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Previous News

Lucasfilms announces new Star Wars trilogy

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Lucasfilm has announced that the Star Wars: The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson, will create a brand-new Star Wars triology. According to the announcement on the Star Wars website, Johnson will be writing and directing the first movie in the trilogy, with longtime collaborator Ram Bergman producing.

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What Star Wars history may tell us about Rian Johnson's new trilogy

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Yesterday, the news dropped that Rian Johnson's time in the Star Warsuniverse would not end with The Last Jedi. Instead, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Johnson would be working on a brand new trilogy of movies, separate from the main Saga films, that would "introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored."

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US fighter jets firing lasers is no longer science fiction

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The future of the US Air Force is looking more and more like Star Wars. The United States Air Force Research Lab is investing heavily in the future of this country's defense systems, and that future will apparently involve an increase in airborne laser weaponry.

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Thomas Austen

This Week's News

We just got the most detailed description yet on the new billion dollar Star Wars land coming to Disney World

* SW-Theme-Park.jpgBy Ken Storey

The Orange County Register, a highly respected Southern California newspaper, posted a lengthy analysis of the newly public permit plans for the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge that Disney shared with the City of Anaheim. Disney is currently building two nearly identical 14-acre Star Wars lands, one in California at Disneyland and one here in Florida at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Each is estimated to cost well north of a $1 billion. The details that the OC Register shared regarding the new land can be assumed to be accurate for the one here in Florida with a few exceptions, most notably the LARPing-focused Star Wars hotel that has been announced for Disney World.

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Stormtroopers invade the Sage as the Star Wars Spectacular delights the audience

* Sage.jpgWith next month's release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, what better time to reprise all the unforgettable musical themes which have helped to create the cinema legend over the past 40 years?

John Williams, the multi-award-winning American composer, is credited with reviving the use of a full orchestral score to support on-screen action.
What Bernard Herrmann, Max Steiner and Erich Korngold did in the 20th Century 'Golden Age of Hollywood', Williams carried on. His music for the Star Wars adventures is arguably his finest work.

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Meet `Oumuamua, the strange interstellar asteroid that sent us a message

* Asteroid-ship.jpgIn the classic 1973 Arthur C. Clarke science fiction novel "Rendezvous With Rama," a mysterious object is detected outside the orbit of Jupiter as it rapidly approaches the inner solar system. Traveling at high speed and on a hyperbolic trajectory, the object is obviously not from our solar system; it's from interstellar space.

On Oct. 19, astronomers detected their own "Rama."

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Virtual reality boom brings giant robots, cyberpunk castles to China

* VR-China.jpgGiant robots and futuristic cyberpunk castles rise out of lush mountain slopes on the outskirts of Guiyang, the capital of one of China's poorest provinces.
Welcome to China's first virtual reality theme park, which aims to ride a boom in demand for virtual entertainment that is set to propel tenfold growth in the country's virtual reality market, to hit almost $8.5 billion by 2020.

The 330-acre (134-hectare) park in southwestern Guizhou province promises 35 virtual reality attractions, from shoot-'em-up games and virtual rollercoasters to tours with interstellar aliens of the region's most scenic spots.

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How did you get into Star Wars?

* Into-SW.jpgBy Joe Tonelli

At some point or another, we were all bitten by the Star Wars bug-er-sandflea. We were dragged to a theater by a cool uncle, handed an N64 controller to play Star Wars Episode I: Pod Racer (let's be kind to those whose first exposure may not have been the original trilogy), or just caught a marathon over Thanksgiving weekend.

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Star Wars 8: Snoke's 'deformities' confirmed as MORE Last Jedi details are revealed

* Snoke-deformities.jpgBy Shaun Kitchener

Star Wars' looming villain Supreme Leader Snoke will appear in the flesh for the first time in The Last Jedi, and he'll be more than a little damaged. It's long been speculated that the character - played by Andy Serkis - would be somewhat deformed or injured in Episode 8, and now the actor himself has spoken about him in detail for the first time.

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Thunderstorms and lightning create nuclear reactions and radiation, say scientists

* Lightning.jpg'I think there is no health risk from this phenomena' - Ryan Butcher

Lightning bolts have been recorded triggering nuclear reactions in the skies above Japan, causing radiation and antimatter to rain down upon the Earth.

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This Insubstantial Pageant by Kate Story

* Pageant.jpgThe infinite adaptability of Shakespeare has been proven again and again over the past 400 years, with his plays being set in every different time and place imaginable. Why not The Tempest in space, then? Indeed, it had already been done, or at least suggested, as long ago as 1956's Forbidden Planet.

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Man who hopes to prove the Earth is flat in his homemade rocket postpones plans

* Flat-Earther.jpgBy Janissa Delzo

In an effort to prove the Earth is flat, 61-year-old "Mad" Mike Hughes plans to launch himself thousands of feet in the air in a homemade rocket. But his launch-which was originally set for Saturday-has been postponed, The Washington Post reported Friday afternoon.

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Stephen Hawking believes humankind is in danger of self-destruction due to AI

Theory of the End

Stephen Hawking is one of the most respected minds in science today. He often speaks on a wide range of topics both within and outside of his particular expertise in theoretical physics. Some of Hawking's most discussed topics including the search for alien life, climate change, artificial intelligence (AI), and how all of these things, and more, are going to spell the end of humanity once and for all.

Speaking at an event at Cambridge University last year Hawking said, "Our earth is becoming too small for us, global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing."

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Previous News

Star Wars 8: The Last Jedi isn't an homage and pushes the franchise forward, says director Rian Johnson

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Fun though Star Wars: The Force Awakens was, it felt like a bit of a retelling of the original Star Wars films and relied a lot on big reveals of beloved established characters.

Director Rian Johnson has taken care to avoid this with his sequel, The Last Jedi, however, which is more about "pushing everything forward."

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Star Wars: Princes William and Harry are stormtroopers in The Last Jedi

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Princes William and Harry have cameo roles as stormtroopers in the next Star Wars film, actor John Boyega has said. The royals visited the set of The Last Jedi in April 2016 and were rumoured to have filmed a scene in disguise.

Now Boyega, who plays reformed stormtrooper Finn, has confirmed that he shared a scene with the pair "wrapped in stormtroopers costumes."

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The troublesome universe of 'Valiant Dust'

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They say that all science fiction stories are tales of today, dolled up with ray guns and spaceships to make them more palatable. That they're all muddled messes of our modern politics and current fears, our hopes for distant sweet endings cut with the arsenic cynicism of actually living in the present moment.

And that's probably true, if only because no science fiction writer (with the arguable exceptions of William Gibson and Philip K. Dick) can really see into the future. Richard Baker's newest novel, Valiant Dust, is no exception. As a matter of fact, it is possibly one of the most thoroughly today-ish novels I have ever read - all starships, warp torpedoes and faraway worlds serving as only the gauziest scrim to cover a story which is very much about our current moment in history.

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Let the 'Force' bring you to UW-Parkside

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By Lee B. Roberts

The "Force" is set to return to movie theaters across the country Dec. 15 when "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" - the latest installment in the "Star Wars" film saga - opens. In preparation for that much-anticipated release, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is hosting a series of free, public events celebrating the cultural phenomenon that is "Star Wars."

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Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper have often met in fiction, though only one of them is real

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A fictional super-detective and a notorious real-life serial killer walk into a bar together..." I don't know if crime buffs have yet thought up a joke that begins with that line, but this gin joint would likely be in London's poverty-drenched East End in the 1880s: the sort of place where shady characters might drop in for a peg or pint at any time, even 7 AM, to ward off the cold and other miseries. And the carousing sleuth and murderer would be Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper, respectively.

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'Doctor Who' Christmas Special clip shows the first doctor hating the modern Tardis

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It's difficult to believe that we're only barely more than a month away from Peter Capaldi's final episode as The Doctor.

For the past few years, Doctor Who episodes have been heavily rationed, with tiny slivers of deliciousness eeked out, sometimes once a year, as fans desperately wait for more. This year, we got a full season of the show, and now we're almost upon the traditional annual Christmas extravaganza, which shows up every December 25th.

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A Harry Potter-inspired potions class with 'magic' working wands, bubbling cauldrons, and colour-changing alcohol is coming to London in 2018

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* A "Magical Cocktail Experience" is coming to London in March 2018.
* Guests will create their own drinkable potions using a wand.
* The people behind it also plan to open a Harry Potter-inspired pub.

The team who are planning to launch London's first 'magical' Harry Potter-inspired pub - The Cauldron - have another more imminent surprise in store for fantasy fans.

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A company is making 3D printing of human body parts a reality

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3D bioprinting is already being used to create cartilage and skin cells to test cosmetics. It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but a technique to 3D print body parts using ink that contains human cells is being developed by a Swedish firm.

Cellink uses a process known as 3D bioprinting that uses cell-laden bio-ink to create and grow human tissues and organs.

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Disney reveals plan for new Star Wars trilogy and live-action TV series

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Disney has announced plans for a new Star Wars trilogy and TV series in a company call to discuss annual earnings. The company's CEO, Bob Iger, revealed that the writer-director Rian Johnson will tackle the new films, which will feature completely new characters in "a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored".Johnson has already directed this December's next instalment, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. His previous credits include Brick and Looper.

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The military history behind the Star Wars costumes

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The costume designer for Star Wars, John Mollo, died recently, at the age of 86. Even though he didn't have any previous costume design experience, he was hired by director George Lucas to design the costumes for the 1977 Star Wars film because of expertise in military history.

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How inventions once depicted in science fiction can help students think about the possibilities of technology in the future

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After numerous blogs on the subject of D&T in the classroom, I would like to think I have earned the opportunity to indulge in a mix of two loves of mine: technology and film. So today's blog is simply the result of a bit of daydreaming while watching a film about a killer drone.

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The end of 'Pump Fiction'

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New basic insights into the workings of a biomolecular mechanism crucial to life: the calcium pumps in our cells: Our cells move energy and matter to the places it is needed. But how do they do this in real time, and seen from the perspective of a single molecule? A Danish research team has successfully uncovered new basic insights into this invisible world, by doing experiments that track how a single molecule of the protein 'engine' known as the calcium pump works.

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Religion in Science Fiction Television

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Consider this: you are two thousand years in the future. You live in a different part of the galaxy. You have never seen Earth and it's not even a planet you are sure is still out there. So which religion do you follow?

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Luke Skywalker returns to the Millennium Falcon in the new trailer

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What's especially cool about this Star Wars trailer is the fact that we get to see Luke return "home," so to speak, as he steps aboard the Millennium Falcon for the first time in decades. We also get a sense of more of the growing conflict within Rey (Daisy Ridley) as she is being trained in the ways of the Force by Luke; and then, of course, there's the growing threat of Adam Driver's Kylo Ren.

And while we're waiting for "The Last Jedi", Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy recently revealed that plans are being mapped out for the next decade or so of stories set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, saying this during a recent promotional interview:

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Mark Hamill - 'Harrison Ford is REAL reason I returned for new trilogy

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By George Simpson

Star Wars legend Mark Hamill has revealed he returned for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi because of Harrison Ford. Back in 2012 George Lucas made the surprise move of selling his Star Wars rights to Disney. With news of a third Star Wars trilogy on the horizon, fans were wondering if the original actors would be returning.

Now in a new interview, Hamill - who plays Luke Skywalker - has revealed his early reservations about a comeback. Speaking with The New York Times, he said: "I was just really scared, I thought, why mess with it? The idea of catching lightning in a bottle twice was ridiculously remote."

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Kathleen Kennedy opens up about plans for next decade of Star Wars

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By Tom

Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy has opened up about the plans for the next 10 years for the franchise. Speaking on the Star Wars YouTube channel, Kennedy spoke about the early plans for the future and the life of new characters like Daisy Ridley's Rey and Oscar Isaac's Poe. She said: "We're sitting down now, we're talking about the next ten years of Star Wars stories and we're looking at narratively where that might go.

Future stories beyond Episode IX, with these new characters, Rey, Poe, Finn, BB-8, but we're also looking at working with people that are interested in coming into the Star Wars world and taking us to places that we haven't been yet, and that's exciting too because it's a vast galaxy far, far away. The possibilities are endless."

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Future Man' makes video games real, then everyone pukes

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Hulu's upcoming original series seems like a time-traveling sci-fi comedy for gamers, but the laughs are inspired more by gross-out gags than far-out future. More than one hard-core gamer has dreamed that real life could be as action-packed and exhilarating as the title they've spent so much time trying to conquer.

In the upcoming Hulu sci-fi comedy series "Future Man." that dream comes true for Josh Futterman (see what they did with the name there?), played by Josh Hutcherson of "Hunger Games" fame, But the result is more about raunchy humor than epic action sequences or mind-bending science fiction storylines.

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Star Wars 8 OUTRAGE: Cinemas BAN Last Jedi over 'AWFUL' Disney demands - Which cinemas?

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Will some cinemas really refuse to show The Last Jedi? Fans are worried they won't be able to see the next Star Wars movie after some cinemas refuse to agree to "onerous" secret Disney demands. There has been a major disturbance in the Force. Star Wars Episode 8 was cruising towards a massive box office triumph in December but now some cinemas may refuse to screen The Last Jedi at all.

The Wall Street Journal has revealed that Disney is demanding such oppressive contracts with cinema chains that some may be forced to pull the movie from the Christmas schedules, leaving fans disappointed. Share prices fell for major cinema chains in the US after the news and fans online are outraged at what is being seen as an "awful" and "ridiculous" money grab.

What is going on and who will be affected?

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Mickey Rourke is starring in a dystopian movie about figure-skating robots!

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It seems that a recent trend of original science fiction movies (not all of which were successful ones) is set to continue into next year. The Hollywood Reporter brings word of Vestige, a brand new science fiction movie starring Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler, Sin City, Iron Man 2), Analeigh Tipton, and Anne Heche.

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