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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.

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“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).

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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.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2014


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‘Odd Radio Circles’ perplex astronomers studying the newly discovered phenomenon

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Astronomers believe they have discovered a new, bizarre type of cosmic object that is invisible to all wavelengths of light except radio.

This story originally appeared at Salon.

The strange circular objects in question have been unofficially dubbed "Odd Radio Circles" (ORCs); three of them were discovered in a recent data accumulated during a preliminary survey by the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, a radio telescope array in Western Australia. A fourth Odd Radio Circle was discovered when researchers sifted through old data from 2013.

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Bill Barr quietly pulls off a shake-up in a federal prosecutor’s office — but why?

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Attorney General Bill Barr’s attempt last month to push U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman out of his position at the Southern District of New York blew up in his face. While Berman was ousted, Barr didn’t get the replacement he wanted, and House Democrats are now investigating.

But last Friday night, Barr successfully pulled off a similar maneuver in the Eastern District of New York. Richard Donoghue no longer leads that office, as he has taken the position of principal associate deputy attorney general at Main Justice. Seth DuCharme, who had been principal associate deputy attorney general and worked under Barr, will now serve as the acting U.S. attorney for EDNY.

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Here’s the huge blunder Trump made against Jeff Sessions on the eve of the Alabama GOP primary

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On the eve of the Republican primary in Alabama, President Donald Trump may have committed a blunder that could backfire for his preferred candidate.

Trump is backing former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville in his campaign against Jeff Sessions, who held the seat until retiring to become Trump's attorney general.

In a campaign call with the former Auburn coach, Trump brought up current University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban. But Trump, who has repeatedly questioned Joe Biden's mental prowess, screwed up Saban's name.

https://twitter.com/kaitlancollins/status/1282866172778680320

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