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In mythology, the hero’s journey begins with a call to adventure, the first incident on a dangerous path that will separate him from his home and family. The call usually comes in the form of a herald, who carries a message that causes the adventure to begin. Often the hero does not recognize the hand of fate at work, and an event which may seem ordinary in fact a turning point that catapults the hero into a world of danger and excitement.
As the Star Wars story begins, a battle in space rages high above the planet of Tatooine with the evil powers of darkness (the Galactic Empire) relentlessly pursuing the forces of good (the Rebel Alliance). Princess Leia sends a plea for help to the planet below. The hand of Fate, in the form of Jawa traders, brings her message to the restless farmboy, Luke Skywalker.
Learn more in our Mythology Section!
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In this section you will find current event articles about real-life events, topics, and people that can be correlated with the Star Wars Universe. Educators can use these current events to bridge the events of Star Wars with the present day. To see current articles for a specific content area, please click the appropriate link below. The most recent articles are shown below.
A California native, Megan Dolman grew up with a love of the outdoors but also, more importantly, with a love of Star Wars. As a child, her prized possession was a VHS box set of the original Star Wars trilogy. Dolman and her sister would watch the movies so much during their summers off from school that they were able to recite them to each other in their room at night. After returning to the Bay Area in 2013, Dolman has spent four years working at Industrial Light & Magic as a layout artist, translating and staging 2D storyboards and scenes into a 3D environment so that visual effects can be added. This past year, Dolman was finally able to realize her dream of working on a Star Wars film. StarWars.com sat down with Dolman to discuss her journey to ILM, her work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and what it takes to translate the real world into a digital one.
Every pilot has a story to tell. Over the past few years, we’ve been introduced to an assortment of pilots from the Rebellion, the Empire, and beyond, each with their own story and reasoning for joining the fight. Some people are born into the job: Snap Wexley and Poe Dameron both followed in their mothers’ footsteps to become heroic pilots of the Resistance. Luke Skywalker unknowingly inherited his father’s keen sense for flying, and even went toe-to-toe with the man who was once Anakin Skywalker during his first major space-bound dogfight (oh, and he blew up the first Death Star, too). For others, like Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell from Lost Stars or Greer Sonnel from Bloodline, simply find their calling in the cockpit because it comes naturally to them.
Go Rogue: Chapter 1, the first installment of a video series made by fans and creative network Tongal, features the debut of many new Rogue One toys. It also announces an upcoming global UGC contest where Lucasfilm will ask fans to share their “Rogue Stories” by making their own videos in contest called “Go Rogue.” Exciting enough — but more than that, it’s also completely hilarious and features sharp editing and impressive stop-motion animation. It’s a testament to the creativity of Star Wars fans, and StarWars.com is excited to present a Q&A with its talented creators and a special look behind the scenes.
The Star Wars universe is populated with a variety of interesting characters and species, many of whom are considered to be renowned warriors. Several stand out from the rest of the galaxy, including the Wookiees, Trandoshans, Tusken Raiders, and the humans of Mandalore. Each has a rugged reputation, but their ferocity in combat is tempered by the cultural imperatives present in the ancestors of their people.
In the Star Wars universe, there’s one guy who seems to pop up all over the galaxy. Starting in the 1980s, Don Bies wore many hats during his time with Industrial Light & Magic, including the title of model maker, R2-D2 puppeteer, and droid unit supervisor. Bies also makes many onscreen appearances throughout the systems. You can spot him in the crowd at the podrace on Tatooine, in the background at the club Obi-Wan and Anakin chase Zam Wesell to on Coruscant, and as Barquin D’an and Boba Fett inside Jabba’s palace in the Special Edition version of Return of the Jedi. And if that’s not enough Star Wars experience for you, Bies also co-wrote and directed the mockumentary, R2-D2: Beneath the Dome, which offered a behind-the-scenes look at R2-D2’s life story and his time on the set of Star Wars. StarWars.com e-mailed the talented Artoo wrangler to find out what it was like to go back to the set of the original films and what it takes to be both a droid unit supervisor and a most notorious bounty hunter.
Of all the risks facing astronauts on a trip to Mars, radiation generally tops the worry list. It’s long been known that venturing outside Earth’s protective magnetic field—to the moon or Mars—exposes astronauts to a steady bombardment from heavy cosmic rays that can damage DNA and increase long-term cancer risk. And that’s not even considering the acute risk of radiation sickness if space travelers were caught in a strong solar storm without some kind of shielding.
We are now in the thick of summer, and if you’re not covered up properly, you’re not going to enjoy the record heat in some areas of the sector. One can imagine that a hard lesson learned by cast and crew on the set of Star Wars movies must be that, at least once, you’ll have to prepare yourself for a desert scene (or five). Under the blistering heat of the Tunisian sun in A New Hope, crew members often took to wrapping shirts around their heads to block the sun and cool down. But for the actors and those who would follow in their footsteps, being on set was something of a different story. That story happened to be one told, in part, by the costumes they wore.
A new Celebration is just ahead of us and next to all the highly-anticipated panels, shows, and collectibles…there will be fan-made props! For the first time at a Celebration, two dedicated builder teams have joined forces for the exclusive display of props at the Star Wars Show LIVE! set! As a result of this collaboration, we’ve created a new international prop builder community: Got Props United, a place where large-scale prop builders from all over the world will join in to build even more impressive fan-made props.
You’ve probably seen the Frozen, Iron Man, and Star Wars prosthetics—intended to boost the confidence of kids with missing limbs. Now you can even meet the first man with the Luke Skywalker arm. With today’s ever-increasing technology some of these once fictional devices are making their way to real-life.
From A New Hope to The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm has continually strived to push technology and storytelling into uncharted waters. Today, Lucasfilm announced a new collaboration to continue that legacy: ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division, is joining forces with Magic Leap, the leading pioneer in Mixed Reality technology.
In the last hangar off the runway in Prineville, Oregon, Sam Bousfield locked down one of the wings to his flying car. His engineer was busy burnishing the parabolic slope of the carbon-fiber finish. Bousfield handed me half a tail wing. It floated in my hand, light as balsa wood. “Eight pounds,” he said, which, for a structural component of an airplane, is almost nothing. Off in the far side of the hangar sat his original wooden mock-up of the chassis, a three-wheeled aerodynamic lozenge right out of a manga enthusiast’s idea of a speed racer. He encouraged me to climb in and get a feel for the feng shui of the driver’s seat, the view out the windshield, the sense of balance. But what he really wanted me to see was that this thing was real—that the flying car is no longer in that jetpack realm of promising technology that never quite arrives. “I expect to take this car into the air in June,” he said.
Two hundred and thirty-five years after the Italian scientist Luigi Galvani reported that dismembered frog legs twitch in response to a static charge applied to a nerve, we are still exploring the mysteries of what he called “animal electricity,” especially in the brain. That the brain generates a bit of its own electricity, which can be detected by an electroencephalogram, or EEG, is well established, as is the fact that some neurosurgeons today sometimes use hair-thin electrodes to stimulate deep brain structures and stop Parkinson’s tremors. But scientists are now exploring a question that is, well, mind-boggling: Can low-voltage doses of electricity, transmitted through hair, skin and skull directly into particular regions of the brain, make already healthy people sharper and more alert?
The reverberations of the announcer's amplified voice fade into the darkened auditorium, and the last few cheers from the crowd are cut off by a sizzling buzz. In the center of the stage, awash in blue and purple light, a figure steps forward. Helmeted like a knight, draped in what appears to be chain mail and wielding an electric guitar, the figure plays the first few crackling chords of his set. As he does so, forked tongues of lightning reach out from two towers flanking the stage and strike him. But he doesn’t even flinch.
As research subjects, black holes have never been more luminous. But in the 1970s, the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking said that he found them vexing. Although he accepted the common wisdom that black holes were completely black, his equations showed that they emitted particles, giving off a faint glow we now call Hawking radiation. “I therefore put quite a lot of effort into trying to get rid of this embarrassing effect,” he said. “But the more I thought about it, the more it refused to go away.”
Making the cut for NASA's astronaut program isn't a prerequisite for doing outer space research. A team of students at Arizona State University have created tiny satellites that can be launched into space for as little as $1,000, hundreds of times cheaper than traditional satellites. The 3-centimeter-wide devices, called SunCube FemtoSats, could make the barrier for space research much, much lower.
Despite its hellish conditions today, Venus may once have been a welcoming world. It's just a bit smaller than Earth, and if water arrived at both planets the same way, Venus could have once hosted oceans on its surface. At some point, however, its atmosphere took off in a runaway greenhouse effect, and now surface temperatures are hot enough to melt lead.
Scientists have heard gravity’s aria for the first time. As two black holes spiraled toward each other and merged, they created ripples in the fabric of the cosmos in exactly the form physicists have predicted for a century: gravitational waves. Unveiled today during a suite of international press conferences, the signal paves the way for a whole new understanding of the universe.
My name is Michael Backus, and I’m one of the lead designers at BioWare. I’ve been working on Star Wars: The Old Republic for over seven years now. When I was asked to write something to Star Wars fans about Star Wars: The Old Republic, I jumped at the opportunity. From the outset, I wanted to give you some insight into our processes, and discuss what our influences were.
The hunt for signs of life on Mars has been on for decades, and so far scientists have found only barren dirt and rocks. Now a pair of astronomers thinks that strangely shaped minerals inside a Martian crater could be the clue everyone has been waiting for.
As one of the brightest objects in the night sky, the planet Jupiter has been a source of fascination since the dawn of astronomy. Now a cuneiform tablet dating to between 350 and 50 B.C. shows that Babylonians not only tracked Jupiter, they were taking the first steps from geometry toward calculus to figure out the distance it moved across the sky.