Vanity Fair: Darth Vader’s Voice Emanated From War-Torn Ukraine. “Bogdan Belyaev was working from home when the air raid sirens went off. They hadn’t been heard in the city of Lviv since World War II, but it was February 24, and Russia had just invaded Ukraine…. But for Belyaev, work carried on because he needed it to. People on the other side of the world were relying on him, and the project was the culmination of a passion he’d had since childhood: Star Wars.”
The Verge: Today I learned that the Death Star is the size of the Olympic Peninsula. “Park My Spaceship is the simple, extremely amusing app I didn’t know I needed. It allows you to superimpose to-scale images of notable spacecraft from sci-fi shows and movies over Google Maps. That’s it. It’s great. You can check to see if Serenity would fit in your backyard or if the Millennium Falcon could land in your neighborhood park.” Not new, but new-to-me.
NPR: ‘Return of the Jedi,’ ‘Selena’ and ‘Sounder’ added to National Film Registry. “Every year, the Library of Congress adds 25 new movies to the National Film Registry. It’s a way to draw attention to the Library’s efforts to protect and archive American film history. As usual, a few big blockbusters have made the cut. Thanks in part to online lobbying by fans, Star Wars Episode VI—Return of the Jedi, from 1983, and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, from 2001, will be preserved for posterity.” As will Pink Flamingos.
San Francisco Chronicle: The world’s largest galaxy of ‘Star Wars’ relics is in a Petaluma museum. Here’s what’s inside.
New-to-me, from San Francisco Chronicle: The world’s largest galaxy of ‘Star Wars’ relics is in a Petaluma museum. Here’s what’s inside.. “Since the closure, [Steve] Sansweet and a small team have busied themselves cleaning and reorganizing the collection of more than 300,000 items — only about 1% of which are on display at any given time. There is also now an online museum with photos and videos to help hungry fans connect with the collection, a pandemic-induced necessity.”
CNET: Baby Yoda is the latest Google AR object you can add to your home. “If topping a Christmas tree with Baby Yoda isn’t your jam, Google has just served up a new way to bring the galaxy’s most-wanted baby into your home this holiday season. The search giant has added The Mandalorian’s breakout star to its growing repertoire of 3D search results ahead of the show’s season two finale on Friday.”
BuzzFeed News: This 5-Year-Old Girl Put On A Mask Before Going Shopping, But It Wasn’t Exactly The Mask Her Mom Was Expecting
BuzzFeed News: This 5-Year-Old Girl Put On A Mask Before Going Shopping, But It Wasn’t Exactly The Mask Her Mom Was Expecting. “With everything going on this year, Raena Granberry wanted to get the Christmas cheer going early. Granberry, 38, was getting ready to go to Michaels to buy some decorations on Saturday and told her 5-year-old daughter, Justice, to go get her mask. Justice did, but it wasn’t exactly the mask that Granberry was expecting.”
Google Blog: “The Mandalorian” in AR? This is the way. . “From dinosaurs to astronauts, Google has been bringing objects and creatures to life with augmented reality. Now, people using compatible Android 5G devices can interact with heroes from the Mandalorian in their own space.”
Brick Fanatics: New LEGO Star Wars fan website launches. “There’s a new website for LEGO Star Wars fans, with The Holo-Brick Archive now online and fully functional. Driven by fans for fans, it promises regular news and a product database packed with sets, books and all manner of branded merchandise.” That database? Has over A THOUSAND sets in it.
Deadline: ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Leads At The Weekend Box Office With $644K, 23 Years After Sequel’s Special Edition – Update
Deadline: ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Leads At The Weekend Box Office With $644K, 23 Years After Sequel’s Special Edition – Update. “In the current broken exhibition marketplace where 1,5K theaters are open, that’s a pretty potent weekend for a No 1 film, just under Ghostbusters‘ 5-day last weekend of $656K (but above that Ivan Reitman pic’s 3-day of $550K), Trolls World Tour‘s 4-day Memorial weekend of $656K (yes, same amount), and Jurassic Park‘s June 19-21 weekend which banked $517,6K over three-days according to industry estimates.”
Entertainment Weekly: Stormtroopers are enforcing social distancing at Disney World. “‘Stay in your sector!’ one stormtrooper warns the other when he gets too close. Then she draws an imaginary line to separate them and he backs off. Later, one stormtrooper notes that male banthas (those large hairy creatures ridden by stormtroopers on the planet Tatooine in A New Hope) can reach 3.9 meters long, and the other warns again about getting too close.”
Fantha Tracks: Be a part of the Fantha Tracks Star Wars fan created video database. “From its launch, Fantha Tracks have supported our fellow Star Wars podcast creators in promoting their shows, and our readers in discovering new and exciting audio content in the form of our Podcast A-Z Database. Now, Fantha Tracks wants to expand that to the realm of Star Wars fan made videos.”
Lifehacker: How to Explore the Solar System in Google Maps via Hyperspace. “Now, unless 2020 gets real weird, chances are humanity won’t be making any near-lightspeed journeys anytime soon. But Google Maps can now help us realize that experience in a small way, via a novel hyperspace effect that’s been added to the navigation tool’s solar system exploration feature.”
Penn Today: ‘May the force be with you’ and other fan fiction favorites. “As a new Star Wars movie hits the multiplex, Penn researchers are launching a new computer-based tool to better understand fiction written by fans based on that blockbuster series and several other famous film franchises.”
TechCrunch: Facebook’s Messenger adds Star Wars-themed features and AR effects. “Star Wars has come to Facebook’s Messenger app. Facebook today announced a new set of Star Wars-themed features for Messenger users, including a chat theme, reactions, stickers and AR effects. The features were developed in partnership with Disney to help promote the upcoming film, ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,’ which premieres nationwide on December 20.”
World Intellectual Property Review: Baby Yoda GIFs back online after copyright confusion. “Viral GIFs (graphic interchange format) of a new Star Wars character, Baby Yoda, have been reinstated to a leading GIF sharing site after being temporarily removed over alleged copyright concerns.”