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'Star Wars: Return of the Jedi' back on big screen at EW's CapeTown Festival

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The Jedi are returning.

On May the Fourth, now celebrated far and wide as Star Wars Day, Entertainment Weekly’s CapeTown Film Festival will bring the greatest deep-space saga of them all back to the big screen for a special one-day event: a 30th anniversary revival of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi that takes the classic back to the site of its May 1983 world premiere, the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

We’ve scheduled four Jedi screenings (10 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 p.m., 10p.m.) on May the Fourth as well as special appearances by some famous faces and beloved characters from the Jedi universe. The anniversary and location add a special sparkle to the day, but the event is also energized with the intrigue of the future with a new planned Star Wars, which will, for the first time on screen, take the tale chronologically beyond the fiery funeral of Darth Vader, one of the most iconic villains in the history of Hollywood popcorn.

Celluloid history infuses every corner of the Egyptian Theatre, which opened in October 1922 by introducing a new Tinseltown tradition — the very first Hollywood world premiere. The storied movie palace is an amazing site for the inaugural edition of the CapeTown Film Festival, which shares its name with the EW.com section that launched early this year. The brand has already become a powerhouse presence as the hub for EW coverage of pop culture’s most vivid corners: sci-fi, superheroes, fantasy, horror, comics, video games and animation.

NEXT: How to get tickets…

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The ultimate 'Star Wars' character tournament: We call every match in the bracket

It’s been literally days since the last bit of Star Wars franchise news was cast into the pit of the Internet, the nesting place of the all-powerful Fanboy, who slowly digests every new piece of Star Wars information over a thousand years, like some kind of purely theoretical pit-dwelling epicurean tentacled arthropod. Fortunately, the good people at the LucasFilm/Disney/Sheinhardt empire have saved us from boredom by launching a new Star Wars Character Tournament. You guessed it: It’s bracket time! The tournament lets you vote for 32 of your favorite Star Wars characters in a whole series of one-on-one matchups, beginning on Monday. Read on as we boldly call every single match in the bracket. (Check out the full bracket here.) READ FULL STORY

George Lucas says that Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford are definitely in the next 'Star Wars' movie, maybe

Star Wars creator George Lucas took a break from his retirement project to speak to Bloomberg Businessweek about his decision to sell his galaxy to Disney, which if nothing else surely counts as the largest fake real estate deal in history. The piece is filled with plenty of behind-the-scenes intrigue for anyone interested in how one gigantic pop culture empire merges with an even-more-gigantic pop culture empire, but the boldfaced takeaway comes when Lucas tells Bloomberg that, even before the Disney deal was financed, the original-cast trio of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford were already onboard. “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison — or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.'” READ FULL STORY

Players must use the Force -- and flippers -- in 'Star Wars Pinball': REVIEW

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After bringing comic book nerds and pinball wizards together with their Marvel-based tables, Zen Studios again works their magic with new flipper-mashing entries set in a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars Pinball—which includes tables based on Boba Fett, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Clone Wars—piles the Force-fueled fan service high, while delivering a pinball experience that wouldn’t feel out of place in your local pub.

Like the Marvel tables before them, this fresh trio of boards (played with the free-to-download Pinball FX 2) does an amazing job of mining its source material. The Empire Strikes Back table features R2 unit heads to bounce balls off of, a revolving Cloud City skyscraper, an AT AT appearance, and plenty of familiar sound effects and licensed music from the film. Releasing the plunger even triggers a satisfying “What is thy bidding my master?”, while letting balls slip past the flippers results in a “You’ve failed me for the last time, Admiral” reprimand from a heavy-breathing Vader. READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek' mashup memes take off after J.J. Abrams announcement

May the meme be with you.

That didn’t take long. Upon news that Star Trek director J.J. Abrams is reportedly also now set to direct the new Star Wars, fans expressed their excitement/dismay/jealousy that one guy was set to inherit all of nerd kingdom on social media last night, and it turned out there was mainly one way to annouce all of your feelings: Gifs and Memes.

How did people communicate about Star Wars ideas in the 1970s (or even the early ‘00s!)? We rounded up some of our favorites from Twitter; check them out below (hat tip to Mashable). READ FULL STORY

14 ways of looking at J.J. Abrams' 'Star Wars'

News broke this afternoon that geek-franchise uber-producer J.J. Abrams has officially signed on to direct the next episode of Star Wars, therefore making him the official onscreen shepherd of not one, but two science-fiction mega-franchises — the equivalent of owning Coke and Pepsi, with Mission: Impossible playing the role of Dr. Pepper in this metaphor. Details are still scarce, as Disney and Lucasfilm have yet to release an official statement, but the news set our minds racing. Abrams’ participation is exciting news for many reasons. But a good Star Wars geek is also a skeptical Star Wars geek. Follow along as we track our 14-step reaction to the news about a J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Wars.

1. First takeaway, neither positive nor negative: This is confirmation that Disney is not going to scrimp on the Star Wars sequels. They need a reboot, and they went straight for the Reboot King. It’s a remarkably simple idea. The thinking goes: “J.J. Abrams took one decades-old franchise with the word ‘Star’ in it, rescued it from box office oblivion and fandom purgatory, and transformed it into a multi-demographic-baiting modern blockbuster hit. Why not let him do that again?” Indeed, it’s an idea so simple that pretty much everyone else on the Internet thought about it, but then dismissed it: What would Abrams do with Star Wars when he already had Star Trek? (By comparison, the rumors about Matthew Vaughn were a bit disappointing: Vaughn is a stylish director, but he’s a far more mercenary talent — you imagine him directing an off-brand Star Wars spin-off, not an epic three-part trilogy.) In a sense, this new Star Wars looks like a companion piece to The Avengers. In both cases, Disney didn’t just pick a beloved director: They picked a guy whose name is synonymous with the whole millennial rise of geekdom as a cultural force. READ FULL STORY

White House responds to petition to build a Death Star: 'The Administration does not support blowing up planets'

When the Obama Administration first created its “We the People” petition system — where a petition by an ordinary citizen requires a White House response if it gets 25,000 signatures within 30 days — they had to know they were inviting all manner of Internet shenanigans. Already, the president’s staff has had to contend with a petition to deport CNN’s Piers Morgan over his views on gun control, and MPAA chief Chris Dodd found himself the target of a White House petition after statements he made to Fox News seemed to imply that Obama’s re-election campaign had to play nice with the movie business if it wanted Hollywood’s financial support.

But those efforts pale in comparison to the petition, created on Nov. 14, 2012, demanding that the Obama Administration “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.” It earned 34,435 signatures, more than enough to force a White House response, which was just posted to the White House Petitions website, penned by Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget. As the response’s title — “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For” — makes clear from the get go, it. Is. AwesomeREAD FULL STORY

'Star Wars' appears on 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition': Corporate synergy, or just Christmas spirit?

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Most Star Wars fans live in a state of perpetual anxiety and hyper-vigilance, defensive towards any perceived threats to the sanctity of their beloved galaxy far far away. So when I say that characters from Star Wars appeared on last night’s very special Christmas edition of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, there is a very real possibility that a nation of Jedi-heads — battered by a decade of prequel ennui and cautiously optimistic about the new Disney era — will explode. Home Edition is on ABC, which is owned by Disney, which now owns LucasFilm: Ipso facto, Star Wars has sold out to ABC, Luke Skywalker will soon be joining Once Upon a Time, the ladies of The Bachelor will henceforth dress as Slave Leia, and C-3PO and R2-D2 will be the new co-hosts of Wipeout. READ FULL STORY

This week's cover: 'Star Wars,' the once and future franchise

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George Lucas shocked the entertainment world with the announcement of a $4.05 billion deal that would give Lucasfilm –including Luke Skywalker’s home galaxy– to the Walt Disney Company. The news flash represented far more than the latest checkbook chapter in this Disney empire-building era (Pixar, Marvel and the Muppets are already part of the corporate universe) or a colossal moment in the philanthropic world (Lucas will donate most of the money to charity); the Star Wars saga will strike back in 2015 with the opening installment of a new live-action trilogy as the new team–with Jurassic Park and Lincoln producer Kathleen Kennedy Lucasfilm’s president– tries to make magic for Disney shareholders.

Where will the plot go? What characters and actors might be feeling the Force? Who will direct? We offer an inside report on the future of the franchise — as well our own Yoda-like advice about the best path to Jedi glory and the slippery route that could send the Skywalkers tumbling into a conceptual trash compactor. Plus, A-List filmmakers weigh in on the big announcement (and one of them has a bad feeling about this).


For news and analysis on the future Star Wars movies, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands November 16th.

Read more:
Mark Hamill weighs in on the future of ‘Star Wars’ — EXCLUSIVE
Who should direct new ‘Star Wars’ movie? Christopher Nolan? Joss Whedon?
‘Star Wars’ reaction: Abrams, Favreau, Nolfi, and Rodriguez weigh in — EXCLUSIVE

R2-D2-inspired engagement ring is gorgeous in any galaxy -- VIDEO

Image Credit: Geekologie.com

Finally, an engagement ring has been designed that will put Jennifer Aniston’s rock on the back burner.

New Jersey tattoo artist Joe Pagani created an R2-D2-inspired ring for his Star Wars-crazed girlfriend. He commissioned jewelry designer Paul Michael Bieker to create the sapphire and diamond ring and proposed to Emily on Halloween. The force was definitely with Joe: She said yes! READ FULL STORY

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