Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The IPC Podcast LIVE | 300th Episode Party!

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At long last we have reached our 300th episode! To celebrate the occasion Zac, Ben and Jake take the IPC Podcast to the next level, hosting a virtual 300th episode party on Zoom and decided to invite on, well... everyone. For more than three hours they were joined by various friends and loyal listeners from around the world, including Matias Kjølstad, Steven Shinder, Jeffery White and others. With no strictly established topic they discuss a seemingly endless amount topics, along with tons of crazy tangents, lots of wild shenanigans, and load of hilarious wisecracking. You don't want to miss a single second of this momentous episode! (WARNING: This episode includes occasional NSFW language.)

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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Opinion: Palpatine's Rise And Failings Of The Jedi Order In The Prequels

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Your overconfidence is your weakness…..your faith in your friends is yours.”


Emperor Palpatine was unbeatable and untouchable in Return of the Jedi when he engaged in his verbal spar with the son of the Chosen One, Luke Skywalker.


Sitting in his throne on the Death Star, which circled above Endor, Sheev Palpatine had not predicted being betrayed by his apprentice Darth Vader. 


However, he had let his guard down and the Empire’s leader was thrown down the shaft after almost electrocuting the “last of the Jedi” to death.


Luke was right to say that the “overconfidence” of Palpatine was his major weakness which cost him dearly in Episode VI.


But looking back on his rise to power, it is easy to see how he became so blinded to his ultimately fateful flaw.


Episode I and II


The Jedi’s phantom menace was Darth Sidious between Episode I and Episode III, including the Clone Wars.


Sidious is a cold, selfish, calculating and brutal villain who cared little for his subordinates, including the cowardly Trade Federation during the Naboo blockade or even his apprentices Maul and Count Dooku. 


His sole aim was to obtain absolute power and destroy the Jedi as his Empire rose.


The corruption which already existed within the Republic’s political system and the “narrow, dogmatic” view of the Jedi Council facilitated his goals in Episodes I and II.


In the Phantom Menace, Master Ki Adi Mundi said it was “impossible” that the Sith had returned after 1,000 years, believing the Jedi would have sensed it.


Palpatine himself says that the Senate is made up of “squabbling” delegates who are grounded in self-interest while power at the heart of the Republic was “bogged down in procedure."


A commission to “ascertain the truth” of the Naboo blockade was the final straw that broke the camel’s back for Chancellor Finis Valorum before he was pushed aside and Sidious took his place without any member of the Jedi Order realising.



The failings of the Jedi played a big part in Sidious’ ascension, as Luke himself says in the Last Jedi: “At the height of their powers, they allowed Darth Sidious to rise, create the Empire and wipe them out.


“It was a Jedi Master who was responsible for the training and creation of Darth Vader.”


Anakin became the “prized pupil” that Darth Sidious sought after for years after being elected as Chancellor, all the while being trained by Obi Wan Kenobi between Episode I and Episode II.


It was Palpatine’s biggest gambit after he was given emergency powers to create a Grand Army of the Republic to tackle the “increasing threat” of the Separatists.


The hidden enemy led the Senate but the public one was headed by Count Dooku, who we all know became Sidious’ apprentice after the loss of Maul.


Dooku admitted to the Padawan of his former Padawan, Qui Gonn, on Geonosis that hundreds of senators were under the influence of a Sith Lord called Darth Sidious. But Kenobi simply responded with: “I don’t believe you.”


It was the epitome of what was wrong with the Jedi and their naivety contributed to their downfall as they became distracted by the Clone Wars. 


Dooku’s revelation could have backfired on Sidious, who was lucky. 


There was clear distrust between Darth Tyranus and Sidious throughout the Clone Wars as Dooku attempted to enlist the help of Obi Wan to get rid of him. Had the Jedi listened, Sheev’s identity would have been unveiled.


Instead, Dooku travelled to the industrial works on Coruscant to deliver the Death Star plans to his master and the Clone Wars begins.


The early years of Sidious were very calculating, but also risky and interestingly enough Jango Fett’s revelation of Tyranus to Obi Wan on Kamino would be the start of the Jedi’s trail to Sidious.



The Clone Wars 


Orchestrating both sides of the Clone Wars saw many plates spin, similar to Jar Jar during a Toydarian dinner party in season three, but how difficult could it be? 


Palpatine made it look easy, but it is fair to say that the mystery of Darth Sidious started to unravel as the seasons progressed, particularly in season six, soon after he had killed Savage Opress on Mandalore and captured Maul as a play toy.


The Nightsisters, guided by Mother Talzin, were taken out as a threat to Sidious during the events of the Son of Dathomir comic, but the scent of his identity was caught by the Jedi during the pre-emptive Order 66 failings and the uncovering of the fate of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas.


Clone trooper Fives discovered the conspiracy behind the Republic military force, realising a chip had been inserted into their minds to make them turn on their Jedi generals by the command of a sinister force, Sidious.


The early activation of Tup’s chip was a major concern for Palpatine, but the smooth politician was able to convince the Jedi that the clone trooper had been infected with a parasite and every military man would be inoculated for protection.


Jedi Master Windu and Yoda should have forensically scrutinised the Chancellor on this, but they chose not to do so. It cost them and saved Sidious.



Yoda’s journey with Qui Gon and the force spirits saw him travel to Dagobah and the SIth world, Moraband, but it all started with the search for Sifo-Dyas. 


It was the first time that the Jedi had truly begun to dig deeper into finding out how the clones came into being and put Sidious in one of his most vulnerable positions.


The Sith Lord’s anger was so fierce that he choked his own apprentice, Dooku, on Serenno for his "clumsiness" despite being light years away in the Chancellor’s office on Coruscant.


The Jedi uncovered that Tyranus was Dooku and that the Sith had ordered the manufacture of the clones, but did not investigate this avenue further.


It was a big let off for Sidious as the Sith Lord held back executing Order 66 until he had acquired the “prized pupil” of the hero of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker.



Revenge of the Sith


After the death of Count Dooku, Anakin became Palpatine’s new apprentice, Obi Wan tells Padme outside her Coruscant apartment in Episode III.


That was Sidious’ intention after the Chosen One cut off the head of Count Dooku on Grievous' Separatist dreadnought when Palpatine was fake kidnapped.


It was his masterful seduction of Anakin throughout his childhood and as a Jedi Knight that led to the hero of the Clone Wars becoming the villain of the Empire.


However, the Jedi were on the case and discovered Sidious’ true identity after Anakin was told to spy on the Chancellor. This came as the council started to put the pieces together in ROTS. 


During the Siege of Mandalore, Obi Wan told Ahsoka, Bo Katan and Rex that the council believed that “Darth Sidious was the Sith Lord who orchestrated the Clone Wars and played both sides of it from the beginning”.


Ahead of the climactic duel on Mandalore, Maul said that Anakin Skywalker was the “key to everything” as the former Sith Lord believed that he would destroy the balance of the force but Ahsoka did not accept his vision of the future.


It is fair to say that Anakin was the key and when Mace Windu went to the office of the Chancellor to confront the true Sith Lord, the fate of the galaxy rested on the Chosen One’s shoulders.


Of course, Sidious had already revealed his true nature to Anakin, which meant that the Jedi were aware, but it was all part of a larger plot to turn Skywalker to the dark side.



For Sidious, who murdered three Jedi masters in cold blood within seconds, it was a high-risk move to allow himself to be at the mercy of Windu’s purple lightsaber when Anakin walked in. 


Following the duel with Windu, Palpatine bet that the boy, who he had groomed for years, would step in and save him.


This was based on the pretence that the Sith Lord could save Anakin’s wife, Padme, from “certain death” after Skywalker watched his own mother die in his arms on Tatooine. 


However, all the decades of destruction to the Republic and ascension to the seat of ultimate power in the Senate could have all fallen apart if Anakin had chosen a different path and let Windu kill Sidious.


It does not mean to say that the Republic would have survived. Heck, Palpatine says that without Order 66 there would likely be a galaxy-wide civil war “without end”.


But, Sidious’ gambit would have been shattered and centuries of Sith work would have fallen by the wayside with his death and his dream of becoming Emperor over.


Those fine margins made the difference to the fate of the galaxy in Episode III.



Conclusion


To conclude, Sidious won everything he sought after. He twisted Anakin Skywalker to the dark side to become his enforcer and puppet Darth Vader while carrying out near genocide of the Jedi Order and receiving “thunderous” support for his imperial vision.


However, there were moments where his “overconfidence” at luring the Tatooine boy over to the dark side - which included revealing his true identity to the Jedi council - could have cost him dearly.


The Sith code also played a factor in almost coming back to haunt him.


Maul came back from the dead to become a rival to the Republic on Mandalore with the allies of the Nightsisters and crime families.


Dooku told Obi Wan the truth about Sidious while recruiting Asajj Ventress and Savage Oppress as tools to take down the Chancellor.


In addition, Jedi council masters were on Sidious’ trail and aware of the existence of the dark lord and his true intentions with the Clone Wars during Revenge of the Sith.


Mace Windu even had Palpatine at his mercy and had Anakin not intervened, Sidious would have been destroyed.


Had Yoda, Ahsoka or Obi Wan been on Coruscant during these events things may have played out very differently. This did not happen though.


Instead, Sidious can rightly be lauded for being the ultimate mastermind who successfully orchestrated the Clone Wars and removed his rivals during the height of their power.


Emperor Palpatine maintained his phantom menace status until the shroud of the dark side suffocated the light of the Jedi. 




Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.
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Friday, September 18, 2020

The SWU Podcast LIVE | 18/09/20

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THE MANDALORIAN SEASON TWO TRAILER BREAKDOWN!  On this episode, Dominic, Ben, and Chris dissect and discuss the first trailer for the second season of The Mandalorian.  They talk about how this trailer sets the tone for the upcoming season, while reminding everyone where we've been in season one.  They also delve into the clues about Din Djarin's quest to reunite Baby Yoda with the Jedi.  Plus, the New Republic's role in season two, is Boba Fett's jet pack in the trailer, and just who is Sasha Banks playing?  They also chat about the new Star Wars: Squadrons short, "Hunted".  All this and much more!


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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The IPC Podcast LIVE #299 | Top Five Battle Scenes

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On this episode Zac, Jake and Ben bring about another long awaited Top Five topic, this time asking the question; What Are Your Top Five Battle Scenes? They begin by reading a ton of top five lists submitted by listeners which include a wide variety of scenes from TV, film and more, including battles from Star Wars, Marvel, Lord Of The Rings, Star Trek, Game Of Thrones and many others. Later they dive into their own lists and reveal some expected, and perhaps some unexpected choices. They also take a few more moments to remember the late, great Chadwick Boseman a week after his death. Listen for all this and more!

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Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Clone Wars Strikes Back | Episode 56

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Dominic and Ciaran continue their look back at season seven of The Clone Wars with PART TWO of their "Siege of Mandalore" discussion.  They look at some of the key relationships Ahsoka has in this arc, starting with Bo-Katan.  They break down the unexpected partnership between the Jedi outcast and the Mandalorian outcast. Then they delve into Ahsoka and Maul's confrontation in the throne room, Maul's offer to Ahsoka, and her reasons for ultimately rejecting him.  And to close out the show they do a deep dive on Ahsoka's final conversation with the Jedi council.  Plus, how Obi-Wan and Padme's reactions to Anakin's fall compare to Ahsoka's, what does the future hold for Mandalore, and in defense of Mace Windu?  All this and much more! Website: www.tcwstrikesback.com
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The IPC Podcast LIVE #298 | R.I.P. Chadwick Boseman & DC FanDome Recap

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On this episode Zac and Ben sit down to watch and discuss all of the amazing new trailers from DC FanDome. But first they must address the shocking and heartbreaking news regarding the untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman. They pay respects to the late actor and his incredible career, from playing real life icons like Jackie Robinson in 42, to the cultural phenomenon that was his portrayal of Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The guys also break down all of the biggest trailers from DC FanDome, including Wonder Woman 1984, The Batman, The Suicide Squad, Snyder Cut of Justice League and the video game trailers for Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League. They also touch on some of the biggest pieces of news, including the return of Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton as Batman in The Flash movie, as well as updates on the the upcoming Aquaman and Shazam! sequels. Listen for all of that and much more!

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Friday, September 11, 2020

The SWU Podcast LIVE | 11/09/20

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On this episode, Dominic, Ben, and Chris break down all the reveals about The Mandalorian Season Two from Entertainment Weekly.  They analyze all the new photos and discuss the quotes from Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Pedro Pascal, Giancarlo Esposito, and Carl Weathers about what's to come this October.  Then they look at Daisy Ridley's recent revelations about the production of the sequel trilogy and Rey's lineage, as well as speculating about some potential roads not taken for the story.  Plus, Ewan McGregor confirms the Kenobi series is just one season, Lego reveals an incredible new Mos Eisley Cantina set, and the return of the Star Destoryer.  All this and much more!

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Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

The IPC Podcast LIVE #297 | Holes

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On this episode Jake and Zac take a look back a beloved Disney movie from the yesteryear; Holes! They dive into discussing the plot and characters as well as and their favorite memories of the 2003 film. They also discuss the film's incredible cast, from screen legends like Sigourney Weaver and Jon Voight, to the introduction future stars like Shia LaBeouf. And later, Ben drops in for a special edition of #BBQWatch to discuss his and Jake's momentous meeting with Joey Mays at May's Sandwich Shop. Listen for all of that and much more!

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Friday, September 4, 2020

The SWU Podcast LIVE | 04/09/20

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On this episode, Dominic, Ben, and Chris discuss John Boyega's recent interview with British GQ, where he reflects very candidly about his experiences on Star Wars.  Then they discuss the news of the release date of season two of The Mandalorian. They also react to the news that a younger Yoda in the High Republic stories.  Plus, the rumored evolution of the Obi-Wan Disney+ series, collecting updates, Star Wars birthday party guests, and the history of the clone wars.  All this and much more!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Force Fest 2020: The DIY Hero’s Journey — Turning Your Fandom Into Creation

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By: Dominic Jones

From the first ever Force Fest virtual convention, Dominic Jones (The Star Wars Underworld Podcast) moderates a discussion with musician Din (F-105 and The Soles) and cosplayer Kareem (Order 416) about Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey and how it can be applied in one’s creative expression. The discussion, presented with additional visual enhancements, is framed around Din's music as they follow the steps in the journey through five of his songs. They explore how Campbell's work, plus a heavy dose of Star Wars, provided the tools that finally helped him find an audience. The intention of the panel is to show how these tools can help any artistic creator in fandom, by demonstrating how it will help their creation connect to others more successfully!
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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The IPC Podcast LIVE | Minisode: Muppet Treasure Island

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On this special minisode Zac sits down with brother Joel to discuss a beloved film, Muppets Treasure Island. They share their top five favorite Muppets as well as discussing the best moments from the film and their overall thoughts on the Jim Henson classic.

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Friday, August 28, 2020

The SWU Podcast LIVE | 28/08/20

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On this episode, Dominic, Ben, and Chris are joined by SWU "Senior Tie-In Materials Correspondent" Chris "Starrapter" Abbott to discuss all the Star Wars new at Gamescon 2020.  They break down the new Star Wars: Squadrons preview, and talk about how it ties-in with other Star Wars material set in that era.  They also share their thoughts on the Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga trailer and the new The Sims "Journey to Batuu" expansion.  Then they talk to the organizers of this weekend's ForceFest virtual convention Richard and Sara Woloski from Skywalking Through Neverland, and Tyler Bucks from Chatter Squadron.  Plus, reaction to Kathleen Kennedy's latest comments about the future of Star Wars, the mystery of 2019 The Clone Wars Celebration trailer, and Ben tells an amazing story about the SWU live show at Clebration Chicago.  All this and much more!
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Thursday, August 27, 2020

'Galaxy's Edge' Expansion Pack 'Journey to Batuu' Coming To 'The Sims 4'

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With Gamescom happening this week we had expected some big reveals from the video games Star Wars: Squadrons and Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker, but we were also treated to something we didn't expect. The announcement of a new expansion pack for The Sims 4 entitled Star Wars: Journey to Batuu was a surprise to be sure, but a welcomed one. Today, Lucasfilm, partnering with EA and Maxis, announced that Sims 4 players will have the opportunity to travel to Batuu's Black Spire Outpost. Below you can check out a trailer which shows off all the features included with the new expansion:

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#BREAKING: Gameplay Trailer Released For 'Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker'

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At long last, we have our first look at gameplay from the upcoming game Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga! The footage comes courtesy of Gamescom which is happening right now. You can check out the footage below:

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#BREAKING: Single Player Preview Trailer Revealed For 'Star Wars: Squadrons'

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Straight out of Gamescom we have another fascinating look at the upcoming game Star Wars: Squadrons! In a new trailer released during Gamescom EA showed off over 3 minutes of gameplay footage from the game's single player campaign. You can check it out for yourself below:

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