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Talking movie franchises

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneMicah and Jordan McCaw discuss “The Empire Strikes Back“ while podcasting from their Medford home.
Jordan and Micah McCaw produce ‘The McCaw Podcast Universe,’ that reviews films with sequels

On May 17, 2019, with the introductory sounds of an electronic dance beat — and some nervous laughter – “The McCaw Podcast Universe” was born.

The podcast's hosts, Medford couple Micah and Jordan McCaw, used the first episode to introduce not only the show’s purpose, but themselves.

“The idea behind this one is Jordan and I, who are married people,” Micah stated, before his better half interjected, “(Married) together.”

Micah then thanked Jordan for the clarification.

Together on their podcast, the McCaws talk about movie franchises — even ones they don’t like. The list includes “Harry Potter,” “Terminator,” “Batman,” “Toy Story” and “Twilight.” Many of the movies reviewed feature characters from the Marvel Comic Universe, which is where “The McCaw Podcast Universe” name comes from.

Micah was the brainchild of the podcast and its name, because he is a comics-lover. And Jordan?

“Not so much,” she said.

But the couple, who attended school together while growing up in the Rogue Valley, love movies.

“I feel like we’ve come up with franchises,” Jordan said.

Micah said 2002’s “Spider-Man” with Tobey Maguire is one franchise film that stands out for him growing up. As an adult, when he was not working his day job, he’d find himself on a friend’s podcast. The two were supposed to talk about anything, but Micah just wanted to talk about movies. He decided there would be no greater co-host than his wife.

“It was a realization of how we’re talking about movies constantly, and we spend so much time together, maybe we can put that energy into a podcast,” Jordan said.

Micah noted the podcast’s focus on movies with sequels.

“We definitely live in an age of franchises,” he said.

To that point, Jordan added her belief that franchises are “fascinating.”

“To the point where, I feel like anytime a movie is a blockbuster, they will make seven more,” she said.

One of the questions the podcast seeks to answer is, “Can the sequel be better than the original?” It is an inquiry that perfectly frames the McCaws next venture, which is to review all 11 Star Wars movies.

“We’ve been saving it,” Micah said of the project. “It’s one of my favorite series — I want to do it well.”

He noted that the decision to review the George Lucas movies came only after fans voted in a March Madness-esque bracket the couple established on social media.

Jordan said her favorite film franchise is “Lord of the Rings,” but “Star Wars” is almost equally admired.

“I’m looking forward to it,” she said about watching “Star Wars” again. “Although I’ve seen all the movies so many times, I cannot figure out which one is which. That’s something I’m hoping to nail.”

Jordan added that “Star Wars” has its adoring fans, but also some of “the worst,” too. Still, she hopes people learn something new about the films from the podcast.

“I think we can present some new information that people don’t know about,” Jordan said, “and then, just some new takes — maybe rekindling someone’s love for ‘Star Wars.’”

In creating a series of podcasts on “Star Wars,” Micah hopes to explore the intent of Lucas, considered one of the greatest film directors, in creating the franchise.

“I could see some of the blueprints (for the sequels),” Micah said. “I see when you add 20 years, he makes these decisions about the prequels, and when this becomes successful, he is able to do these things that maybe fans don’t like, but maybe that’s (his) artistic intention.”

The Medford podcast host was, in part, referring to the re-release of the original trilogy in 1997, which used technology that did not exist decades before to remaster the movies’ picture, sound and add extra scenes.

Though Micah admits his love for “Star Wars,” he doesn’t feel the same way about all of its films. He believes “Empire Strikes Back” is better than “A New Hope,” but he’s still mystified over 2002’s “Attack of the Clones.”

It is Micah’s hope, however, that his feelings about the films don’t influence the critical thinking he must take on as a movie reviewer for a podcast.

“If we didn’t like a movie, we still try to approach it anew,” Micah said.

“Last time I watched (Clones), I didn’t think it was very good,” he said. “But when we sit down to watch it, I’m going to see if I can figure out if it’s secretly good.”

The first “Star Wars” episode of “The McCaw Podcast Universe” will air May 5.

With so many episodes under their belt, anything goes for the McCaws when it comes to reviewing sequels. When a reporter noted that the “Men In Black” movies had not been featured, Micah responded it might need to be “bumped up” in the show’s order of importance after Sunday’s Oscars, when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage.

As far as whether MIB will get the “McCaw Podcast Universe” treatment, Micah, as any compelling movie writer would, left things at a cliffhanger.

“Who knows?” he said.

Episodes of the podcast are available through Apple or Spotify.

Reach reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or kopsahl@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.