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.
It’s been a quiet week here at The Hog’s Head, and apparently everywhere else, too–but there are a couple of hefty news stories. First, Christopher Tolkien gave an interview in which the history of his relationship to his father’s work is covered, as are his feelings about the Peter Jackson adaptations. Sample from the latter:
“Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time,” Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. “The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away.”
Second, the White House has responded to a petition to create a Death Star. Despite their rejection of the proposal, they’re apparently gung ho on getting to space. This has provoked some presumably fake diplomatic responses from long-dead Star Wars characters.
Also unfortunately for Star Wars fans, a bunch of wet-blanket physicists have determined that the Millenium Falcon’s jump to hyperspace wouldn’t look anything like what the movies show in Han Solo’s windshield. They’re probably correct, but whatever. They also have difficulties with Batman and James and the Giant Peach.
The interwebs are all about the random this week, it seems, but for the gathering around our common room, we’ll start off with some fantastic literary analysis: Chris Russo’s post titled Unknotting Tangled, in which he talks about the roots of Rapunzel’s story, alchemy, and helicopter parents. Says Professor Russo: “I haven’t enjoyed a Disney film this much since Beauty and the Beast, and as a literature teacher, I haven’t had so much fun exploring the deeper meanings of a Disney film since, well, ever.”
And now that you’ve theoretically got that article opened in another browser tab, here comes the not-oft-connected rest:
Balloon artist Jeremy Telford made his living room into Bag End… entirely by means of balloons. It’s exhausting just watching the stop-motion video, but the final result is stunning.
Seattle, which could probably be fairly called one of the nerd capitals of America, is partially protected by a league of superheroes.
The presidential election may be over, but according to io9, there’s one campaign of ultimate importance still around: Brad Bird for dire
ctor of the next Star Wars film. The campaign video is certainly far more enjoyable than campaign videos are wont to be.
In wonky news of the week, archaeologists have been banned from referring to ancient humanoids as hobbits. Also, Superman’s home planet has been “found”–the news story contains astronomy coordinates. Gilderoy Lockhart–or actor Kenneth Branagh, anyway–was just knighted by Queen Elizabeth, Angry Birds and Star Wars have combined for a game reputed to be ‘ridiculously fun’, and Darth Vader has been telling other Disney characters that he is their father. All right, that last one’s a comic, but it’s adorable.
In various news and other literary items:
viagra order online no prescription>It’s a short week for the Common Room–but the big news is really big. Apart from Hurricane Sandy’s attempt to take down the East Coast, the major headline is that George Lucas is selling Star Wars to Disney, and Disney has definite plans to make more Star Wars movies. Fans went straight into uproar at the word, some of them cheering and others howling. Gail Faschingbauer Cooper at Entertainment at NBCNews says “Star Wars 7 will need The Force to be with it,” the Internet got busy mashing up the two through Twitter’s #DisneyStarWars hash tag and various Photoshop jobs, and George Lucas celebrated by planning to donate most of the proceeds to a philanthropic foundation focused on education.
Well, to be more accurate, it was 35 years ago yesterday, May 25, 1977, that Star Wars debuted in theaters. The article to which I linked asks a few questions. Do you remember when you first saw Star Wars? Is the theater you saw it in still there? Are you still in touch with whoever you saw it with?
I saw it the week of the premiere in the Stuart Theater in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. I saw the movie about three times in the theater. My mom would drop me off. In 1977, I would've been 12 years old o
r something close to that. The Stuart Theater is now the Rococo Theater. Same building but it apparently doesn't show new movies anymore but serves as more of a nightclub which only occasionally shows classic and cult classic films. You can also book it for wedding receptions.
So, if you can still remember, feel free to answer the above questions. When and where did you first see Star Wars when it premiered? With whom? And is the theater still there? If you weren't born yet when Star Wars premiered, where did your parents see it? 🙂 Or when did you first become introduced to Star Wars? May the Force be with you!
Time for some around the common room with a variety of linked stories. First up, do you like Star Wars? Do you like cooking? How would you feel about cooking with Star Wars? Now thanks to one company you can find out. They have a selection of Star Wars cooking utensils. I personally cook very little but a Stormtrooper or Darth Vader spatula does look quite appealing. 🙂 (H/T to Arabella for the link.)
From cooking to cleaning. Dan Radcliffe is apparently a bit of a slob, so his girlfriend of two years has given him two years to learn how to clean up after himself. I thought that’s a pretty generous amount of time. Although as busy as Radcliffe is with various projects maybe that’s not so long a time for him personally. As a follow up to that story, Radcliffe also did an interview where he ended up cleaning up around the interviewer’s home. (Note: Apparently some naughty language in this interview.) The article concludes with a question we’ve discussed before but which is still relevant: Can Radcliffe move on from his Harry Potter role and develop a further acting career? (Actually the article asked if he could move on to a real acting career, which I thought rather demeaning as if acting in Harry Potter wasn’t really acting.)
A few news items today and also more Science Fiction links. Hopefully you’re not tired of them, ’cause you’re getting them anyway. 🙂
News that the person suing J.K. Rowling for supposedly plagiarizing Willy the Wizard has to pay about 1.5 million pounds as a security in order for the suit to continue. Which I’m guessing will mean this suit will be dropped. I don’t know about you, but I certainly couldn’t get my hands on 1.5 million pounds. I don’t think Paul Allen, who is suing on behalf of the estate of Adrian Jacobs, can either. Especially since the judge has essentially said, “Sure, I’ll let the suit proceed, but I don’t think you have a very good chance of winning.” With that on top of the security deposit, one would think it’d be time to cut one’s losses.