The British actor who played R2-D2 in the classic Star Wars films died today, age 81, after a long illness.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” just pushed James Cameron's “Avatar” aside as the top-grossing film in North America. In just 20 days of release, the seventh installment in the space opera saga has earned more than “Avatar’s” $760.5 million lifetime gross.
One important caveat is that this massive haul does not account for inflation. When pricing increases are factored in, “Gone With the Wind” remains the highest-grossing film in history with $1.7 billion and the first “Star Wars” is runner-up with $1.5 billion. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is in 21st place behind classics such as “The Sound of Music,” “E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial” and “Titanic.”
Globally, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ranks as the fourth highest-grossing pic in history, having earned $1.5 billion worldwide. It opens this weekend in China, the world’s second-biggest market for film. Depending on how enthusiastically it is received in the People’s Republic, “The Force Awakens” could shoot past “Avatar’s” record $2.8 billion global haul.
The Star Wars merchandise machine is in full death-march, and we're already sick of the Force-sploitation. But this offbeat little gimmick has us smiling--and jonesing for some sweets.
“We taught Bluey the budgie how to do R2-D2 and now he drives us crazy! He has two other budgies in his cage, and I think he's driving them crazy too!”
A cosplayer at C2E2 stops and poses in her elegant, gender-swapped Boba Fett getup. She's the kind of bounty hunter our galaxy needs!
Remember the Chewbacca Messenger Bag that Jason posted about a few weeks ago? Check out the Marc Ecko Star Wars reversible furry Chewie hoodie! Read the rest
Update: The Kindle edition is back. Amazon PR person Brittany Turner wrote, "Wanted to let you know that this book is now available in the Kindle Store." Ms Turner didn't offer any further explanation.
Gib Van Ert sez,
Amazon has decided to remove the book I self-published on Kindle, "A Long Time Ago: Growing up with and out of Star Wars", from their store for an unspecified trademark issue. Their emails are vague, but they seems to being saying that I have to have Lucasfilm's permission before selling on their store a book that talks about Star Wars. It's a crazy position--Star Wars is a massive pop cultural and generational phenomenon, as my book tries to explain through a personal narrative.
No one has a right to have their book sold on Amazon, of course. It's their store and they can decline to sell things if they like. But given how they dominate the book marketplace, being banned from Amazon is a major problem for an independent author. And when it is done on a spurious ground--Amazon has never said that Lucasfilm themselves have complained, and why would they?--it verges on a free speech issue.
"A Long Time Ago" is in my review pile, and has survived several purges of books of similar vintage (I've had it there for a long time!), because it looks awfully good, and got a great review from Wired's GeekDad. I hope that this is just some junior functionary at Amazon having a freakout and that someone higher up will see sense and realize that there's no reason in the world not to carry Van Ert's book. Read the rest
Beautiful to look at, impressive in how well they've held up and are instantly recognizable; these well-built shelters appear to have attracted quite an interesting slice of Tunisian culture to move on in. I'm sure there must be a great story that went into their design and build.