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JJ Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII will not draw upon ‘expanded universe’ stories, says Disney

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Disney has signalled a fresh start for its Star Wars trilogy by officially ruling out storylines borrowed from the scores of “expanded universe” (EU) novels in book shops.

Fans of the books, written to sate the appetite for more stories about Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and company following the release of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, had hoped the tales would inform JJ Abrams‘ forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VII and successive films. But a statement by Disney-owned Lucasfilm has ruled out that possibility by declaring that only the six Star Wars feature films and animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series are considered part of the saga’s official canon.

“These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align,” said the statement. “In order to give maximum creative freedom to the film-makers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi expanded universe.”

The status of the expanded universe books, games and comics within the Star Wars canon has long been something of a grey area. “While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, George Lucas always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU,” the statement added.

However, Lucasfilm said it was not ruling out borrowing from the novels in future, offering at least a sliver of hope to fans of Mara Jade, Jacen Solo and Cade Skywalker. It also issued a new video celebrating the legacy of the expanded universe as fans prepare for the release of Episode VII in December 2015.

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Abrams’ film, which is shooting at Pinewood Studios and in the deserts of Abu Dhabi, is tipped to centre on the key trio of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, played by original stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. Disney is planning a new trilogy of films after purchasing all rights to the space saga in October 2012 for $4.05bn (£2.4bn).

Later movies in the series will move the focus to younger characters, while there are also proposals for spinoff “origins” films featuring characters such as Yoda, Boba Fett and Solo.

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Trump is facing massive criticism for his attacks on young women of color in Congress

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US President Donald Trump came under fire from Democrats and even some members of his own Republican Party on Monday after launching an extraordinary xenophobic attack on four progressive Democratic congresswomen.

"All they do is complain," Trump told reporters at a White House event featuring products "Made in America."

"These are people that hate our country," he said of the four lawmakers. "If you're not happy here, you can leave."

Trump also accused the four first-term congresswomen -- who are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African American origin -- of having "love" for US "enemies like Al-Qaeda."

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Trump’s campaign is spending massively at his own businesses — and even more on lawyers

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President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign filed their latest campaign finance reports on Monday.

Anna Massoglia, a researcher at the money in politics watchdog group Open Secrets, dissected the numbers and made two startling discoveries.

In the three months covered, from April through June, Trump's campaign and affiliated joint fundraising committees spent $326,094.24 at Trump businesses, including six figures at both Mar-a-Lago and Trump Hotel DC.

Trump's campaign also spent over $1.3 million on legal bills. He spent approximately $7 million on legal bills in 2018, Massoglia noted.

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Trump is ‘one pointy white hat shy of a Klan rally’: GOP strategist Rick Wilson ripped Trump as a ‘flagrant racist’ on MSNBC

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Republican strategy ripped President Donald Trump for being a "flagrant racist" during a Monday night appearance on MSNBC.

Lawrence O'Donnell interviewed Wilson about Trump's latest nativist attacks on young women of color in Congress.

"Rick Wilson, is this a campaign strategy? Is this Donald Trump and his campaign advisers thinking, well, our only hope is going for the voters we already have and energizing them and getting them to come and squeak out that electoral formula once again?" O'Donnell asked.

"Absolutely, Lawrence. As everyone else stated on the show, it’s been obvious for a long time from the long arc of his dad to redling to the Central Park Five to birtherism to this stuff today, this guy, he's racist adjacent in of the best day of his life," Wilson is explained.

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