Day 315 – Caitlin Plesher and Charlotte Errity
Caitlin Plesher and Charlotte Errity are the co-hosts of the podcast Skytalkers. They answered some questions via email for 365 Star Wars Women.
What was your introduction to Star Wars?
Charlotte: My mom showed it to me when I was young, and I loved it, but it wasn’t until I saw Revenge of the Sith in theaters in 2005 that I knew Star Wars was going to be my thing. How rich the saga was, the classic storytelling, the emotional romance… I loved it all.
Caitlin: Charlotte was actually the first person to show me Star Wars when we were in middle school! It was just after Revenge of the Sith had come out on DVD release and we made a deal that I would watch Star Wars with her, if she would watch Sailor Moon with me (which was my favorite show at the time). Charlotte never got on board with Sailor Moon, but I was hooked on Star Wars!
Which Star Wars characters/stories are your favorites? Have your favorites changed much over time?
Caitlin: From the first moment I saw Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, his story has always resonated with me in a huge way, and that’s never really changed. I’ve always been interested in his character journey, and waiting to see his story continued in The Last Jedi was quite the emotional roller coaster! How his story intersected with my other favorite character, Kylo Ren, has been so interesting to watch unfold on screen.
Charlotte: My favorite era used to be the prequels, and it’s still the era I am probably the most interested in — I love the Clone Wars. But the sequel trilogy has really gotten a hold on me and ever since The Last Jedi I can’t stop thinking about it, and has probably eclipsed my love for Revenge of the Sith, which is something I never really thought could happen.
If you could be dropped into the Star Wars universe at any place or any time where would you want to go and who would you want to meet?
Caitlin: I think I would want to go meet the Rebels crew around Season 3 (so specific!)! I want to chat with Kanan and understand more about his perspective of the Jedi, Ahsoka, and his relationship with the Force during that period.
Charlotte: Naboo, pre-Attack of the Clones. I want to have a meal with Padmé’s family!
I know you both love the prequels. I’m curious when you first saw the prequels if you were aware a section of Star Wars fans really disliked them and if that affected your own opinions (or made you doubt your own opinions). Fans who love the prequels are rarely mentioned in entertainment articles from large publications. Do you think that will ever change?
Caitlin: The prequels were the first films I saw and Charlotte “pitched” them to me as the newer, cooler Star Wars films with all their new special effects. I remember being mesmerized by the Mustafar battle when I first saw it. It wasn’t until we started diving into discussion boards and early podcasts that I started seeing how deep the prequel-hate went. It was frustrating because that had never been my experience. When we started our podcast, one of our goals was to talk about the prequels the way that we wanted to talk about them: with excitement and passion. I’m glad that things seem to be changing so it doesn’t feel like in order to be a “true” Star Wars fan you have to diss the prequels.
Charlotte: I had no idea people didn’t like them, really. It wasn’t until I got home from the theater in 2005 and really dove into fandom, the reviews of the movie, and the “discourse” that I realized how far back this prequel-hating went. In a way, the hate for a movie I really loved just made me love it more. I think we’re seeing a prequel renaissance now, with people like Caitlin and I growing up to be the ones who are actually spending money on movie tickets — we liked these stories and we’re going to tell you, because now we have a voice.
I know that at least one you is a big fan of the Revenge of the Sith novelization. Give me your elevator speech about why people should read this book if they haven’t already and would you also recommend the novelizations for The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones?
Charlotte: Oh my gosh, it’s the best novelization to date. Without a doubt, the Revenge of the Sith novelization is some of the best sci-fi writing to come out of the past 25 years, it’s that good. It dives into mythology and symbolism and really helps you understand the temptation that Anakin felt towards the dark side. It’s a beautiful character study. I like the TPM and AOTC novelizations, particularly the AOTC, but in my opinion they both don’t hold a candle to the brilliance of the ROTS novelization.
Caitlin: I was so late to the game on the ROTS novelization, but it is worth every bit of hype it is given. Stover elevates the drama and emotion of the film to a whole new level, breaking your heart with every chapter as we get closer and closer to the inevitable ending and Anakin’s fall to the dark side. I find myself thinking about passages of the book when I’m watching the movie, and it has really enhanced my film experience in an amazing way. Read it!
What are you both hoping to see in the new season of The Clone Wars coming out next year? How about Star Wars: Resistance? Are there any specific things or characters you are hoping to see in that show?
Caitlin: I think I may have cried more when I heard about the Clone Wars reboot then the initial Disney purchase in 2012, to be quite honest! More than anything, I hope we get so much emotion in Clone Wars between Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan. I’m excited to see more foreshadowing of Anakin’s fall within the Clone Wars and how Ahsoka’s choices affect him. I’m here for that angst and tragedy! On the other side of the emotional spectrum, I can’t wait for the ride that’s going to be Resistance! That show looks like it’s going to be so fun, and I can’t wait to see all the antics Kaz and his new crew get into.
When did you both decide to create Skytalkers and how did you develop the three-part format (which I’m a big fan of). How would you describe Skytalkers to people who haven’t heard the podcast.
Caitlin: Charlotte and I talked for years about how we should have done a YouTube channel or something to talk to more people about our love of Star Wars. We started a (very bad) YouTube channel that never really panned out, and it was around that time we started regularly listening to podcasts and it just clicked for us that podcasting would be a good place for us to talk about our love of Star Wars. Our three-part format formed out of some brainstorming sessions we had and advice from other podcasters too. It helps keep our show focused and on track. For us, I think the podcast really is this love letter to Star Wars and everything it’s meant to us and to our friendship. Charlotte and I have been best friends for most of our lives at this point, and I think people really connect with that through the show. We genuinely love every era of Star Wars and want to talk about it all.
How long do you typically spend getting prepared for podcast recordings and how far ahead do you know what you’ll be talking about?
Charlotte: We have two weeks between podcasts, and planning usually happened before the two weeks or immediately after recording the previous episode. We sometimes decide topics far in advance, like our George Lucas series, but often it’s more about what we are interested in talking about.
Caitlin: We usually record early in the week for a Saturday release. How far in advance we plan depends on the topic! Sometimes inspiration strikes at the last minute and we’ll scrap our original plan and go with the new one!
What are your top three favorite podcasts (or series) you have done so far with Skytalkers? Who are some people you’d love to have on your show as future guests?
Caitlin: Such a hard question! Some of my recent favorites have been our The Last Jedi Q&A episode that was entirely listener questions about the film. I also loved recording our Visions episode; that was one of the first episodes where we took a really specific detail and got to examine it across the saga and was so interesting and fun to record. We also did an episode recently on Art and Preservation in Star Wars, which was inspired by my academic studies (I’m getting my Masters in Historic Preservation) and how I see it represented in the Star Wars world. That episode was so personal for me, and I was really touched by listeners’ comments on that episode in particular. My dream is to have Dave Filoni on the show. I’m not sure if it would be a good episode though because I don’t think I’d be able to speak!
Charlotte: My top three favorites are our Heroes and Villains podcast, our George Lucas series (By George), and our recent episode on the symbolism of Hands throughout the saga. I think my favorites fluctuate, though, and there’s not an episode I’m not proud of.
I know you both will be at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. And it seems like a The Phantom Menace anniversary panel has to happen. Who would be on your dream TPM panel and what is one question you’d love to ask one of these panelists?
Charlotte: I have a couple of iterations of my dream TPM panel at SWCC but it really all comes down to this: Natalie Portman is there, and she’s talking about the costumes, what it was like to play a 14-year old queen, and her legacy as Padmé. I want her to know how much Padmé means to us!
Caitlin: 100% Natalie Portman. I want her to have a Celebration reception like Hayden Christensen did last year!
Few words bring out emotions of one kind or another in Star Wars fans recently as Reylo. Why do you think that is and what does Reylo mean to you (is it a romantic connection to Rey and Kylo (Ben, really) or does it just refer to them having a bond of some kind. For Reylo fans what are your top picks for articles, podcasts, fanvids, discussion groups, etc.
Caitlin: Personally, I see the romantic potential for the Reylo relationship. More than that though, I think the Reylo relationship hinges on these characters seeing something they recognize about themselves in each other. Their connection is on a cosmic level and the choices they make will have massive ramifications across the galaxy. What I love about their relationship, romantic or otherwise, is that The Last Jedi showed that it wasn’t about them fighting each other, it was about them talking and seeking to understand each other. When they were vulnerable and compassionate to the other, they were successful and unified. And while they didn’t end the movie on the same page, I think they were both irrevocably changed by the other and we’ll see that play out in Episode IX. The Reylo community is full of some of the kindest and most talented Star Wars fans I’ve ever seen! Scavenger’s’ Hoard and Knights of Rant are two of the most intelligent podcasts I’ve listened too, and I highly recommend for anyone wants more discussion on Reylo. My all time favorite Reylo fanvid is “Kylo + Rey – This Will Destroy You”, by tstudios.
Charlotte: Couldn’t agree more with that. The themes of Star Wars — hope, redemption, compassion — are just so wrapped up in both Reylo and Kylo Ren’s redemption that it’s just immensely fun to speculate and see how it plays out. I would also add the What the Force podcast to that list.
You both attended the premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story. How did you find out you were going to get to go and what was that experience like?
Caitlin: I found out while I was at work, and I think all my co-workers thought I was actually losing my mind. The experience was incredible, honestly more than I ever could have hoped for. Being on the red carpet was a whirlwind, and I never wanted it to end. Seeing the movie in Grauman’s Chinese Theater surrounded by massive Star Wars fans was a beautiful experience. Everyone picked up on all the Easter eggs (the Aurra Sing name drop got some of the biggest response!) and it was so fun.
Charlotte: I was at work, too. The premiere was maybe the best day of my life and an experience I’ll absolutely never forget. I shed a few excited and happy tears after meeting Rian Johnson on the red carpet and seeing George Lucas — nothing could have prepared Caitlin and I for that and I can’t even tell you how grateful I am for that experience. It really was once in a lifetime.
Who were you the most excited to meet during the Solo premiere experience?
Caitlin: Hands down Dave Filoni. The animation department has had such a huge impact on my Star Wars experience and I may or may not have cried while shaking his hand. We didn’t meet George Lucas, but he did stand three feet away from us and I cried then too.
Charlotte: Dave Filoni for me, too, but it definitely was more of a moment for Caitlin — haha! Meeting Rian Johnson and Emilia Clarke were the highlights.
If you could only buy one type of book from Episode IX what would you choose: novelization, visual dictionary, or art of book?
Caitlin: Art of book! The production nuggets that come from those books are amazing. Also, if Charlotte has the novelization then we’ll just share so we have two books 🙂
Charlotte: Novelization! I love those bonus nuggets inside character’s minds.
If you could have a cameo in Episode IX any idea who you’d like to be?
Caitlin: Anything that gives me an amazing costume (preferably with a dramatic cape).
Charlotte: A Knight of Ren!
If you could greenlight a new Star Wars book or comic series what would it be?
Caitlin: I want a comic series about the Jedi Archives that delves into all the information/history that’s stored there about the history of the galaxy and the Jedi, specifically the history of the Lost Twenty and what the Jedi know about the Mortis gods and the Bendu.
Charlotte: An endless Padmé comic series starting from her time in the legislative youth program and continuing all the way through Revenge of the Sith. I can never have enough Padmé.
Where are your favorite places right now to express or share you Star Wars fandom with others?
Caitlin: I love Twitter! I’ve made so many great friendships through Twitter, that it more than makes up for some of the more negative aspects of the platform.
Charlotte: Twitter, despite its negatives, continues to be a place where I can bond with people all over the world with this thing we all love, Star Wars.
Where do you think Star Wars fans will be talking more in the next few years. More huge public forums like Twitter or Instagram or smaller, more controlled discussions on private platforms?
Caitlin: I think some version of Twitter will always be relevant and used for Star Wars fans, but I think people will keep moving towards having specific group chats and discussions within these bigger platforms.
Charlotte: Agreed. We already see a rise in smaller chat groups like Discord and Slack servers.
Can you share any projects you have coming up?
Caitlin: We’re gearing up for Resistance coverage and already starting to think about our plans for 2019! Outside of the galaxy far far away, I’m planning on graduating in December and starting my career!
Charlotte: Yes, Resistance coverage! There’s so much happening in 2019 and we can’t wait to cover it all.
Plus, here is the website for Skytalkers.
Check out the entire list of women in 365 Days of Star Wars Women in the Women in Star Wars Index. It includes highlights from each post plus notes which posts include new 365 interviews with actresses, writers, artists, and more.