So No More Jar Jar Binks, Then?
|Pictured: A former filmmaker and producer|
George Lucas had already been planning to make a seventh Star Wars film before he sold his company Lucasfilm to Disney.
When the auteur handed over his iconic franchise he also gave the studio his plotline for Star Wars: Episode 7.
Disney, however, did not use any of the 70-year-old filmmakers ideas for the new installment.
Speaking with Cinema Blend, Lucas revealed that none of his original ideas made it into the J.J. Abrams reboot.
'The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn't really want to do those,' the iconic director said.
'So they made up their own. So it's not the ones that I originally wrote.'
He created the iconic double trilogy of epic space films that have earned nearly $2 billion since they first burst onto the big screen in 1977.
And in another interview, Lucas admitted he initially wanted to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will kick off the third trilogy in the sci-fi franchise when it bows in December.
But one of the reasons he decided not to was to spend more time with his 17-month-old daughter Everest, he revealed in an interview with USA Today.
You'll Need a Bigger Chainsaw, Buddy
|Okay, to be fair, I am a big fan of Mara Jade Skywalker. And her rack.|
Star Wars is sacred to geeks. Characters in Kevin Smith movies refer to it as "the Holy Trilogy," and for almost as long as Star Wars has existed, fans have wanted to know more about the universe outside of the movies—and the canonicity of all the elements of that universe is the subject of almost ecclesiastical-scale debates. The movies are unquestionably official—they are the foundational elements of Star Wars, even Episodes I-III. However, the combined mass of video games, board games, tie-in novels, cartoons, and anything else branded with a Star Wars logo occupies a lesser tier in the hierarchy: all these things are still "official" in that they carry the logo, but they are merely part of theStar Wars Expanded Universe.
The Expanded Universe—the "EU"—sprawls like a bloated dead thing with tentacles stretching in all directions. Everything is in there: Timothy Zahn's Thrawn series (which introduced the eponymous Admiral Thrawn, as well as fan favorite Mara Jade, the former Emperor's Hand-turned-smuggler who overcame her hatred of Luke Skywalker and became his wife). Clone Wars and The Old Republic. The Yuuzhan Vong and the death of Chewbacca. Kevin J. Anderson and all the unspeakably, unreadably bad literary atrocities for which he's responsible.
A sci-fi universe with as long a tail as Star Wars can be death for new stories, though. Finding space among the EU to make a mark without being hamstrung by established ideas is difficult, and even keeping the EU somewhat organized is challenging. Its growth has been cancerous—like a tumor, it has no plan and no organization—it simply expands, blindly, as the collective fan engine shovels in new material.
And like a tumor, Disney is going to rip it out.
Especially the Kevin J. Anderson material. Vader's Helmet, but his work was awful. And Vonda N. Macintyre, while we're at it. Oh, and Barbara Hambly's work too. And James Luceno. And Matthew Stover. And...
Well, you get the idea.
Meat is Murder
|The Didact's idea of a peeled snack|
The skinned, bloody carcass of a dead wild boar was left in plain sight of two vegetarian restaurants in Berkeley, California on Monday, raising questions as to whether they were left there intentionally and in an attempt to send a threatening message.
The discoveries were made on Shattuck Avenue and Adeline Street in front of two separate vegetarian restaurants, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The first discovery was made around 9:30 a.m. near the restaurant Herbivore. But when Berkeley police arrived, the boar’s dead body was nowhere to be found.
Several hours later, another boar carcass was discovered at the intersection of Adeline and Emerson Streets near another vegetarian restaurant named Flaco’s. The wild boar’s remains were reportedly collected and turned over to the city’s animal control center, the Chronicle notes.
Even Gun Nuts Make Mistakes
|Hey, we've all been awarded one of these at least once|
Speaking to attendees at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show on January 20, comedian Bill Engvall referenced making a mistake and going along with gun control pushes during an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher in 2011. In a tone of utter seriousness that was a complete departure from his well-known comedic persona, Engvall said he was wrong and that he realizes he should have stood up for more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, not more gun control.
Engvall’s earlier gun control statement amounted to support for banning assault weapons, particularly AK-47s.
He first made the statement during an November 2011 appearance on Maher’s show, after MSNBC’s Alex Wagner suggested we “get rid of the Second Amendment.” Engvall initially countered her by saying, “My belief is that if we take away that right to bear arms, the only people that are going to have them are … the ones breaking into your house.”
Maher then suggested there at least be a limit on the number of guns a person can own, and Engvall made the mistake of saying, “I don’t believe there’s any reason for a person like myself to own an AK-47. I’d be willing to meet you halfway. I think you can ban guns if you can just pull the trigger and 60 bullets fire out.”
In that instant, Engvall became persona non grata with many in his own comedy audience, an audience comprised of GOP and Second Amendment voters. And as he addressed this statement during his 2015 SHOT Show appearance, it was evident a cloud had been hanging over his head since making it.
Look, Bill Engvall is, by all appearances, a great guy. He's laid-back, easygoing, a devoted family man, and very, very funny. He also made the mistake of going along to get along- something that conservatives and libertarians do endlessly.
Asshat of the Week
|Time to rethink your life, bucko|
A U.S. billionaire who made his fortune betting against sub-prime mortgage securities has told Americans to lower their expectations so they have 'less things' in life.
Jeff Greene made his remarks after flying into Switzerland on a private jet with his 19-year younger wife, Mei Sze, children and two nannies.
The businessman, 60, who is worth around $3billion through his investments and real estate development projects, said: 'America's lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence.
'We need to reinvent our whole system of life.'
The 60-year-old founder of Florida-based Florida Sunshine Investments was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
He said he was due to attend several private parties during the week, including a dinner with former British Prime Minster Tony Blair.
In an interview with Bloomberg, he said the U.S. faces a jobs crisis that will cause social unrest and extreme politics.
He added: 'Our economy is in deep trouble. We need to be honest with ourselves.
'We've had a realistic level of job destruction and those jobs aren't coming back.' [Didact: He's not actually wrong about this part. Just this part, though.]
Mr Greene was in the news just last week as his sprawling Beverly Hills compound 'Palazzo di Amore' hit the market with a $195 million asking price - making it the highest listing currently on the U.S. market.
Mr Greene and his wife were married at the property with Mike Tyson acting as his best man. Oliver Stone and Donald Sterling looked on, according to a New York Times article at the time.
It is not clear what plane Mr Greene used to fly into the conference.
Hurray for Boobies
|Page 3 girls: A lot like this, but less classy|
The Sun has printed a topless model on Page 3, ending days of speculation that the feature was dead.
The newspaper has tweeted out a picture of Thursday’s Page 3 which features a blonde-haired model, under the headline 'clarifications and corrections', winking and baring her breasts.
A notice underneath the picture reads: “Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth.
“We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us.”
The campaign group No More Page 3, which began in 2012 and attracted 217,000 signatures to a petition calling for a ban, acknowledged that "the fight might be back on".
Over the past three days, there have been no topless models on Page 3, fuelling speculation the feature was on its way out. This appeared to be confirmed by a report in The Times, a fellow News UK paper, on Tusday.
Topless models were first introduced by the Sun in 1970, less than a year after Rupert Murdoch bought the title.
In recent years, the paper has faced growing criticism from campaigners who said the feature was out of date in the modern world.
Bad News Bears, Baby!
|This is actually a lot less horrifying than what follows below|
Having a woman on top isn't quite the wild ride most men might have imagined.
Scientists have learned that the 'woman on top' or 'cowgirl' position is the most dangerous one for men to engage in during sexual intercourse.
According to new research, the risky position is to blame for half of all penile fractures that occur during sex. In comparison, 'doggy style' or the woman on all fours is responsible for 29per cent of injuries, while 'man on top' or 'missionary' is only liable for 21per cent.
In the study published in Advances in Urology, researchers hypothesized that a man is prohibited from quickly stopping a painful movements when a woman has her entire body weight on his erect penis.
However, if the man is in control, he has a better chance of minimizing injury by disengaging in harmful movements as soon as they happen.
Of the 44 suspected penile fractures studied in three hospitals in Campinas, Brazil over the course of 13 years, 42 cases were confirmed - and evaluated in order to discover what the initial cause was.
Twenty-eight of the men were having heterosexual intercourse during the time of injury, while six of the subjects were engaging in 'penile manipulation'.
Four were participating in homesexual intercourse, and it was deemed to be 'unclear' how the final four men had sustained their injuries.
Half of the patients who participated in the study heard a crack when they were first injured, followed by swelling and pain, while two of the men actually developed erectile dysfunction following the injury.
But before you swear off your favorite position remember that penile fractures are rare.
The researchers describe the injury as being a 'relatively uncommon clinical condition that frequently causes fear and embarrassment for the patient'.
Despite the awkward nature of the injury, men should seeks a professional opinion as soon as they feel pain.
According to the study, a delayed search for medical assistance following a penile fracture can 'lead to impairment of sexual and voiding functions'.