Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and our annual call-in show.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Broke Every Record in the Book. Did It Reinvent the Franchise? 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Broke Every Record in the Book. Did It Reinvent the Franchise? 

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Dec. 30 2015 3:17 PM

The Culture Gabfest “We Forced You to Call Us” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and our annual call-in show.

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Culture Gabfest's Julia Turner, left, Dana Stevens, Stephen Metcalf

Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photo by Steve McFarland.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 379 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner

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And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:

Go to slate.com/cultureplus to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.

This week on Slate Plus, Dana, Julia, and Steve answer a listener question about whether they meditate daily (or at all).

On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, the gabbers discuss Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Did the blockbusting juggernaut offer a new take on an old franchise and atone for the sins of the films from the early 2000s, or was it just tired nostalgia bait? Next up, the gabbers answer listener calls about everything from the state of podcasting to the representation of diverse voices in cultural criticism.

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Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

The Slate Culture Gabfest is brought to you by Prudential’s 40/40 Vision, a multimedia microsite exploring what life—and the future—looks like to today’s 40-somethings. Hear what inspires real people, the hopes they have for tomorrow, and much more. See yourself in their stories at slate.com/4040vision/family.

And by Making a Murderer, an unprecedented new documentary that takes viewers inside a high-stakes criminal case where reputation is everything and things are never as they appear. All episodes are now streaming, only on Netflix.

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Endorsements:  

Dana: Any movie by Haskell WexlerWexler’s obituary in the New York Times, and Matthew Zoller Seitz’s interview with Wexler about Days of Heaven at Eberfest 2013

Julia: “At Señor Frog’s in Times Square, It’s Spring Break Forever” by Pete Wells in the New York Times

Steve: The podcast Limetown

Outro: "Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner" by John Williams & London Symphony Orchestra from the album Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Zack Dinerstein. Our intern is Lindsey Albracht.

Follow us on Twitter. And please like the Culture Gabfest on Facebook.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate’s critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.