There’s not a lot of universe-changing news this week, but there is the announcement that J.J. Abrams is set to direct the next Star Wars movie. Abrams is known for his work on Star Trek, which is a weird qualification for a Star Wars director, and Lost, which is–by all report at the Pub here–a superb one. According to the linked article, Michael Arndt, writer of Toy Story 3, is set to write the screenplay, which is another hopeful sign. Might the next Star Wars be a worthy heir to the legacy of A New Hope?
io9 has some of Abrams’ thoughts on the job, and GeekTyrant has embedded a video in which Abrams talks about Star Wars as good storytelling. Related articles are available at MTV.com and Deadline Hollywood.
In slightly less directly related articles: Turks get in a tiff over a ‘Jabba’s Palace’ Lego toy; apparently they think it looks too much like the Hagia Sophia. io9’s Rand Simberg questions the original cost estimate for building a Death Star, and Charlie Jane Anders highlights a set of R2D2 high heels. The TOMS posted in the comments are likewise adorable.
In other news:
Here’s an intriguing headline for all of us: “The First Doctor Returns to Doctor Who, Courtesy of… Harry Potter?!”
LotR Project has a lovely visual timeline of the One Ring.
French stonemason Jean-Louis Boistel has added some creatures of a different mythology to the Chapelle de Bethléem, a 15th-century church in Nantes. By “of a different mythology”, I mean “Gizmo got in with the saints and angels.” The story goes on to add that Darth Vader is on the Washington Cathedral, which… there aren’t words.
Another intriguing headline: “Google Earth Image Reveals The Hunger Games’ Quarter Quell.”
Nerdy Book Club has ten things you may not know about the Newbery Award, an annual honor given to works of children’s literature. Medal winners and honorees include Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, and The Giver by Lois Lowry.
Topless Robot has ten genre movies to look forward to in 2013. Genre here presumably means science fiction.
More Charlie Jane Anders: this time she’s got ten TV show monologues to recite first thing in the morning, helping you start your day like a hero/ine.
Austen-themed tourism is up as Pride and Prejudice celebrates the 200th anniversary of its publication. The anniversary for Emma comes around in December 2015; regarding the latter, J.K. Rowling has said “I have never set up a surprise ending in a Harry Potter book without knowing I can never, and will never, do it anywhere near as well as Austen did in Emma.” (source)
Barnes & Noble is planning on gradually closing a third of its stores.
Finally, something cute: io9’s Lauren Davis brings out pictures of artist Jeff de Boer’s pet armor. That’s right. Armor for your cat. Or your mouse, if you’d like him to be able to defend himself against the neighborhood felines.