Never Tell Me the Pods

I have a bad podcast about this. Pranks Paul, James D'Amato, Kat Kuhl, and Johnny O'Mara take a deep dive into Star Wars on behalf of wide-eyed new fans and longtime experts alike.
RSS Feed
Never Tell Me the Pods





All Episodes
Now displaying: 2016

I have a bad podcast about this.

Apr 23, 2016

Kind of light on references this week.  (Which is funny considering the subject matter.)

Sorry about the audio difficulty this week.  Our mikes decided to be wacky.


Here's a picture of the disclaimer that sent me down this Lepi-hole:

Here is the Atlantic article that we are discussing:

Here's the picture of Kanan and Hera that Kat's talking about:

Apr 16, 2016

We’ve been kicking around the idea of putting together a reading guide for a while. Here it is!  These may not necessarily be our favorite works, but they are probably the best things to start with if you’re a fan who has already seen the movies.


New Canon

Best Novel: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

My overwhelming pick for best new canon novel is Lost Stars by Claudia Gray.  Perfect for fans of the OT, but not particularly continuity-heavy in terms of callbacks to Legends. This novel follows two star-crossed lovers on opposite sides of the Galactic Civil War.

Setting: 0-5 ABY (Episodes IV-VI)

Best Television Show: The Clone Wars (2008)

If you only watch one Star Wars television show, I would have to go with Clone Wars.  Rebels is great, but builds heavily upon the continuity established by the prior show.  Clone Wars deepens the relationships between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and introduces a crucial Star Wars character to audiences -- Ahsoka Tano, Anakin’s headstrong Padawan.  I endorse this ( list of Ahsoka-centric episodes, but I implore you to power through the early stuff.  Like a lot of media that’s worth it (Avatar: TLA, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Parks and Recreation), it takes some time to find its footing.

Setting: 22-19 BBY (between Episodes II and III)

Best Comic: Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen

There’s nothing in current Star Wars comics that is necessarily a game-changer on the scale of current Star Wars TV, but the top pick for best new canon comic series is the superlative Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen.  Like the Sith Lord himself, it is equal parts tragic and terrifying.

Setting: 0ABY (after Episode IV)

Best Short Story Collection: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka

If you read only one short story collection, go with Before the Awakening.  This collection features Finn, Rey, and Poe’s antics before Episode VII.  There’s a lot of cute stuff and great character moments in here, but it’s worth it just to learn more about the stormtrooper the Internet calls TR-8R.  (For the record, his “real” name is FN-2199).

Setting: 34ish ABY (just before Episode VII)

Best Video Game: Star Wars Battlefront (2015)

Frankly, the new canon landscape is a bit thin when it comes to video games.  If you only play one, it should probably be Battlefront.

Setting: 0-5 ABY (~Episodes IV-VI)



If you’re interested in dipping your two into the vast sea of content that is Legends, we recommend that you start with the five works below.

Best Novel: Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover

If you only read one novel in Legends, make it the Revenge of the Sith adaptation by Matthew Stover.  I can’t say enough good things about it, and it’s pretty light on required EU knowledge..  The only thing wrong with it is that it came out before the creation of Ahsoka Tano.

Setting: 19 BBY (Episode III)

Best Television Show: Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)

When it comes to television, the animated Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars series has the most badass depictions of Jedi in all of Star Wars.  And it’s just fun.  It was replaced by the CGI Clone Wars in new canon, though some elements (like Asajj Ventress) made it back in.

Setting: 23-19 BBY (between Episodes II and III)

Best Comic: Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy adapted by Mike Baron

I am cheating viciously here, and Thrawn would be proud.  If you only read one comic, make it the comic adaptation of the Thrawn trilogy.

Setting: 9 ABY (Five years after Episode VI)

Best Short Story Collection: Tales of the Bounty Hunters edited by Kevin J. Anderson

As a standalone collection, Tales of the Bounty Hunters is an excellent introduction to the fearsome cabal we see Vader send after the Falcon in Episode V.  My personal favorites are the IG-88 and Zuckuss stories.

Setting: variously, 0-4 ABY (Episodes IV-VI)

Best Video Game: Knights of the Old Republic 2

I love the X-Wing games, the Dark Forces series, and Shadows of the Empire but not picking one of the KotORs would be a disservice.  Between the two, I’d say go with Knights of the Old Republic 2.  Even if I prefer KotOR 1, there are a lot of story elements and settings that pop up again in Clone Wars and Rebels, and KotOR 2 is a much more complex, philosophical story.

Setting: approximately 3951 BBY

Apr 13, 2016

Hello moof-milkers,

Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts kept us from recording an episode this week.  We do plan on recording next week, but in the meantime, I’ve fielded a few questions from Twitter from some friends and fans.  My responses are below.


Austin asks: Are you worried at all about Colin Trevorrow directing Episode IX?

A qualified “No.” It’s qualified, because I am of the belief that it will be nearly impossible to meet fan expectations by the time IX rolls around anyway.  My prediction is that VIII is going to be the weird, somewhat inaccessible critical darling, and then IX will bring more mainstream audiences back.  Colin Trevorrow is a decent, safe choice.  If IX is the Return of the Jedi of the sequel trilogy, then so be it. Frankly, my excitement is more focused on Rogue One at the moment, while my dread is saved for the Han Solo spin-off.

I saw Jurassic World, and had no strong feelings about it beyond some sequel fatigue. IX may sink or float depending on the strength of the dialogue and the performances, just as its predecessors.


Dan asks: Who is your favorite character from The Force Awakens and why is it captain Sidon Ithano?

Image result for sidon ithano

Ah, Sidon Ithano, alias ‘The Crimson Corsair.’  His name is almost as fun as his concept. I’ll admit he’s not my favorite character from TFA, but he is definitely my favorite background character.  (I still can’t choose which of the new Power Trio is my favorite.)  You guys might recognize Ithano as the red-masked dude who Finn signs up with in Maz’s castle in The Force Awakens before he has his change of heart.

This Mask of the Red Death has a catchy nom de guerre, an awesome peg-legged first mate named Quiggold, and a devil-may-care attitude.  His mask is Delphinian --  comparable to the one worn by noted prequel monster General Grievous.  

But the real reason I have so much fondness for the guy is the excellent short story by Landry Q. Walker: “The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku."  Go check it out.  You won’t regret it.


Evin asks: How much pre-OT EU Jedi business was there before the prequels existed?  How deeply canon was the council? Coruscant? The temples? All that rigamarole and hierarchy?


The name “Coruscant” comes from the 1991 Legends novel Heir to the Empire.  Lucas liked the name and kept it in the prequels.  (We’re lucky he didn’t go with the 1976-era name for the Imperial Capital, Had Abaddon.)

The Jedi

A few weeks back, an old West End Games writing guide was making the rounds.  West End Games used to publish the d6 Star Wars roleplaying system, and in the days before the Thrawn trilogy, it and the Marvel Star Wars comics were basically the big games in town as far as the Expanded Universe.  The reason I mention this writing guide is because it contains a prohibition on discussing anything that preceded the Original Trilogy.  And for the longest time, people followed this rule, which made finding sources about the Old Republic Jedi difficult.

As far as hierarchy goes -- though the word “Padawan” never appeared in the original trilogy, George Lucas used it in the original story treatments for what would become A New Hope.

One example of pre-prequel Jedi history is from the 1979 Marvel Star Wars #24 -- it depicts Obi-Wan during the Clone Wars.  Keep in mind this preceded even The Empire Strikes Back!  (Obi-Wan isn’t wearing anything remotely like his Tatooine robes.  Back then, no one assumed he’d be “in hiding” dressed like all the other Jedi.  Return of the Jedi depicted Anakin Skywalker in similar robes to Old Obi-Wan, and then the prequels showed all the Jedi in variations of the same.)

Image result for obi-wan star wars 24

As we may have mentioned, The Courtship of Princess Leia (1994) version of Yoda used to tool around in a Jedi training ship in his younger days, and he was a huge flirt.  It doesn’t tell us a lot about the Council, other than that Jedi used to cruise around in Academy ships.

The 1995 novel I, Jedi got around the problem of what the deal was with the Jedi Council by simply saying the Corellian Jedi were special snowflakes anyway, and rarely listened to the Council.  All that being said, I, Jedi showed Knights are more autonomous agents in general.

In the 1995 Children of the Jedi, Luke meets an Old-Republic era Jedi whose ghost is trapped in the computer of a starship. She mentions that she had a boyfriend when she was a flesh-and-blood Jedi, which is weird in and of itself.  A future Clone Wars era novel retcons this by explaining that they were an offshoot Jedi sect.

I considered including the 1995/1997 Jedi Knight / Jedi Knight II games in this response, but I kind of want to talk about those in future episode, so I’ll leave it alone for now.  (This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive. I have a day job, and this is mostly just what came to mind.)

That should hopefully start answering your question of how much info there was about the Jedi pre-1999?  Overall, the answer is “not much.”


Livi asks: Have any of you read the first issue of the poe dameron comic and if so what did you think?

I read it.  Oscar Isaac is a comically handsome man, even in print.  (That pun was accidental, I swear.)

I’m a fan of Charles Soule’s other Star Wars work, and this has some nice callbacks to other new canon material, like Aftermath and Before the Awakening.  If you like fighter-jock action, I’d say it’s worth picking up.


Clint O. ‏asks: I've been rereading the xwing books, so I was wondering which books made you tear up while reading? (Phanan, nooo)

There are moments in nearly every Wraith Squadron book that cause feelings to happen inside me.  The whole Lara Notsil saga, Piggy, Runt, Phanan, and even Chulku get me.  Those books are amazing.  But I think Mercy Kill is the most emotional.


Michael Ben Silvaasks: Is Anakin the only character played by more than one actor on film? Aging is bananas in SW, but 4 actors is too many actors.  I thought about Obi-Wan already FYI but that doesn't feel like the same issue I guess?

Off the top of my head, Luke and Leia were played by babies in Revenge of the Sith, Artoo and Chewie were different people for some scenes in TFA (and Artoo had a few operators over time), Mon Mothma was played by Genevieve O’Reilly in a deleted scene of Revenge of the Sith (and now in Rogue One), and Wedge changes actors between scenes in A New Hope.  In the original cut of The Empire Strikes Back, the Emperor was played by a woman with a chimpanzee’s eyes superimposed on top of the shot.  

There are probably a few more I’ve overlooked.


Karen Joseph asks: Was there ever 2+ post-Bane Sith pairs at a given time? Like they were all so secretive that neither knew the other was there?

If your question is about whether there were two Sith pairs (Master and Apprentice) that coexisted secretly, the answer is no.

However, depending on how you count Maul + Opress, Dooku + Ventress, and Dooku + Sidious, there were multiple Sith pairs existing during the Clone Wars.

Legends also featured an entire lost tribe of Sith that remained unknown to the galaxy for thousands of years.

This is a tough question to answer, because it's unclear what "counts" as a legitimate Sith pair.

Apr 9, 2016

This week, we talk radio.

You can catch more Johnny O'Mara, James D'Amato, and Kat Kuhl on the Campaign Podcast at

Opening and closing music by @samuraiguit.  Logo by @JasonBaesel.  Send questions, comments, and tips to @roguetldr on Twitter.


But for now, it was enough he wasn't flying Solo any more.

Apr 9, 2016

Vidian is the weirdo cyborg we wrote about in the NTMtP 3 notes (a few entries below).  He was Rae Sloane’s boss for a while.

Alan Dean Foster was the ghostwriter of the original novelization of A New Hope.  He also wrote Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, a completely bonkers early EU novel that we talk about in Episode 2 of NTMtP.  He also came back to write The Force Awakens novelization, which makes me very happy.

Anacondans are snakelike creatures from the Clone Wars cartoon.  One of them bartends at a cantina, which is an impressive feat when you don’t have any limbs.

Please help us find Alexandra Bracken’s fan fiction.

Claudia Gray is the author of Lost Stars, our favorite new canon novel.

Dallas is a 1979 and 2012 TV show.  I think James and I might be making a joke about 5E Dungeons and Dragons here?  I don’t know.  Who can tell?

Biggs Darklighter was Luke Skywalker’s best friend growing up on Tatooine.  He has an incredible mustache and was shot down by Vader in the Battle of Yavin.

Rogue Squadron is the Rebel Alliance / New Republic’s premier fighter squadron in the Expanded Universe.  Much of their history is fleshed out in my favorite Star Wars series, X-Wing by Michael A. Stackpole.

Bigger Luke Theory is an absolutely bonkers fan theory based on one shot in A New Hope in which Luke appears slightly larger than normal.  You can read more about it at  May the Force have mercy on your soul.

Gayer Luke Theory is our term for Mark Hamill’s offhand comment that Luke Skywalker may or may not be gay.

Bigger Gayer Luke Theory is a theory that we came up with that there exists a second, larger Luke, who has a crush on Han.

Biggser Gayer Luke Theory is our theory that there exists a second, larger Luke, who has a crush on his childhood friend, Biggs.

Puppy God Han was discussed in our first episode.  It’s the principle that the Legends Han Solo veers between godlike competence and floor-wetting puppy.

The Wookiee porn chair is a reference to a horrible scene from the Star Wars Holiday Special in which Chewbacca’s father, Attichitcuk, receives a chair with special goggles that project a holographic representation of a human woman singing.  Itchy’s expression in that scene makes us all deeply uncomfortable.

Lowbacca is Chewie’s nephew in the Expanded Universe / Legends.  He showed up in the Young Jedi Knights series featuring Han and Leia's twin children -- I misspoke in the episode and called it Junior Jedi Knights, which is a different series about Han and Leia's youngest son.  Sorry about that.

The Wookiee Life Debt is a staple of Wookiee culture.  Chewbacca swore a life debt to Han Solo after Han saved his life, which is why he follows him around.  I later looked it up and found it referenced in new canon in Smuggler's Run, a YA novel by Greg Rucka. (It's also in the book below.)

Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need To Know is a new book with a disclaimer in it that confuses the kriff out of us.  We’ll discuss it in a future episode.  The short explanation is that it’s unclear whether it “counts” within the new canon.

The fan theory involving R2-D2 and Chewie that Johnny makes reference to can be found here:


Apr 2, 2016

This week is Ewok week.  I think this one speaks for itself.

You can catch more Johnny O'Mara, James D'Amato, and Kat Kuhl on the Campaign Podcast at

Opening and closing music by @samuraiguit.  Logo by @JasonBaesel.  Send questions, comments, and tips to @roguetldr on Twitter.

"His name is Kettch, and he's an Ewok."
"Oh, yes. Determined to fight. You should hear him say, 'Yub, yub.' He makes it a battle cry."

Apr 2, 2016

Below are the annotations for NTMtP Episode 4 - Ewok on the Wild Side.

Mynocks are the batlike creatures that attack the Millennium Falcon when it flies into the belly of the space slug in The Empire Strikes Back.  They can often be found chewing on the power cables of starships.  In the old EU, they were silicon-based life forms that were allergic to helium.

The Sarlacc is the giant sand monster that Jabba tries to throw Luke and co. into in Return of the Jedi.  Sarlaccs supposedly digest their prey over thousands of years.  In the climax of the battle, Boba Fett famously fell into the Sarlacc pit.  In some versions of the EU, he escapes, only to fall into the pit again.  (I should point out that the Sarlacc doesn’t really move, so this is an impressive feat.)  The Clone Wars depicted a flowery variant of the species on the planet Umbara.

The Fanged God is the embodiment of the Dark Side of the Force in beast form.  It was first depicted in The Clone Wars.  We’ll cover this in more detail in a future segment.

Kiros Birds (and the related species, Convorees) are super cute birds that have goggles on their faces.  GOGGLES.  You should Google them for their goggles.

Kushiban are a cute EU species with color-changing mood fur that has a cultural ban on tool usage.

Caravan of Courage is a 1984 children’s movie that takes place on the planet Endor.  James has an unhealthy love of this movie.  It’s…not very good.  Its sequel, Battle for Endor, has a mysterious Force-using witch in it who can fly.  She was later retconned to be a Dathomiri Nightsister, the same culture we discussed from The Courtship of Princess Leia in our first episode.  We’ll cover Nightsisters in more detail later.  (Caravan of Courage is not canon so far.)

The Wraith Squadron Series is a set of EU books that focuses on a squadron of colorful rejects from the Rebel armed forces.  The pilots in that book are goofy as hell and are always messing with each other.  Note: Wedge is actually the person who tricks Janson into stripping naked, but only after Janson messes with him first.

Mar 27, 2016

This week, we discuss Admiral Rae Sloane, an Imperial Star Destroyer captain who is not a) an old white dude, b) grossly incompetent, or c) murdered by the Rebels or Vader (yet.)  We also delve into Kat's love for Sith philosophy, and Johnny's love of the Galactic Empire.  Garbage puns throughout.

You can catch more Johnny O'Mara, James D'Amato, and Kat Kuhl on the Campaign Podcast at

Opening and closing music by @samuraiguit.  Logo by @JasonBaesel.  Send questions, comments, and tips to @roguetldr on Twitter.


I presume you are acquainted with the collection of half-truths and hyperbole known as Obi-Wan Kenobi?

Mar 27, 2016

Below are the annotations for NTMtP Episode 3 - Sith Happens.  Let us know if you think we should do this regularly!

Aftermath is a book by Chuck Wendig, and takes place just after Return of the Jedi.  Rae Sloane is the main antagonist of Aftermath.  Greg Grunberg’s character from The Force Awakens (“Snap” Wexley) appears as a young child named Temmin.  There is also a homicidal ballet-dancing battle droid named Mr. Bones in the book.

Count Vidian is a new canon Imperial cyborg who also makes use of an imposing voice box not unlike Sad Black Plastic Frankenstein.  He likes to run around the Star Wars galaxy and yell at factories that are behind schedule.  Factories that do not shape up are summarily exploded.  (Vidian is one the Emperor’s favorite people.)  Vidian was also Rae Sloane’s boss for a while.

Admiral Gilad Pellaeon is an Expanded Universe character who Kat is quite fond of.  He served as Grand Admiral (Grandmiral) Thrawn’s second-in-command / Dr. Watson in the Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn.  We covered Thrawn in our first episode.)  Gil is a pretty good bro, really.

Millicent is General Hux’s cat.  Please visit this link.

Korriban / Moraband is the ancient homeward of the Sith in the EU and in new canon.  In the EU it was filled with spoooooky evil ghosts.  It probably isn’t any more.

Darth Bane is an EU Sith Lord who was the founder of the Rule of Two, or the rule that Sith must only consist of a Master and an Apprentice, except for when Palpatine doesn’t feel like following it.

The Potentium is an EU Force philosophy that believes that there is no light or dark side, and that evil merely exists in the user.  The Potentium is stupid.

Darth Plagueis was Emperor Palpatine’s Sith Master who was conducting experiments on the nature of the Force.  His (EU) novel explores the idea that he was responsible for the creation of Anakin.  (Through experiments.  Don’t be gross.)

Mar 16, 2016

We're recording next week!  Stay tuned for more episodes.





allay loo ta nuv

« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next »