Articles on this Page
- 12/14/12--19:20: _full spread for Olg...
- 12/15/12--13:05: _HBO Orders Comedy P...
- 12/15/12--13:05: _Nicki Minaj Gets Bi...
- 12/15/12--13:24: _Twelve Days of ONTD...
- 12/15/12--13:27: _FRIDAY BOX OFFICE
- 12/15/12--13:27: _Miss Universe 2012 ...
- 12/15/12--14:17: _Kelly Clarkson...EN...
- 12/15/12--14:23: _Jenna Marbles' Late...
- 12/15/12--14:37: _Update on the Newto...
- 12/15/12--15:05: _Mob Blames Mass Eff...
- 12/15/12--15:05: _Dressing Hollywood'...
- 12/15/12--15:18: _TayTay cover anothe...
- 12/15/12--15:18: _The Walking Dead Re...
- 12/15/12--15:33: _Side Effects of The...
- 12/15/12--15:35: _Whoa. Double take w...
- 12/15/12--15:35: _One Direction "Kiss...
- 12/15/12--16:10: _Girls Aloud: Ten Ye...
- 12/15/12--16:35: _You already heard K...
- 12/15/12--16:46: _The New Star Wars, ...
- 12/15/12--17:39: _Is Kristen Stewart'...
- 12/15/12--13:05: HBO Orders Comedy Pilot About Group of Gay Friends
- 12/15/12--13:05: Nicki Minaj Gets Bigger Payday Than Beyonce For NYE Gig
- 12/15/12--13:24: Twelve Days of ONTD: Day 11
- 12/15/12--13:27: FRIDAY BOX OFFICE
- 12/15/12--13:27: Miss Universe 2012 National Costumes
- 12/15/12--14:17: Kelly Clarkson...ENGAGED!!
- 12/15/12--14:37: Update on the Newtown School Shooting; Victims names released
- 12/15/12--15:05: Mob Blames Mass Effect For School Shooting, Is Embarrassingly Wrong
- 12/15/12--15:05: Dressing Hollywood's Starlets for Award Season
- 12/15/12--15:18: TayTay cover another "magazine"
- 12/15/12--15:18: The Walking Dead Resurrected
- 12/15/12--15:33: Side Effects of The Hobbit
- 12/15/12--15:35: One Direction "Kiss You" Music Video Previews! + Candids
- 12/15/12--16:10: Girls Aloud: Ten Years at The Top
- 12/15/12--16:35: You already heard Kelly is engaged, now check out her bling!
- 12/15/12--16:46: The New Star Wars, Disney & Why Sci-Fi Was So Great in the 1970s
HBO is adding San Francisco to its itinerary.
Hours after picking up a project about siblings in New Jersey, the premium cable network said Friday that it has ordered to pilot a comedy about three gay friends living in San Francisco.
The untitled project hails from Brothers and Sisters' David Marshall Grant and Bored to Death's Sarah Condon and revolves around the thirtysomething trio also grappling with the complexities of life and the modern gay experience. Michael Lannan (Remember Me) penned the script, which Grant supervised. Andrew Haigh will helm the pilot, which is based on Lannan's feature script Lorimer.
The untitled comedy joins People in New Jersey, from Bruce Eric Kaplan, Lorne Michaels and Jason Reitman, and Stephen Merchant comedy Hello Ladies, which was picked up to series, at the network as it looks to bolster its comedy coffers which already include Enlightened, Girls and Veep, among others.
The comedy marks Lannan's first major writing credit. His résumé also includes writing, directing and producing the 2009 short Lorimer, Sons of Anarchy, serving as an assistant producer on Rubicon and an AD on Nurse Jackie.
Grant most recently served as a writing exec producer on NBC's Smash and penned an episode of ABC's freshman musical drama Nashville. He's repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman.
The project marks a homecoming for Condon, who served as an executive producer on the network's Bored to Death for its three-season run. HBO canceled the Jason Schwartzman comedy in December. In addition to the Lannan comedy, Condon is exec producing family drama Darlings, which is in development at Bravo.
Well...surely this can't be cliched and stereotyped to death can it? (Looking at you QaF)
Nicki Minaj has reportedly trumped King Beyonce's $4 million paycheck to host a New Years Eve party in Las Vegas on Dec. 31.
Last week, it was reported that Beyonce received the multi-million dollar payout to ring in the New Year with 700 guests at a private show. Now according to new reports, Minaj has received $5 million to host a party at PURE Nightclub on the same night.
It's currently unclear if the Young Money rapper will be performing, but for that amount of cash, she better be.
Every day until Christmas, we'll be randomly giving away $25 Amazon gift cards to a lucky commenter!
How do you enter? All you have to do is comment! We'll be randomly selecting winners from the comments section. To keep it fair, you can only win once, but you can comment as much as you'd like, which increases your chances of winning.
And yes, I know that traditionally, the 12 days of Christmas take place ... after Christmas. >:O
HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND GOOD LUCK!
Daily chart from Box Office Mojo
Tomatometer from Rotten Tomatoes
How was your Friday night, ONTD?
British Virgin Islands
Ana Luisa Konig
Ji Dan Xu
Daniella Álvarez Vasquez
Monifa Joanne Marie Jansen
Dulcita Lynn Lieggi
Carolina Andrea Aguirre Pérez
Ana Yancy Clavel
Sara Yasmina Chafak
Alyssa Cruz Aguero
Laura Godoy Calle
Ameeksha Devi Dilchand
Nathalie den Dekker
Farah Eslaquit Cano
Isabella Agbor Ojong Ayuk
Sara Nicole Andersen
Stephanie Vander Werf
Delia Monica Duca
Nutpimon Farida Waller
Trinidad & Tobago
Cagil Ozge Özkul
Irene Sofiá Esser Quintero
Diem Huong Luu
The only one missing is Miss Sweden, Hanni Beronius. There isn't a picture of her in her costume on the Miss Universe site.
She just posted this to facebook!
so happy for her :)
You may not know JennaMarbles by name, but you’ve most likely seen her on your Facebook or Twitter feed at some point in the last two years. Jenna Mourey, known as JennaMarbles on YouTube, is one of the video-sharing site’s most watched content creators. With five million subscribers and counting, she is the most subscribed woman on YouTube. Her videos, featuring observational humor, alcohol, and appearances from her adorable dogs, consistently attract millions of views. She is probably best known for her video “How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking”, which to date boasts over 47 million views.
Though Jenna tends to make some great observations about society’s expectations of women, her latest video, “Things I Don’t Understand About Girls Part 2: Slut Edition”, has received a lot of criticism from the blogosphere for perpetuating slut-shaming and victim-blaming. In the video, she questions why women go out on one night stands when the person they’re going home with could be a murderer, calls sluts “lonely and sad”, and claims that monogamy is a “form of higher evolution”. She does give her viewers the well-intentioned advice to look out for the ladies who might be blackout drunk and on the verge of going home with someone they don’t know, but claims that by doing so they will “help the sluts of the world make less bad slutty decisions.”
This may just be Jenna’s opinion, but with an audience of more than a million viewers each week, her words could prove very harmful. By saying it’s a woman’s “slutty decision” to go home with a guy when she’s blackout drunk, she is essentially blaming that woman for her own sexual assault. No one can give consent when they’re intoxicated, and by blaming woman for their own assaults, Jenna is contributing to rape culture and discouraging other victims from seeking help. She also categorizes women who have a lot of sex as stupid, lonely girls who don’t have a lot self-esteem, which can be far from the truth. Jenna has a rather young and impressionable audience, and presenting this kind of thinking to that audience could potentially be dangerous.
The video has inspired an interesting discussion online, and some great video responses explaining the dangers of victim-blaming. Sex positive blogger Laci Greengot in on the conversation early with her video “RE: JENNA MARBLES’ ‘SLUT EDITION’”, intelligently explaining the sexist ideas in the video and providing her viewers with more information on the topic. Hayley G Hoover stepped away from her usual silliness to make a very calm video response in which she states that she hasn’t lost any respect for Jenna, but thinks she needs to be more careful with her words.
I couldn't even finish watching Jenna's video...the things she was saying...ugh. The video responses are really great (watch them imo) and I'm hoping Jenna responds to this or something. Chescaleigh (the last video) talks about when she was raped so just another warning.
Newtown victims all shot multiple times with rifle, chief medical officer says
The Newtown school massacre victims were all shot multiple times with a rifle and suffered “devastating” wounds, Connecticut’s chief medical examiner said Saturday.
Dr. Wayne Carver said autopsies on the 20 slain children had been completed and post-mortems on the six murdered staff members would be done by day’s end. The names of the victims were handed to reporters live at the news conference.
“Everybody’s death was caused by gunshot wounds and obviously the manner of death on all these cases have been classified as homicide,” Carver said.
He said that he personally performed seven autopsies and those children had between three and 11 wounds each. Two of them were shot at close range, the others at a distance.
“This is a very devastating set of injuries,” Carver said. “I believe everyone was hit more than once.”
Asked whether the victims suffered, he replied, “Not for very long.”
He said he will perform an autopsy on the gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, who is believed to have shot himself with one of two handguns he carried. He will also perform the autopsy on the shooter’s mother, Nancy Lanza, who was found dead in her Newtown home.
Four doctors and 10 technicians, plus a college student working her first day with the medical examiner’s office, worked into Friday night to identify the victims.
They took photos of their faces and then showed the pictures to families. “It’s easier on the families when you do this,” Carver said.
He said that he managed to maintain professional composure during the grim work, but it was a challenge.
“I’ve been at this for a third of a century and my sensibility may not be the average man’s, but this is probably the worst I’ve seen.”
Children (8 boys and 12 girls)
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeline Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
Rachel Davino, 29
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Lauren Russeau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Dawn Hocksprung, 47
Tears, prayers, and a search for answers in Newtown
The updates appear newest to oldest fyi
4:10 P.M.: Connecticut's Chief Medical examiner ruled the deaths of the Sandy Hook School shootings all homicides, and that each victim was shot multiple times.
"This is probably the worst I've seen," said Dr. H. Wayne Carver, who has been a medical examiner for more than three decades.
All of the victims were preliminarily identified early Saturday morning, Dr. Carver said. The parents of the young victims did not see the bodies in person. Instead, they were shown photos of the faces.
"I believe everyone was hit more than once," Dr. Carver said.
The names of the 26 victims were being released by state police.
State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance did not talk about a possible motive for the shootings, but said "there is no information about any confrontation" involving the gunman, Adam Lanza, and the school before Friday's shooting.
In describing the injuries, Dr. Carver said a long rifle was used in the shooting. In each autopsy he performed, the victim was shot three to eleven times.
Newtown First Selectwoman Patricia Llodra also spoke at the Saturday afternoon news conference. She thanked everyone for their thoughts and support. "We are a strong and caring place," she said. "We will find a way to heal."
12:30 P.M. UPDATE: Gov. Dannel Malloy will make a televised address to the state tonight at 5:00 p.m. to talk about the deaths in Newtown. The governor is in the town today meeting with people.
10:30 A.M. UPDATE: State police say they have identified all the victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and that list will be made available today.
Speaking at a news conference, Lt. J. Paul Vance said the gunman forced his way into the school, and was not voluntarily let in.
Lt. Vance said Newtown and state police investigators are still processing the scene, and it could take days before their work is finished.
For Newtown residents, a crisis intervention team has been made available for anyone who wants to talk about what happened. The number to call is 203-270-4283.
Lt. Vance said no other weapons were recovered at the school, and the ones found were in close proximity to the gunman. He said investigators will research each gun and they will know the history of each and every weapon.
He also said evidence found at the secondary crime scene, the house where his mother was killed, may point to a motive.
8:55 A.M. UPDATE: The Associated Press reports three guns were found inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Sig Sauer pistol
.223-caliber Bushmaster rifle
They were all registered to Nancy Lanza, who was killed. A fourth weapon was found outside the school.
8:10 A.M. UPDATE: We're awaiting a police news conference and update on the Newtown school shooting. ABC News reports "Police say some but not all bodies have been moved from the school. The rest will be moved later today." Parents were asked what their children wore to school to help identify the victims, ABC reported.
Connecticut state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance told ABC that investigators are confident Adam Lanza acted alone in the shootings.
5:50 A.M. UPDATE: It's going to be an emotional day in Newtown and across Connecticut and people come to grips with the deaths of 27 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, including the gunman
One other victim, the mother of the gunman, was found dead at her home, for a total of 28 dead. She was killed first before the gunman went to the school and opened fire.
Police and the medical examiner's office continued their grim task of identifying the victims and documenting the scene inside the classrooms where the children and adults were killed.
More vigils and remembrances were planned around Connecticut in memory of the victims.
Here's what is known so far.
One of the big questions remaining unanswered this morning is why .
11:50 P.M. UPDATE: Investigators will spend the night at Sandy Hook Elementary School as they work to positively identify victims of the mass killing in Newtown Friday.
"Evil visited this community today," Gov. Dannel Malloy said.
28 people were killed, 20 of them children. One other woman was injured. She was shot in the leg but is recovering. Among the victims was Sandy Hook's principal, Dawn Hochsprung .
The gunman was identified as Adam Lanza, 20. Authorities initially identified his brother as the gunman.
"Our hearts are broken today," President Obama said .
The state medical examiner is inside the school in a makeshift morgue. State police hope to be able to release the names of all of those who were killed on Saturday.
Candle light vigils were held in Newtown and Hartford and other Connecticut cities Friday night, and more were scheduled for the weekend as people paid their respects.
Gov. Malloy ordered flags at half staff until the victims are buried.
Amid Tragedy, Stories of Heroism Emerge
With bursts of gunfire ringing out in the hallway, Kaitlin Roig, a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, huddled in a cramped bathroom with her 15 first-grade students, trying to assure them that everything would be alright -- even though she didn't believe it.
"I'm thinking, 'We're next,'" Roig told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an emotional interview. "And I'm thinking, as a 6-year-old, 7-year-old, what are your thoughts? I'm thinking I almost have to be their parent.
"So I said to them, I need you to know that I love you all very much, and it's going to be OK, because I thought that was the last thing they were ever going to hear. I thought they were all going to die. I wanted them to know someone loved them, and I wanted that to be one of the last things they heard, not gunfire in the hallway."
Moments earlier, when a gunman identified to NBC News as 20-year-old Adam Lanza forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and began his shooting spree, killing 20 children and six adults, Roig rushed her students from the classroom to a bathroom, then barricaded the door with a bookshelf.
She was eventually rescued by police.
Roig's story is one of a handful of heroism amid tragedy that are sure to emerge over the coming days. Several of the victims died trying to save lives, according to reports.
The school's principal, Dawn Hochsprung, and school psychologist Mary Sherlach were in a meeting with a parent, other staff members and school therapist Diane Day when the shooting started, Day told The Wall Street Journal. While most people dove under desks, Hochsprung and Sherlach rushed to see if they could help and ran toward the shooter, Supt. Janet Robinson said.
"They didn't think twice about confronting or seeing what was going on," Day told the Journal.
Both were killed.
Another teacher pressed her body against to door to keep Lanza out -- and was shot twice in the process, Day said.
"She was our hero," Day told the Journal.
Bill Vollmer said he considers his wife, Janet, a kindergarten teacher, a hero. She was not injured, but is devastated, he said.
"She locked the doors, pulled the blinds, put paper over the window on the door and sat the kids in a cubby and read to them and tried to distract them from what was really happening," Bill Volmer said.
One teacher helped students get out through a window, Robinson said, and one hid the students in the kiln room as the shooter made his way through the school.
"The teachers were really, really focused on saving the students," Robinson.
Shooter’s Mother Was Not on Staff at Sandy Hook: Supt.
It does not appear that Nancy Lanza, mother of the apparent shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, was a staff member at the school, despite earlier reports.
Newtown Supt. Janet Robinson told NBC Connecticut’s Jo Ling Kent on Saturday that there is no record of Lanza in the school database.
"Mrs. Lanza, who I have never met, was not a teacher in the district," Robinson said. "She's not in our database as a staff member."
She might have been a substitute teacher or volunteer at the school, but that is not clear.
Federal authorities have identified Adam Lanza, 20, as the man who shot and killed 20 school children, six adults, and himself.
The guns recovered at the scene, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, were legally registered to Nancy Lanza.
A woman, believed to be Lanza's mother, was found shot dead insider a Newtown home.
Image source has more images of support in and around Newtown.
Info if you want to help Newtown families
Article about the school psychologist
Article about the school principal
Pakistani children lit candles in honor of the victims
Statement from Lauren Rosseau's family (one of the deceased teachers)
In the wake of the terrible tragedy in Connecticut, initial reports said the shooter was a 24 year-old named Ryan Lanza. Online, people quickly located a Ryan Lanza on Facebook and searched through his profile to see if there were any "clues" they could pin the shooting on. They found their clues...but the wrong Lanza.
As we now know, the shooter was apparently Adam Lanza, the younger brother of a man named Ryan Lanza (It's unclear if the killer's brother and the Ryan Lanza on Facebook are the same person, though some details match).
But during those initial reports, a mob of angry Facebook users noticed that Ryan Lanza had liked Mass Effect on Facebook. Coupled with news reports that a Fox News expert connected the horrific shooting to video games, some felt like this was proof positive that games were to blame.
A Facebook pile-on began. "There is a connection between violent games and senseless violence in real life," wrote Facebook user Becky Laird Gluff. Another user, Melanie Bowers, said,"Ban this game and the people who created such sickness." And Catherine Barowski Plummer even wrote,"I am sure none of these precious children had this game on their Santa list... God help protect us from all the evil our society promotes." =
A few hundred comments in, the mob was in full force, when a Reddit thread seems to have picked up on what was going down.
Video games have long been a scapegoat. The constant finger-pointing has made many gamers defensive—perhaps overly so. The next thousand or so comments that followed were gamers sticking up for Mass Effect, pointing out that the alleged perpetrator probably drank water and ate bread, so many we should ban those, too. But hours later, what exactly are they now sticking up for? That was the wrong Lanza!
Great. Now Mass Effect is going to be the new GTA for concerned parents....ugh.
There are many ladies whose names are being thrown up for the upcoming awards season. From pros like Helen Mirren to newbies like Mary Elizabeth Winstead, everyone is excited to see who go home with one of the many prestigious awards coming up. One of the best things about this time of year is the fashion and below and I have outlined what I’d like to see some of the potential film nominees wearing this awards season.
Below are some of this year’s hottest film stars in looks I’d like to see them in.
Jessica Chastain in Elie Saab Haute Fall 2012 Couture - Jessica is Hollywood’s golden girl and deserves a gown that shows off how glamorous she can be.
Anne Hathaway in Jason Wu Resort 2013- Hathaway loves interesting silhouettes and this dress does that while staying classy.
Jennifer Lawrence in Michael Kors Spring 2013 RTW- This look is the complete opposite of her famous red dress from last year; it’s a fun look she can get away with at her age.
Naomi Watts in Oscar de la Renta Spring RTW 2013- Naomi’s Old Hollywood glam and petite frame would work perfectly with this beautiful dress.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Zac Posen Spring 2013 Resort- This stunning up-and-comer needs a dress to put her in the spotlight and this one will do the trick.
Keira Knightley in Reem Acra Resort 2013- Keira’s figure would look divine in this gown and the cute would show off her graceful shoulders.
Rachel Weisz in Jenny Packham Spring 2013 RTW- This dress is elegant and stunning, just like Weisz herself.
Kerry Washington in Marchesa Spring 2013 RTW- Kerry’s slim figure would wear the unique shape of this gown perfectly and the color would look fabulous on her.
Laura Linney in Elie Saab Fall 2012 Couture- Linney also looks amazing on the red carpet and this color is bold but tasteful.
Emmanuelle Riva in Calvin Klein Collection Spring 2013 RTW- Riva would rock this sophisticated yet glamorous pantsuit.
Meryl Streep in Vera Wang Spring 2013 RTW- Meryl’s been to enough of these events that she’ll be calm and sophisticated, just like this ensemble.
Judi Dench in Christian Siriano Spring 2013 RTW- This classic cut would help us see the softer side of M.
Marion Cotillard in Marchessa S2013 RTW- Marion’s quirky sense of fashion and great figure would fit well with this gorgeous Marchessa dress.
Amy Adams in Zac Posen 2013 RTW- I am convinced that this color would look amazing on Amy Adams, who could definitely full off this mermaid gown.
Sally Field in Jenny Packham Spring 2013 RTW- Sally’s bright and sunny personality would fit this colorful dress, either as is or with a reduced slit.
Samantha Barks in Valentino Spring 2013 RTW – Up-and-comer Samantha seems sweet and innocent, just like this dress. The white would look great with her coloring.
Helen Hunt in Carolina Herrera Spring 2012 RTW- Helen Hunt is an old pro making a comeback and this dress is the perfect mix of splashy and demure.
Quvenzhane Wallis in Oscar de la Renta 2013 RTW- This dress is cute and sweet just like her and a modified version of it would be entirely appropriate for her age.
Helen Mirren in Christian Dior's Fall/Winter 2013 Haute Couture- This dress is the perfect mix of modest and sexy that matches Helen Mirren.
Kathryn Bigelow in Saint Laurent Spring 2013 RTW- This dress would show off her great figure but at the same time show that she means business.
Emily Blunt in Alessandra Rich Spring 2013 RTW- Emily would look stunning a ladylike yet quirky ensemble such as this.
Coming Soon: Dressing the ladies of television for awards season!
I didn't even know this magazine existed, but sure why not! She looks good at least lol.
More pics from the shoot:
As if The Walking Dead weren't creepy enough, it looks like the folks at AMC are about to give it a classic zombie-movie makeover. Fans, get ready for The Walking Dead—a la the 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead.
That's right, Rick Grimes and company are going black and white.
The network has announced that the entire first and second seasons of the hit zombie survival series will be reworked in monochrome black and white, partly as a throwback to the simpler days of cinema before all that pesky color became commonplace. The pilot got the same treatment earlier this year, and the studio apparently liked the results.
As fans of the comic book well know, Robert Kirkman's original version was also done in black and white—which only contributed to the creepy awesomeness of it all.
In an announcement included in the official Walking Dead magazine, AMC says the new versions should "give the series a Universal Monsters feel as well as mimicking the artistic style of the comic."
The new cuts are scheduled to start airing in February, likely around when the back half of season three kicks off. What better way to catch up on all the early action?
Throwing in the Disney Imagined version because I tried to show it yesterday and told it was not news. Now it can be pretty Post Art
Ke$ha has been transformed from popstar to tribal princess meets rock couture in a new magazine shoot.
With a tribal-inspired headpiece as her crown, the 25-year-old smoulders in the spread for fashion magazine Fiasco.
More clips at Vevo's site since it won't embed :(
src source 2 3
<3 <3 <3
|0||0|Thoughts ONTD? I think it looks nice per usual ONTD, everyone hates it lol
It's by far the biggest, best and most surprising entertainment news of 2012, yet still no one knows quite what to make of it: starting in 2015 we're getting a new Star Wars trilogy, beginning with Episode VII, supervised by George Lucas and produced by Disney.
As Darth Vader might say, there's "a tremor in the Force." The question is: what will this new Star Wars look like, now that we don't have Emperor Palpatine to kick around any more?
There's certainly been nothing like this news in Hollywood in years, with rumors swirling around about the new Star Wars films almost on a daily basis. What will the new storyline be? Who will direct the films? Will Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford make a cameo? Did Boba Fett survive the Sarlacc Pit?
And will SPECTRE or the Miami Heat be the new villains?
It seems incredible that overnight Star Wars has managed to reinvent itself - again - and become the biggest, most talked-about sci-fi franchise around. (Imagine what James Cameron must be thinking right now.) The question on everyone's mind, though, is what exactly a new Star Wars trilogy will look like with limited involvement from George Lucas, the original cast having hit retirement age, many crucial characters gone, and having to pick up where 1983's Return of the Jedi left off - i.e., with Ewoks playing victorious drum solos on Stormtrooper helmets.
In other words, what is the 'essence' of a Star Wars film now that the series can't lean on standbys like Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi or exploding Death Stars anymore?
For clues to this mystery, it's best to go back to the 1970s, the fabulous era - at least, for science fiction fans - when Star Wars was born.
Although the 1950s are justifiably regarded as science fiction's Golden Age, the era of the 1970s easily rates a close second. It was the period when science fiction finally replaced the Western as the great American movie genre.
To be fair, what we're calling 'the '70s' here probably began around 1968 with the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes, and didn't end till around 1984, with the release of The Terminator. So maybe we should call this sci-fi's 'modern' era - or simply 'the Star Wars era.' Science fiction had a distinctive flavor during this period - it was darker, more realistic, and also more emotional - and Star Wars set the tone for the time.
It was also during this era that science fiction became more popular than ever - more popular even than comic book movies are today - dominating both the box office and prime time television.
Of the top 15 highest grossing movies of all time adjusted for inflation, four are sci-fi films from this period: the original Star Wars trilogy, plus Steven Spielberg's E.T. A host of other films from this time - Alien, Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, just to name a few - are similarly regarded as classics. Plus, television series like The Six Million Dollar Man (and its spin-off, The Bionic Woman), Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century were huge hits - with the Galactica franchise still around with us today.
So how did they do it back then? What made sci-fi of this period so wildly popular?
The key thing to understand about '70s or Star Wars-era sci-fi was how it revised and updated a genre that had gotten old and slightly creaky (think Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea). It did so in three major ways:
1) Science fiction became more realistic.
The big leap forward in sci-fi 'realism' came in 1968 with Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, which Kubrick made after consulting with scientists and engineers at NASA and MIT, and after devising new visual effects techniques like front projection. After 2001, which played out like a Cinerama documentary shot in space, sci-fi films couldn't afford to look anymore like they were shot in your parents' garage (even if they were).
George Lucas and his geniuses at Industrial Light & Magic raised the bar on sci-fi realism even higher with Star Wars in 1977 - while adding a new twist: a 'used universe' design style that gave everything a gritty, dented, lived-in feel. It was this gnarly, textured aesthetic that later influenced Alien, Blade Runner, Outland and a lot of other great sci-fi of the era - and became the key factor in making people believe that the sci-fi they were seeing was 'real.'
Before the original Star Wars, watching sci-fi films sometimes felt like visiting Neiman Marcus - all shiny surfaces, supermodels and expensive clothing. That's basically what you got in fun but conventional sci-fi fare like Rollerball (1975) or Logan's Run (1976).
Star Wars changed all this, as Lucas dropped his characters into garbage compactors and grimy cantinas, or had them hauled around in Jawa junk caravans and broken-down cargo freighters - like the wonderfully clunky Millennium Falcon. It all brought sci-fi down to Earth, grounded it in a more believable reality, and made the genre more accessible to average audiences.
So after the clean, polished, Art Deco look of the prequel trilogy, Star Wars should go back to looking like it did in 1977: a used car lot in outer space. Robots and ships should go back to looking bulky, stiff and dysfunctional - like something out of your local repair shop, not an Apple Genius Bar. It would immediately throw everyone back into the world we last saw in 1983.
As part of this, whoever directs the new film should avoid having every setting be digital. Spend some money and build real sets! Don't worry, Disney can afford it.
2) Science fiction became more dystopian.
This is an important point: the original Star Wars has often been attacked for introducing a cheery, uncritical optimism to the otherwise 'edgier' Hollywood cinema of the 1970s.
Except that it didn't quite go down that way.
Like so much sci-fi of the 1970s, the original Star Wars was basically dystopian - depicting a galaxy ruled by an inhumane Empire, a military dictatorship presided over by a genocidal cyborg (Darth Vader). Over the course of the film, a planet gets destroyed (Alderaan), the hero's family and kindly mentor (Ben Kenobi) are killed off, a princess is subjected to an invasive mind probe (by her own father, as it later turns out), and the heroes are rewarded in a ceremony that looks suspiciously like something out of Triumph of the Will.
I guess back in the '70s that seemed cheerful.
The truth is, Star Wars-era science fiction was full of tyrants, nasty aliens and menacing cyborgs; think of Khan from Star Trek II, or the creature from Alien, or the 'replicant' Roy Batty from Blade Runner, or the HAL 9000 from 2001. These figures captured the anxiety of the times - as America's economy went in the tank, international tensions dragged on, and technology made unwelcome encroachments on people's lives.
By the way, is any of this sounding familiar?
Now would be a good time for Star Wars to go back to its roots as a parable of the struggle for freedom in a depressed world. People are low right now - much like they were in the '70s - and a good new Star Wars trilogy might pick everybody up. Part of why Star Wars felt so uplifting back in the '70s was that the film acknowledged we were living in tough times - but also that we could pull out of them with a little heroism and good humor.
One other point: some people worry that Disney would never let Star Wars go back to being a 'darker' franchise (a la The Empire Strikes Back). Actually, Disney produced two gems of dystopian sci-fi back in the Star Wars era: The Black Hole (1979) and Tron (1982). Plus, many of the great Disney classics - one thinks of Snow White, Fantasia, or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - are essentially dark fairy tales, very much in keeping with the original Star Wars vision. Certainly the recent Tron: Legacy (2010) showed that Disney still has the taste for this kind of sci-fi material.
So assuming Bob Iger doesn't want to jam Hannah Montana into a Star Wars film, the marriage between Disney and the Star Wars franchise should be a good one - and may be what the series needed.
3) Science fiction became more emotional.
Ask anyone who was around back in 1977 and they'll tell you: watching Star Wars in a packed theater was an emotional experience, a major event. You waited in line for hours just to get in, watched the opening scroll and the huge Imperial Star Destroyer roar over your head in Dolby stereo, and by the time Han Solo flipped the Millennium Falcon into hyperdrive people just went wild.
And when Luke finally blew up the Death Star? The house came down.
Watching Star Wars in a theater was simply the pop-culture experience of the 1970s. Whatever the Beatles were to the Boomer generation, Star Wars was to Generation X. People came out of theaters feeling that their lives had changed.
But the funny thing was, a lot of sci-fi during this period was emotional. Grown men cried watching Spock sacrifice himself in Star Trek II; and everybody cried during E.T. And to this day, the most frightening film I've ever seen in a theater was still the original Alien; the emotion that film provoked in me was sheer terror.
Sci-fi somehow struck emotional chords back in the Star Wars era that it's simply not hitting today. (Although I admit to having a soft spot for Bumblebee in the Transformers movies; maybe that's because he reminds me of R2-D2). My hope is that the new Star Wars films are crafted with human emotions in mind, rather than just sci-fi spectacle.
We have enough visual pyrotechnics today, don't we? What we don't have are characters anybody cares about.
Personally, I'd love to see Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford make cameos in the new film - even if just for a minute. It would be a gas, the ultimate reunion, like Led Zeppelin getting back together. And it would be emotional. I imagine Han Solo holding down a corner with Chewie in the Mos Eisley cantina, throwing back a few drinks, telling stories about how Leia finally dumped him - then maybe blasting a bounty hunter or two.
Only this time, Han shoots first.
So in the grand scheme of things, what does it mean that Disney now owns Star Wars? Disney's certainly been a good fit for Pixar and Marvel, so Lucasfilm has likely found the right home. (Actually, could Disney buy the Oakland Raiders while they're at it?)
What it means is that we're not only going to get a new trilogy, but probably a live action Star Wars TV series for ABC, and also spin-off movies for certain characters - just like with Marvel. Boba Fett may finally get his own films (he should), or even Expanded Universe figures like Prince Xizor or Darth Bane - which would be fun.
Who knows? Your children may someday end up watching a Salacious Crumb series, or a brand new show on the Real Housewives of Tatooine.
By then I'll probably have checked out of Star Wars, thinking that I've had my fill. Of course, that's what I thought back in 1983 ...
[Special note: fans of '70s-era science fiction should check out Christopher Mills' excellent Space: 1970 website.]
UPDATE: Seeing as we've chronicled every. single. moment in Kristen Stewart's promotional tour for On The Road, we couldn't possibly let the star's latest appearances slip through our sartorial net. Yes, K-Stew's red carpet assault continues as she pulled on her glad rags for not one but TWO screenings of the film in New York. On Wednesday evening, she donned a sheer Catherine Malandrino dress topped off with Mossy-esque black heels and vampy red eyeshadow. The next night, she was back in another sheer number - this time featuring a saucy two-piece under a transparent overlay courtesy of our very own Erdem. We are loving those neon heels! So with Kristen cracking out hotter-and-hotter frocks, here's hoping this OTR marathon NEVER ends.
10 December 2012: Another weekend, another On The Road photo op. On Friday evening, Kristen Stewart joined Garrett Hedlund at Vanity Fair's screening of the film at Skywalker Ranch in San Francisco. As ever, K-Stew looked artfully dishevelled, teaming a grey BCBG blazer over a white T-shirt with black leather trousers from H&M and blood-red Louboutin heels to match a slick of lippy. We're loving the laid-back look but can't help feeling a slight sense of deja vu...
It all began back in May 2012 when a pre-scandal Kristen arrived at the Cannes Film Festival wearing a pair of lemon-coloured printed Balenciaga trousers to promote the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's novel. That evening, she was on the red carpet to promote the movie alongside Kirsten Dunst and Tom Sturridge swathed in more Balenciaga - this time a printed maxi dress and trademark tousled waves. Critics who saw the film were excitedly chattering about Kristen's role as Marylou - sweaty dancing! Loads of nakedness! A threesome! Little did we know that seven - yes, SEVEN - months later, Kristen would still be, well, on the road for the very same film.
You see, the appearance at Cannes was followed by an appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival when Kristen looked fierce in a sheer embroidered frock by Zuhair Murad, remember? Next came the film's New York screening when Kristen wore black A.L.C trousers with a Balenciaga shirt. Then came the LA premiere when she flashed her abs in a Balenciaga jumpsuit - the last Balenciaga ensemble we've seen her in since Nicolas Ghesquière announced his departure from the French fashion house, FYI.
Oh, and did we mention there was another New York screening in November when the actress wore a leather A.L.C. dress? That was before she took to L.A in Stella McCartney and hit the Sundance Cinema screening in a Jason Wu number. Seriously, how much promotion does one film NEED?
Along the way, we've watched a Hollywood scandal unfold alongside Kristen's On The Road appearances. Slap bang in the middle of the promo tour, those pictures surfaced of her kissing Rupert Sanders, which lead to a temporary split then reconciliation with Twilight dreamboat Robert Pattinson. Her style choices have given us an insight into her personal journey - from confident in Cannes to sullen in Toronto to most recently coming out fighting with lashings of punky leather.
This may go towards explaining why the promotional trail for this film has been so ruddy long. It was extended due to Kristen's affair the film's release date, which was postponed for several months and while the film landed in UK cinemas on 12th October, poor US fans have to wait until December 21st to see the silver screen adaptation. During these many months, the actors have tirelessly worked the circuit, building as much momentum as humanely possible for an under-the-radar film - and helpfully taking focus away from K-Stew's Hollywood scandal. 'I love talking about this movie and everyone involved and the book and everything I've been through since the start of it,' Kristen has said of the promo rounds. 'I would do anything to get the word out.' And boy, does she mean it!
According to The Huffington Post, the never-ending appearances may also have something to do with a little thing called Oscar buzz. 'The creative team behind the film wants the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognise Stewart for her role by nominating her for an Oscar for best supporting actress,' writes Michael Hogan. Well, you can't blame a girl for trying.
So whether she bags an Oscar nom or not, we say Kristen deserves to give the road-tripping a rest and put her feet up this Christmas.