OwlTail

Cover image of A More Civilized Age: A Star Wars Podcast

A More Civilized Age: A Star Wars Podcast

Join Rob Zacny, Natalie Watson, Ali Acampora, and Austin Walker as they dive headfirst into the fall of the Galactic Republic, debate which Jedi is messiest, and dig into the themes and politics of The Clone Wars. Cover Art by @XeeceeVEVO on Twitter.

Popular episodes

All episodes

Read more

Join Rob Zacny, Natalie Watson, Ali Acampora, and Austin Walker as they dive headfirst into the fall of the Galactic Republic, debate which Jedi is messiest, and dig into the themes and politics of The Clone Wars. Cover Art by @XeeceeVEVO on Twitter.

56: The Clovis Arc (Clone Wars 113-115)

Podcast cover
Read more

Have there been better arcs of Clone Wars? Absolutely. Have there been arcs that more cleverly dissect the hypocrisy of the Jedi or Anakin's fall to the dark side? Undoubtedly. Are there better duels, dogfights, and tests of will? Of course.

But has there ever been a Clone Wars arc as toxic as this one? Oh, no my friends, in that regard we have absolutely peaked.

NEXT TIME: Episodes 116 - 118 ("The Disappeared, Part I," "The Disappeared, Part II," "The Lost One")

Show Notes

Major Deaths (RIP to a real one): Teckla Minnau

Normal, Expected Deaths (Sad imo): Commander Thorn, Bec Lawise

Additional Deaths (It is what it is): Rush Clovis

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Jan 18 2023

2hr 32mins

Play

55: The Clone Protocol 66 Arc (Clone Wars 109-113)

Podcast cover
Read more

Happy New Year! As everyone moves into the new year, we're moving both backwards and forwards at the same time. With the Autumn of Andor (mostly) behind us, we return to our ongoing Clone Wars rewatch. But we also move forward into a new season, picking up with Anakin Skywalker feeling a little more dour than usual as he leads a tired clone force in a circular battle against a foe he thought was long since vanquished.

The already troubled situation slips into crisis when... well, you should really watch these episodes and/or listen to us dissect them to get the whole picture. Just know: Today, we finally answer one of the longest running mysteries of the franchise. 

NEXT TIME: Episodes 113 - 115 ("An Old Friend," "The Rise of Clovis," "Crisis at the Heart")

Show Notes

Deaths: Jedi Master Tiplar, Commander Droid Kraken, Tup (CT-5385), Fives (CT-27-5555) 😔 😔 😔

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Jan 04 2023

2hr 29mins

Play

54: Exploring the Music of 'Andor' with Kirk Hamilton

Podcast cover
Read more

In our final episode of the year, we're joined by Kirk Hamilton of Strong Songs, Triple Click, and the Kotaku review of Destiny 2 fame. (No, really, it's one of my all time favorite reviews. Go read it!)

Over on Strong Songs, Kirk recently dove headfirst into Nicholas Britell's excellent Andor score. Today, he's joining us to talk through music's place in the show and in Star Wars in general. Join us as we unpack the differences between Britell, John Williams, and the other musicians who've worked in the franchise. And don't worry, we sneak in one more theory about Cass' sister for good measure!

Show Notes

"Evolution of the Star Wars Main Theme" by Star Wars Audio Comics on YouTube (Used around minute 20)

Brad & Will Made a Tech Pod

"When Music is Torture" by an interview with Lilly E. Hirsch by Maggie Wang

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Dec 23 2022

1hr 51mins

Play

53: Swapping Feelings, Theories, and Hats with Adam Serwer

Podcast cover
Read more

As promised, the Autumn of Andor continues! Today, we've got the first of three guest-filled episodes coming to you this December. We are joined by Adam Serwer, author of The Cruelty Is the Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America, staff writer at The Atlantic, and life long Star Wars fan.

We share and contextualize our final feelings on Andor, explore the tensions and consonances between the Lucas, Filoni, and Gilroy visions of the franchise, and (if you are very patient) try to unravel whatever the hell was up with that Karn/Mosk hat swap.

NEXT TIME: TBD, but expect us to either pick up either our headphones or our character sheets.

Show Notes

"Star Wars Gets Political" by Adam Serwer

"Tony Gilroy, forgive me for this post" - BB-8 on Andor & the Hero's Journey 

Brasso's Actor posting Killing in the Name

The Great Game, the Atlantic's World Cup Newsletter

Finally, an important communique from the inimitable poet, sociologist, and comic book author Eve Ewing, as hand delivered by Adam Serwer:

p.s. Eve, you are ABSOLUTELY welcome to come thru!

Dec 07 2022

1hr 38mins

Play

52: "Rix Road" (Andor 12)

Podcast cover
Read more

Surprise! Thanks to a very kind mystery contact with their own very kind mystery contacts inside of Lucasfilm (and/or Disney Plus), we were given last minute screener access to the Andor finale. And you better believe we hustled to watch it, prep our notes, and deliver the longest episode of our Andor season and one of the longest episodes we've ever recorded.

Come for our emotional reactions to the return of voices we'd thought we'd heard the last of. Stay for our dive into 2000s-era anarchist philosophy. And then rate us five stars for all the time we dedicate to talking about our very favorite absolutely rotten relationships.

ALSO: As a special bonus for our Patrons, we recorded our own live reactions when we group watched this episode together. Go to patreon.com/civilized, support us at the $5 level, and you can hear each of our exuberant pop offs, our surprised gasps, our wavering voices, and our howls for the most rancid of love stories.  

NEXT TIME: No episode on the 30th (this is that episode), and potentially no episode on the 7th. But we have a bunch of great stuff queued up for December, so look forward to it!

Show Notes

The Coming Insurrection by the Invisible Committee

We are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Nov 23 2022

3hr 31mins

Play

51: "Daughter of Ferrix" (Andor 11)

Podcast cover
Read more

As Cassian and Melshi put distance between themselves and Narkina 5, the rest of the galaxy spins just thus, aligning such that many of our principal players will wind up together on Ferrix. And those that won't, well, they're busy uh... talking about Trad Chandrillan customs, so, you know, equally as exciting. 

Like many of you, we have spent the last ten episodes on the edge of our seats, eager to know what comes next. But with today's episode, written by Tony Gilory and directed by Benjamin Caron, we are a step past eager. We are desperate. Join us in desperation.

You can support the show and gain access to a monthly Q&A cast by going to patreon.com/civilized

NEXT TIME: Andor Episode 12 (TWELVE. THE SEASON ONE FINALE. AHHHHHH)

 Show Notes

Shout outs to Chase for this one.

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Nov 21 2022

2hr 36mins

Play

50: "One Way Out" (Andor 10)

Podcast cover
Read more

If you rewind the clock by two years, it was today, November 14th, that Ali, Rob, Natalie, and I got in the same group DM and made a decision: Let's do a Clone Wars podcast.

Today, our 50th episode releases, and let me tell you: On that day, we could not BEGIN to imagine how much we would be feasting.

Today's episode of Andor is a tight, focused 43 minute exploration of revolutionary sacrifice in its many forms. And while I could not call this nearly three hour long episode of our show anything close to "tight," I do think it's one of our best yet. So please, tell a friend, review the show on your podcast platform of choice, and (if you're in a place where you can) go ahead and give us some support on our Patreon.

Here's to 50 more episodes of yelling about Jedi hypocrisy, theorizing about crybaby fascists, sometimes, complaining about mid-tier fandom, coming up with our own outlandish AUs, and (every once in a while) offering deep analysis.

NEXT TIME: Andor Episode 11

Show Notes

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

You can support the show and gain access to a monthly Q&A cast by going to patreon.com/civilized

Nov 14 2022

2hr 50mins

Play

49: "Nobody's Listening!" (Andor 09)

Podcast cover
Read more

There are many things about Andor that, push come to shove, I think we could have predicted. Self-sufficient (if selfish) rogue slowly warms to a rebellion? Sure. Imperial bureaucracy tightens its snare around the revolutionary and the uninvolved alike? Definitely. Coruscanti political drama? Probably, hell, they had that in Clone Wars.

But there are scenes in this week's Andor that never in one hundred years would we have imagined to have shown up. Here? In Star Wars? No. Couldn't be. Disney wouldn't let it happen. 

And yet... here we are. 

NEXT TIME: Andor Episode 10

Show Notes

#Keero Fancam by Patrick Willems

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Nov 07 2022

2hr 21mins

Play

48: "Narkina 5" (Andor 08)

Podcast cover
Read more

If you made fun of us for going long on a previous Andor episode, well the joke is on you, because you should've waited for this week. In what can only be described as (minute-for-minute and pound-for-pound) our MOST five star runtime episode yet, we delve into all manner of bleak material. There's prison labor. There's a bitter-yet-functional marriage. There's a snare slowly tightening around a rebellion so nascent that even two of its most important leaders can't come to terms about working together. And there's a little terrible man who is, one bad day at a time, learning that the world doesn't work in the the facile, cartoonish way he dreamt it did.

NEXT TIME: Andor Episode 09

Show Notes

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Oct 31 2022

3hr 19mins

Play

47: "Announcement" (Andor 07)

Podcast cover
Read more

After a nail-biting heist, what could follow for Andor? Unsurprisingly, a talky episode all about the Empire's response to the fledgling rebellion, filled with juicy details about galactic policy decisions, intelligence agency maneuvering, and a bunch of difficult emotional conversations. And, of course... Space Miami.

NEXT TIME: Andor Episode 08

Show Notes

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Oct 24 2022

2hr 31mins

Play

46: "The Eye" (Andor 06)

Podcast cover
Read more

Wow, what a season. From the opening at the rainy PreMor leisure district to the climactic conclusion in highlands of Aldh-

What's that?  You're saying this is only the halfway point of the series? The halfway point of the first season of the series? 

No, that can't be right. You're saying that after this—perhaps the best pound-for-pound filmmaking we've covered on the podcast—we get... more? 

Wow. A better world really is possible.

NEXT TIME: Andor Episode 07

Show Notes

Heads up that next episode may come a day late, as we're dealing with scheduling difficulties and dental recovery!

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Oct 17 2022

2hr 30mins

Play

45: "The Axe Forgets" (Andor 05)

Podcast cover
Read more

We finished last episode with two desires: To sit in on an absolutely terrible dinner evening and to watch the beginning of a high intensity heist. We got neither, and instead have received a feast unlike any we could've hoped for.

From Coruscant to Aldhani, we trace four stories about families bickering. A mother dressing up insults in the language of care. A father leaning back and watching in glee as his daughter tears into her mother. Brothers-in-arms at each other's throats. It's drama time, baby. The action can wait.

NEXT TIME: Andor Episode 06

Show Notes

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Oct 10 2022

1hr 56mins

Play

44: "Aldhani" (Andor 04)

Podcast cover
Read more

Three episodes can trick you. It's enough that you think: Okay, I have the gist of the show. I understand what's going on here. I get the moves the filmmakers like to make, I understand tone and theme. I get what the actors have at their disposal. But three episodes is nothing. Sometimes a showrunner handles the introductory arc themself, only to step back afterwards. Budgets dip. The relationship between actors, directors, and others on set can sour. Three episodes can trick you.

But Andor first three episodes didn't trick us.

Join us this week for our dive into the fourth episode of the series, where we dig into all of our favorite topics, including cultural deterritorialization, the penchant intelligence agencies have for falling into paranoia, and, of course, extremely shitty husbands.

NEXT TIME: Andor Episode 05

Show Notes

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Oct 03 2022

2hr 6mins

Play

43: "Kassa," "That Would Be Me," & "Reckoning" (Andor 01 - 03)

Podcast cover
Read more

A More Civilized Age has never been a show with a plan so much as a set of interests. We’ve never even really known what is coming in the primary topic for our show, The Clone Wars, and that’s allowed us to have some incredible experiences and, we hope, some fun surprises to share with you that compensates for the fact that we can’t analyze this with a complete knowledge of the text.

That also meant that we never really had a plan for “what happens after we watch The Clone Wars?” That was a conversation for the future. We’d wrap up our project and then think about whether or not there were any other shows that we felt so passionately about that we’d want to widen the scope of AMCA.

But it turns out that if you spend two years working on a Star Wars podcast the future might just become the present and force the issue before you are ready.

As you might have gleaned when we watched the trailer, Andor had all the hallmarks of a show that would speak to the things we were most interested in when it came to Star Wars. And indeed, from the minute the first episodes came out, it was clear we needed to drop everything and let our own excitement be our guide.

So: For the next couple months, we’re going to leave Ahsoka on the steps of the Jedi Temple at the end of Season 5 and spend some time with Andor.

Now, we have a plan for the rest of the Clone Wars and we’d already started work on Season 6 when we made this turn, so we’re not scrapping the heart of what AMCA has been about. But for the next couple months, we’re going to be hitting the latest episode of Andor every week and continuing with our monthly Q and As.

We hope you're as excited about these next few months of AMCA as we are. It’s fair to say that the post-Disney, post-Abrams era of Star Wars has been very hit or miss, but if nothing else it feels like Andor already feels like a show that has paid attention to and is ready to spark more of the most interesting conversations you can have about Star Wars and its fictional history. Will it stick the landing? Your guess is as good as ours, but we’re excited to take the ride with you.

-Rob Zacny

NEXT TIME: Andor Episode 04

Show Notes

Huge shout outs to @XEECEEVEVO for the new art! Go check out their visual novel about murder and mystery in a 15th century convent, Misericorde!  

Tony Gilroy on the Screenwriting of 'Andor'

‘What’s the Bodega Look Like on Coruscant?’: Tony Gilroy on Making ‘Andor’ – and Fighting Off a ‘Michael Clayton’ TV Series

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Sep 28 2022

3hr 17mins

Play

42: The Rogue Jedi Arc (Clone Wars 105-108)

Podcast cover
Read more

Do you remember when, in one of last arc's Filoni Zones, Dave said something like "...it's the best fight that we've ever done... until next episode's." Well, that might be true for in a broader sense for this arc, too. Somehow, after the low lows of the middle of this season, we've hit an absolute golden pair of arcs to close it out. This week's material isn't perfect—the mystery has an unfortunate Scooby Doo quality, for one—but it's damn close. 

And remember what Star Wars Dot Com said: [REDACTED] is 100% right.

NEXT TIME: Episodes 109 - 113 ("The Unkown," "Conspiracy," "Fugitive," and "Orders")

Show Notes

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Sep 14 2022

3hr 48mins

Play

41: The Shadow Collective Arc (Clone Wars 102-104)

Podcast cover
Read more

We've had some hard times here, haven't we gang? Aspirin defending bounty hunters. Bogan fruit. Juggling Jar-Jar. Lux Bonteri, heartthrob and super soldier. Younglings. Droids in voids. 

Well. You know what? For the string of episodes we're kicking off today, it was worth it. All of it. 

If you haven't watched the last few arcs, take our recommendation and go watch this one before listening. You owe it to yourself. Then come back and get ready for what might be the most high energy 3+ hours we've ever had on the show. So far, anyway...

Show Notes

Mandalorian Murals

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Aug 31 2022

3hr 21mins

Play

40: The D-Squad Arc (Clone Wars 98-101)

Podcast cover
Read more

Close your eyes and imagine this: A Clone Wars arc about the intricacies of droid personhood and cultural hierarchy, partially taking place in an existentialist void, and crossing paths with a story about an amnesiac Clone who's escaped the war just to find himself another harsh master. Oh, and the best explosion in the series to date. Now open your eyes and face the cold hard reality: This is one of the worst arcs we've seen yet.

Hope yet lives, though. Why? Because we've made it through 100 episodes of the show. Oh, and because in the time since recording this episode, we've all watched the next arc. And wow is the group chat buzzing...

NEXT TIME: Episodes 102 - 104 (""Eminence," "Shades of Reason," and "The Lawless"")

You can support the show and gain access to a monthly Q&A cast by going to patreon.com/civilized

Show Notes

Astromech Deaths: M5-BZ

Clone Deaths: Gregor (but probably not, thanks Dave)

Star Wars The Clone Wars Season Five: A Sunny Day In The Void Featurette

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Aug 17 2022

1hr 58mins

Play

39: The Youngling Arc (Clone Wars 94-97)

Podcast cover
Read more

For nearly two years now, we've had a number of questions about what it means to be a so-called Youngling in the Jedi Order. What's it like to be separated from your family and culture? How are they taught to live a life without attachment, yet one still devoted to service? How are classes structured? How's the food in the cafeteria? 

Well, finally we get an arc all about Younglings. Only we don't get many answers, because no matter how much the crew behind Clone Wars says that lightsabers aren't all that important, they nevertheless can't seem to stop making episodes about them. Well, them and Hondo Ohnaka... 

NEXT TIME: Episodes 98 - 101 ("Secret Weapons," "A Sunny Day in the Void," "Missing in Action," and "Point of No Return")

You can support the show and gain access to a monthly Q&A cast by going to patreon.com/civilized

Show Notes

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Aug 03 2022

2hr 40mins

Play

38: The Onderon Arc (Clone Wars 90-93)

Podcast cover
Read more

After some time away, we're back to our old tricks. And hey, so are the Jedi, if by "up to their old tricks" we mean "refusing to help people in need because they prioritize an abstract code over lives." Watch as Anakin invents the Rebellion and the CIA in the same fell swoop. Cheer as a future revolutionary makes his (admittedly mixed) first appearance. Shrug as Ahsoka and Lux Bonteri continue to vaguely orbit one another. Clone Wars is back baby!

NEXT TIME: Episodes 94 - 97 ("The Gathering, "A Test of Strength," "Bound for Rescue," "A Necessary Bond")

You can support the show and gain access to a monthly Q&A cast by going to patreon.com/civilized

Show Notes

Rebel Deaths: Dono, Hutch, Steela Gerrera

Shitty King Deaths: Sanjay Rash

Kish (Saw's Voice Actor) - I Rhyme the World in 80 Days

Hosted by Rob Zacny (@RobZacny)

Featuring Alicia Acampora (@ali_west), Austin Walker (@austin_walker), and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Jul 20 2022

2hr 29mins

Play

Bonus: The Kaiburr Conspiracy (feat. Keith J. Carberry)

Podcast cover
Read more

A quick note: This ep contains very minor spoilers for Season 5 Episode 7.

As we said in the last few episodes, because of travel and other delays, we're not quite ready to jump into Season 5 headfirst yet. But tonight, we saw an opportunity to keep the feed moving, and we took that opportunity by the horns.

Noted Star Wars fan Keith J. Carberry (of Run Button and Friends at the Table) joins Austin to talk about his ongoing crusade on Wookiepedia. And hey, before we begin, close your eyes and answer a simple question: In the Legends continuity, what's the name of the gem that a Jedi or Sith puts into their Lightsaber?

While we have your attention, two quick announcements you may have missed. First: We just released a special bonus for backers over on our Patreon! If you've ever wanted to see us play Fantasy Flight Game's OUTER RIM together IN PERSON, well, here's your chance. 

Second: Our sister show, the aforementioned Friends at the Table, is doing a two day fundraising stream for the National Network of Abortion Funds. We'd really appreciate it if you tuned in and supported this cause that means so much to all of us. It'll be on Sunday the 3rd and Monday the 4th from 12PM - 8PM EST. Details are here, and you can watch live on Twitch.

Thanks as always!

Featuring Austin Walker (@austin_walker) and Natalie Watson (@nataliewatson)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover art by Xeecee (@xeeceevevo)

Jul 02 2022

34mins

Play