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This Week's News

The Rock is a 'Star Wars' super fan and planted a reference to Han Solo in 'Jumanji'

* Jumanji.jpgBy Olivia Singh, INSIDER

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would like everyone to know that he is a massive fan of the "Star Wars" franchise - and he found a way to include a Han Solo reference in "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle."

In addition to paying tribute to Robin Williams in the new film, there are plenty of other references and Easter eggs that viewers might have noticed if they payed close attention.

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The one change 'Star Wars: the Last Jedi' should have actually made

Weeks later, I'm continuing to think about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and all the controversy that's surrounded the film, including a split between critics and fans who loved it, and other fans who seem to think it's the worst thing since Anakin's reflections on sand.

I loved it after I saw it, and I still love it now, upon further reflection. I think it destroys tropes and shatters nostalgia in a way that makes me excited about the potential of Star Wars again. I love Rian Johnson for being brave enough to do that, and the fact that Disney let him.

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Throwback Review: 'The Angry Red Planet' (1959)

* The-angry-red-planet.jpgWe Earthlings have always been fascinated by Mars. It's the name, I think; when you name a bright red planet after the God of War, you've set that planet up to have a bad reputation. We've always imagined that if there aliens on Mars, they're probably a pretty hostile lot. 

Generations of children grew up fearing an attack from that planet, Martians pouring forth from their flying saucers and obliterating us all with their ray guns.

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Pop culture predicts the future of Tech

* predictive-pop-culture.jpgArtists deal in both the possible and impossible. Many, especially science fiction writers, play somewhere in the middle. They write about technologies that don't yet exist. Or they assume the possibilities of technologies far ahead of their time.

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Goodbye Dr Evazan

* Dr-Evasan.jpgStar Wars' Dr Evazan who also appeared in The Elephant Man, dead at 87

Who was Alfie Curtis?

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How the eleventh season of 'The X-Files' will differ from the tenth

* X-Files-11th-series.jpgWe ended the 10th season of 'The X-Files' with a cliffhanger which has had fans on the edge of their seats and that doesn't even scratch the surface of what was revealed in the revival. What happens next though won't be quite the "running start" which we had just seen as they were able to address much of what had happened in the lost 13 years while still giving us plenty to ask about. Outside of the obvious ten episodes as compared to six giving us four more hours of fun with our favorite Agents, there will be a couple of other things up in the air as well.

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Netflix's The Toys That Made Us explains how Star Wars changed toys forever

* Droids.jpgIf you've run out of holiday classics to snuggle up with during holiday vacation, allow me to recommend The Toys That Made Us, a new documentary series on Netflix. Don't let the first episode's opening scene of a low-budget historical recreation put you off. This is a serious documentary about iconic American toy lines, including Star Wars, Barbie, He-Man and G.I. Joe, and it is absolutely worth your time.

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Here's how Rian Johnson deals with fans who didn't enjoy 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Fan reaction is something that casts and crews of film have to see very easily these days thanks to social media and the Internet in general, so with how divisive 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' has been you need to wonder how those involved feel about it. Most of the actors haven't shared any details quite yet but director Rian Johnson wasn't just involved in the creation of the latest installment but was a fan of the franchise so weighed in on this. In a recent interview he explains his thoughts on fans who didn't like what was released and while he understands why not everyone would agree with his choices gives a thought out reason why it's okay that they disagree:

"Having been a "Star Wars" fan my whole life, and having spent most of my life on the other side of the curb and in that fandom,

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The best recent science fiction - reviews roundup

* SF-review-roundup.jpgNaomi Booth's Sealed (Dead Ink, £15.99) fuses near-future eco-catastrophe with psychological horror to produce an accomplished, slow-burning meditation on motherhood, pregnancy and love. Reeling with grief after the loss of her mother, and horrified at the onset of a worldwide epidemic, pregnant Alice flees Sydney for the safety of a remote Blue Mountains settlement with her childhood sweetheart Pete.

Far from finding a refuge from her nightmares, however, Alice discovers that the epidemic has followed her. "Cutis" afflicts victims with outgrowths of skin covering all external orifices: is it humanity's way of protecting itself, Alice wonders, from the deadly poisons polluting the planet? Booth strikes a fine balance between portraying her as a paranoid obsessive and as a concerned m

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Ridley Scott says he's 'Too Dangerous' to direct a 'Star Wars' movie

* Ridley-Scott.jpgBy Kirsten Chuba

All the Money in the World" director Ridley Scott got candid about his thoughts on "Blade Runner 2049" and "Star Wars" in a recent Vulture interview.

When asked if he was ever offered to helm a movie in the "Star Wars" franchise, the director said he was "too dangerous" to ever be allowed, and Disney would never hire him because he knows what he's doing.

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Watch a 19-Year-Old Carrie Fisher's first audition for Star Wars

* Young-Carrie-Fisher.jpgIt's been a year since Carrie Fisher's untimely death at just 60 years old, but the actress has hardly been forgotten-and not just by her daughter Billie Lourd, who's been making tributes to her late mom both on the red carpet and on Instagram recently.

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Previous News

Mark Hamill force chokes 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' by saying the prequels weren't "trying to do the same" thing "over again"

* Luke-comments.jpg
As Luke Skywalker, if anyone has a right to say things about the 'Star Wars' franchise, it is Mark Hamill. He's recently made some remarks that might stir up fans by calling the prequel trilogy as being more creative than 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens. ' Before anyone who couldn't stand those Jar Jar Binks infested movies stands up in uproar, you should hear his reasoning why before throwing your opinion down. I mean, he could just wave his hand and tell you that these aren't the movies that you are looking for. We should at least hear Hamill out first.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - This is the real reason why there are porgs

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The inspiration for the squeaking, wide-eyed little creatures on Luke Skywalker's solitary island in the latest Stars Wars film have been revealed as puffins.

The team doing the Last Jedi special effects said it was easier to turn the seabirds native to Skellig Michael, off the south-west coast of Ireland, into a new "indigenous species" rather than digitally remove them.

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Science fiction when the future is now

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Six authors parse the implications of our unhinged era for their craft.

AlphaGo, fake news, cyberwar: 2017 has felt science-fictional in the here and now. Space settlement and sea-steading seem just around the bend; so, at times, do nuclear war and pandemic. With technological change cranked up to warp speed and day-to-day life smacking of dystopia, where does science fiction go? Has mainstream fiction taken up the baton?

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The 5 best sci-fi movies of 2017

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By Dirk Libbey

Science fiction is always a popular genre at the movies as it brings worlds and creatures that we can otherwise only imagine to life. It's about living in the future or traveling through space. It shows us technology that may never exist. At it's best, it uses this distance from reality to show us something truly real. It's the perfect genre for those that use the cinema as a place to escape reality, while still thinking critically about the world around us.

Some of the best movies of the year were science fiction films, so this list isn't just the best of the genre, but also some of the best films you could have seen this year. Here are the best sci-fi films of 2017.

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The difference between science fiction and fantasy: what every screenwriter needs to know

* Superman.jpg
By: Script Magazine

We all know him: Kal-El, the last son of Krypton. He's faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Known as "the man of steel," Superman emulates truth, justice and the American way. Most of us love, or at least like him. Given the choice of superpowers to pick from, I imagine most of us would choose his. But to the writer, and more specifically, the screenwriter, what is Superman?

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From Mcquarrie to Chiang: highlights from 40 years of Lucasfilms Star Wars holiday cards

* Xmas-droids.jpg
In December 1977, after Star Wars had spent six months taking audiences to a brand-new galaxy far, far away, Lucasfilm began a holiday tradition of sending cards to friends and corporate partners that still continues today. The very first Lucasfilm holiday card, which was an unassuming, Hollywood-themed greeting card, was probably sent to a few hundred recipients in 1977 and then subsequently relegated to the backs of file cabinet drawers - or worse - after the holiday season.

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Take a Luke...

* Disney-SW-ride.jpg
By Rosie Gizauskas

Star Wars fans are one step closer to actually flying the Millennium Falcon. Disney have now released the first photo of the brand new attraction - and fans are going weak at the knees. With Disney's new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge theme parks due to open in 2019 in California and Florida, fans have been eagerly awaiting glimpses from the actual park - and now they have one.

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Artificially intelligent robots could soon gain consciousness and rebel against humans to 'ELIMINATE us', scientist warns

* Terminator.jpg
From babysitting children to beating the world champion at Go, robots are slowly but surely developing more and more advanced capabilities.
And many scientists, including Professor Stephen Hawking, suggest it may only be a matter of time before machines gain consciousness.

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'Maayavan' review: Science fiction or science lesson?

* Maayavan.jpg
Maayavan's basic premise is great. But its execution on screen quite isn't.

Maayavan opens with Ilaiyaraaja's soothing 'Keladi Kanmani' number playing on what looks like a radio. But the listener isn't someone sitting in a tea shop in Thanjavur; he is lying in what looks like a futuristic hospital bed. The year, we're informed, is 2037.

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2017 celebrity deaths: Science fiction and the world lost iconic talents

* Iconic-dead.jpg
Looking back on 2017, it's impossible to forget the entertainment icons who were taken too soon. We lost a Batman and a James Bond in Adam West and Roger Moore, directors such as Jonathan Demme and George Romero, and actors with distinguished careers like Sam Shepard -- a Renaissance man of the arts. But one particular universe feels emptier as we look ahead to 2018: science fiction films.

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Throwback Review: 'Solaris' (1972)

* Solaris.jpg
By Tony Schaab

Mention the words "science fiction," and many minds automatically picture large ships gliding through space, shooting lasers at one another, or bizarre and fascinating alien life making contact for the first time (or invading the Earth).

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Deadpool Is already making trouble for Disney

* Deadpool.jpg
By Emily Schaab

A certain anti-superhero isn't too happy about the Disney Fox merger. Leave it to Deadpool to rain on the Disney's parade!

The Merc with a mouth didn't waste any time making an impression on his new bosses, although it wasn't exactly a great one. Ryan Reynolds shared a photo of that first impression, and it seems Deadpool managed to get himself arrested at Disney World. The image shows a security guard ushering Deadpool out of the magical Disney kingdom with the caption "Apparently you can't actually blow the Matterhorn."

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Are we all aliens? Scientists create life's building blocks in a space-like environment suggesting we were created from interstellar dust

Life may have begun in the frigid vacuum of space, according to experts who found small organic molecules can form under these conditions.
Scientists were able to prompt chemical reactions that resulted in the creation of the building blocks for early organisms in a simulated solar system.
Rather than starting here on Earth, the finding suggests that the compounds needed for proteins and carbohydrates to develop may be extra terrestrial in origin.

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'Jaw-dropping, gripping, unpredictable, insane': Twitter reacts to Star Wars: The Last Jedi as it's billed 'best movie since Empire'

* SW-Premier.jpg
The Force is strong with this one.

The first reviews are in for Star Wars: The Last Jedi - and everybody is blown away. The world premiere of the eighth chapter in the Skywalker saga, directed by Rian Johnson, took place in Hollywood on Saturday night.

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'Star Wars' box office: 'Last Jedi' has a key advantage over 'Force Awakens'

* Luke-grim.jpg
Well, this is interesting. Morning Consult, a privately-held technology and media company specializing in online survey and market research, just dropped a bunch of poll results around the Star Wars movies. You can read the results on their actual page, but I wanted to point out one very interesting nugget. To the extent that the 2,200 adults polled in the survey represent a national consensus, Princess Leia is the most popular character, followed by Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Yoda, RD-D2 and only then Han Solo.

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14 things we learned about 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

* Ren-staff.jpg
The cast and creators of Star Wars: The Last Jedi had a whole lot to say in our new cover story - from writer/director Rian Johnson's revelation that he considered making Luke Skywalker blind to Adam Driver's confession of total emo ignorance to Daisy Ridley's declaration that she was done with the saga after the next movie (she's since attempted to walk that one back). But our in-depth interviews for the article yielded even more revelations that didn't quite fit. Here's what we learned.

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Knights of the Old Republic won't be Rian Johnson's new Star Wars Trilogy

* Rian-Johnson.jpg
While Johnson himself is a huge fan of the two Knights of the Old Republic games and understands that fans of the series would love to see it adapted for the big screen, the director recently told Mashable he doesn't believe their story would really be compelling enough to warrant a trilogy. Like many filmmakers presented with the chance to grab ahold of a franchise like Star Wars, Johnson's far more interested in doing his own thing.

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Millennial moviegoers most excited for 'Star Wars,' 'Jumanji'

* Fire-Darth.jpg
The movie business has long been worried that it suffers from an aging customer base, with younger viewers abandoning multiplexes for the pleasures and convenience of Netflix or video games.

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This free science fiction anthology is all about the future of space exploration

* Sci-Fi-space-station.jpg
There's been a growing movement within the science fiction community to imagine the future as something other than a dreary dystopia. That's what Arizona State University is doing with a new digital anthology called Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities: A Collection of Space Futures.

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When 'Star Wars' came to California: Documents reveal history behind original film

* SW-California.jpg
Director George Lucas filmed much of the 1977 blockbuster "Star Wars" in North Africa and the U.K., but to get one of the key shots in the film, the production turned to Death Valley National Park in California.

The reason? Lucas needed an elephant.

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'Frankenstein Dreams': When Sci-fi lumbered into the Victorian Era

* Frankenstein-Dreams.jpg
Victorian Science Fiction with a quote that is probably as true now as it was in 1818: "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."

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