“What did you like better; Jedi or The Empire Strikes Back?” (Randal, Clerks.)

And it was in that spirit of bitching about movies that The Empire or Jedi Podcast was born. Created by a group of ex-Hollywood Video employees; Empire or Jedi is a weekly podcast that reviews the latest films from Hollywood, dissects the newest scoops from the entertainment world, and occasionally features nerdy arguments like whether or not Obi-Wan Kenobi was a clone or if the events in Back to the Future were all in Doc’s head after slipping and hitting his head on his bathroom sink. If you ever wondered what a bunch of nerds working in the lowest tier of the movie industry thought about cinema, this is it.


David Snider

IMG951273The host of Empire or Jedi, a pinball fanatic (but unwilling to seek out a real pinball machine to play on) and the man with the smokiest smoker’s laugh in all of podcasting; Dave is the “Walter Flanagan” of the show. Often heard laughing at his own jokes, Dave is a puzzling individual, able to provide a halfway insightful thought at one moment, only to suddenly emit a strange guttural noise at another. Why he is in charge of hosting duties is a mystery.

Empire or Jedi?:  Empire
Favorite Films:  Total Recall (1990), Jaws, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Twitter: @empireorjedi

Ryan Caldwell


A closet hipster, whose tastes lean more towards indie-cinema, but can still appreciate a good ‘splosion once and a awhile; Ryan is the guy who is usually defending himself for enjoying Spring Breakers or expressing his unrequited love for Blink-182. He is also the Stanley Kubrick behind-the-scenes of the podcast, designing the show’s logos, music and basically anything that requires actual talent.

Empire or Jedi?:  Empire
Favorite Films:  Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction, Wayne’s World
Twitter: @darthryan

Cody Eastlick


A true man’s man, and a Norse Viking in another life, Cody is the only one of the crew not to have worked at Hollywood Video. Since joining the show officially in 2013, Cody has become the righteous voice of indignation on Empire or Jedi, taking internet trolls to task and pointing out the absurdity within the entertainment world.

Empire or Jedi?:  Jedi
Favorite Films:  Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, Starship Troopers
Twitter: @codyeastlick


Jonathan Hinckley 


An original member of the show from its humble beginnings at Hollywood Video, Jon returned to the podcast in 2013 after a long absence and a harrowing journey, one which saw him travel the winding path of Snake Way to undergo Super Saiyan training on King Kai’s Planet (China). Despite his Jar-Jar like clumsiness, Jon is the Chewie of our show, a man of many loud noises, and one who simply cannot contain his excitement over a “hot chick” on a movie screen, much to the chagrin of any other person in the vicinity.

Empire or Jedi?: Empire
Favorite Films: Pineapple Express, 50/50, The Dark Knight
Twitter: @TheOGHinckley

 Chad, aka WOPR Model-101



A man/robot of few words, Chad is the logical voice of reason on the show, known for his cold and emotionless outlook on movies and entertainment. Despite being a robot at heart, Chad continues to learn of our human ways and hopes to one day be able to express real emotions like the rest of us.

Empire or Jedi?:  A New Hope (…his logic is undeniable)
Favorite Films:  Serenity, V for Vendetta, Les Miserables (Liam Neeson Version)
Twitter: @WOPRModel101




Nick Goathoof


A man/demon who went from being a fan to our own personal Peter Parker; Nick (or Goathoof, as he prefers to be called) is Empire or Jedi’s special horror aficionado, providing reviews for oddball flicks you’ve probably never heard of to horror classics that you owe it to yourself to check out. Beyond reviews, Goathoof has also guest hosted several episodes of the podcast, including the ever popular Bond-cast series, where we review each and every film in the James Bond franchise. Never one to turn down the chance to watch a crappy film, Goathoof is always game to review whatever schlock you may throw his way, so be sure to let him know on Twitter what movies you’d like him to review in the future.

Empire or Jedi?:  Jedi
Favorite Films:  Pacific Rim, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Requiem for a Dream
Twitter: @Goathoof88

Eric Smith


A man with a refined taste in movies (despite his love for Spring Breakers), Eric is one half of the newest podcast under the Empire or Jedi banner, The Criterion Erection. Not one to blindly jump onto a bandwagon, Eric is usually the one defending movies that are unanimously dismissed, providing at times the sole dissenting opinion on films that either everyone loves or everyone hates (such as You’re Next). In addition to hosting The Criterion Erection, Eric is also the lead singer of Naked People Running (the Empire or Jedi house band), providing lead vocals for our theme song, as well as contributing numerous Op-Ed pieces for the Empire or Jedi website, championing underappreciated actors or defending misunderstood films that are widely shat upon.

Empire or Jedi?: Jedi
Favorite Films:  I ♥ Huckabees, Adaptation, Inglourious Basterds
Twitter: @ericthesmith

Mike (from Portland, OR)


The other half of The Criterion Erection, as well as a founding member of our house band Naked People Running, Mike manages to ride the line between cultured and vulgar, providing insightful commentaries on classic films at one moment, only to deliver a poop joke at another, in true dead pan style. Frequently the butt of many jokes on Empire or Jedi due to his living in Portland, Oregon; Mike simultaneously embodies the classic hipster, while (like Ryan) still able to appreciate a good ‘splosion or fart joke once and a while.

Empire or Jedi?: Empire
Favorite Films: The Seventh Seal, Rashomon, Jurassic Park

Madolyn Whitmer


As the true brains of the Houston-based podcast power couple, Madolyn co-hosts It’s On Like DCOM with pizazz. At an early age, her taste in film consisted of almost exclusively horror films and, appropriately enough, Disney Channel Original Movies. While of course her taste has expanded considerably since then, she remains one of the world’s foremost experts on the two genres, and is willing to physically fight over certain movies. She also brings a much-needed female perspective to the Empire or Jedi boys’ club.

Empire or Jedi?:
Favorite Films: American Beauty, The Breakfast Club, The Silence of the Lambs