Last year I had the privilege of getting to know Becca Benjamin, one of the nicest women in the podcasting and blogging arena. Not only is she an excellent writer for the Cantina Cast, Coffee with Kenobi and a Titler & Captioner for Steve Anderson art, she is also mother to three and works a full-time gig as a Medical Receptionist for a Retina Specialist. I recently had the chance to have some ‘real talk’ with her and find out a bit more about her and how she got her start in the Star Wars world where she thrives today…
Pete: Hi Becca, how are you doing today?
Becca: Hey Pete! I’m doing ok, thanks. Hope all is well on your end.
Pete: I’m good, so busy, but I venture that you know the feeling! Wow, let me just read this list in front of me here, Tarkin’s Top Shelf, writer with some of the most popular podcast news sites out there like The Cantina Cast as well as Coffee with Kenobi the list goes on…Impressive, most impressive! Let’s dial it back for a moment, tell me how you got into the world of Star Wars in the first place.
Becca: Wow! That’s sorta hard to answer, but I’ll do my best here. Well, Star Wars (what is now known to us as “A New Hope”) was my very 1st theater experience! I was about 3 1/2-years-old when I saw it, the movie itself, played for over a year in theaters and became known for what is now the term “Blockbuster film.”Becca: That said, my entire family (parents, cousins, and grandparents, made it a family outing, due to all the positive feedback it was getting (or as the story is told to me by my parents). My mother told me that I instantly gravitated towards Vader, not the princess, as she had thought I would be (yeah, I was a strange kid). She recalls me saying, “he’s sad” & “alone” which is rather intuitive for a toddler. By my fourth birthday I had a Vader cake trimmed with pink icing, yeah, I was hooked.
Pete: How did you get into the business today?Becca: Business? Is that what this is?
Pete: Well, we are in the business of bringing the fans the news they need to fuel their passions, and let me say you’re leading the charge!
Becca: Well, it just kind of happened. By the time ROTS came out, I decided it was time to explore the Star Wars universe a bit further and try to absorb as much of it as possible. So I went on to StarWars.com and joined the Hyperspace Blogs Subscription. There was a plethora of fans just like me! They all wanted to discuss and explore the galaxy far, far away … it was such an exciting venue and I met so many people from all over the world, and some of them, to this very day, I consider my family.Becca: In fact, that’s how I met Steve Anderson (Lucasfilm Artist). He was reading my fan-fiction (long story for another time) and really understood my passion. He asked if I’d be interested in working alongside him on some Star Wars Art (umm…duh! Yes!) Can’t even count the number of projects I have titled (or captioned) for him.
Becca: That connection to the original Star Wars Blogs has brought me into the Podcasting/Blogging Community, hence: Coffee with Kenobi, The Cantina Cast, The Bearded Trio, Tarkin’s Top Shelf, and now, with you, TGR Star Wars Hour. It’s been one Hell of a ride so far.
Pete: You are in one of the best bloggers I have ever met, to what do you attribute your superior writing skills too?Becca: Superior Writing Skills? Wow, you are way too gracious, but thank you. To whom or what do I attribute my writing to? Hmm… probably my love for creating stories and my Mom. Truth be told, I used to keep a journal as a kid (my Mom still has it in her hope chest). It’s just something I did, my Mother and my brother could draw or paint anything and I could (and still) barely draw a stick figure. So my creative outlet was writing. It’s just something I always did and have continued to do so into my adult years. I still find it shockingly surprising that anyone reads my thoughts (lol).
Pete: Tell me and the TGR fans about Tarkin’s Top Shelf for those who have never listened?Becca: Well, Tarkin’s Top Shelf was originally a concept Mike Rondeau (the CEO and Host of The Cantina Cast) had since Celebration Anaheim and it came about as a joke, really. The original name was “Tea With Tarkin,” which was nixed for obvious copyright reasons, but I digress. It’s a Star Wars Literary Podcast that focuses on the New Canonical Story Line of the Star Wars Universe. Mark Sutter (Host) and I discuss and analyze the novels/YA books in a general sense, at first, then we elaborate on the “Key” elements of the story. Basically, we are your “Cliff Notes” to the novels.
Pete: I can honestly say that Tarkin’s Top Shelf is one of my favorites out there, it is a great show and if you are a fan of the Star Wars novels past and present give it a listen you will not be disappointed at all! Becca, let me ask what direction you see yourself going in with Star Wars? Is there anything you want to do that you have not done already?
Becca: Where do I want to be in the Star Wars universe? Hmm… well, I’d like to someday write for the official Star Wars site, that’d be fantastic! It would be a “coming home” moment for me, seeing as that’s where it all began. And, who doesn’t want a place among the Lucasfilm Story Group? I still dream.Becca: As for “what I’d like to do” … well, I’d love to one day write and publish my own novel. I tend to think of myself as a combination of J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer when it comes to writing style; fantasy and romance are my two passions.Pete: You know, I can see that happening someday, the way you write and your passion for Star Wars has you going places in the universe for sure!Pete: Well, its been fun talking with you today Becca, one last question. Tell us something we don’t know about Rebecca Benjamin?Becca: Ok, here’s something not too many people know and I hope you find it entertainingly interesting (laughing)
Pete: Wait…let me get out the tape recorder (laughing)Becca: Back in the day of “C B radio” (definitely dating myself now), my Dad graced me with the handle (nickname): “High-Ball” as in the drink. Why, you ask? Because when I was born I weighed in at 7 lbs. 7 ounces.Pete: Wow, that so cool, High-Ball, that’s Epic! Don’t feel bad I’m a child of the late 70’s and 80’s we had a CB radio in our car as well! Becca I want to say thank you for Sitting with Starlord today it has been a pleasure talking with you, as always!Becca: Thank you! It was a total pleasure!