Entries in Star Wars (28)


Sand Dunes to Overrun Darth Vader’s Childhood Home

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(TUNISIA) -- The house that Darth Vader lived in back when he was still Anakin Skywalker may soon be overrun by sand dunes, BBC News reports.

The house along with other buildings of the fictional city of Mos Espa on the planet Tatooine, are actually a set in the Tunisian desert, as seen in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. A new study measuring the rate of movement of sand dunes suggests that the set will soon be buried.

The crescent-shaped wind-blown dunes, also known as barchans, are moving about 15 feet a year, according to Ralph Lorenz, from Johns Hopkins University. Lorenz worked with Jason Barnes, of Brigham Young University, and Nabil Gasmi, of the University of Sousse, Tunisia.

The group measured the barchans’ speed by looking at satellite images, and determined that one will soon cover up Mos Espa.

Nearby, Luke Skywalker’s house from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, has already been at least partially covered by the sand.

The set will eventually emerge from the sand in a few years as the barchan moves on, though BBC News notes that it will likely not be in great condition.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


"Ender's Game" Comic-Con Panel Talks Gay Rights, Han Solo

Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- During the Q&A panel for the upcoming sci-fi film Ender's Game at Comic-Con in San Diego Thursday, producer Roberto Orci responded to backlash the project got early on from gay rights groups, as it's based on the book series from outspoken gay rights opponent Orson Scott Card.

Roberto Orci, one of the film's producers explained to a capacity crowd, "Rather than shying away from the controversy, we're happy to actually embrace it, and use this spotlight no matter how we got here to say we support LGBT rights and human rights."

However, with Harrison Ford on the panel, the fandom was at a fever pitch, thanks to his starring roles in two iconic film series, the Star Wars saga, and the Indiana Jones films -- and is rumored to be involved in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII.

As is the case when hundreds of geeks gather, occasionally somebody asks a question like, "If Han Solo and Indiana Jones were to meet, lightsabers aside, what would be their first words to each other?"

For the record, Ford was game, but typically dry, answering the hypothetical with, "Hi, how are you?"

Another fan asked if Han Solo would make a good soldier in the army raised by Ford's Ender's Game character, Colonel Graff. "I don't think Han Solo would be a good soldier in anybody's army," the actor said to laughs and applause. "I think he would be what we call now an independent contractor."

Ender's Game, in which Ford plays a military man who enlists young pilots to take on an alien menace, also stars Asa Butterfield, and Oscar winners Ben Kingsley, and Viola Davis. The film opens November 1.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Celebrate Geek Pride Day, May 25

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- May the 25 is worldwide Geek Pride Day!

In honor of the occasion, global IT staffing and recruiting service Modis has conducted a survey in geek pride, finding that it’s no longer necessary for Americans today to “sneak their geek.”

Modis reports that 68 percent of all respondents said they would date a geek, possibly because 67 percent of Americans associate geeks with being loyal.

Ninety percent of all respondents said that if they were trying to impress someone, they would take pride in their geeky books and comic books, even if they don’t consider themselves to be a through-and-through geek. Sixty-five percent also said they would be proud to show off their geek toys and pajamas.

Apparently, geeks are better at getting jobs too. Seventy percent of respondents who self-identified as a geek are employed, compared to only 54 percent of non-geeks, according to Modis.

So maybe there is a lot to celebrate, but why the 25th of May?

According to Nerdc, the date was likely chosen as an homage to the May 25, 1977, release of Star Wars, though the date is known to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans as yearly “Towel Day.”

Boston radio host Tim McEachern is credited for sparking the first known celebration of a geek pride day in the year 2000 as a local celebration of computer geek activities. The trend eventually spread online and throughout the world.



Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Lego Builds Life-Size “Star Wars” Spaceship

Lego/Facebook(NEW YORK) -- At nearly 46 thousand pounds, LEGO has landed a record breaking tribute to Star Wars in the middle of New York City.

More than 30 builders from the toy company spent nearly four months building a life-sized version of the X-Wing fighter piloted by Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy. With the exact specs of what the fighter would be in real life, the model is 43 feet long, 11 feet high, and boasts a wingspan of 46 feet, and features glowing engines and thruster sounds from the films.

While LEGO's normal-sized X-Wing toy is 560 pieces, it took more than 5.3 million bricks attached to a steel superstructure to create this super-sized version, which was built in the Lego Model Shop in Kladno, Czech Republic. The ship was transported to the Big Apple, where it was reassembled and officially unveiled Thursday, complete with Star Wars costumers adding to the ambiance.

The model will stay in Times Square for a few days, before it’s packed up again and transported to LEGO Land in California.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Did George Lucas Confirm "Star Wars" Vets Will Return for New Film?

Terry O'Neill/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek regarding the nuts and bolts of the $4 billion sale of his galaxy far, far away to Disney, George Lucas apparently let slip a major spoiler: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher will return for Star Wars: Episode VII.

While speaking about what's to come in the 2015 film -- Disney's first Star Wars movie and the first in a new trilogy -- Lucas said, "We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison -- or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation.  So I called them to say, 'Look, this is what’s going on [about the sale].'"

Lucas then said, "Maybe I’m not supposed to say that.  I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them."

The filmmaker then tried to backpedal using an apparent Jedi mind trick, saying, "I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not."

That being said, Disney hasn't made any official announcement, and the article makes clear that Disney's deal gives the House of Mouse the final say.

Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, was quoted as saying before Lucas signed the deal, "We needed to have an understanding that if we acquire the company, despite tons of collegial conversations and collaboration, at the end of the day, we have to be the ones who sign off on whatever the plans are."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Mark Hamill: Lucasfilm 'Talking' with Original Cast for New "Star Wars" Film

Terry O'Neill/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Mark Hamill, who played farmboy-turned Jedi Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, says rumors he and his former co-stars Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford will reappear in the upcoming Episode VII are anything but.

"They're talking to us," Hamill tells Entertainment Tonight about the filmmakers behind the new trilogy, Disney-owned Lucasfilm.  "George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we'd be interested.  He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts, they would write us out."

Hamill cautions, however, "I'd want to make sure we [are] going to have the whole gang back."

Hamill insists, "I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts.  We're in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and producer Kathleen Kennedy."

The actor also expressed hope the filmmakers would go "old school," and use more models and other practical effects, instead of relying on computer generated effects, which were used in countless shots in the prequel trilogy.

Hamill explained he doesn't know anything about the plot of Episode VII, though he supposes at his age now, the new trilogy, which launches in 2015, would focus on the children of the original cast's characters.

"I'm character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character," Hamill says of Luke's mentor, who was played by Alec Guinness in the original trilogy.

Speaking of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor, who played a younger version of the master Jedi in the Star Wars prequels, wants to wear the robe again.  Speaking to MTV News this week, McGregor said he hoped one of the Star Wars spin-off films Disney is hatching should feature his character.

"I think it's a good idea," McGregor enthused, saying the film could focus after the events of Episode III, which ends with Kenobi beginning a mysterious exile on an orphaned Luke's adoptive home planet Tatooine.

"I don't know what he did in the desert," says McGregor of his character in the 17 or so years between Episode III and Episode IV.  "That might be my window, there, to tell that story...Could be quite exciting.  I'd be up for it, for sure, of course."

So far, rumor has it two stand-alone films will center on the early adventures of space smuggler Han Solo and bounty hunter Boba Fett, but nothing has been set in carbonite.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Report: "Star Wars" Spin-offs Could Focus on Han Solo, Boba Fett

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Earlier this week, Disney announced it will develop Star Wars spin-off movies.  Two of those films could center around the Han Solo and Boba Fett characters, and Darth Vader could conceivably appear in them as well, according to a new Entertainment Weekly report.

The Han Solo project would be an original story set in between the events of the prequel Revenge of the Sith -- the most recent Star Wars flick -- and the original Star Wars movie.   

Entertainment Weekly speculates it's possible that Harrison Ford, who played Solo in the original trilogy, could appear in the spin-off -- however, fans could tell you for the pre-Episode IV timeline to make sense, a much younger Solo would need to be cast.

The proposed Boba Fett story would follow the bounty hunter sometime between the events of the original Star Wars and the final film in the initial trilogy, Return of the Jedi, the magazine notes.  In that chapter, the character who cashed a bounty on Solo's head met an inglorious end when he accidentally rocketed into a sarlacc's belly -- however Fett's popularity with fans led him to survive the encounter, at least according to subsequent comics and novels.

Last year, before Lucasfilm was sold to Disney, Captain America director Joe Johnston said he's urged George Lucas to let him craft a Boba Fett movie; because of the sale, the decision becomes Disney's to make, and Fett's fanbase makes the character a no-brainer for a spin-off.

Incidentally, Johnston knows more than a thing or two about the character: he worked on the original Star Wars trilogy and helped design Fett's iconic, weapons-laden suit, and even wore it for early promotional appearances.

There were rumors earlier this week that a Yoda spin-off was also being considered; Entertainment Weekly cautions that the projects are in the very early stages of development and that plans could change.

Disney is already planning on a new, separate trilogy of Star Wars movies, the first of which will be directed by J.J. Abrams and is scheduled to be released in 2015.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Disney CEO Confirms "Star Wars" Spin-Offs in the Works

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For Star Wars fans, the good news just keeps coming.

Days ago, Disney, the new owner of George Lucas' galaxy far, far away, confirmed series fan J.J. Abrams will be directing Star Wars: Episode VII, which is set for a summer 2015 release.

On Tuesday, the Walt Disney Company's CEO Bob Iger confirmed a rumor that The Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and X-Men: First Class writer Simon Kinberg would be spearheading Star Wars spin-off movies.  The pair are also consulting producers on Episode VII as well.

Iger explained Star Wars: Episodes XII, XIII, and IX would be released over a six-year period, but the other stand-alone films would also be, "released in that period of time, too."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


J.J. Abrams Will Reportedly Direct "Star Wars: Episode VII"

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Although Disney and Lucasfilm are so far mum, multiple sources are confirming Star Trek director -- and lifelong Star Wars fan -- J.J. Abrams will in fact be directing Star Wars: Episode VII.

The news came as a shock to fans of Lucas' saga, as Abrams recently went on record saying he was asked to direct the film but respectfully declined so that he could concentrate on the Star Trek film series he rebooted.  His sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness hits theaters May 17.

Disney already announced that its first Star Wars film since Lucas sold his empire to the company would debut in 2015, and a who's who of Hollywood directors were asked to come aboard.

Although "it's a done deal with J.J.," a source tells Deadline, others who were courted included 300 director Zack Snyder, Pacific Rim's Guillermo del Toro, and Oscar winning Ratatouille director Brad Bird, who called the shots on the hit Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

Deadline reports Abrams' relationship with Lucas' successor at Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, helped seal the deal, and confirms another rumor, that Ben Affleck, who directed Argo, was also considered.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


J.J. Abrams Turned Down "Star Wars Episode VII"

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Lost co-creator and Star Trek reboot series director J.J. Abrams' name was one of those rumored to be in the running to call the shots on Disney's first Star Wars film, Episode VII -- and apparently the rumors were true. 

However, as "amazing" as he predicts the next films will be, Abrams told the U.K. movie magazine Empire that he declined the gig early on.

"[T]here were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a [Star Wars] fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things," Abrams says.

Abrams praised producer Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas' hand-picked successor at the now-Disney-owned Lucasfilm, saying the franchise is "in great hands."

The filmmaker says even though he's a "huge fan" of the original trilogy, and "the idea of [that] world continuing is exciting and will be amazing," he admits, "I'd rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them."

Abrams' next Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, beams into theaters in May 2013.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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