Tag Archives: psychic powers

125 – Princess Leia and The Paranormal: Carrie Fisher’s Ghost Story and Psychic Experiences

It’s another bittersweet episode as we remember actress and writer Carrie Fisher, who passed away on December 27th, 2016. A performer and a personality who found her artistic voice in her personal struggles with mental illness and addiction, she was as inspiring off the screen as she was on.

carrie fisher ghost story
Snarky to the very last!

When Disney bought Star Wars in 2012, it was a new lease on life for a story that a lot of its original fans became disillusioned with. George Lucas is a creator of boundless visual imagination, but the stories he was telling in the prequels seemed to no longer resonate with the fans that had grown up with the films. Star Wars changed the landscape of  popular cinema and reinvigorated space adventure. It influenced everything and its impact can hardly be overstated.

carrie fisher ghost story
Retro-blaster, cool sidebuns, and a deadly look…

When President Reagan envisioned a nuclear missile shield in the atmosphere over the United States, it was called the “Star Wars” program. He even called the Soviet Union an “evil Empire”. In the United Kingdom Census in 2001, 390,000 people listed “Jedi” as their religion. Star Wars had entered the consciousness of our world far beyond popular entertainment. And so much of it is mystical, what else are the Jedi besides space wizards with psychic powers who can come back from the dead as ghosts?

carrie fisher ghost story
The gold bikini that launched a thousand starships…

The Star Wars prequels however, while wildly financially successful and groundbreaking in special effects, seemed to leave many of the original fans cold. In their eyes, Lucas went from a visionary to a joke, a billionaire with a waddle who had lost touch with what made his original films such classics.

carrie fisher ghost story
Episode 1.5: The Phantom Neck

(Full disclosure: I liked the visually breathtaking prequels more than I liked The Force Awakens, which was too much fanservice and just a retread of the original. Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford’s performances were the only real bright spots, in my humble and extremely unpopular opinion.)

carrie fisher ghost story
My favorite moment from “The Force Awakens”

When Disney bought the franchise they gave the fans what they wanted, which was the further adventures of the Skywalker family. Luke, his sister Leia, her husband Han Solo, and their offspring. So much of the greatness of the original films is tied directly to the chemistry of the trio of leads, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and of course, Carrie Fisher.

carrie fisher ghost story
Some things get better with age.

And in the new series of films, people were hoping to see a lot more of Leia, who went from Princess to General. An icon of female empowerment who went from a damsel in distress to a breaker of chains and a leader of armies. She set the sci-fi standard for female characters.

When Carrie Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, passed away from a stroke the day after her daughter died, it was a sad and eerie story of a broken heart. But that wasn’t the  only uncanny thing that happened in her life. She not only was romantic with noted paranormal enthusiast, Dan Aykroyd, but she had her own ghost story when her friend died in her bed (while she was in it!), a psychic friend of her mother’s might have predicted her Star Wars fame, and none other than Corey Feldman himself said that she had some kind of psychic power that she saw his own struggles with addiction.

In this episode, Wendy, Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts, and I discuss her importance to the world of film, female heroes in science fiction, and her relationship to the paranormal.

For the song this week, we had to include the video from Halloween 2009, where we went as Luke, Leia, and Han from Return of the Jedi. Wendy even made a Jabba to go with her gold bikini and I had lost my shirt at that point in the night, so I was less Luke and more Rancor Keeper! We often quote some of our favorite songs in a track of ours called “My Own Worst Enemy” and for this live tribute we did some of our favorite Star Wars musical moments.  There were several other partygoers dressed as Jedi at the show so we even got to enjoy a little lightsaber action during the performance!

I think she smokes just to blow smoke rings,
I think I’m drinking just to forget her name.
She looks at me funny, like Jesus on the cross,
This is no Fortunate Fall, but it feels like “Paradise Lost”.

So, get thee to a nunnery, you b!t(h.
I drank myself to sleep a thousand times.
I broke my foot running after you,
but I can’t seem to get you off my mind.

I might even be my own worst enemy.
Standing in the corner of my shame.
I might even be my own worst enemy,
because I really thought you could keep me sane.

She looks at me funny and says, “I think of you like my therapist,”
I laughed, she didn’t.
I touched an angel; I thought I brushed a wing.
I thought it meant something, she didn’t.

So, get thee to a nunnery, you b!t(h.
I drank myself to sleep a thousand times.
I broke my foot running after you,
but I can’t seem to get you off my mind.

I might even be my own worst enemy.
Drinking so that I forget your name,
I might even be my own worst enemy,
because I really thought you could keep me sane.

101 – Star Trek: Beyond The Psychic Powers Of The Final Frontier

We saw on Facebook the other day that every Ghostbusters film has come out in the same month as a Star Trek film. Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock came out a week before the first Ghostbusters and Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier came our a week before Ghostbusters 2. Unfortunately, Star Trek 3 and 5 are known as the kinda bad ones so we don’t know what that means for Star Trek Beyond, but since it’s opening a week after the Ghostbusters reboot, well, we just had to do back-to-back episodes ourselves!

And it’s not like we’ve never talked about Star Trek before, our Leonard Nimoy tribute episode covered a good deal of our Trekker-related tendencies, but we decided to devote our first full episode to the big daddy of space exploration series and how they used psychic powers within the show.  And even though Star Trek Into Darkness had some pretty weak sauce, we’re hoping that with a script written by supergeek Simon Pegg (alternate-universe Scotty, himself) Star Trek Beyond is the film we’ve been hoping for.

star trek beyond gary mitchell
Hey, it’s Sally Kellerman, one day she would grow up to be the completely unbelievable love interest for Rodney Dangerfield in Back To School!

Psychic powers are baked into the Star Trek formula, in fact, when the pilot episode of the original Star Trek was rejected by NBC and they asked for a new story, psychic powers were the plotline! The extremely evil-sounding Gary Mitchell(!) portrayed a villain who was warped by his access to God-like telepathy and mind control.

star trek beyond vulcan mind meld

The most famous Star Trek psychic move of course is the Vulcan Mind Meld. That’s where a Vulcan touches the head of another person and they can transfer memories, emotions, and in the case of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), even the personality and soul of the Vulcan. Spock mind melds with Kirk, McCoy, and even a silicon-based giant pizza monster called the Horta in the classic episode, “Devil In The Dark”.

spock horta pizza star trek beyond
I can feel how much you hate anchovies…

Star Trek: The Next Generation brought psychic powers to the bridge in the form of Counselor Deanna Troi, the half-human half Betazoid empath who would advise Captain Picard on what the aliens they were talking to were feeling.

counselor deanna troi star trek beyond
Glamour Shots from the future!

In the writer’s guide for Star Trek: The Next Generation they said that they wanted to keep the stories scientifically plausible  and that:

2. We do not do stories about psi-forces or mysterious psychic powers

No matter how fantastic the events in a story, the explanation must be extrapolated from a generally accepted science theory. (We have accepted the telepathy of Counselor Deanna Troi because many reputable scientists have acknowledged the possibility of such abilities, but you will note that we have limited Troi to “reading” only emotions.)

When it comes to science fiction, half of the battle is keeping a consistent set of physics in the universe where technological hurdles have been leapt that we currently haven’t foggiest of how to fathom (like warp speed or time travel), so when it comes to psychic powers, Star Trek had a physical medium through which psychic powers could travel. Here’s how they said telepathy worked on an old site about Star Trek: Voyager:

Star Trek science consultant and writer André Bormanis has revealed that telepathy within the Star Trek universe works via the “psionic field.” According to Bormanis, a psionic field is the “medium” through which unspoken thoughts and feelings are communicated through space. Some humanoids can tap into this field through a kind of sense organ located in the brain (e.g. the paracortex). In the same manner that Human eyes can sense portions of the electromagnetic field, telepaths can sense portions of the psionic field.

star trek beyond telepathic pitcher plant
The giant psychic space organism that almost ate the Voyager.

This week, we’re trying out our first See You On The Other Side psi experiment. We made a little 5-minute meditation track inspired by Star Trek‘s various themes to help  your mind into the Alpha state – which is the state that some people believe can enhance telepathy – so we want to see if we can help you get results.

  • Find a friend to listen to this YouTube video through headphones at the exact same time as you and have one person be a sender and one person be the receiver.

  • As the sender, pick a one-word message to send. It could be any word you like. Listen to the track and focus on that message and images behind its meaning.

  • The receiver will then write down a paragraph of what they felt and what their thoughts were during the five minutes.

  •  Send the one-word message and the paragraph to us over email or Twitter the results on a future podcast. Feel free to send us an audio file too, we’d love to be able to hear your voice!

We know it’s not hard science, but we thought that Episode 101 and Star Trek Beyond was the perfect time to inaugurate some psychic research of our own!