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The ForceCast (network)

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ATTENTION!
This article is about the overall podcast network. You may be looking for The ForceCast's flagship program.


The ForceCast is a podcast network affiliated with TheForce.Net and Rebelscum.com. The majority of its podcasts provide Star Wars news, commentary, interviews, and discussion, with programs geared towards different aspects of the Star Wars community, but it also includes the Indiana Jones-themed podcast The IndyCast. The network, whose flagship weekly program debuted on September 1, 2006, produces the most downloaded Star Wars podcasts on the web.

The network (mostly) closed its doors on March 12, 2016. Jedi Journals and The IndyCast remain active on the network.

HistoryEdit

Successor to "TheForce.net Podcast"Edit

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 Swank explains it, "TheForce.Net was looking for a host to re-launch the podcast, so I quickly shot [Roberts] an e-mail."[1] Swank, who had been on the air at a radio station as its promotions manager, received a reply from Roberts asking for a demo. Swank and Nadel made the audition tape, which Swank calls "really bad".[1] Nevertheless, after hearing the tape, Roberts 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 Swank and Nadel got more comfortable with their new roles, the ForceCast hosts started getting emails from Jimmy "Mac" McInerney, a Chicago-based audio engineer whom Swank described as a "cocky radio guy".[1] “At first I thought he was just busting our chops," Swank added. "Turns out the guy just really wanted to help."[1] McInerney said, “I liked what I was hearing and I thought Jason and Pete had fabulous chemistry."[1]

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 Los Angeles to cover the 30th anniversary of A New Hope at Star Wars Celebration IV.

On Wednesday, July 2, 2008, the ForceCast's live broadcasts switched from USTREAM to Stickam, as part of the hosts' overall goal of getting their live feeds hosted on TheForce.Net itself. Additionally, Swank and Nadel added a liveblog -- courtesy of CovertItLive -- where they posted links to stories discussed during the recording, so live listeners could follow along.

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 Lando Calrissian actor Billy Dee Williams' famous remark from an early Billy Dee Quote of the Week. With this image, Swank and Nadel 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 including Mark Hamill, Ray Park, and Temuera Morrison.

On Friday, July 25, 2008, The ForceCast's entry in the 2008 Atom Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge won two awards at the San Diego Comic-Con ceremony. An animated segment from the weekly show, the video was created as part of FCTV. Kay and Mark Minckiewicz did the animation, McInerney wrote and produced the video, and Swank voiced George Lucas (using an impression which is now very popular on The ForceCast). The video won for Best Animated Feature and Audience Choice.

On Wednesday, September 3, 2008, Nadel announced that he would be leaving the show. He taped his last show with Swank on Wednesday, September 24, 2008. On one of the longest shows to date, he thanked ForceCast fans, his fellow crew members, and everyone at TheForce.Net and Rebelscum.com for their support.

The ForceCast with Jason Swank and Jimmy MacEdit

Following Nadel's departure, Jimmy Mac stepped up to take the role of co-host. He has been well-received among listeners for his impressions of Star Wars luminaries such as Irvin Kershner and Harrison Ford. McInerney also made news in the fan community when he ranted against film critic Roger Ebert following Ebert's scathing review of Fanboys.

In January 2009, Jimmy Mac hosted the Chicago premiere of Fanboys for a packed house. The ForceCast received a "Special Thanks" in the film's credits for their role in its grassroots marketing campaign.

In February 2009, The ForceCast traveled to Columbus, Ohio to attend the premiere of Fanboys in writer Ernie Cline's former stomping grounds. Following the premiere, Jason Swank hosted a Q&A with Cline, Fanboys director Kyle Newman, and producers Matt Pernicairo and Kevin Mann.

On June 13, 2009, Swank announced that the ForceCast was moving its live broadcasts back to Ustream following technical issues on Stickam.

Also in June 2009, The ForceCast became the first Star Wars podcast to feature a conversation with George Lucas as Jimmy Mac attended "An Adventure with George Lucas" - A benefit for The Gene Siskel Film Center honoring Lucas with an extravagant dinner followed by a Q&A with Lucas hosted by Jon Favreau. Lucas talked to the ForceCast at this event and revealed he had seen The George Lucas Hip Hop Awards, which he called "very good."

On the July 24, 2009 episode of the show, Swank and McInerney played a promo for "8-5-09: The ForceCast Saga Continues." When that episode 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 next 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 October 23, 2009, The ForceCast traveled to Plano, Texas as part of three-day TFN/Rebelscum joint coverage of Star Wars Fan Days III.

The ForceCast became the first Star Wars podcast to unveil their own Apple iOS application in March 2010. The application was first made available in Apple's App Store and later arrived in the Android Market.

On August 11, 2010, Swank and McInerney 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, the two hosts were inducted into the 501st Legion as Friends of the Legion. They are the first podcast hosts to receive this honor.

Jason and Jimmy were also recognized at CV by Star Wars: The Clone Wars Supervising Director Dave Filoni as having contributed immeasurably to Star Wars fandom. On August 14th, during their third and final live show, Filoni stopped by to present the two hosts with plaques commemorating their induction into his 104th Wolf Pack. Filoni said that Jason and Jimmy, who became the first two members of the Wolf Pack, earned the distinction because of their significant commitment to the Star Wars community.

On September 17, 2010, Dan Curto and James Burns released the first official episode of The ForceCast: Collector's Edition, a program dedicated to Star Wars merchandise and the collecting subculture.

On October 19, 2010, Senior Web Editor Eric Geller launched The Official ForceCast Wiki with a blog post on ForceCast.Net.

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 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. Jason and Jimmy launched their own, independent show 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. Geller also became co-moderator 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.

The ForceCast's discussion program for Star Wars Rebels, The Rebels Roundtable, launched on March 19, 2014, with an introduction to hosts Eric Geller, Erik Blythe, and Spencer Brinkerhoff III.

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.

In late December, Justin Bolger announced he would be leaving the network. He now works for Lucasfilm Ltd.

In early March, Blythe left to take an indefinite hiatus. Kyle Winner became the new Network Director and main host of the flagship show. Kyle wanted to recast the main show, so hosts Megan Crouse, Paul Hermann, and Saf Banner were released.

On March 12, 2016, the network closed its doors. Echo Base, The Sabacc Table, and The Outer Rim relocated to the RandomChatter Podcast Network, run by Erik Blythe. Several ForceCast alumni record there, including Lou Secki, Chris McGuffin, Nate Nelson, and Jay Shepard. Megan Crouse, Paul Hermann, and Saf Banner are now recording a new Star Wars podcast "Blaster Canon" on the Den of Geek network.

ProgramsEdit

The ForceCast is an umbrella network of several programs. As of 2013, the programs were supervised by Erik Blythe and Eric Geller. As of 2014, Erik Blythe became the Network Director. In early March, 2016, Erik departed, and Kyle Winner became the new Network Director.

The ForceCastEdit

(Main article here.)

The ForceCast's flagship program, featuring features news, commentary, interviews, and various recurring segments.

Echo BaseEdit

(Main article here.)

Echo Base spun off from the flagship show as a home for free-formatted discussions.

The Clone Wars RoundtableEdit

(Main article here.)

These episodes feature commentary and discussion about Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated TV show on Cartoon Network.

The Rebels RoundtableEdit

(Main article here.)

These episodes feature commentary and discussion about Star Wars Rebels, an animated TV show on Disney XD.

Jedi JournalsEdit

(Main article here.)

Jay Shepard and Chris Wyman cover all aspects of Star Wars literature in this monthly program.

The Sabacc TableEdit

(Main article here.)

Erik Blythe, Nate Nelson, and Louis Secki cover the latest Star Wars gaming news, discuss in-game strategies, and offer gameplay tips and advice.

Galactic Top 40 RadioEdit

(Main article here.)

Kyle Winner covers all things Star Wars music, from fan creations to the work of composers like John Williams and Kevin Kiner.

The Outer RimEdit

(Main article here.)

Louis Secki and Erik Blythe discuss entertainment that is "Star Wars-adjacent."

MicrocastsEdit

(Main article here.)

Microcasts are used for miscellaneous content that doesn't fit into an existing program.

SpecialsEdit

(Main article here.)

The network's special reports provide breaking news analysis, convention coverage, celebrity interviews, and roundtable episodes not related to The Clone Wars (such as the group movie commentary for The Empire Strikes Back).

The IndyCastEdit

(Main article here.)

The IndyCast features news, commentary, interviews, and feedback regarding the Indiana Jones franchise.

Show musicEdit

All ForceCast programs have their own opening music. Various regular segments have special bumpers as well. These audio themes have become as familiar to longtime ForceCast fans as the John Williams soundtracks themselves.

Live showsEdit

Episodes of The ForceCast are recorded before a live audience as part of ForceCast Live.

Listener interactionEdit

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.

Celebrity guestsEdit

The ForceCast has interviewed a wide variety of people involved in the creation of Star Wars content. A full list is available here.

How to downloadEdit

In addition to manual downloads of the MP3s from ForceCast.Net, ForceCast shows can be downloaded automatically through various subscription services.

The network has an RSS feed and an iTunes listing, and there are individual RSS and iTunes links for each program.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Adam Frazier's Moviehole article, The Cynical Optimist meets The Force Cast. Posted on July 13, 2008. Retrieved on November 30, 2010.

External linksEdit

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