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This Week's News
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.Full Story
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.Full Story
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.Full Story
Netflix 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.Full Story
It 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.Full Story
Even 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.Full Story
Mainland-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.Full Story
In 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.Full Story
"Beam me up, Scotty."
"I'm sorry, David, I'm afraid I can't do that."
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?Full Story
The control room is hexagonal, containing a circle of white, fibreglass swivel-chairs with red-brown cushions and inbuilt push-button panels.Full Story
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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.Full Story
John Williams, the multi-award-winning American composer, is credited with reviving the use of a full orchestral score to support on-screen action.
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.Full Story
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.Full Story
Director Rian Johnson has taken care to avoid this with his sequel, The Last Jedi, however, which is more about "pushing everything forward."Full Story
Now Boyega, who plays reformed stormtrooper Finn, has confirmed that he shared a scene with the pair "wrapped in stormtroopers costumes."Full Story
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.
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."Full Story
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.Full Story
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.Full Story
Cellink uses a process known as 3D bioprinting that uses cell-laden bio-ink to create and grow human tissues and organs.Full Story