40: Ariel and Stefanie delve into Star Wars, unpacking its cultural significance and impact as part of the May the 4th celebrations. Both hosts go on a journey through this monumental franchise’s legacy and ongoing influence. From Disneyland’s Star Wars Nite to personal connections with the franchise to practical applications of this IP in therapeutic and educational settings.


Summary of HPOE40:

  • 00:00 Introduction: Uniting Passions with Therapy and Education: Ariel and Stefanie introduce themselves, outlining how they use fandoms in their therapy and education practices.
  • 01:33 Star Wars Nite: Hits and Misses: Ariel recounts her recent experience at Disneyland’s Star Wars Nite, discussing the event’s organization and where it fell short.
  • 07:07 Main Street Magic: A Star Wars Immersive Experience: Insights into the immersive experiences at Disneyland during Star Wars Nite, focusing on themed meals and interactions.
  • 32:34 Season of the Force: A Special Journey on Space Mountain: Details on the special Star Wars-themed version of the Space Mountain ride, incorporating effects and music from the franchise.
  • 10:18 Engaging with the Galaxy: Star Wars Events and Their Impact: Discussion on various Star Wars-themed events, their impact on fans, and the use of Star Wars in therapy and education settings.
  • 21:11 May the 4th: Celebrating Star Wars Community and Culture: Reflections on the significance of May the 4th, celebrating community and culture through Star Wars, including thematic food and character interactions.
  • 32:58 Star Wars Across the City: Celebrating in Los Angeles: Discussion on Star Wars events in Los Angeles, including museum exhibitions and sporting events, showcasing how the franchise is celebrated beyond Disneyland.
  • 37:55 Educational Adventures: Star Wars in the Classroom: Discussion on how Star Wars themes are utilized in educational settings to engage and educate students on values and ethics.
  • 43:36 Conclusion: The Enduring Legacy of Star Wars: Summarizing the episode’s discussion, reflecting on the enduring impact of Star Wars on popular culture, therapy, and education.

Ariel Landrum (00:00)
Hello everyone, welcome to Happiest Pod on Earth. I’m Ariel, a licensed therapist who uses clients’ passions and fandoms to help them grow and heal from trauma and mental illness.

Stefanie (00:09)
And I’m Stef I’m an educator who uses passions and fandoms to help my students grow and learn about themselves and the world around them. Here at Happiest Pod, we dissect Disney mediums with a critical lens.

Ariel Landrum (00:19)
Why? Because we are more than just fans and we expect more from the mediums we consume. So, Stef, what are we talking about today?

Stefanie (00:26)
Well, actually, this is a very big topic. we are heading into May. And one of the biggest things that us Disney fans celebrate in May is the season of the force. So we’re going to be talking about Star Wars today.

Ariel Landrum (00:37)
We have a celebration today. This is another story. Dun dun

Stefanie (00:42)
every time I think Star Wars, I think the Imperial March. So I’m always like, it’s just so much more iconic to me. It is not positive, but it’s a banger, as the kids say. So yes, it is season of the Force. So we’re talking about all things Star Wars. I know that there are very big Star Wars events happening.

Ariel Landrum (00:45)
Dun dun dun!



Stefanie (01:01)
around the city and also maybe even across the country. Many people celebrate Star Wars in different ways and we will be talking about not only those events but also how we use Star Wars in our practices as well. Because I know that Star Wars being such an iconic staple in pop culture, it parallels a lot of different mythologies and different types of storytelling that both of us use to connect with our clients and our students.

Ariel Landrum (01:05)



Stefanie (01:25)
Ariel, I know that you just recently, like very recently, celebrated Star Wars in a big way. Can you tell us what you, experienced?

Ariel Landrum (01:33)
Absolutely. So we had Season of the Force at Disneyland and one of the events they had was one of their nighttime events and it was the Star Wars at Nite And I did that literally yesterday, last night. Didn’t get home until after midnight. The way the night events go is they go from 9 to 1 and you do get to go to the park at 6, so like two hours earlier than the event.

There were some things I definitely learned from this that I think we can apply to other night events. And then there were some misses, I think on the part of Disneyland. So.

Stefanie (02:01)

I see. I am very curious. This is one After Dark event that you and I did not go to together. I didn’t get to go to Star Wars Nite I love the After Dark events, but as I am a mother, it is very hard for me to pry myself away from my little ones. I cannot wait until they get older so that I can experience these things with them, but I’m very curious to know your experience. I know the last time we talked about an After Dark event was Disney Channel Nite.

Ariel Landrum (02:11)


I cannot wait until they get older.

Stefanie (02:28)
and we had a blast. It was so much fun and so dynamic that I’m kind of still riding on that high, if you will, of Disney Channel Nite because we’ve done other nights like Marriest Nites, Princess Nites, they have had their hits and misses. But yeah, I know you can listen to those other episodes to kind of get a run through of how everything goes, but

Ariel Landrum (02:29)

It was so much fun and so dynamic that I’m kind of still riding on that high if you read of Disney Channel Night. Because we’ve had other nights, like Marius’ nights, and the movie nights, and we have had their hits and misses. But yeah, I know you can…

Stefanie (02:53)
I feel like Star Wars Nite is very equivalent to Oogie Boogie Bash to where it already has a following and people anticipate for these tickets to come out. So was it really hard for you to find tickets to this particular event?

Ariel Landrum (02:57)
It already has a follow-up. Yes. And people can participate. Yes.

So that was the crazy thing is they were still selling tickets, I think even until like last week. And the tickets that sold out the fastest were the ones closest to May 4th. And then the first day of the event. And that was it. After that, like I think my roommate was still looking to see if like tickets were available and they were.

Stefanie (03:24)
Yeah, and I think that maybe has to do with like the actual day. Oogie Boogie Bash tends to sell out first closer to Halloween. So maybe this is one of the things where they really wanted to be on May the 4th. But I mean, it is it is a weekday, so that could have contributed to it. But yeah, so like the other nights, I know that you get to step in two hours or so before the event. And when you went.

Ariel Landrum (03:30)

Yeah, yeah.



Stefanie (03:47)
Did you get any sort of giveaway at the gate when you checked in?

Ariel Landrum (03:50)
Mm. So remember Disney Channel Nite, they gave us that glow stick, which was supposed to be the wand. They only gave us the map and a lanyard. And I was.

Stefanie (03:56)


Ariel Landrum (04:03)
Yeah, I’m a Magic Key Holder, so I got the Magic Key Holder patch. That was another giveaway. So it does look like all of the Disney night events have a patch as part of the Magic Key giveaway. But that was it. There wasn’t any additional swag. So that was like Miss Number One, because you could have easily just done the glow sticks again. And that’s a saber.

Stefanie (04:07)


Oh, absolutely. That’s like double dipping. And I remember when they gave us that glow stick, I was like, this is super high quality. It’s not like those glow sticks you get at Party City. Like this is a legitimate like wand looking glow stick. And when you cracked it, it was very bright. So I’m interested that they didn’t give you like Yoda ears or. Something, nothing. OK, interesting. All right. So they gave you a map. Was it as detailed as?

Ariel Landrum (04:24)

and then like, wandered away. Like, I just realized that it was very bright. Very bright.


Stefanie (04:45)
the previous map that we got? Okay.

Ariel Landrum (04:46)
Yes. Yes, it was as detailed. So it looks like they’ve sort of learned their lesson from last year that all the Disney or I mean, yeah, the Disney night events will have a map that details the food pictures of the food where to find it, the different photo ops and characters that you can meet, as well as like

Stefanie (04:59)

Ariel Landrum (05:05)
shows or entertainment that they had around the park. And I was telling my partner, it’s really funny. They don’t you don’t get like the map early. You get it the day you arrive. And yet the map has on their transportation and parking. And it’s like you would have already transported here and parked because they don’t give you this map early. So he thinks that’s part of like standard operating procedure that they have to put that stuff on printed material.

Stefanie (05:09)

Yeah. Right.

Ariel Landrum (05:30)
But I’m like, you wasted a lot of space, or you could have given us a digital version of this, I’m just saying.

Stefanie (05:35)
Yeah, I’m wondering also if they had it available via the app, but not many people use the app like that. I know that they did do that for Princess Nite where they had like a post that says, oh, the map is released so that you can plan ahead for your event. But they never really like advertise that very like forward, if you will. So, yeah, I think.

Ariel Landrum (05:39)
Mmm, I didn’t.


Stefanie (05:54)
You never really see the physical map until you get there. This is true So, I mean you would have already figured all of that stuff out by the time you got there But so then were you able to figure out a game plan of like where to go knowing that you now have the map in your hands We didn’t have I don’t know if you had a plan of like a specific thing you wanted to do because when we did Disney Channel Nite We wanted to for sure do the wand picture

Ariel Landrum (06:00)
Mm-hmm. So then are you able to figure out a game?


Stefanie (06:17)
Did you have a specific thing you wanted to do for Star Wars night?

Ariel Landrum (06:19)

Yes, there was one thing that I wanted to do that I didn’t think was gonna happen and it didn’t happen. I wanted to take a picture with an Ewok. First, it says Ewoks. There was only one Ewok. So, and the line, the line, I’m sure people stood in line for at least two hours to take a picture of this Ewok. And my partner was laughing. He was like, that is the largest Ewok I’ve ever seen. The Ewok was taller than me and I’m 4’11”.

Stefanie (06:31)

Ariel Landrum (06:44)
It was a regular sized person. Ewok, I guess.

I didn’t get to take a picture with them. And then there were also very tall Jawas, and you could take a picture with them. And those were the two longest lines, so we didn’t get to do either of those. And so that was out. And none of the food looked interesting to me, but we did check the app. First we had a situation where, so if you’re a Magic Key holder and you have come early and you checked in at the other park,

Stefanie (07:03)

Ariel Landrum (07:07)
you have to check into the next park for the app to know that you’re there. otherwise it’s, it’s not going to update any Lightning Lane stuff, any Genie+ stuff, any, DAS stuff. So you have to, you have to do that. And we, we didn’t, and the umbrella people told us, no, we can’t do it for you. So we had to walk all the way back to the front, have that rechecked in. Once we did that, I was able to see the food and we were able to make an 8:50 reservation for the Star Wars themed,

Stefanie (07:12)


Ariel Landrum (07:34)
like three course meal. And we’ve never been able to do the three course meal, right? So this was exciting. You can check in 30 minutes early. It even says it in the app. So if you’re really trying to save as much time as possible, you get the earliest reservation and go 30 minutes early to do check in, then you’re really saving time. And so we did. We did an earlier check in

Stefanie (07:35)



Ariel Landrum (07:53)
And there were only two items that were Star Wars themed. The rest was the regular New Orleans menu. You didn’t have to do all three course meal. You could just pick like one item. There was no dessert that was Star Wars themed and there was no drink that was Star Wars themed.

Stefanie (08:03)

Wow, really? Oh, that’s very interesting because I remember and again, I’m willing to talk about Disney Channel, like, because it’s so fresh in my mind. When we saw the tasting menu at New Orleans, they had like the Salisbury steak, like TV dinner, they had like, something that kind of looked like a Kool-Aid refresher, things that you would eat after school. And I don’t know where I I’m not sure.

Ariel Landrum (08:09)
Yeah. Uh huh. Uh huh.


TV dinner. Mm-hmm.


Stefanie (08:33)
where the miss was here because, and okay, I’m gonna interject a little bit of my opinion in here. When they opened Batuu, which is Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, I realized it’s an immersive experience. So you’re trying to make food, drink, the whole experience as if you were living in a Star Wars-themed land. And to me, I was like, I wonder how they’re gonna blend real life ingredients with fake.

Ariel Landrum (08:33)
Yeah. Yes.



Stefanie (08:56)
menu items and fake dishes because how does that translate? Right. Of course, you’re going to do like the best you can with like a marble cake and you’re going to make it look all, you know, galaxy themed or you’re going to say like a Ronto wrap where it’s basically just like a gyro. But instead of like lamb or something, it’s made from a Ronto. There are parallels that you can do, but I wonder where is your limits at that point? Like how far do you go and say?

Ariel Landrum (08:57)
real life ingredients with fake menu. Yes, yes, yes. How does that?

special camera with a marble cape and you’re going to look all of you know Dallas, D.C. and Georgia.

Yes. Yeah.

Stefanie (09:20)
my creativity is spent and I don’t want to be making new things that are, you know, against Lucasfilm. And, you know, even though Disney owns all of these, as long as they can make things up on the fly, I could just imagine, like, the logistics and the planning and, you know, the imagineering that goes into that. So I was wondering if they were going to recycle ideas from Galaxy’s Edge, not only here, or the ones that they have in Florida, and also the recently shuttered Star Wars Hotel.

Ariel Landrum (09:21)
creative views spent and I don’t want to be making new things that are against Lucasfilm. You know, even though Disney owns all of these films, they can make things up on the fly. I can just imagine the logistics.

your exact same thing. Mm-hmm.

Ah, yes.


Stefanie (09:47)
that didn’t end up, you know, living because they decided to shut that whole immersive thing down because it was too much. So I wonder if they were going to take some of those elements to put into Star Wars Nite but apparently not.

Ariel Landrum (09:48)
and didn’t end up, you know, living.

So I wonder if you were going to keep some of those.

Nope, nope. So they had at the New Orleans a battered and fried spicy three cheese Monte Cristo that was called the Mustafar Monte Cristo and that and that came with an exotic salad fruit salad

Stefanie (10:10)
Okay… uh-huh.

Ariel Landrum (10:15)
That was actually the best thing. It was a dragon fruit that was the bowl. Like they use the husk of a dragon fruit and it had dragon fruit and had pineapple and had green apples, strawberry, and I think maybe mango in it. It was really refreshing. It was really good. And the spicy three cheese Monte Cristo, James still thinks their original Monte Cristo was better.

Stefanie (10:18)
Okay. Mm-hmm.


Ariel Landrum (10:35)
my partner. So he liked it, but knowing what their original Monte Cristo tastes like, like you can’t, no, can’t help but do like that comparison. And then they had what they called Smuggler’s Fries, and they were they were loaded fries, which is what I got. And it had a cheese on it, a very spicy pepper, which I asked them like to put the peppers on the side.

Stefanie (10:40)
You can’t get that out of your head.


Thanks for watching!



Ariel Landrum (10:58)
and the seasoning, James, he tried it, he was pretty sure he tasted Old Bay, but I think they were really banking on that being spicy because once the peppers were gone, there was not a lot of flavoring and actually it came out cold.

Stefanie (11:07)

Oh no.

Ariel Landrum (11:13)
Yeah, so I had I had, you know, smothered fries when it was cold fries and cold cheese.

Stefanie (11:18)
Oh, that is not the way to enjoy any sort of like melty fried dish is when it’s cold, because then oh, friend, I’m so sorry. That makes me sad inside.

Ariel Landrum (11:22)
Mm-mm. No.


Now the thing we did learn, if you check the app regularly, you can actually do mobile orders for the themed event food ahead of time. Like you don’t have to wait till nine o’clock.

Stefanie (11:38)
Interesting, okay.

Yeah, okay, that’s good.

Ariel Landrum (11:42)
And remember when we did Princess Nite, like they wouldn’t even, they like the menus hadn’t flipped, they wouldn’t take our order, we couldn’t order ahead of time in the app you can. So the event hadn’t started till nine and we were able to get an order of their, it was the stacked cookies from Harbor.

Stefanie (11:51)

Oh yeah, from Harbor Galley.

Ariel Landrum (12:01)
Yeah, that was one of the themed foods. And we were able to get that at 8:00.

Stefanie (12:05)
Wow, OK. That’s interesting, because I yeah, like you said, what during Princess Nite it was like as if you were at McDonald’s and it was still 10:30. They hadn’t flipped the menus yet to let you order chicken nuggets. Like they were very hard lined on that. But I guess now not really. And maybe that’s like a time saver now, because as we’ve talked about in the past, it’s very hard for you to gauge the different like installations and.

Ariel Landrum (12:14)
They had to flip the menu. Yeah. So much you ordered chicken nuggets. Like, you were very hard.


Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Simply because you wanna be able to have dinner. Mm-hmm. Too late.

Stefanie (12:27)
photo ops you wanna do simply because you wanna be able to have dinner, not eat too late because it goes into the wee hours of the night. But you don’t know how far everything is, or how long you’re gonna have to be weaving through crowds, if you happen to see something and you wanna take pictures. It’s almost like a festival experience where you have to really gauge what your priorities are and what you wanna hit and if those things are worth it. So-

Ariel Landrum (12:34)


Yeah. Yes.

Stefanie (12:52)
I think that that’s a win to be able to do that. So that’s definitely a good tip for next time.

Ariel Landrum (12:57)
Mm-hmm. And so we ordered the cookies. And remember, you can always pick up your mobile food order, like, at five minutes before. So we had them before the 8:20 mark, ate them, went to the Cafe New Orleans, did a 30-minute early check-in, sat and ate food, and we asked to sit outside because we wanted to see the water show. And so I had seen other people online and, like, influencers.

Stefanie (13:07)


Ariel Landrum (13:21)
I saw them posting a video of the water show and it is that band that does the Cantina song, the alien band. Yeah, and they’re on a boat. That is the show. That’s not like everybody’s zooming in on that part because it’s funny. That is it. And so they play it over the speaker and they have them go around and nobody’s doing anything on the island.

Stefanie (13:27)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, and then they like come around the rumors of America. Yep

Ariel Landrum (13:43)
There’s no lightsaber fighting there. There’s no other boats. And so it was fine that we saw it from the… Because it’s literally just the aliens doing this. Do, do, do.

Stefanie (13:50)
from the seat because…

Yeah. And you know, so I was at Disneyland Last for Dapper Day and we had stayed a little bit longer and we actually ate. We didn’t eat at Cafe Orleans, but we sat like around there. Oh, we, we had clam chowder. That’s what it was. I was like, where was I sitting? We had clam chowder. So we were hanging out there and then Tiana now goes around in that same like boat that they would use for Fantasmic and I’m sorry, it’s not Tiana specifically, but it is like

Ariel Landrum (13:59)

Mm. Mm-hmm. Mm. Mm-hmm.


Stefanie (14:19)
a New Orleans jazz band and it is somebody, you know, who could sound like Tiana, but isn’t necessarily. I know she has like a name, but she goes around and then there is the water projection that is, I think it has to do with whatever theme is happening. So this one was, I think, still celebrating like Disney 100, but this is like completely separate from the fireworks show. So they kind of alternate. It’s like the New Orleans jazz band that goes around and then they do the projection with the water.

Ariel Landrum (14:20)
Ah, okay, okay.


Stefanie (14:44)
which is what I think you were thinking was gonna happen, right? And it did not.

Ariel Landrum (14:45)
Yeah. Which is what I think you were thinking was gonna happen. Yes, yes. I thought there was gonna be projections. I thought there was going to be, because remember at Princess Nite, we had actual singing performers. So I was expecting a performance. Only missed that. Yes, yeah. Well, I saw it. You all missed it. Yeah, yeah.

Stefanie (14:55)
Yeah, we did. And we like fully missed that. Oh yeah, no, yeah. I missed it because I was getting a churro.

Ariel Landrum (15:04)
Okay, so we leave there and James did another mobile order and it was for crab fritters at the Royal Street Veranda. And let me, I just wanted, oh, so the cookies, those were called Moe’s Isley Spaceport cookies and it literally was the tiny chocolate chip cookies from Harbor with like whipped cream in between.

Stefanie (15:09)
Mm-hmm. Okay. Mm-hmm.




Ariel Landrum (15:25)
or yeah, like a cream frosting in between.

Stefanie (15:27)
Was there a big difference in price from the cookies and that? Like, how much do you remember it being? OK.

Ariel Landrum (15:32)
It was like six something and I don’t know if that was after the Magic Key discount or not. Yeah.

Stefanie (15:37)
Got it, got it. That is pretty reasonable, it’s not too bad.

Ariel Landrum (15:40)
No, not too bad. However, again, I want I was buying something themed. I don’t know. I don’t know what the theme stacked luggage, I guess, because it’s supposed to be Mos Eisley spaceport. Yeah, I I’m not sure. I’m not sure. OK, so.

Stefanie (15:43)
The creativity. Uh-huh.

Moss Isley.


Ariel Landrum (15:55)
Then we did Cafe New Orleans, we saw the show, we walked over to the Royal Street Verona because my partner had ordered, I had a time for a Splox fritter. That’s the title and they were crab fritters. And you could even see the little claws. So it was kind of cool looking, that was kind of Star Wars-y.

Stefanie (16:05)



Ariel Landrum (16:13)
For some of you who don’t know, my partner is from Maryland. They are known for their blue crabs. Like he’s a crab guy. And again, the fritters were fine. He said it didn’t have a lot of flavor and it wasn’t as full of meat as he would have expected. And I don’t know what the price for that one was because he bought it. But I know that he didn’t think it was enough for what he paid for.

Stefanie (16:20)

Wow, especially because crab is, it can be on the pricey side, but if you are paying that much, you better have a big old lump of crab in front of you. And you know it’s enough when you can’t finish it.

Ariel Landrum (16:34)

Yes. Yeah, they were like little pops, I guess you’d say, of Fritter. And so, and there was three of them, he finished them up. After that, we went to look at, for photo ops, the Ewok, like I said, couldn’t take a picture with them.

Stefanie (16:47)
Oh, yeah, yeah.

Ariel Landrum (16:57)
So then we went to Galaxy’s Edge to play Smuggler’s Run. And what they did do was they closed Rise of the Resistance early on regular park guests so that as soon as Star Wars night happen, all of the individuals who had that special ticket could ride the ride right away. I think that was very, very accommodating, very smart, especially because you are paying extra.

Stefanie (16:59)



Ariel Landrum (17:17)
So you go to Galaxy’s Edge and the characters you can take a picture with are Ahsoka, Mandalorian with Grogu, Hera and C-3PO. And they had no handlers for Hera.

Stefanie (17:24)

Ariel Landrum (17:28)
or the Mandalorian or Ahsoka. They were just walking around. So it was literally like little groups of people just following them walking around. I got no pictures with them. You would have had to like walk and take a selfie. And I don’t know why they didn’t have a line and why there were no handlers. I think because usually what they do is they just walk back and forth and then leave, but they were there the whole night. So it was like…

Stefanie (17:28)





Ariel Landrum (17:53)
always a cluster of people around those three. The one that I did get a surprise and I did get to take a picture with was C-3PO. And that was because he was behind a fence where they have the different podracers. And he came out, he told me a joke, and then just like walked back and forth there. I don’t think he ever left that area.

Stefanie (17:56)



Yeah, because I don’t think they want people touching his armor.

Ariel Landrum (18:14)
No, no, I don’t think they want people touching anything. And again, because it’s like shuffle walking, I don’t think it’s safe either.

Stefanie (18:19)
Oh yeah, no, I mean, I don’t even think the original C-3PO had much mileage on that costume because it’s hard. They like have no joints at all. Okay.

Ariel Landrum (18:31)
Yeah. So I, I don’t know. I don’t know if that was the best way to go about that. They could have easily set up a line to be able to take pictures and photos. I think it maybe it’s meant to be more intimate.

Stefanie (18:39)


Ariel Landrum (18:43)
However, because of how many people are in Galaxy’s Edge, because it is Star Wars Nite so most people want to take their photos near the Millennium Falcon, near the podracers, like near Galaxy’s Edge. And so because of that, there was always just people crowding them. I would say the only person who didn’t have people crowding them was Kylo Ren, who we know also walks around.

Stefanie (18:48)




Ariel Landrum (19:05)
And he was walking around and took some pictures with people. He engaged with a kid who had a lightsaber and was showing him how to use his lightsaber. And very sweet moment. I think, I don’t know if maybe that cast member is just more seasoned in how to interact in crowds, or people are just so used, obviously, to seeing him that they wanted to.

Stefanie (19:23)

to seeing him because he’s around a lot.

Ariel Landrum (19:28)
Yeah, so they wanted to crowd the characters they don’t normally see. Um, and, and I don’t think I ever see Hera, so I definitely, I, that’s expected. Um.

Stefanie (19:31)

No. Yeah, I think you kind of touch upon a really good point. And also now that we’ve been to so many of these after dark events where you’re supposed to have a more intimate interaction with like characters you don’t normally see, I think there is a fine line between like making everybody have access to these characters or having.

Ariel Landrum (19:48)

Stefanie (19:55)
the immersive experience be the forefront of what you want to do. Because as we know, the whole thing with Star Wars, with BOT2, with Galaxy’s Edge, is that it’s supposed to be more interactive. However, we’ve seen from experience that if you just have a princess there and have lines, that’s gonna take up eons of your time. So I wonder if they are going to either find a way to workshop it or just do these things where like,

Ariel Landrum (20:13)
have live, that’s going to take up eons of your time. Yes. So I wonder if they are going to either find a way to workshop it or.

Stefanie (20:23)
Here at Star Wars Nite, you’re gonna see characters walking around. However, for other events, you’re gonna see them behind like, you know, like a rope or something. I think the one experience that kind of did both of that at the same time is when we saw Stitch and his brothers and sisters in that, where it was a quick line, you did a selfie, instead of like somebody taking a picture of you, the line moved really fast and like they rotated all of his…

Ariel Landrum (20:25)
you’re gonna see turtles walking around. Yeah.

I think the one experience that kind of did both of that at the same time is when we saw Stitch and his brother, Rupi, in that, where it was a quick line, he did a selfie instead of only taking a picture of him. So the light was really fast, and they rotated all of his siblings. So I wonder if they can do that.

Stefanie (20:51)
siblings. So I wonder if they can do that for like Ewoks or for Jawas and say, hey, this is like a selfie experience as opposed to a photo op. Those are just things that I’m wondering.

Ariel Landrum (21:02)
So they did do a walk in photo experience and that was in where usually they have the DJ dance party of near and Tomorrowland by the Galactic. Yeah.

Stefanie (21:08)
Oh right, uh huh, near hyperspace mountain, yeah.

Ariel Landrum (21:11)
And that was Darth Maul and Vader and two stormtroopers that were with Vader. And so they were on the stage and you just walked and took photos with them. The DJ that night was instead in front of the Mickey and Walt statue.

Stefanie (21:15)

Oh, right in the middle of the park?

Ariel Landrum (21:27)
Yes, and played really good like 80s and 90s music, you know, walked out there and immediately heard this is how we do it. They, they, the DJ did mix different Star Wars things in but I think they kind of knew the age of the audience if that makes sense. Yeah.

Stefanie (21:31)

Because that’s the song that I think of when I think of Star Wars.

Okay. Right, that’s true. But if they truly knew, I think because when I think Star Wars, I think more 70s and 80s, not 80s and 90s. Because when I think Star Wars, I think of like classic rock and I think of, you know, like really progressive rock that used like lasers and stuff like that. More of those things, but…

Ariel Landrum (21:53)
Oh, yes. Yes.

Stefanie (22:06)
I mean, you’re right, the people who are coming to this event are probably younger and are like more millennial age like you and I are.

Ariel Landrum (22:09)

And maybe he did play that music but we were over at Galaxy’s Edge and then and then before we even got to Tomorrowland we had to stop into Toontown to pick up our gift. They made the Magic Key members not go not just go all the way to Toontown but inside Mickey’s house.

Stefanie (22:16)

Ariel Landrum (22:30)
So I had to go inside Mickey’s house and walk around Mickey’s house. And then finally we get there, we get our prize. And then instead of going to the right where you would be in the holding area before you take a picture with him, we went to the emergency exit on the left.

Stefanie (22:30)
That’s like in the back.

so could you have the option, I guess, to take a picture with Mickey?

Ariel Landrum (22:47)
He was not there. No, he was he was on Main Street.

Stefanie (22:49)
Oh, so you just broke and entered into his house to get a giveaway and then you left.

Ariel Landrum (22:54)
Yeah, yeah, we were we were doing a B&E and I don’t and there was nothing in Toontown that was Star Wars related it was literally just us picking up the Magic Key gift I and that was the same thing that happened I think a Disney Channel Nite where there was nothing over by The Hungry Bear Restaurant that’s where we picked up the Magic Key gift.

Stefanie (23:09)
No. Yeah, you were on your way. I think the only thing that was there is that the Country Bear restaurant had themed items that you could get. But that was about it.

Ariel Landrum (23:18)
Yeah, so at least that. So they made us walk all the way to Toontown and there was nothing there for, and they wouldn’t let you play in the playground or stay, like you just picked up and left or use the bathroom.

Stefanie (23:21)

I can imagine being a small child dragging along on this Star Wars Nite, going into Toontown and not being able to play in the playground. Like that’s I would be offended as a child.

Ariel Landrum (23:37)
and not being able to play in the playground. Like.

It was not it. And again, age of the audience, probably mostly parents. And this was actually the most diverse group of attendees that I’ve ever seen. I loved that because I saw a lot of, because of how many generations love Star Wars, I saw various ages of fans. There was a lot more scooters that I’m used to seeing at night events because a lot of the fans were older and needed mobility aids.

Stefanie (23:50)

Star Wars, right?


Ariel Landrum (24:07)
And so to like make us track all the way to Toontown for no reason, except to pick up a patch that you could have easily done at the entrance of Toontown. Because again, you could have just blocked that whole area off, did the entrance. Because there were things in Fantasy Land. So the really cool thing was, It’s a Small World had a whole projection on it of outer space and you flying through space.

Stefanie (24:21)



Ariel Landrum (24:29)
and it matched to music and sound effects. And you can hear like Ray saying stuff. And they had a giant sign that said Star Wars Nite in front of like, I guess like the little stage right next to It’s a Small World when like, and there they had a lightsaber training and like lightsaber presentations, right? So.

Stefanie (24:33)

Oh, uh-huh.


Ariel Landrum (24:47)
You could have easily just ended it right there. We didn’t have to go all the way to Toontown, but I think they just wanted to try and spread people out under, I guess the assumption that there’d be so many people, right? So this is a way to like thin out the area, but it just felt like a time killer. Yeah.

Stefanie (24:56)
Mm-hmm. To spread people out, yeah.

Yeah, especially when you are going to these night events. And I don’t think everybody like sleeps through the day to prep for this. Most people go to work, especially if you’re doing it on a day, a weekday. Most people go to work, maybe get off early, go to the park and then experience everything until one o’clock. I think that, you know, when you’re thinking about mobility and also like.

Ariel Landrum (25:11)


and everything is a little off, I think that, you know, when you’re thinking about mobility.

Stefanie (25:24)
like having like an equitable experience, that’s a lot to ask for when you only have a window of six-ish hours to do everything. It’s a lot of walking and people would get tired and cranky if they’re really walking to places that they need to be.

Ariel Landrum (25:24)
like having like an equitable experience that’s a lot to ask for when you only have.

Yes. We so yeah so we kind of did a loop around.

we went from Batuu to Toontown. And then from there we went into Tomorrowland and that’s where we got to take a picture with, or a walking video I should say, with Darth Maul and Darth Vader and his troopers. And then there was a…

Stefanie (25:53)

Ariel Landrum (25:56)
like a mini show where stormtroopers, it was the First Order. So stormtroopers and Captain Phasma were gonna walk around looking for a spy. And they came from what is now, I guess, that big round, it’s now like an eating area lounge for like members only. Okay.

Stefanie (26:04)

Oh, the Carousel of Progress is what I know it as.

Ariel Landrum (26:14)
The Carousel of Progress, that’s where they came from. Where we ended up choosing to see the show was awful because they came down, they went around towards the pizza, Pizza Planet, and then in front of the gift shop at Star Tours, and we were standing at the entrance of the carousel. So they were behind us.

Stefanie (26:24)
Uh-huh. Pizza Planet. Mm-hmm.

Ariel Landrum (26:34)
They were engaging with the audience and we were just waiting forever them to come by. And then when they walked by, like my partner was pointing at like the whole time he was watching one stormtrooper that was just like always like a beat off, like did not get the “and” count. And didn’t and it didn’t look like it was meant to be silly, right? Like, oh, there’s that like that one. Like I think I.

Stefanie (26:45)
Oh no. Oh no!

Ariel Landrum (26:53)
I think if you are really good at improv and you notice you’re messing up the counts, you could have just like improv that you were like the bad stormtrooper that just didn’t know like you could have handled that up, but that didn’t happen. Yeah.

Stefanie (26:59)
Right, you could have leaned on it. You could have leaned on it because we all know that stormtroopers are like not all the way trained They always miss so it could have been a really fun like silly way to do it, but I guess not That’s so interesting. So so you So you went through Going down Main Street. They you know, probably did they have the projections on either side of the buildings on Main Street?

Ariel Landrum (27:06)
No, no, yeah.

So because we were already towards New Orleans at the time it started, we didn’t get to see them turn on the projections or hear like any song intro, but the projections were on the castle and Main Street. We didn’t see any projections on Space Mountain like Disney Channel Nite, but it was split in half light side and dark side.

Stefanie (27:24)

I see. Mm-hmm.


Ariel Landrum (27:39)
And then there were these QR codes that you needed to scan to vote. And then at a certain time, which was like at 11:50 or midnight, they were gonna see who won, the light side or the dark side. And so by the DJ booth at like midnight,

Stefanie (27:45)

Ariel Landrum (27:51)
like smoke shoots up and it’s a color blue in the light side one. But that was like the digital, that was all the QR code was, was you did this vote and they had the smoke and they, I thought they were gonna change all the projections to like the winning color. Did they didn’t do that? And you didn’t. Yeah, yeah. Yes. And you did not get anything from scanning the QR code, not even like a digital wallpaper. So.

Stefanie (27:56)

Yeah, it’s kind of like Harry Potter, like who wins the house cup?

Ariel Landrum (28:15)
That was more of like a battery killer because you could keep voting to try and like win. I don’t think that was worth it. And then they did a cavalcade with everyone in costume. So I would say the other really cool thing was this was the most costume event I’ve seen of a variety of characters.

Stefanie (28:17)

Mm hmm. So everybody. Yeah.

Ariel Landrum (28:31)
everybody. I think we were probably the only people who like wore just Star Wars themed outfits and everyone else was like just decked out. So many people. And so they did the cavalcade, took a picture in front of the castle. We missed getting into the photo but I got the photo. And then the one of the coolest…

Stefanie (28:36)

That’s awesome.


Ariel Landrum (28:51)
characters was it was Queen Amidala. She was sitting in the princess tent in her throne. So you had to like do a walk up, right? The cast members were not taking our cameras. So it was like us trying to take the picture and they wanted it to keep moving. But there were a lot of people who stopped and were like able to get photos. So it was weird how they rushed some people, but not others. But.

Stefanie (28:53)

That’s cute.


Ariel Landrum (29:14)
Not only did she look like Queen Amidala, she sounded like her. Like this, she was the most authentic, absolutely, absolutely like Natalie Portman. And in the way that she talked in the movie, like it was awesome. And then the only other food item we got was cookies and cream churros at Tomorrowland that were spicy.

Stefanie (29:18)
She sounded like Natalie Portman.



Ariel Landrum (29:34)
Yeah, Cookies and Cream Stuff Churro at the Tomorrowland Churro Cart.

again was fine. And what a horrible name. Like they could have. It’s a black churro. They the least they could have done was label it like black hole. I don’t know. They had over.

Stefanie (29:45)

Anything really.

Ariel Landrum (29:51)
At Fantasyland, they had a green lightsaber churro, which was sour apple and butterscotch, but my partner was like, ah, this doesn’t sound like a flavor I want. And then there was a chocolate coconut caramel churro, and that one was titled Endo Forest, so at least they tried to give it a name. But yeah, this one, I think maybe it was like chai spices. I don’t know. I don’t know what it was, but it was a weird flavored churro. And then…

Stefanie (29:58)
No, not at all.

Ariel Landrum (30:14)
We saw the DJ, we took a picture with Princess, or Queen Amidala, we were leaving down Main Street and picked up our final item, which was at the Red Wagon. And it was a corn dog that was smothered, I guess you would say. And it was smothered in street corn.

Stefanie (30:28)

Okay, that’s not too bad, right? Was that one good?

Ariel Landrum (30:32)
Yeah, and it’s

It was really bready.

Stefanie (30:36)
Oh, not enough meat.

Ariel Landrum (30:39)
There was not enough meat on it. And I don’t know if it was because it was loaded. It had chili, tomato, cheese sauce, and like spicy cheese chips on it. And I don’t know if maybe because it had so much stuff, they added extra breading, but that kind of like took, I don’t know, some flavor. Like it was you eating a lot of like the breading.

I don’t even think it had a name. Yeah.

Stefanie (31:00)
I saw it was just called the loaded corn dog. That’s it.

Ariel Landrum (31:04)
Yeah, yeah, that was it. Yeah, so I don’t know, it was like, it was a very odd experience to know that they can pull so much from this franchise, and to have cookies and cream churro like not to not even try and create a name and you did mention with the food, like the foods made up like we can’t really bring ronto here but there are blue milk. However,

Stefanie (31:13)



Ariel Landrum (31:25)
You can still have themed items. We’ve talked about this on all our panels. You can like a green churro as a lightsaber. At least there was effort there, you know?

Stefanie (31:28)

Totally, yeah. And like, I know that because Star Wars themes, it’s different planets against different settings. So like, we all know that there’s a desert, there is a tropical island, there is a forest. Like, we could pull from those actual elements of nature to maybe pair up food with whatever you would see there. Like,

Ariel Landrum (31:41)

desert. There is a tropical island. There is a forest. Like, we just fall from those natural, like, elements of nature. Yes. You know, pair up food with whatever you would see there. Like, you can actually see two forests. Mm-hmm.

Stefanie (31:58)
Nuts and Seeds for the Forest or you know like um like an Oasis for the Desert or something like that like I know they can be very creative with these because blue milk is a hit. Everything that I’ve had inside the Cantina is a hit. Even like the little like shrimp chips that I have over at um like Oga’s Cantina those are great and those are Asian shrimp chips like I already know what those are but.

Ariel Landrum (32:21)
Mm-hmm. Yes, hit. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Stefanie (32:23)
they’ve rebranded some of these existing items so well that, I mean, this, sorry to say, might feel a little lazy or a little bit afterthought, which is disappointing

Ariel Landrum (32:34)
So other things that evening is if you want on hyperspace mountain, just like Haunted Mansion has seasonal versions, Space Mountain has a season of the force version where you can ride on it and you are experiencing John Williams Star Wars score, you see laser effects and animation, and you are in a dogfight between an X-wing and a TIE fighter. So that’s cool.

Stefanie (32:40)


That’s cool.

Ariel Landrum (32:56)
And then they added scenes from the Disney, different Disney+ series. So the Ahsoka series, the Mandalorian, you can…

ride in different planets that you would see in the new Ahsoka series. So Star Tours, they have so many storylines now, there’s about 250 variations. So when you ride the ride, you know, there’s a good chance that you won’t get the same thing. And that night for Star Wars night, I do believe they added more repeats of the newer

Stefanie (33:09)


Ariel Landrum (33:24)
Disney+ series versions where you can get Grogu or you can hear Cassian, you know, and you’re helping them with different urgent missions or you’re intercepting their transmission. if you went for the rides, you probably would have thought Star Wars Nite was it.

Stefanie (33:26)


Ariel Landrum (33:38)
If you, and they didn’t have fireworks this year, they, I don’t know why, but there was announced that they weren’t gonna do that. I think because of like some late night orders during the week. I guess I expected more and maybe, and we talk about managing expectations, maybe that was the problem was, I was,

Stefanie (33:48)


Ariel Landrum (33:56)
I was thinking of such a large IP that you can pull from. And I wasn’t also considering that there’s probably just a lot of practical things that Disney has to consider. And so I don’t know if I’ll do it again. I will be honest about that. I can certainly get into a lot better, I think, more fun Star Wars events during Season of the Force, during May 4th.

Stefanie (34:00)


Yeah, and there’s plenty of places and things to do around at least Los Angeles. If you want to celebrate Season of the Force, if you don’t have the means and ways to go to Star Wars Nite I know that that’s pretty much a commitment when it comes to celebrating Star Wars. Of course, you can always go during regular season. Going to Batuu is immersive enough in itself. And also…

Ariel Landrum (34:30)


Stefanie (34:39)
here at Disneyland, we not only have Batuu, but our Tomorrowland is still heavily Star Wars themed. It hasn’t really left because there wasn’t a Batuu back then. So I know along with Star Wars Night, you can also go to the Academy Museum, which is in Mid City here in LA. They are doing a May the 4th celebration and workshop. So I know the Academy Museum, they honor a lot of different types of classic films.

Ariel Landrum (34:44)

Stefanie (35:02)
pop culture icons when it comes to a movie and anything that you basically see on the big screen. And Star Wars is a huge IP, like Ariel said, and they are honoring that on the fourth. Many sporting events around LA do a Star Wars night, very like what they do at Disneyland. Of course, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are right next door to Disneyland, and they always have a Star Wars weekend. This weekend, it’s gonna be on April 26th and 27th.

Ariel Landrum (35:09)
and it’s huge, I feel like Ariel said, and they are honoring that. And of course, we’re going to be starting events around LA to use the Star Wars night here in the city.

Los Angeles Angels of the Time. Yes. They’re right next door to Disneyland, and they always have a Star Wars weekend. So this weekend it’s going to be at people 26th and 27th, very close. And they also do a light show, and they have giveaways, rally monkeys, and a firework show as well. So we’re around, and I’m probably going to see a firework show either at Disneyland or at Angels Stadium.

Stefanie (35:29)
very close and they also do a light show and they have giveaways like a rally monkey and a firework show as well. So everywhere around Anaheim you’re probably going to see a firework show either at Disneyland or at Anaheim at Angel Stadium. The Dodgers always do a Star Wars night. It’s always packed. They always have really good giveaways. This year it’s on May 6th against the Miami Marlins with the ticket package.

Ariel Landrum (35:48)

Stefanie (35:54)
For Star Wars night, you get a Millennium Falcon bobblehead. I know Ariel’s gonna go to that. She was really excited when we were at the last Dodger game. So instead of a bobblehead of a person and their head bobbling around, it is Dodger Stadium with the Millennium Falcon hovering around the field. So that’s super cute. I know that Ariel, you go to a local bar, right? That holds trivia sometimes. Can you share a little bit about that?

Ariel Landrum (36:16)
I know that Ariel’s equal to a local bar, right? That tweet that looks trivia sometimes. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Yes, Skemin Villany is a local bar that is set up to essentially look like it is in the Star Wars universe. It is a fandom bar, so it changes out. Like when they had Game of Thrones, there was a lot of

Game of Thrones themed items there and right now because X-Men is out every Wednesday. They play the new episode and voice actor visits during those trivia

Stefanie (36:42)
a lot of them live in the area and are local, so they always are really down to meet all of the fans and give them that more interactive experience with them.

Ariel Landrum (36:50)
Yes, yes, but it is still always set up to look like a Star Wars bar. There are themed drinks there and trivia night there is every Wednesday, as well as during May the 4th they have different type of activities. So, and our friend, Joe Di, he always goes every Wednesday for trivia. he doesn’t have Disney+. So that’s actually interesting. That’s how he sees the new X-Men show.

Stefanie (37:03)

Mm-hmm. Yeah. There is also a big museum that is being built right next to Expo Park and USC, which is the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. It’s not just going to be a Star Wars museum, but it’s going to tackle all of the Lucasfilm franchise films. So that’s set to open in 2025. It looks really cool already. I go to a lot of field trips around there.

Ariel Landrum (37:33)
ready. I got a lot of blitz around there.

Stefanie (37:34)
and the whole top of the building is supposed to be a living roof. So it has greenery and stuff. It’s really cool. It’s something that I would actually probably see on one of the Star Wars worlds. So I’m sure when that opens, hopefully we can go visit and let you guys know what it’s all about. But other than that, we have Star Wars at the Hollywood Bowl.

Ariel Landrum (37:41)

Stefanie (37:53)
on August 7th, 9th, and 10th. And I know they do the John Williams score. Everybody brings their lightsabers. I know, Ariel, you’ve been a couple times, right?

Ariel Landrum (37:53)

Mm-hmm. Yes, yes. Sometimes it is just John Williams and we’re listening to all the scores of the different movies that he has created music for and it always includes Star Wars. They also do the…

where they play the movie, a film. Usually it’s Empire Strikes Back, you get to bring your lightsaber, you can you can come dressed up, and those are the events that you’re allowed to also bring food and your own drinks,

Stefanie (38:26)
And of course, last but not least, there is Star Wars Celebration that happens every couple years or so. That is the big mama of all of the Star Wars conventions this year, or actually not this year, next year in 2025. It’s going to happen in Japan. So it would be interesting if any of our followers or listeners out there have either been to a Star Wars Celebration or are planning to go because I have one acquaintance of mine when it was somewhere here in…

Ariel Landrum (38:34)
big mama of all of the Star Wars. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Or actually, not this year, next year.


Stefanie (38:50)
the United States, I forget where, but it’s like hardcore Star Wars fans. So whether or not you have your opinion of Star Wars fandom, neither here or there, they are all gonna be there. So that is probably the most immersive you’re gonna get when it comes to experiencing Star Wars with other people and just coming into community with other people who have been touched by the series, whether it’s…

Ariel Landrum (38:52)
But it’s like hard for someone to spend time with.

They are all going to be there. That is probably the most immersive you’re going to get when it comes to experiences. I was with other people. And just coming into community with other people.

Stefanie (39:13)
you know, in their personal or professional lives.

Ariel Landrum (39:15)
Yes, and this year, May the 4th, Star Wars Day lands also on Free Comic Book Day. Free Comic Book Day is always the first Saturday of May. So there are a lot of comic book shops that are doing essentially a dual event.

Stefanie (39:27)

Ariel Landrum (39:28)
And so if you are trying to try and find things in your area to celebrate Star Wars, you can go on the free comic book day website that there’s probably going to be a listing of things in your area. The other thing is you can always watch your favorite trilogy, right, they always came out in different trilogies, whichever one you were introduced to or your family was introduced to you can watch them in order of release or a numbered order and have a party at your house with different food items.

Stefanie (39:35)


Ariel Landrum (39:53)
can maybe binge watch some of the new shows on Disney+ or even the animated series. There are a variety of ways to celebrate May the 4th and engage in the community building because that is the thing about the franchise is

It is so large, it is so vast, and spans multiple generations that you can create really good community and fandom connection. And some of the best ways to start finding that is by doing it on May the 4th and seeing what is in your area.

Stefanie (40:22)
Yeah. And, you know, like Ariel said, it touches upon so many different generations and so many people were introduced to Star Wars in such unique and different ways. When we all used to consume media back then when Star Wars was first introduced, it was only through the movies. But now as we’ve noticed that they’ve had such a hit with making toys and collectibles that were specific to the movies, like…

Ariel Landrum (40:43)
that was specific to the movies. It really is one of the cornerstones.

Stefanie (40:44)
It really is one of the cornerstones of what pop culture and the influence of pop culture can mean to families, to different people, to people of all sorts of backgrounds and education levels and just bringing them together with the classic narrative of good versus evil, but also challenge what good is and challenge what evil is. Because as we’ve seen the narratives develop and evolve,

Ariel Landrum (40:52)
to families, to different people, to people with all sorts of backgrounds.

and bringing together with the classic narrative of good versus evil, but also challenge what good is and challenge what evil is. As we see the narratives develop…

Stefanie (41:12)
we are now looking into what exactly is a bad guy, what exactly is a good guy, who are the Key players to that? And that goes into so many different topics that both me and Ariel use in our practices. It’s just a wide array of information and just world building that, you know, it keeps on giving every time.

Ariel Landrum (41:16)
to what exactly is a bad guy. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

It’s just a wide array of information and just world building. You know, it keeps on giving every time. I know a lot of people talk about how Star Wars is tired and they’re just doing too much with it. I think it’s a great thing because not everybody is going to love everything. But you’re going to find certain people who are attached to certain stories.

Stefanie (41:35)
I know a lot of people talk about how Star Wars is tired and they’re just doing too much with it. I think it’s a great thing because not everybody is going to love everything, but you’re gonna find certain people who attach to certain stories. And I think that’s the beauty of having series like the Bad Batch, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan. I mean, there are so many people love those specific things for specific reasons, and it doesn’t have to be for everybody, everybody.

Ariel Landrum (41:53)
and Obi-Wan. I mean, there are so many people love those specific things for students.

No, no, I’m curious for you, Stef, what are some ways that you do see Star Wars in your classroom and after school activities?

Stefanie (42:07)
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think Star Wars is just one of those things you could just print out a coloring page of Grogu now and you automatically have a kindergartner’s attention. They go, oh, that’s Baby Yoda. They’re probably never going to call Grogu by Grogu’s name. It’s just going to be Baby Yoda forever, because as I’ve now become a mom, all of my son’s stuff was Baby Yoda because they just that was the only that was the last franchise that kind of came out.

Ariel Landrum (42:15)
you automatically have a kindergarteners attention. They go, oh, that’s Baby Yoda. They’re probably never going to call Robo by Cobra. It’s going to be Baby Yoda forever.


Stefanie (42:32)
during the pandemic and all of the licensing was just Baby Yoda and the Mandalorian. So you already have an in, if you know a tiny, tiny bit about the Mandalorian, which is wildly popular. But if you get into the older students, you can start talking about values and ethics with, what are the motivations of Yoda and his teachings and what are Obi-Wan Kenobi’s ethics and teaching when he’s-

Ariel Landrum (42:34)
and all the licensing was just the Yoda and the Mandalorian. We already have an in if you want a tiny, tiny bit about the Mandalorian, which is wildly popular. But if you get into it with an older student, you can still get a little bit of a feel for it.

What are the motivations of Yoda and his chain of work?

Stefanie (43:00)
you know, telling Luke where to go, what to do, how to save the galaxy. There’s so many lessons that go into not only that, but using mythology as well as another layer to figuring out what your ethics and philosophies are, because there’s always gonna be history whenever you’re talking about saving the world. So how do we use that history to make better decisions so that you don’t make the mistakes of the past and all of these wars and stuff that happen? So…

Ariel Landrum (43:09)

always going to be history whenever you’re talking about saving.

to make better decisions. So you don’t make them the same. Yeah. Yes. And all of these wars and stuff like that happen. So you can tie a lot of that into the evil history plus ecology. Mm-hmm. The hero’s journey is really good

Stefanie (43:27)
You can tie a lot of that into medieval history, classic mythology. The hero’s journey is really good when it

Ariel Landrum (43:34)
Yes, because that was George Lucas’s intention, right? He specifically followed all of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey information to the T. And so that is the easiest way to teach it when something was made specifically for that theory of storytelling.

Stefanie (43:37)


Yeah, not only that, but history and political science, if you go into more of the high school and the college age students, you could talk about how the Galactic Senate, the empire is comprised, who are the people that make those seats? What kind of people make those seats? How does it look and how does it differ from the empire to Alderaan to different planets that the Mandalorian encounters?

They are different government types and there’s a lot of corruption in them. So you can talk about those dynamics and how those parallel some of the governments that we see today

Ariel Landrum (44:13)


Stefanie (44:21)
different sorts of civilizations, like a village, as compared to a metropolis, what roles they play in the economic systems that happen on these worlds.

Ariel Landrum (44:31)
Star Wars is to just know your facts. And if you don’t know everything about Star Wars, that’s okay. You can learn alongside your students. And really, we all know the Key players. We all know about Rey, we all know about Luke, Leia, on Baby Yoda, Grogu, the Mandalorian, but how…

Stefanie (44:31)
is to just know your facts. And if you don’t know everything about Star Wars, that’s okay. You can learn alongside your students and be like, hey, we all know the Key players. We all know about Rey. We all know about Luke, Leia, Han, Baby Yoda, Grogu, the Mandalorian. But how about we learn more about them together? Watch a short clip and have them analyze it. I think you don’t have to be an expert when it comes to these things. But I think your curiosity in itself can really speak volumes when it comes to fandoms.

Ariel Landrum (44:50)


Stefanie (45:00)
not just Star Wars, but any sort of fandom that you’re kind of using as a teaching material. Yeah. And for you, Ariel, I know you talk to a lot of your clients who are diehard Star Wars fans. Are there any resources that you found helpful or useful in your practice? So, I’m gonna start with you, Ariel.

Ariel Landrum (45:01)
Not just Star Wars, but any sort of fandom that you’re kind of using. Yes. And for you, Ariel, I know you talk to a lot of your clients who are in Star Wars or other. Yes. Are there any-

I have three books on my bookshelf that was shared in the Geek Therapy community and when I saw them, I immediately bought them. The first one is Be More Leia, Find Your Rebel Voice and Fight the System. Yes. Be More Yoda, Mindful Thinking from a Galaxy Far Away.

Stefanie (45:26)
I love that. It’s like a purple, I love the purple. That’s so cool.


Ariel Landrum (45:34)
And then, be more Vader, assertive thinking from the dark side.

Stefanie (45:37)
And from what it looks like, those are very like small books that you can just kind of skim through, right? It’s not like a novel. It’s not like the Star Wars compendium.

Ariel Landrum (45:41)

Mm-mm. Our words can tend you. Mm-mm. And it is meant to be digestible.

Some other resources. Dr. Travis Langley, he is a professor and he is the author of a book, Star Wars, psychology, dark side of the mind. So if you are into pop culture and psychology, that would be a great resource.

Stefanie (45:53)

Ariel Landrum (46:03)
If you are somebody who needs a template before integrating this media into your sessions. However, you can also do character analysis. And we just finished tags, Therapeutic Applied Geek and Gaming Summit. This was this past weekend. And one of the presenters

Stefanie (46:08)


Ariel Landrum (46:17)
Josh Lockhart, a clinical counselor from Canada.

presented what if Darth Vader practiced positive psychology? And so positive psychology has these very specific pillars on helping increase positive or affirming emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement in your life. And what if those things were presented to you, Darth Vader? And one of the things that he highlighted in the beginning that I completely forgot that blew me away, which is part of that empathy building,

to you know little Anakin he was enslaved he already started off as a disenfranchised person and when you think of the adverse childhood experiences or ace score he had a lot of aces and the higher that score is the more likely that you are to have chronic illness the more likely that you are to have mental

Stefanie (46:46)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.



Ariel Landrum (47:03)
And so.

you know, when I think of Vader, I forget about Anakin and I forget about young Anakin. And one of the things that we know is that his largest motivator from psychological trauma was that he had a fear of loss. And that is the most human feeling. Like even though grief and loss is universal, everyone will experience losing someone. That fear is still immense of potentially losing someone.

Stefanie (47:08)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.



Ariel Landrum (47:28)
So all of his motivations to become Darth Vader was to be able to change the course and outcome of essentially death for someone that he loves and seeing a world that meets the needs for him when they weren’t given. And think of being someone who’s enslaved, you’ve never experienced empowerment, you’ve experienced power and control. And then he became

Stefanie (47:51)

Ariel Landrum (47:53)
A Jedi was being trained in the Jedi indoctrinate you and they had definitely specific ideas about him because he was the chosen one. So again, another presentation, even though they’re the good guys of power and control and not empowerment and upliftment.

Stefanie (48:01)

Ariel Landrum (48:08)
And so it only makes sense that when he wants to prevent loss, the only way he can think of doing it is not by fostering deep relationships that you can take with you when someone passes. Instead, it’s to use power and control.

Stefanie (48:22)
Yeah, totally. And I think all of that is so important when we’re just talking about like the human condition, right? There’s so many different facets and it’s so interesting to see that we have now looked at the human condition while thinking about these otherworldly characters that don’t exist in this world, but they go through the same exact emotions, hardships, economic, global, and you know, on a deeper and more intimate level than we do.

Ariel Landrum (48:28)

Okay. Mm-hmm.



Stefanie (48:48)
It’s, and I think that is the beauty of Star Wars and why it has such a wide reach all around the world is that everybody can connect to these stories and these narratives because the storytelling is so simple, but expansive and has a lot of depth.

Ariel Landrum (48:48)


I like how it’s so simple, but expansive.

Yes, yes, I think that there’s a lot you can pull from the franchise as a clinician, you can certainly pull regarding mindfulness and meditation. Because this, you know, the, in Star Wars, they’re always talking about the balance and the balance of the floor, the force. I think when you start to see Ray’s journey and her being essentially tempted by the dark side and that scene where she like touches like that the glass or the wall and there’s like all of these versions of her.

Stefanie (49:16)


Ariel Landrum (49:28)
that really could be useful in doing shadow work, if that is part of your practice, if you’re a union. And even just talking about the concept of

Stefanie (49:34)

Ariel Landrum (49:38)
mentorship. Sometimes some of my clients struggle to find a role model. They have memories that are traumatic. They have maybe caregivers that were not caring. And so finding mentors outside of your family or within your community, you know, Star Wars, like gives you an example of what those different relationships look like, when they can be unhealthy, when they can be an actual support

Stefanie (49:39)




Ariel Landrum (50:01)
how you have communication with a mentor and what they’re meant to show you. All of those things are just essentially very potent themes for a therapeutic setting.

Stefanie (50:05)

Yeah, I love that. And again, there I feel like we could even do a Star Wars part two when we talk about this, just because there’s so much to dive into. And I think we are really just getting into the so-called meat and potatoes of Star Wars, because I think when it comes to both of our practices and, you know, our careers, Star Wars has a very deep reach into the levels of people that we can connect with.

Ariel Landrum (50:16)
Oh, yeah.

Stefanie (50:34)
and kind of explore a lot of these topics with. So hopefully when we, maybe every May, we do a Star Wars episode, that’d be really cool and look at different ways to celebrate Star Wars. And even though me and Ariel do not claim to be the best, biggest Star Wars fan ever, we are lovers of the franchise and the movies. They bring us a lot of joy. We have connected as friends over Star Wars and…

Ariel Landrum (50:43)

Mm-mm. Yeah.

Stefanie (50:57)
We love dressing up and doing, you know, fun things like Ariel used to make me little Princess Leia cookies back when we worked at retail and it was always really fun to connect with other people, our co-workers over Star Wars too and just kind of nerd out. Again, we love sharing community with other geeks and I think Star Wars is such a good way to segue into all of that.

Ariel Landrum (51:04)
back when we were done.

So if you are doing anything very interesting or unique for May the 4th, if you just want to let us know how Star Wars has touched you, how you incorporated in your life, be sure to DM us @HappiestPodGT on Instagram. And may the force be with you.

Media/Characters Mentioned
  • Star Wars franchise
  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • The Mandalorian
  • Grogu (Baby Yoda)
  • Darth Vader
  • Ahsoka Tano
  • C-3PO
  • Kylo Ren
  • Hera Syndulla
  • Queen Amidala
Topics/Themes Mentioned
  • Nostalgia
  • Character interactions
  • Community building
  • Cultural significance
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Education
  • Therapeutic applications
  • Personal growth
  • Event experiences
  • Franchise legacy
  • Practical applications in therapy
  • Storytelling as a tool
  • Healing trauma through narratives

| Instagram:@HappiestPodGT| Twitter:@HappiestPodGT| Facebook:@HappiestPodGT|
| Stef on Twitter:@stefa_kneee| Ariel on Instagram:@airyell3000|

Geek Therapy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of advocating for the effective and meaningful use of popular media in therapeutic, educational, and community practice.
| GT Facebook:@GeekTherapy| GT Twitter:@GeekTherapy|
| GT Forum:forum.geektherapy.com| GT Discord:geektherapy.com/discord|

The post Galactic Celebrations: Star Wars Nite and Beyond appeared first on The Happiest Pod on Earth.