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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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Not long to go now until the next Star Wars episode! Can't wait! In the meantime, welcome to this week's edition of our exciting weekly newsletter StarWarrior.space.

Otherwise known as an e-zine, StarWarrior is bursting with chosen stories all about not only the Star Wars franchise, but also everything sci-fi.

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And if you have any related news you'd like to share, perhaps an upcoming Cosplay event, please let us know. Email: news@starwarrior.space

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Thomas Austen

This Week's News

Daisy Ridley says she won't play Rey anymore after 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

* Daisy-Ridley.jpgBy Dave Trumbore, Collider

Daisy Ridley returns as Rey in Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", bringing her feisty, Force-wielding character back in a big way. But "Star Wars" fans better enjoy the on-screen moments with Ridley's Rey while they can, because after the concluding chapter of the current trilogy, she's probably done with the franchise.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Supreme Leader Snoke is not a Sith Lord

* Snoke-no-SIth.jpgBy Bryan Abrams

You'd have been forgiven for assuming that Supreme Leader Snoke, played by Andy Serkis, was a Sith Lord. While we only saw him in holographic form in The Force Awakens, it was made crystal clear he was the man-er, being-in charge.

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Exploring the Skelligs: Irish islands feel the Force

* Skelligs.jpgBy Wes Little, CNN

Cinematic even before you add the Millennium Falcon. You can see why "Star Wars" producers chose Skellig Michael as a location in a galaxy far, far away.The small rocky island sits about 8 miles off the southwest coast of Ireland. It hosts a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an ancient Christian monastery famous for its architecture consisting of stone "beehive" huts built without mortar.

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Netflix releases trailer for 'Black Museum,' ahead of 'Black Mirror' season four

* Black-Museum.jpgNetflix has released the trailer for 'Black Mirror' season four episode titled 'Black Museum.' The intriguing and dark series that has been likened to a modern day 'Twilight Zone' has fans eagerly waiting for the next installment, even though Netflix has yet to announce the season's official premiere date.

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Is it possible that even those responsible for 'Star Wars: the last Jedi' don't know who Rey's parents are?

* Rey.jpgIt seems that even the star and director of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' don't know the answer to what is possibly the new trilogy's biggest mystery: who are Rey's parents? Filmgoers witnessed a young Rey being abandoned on the desert planet Jakku. Obviously, her folks aren't some random, never-before-seen nobodies.

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Here's what Nissan's head Star Wars geek told us about all the Star Wars stuff

* Nissan-SW.jpgEven though I'm a fan of Star Wars (well, I'm really more a fan of clunky little droids and related droid culture, and Star Wars is just the delivery vehicle) I find Nissan's aggressive Star Wars marketing tie-ins a bit baffling. I'm not the only one who's confused, so I decided to seek out the source of it all, and talk to the man behind the Nissan-Galaxy Long Long Ago/Far Far Away partnership.

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Scholar tipped to lead HKU made his name turning science fiction into reality with 'invisibility cloak'

* Invisibility-pioneer.jpgMainland-born US national based at Berkeley prides himself on close relationships with students. The mainland-born scholar, tipped to become the next leader of Hong Kong's oldest university, is also described as contributing significantly to China's science and technology scene, despite being an American citizen.

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Living in yesterday's science fiction: Artificial intelligence in agriculture

* Agri.jpgIn today's rapidly evolving technology landscape, one increasingly common theme continues to be Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its role in our society. AI is changing everything from the way we shop with products like Amazon's Echo using voice commands to initiate the purchase of products while other AI devices like Nest keep our homes safe and comfortable. These devices represent a new type of "smart" technology that utilizes AI or machine learning. Machine learning distills large amounts of input data into algorithms based on patterns.

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Explore the Fantastical with Speculative Fiction

* Paul-Witcover.jpgAbracadabra.

"Beam me up, Scotty."

"I'm sorry, David, I'm afraid I can't do that."

"Expecto Patronum!"

Even if you haven't read and watched the books, TV shows or movies those made-up phrases come from, you've likely heard of most of them. That, in part, illustrates the degree to which science fiction, fantasy and other fantastical genres have become a part of our culture. There are so many twists to these make-believe worlds - horror, post-apocalypse, alternate history and many more - that even defining the genre dubbed speculative fiction can take some work.

What is Speculative Fiction?

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State-run algorithms should stay in the realm of science fiction

* Early-computing.jpgMarket forces are more powerful than any computer.

The control room is hexagonal, containing a circle of white, fibreglass swivel-chairs with red-brown cushions and inbuilt push-button panels.

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Previous News

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

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By 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

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With 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

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In 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.

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Virtual reality boom brings giant robots, cyberpunk castles to China

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Giant 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?

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By 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: 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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