filled with weapons and beskar like, why not? Why don’t I just set a base right here and uses the launch pad to take over the galaxy?


Rosie Knight Yeah, very outrageous scheme. I don’t think it’s going to go well for him. Just looking at what we know of Star Wars history. But this was a very cool episode. Rick just absolutely smashed it once again. I think if anyone had been feeling we we have been big fans of the more out there side quest episodes because we love that kind of stuff. I loved the Plazir15. I thought it was so fun. I feel like if people have been looking for that, how does it all come together and how does this impact stuff going forwards? This is that episode where the loose threads begin to be tied together and we start to get an inkling of the greater plan.


Jason Conccepcion Rosie The title of this episode is The Spies, now G68, Elia Kane is certainly one.


Rosie Knight Definitely a spy.


Jason Conccepcion Is definitely a spy. So plural, spies. There’s a lot of conjecture on the Internets right now about who the other spies are. Who do you think the other spies are? I mean, certainly there are some suspects. I found it weird that we had that Armorer scene in there where.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Conccepcion She just flies up with the Night Owls. And then you think that you’re going to see the attack on the fleet, but then you never see it.


Rosie Knight Uh huh. That definitely seemed suspicious.


Jason Conccepcion Axe Woves also is like, I guess I’m going to fly my jetpack all the way to space and get to the ships. Like, yeah, So there’s, there’s, there’s people who left in weird circumstance.


Rosie Knight And we did get that thing, that moment at the beginning of the episode last week where the Mandalorians who Axe leads mentioned that like, Yeah, we’ll be honorable for a few credits. So there’s still that duality of like, did they really believe that Bo won the lightsaber fairly? Would they betray her? I think another good I think this is really interesting because as the Internet has pointed out, as we’ve talked about, the titles of the Mandalorian episodes are usually incredibly literal.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah, very, very literal.


Rosie Knight Very literal. So it seems odd to be in a situation where we don’t know exactly what this is referencing to. And you made a great point before we started recording that. It’s rare for them to want you to be ahead of the story.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah, that’s usually just like a storytelling one on one. Never let the audience be ahead of it. Like, if you’re going to reveal that there is a betrayer amongst the mandalorians, don’t let people be looking for that person because it’ll ruin the reveal. But who knows?


Rosie Knight I wonder, yeah. I wonder if they want that conversation, because another person that I think could we could think about it as being about Moff Gideon, because he’s part of this imperial zoom and he’s using the technology and the resources that they have while doing his own thing to try and take over the galaxy himself. So is he technically a spy in that space because he’s betraying them? I think The Armorer thing is a really great call. I also wonder if maybe there is somebody within Moff Gideon’s ranks who is actually potentially a spy for our mandalorians who might turn in that way. I think that we could be in a possibility here because of the plural nature and the fact that it’s obviously not just about Elia, who obviously is a spy. We could have a big surprise in the finale of having a few different maybe a spy network that we don’t know about or something. It’s very it’s a very interesting choice.


Jason Conccepcion Here’s my argument against The Armorer slash Axe Woves as spies for Moff Gideon. Wouldn’t he know more stuff? Like why would he need G68 than to tell him that.


Rosie Knight That is a great call.


Jason Conccepcion It’s nterfered with the pirates because he would just be getting that.


Rosie Knight Direct from The Armorer?


Jason Conccepcion Yeah, from them. So it I wonder again, considering how, as you mentioned, like the titles are always very, very just what it is on the surface level, like, you know, no subtext, just text. I wonder if like, Moff Gideon is the spy because.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Conccepcion As we see in this episode, he is working against what the rest of the first order, even though they’re not the first order, he is kind of working against what they wanted. They’re all like, We can’t wait for Daddy Thrawn to come home. And he’s like, No, no, no. We’re not looking.


Rosie Knight He’s like, who’s Thrawn? Where is he? I never heard of him.


Jason Conccepcion But it is. It is. It’s a it’s fascinating. And I do wonder where. I wonder how much more Coruscant G68 we’re going to get. And I wonder. I yeah, I wonder how much more of that there is. Because it would seem it would seem as if unless that spy network is going to get revealed. It would seem like we’re kind of done with her. Right.


Rosie Knight Like they got what they needed.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight But she’s so great. Katie O’Brien as Elia, is such a weak, a kind of nefarious energy that she puts across that I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and reveal. Oh, you know what? I suppose. And this would fit into conversations we’d had before. I wonder if the spies is more to do with Elia potentially running a spy network within the amnesty program or something like that. You know, I wonder if that will come into play in the finale that like that particular storyline and how she helped Gideon is done. But maybe that Imperial Network is a lot stronger than we thought and we’ll kind of see the resurgence in the finale. As we know, this is now all leading to that sequel trilogy.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah, I just can’t. I think it would be an audacious reveal if The Armorer was like a spy for the like, that would be. Absolutely incredible. Like a Game of Thrones.


Rosie Knight You’d be shocked.


Jason Conccepcion Level. Yeah. Like flip that if you did it right, that would be a gut punch. But I just. I can’t. Get there. Like, why did she. Why was she so helpful on eavarro then when they were fighting the pirates? Why didn’t she just kind of, like, not try that? She couldn’t.


Rosie Knight They’d have to have. Yeah, they’d have to have an ultimately brilliant. It all comes together reason.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Because, you know, when you’re a spy, you have to play both sides. You have to be believable. But as you mentioned, she has done many things. I would say there are some kind of you could have some fun if it was revealed that she was a spy with kind of that flip flop nature of who she deems worthy to be a mandalorian and how she goes from having these huge concrete visions of what Mandalore is and who the Mandalorians are to suddenly being like, well, as many mandalorians as possible. I mean, okay, so this is again, on the audacious side, but what if the reason that she’s been trying to grow this mandalorian, you know, group is because she was going to send them to this trap and have Gideon kill them. He says, Thank you for bringing all the mandalorians to one place. You know, so there are arguments, but I agree with you. I think that is someone who does truly care about Mandalore. We know she cares about Beskar and she’s very deeply. But then again, she could be. She could have been helping Gideon make those uniforms.


Jason Conccepcion That’s the other thing.


Rosie Knight She’s the only othe one to know how to do it.


Jason Conccepcion That’s true. But like, when she.


Rosie Knight When would she do it?


Jason Conccepcion When would she do it? How would she get there? I guess like the other side of it is that. We’ve noted in past episodes like how effective their recruiting was. This is enough for, you know, Bo’s Helmet Off came into the fold.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Conccepcion They they grew the population of the covert pretty significantly. And so I guess the another way you could go about it, if indeed The Armorer is a spy is that. She’s been assembling this force of mandalorians to then hand to Gideon to then become. Part of his army. Maybe that’s it. But again, I find it it would.


Rosie Knight It would be heard to sell.


Jason Conccepcion It would be audacious, but it would be I don’t know if I could get there. I don’t. Yeah, it. I don’t think it would really tear apart everything that Din and Grogu, And so many of those mandalorians from the Covert know about Mandalorian being a Mandalorian like it would destroy.


Rosie Knight The ultimate betrayal.


Jason Conccepcion It would be incredible if it was true, but like, I just can’t see it. Maybe Axe, though.


Rosie Knight Maybe I’m a mercenary. I could see that, you.


Jason Conccepcion Know, you could see it be him.


Rosie Knight Sure.


Jason Conccepcion All right. I can’t wait to talk more about the.


Rosie Knight Yeah, the finale’s next week.


Jason Conccepcion The finale of The Mandalorian is going to be a banger. Let me ask you this before we get there, Rick Famuyiwa, who of course, directed this episode and various great episodes of The Mandalorian Television program, has been quoted as saying that the title The Mandalorian no longer refers to just Din. It refers to the Mandalorian people writ large. It’s going to be Bo, Grogu.


Rosie Knight That was confirmed at Star Wars Celebration is more about that. Even this season, I think they were saying it’s about the mandalorians as a culture.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah. And then and I think if you could pull back like the curtain, you might say that some of the kind of like bottle episode segments of this. You know, could have been necessary because of like how, you know, maybe they didn’t have Pedro as much as they wanted. Are they going to kill Din? Like.


Rosie Knight I’ve been wondering.


Jason Conccepcion You know Din. We know they Din doesn’t show up in any battles going forward like any of the any of the the big stuff. New Republic verses the First Order.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Conccepcion You could assume he’d be there although you could come up with any reason that he wouldn’t be there. And it has me wondering that quote from Rick. Plus where we are right now in the story. Plus the fact that we don’t you know, we don’t see Din and Grogu running around in any of the big battles. I wonder if they. I wonder if he makes it out.


Rosie Knight Yeah. I think you make a really good point, especially because we’re getting so close to tying this to the sequel trilogy now, and we know we don’t know where Dean was. It doesn’t look like he was anywhere. So especially when you’re starting to do things like Pretorian guards, you’re really directing us towards that First Order. Where where would he be? Why wouldn’t he be involved? Where is the baby? Maybe they were living off planet somewhere. But I think that it wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of possibility that Din does not survive. Probably not this season, but I think I could see a season for us saying R.I.P. to Din.


Jason Conccepcion Man, I hope it doesn’t happen. I don’t. I hope it doesn’t happen this season. I’m not ready to say goodbye yet.


Rosie Knight Me too. I mean, let’s be real. I want to see him on the big screen. If they’re doing this movie, I want to see him with the baby and the baby in the mech and Din in his ship. It would be great.


Jason Conccepcion Up next, the Hive Mind with Benny Schwartz himself. Ben Schwartz.




Jason Conccepcion Welcome to the Hive Mind, where we explore a topic in more detail with the help of expert guests this week. Absolutely thrilled to have actor and comedian Ben Schwartz. You, of course, know him from Parks and Rec, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Afterparty on Apple TV Plus, and the reason for his appearance here. The upcoming film Renfield out on April 14th. Wherever you watch your movies, we watch the movie Renfield. And it’s delightful.


Rosie Knight Very fun, very fun.


Jason Conccepcion Here’s our conversation with Ben Schwartz. Ben Schwartz thanks for joining X-ray Vision.


Ben Schwartz Jason. Did you see the video at MSG?


Jason Conccepcion Yes.


Ben Schwartz Okay, great.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah, I did.


Rosie Knight Important topic, important topic.


Jason Conccepcion SHould we start there? How are you feeling? What are your what’s your gut check feeling about the Knicks in the postseason?


Ben Schwartz I feel great, by the way. I know people are afraid of Cleveland’s defense. Of course, that makes total sense. But I am so excited for Cleveland match up. I feel, first of all, ever since we didn’t get Donovan, I’ve been like every time I see him play and he’s had such a good year, I’m like, Man, could you imagine if he was on our team? Oh, my goodness, Imagine. And now it’s like we literally are matching up with the guy that we almost got. So I am. I am like, I think we have a chance of winning. Like, I really feel strongly.


Jason Conccepcion I’m not saying we’re the favorite, but I think we have a chance. I think we know we’re.


Ben Schwartz Not we’re not the favorite. Amir, Amir texted me this morning that we’re the we’re in the betting pools we’re the low. We’re not above, we’re under.


Jason Conccepcion How dare? Never tell us the odds. Ben, Renfield was so fun. What was it like being a villain? The being the bad guy? Being the heavy?


Ben Schwartz It was crazy. I got to like, they put back my hair, they give me fake tattoos every day. I had taken all the chest and arms. I had to like all the things I’ve never done in my life, shoot guns, work out. I had to work out first race race cars, get into fistfights, do a ton of drugs. So it’s like, I just don’t do any of that stuff in real life. So it was so fun. And then I tried to like, give the guy mommy issues and like, make it so, like, all this stuff is coming from kind of a pathetic place where he just wants people to like him. And all that stuff was heaven to me. It was really, really fun to take what a villain usually is and kind of blow it up a bit, which was really.


Rosie Knight Yeah, the whole movie really does that with kind of the idea of like who is the central force in a story about Dracula? Usually it’s Dracula and obviously here it’s Renfield. But what was it like to get to work alongside? Obviously, Nicholas is incredible, but then you have Nick Cage second Nicholas in like the most Nick Cage role of all time. So what was it like being on set with Nick Cage, Dracula?


Ben Schwartz And by the way, Rosie 100% agree. When I watched the movie back and you see what he did as Dracula, it’s like incredible. He plays like 70 different versions. Yeah, it’s, it’s the most Nick Cage you’ve ever seen. It’s like a and also, I love his performances because he’s so unpredictable. Now he has a role. This character is unpredictable too, but is amazing in the best part is like in between the Nick Cage stuff. It’s like we’re shooting a scene where he’s like choking me and then throwing me in and they go, Okay, cut. We’re going to switch cameras, and then we sit back on our tables. But he still dresses in drag. And I’m like, I literally said to him, I was like, Hey, man. So the first time I saw Adaptation, I stopped. It started from the beginning, and I think that movie’s unbelievable. I’m so in love. And then he’s just he’s just a he’s just a great guy who loves movies. He loves movies and has, like, a pet crow. He’s like everything they want Nic Cage to be.


Jason Conccepcion You’re of course, known for your your improv skills, your improv background. How much of that did you bring to bear in this part?


Ben Schwartz I they let me Chris, let me go crazy. There’s a cut of this movie that’s like an hour and change longer than this. And I can literally cop, Oh my God, I can point to scenes because I love the movie’s 90 minutes long, which makes sense because the movie’s got to, like, move. It’s like a bullet goes off and you’re off to the races. But, um, so they had to lose a lot. But I had so much more. Every scene you’ve seen me in, in this film was like a full minute and a half longer, and then they slowly cut it. But like, there’s a scene where, like, I have a bag of cocaine in my car and I get into a car accident and Aquafina and Adrian Martinez are are racing with me and I throw coke at them. They’re cops. And in that scene. Chris McKay we shot it for two days. Let me go into any of the extras cars and like do like fuck with everybody. And so I was, we were going crazy. And like, every scene you see, Chris, we did it as is. And then we did it with me going bananas and some of that stuff got in there and then some of it just like, you know, if I’m going to long the scene is going too long. And I said, The movie’s too long, but so a little bit is in there. But there is like a treasure trove of nonsense somewhere out there on the cutting room floor.


Rosie Knight That’s for the DVD extras. I don’t know. Do they still do those? I still buy DVDs for the the streaming extras.


Ben Schwartz What’s the last TV? What’s the last DVD you bought out?


Rosie Knight The last DVD I bought? Well, the place I buy DVDs is the Book Off in Torrance, which sells dollar DVDs. So the last DVDs I bought was a Double Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat Annihilation boxset for $1.


Ben Schwartz Oh my goodness.


Rosie Knight I have an extensively terrible DVD collection of movies that I love. And one of the things like obviously comedy that’s like one of your big loves, one of our big loves here, and one of the reasons we are so stoked to have you on here. This is like a podcast. It was born of a love of comics. So can I talk to you a little bit about your love of comics and kind of like, what was your comic book origin? What was that comic that made you fall in love with comics?


Ben Schwartz Oh, I’ve talked about my comic. I’ve talked about a marvel card collection with Jason in the past. But like so I started by collecting basketball cards and Marvel cards. And then I started with like, you know, and then my comics start with like, Slapstick on over Slapstick was a Marvel Slapstick, and then like, Wolverine and then X-Men was huge. And then when Superman died was an enormous moment when I was and, you know, there was like the black case that you could buy it in, like the black plastic bag of.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah and the colored triangles so you knew you were reading the right issues.


Ben Schwartz Yeah. And like, there’s I always love, like, the, like even, like the covers sometimes would get me sometimes would be a Fantastic Four like Silver Surfer cover where it was like silver and like I would like be so excited to collect, like, unique things. But any time there’s a first edition like issue of anything I’m on, it just started and in my collecting mind is like, Oh my God, this could be worth $1,000,000 also. But I was pretty. I mean, I was a huge X-Men fan, huge Wolverine fan. Love Spider-Man because it felt like I know he wasn’t, but like a Jewish kid from the Bronx, I was like Jewish kid from Riverdale.


Rosie Knight I think Spiderman. There is a large contingent of superhero readers who would say, Spider-Man’s Jewish.


Ben Schwartz I would say that. Simmons?


Rosie Knight I think it’s a it’s a big a big one, you know, with the creatives who were involved. So I think that’s an ongoing conversation.


Ben Schwartz You know what I also did? I also did Ren and Stimpy. I also I like, I did I did everything. My comic shop is called Alternate Realities on Central Avenue in Westchester. And I would just go there, collect basketball Marvel cards and collect comics, and then play the Jurassic Park pinball machine. It was like my it’s what I would do after high school is the best.


Jason Conccepcion Um, Speaking of that. You have been outspoken in your desire to see a Plastic Man movie and pitch in.


Ben Schwartz Jason, I’ve been so screwed. This tour, this press tour, I feel like James Gunn is going to hate me.


Rosie Knight No. I have to say I have to say this is partially my fault because in 2021, me and you chatted about Flora and Ulysses, and because it was for Nerdist and it was about comics, I was like, What comic book characters would you like to play? And we ran a piece about how you had a Plastic Man pitch. And every time I see that story come up now, I’m like, I’m sorry, man.


Ben Schwartz It is. It is by far the the superhero I want to be more than anything else. But I feel like it almost feels like the guy that, like, wears, like the band’s t shirt for the like now it’s like, I feel so bad because I’m, like, so passionate about it. And I even pitched a plastic man idea to that studio a very long time ago, and I had so many ideas for what it is, but I feel like I want to get your. I sorry to interrupt you, Jason. I like love that character, but ask your question, knowing now that I’m like, so worried that every time it comes up, James Gunn is .


Jason Conccepcion No, no, no.


Ben Schwartz Like, this guy won’t shut up about the guy. I want to answer your question.


Jason Conccepcion What is it? I guess what is it about Plastic Man, that that resonates with you?


Ben Schwartz So when I watch Deadpool for the Marvel Universe, I thought Plastic Man could be that for the DC Universe when I think it’s fun is that Plastic Man is a thief. O’Brien is a thief, right? He even gets the super powers while he’s, you know, well around his, you know, bad guys, whatever. And they determine which is also in the original one, which is also something interesting that even that even that group of people who are assholes don’t like him. But I thought the fun of this character would be he gets powers, but he doesn’t stop being a thief. And the force of the movie is people like he has to finally be convinced to use his powers for good. But I think he’s so funny. And even in the cartoon versions, he’s funny. And then if you look at the new comics, the gilded, like there’s so much comedy in there. And I think your article then brought out Gail, who is a writer for Plastic Man, and she she had said that she based some of the character off of me and like Parks and stuff like that. So it’s like it’s also like, I don’t look too I can kind of look like him, too. I can look like Joe, too. So it’s like, I can never be Thor, I can never be like, so it’s like I can play the skinny guy that stretches pretty good. So just the idea of it being funny, the idea of it being like almost meta because he kind of breaks that he does all that stuff. And also just, you know, it feels like The Mask almost a little bit too. Like that Jim Carrey flavor. It’s like I can really improvise a really go bananas in this type of movie and turn. It’s special and funny. But I love the idea of a thief getting powers, and it takes a whole film for him to be convinced to use them for good.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I mean, Plastic Man is some of the most exciting kind of transgressive stories. Gail Simmons Obviously incredible. Kyle Baker’s Plastic Man is like one of my favorite cartooning exhibits. Do you have a dream? Like, who would play your Woozy Winks? Who would be like your hapless sidekick?


Ben Schwartz Well, what’s the exact ethnicity of Woozie and that’s that stays constant. Do we know? Is it a specific thing?


Rosie Knight You could pick waht you want. It’s 2023. I think he’s usually just a little white dude, but you can just pick whoever.


Ben Schwartz I don’t think he’s white. I think moose is not white. Right. Isn’t is he going to be the first Filipino Eugene Cordero character?


Jason Conccepcion Oh wow. That’s a good. Yeah.


Rosie Knight This is what I’m saying.


Ben Schwartz I think Bobby would be amazing if I don’t know the ethnicity of Woozy, because I know it’s a little bit. But Bobby Moynihan would be amazing. Eugene would be amazing. There’s there’s a lot of different people that could play that role. And I but I would love somebody that I can bounce off of and we could like, you know, find fun, gorgeous things. But yeah, and also the the idea that I think that Plastic Man essentially becomes a part of the Justice League. So it’s like that character is so insane in that world of like Superman. Yeah, like all these, like very straight laced characters that I would, it would just be heaven for a comedian to play that type of role.


Jason Conccepcion A Speaking of Eugene Cordero, he is jacked absolutely ripped. You mentioned that just busting out of his shirt. Every time I see him, the guy is getting bigger and bigger. Bigger. And you mentioned that, you know, you had to you had to get in the iron church and start praying to the to the to the weights for this role. Can you describe the workout regimen for Renfield?


Ben Schwartz Yes, it was very small. I had to be strong enough to hold two guns this way. And, you know, I cut down a little bit. I cut down a little weight, and then I turn a little bit to thing. And by the way, I needed it because to do these stunts, you do them over and over again. And like, I play basketball, but, you know, it’s like I don’t have like my muscle strength is not where it should be. And no joke, the first couple of days of doing tests with these guns, they were like these gold guns almost reminiscent of like Face Off, like Castor Troy guns.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah.


Ben Schwartz And I have a scene where I stick up Aquafina and I put the gun near her head and I hold it for, like, a good minute and a half. I do this monologue. The monologues have been cut down quite a bit, but it’s like, so the first they take over, like when I was like doing screen test stuff, I saw my hand, like going like this because I just wasn’t strong enough to hold these guns for that long. So my my workout regimen was the Chris Brewster, who was the stunt guy, gave me like some workout stuff, and it was mostly like, wait, it wasn’t like it wasn’t like crazy stuff. It was like me getting in the hotel gym, me working out with free weights, me getting on. So, you know, just whatever and working out. And it gave me enough to be able to do it, which was really exciting. And then it was so funny. The second I wrapped the fight scenes, I was in New Orleans. I slowly gained weight for the rest of the movie. Like, you see, like my character, like, slowly gets bigger and bigger. The second I was done with all the parts that had to do with whatever it was just I just kept eating and eating in that city. It’s so hard not to It’s so hard to eat healthy in that city.


Rosie Knight Yeah, too much delicious food. So yeah, with this, you kind of touched on it. Kind of this idea of like turning the idea of what a villain is and exploding it. How do you balance those moments like that moment in the club with Awkwafina? It’s in the trailer where you have that monologue. You still have to be menacing. How do you bring that balance of kind of unhinged, scary ness with all the comedy and kind of pathetic aspects that you bring into the character?


Ben Schwartz That’s a great question. It was something that Chris McKay was the director, and I really thought at that moment especially was a big one. Even when I auditioned, he’s like, I want it in my head. I’d never killed somebody before. My character never actually kills me. He’s all talk, his whole thing is talking. He’s just trying to impress his mom and his friends. So he has a gun to Aquafina’s face. And then she’s she says, Do it, shoot me. I don’t think you’ll do it. And like, you see my gears start turning like, oh, my God, I’m going to have to actually do this. And we spent a bunch of time being like, How do we make this look real and watch this person flip from being? This person just talks to action. Someone is going to pull the trigger. And so, like, we shot that scene for days and had such great, like dramatic moments. So for me to there’s a bunch of that scene that got cut where like I’m like doing bits with all the people, like I’m like intimidating everybody when I get in there and I and then I finally get to her and have this really dramatic moment. That was exactly what you said, where I’m juggling this big comedy. And then, okay, now this moment, I have to be like, serious now, this moment, I have to be terrified. It takes life. And we really played with that. We really tried to find those moments and try to make them real. So you feel the character whenever they switch, like when I’m unhinged in on drugs and then really zoned into like, Oh my God, what am I going to do? It was really a fun part of the whole process.


Jason Conccepcion The action scenes are spectacular. Each one of them has its own particular hook, which I really liked. You know, there’s a strong Jackie Chan element here, and then the flight is really exciting. Tell us about doing fight scenes.


Ben Schwartz It’s, you know, so funny. So I did a show called The Afterparty right before this, and it was my episode was a musical episode. So I had to learn how to do choreography and sing and dance and everything. And I couldn’t believe how strong the dancers were and how incredible they were. And they were like all superstars. And regardless of genders or anything, they were like, they were like superheroes to me. And I had to learn how to do that. And so I went from that to this. And there’s a lot of similarities. Like the to Learn choreography was the first time that I’ve learned, like, real like, you know, me and Nicole for weeks beforehand, we’d go through our fights and, you know, make sure we’re not hurting each other. I did it, and it was really fun. And then I gained so much respect for the stunt team. I spent so much my time on my off time with that stunt team and Marvin Ross and all the all those guys. And so it’s like, it’s incredible and it’s all a dance. It’s all like if, you know, if you’re rhythmic, you can do it. That’s like my stuff from the after party really helped me for my stunt stuff here. But when I first started fighting, I would do like every kid. I would be like, the director had to tell me to stop making the noises. Like, go through that and push. You don’t have to do the.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah.


Ben Schwartz Because never in my life have I, like, play fight with someone and not pretend to like to do. You know what I mean? Yeah, it was so it was very funny to get that note from the stunt director and the stunt guys be like, You don’t stop, Stop moving your mouth. You’re like, okay, sorry.


Rosie Knight Yeah. I mean, Michelle Yeoh, she was actually a dancer before she became a martial artist, before she was then. She is movie that is.


Ben Schwartz She is so inspiringly incredible.


Rosie Knight Icon. The unbelievable.


Ben Schwartz It’s insane.


Rosie Knight Where there any action movies or particular fight scenes or anything that people directed you to or that you revisit as you are prepping for this because it’s like it’s an action movie. And I think a lot of people watch it until they go and see it in the theater.


Ben Schwartz And also the action is like superhero action where like, you know, who gets superpowers? And I’m on wires and being thrown all over the place and being flung in the air and people’s.


Jason Conccepcion Limbs are getting torn off and.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Ben Schwartz Yeah, yeah it’s the best being uses nunchucks of the Yeah I didn’t watch it for the action stuff. I do love my John Wick series. I haven’t seen the film but I do love I do love a John Wick movie. But I love I mean I grew up, me and my dad watched, you know, every action movie in the universe we watched together. So nothing that prepared the ones. The movies that I watched prepare for the role were Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco, Mean Streets. And then I thought my character had those posters on his wall, but my character could never be those guys, you know what I mean? Like, it’s like, Yeah, he had those posters on his wall and he wants to be like them, but he’s just he could never he just doesn’t have it in him to be in. So that’s kind of of those things. He aspired to be those guys.


Jason Conccepcion But what I love about this movie is that it is first of all, it’s fast paced. As you mentioned, the action scenes are wonderful. It has a story. We were talking about this in the group chat room. I can’t I legitimately cannot remember the last movie that dealt with. A man in an abusive relationship before I which is a thing that is under talked about. And I can’t remember the last movie that dealt with this. This deals with it in a really fun and cathartic way, and it’s really funny. Was that how much of that was evident when you were pitched this project, when you when you started going out?


Ben Schwartz The script was amazing. Ryan Ridley, Robert Kirkman, who did The Walking Dead and by the way, Invincible. If you guys love comics.


Rosie Knight Yeah, iconic comic book creator.


Ben Schwartz Oh my God. And the TV show is just unbelievably good. But he threw the idea. Kirkman Then he gave it to Ryan Ridley for the first bunch seasons of Rick and Morty of the script was amazing, and the script had all that stuff in there, and it also was kind of like inspiring for someone who wants to get out of a toxic relationship with someone who is like their boss at work is like they can’t get out of their job and they just don’t have they don’t have they don’t have the confidence in themselves to break free because, you know, the the negative and the failure is so scary. So all that stuff was evident in there. But the script was the reason why I wanted to do it was, um, I never got to play a villain before in my life. I’ve never gotten to do these fight scenes. I remember talking about aging because I at the time when after I auditioned, I got lucky and I had two offers at the same time. I did choose what to do this or something else, and my agent’s like, You’re always going to be able to play this nebbishy Jewish character. You’re  very rarely going to be able to play a villain of a studio film then. And I was like, You’re right, you’re right, you’re right. And it was just so clear that it’s like I had so much fun doing it for the reasons why I never get to play those characters. But all that stuff was definitely evident in there, and I think it’s what makes movies good, You know, when you have something to bite on too, for any of your characters, that’s when it’s like the most exciting. If if you’re just seeing, fight scene, fight scene, fight scene, it’s you’re going to get bored. But, you know, even when we’re watching Marvel movies or DC movies, if it’s just a series of set pieces with nothing in between, you don’t care about what happens. But if you make you care about the characters and you see that Nick Holt is trying to break free and you see that track, that’s kind of petty also. That’s like, yeah, you’re you’re like, you’re like kind of like getting invested in all of it. So I think it’s so necessary. I think Ryan really crushed the script. The original version of script that I read was one of the better scripts I’ve read in a long time.


Rosie Knight Hmm. Yeah. Yeah. That really comes through. It’s so funny. It’s surprisingly sweet. While also featuring people being, like, lambasted with, you know, broken limbs. So the other thing I think is really cool about this, even though, you know, it’s not necessarily being presented this way, this is essentially like a universal monster movie, and we haven’t had one of those for a while. The last one we had was the one on Invisible Man, which is like such a long movie.


Ben Schwartz And I thought they crushed that movie.


Rosie Knight So good.


Ben Schwartz I remember.


Rosie Knight An abusive relationship.


Jason Conccepcion Another abusive relationship. Yeah.


Ben Schwartz I remember watching that. I remember watching that movie and there was a scene where it was just a blank. It was like a scene where the director was like, kind of like filming near the ceiling or something like that. And there’s nothing on camera. And I remember being terrified. I wrote down in a notebook how I couldn’t believe how literally nothing like you think of that day. He just put a camera. Then I press record, and the weight of that scene was so scary to me and so intense. I was really inspired by that. I wrote in a notepad like, Then remember this? Remember that you can cause drama just by like you don’t need things happening all the time. I thought it was really beautifully done, that movie. Sorry. Yes, you said that suggestion.


Rosie Knight It’s so powerful. Well, I was just going to say, what’s it like to then get to create a character to get this brilliant script that’s in this iconic world that goes back, you know, 100 years that has people like Bela Lugosi, like pure icons, Boris Karloff. And then to get to create a new character in there and be alongside Dracula, one of the most iconic, you know, monsters movie monsters of all time.


Ben Schwartz It’s when I had my scenes with Dracula when he like I don’t even know if it’s in the movie, but like, when he, like, comes after me and stuff like that, it’s like two. It’s so exciting. It’s so exciting because you know about where they shot these movies. You know how long ago they shot this movie, You know, Bram Stoker, you know, all these things, you know, Leslie Nielsen. So it’s like it’s like to be a part of the legacy and then to create something new that can essentially now is like a canon, as we say, and dirty words. So it’s like that is like it’s so it’s so exciting. And then technically, no matter what happens to my character, this character now exists in the universe, all these other things.


Rosie Knight The joy.


Ben Schwartz Yeah, and it’s a brand new character which is like, you know, So it’s very, very exciting. It’s for someone who really respects this stuff, It’s I’m very excited.


Jason Conccepcion Okay, final, final question. It’s and it’s a little bit of a nuts and bolts question for me. Does the size of the bug matter? Because Renfield’s eating like little spiders and some ants and stuff and and at the end you snort like a centipede that’s like eight inches long.


Ben Schwartz Huge.


Jason Conccepcion And I would imagine that the bigger the bug, the bigger the powers. What are you. What how did you precieve that?


Rosie Knight What’s the canon?


Jason Conccepcion Yeah. What did you think about that?


Ben Schwartz This is a great question. I only ate one bug. He eats a series of different bugs now. Is it hard? Is it? The blood from the blood. Is it? What is it? What is it that’s really fueling? You don’t really know. But I love that. It’s like my character starts. Oh, my God. In that scene, they. They kind of beginning that scene. But that scene, my very first scene where you see me in the car and I do coke. You. It was a whole scene before that where I’m talking to my daughter and putting her to sleep while I’m doing coke and doing this job. That’s how the movie that’s how my character’s like entrance was in this. And we did like I mean, I improvised forever on that, but I loved that in my character’s mirror that the first time you see me starts Coke. And then when he gets to be this superpowered guy, he snorts the millipede in the same way. I would say that the bigger the bug I, the more mass, the better. That’s why he’s constantly bugs. So that’s where.


Rosie Knight The power grows.


Ben Schwartz I think I. I figure out like spinach. If Popeye ate Afrikaner spinach, would he be half as strong or would he still be as strong as you have to make the whole thing out.


Jason Conccepcion Right.


Rosie Knight Important questions.


Jason Conccepcion Oh, that makes a lot of sense. Well, listen, go see Renfield April 14th.


Rosie Knight Yeah, Go see Renfield it’s total joy and James Gunn make that Plastic Man movie.


Jason Conccepcion Ben Schwartz, thank you so much. Thank you so much for joining us. Go Knicks.


Ben Schwartz Go Knicks. Oh, my God. Go next. Absolutely. Go Knicks, everybody.


Jason Conccepcion Thank you to Ben Schwartz for appearing. Up next, Nerd Out.


Rosie Knight In today’s Nerd Out where you tell us what you love and why, or a theory that you’re excited to share. Mike posits the latter a theory about the inspiration behind Mandalorian Chapter 22 Guns for Hire. And this is very unique. I had not heard this theory before, but it makes a lot of sense. Jason, I’ll allow you to do the honors.


Jason Conccepcion Sure. Jason. Rosie. The entire setting of Plaizir 15 reeked of the show, making fun of Disneyworld and Disneyland. The domes are very Epcot esque. That is true. The monorail. All of the people focusing on leisure and not working. Denbo being presented with a ceremonial key to the city and Grogu getting knighted at the end, etc., etc. All of this seemed like a play on the over-the-top experiences that people can have at a Disney park, which Mike professes to be a very ardent admirer of the magic of Disney Parks. And this is. I think this is pretty interesting, actually, like the way the monorail speaks and everything, too. I hadn’t.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Conccepcion Put this together.


Rosie Knight I hadn’t considered it, but it’s really interesting, especially like Mike, he points out this could be kind of like a satire. It’s not like some cruel mockery, but it’s kind of mocking it. It’s the oppulent fun of Disneyland and kind of.


Jason Conccepcion They, Certainly everybody who is staying on Plaza 15.


Rosie Knight Having a great time.


Jason Conccepcion Is absolutely loving life.


Rosie Knight This would also make a lot of sense because it’s kind of a nice, fun rebuttal slash knowing wink to how much the Star Wars TV shows have actually been about promoting the Disneyland.


Jason Conccepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Park, you know, the really fun Star Wars Disneyland park that they built. There’s been a lot of direct tie ins in the Star Wars shows to that new location. So it’s kind of fun to imagine that this is them sort of going. Nod, nod, wink, wink, like my Disneyland’s kind of an evil like Leisure Planet is a lot of fun. I love this reading.


Jason Conccepcion I’m running with this. And the fact that like. We didn’t. I’ve not heard this before. So, first of all, Mike, kudos for a really, really original and.


Rosie Knight So unique. I had not seen anyone do this read. It’s so fun.


Jason Conccepcion And it leads me to believe that if this indeed is the subtext. Right. I bet you no one caught it on the way out. Like, part of the reason why I think this is forgotten. Nobody caught it. And of course, it also does. Like, if indeed it is a metaphor for Disneyland Disney World, it portrays it in largely a really, really great light. I mean, again, like, everybody’s just like living and shopping and eating well without a care in the world. All of their, you know, needs taken care of by various Droid servants. Like it’s fun.


Rosie Knight I kind of like Mike also makes the point that like, he’s like, I’m not 100 he’s not 100% sure where the resist the boss stands in that. But there is also an argument for the idea that for you to have fun at Disneyland, a ton of people have to work jobs that you don’t have to do so you can enjoy it. And I think that’s also kind of an interesting aspect of it. The Droid aspects are also fun because the Disney, the nature of Disney is there’s all these kind of almost like five nights at Freddy’s folklore about the animatronics and the kind of spookiness of Disney parks. And I like that that leans into it. I just think this is such a cool, fun read. And I mean, all of this stuff constantly feeds off each other. The parks, the movies, the comics, the TV shows, the storytelling, the creatives who are involved in it. So it makes a lot of sense that they could be having fun. I mean, even when you think about even the way that like Lizzo and Jack Black are dressed, really feels like it sells into this lizzo’s kind of this Disney princess in deep space.


Jason Conccepcion One more wrinkle to add to this that supports Mike’s theory. Disneyland Disney World is a noted hirer of many. Older and retired cast members who then work at the parks to to augment their their fixed income. And that is absolutely in line with the droids who are concerned about.


Rosie Knight That they’re going to be replaced.


Jason Conccepcion Older models here. And we don’t want to be replaced like we want to sort of be useful. So that’s another that’s another little piece that I think supports Mike’s assertion. This is very, very interesting. Mike, man, thank you so much.


Rosie Knight That was such a great theory.


Jason Conccepcion That was a great one. If you have theories or passions you want to share, hit us up at Instructions are in the show notes. Okay, that’s it for us. Big thank you to Ben Schwartz. Rosie, any plugs? Plugs, plugs, plugs, plugs.


Rosie Knight You can find me @RosieMarx on Instagram and Letterbox’d. I have a substack that I’m running that’s going to have some really cool interviews coming up soon. Recommend you all kinds of books and comics because I get loads of great messages of people messaging me and saying, Hey, what should I read? What should I do? There is a wonderful graphic novel that I read that I will recommend to you now. That’s called The Moth Keeper by Kay O’Neill. Absolutely delightful. Just totally magical. I think all of our fans who love Lord of the Rings and fantasy and big, beautiful artistic stories will absolutely find a lot of joy in it. So check that one out and then obviously hear twice a week talking about cool stuff.


Jason Conccepcion Of course, for me. Primo on Amazon Freevee. May 19th. Watch Primo on Amazon Freevee. How much do I need to subscribe? It’s free. It’s right there and it’s free. It’s like old school television. There’s going to be commercial breaks and everything. Amazon Freevee, May 19th. Primo The Primo Television Program. Catch our next episode of the X-ray Vision Podcast Program on Wednesday, April 19th. For more Market Moves on Succession and more creepiness with the Yellowjackets.


Rosie Knight In case you’ve somehow forgotten from when I just said it 2 seconds ago. Let us remind you that we are bringing you two episodes a week, not one, but two. And you can not only listen to them, you can also watch them on YouTube where we post full episodes to make sure you subscribe that also follow us at XIV Pod on Twitter, where we’re always retweeting cool stuff, sharing funny moments from the show and all kinds of things. And check out the Discord. Hang out with a bunch of cool, awesome X-ray vision listeners who love all kinds of rad stuff and not always talking about things even outside of the galaxy of what we talk about with actual vision. And me and Jason are they’re saying funny stuff too.


Jason Conccepcion Five star ratings. Five star reviews. We need them. We got to have them. You got to give it to us. Here’s one from CrystalAmTheKing. I’m with you till the end of the line. X-ray Vision. What a joy it is to get to listen to Jason Rosie talk about my favorite things in life. Not once, but twice a week. They’re discussions and deep dives are so helpful and I feel like I’m part of the conversation each time, every shot with a question or follow up. Rosie has been so generous with the knowledge and expertise. Thank you for being my go to and favorite podcast. Thank you, Crystal.


Rosie Knight Thank you.


Jason Conccepcion That’s wonderful. 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 Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot Provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you Brian Vasquez for our theme music. That’s it for us. See you next time. Hey, Mike, this is Histoff from Mureen. You want to talk about Thrawn today? I don’t know if you know this about me, Mike,  But part of the reason why I’m able to cost so much is I got laid off. I got laid off from my imperial pipe fitting job. They just laid me off. No warning at all. No benefits, nothing. I’m just out on my ass listening to the radio all the time. But I want to say one thing about the hypocrisy here, Mike, because grand Admiral Thrawn, where is he? Where is this guy? No one knows. And yet. No one’s talking about coming for his job. Apparently, people are still willing to follow him into the next war or whatever is going on. They’re still paying his his salary. I get laid off. No one says anything to me. I don’t hear anything. I don’t hear from anybody. Grandman Thrawn, disappears for months and years at a time. Nobody knows where this guy is. And they’re so willing to follow him and still willing to hold his job for him. Where is he, Mike? I’ll take my answer off the air. Thank you.