Honor The Force recently had a chance to sip a cup of hot joe with Dan Zehr, co-host of the immensely popular podcast Coffee with Kenobi. Dan is deeply rooted in the Star Wars fan community. On top of his work as a podcaster, he is an active educator who implements Star Wars in his classroom and regularly contributes to the official StarWars.com website. Sit back, relax, and learn a little more about the man behind the coffee.
Honor The Force: What was your first experience with Star Wars and how did it affect you?
Dan: My first experience was seeing advertisements for Star Wars on tv, followed by a trip to the toy store, where I bought my first action figure, C-3PO. I had not seen the movie yet, but gravitated towards the protocol droid. Shortly after that, I saw the movie at a drive-in for the very first time, and it was amazing. Combined with the fact that it had been sold out multiple times before that made it even more rewarding.
Honor The Force: You currently co-host Coffee with Kenobi, a fan centric podcast that focuses on the deeper themes of the saga. How did this well renowned podcast all come about?
Dan: Thank you for your kind words! It came about through my love of podcasts. I listened to them during my commute, and felt inspired to start my own. I didn't know how to do it, how it would work, what it would be about, or the format. I continued to process this, and shortly after, met Cory. We went out for coffee (of all things), and our conversation was so much fun that we joked about how we should tape the experience. During that time, during my British Literature course I teach, I thought about how the analytical style used in my class would be effective in discussing Star Wars. Once I brought this up to Cory, we decided that's what we should do, and while we discussed comics and other mediums, we kept coming back to Star Wars, and decided to go with that. It was the right choice.
Honor The Force: How might fans go about interacting and being a part of the Coffee with Kenobi experience?
Dan: The best way is to send us an email or MP3 with your thoughts on the topic. Every show, we announce the topic, and then ask for feedback on what listeners think. The entire purpose of the show is to give fans a voice, because there are a lot of insightful people out there.
Honor The Force: If you could be the apprentice of one force sensitive character in the Star Wars universe, who would it be and why?
Dan: Qui-Gon, because he thinks outside the box.
Honor The Force: In addition to your duties on Coffee with Kenobi, you are also a member of The Rogues. Can you tell us a little about what this group is and its importance in molding the new generation of Star Wars fans?
Dan: The Rogues is the brainchild of Star Wars in the Classroom, which is a community of educators that share their lessons and activities on incorporating Star Wars into their specific curriculum, regardless of the subject or age group of the student. It's important because it provides engagement, which is crucial to teaching.
Honor The Force: If you could choose the next Star Wars Story to be made into a film, after Han Solo, what would it be about?
Dan: That's hard to say, as it changes all the time. I'd love to know more about Cad Bane, but I doubt there will be a movie centered on him.
Honor The Force: As a writer, some of your work appears on StarWars.com where you provide a literary based insight into motivations and actions of the characters. Can you describe your inspiration and process of research for your "Studying Skywalkers" series?
Dan: Certainly. The inspiration is similar to how CWK started. There is so much material that is ripe for analysis, and I love talking Star Wars, so it was a natural melding for me.
Honor The Force: Imagine this, if you will. You have only one cup of coffee, which Kenobi would you share with over a conversation: Alec Guinness, Ewan McGregor, or James Arnold Taylor?
Dan: James Arnold Taylor, because he is a kind, spiritual, talented man who loves Star Wars and family.
Honor The Force: What advice would you offer to a new, or novice, writer/podcaster?
Dan: Find something about yourself that is unique, because we all have it, and pour your heart into in. Educate yourself on your audience, and be sure to funnel it through a subject you are passionate about. Your voice is unique, and you should embrace it!
Honor The Force: Dan, thank you so much for the chance to chat with you today, and for helping us Honor The Force.
Dan: Thanks for including me!
Honor The Force is always looking to highlight fans who contribute to the fan community. If you are interested in having your portfolio shared across our network including this website, contact us by email.
Recently, Coffee With Kenobi gave Honor The Force a chance to connect with the fans on their podcast. Check out the entire podcast below!
To see some of Dan Zehr’s work follow the links below:
Dan Zehr on StarWars.com
Dan Zehr's Rogues Profile