Star Wars radio dramas + more stuff

3 minutes estimated reading time

Star Wars radio dramas

By the 1980s, radio dramas were in decline. This is in stark contrast to the first half of the century when famous literary and comic book characters had their own shows which covered everything from science fiction and fantasy to crime and horror. Famous names like Sherlock Holmes, Count Dracula, Batman, Superman, The Spirit, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade all appeared on radio. The Star Wars radio dramas started as a project to fire interest in the genre.

An academic at the University of Southern California looked to respark interest in radio dramas, using the local campus radio station to rejuvenate NPR Playhouse – the umbrella vehicle for radio dramas on the US National Public Radio (NPR).

These aren't the droids you're looking for.
These aren’t the droids you are looking for by Scott Beale

The university students moved on from adapting short stories and suggested adapting Star Wars. Director George Lucas was an alumni of USC and helped the production licensing the music and sound effects for a nominal dollar fee. The BBC helped out in return for broadcasting rights in the UK and some of the original stars including Mark Hamill signed on as cast members.

USC went on to dramatise two out of the three films from the original Star Wars trilogy. While they were originally multi-part series, an enterprising YouTuber has put them all together.

Star Wars radio dramas as originally recorded:

  • Star Wars: A New Hope: originally 13 episodes (1981)
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: originally 10 episodes (1983) – the BBC were not involved in this recording
  • Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi: originally 6 episodes (1996) – made by HighBridge Audio instead of NPR or USC. HighBridge had distributed the previous recordings as a recording box set and when NPR and USC couldn’t make the recordings, they stepped in to do it instead.

The Star Wars radio dramas, alongside vintage recordings are enjoying a second life on YouTube in parallel to the increased consumer interest in podcast documentary dramas and Audible’s rejuvenation of audio books.

Jack Ryan final season

Amazon Prime’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan franchise is probably the best adaptation that I have been. But all good things must come to an end and we are seeing the final season being rolled out. John Krasinski has arguably played the best version of the titular character and the writers have managed to modernise the show sympathetically. They have managed to make each season very relevant. This time Ryan is investigating a conspiracy of crime that might envelope the entire ‘black budget operations’ of the intelligence and defence communities.

The roads lead back to Myanmar via Shan State rebels and an NGO ostensibly set up to help victims of human trafficking. I look forward to seeing where the rabbit hole goes next.


I am on Threads – a new micro-blogging alternative to Twitter; so far it’s been underwhelming despite the rapid climb in new members. I am also on Mastadon and Post.News.

Godzilla Minus One

While American adaptions of Godzilla feel grandiose and bloated in nature, Japanese adaptions by Toho Pictures have managed to refresh and take an interesting new take on the titular character in Shin Godzilla. Godzilla Minus One changes things up by setting his rampage in a post-war Japan already devastated by the United States.