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Previous News

'Star Wars' robots wouldn't survive the real world

Beloved "Star Wars" robots wouldn't fare too well in the real-life desert, according to an analysis in the journal Science Robotics - but they may be onto something with their iconic beeping communication. The new monthly column by Texas A&M University roboticist Robin Murphy took as its first subject the beloved droids R2-D2 and BB-8, rolling robots that play a major role in "Star Wars."

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The ambitious project Hasbro is undertaking for Star Wars fans

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Throughout its franchise history, the Star Wars saga has innovated the way that movie tie-in products are created and marketed. But at the heart of all of those efforts has always been one important and overriding factor: fan satisfaction. It's what's motivated Hasbro to create their new HasLab initiative, a platform with the die-hard collector in mind.

Willis' macabre and amusing science fiction classic

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How would we interact with those from the distant past?

By Yang Guo

How might one interact with people from the distant past if one were allowed to time travel there? This was the question posed by Connie Willis in her science fiction novel, The Doomsday Book. The novel is set in Oxford University, at around Christmas time, 2053.

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'Annihilation' is an unsettling science fiction fever dream

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Writer-director Alex Garland has said that his adaptation of Annihilation isn't a straightforward retelling of the book - instead, he's described it as "true to my subjective response to the novel."

That's a fair warning: The movie's details don't really match the book, which was written by Jeff VanderMeer. What carries over, however, is a sense of dread and unease; readers of the novel and watchers of the film will both feel a pervasive discomfort that they can't quite put their finger on.

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John Carpenter's Tales of Science Fiction Vortex #4 review: delightfully disgusting body horror

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The team at the mining facility is left reeling from the discovery of Sinclair, the young woman who was a part of Dixon's initial investigation team, still alive. The facility was left decompressed and vulnerable to the deathly cold of space after Dixon and Cheron escaped in the initial visit. Her survival should be impossible. Plus, there are communication problems between the mining facility and the space station.

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Science in pop culture

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What is first thing that you can think of about dinosaurs?

Where did you learn this information? Was it from a museum, a book, a documentary, or the internet? Or did you learn it from Jurassic Park? Maybe some other fictional depiction?

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The problem with Disney trying to turn 'Star Wars' into the Marvel cinematic universe

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In case you haven't figured it out yet, we're getting a whole bunch more Star Wars over the next decade. With three films down, two are already spinning up, Solo and Episode IX, and after that, a possible Obi-Wan movie, a new Rian Johnson trilogy and a series of films produced and written by Game of Thrones duo David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Guessing "series" there is at least three.

On top of that, Disney is cooking up a few Star Wars shows for its coming streaming service, as well.

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This Week's News

Jon Favreau to create a new Star Wars TV series

* Jon-Favreau.jpgHe was a key part of launching the current MCU. He's directed Disney movies to great success. And now Jon Favreau will be digging deeper into the worlds (well, galaxies) owned by the Mouse House, as he's executive producing and writing a new, live-action Star Wars series.

The show, which is naturally under the tightest of wraps, will be carried by the company's new planned streaming service, its answer to the likes of Netflix and Amazon, launching next year and previously mentioned as having its own Star Wars series. "If you told me at 11 years old that I would be getting to tell stories in the Star Wars universe, I wouldn't have believed you," says Favreau. "I can't wait to embark upon this exciting adventure."

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Are we now suffering from 'Star Wars' overkill?

* Star-Wars-overkill.jpgThursday morning's announcement that "Jungle Book" director Jon Favreau has been hired by Disney DIS, +0.67% to executive produce and write a new live-action "Star Wars" TV show raises the question: How much is too much?

From six "Star Wars" movies being made between 1977 and 2005, there has been, and will be, at least one movie released every year between 2015 and 2019. "Solo: A Star Wars Story," the Han Solo spinoff movie, will be released on May 25, five months after "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

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What's something from science-fiction that you wish really existed?

* Droid-wish.jpgWe throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you'd like us and the readers to answer?

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Here's drone footage of what Disney's Star Wars Land looks like right now

* Star-Wars-Land.jpgIf you stand in juuuust the right spot in Disneyland - or if you turn your head at certain times on certain rides - you can get fleeting glimpses into Disney's upcoming Star Wars Land (or "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge," as it's more officially known) as it's being built. You can't see a lot, of course; just enough to say "Yep, that's some scaffolding alright."

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Three science fiction/fantasy authors celebrate female trailblazers on International Women's Day

* Sci-fi-women.jpgBy Frannie Jackson

Women have been writing science fiction and fantasy for centuries, demolishing barriers in historically male-dominated genres. And in honor of International Women's Day, we're celebrating contemporary authors who are continuing to blaze trails in SFF literature.

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Scientists prove that truth is no match for fiction on Twitter

* Twittersphere.jpgResearchers find fake news reaches users up to 20 times faster than factual content - and real users are more likely to spread it than bots.

"Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it," wrote Jonathan Swift in 1710. Now a group of scientists say they have found evidence Swift was right - at least when it comes to Twitter. In the paper, published in the journal Science, three MIT researchers describe an analysis of a vast amount of Twitter data: more than 125,000 stories, tweeted more than 4.5 million times in total, all categorised as being true or false by at least one of six independent fact-checking organisations.

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'Jessica Jones' Says #MeToo

* JJ-Me-too.jpgIf ever there was a superhero for the #MeToo cultural moment, it was Jessica Jones. From the word "go" the character and her show (and her comics before that) have served as a vehicle to explore issues surrounding abuse (physical, sexual, and psychological), recovery, and PTSD. The first season of 'Jessica Jones' was widely praised for exactly that and the second season certainly isn't shying away from continuing along that path.

Sometimes, however, that manifests in surprising ways. Case in point, within the first few episodes of the new season, a storyline is introduced that deals with a filmmaker who has a history of abusing women. That, of course, is a depressingly familiar story in a post-#MeToo world. But okay, the show's being topical. Given the issues the first season dealt with, th

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Imagining a science-fiction future

By harnessing the imaginations of science fiction writers, a California company may have already helped to protect our future selves. In 2010 Ari Popper was searching for something. He didn't know what it was exactly, but he figured he probably wouldn't find it as the president of a market research company.

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Daisy Ridley looks galaxies away from her Star Wars character as she steps out in London in a glamorous teal velvet dress

* Daisy-Ridley.jpgShe is famed for her dusty costumes as desert dwelling Rey in Star Wars. But Daisy Ridley cut a dramatically different figure from her character as she stepped out in London following her appearance on This Morning on Friday.

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Cutting NASA science missions 'can set a dangerous precedent,' congressman warns

* Congressman.jpgBy Hanneke Weitering

While the Trump administration's budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 supports the long-term goal of sending humans to the moon and Mars, some members of Congress fear that the proposed shift for NASA's priorities could leave the agency's science missions in the dust.

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Previous News

'The Flash' Review: "Subject 9"

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The focal point of the episode is Izzy Bowin. As with Ralph and the others DeVoe is after, she received her powers on that same bus incident. It just so happens that, as an aspiring musician, Izzy's powers would indeed be sound-based.

Her ability is that to control sound waves and fashion them as weapons. Barry and Ralph experience her power first-hand on their initial attempts to bring her into the fold. Used to being on her own, Izzy is strong-willed, fearless, and focused on making it big.

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'Annihilation' is fiction, but the science 'isn't bullshit': Alex Garland's scientific accuracy explained

Doctor Adam Rutherford probably doesn't mean much to you, but if you're a fan of writer-director Alex Garland and his brand of challenging science-fiction, he should.

Garland's directorial efforts "Ex Machina" and "Annihilation" are two of the best reviewed sci-fi movies of the decade, and it turns out they owe a lot to Rutherford, a British geneticist who is Garland's trusted scientific adviser.

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'Orphan Black' creator boards 'Snowpiercer' as showrunner

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Extensive background in the sci-fi genre coupled with his brilliant work behind Orphan Black made him the perfect choice for this series. He is the best conductor to navigate the thought-provoking and delicate themes of the series while bringing this frozen, futuristic world to life."

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Best science fiction and fantasy books out this month

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The Feed (Morrow), Nick Clark Windo's debut, quickly establishes this is not your typical post-apocalyptic scenario. Readers are introduced to Tom and Kate, a couple living in the very near future; they are trying to establish dominance over the Feed, technology implanted in their brains that allows them instant access to social media and the Internet.

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3-D printed metal antennas are no longer science fiction

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The combination of so-called additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, electromagnetic simulation and mechanical design software is enabling innovative antenna and radio-frequency components. Engineers are harnessing these tools to design, fabricate, test and manufacture lightweight, highly complex antennas and radio-frequency products.

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Doctor Who' unveils a new logo

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This year's new season of 'Doctor Who' brings with it a new showrunner, new companions, and of course, a new Doctor. All told, it's the start of a new era for the venerable series, so what better time to introduce a new logo? And that's exactly what they've done.

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Joss Whedon departs 'Batgirl' film

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Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn't have a story. I'm grateful to Geoff (Johns) and Toby (Emmerich) and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I... uh, is there a sexier word for 'failed'?"

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Science fiction law - still reeling: Minority Report, sixteen years later

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Michigan Law Professor Nicholson Price is teaching an interesting seminar this semester merging science fiction and legal analysis. We agreed that his students should write blog posts and that I would publish the most worthy on Patently-O. The first post comes from Lauren Kimmel and is focused on stopping future crimes.

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20 stellar science fiction after effects templates

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We've assembled a collection of sci-fi After Effects templates most likely to induce awe and wonder and tried to pick ones that show a wide range of visual styles. 2017 was a banner year for science fiction and its popularity is at an all-time high.

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More rumours about what could be the next Star Wars show

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Get a brief teaser of Zachary Levi's Shazam appearance. Our first look at Terry Gilliam's long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is finally here. Some familiar faces will be showing up in Legends of Tomorrow's season finale. Plus, more footage from Ash vs. Evil Dead's return, and new iZombie pictures. Spoilers now!

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'Game of Thrones' creators developing new 'Star Wars' films

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Lucasfilm has just announced that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who brought the epic world of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones to television, will write and produce a new series of Star Wars films.

These new movies will not be tied to either the ongoing Skywalker saga of the "Episodes" movies nor will they be connected to the trilogy being developed by The Last Jedi filmmaker Rian Johnson.

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'Solo' trailer sells 'Star Wars story' like 'Star Trek' reboot

In what was an end to our national nightmare, we got our first look at Solo: A Star Wars Story on Sunday night with that Super Bowl commercial and then again on Monday with a 105-second trailer. The template for the initial pitch is actually pretty logical. Pop quiz (hotshot): What's another successful franchise picture from the last decade that successfully offered a younger/hipper version of an iconic pop culture character defined entirely by the original actor's performance?

Yes, I was struck by how much the first Solo trailer plays like the first two trailers to J.J. Abrams' Star Trek.

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The best recent science fiction - reviews roundup

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Alastair Reynolds excels at world building - his impressive backlist attests to that - but he's also a master at constructing complex technological, far-future societies peopled by fully rounded characters. In Elysium Fire (Gollancz, £14.99), the Glitter Band is a vast ring of spatial habitats orbiting the planet of Yellowstone.

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