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Star Wars concept art by Ralph McQuarrie
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The Amazing ‘Star Wars’ Concept Art of Designer Ralph McQuarrie

Star Wars illustrator and designer Ralph McQuarrie is responsible for some of the most iconic imagery in the pop culture and the history of movies. McQuarrie designed the look of many of the Star Wars characters including Darth Vader, C-3PO, R2-D2 and the Stormtroopers, as well as locations like the Death Star and Tattooine. In fact, it was McQuarrie's artwork that eventually sold 20th Century Fox on the idea of letting George Lucas actually make a Star Wars movie.

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Star Wars Lightsaber Apple
Lucasfilm
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New ‘Star Wars’ Toys Let You Build Your Own Crazy Lightsaber

Remember how so many Star Wars fans lost their minds when we first saw Kylo Ren’s bizarre hilted lightsaber in the trailer for Star Wars: Episode 7? Well, they’re about to lose ‘em all over again. Hasbro is introducing a new line of toys that will allow children (and their parents) to customize their own Jedi weapons. If you should a little hilt was crazy, then you probably aren’t prepared for what people will soon be able to create in their homes.

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LucasFilm
LucasFilm
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‘Star Wars: Episode 8’ and ‘Episode 9’ Release Plan Confirmed by Disney

The only official release plans for ‘Star Wars’ so far include ‘The Force Awakens’ on December 18, and the first spinoff/standalone film, which will hit theaters on December 16, 2016. As for the rest of the new ‘Star Wars’ films: it’s been reported for a while that Disney plans on releasing a new film each year for the next several years, but the studio hasn’t made anything publicly official…until now.

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Mission Impossible 5 release date
Paramount Pictures
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‘Mission: Impossible 5’ Moves Up to Summer to Avoid ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’

Your mission if you choose to accept it: save ‘Mission: Impossible 5’ from being trampled by ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’ at the box office. Mission complete. While ‘Mission: Impossible 5’ was originally set to open this Christmas, just one week after the juggernaut that is ‘Star Wars’, Paramount has wisely thought this over and moved the new Ethan Hunt adventure up to this July.

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George Lucas Disney Star Wars
Disney
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Disney Didn’t Use Any of George Lucas’ Ideas for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

When Disney bought George Lucas’ company, they got more than the buildings, computers, droids, and the ‘Star Wars’ intellectual property. They also got George Lucas’ unused ideas for future ‘Star Wars’ movies. Though Lucas had insisted for years that ‘Revenge of the Sith’ was his final ‘Star Wars’ film, that didn’t stop him from brainstorming a few other potential stories that could be set after the events of ‘Return of the Jedi’ (and, I assume, mostly involve Jar-Jar Binks wandering the universe and getting into “hilarious” misadventures).

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George Lucas Star Wars 7
Getty Images
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George Lucas Wanted to Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Himself

Last month, George Lucas was asked if he had seen the ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’ trailer, and what his reaction was. He said he hadn’t watched the ‘Force Awakens’ trailer, had no plans to and was “not really” interested in the movie. We made him sad, we wrote at the time. But, maybe it wasn’t us that made him sad. While out promoting his new animated movie ‘Strange Magic’, Lucas reveals that he himself wanted to direct ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’.

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LucasFilm
LucasFilm
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Upcoming ‘Star Wars’ Spin-Off Hiring ‘X-Men’ Writer Simon Kinberg to Fix the Script?

Although all of the public focus is currently on the looming release of ‘Star Wars: Episode 7,’ Disney, Lucasfilm and director Gareth Edwards are currently trying to whip the first standalone film in the saga into shape. A few days ago, original screenwriter Gary Whitta amicably departed the project after completing his initial draft, leading the entire internet to wonder what’s next for this mysterious project, which is still due out in 2016. Now, it looks like the next screenwriter writer has already been found. Enter Simon Kinberg.

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Star Wars Rebels Lando Calrissian Billy Dee Williams Idiots Array
Disney / Lucasfilm
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‘Star Wars Rebels’ Sets Billy Dee Williams to Return as Lando Calrissian

As if James Earl Jones’ return as Darth Vader and Frank Oz’s Yoda weren’t enough to remind you ‘Star Wars Rebels’ takes place in an era closer to the original trilogy, Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian will seal the deal. The galaxy’s smoothest smuggler will make his debut on an upcoming episode of the Disney XD animated series, but does it mean a trip to Cloud City is in order?

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starwars1cover-hed
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Marvel Releases Seven Pages Of ‘Star Wars’ By Aaron, Cassaday & Martin

We're less than a week away from the launch of Marvel's Star Wars line with the first issue of, hey, Star Wars, by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, and Laura Martin, so Marvel has put out a couple of sneak peaks of the issue -- one lettered, one unlettered. We've helpfully brought them together so you can enjoy more of the story of fan favorite character Overseer Aggadeen and... the cast of Firefly, I think? I don't really know Star Wars; sorry.

Star Wars #1 is an officially in-continuity comic (for now, anyway!) that picks up directly after the end of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, following the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow in the wake of the destruction of the Death Star. Finally, a sequel to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope! I can't believe they've never done that before.

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SW1
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‘Star Wars’ #1 Advance Review: Jason Aaron & John Cassaday Offer A New Hope For Lapsed Fans

Star Wars and Marvel Comics have a long history. A Marvel adaptation of the original sci-fi-fantasy film appeared in April 1977, a month before A New Hope dominated multiplexes in May of the same year. The success of the film as well as the comics led to a volume of over 100 issues over a nine-year span, featuring stories about what happened to the heroes of the Rebellion between their big screen adventures.

Following Marvel parent Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, this week sees the return of the Star Wars Universe to the Marvel banner, with a new ongoing series from Jason Aaron and John Cassaday launching on Wednesday. It's a strong debut from an A-list creative team who manages to capture the feel of George Lucas's film A New Hope while still taking advantage of the entirety of the Saga.

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