- "The ForceCast is for fans of all types - from the casual film watcher to the die-hard conventioneer."
- ―The official iTunes listing for the ForceCast
The ForceCast (launched on September 1, 2006) is the official podcast network of TheForce.net and Rebelscum.com. Through its diverse slate of programs, The ForceCast features news, interviews, event coverage, and discussion relating to the Star Wars franchise and community. Lucasfilm representatives and Star Wars cast and crew members frequently appear on its programs to discuss current events. Episodes of the flagship program, also called The ForceCast, average one and a half hours in length and are released on Fridays.
The first incarnation of an official podcast for TheForce.Net was produced by Erik Blythe, but he had to step down from the show due to external conflicts. TheForce.net Content Manager Dustin Roberts held a contest for Blythe's successor, and Jason Swank and Pete Nadel were selected to continue the show. As Jason explains it, "TheForce.Net was looking for a host to re-launch the podcast, so I quickly shot [Dustin] an e-mail." Jason, who at the time had been on the air at a radio station as its promotions manager, received a reply from Dustin. He and Pete made the audition tape, which Jason calls "really bad". After hearing the tape, Dustin gave the two Star Wars fans the go-ahead, and the ForceCast was born.
The ForceCast with Jason Swank and Pete NadelEdit
After a few months of doing the show, as Jason and Pete got more comfortable with their new roles, the ForceCast hosts started getting emails from Jimmy Mac, a Chicago-based audio engineer whom Jason described as a "cocky radio guy". "At first I thought he was just busting our chops," Jason said. "Turns out the guy just really wanted to help." "I liked what I was hearing and I thought Jason and Pete had fabulous chemistry," Jimmy said.
As revealed in the audition tape, the two co-hosts originally called each other by nicknames, with Jason as "Jedi Swank" and Pete as "Master Nadel."
In May 2007, The ForceCast traveled to LA to cover the 30th anniversary of Star Wars at Celebration IV.
On Wednesday, July 2, 2008, the ForceCast switched from Ustream to Stickam, as part of the hosts' overall goal of getting their live feeds hosted on TheForce.Net itself. Additionally, Jason and Pete added a live blog -- courtesy of CovertItLive -- where they posted links to stories discussed during the taping, so live listeners could see what they were talking about.
On Wednesday, July 9, 2008, fans who entered the Stickam live stream were greeted by a picture of a Lando Mighty Mugg holding a sign that said, "Maybe your clowns got a webcam." The statement referenced a Billy Dee line from an early Quote of the Week. With this statement, Jason and Pete unveiled their newest endeavor: live streaming video to accompany the show audio.
In July 2008, The ForceCast provided exclusive podcast coverage from Star Wars Celebration Japan with special guests Mark Hamill, Ray Park, Temuera Morrison, and more.
On Friday, July 25, 2008, The ForceCast's entry into the Atom Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge, titled "George Lucas Hip Hop Awards," won two awards at the San Diego Comic-Con ceremony. An animated segment from the weekly show, the video was directed by the FCTV Jawas Kay and Mark, written and produced by Jimmy Mac, and voiced by Jason Swank. The video won the awards for Best Animated Feature and Audience Choice.
On Wednesday, September 3, 2008, Pete announced that he would be leaving the show. Pete taped his last show with Jason on Wednesday, September 24, 2008. On one of the longest shows to date, he thanked the fans, his fellow crew members, and everyone at TheForce.Net and Rebelscum for their support.
The ForceCast with Jason Swank and Jimmy MacEdit
Following Pete's departure, Jimmy Mac stepped up to take the role of the co-host. He became a fan favorite for his impressions of saga luminaries such as Irvin Kershner and Harrison Ford. He also made the news in the sci-fi community when he ranted against film critic Roger Ebert following Ebert's scathing review of Fanboys. Jimmy was also known for his Investigative Reports on such topics as "Who is BJ Hughes?", a question that to this day remains unanswered.
On June 13, 2009, Jason announced that the ForceCast was moving its live broadcasts back to Ustream following technical issues on former live host Stickam.
On the July 24, 2009 episode of the show, Jason and Jimmy played a promo for "8-5-09: The ForceCast Saga Continues." When the show went up on TheForce.Net, a link to ForceCast.Net was included on the show notes. Visitors to the link in the next week were presented with a "Coming Soon" message. The website went live shortly before the show was recorded on August 5, and currently includes links to the ForceCast's Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook accounts, a show calendar, the show blog, the live-stream page, information about the hosts, categories for the different types of episodes, and more.
On August 11, 2010, Jason and Jimmy kicked off five-day "No Fan Left Behind" coverage of Celebration V in Orlando, FL. The ForceCast team recorded three shows in front of a live audience at their booth on the show floor. During the first live show, on August 12th, Jason and Jimmy were inducted into the 501st Legion as Friends of the Legion. They were the first podcast hosts to receive that honor.
Jason and Jimmy were also recognized at CV by TCW Supervising Director Dave Filoni as having contributed immeasurably to Star Wars fandom. On August 14th, during the third and final live show, Filoni stopped by to present the two hosts with plaques commemorating their induction into his 104th Wolf Pack, which recognizes their significant commitment to the Star Wars community. Filoni mentioned that there are only fifteen such plaques in existence.
On November 30, 2010, The ForceCast released the pilot episode of Jedi Journals. Jay Shepard and Chris Wyman host the show, which covers Star Wars literature and serves as a sort of sequel to Shepard's discontinued segment What's New In The EU?.
On October 8, 2011, The ForceCast traveled to Irving, Texas as part of TFN/Rebelscum/ForceCast coverage of Star Wars Fan Days IV.
On August 22, 2012, The ForceCast began five-day coverage of Celebration VI in Orlando, FL, including two live shows, a panel, and a screening of an early cut of a ForceCast documentary produced by a longtime listener.
On January 13, 2013, it was announced that Jason and Jimmy would be leaving the team at TheForce.Net and Rebelscum.com as well as their work on The ForceCast in order to start their own podcast, RebelForce Radio. The network's programs went on hiatus at that point while TFN Content Manager Dustin Roberts began overseeing preparations for the next phase of the operation.
The ForceCast with Erik Blythe and Eric GellerEdit
On February 13, 2013, TFN/Rebelscum/ForceCast webmaster Philip Wise announced the re-launch of the ForceCast network. Erik Blythe, former host of the TFN Podcast, and Eric Geller, Social Media Director for TFN/RS/FC, became the new co-hosts of The ForceCast. They also became co-moderators of The Clone Wars Roundtable, along with Star Wars artist Spencer Brinkerhoff III.
On July 4, 2013, The ForceCast released the first episode of its new gaming show, The Sabacc Table. The show is hosted by Erik Blythe, Nate Nelson, and Louis Secki.
On June 20, 2014, Blythe and Geller announced that substitute ForceCast co-host Justin Bolger would join them as a permanent co-host. That same day, they also announced the launch of their new water-cooler discussion program, Echo Base, hosted by Blythe along with Bolger, Geller, and Secki. Echo Base's first episode was released on July 14, 2014. Bolger later left the show's full-time co-host spot but continues to appear as a guest.
In mid-2014, Erik Blythe left the Rebels Roundtable to become the Network Director for the ForceCast network, overseeing and coordinating all ForceCast programming.
On February 13, 2015, Geller announced that he was leaving his role as host of the main show to become a regular contributor. That same week, the ForceCast switched to a new format based on modular, largely pre-recorded segments.
The Weekly ShowEdit
The oldest and most popular program on the network is also called The ForceCast. Justin Bolger is the lead co-host, with Erik Blythe as co-host. Eric Geller, formerly the lead host, is a regular contributor.
The main sections of the flagship program, The ForceCast, are:
- Introduction: brief comments from the hosts
- The HoloNet: a pre-recorded news briefing
- Three to five main segments: sometimes recorded live and sometimes pre-produced
In addition to the weekly show, The ForceCast network contains a variety of other programming.
- The Rebels Roundtable (hosted by Eric Geller and Spencer Brinkerhoff III) features a rotating panel of guests talking about Star Wars Rebels.
- The Clone Wars Roundtable (hosted by Eric Geller and Spencer Brinkerhoff III) featured a rotating panel of guests talking about The Clone Wars.
- Jedi Journals (hosted by Jay Shepard and Chris Wyman) focuses on Star Wars literature, including book, comic, and magazine reviews, author interviews, collecting tips, and more.
- The Sabacc Table (hosted by Erik Blythe, Nate Nelson, and Louis Secki) covers Star Wars gaming in all formats, from video games to card games to roleplaying games.
- Echo Base (hosted by Erik Blythe, Eric Geller, and Louis Secki) is a "water-cooler" Star Wars discussion program covering broad topics.
- The Outer Rim (hosted by Lou Secki and Erik Blythe) covers all things "Star Wars-adjacent," from Marvel movies to DC Comics.
- Galactic Top 40 Radio (hosted by Kyle Winner) covers all things Star Wars music.
- The IndyCast (hosted by Ed Dolista), detailing the news surrounding the Indiana Jones franchise. The IndyCast is available on ForceCast.net and iTunes.
- ForceCast Specials feature convention coverage, other event reports, and interviews.
List of all celebrity guestsEdit
The ForceCast hosts used to record most of their shows live through Ustream, and plans are in the works to return to that process. The audience can listen in on the recordings by going to the Ustream live page on Wednesday nights at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The hosts occasionally take live calls, either via Skype or through their studio line. There is also a moderated chat room where listeners can discuss the show and related topics.
Listeners are encouraged to communicate with the ForceCast crew through the show's contact information (listed below), as well as on the show forums.
Comments, questions, and other feedback can be sent to The ForceCast through several channels.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Voicemail: (616) 61-FORCE (36723)
- Twitter: @forcecast
- Facebook: The ForceCast Fan Page
The official forums of Rebelscum.com have a section for the ForceCast, where listeners post threads about topics from the show, general Star Wars news, and all things related to the podcast. Fans of the show also post in-jokes from previous episodes, questions for the hosts, messages for fellow listeners, and any input they have for the show. In the past, there have been several trivia contests, some of them with prizes and some of them just for fun.
Although originally a forum in the Miscellaneous section of the Rebelscum message boards, in May 2009, the ForceCast became its own category with the following sub-forums:
- The ForceCast - Discussion related to the main program, which shares the name of the network.
- Jedi Journals - Topics related to the literature program.
- ForceCast Specials - Posts about special episodes.
- The IndyCast - Here, listeners can post about Ed Dolista's IndyCast.
- The Clone Wars Roundtables - Conversation about The ForceCast's TCW discussion show.
- Sabacc Table - Discussions about The ForceCast's gaming program.
- Listener Lounge - All general conversation among ForceCast fans goes here.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "The Cynical Optimist meets The Force Cast" by Adam Frazier (Moviehole.net)
- ↑ ForceCast forum post announcing a move from Stickam to Ustream for live streaming
- ↑ Video of Jason Swank and Jimmy Mac being inducted into The 501st Legion
- ↑ ForceCast.Net: A Holocron Of Our Own: Welcome To The Wiki
- ↑ TheForce.Net: Jason And Jimmy And ForceCast
- ↑ ForceCast.Net: The ForceCast Moves Into A New Era
- ↑ ForceCast.Net: The ForceCast Presents: The Sabacc Table!
- ↑ Rebels Roundtable #0: An Introduction To Your Hosts
Subscribe in iTunes
- The ForceCast network on iTunes
- The ForceCast (weekly show) on iTunes
- Jedi Journals on iTunes
- The Sabacc Table on iTunes
- The Clone Wars Roundtable on iTunes