News

More than eight years after his death, he’s still making headlines. This time? Because he apparently auditioned for the role of a Jedi Master

George Lucas and Mickey Mouse

How fat cats killed off Mickey Mouse

Disney is said to have overpaid for Lucasfilm's Star Wars but the money's not at the box office any more

Walt Disney buying Lucasfilm makes perfect sense for both parties - but for Star Wars fans especially

It is the loyalty of Star Wars fans that Disney has spent big bucks to purchase

Walt Disney president and CEO Bob Iger with George Lucas, right, in Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park

Hollywood's empire strikes back: Disney buys Lucasfilm, maker of Stars Wars, for $4bn

Fans can look forward to Episode 7 in the sci-fi franchise with George Lucas as consultant

Bethesda Softworks opens Battlecry Studios in Austin

Former BioWare producer Rich Vogel to head development at new studio

Now hear this! Your guide to the summer's very best audiobooks

It's an enjoyable marathon for Sue Gaisford as she spends 96 hours listening to the season's finest literary CD releases
Changes in 2002's 20th anniversary DVD release of E.T. were poorly received

A cut above the rest: Steven Spielberg to release original edit of E.T.

Director reverses changes he made for 20th anniversary DVD

Kinect Star Wars – Review

Long has been the wait for a Star Wars experience which fully incorporates those two most coveted of Jedi activities: using the force and swooshing a lightsaber. Alas, the wait goes on.

Ralph McQuarrie: Artist and Oscar-winnner best known for his designs for 'Star Wars'

Ralph McQuarrie designed several futuristic films but is best-known for visualising the landscapes of Star Wars and designing characters including Chewbacca, R2-D2 andC-3PO. It led to more "space" projects but he also worked on other science-fiction and fantasy projects and won an Oscar for Cocoon.

Some of the 'Star Wars' designs by McQuarrie

Ralph McQuarrie: Artist and Oscar-winnner best known for his designs for 'Star Wars'

Ralph McQuarrie designed several futuristic films but is best-known for visualising the landscapes of Star Wars and designing characters including Chewbacca, R2-D2 andC-3PO. It led to more "space" projects but he also worked on other science-fiction and fantasy projects and won an Oscar for Cocoon.

Last night, Steven Spielberg was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Producers Guild of America

Screen test: Take the Spielberg challenge

Test your knowledge in the big IoS quiz

Mega bites: Amanda Hocking sells on average 9,000 e-books a day

Who wants to be a Kindle millionaire?

This week an unknown US author, Amanda Hocking, joins an elite literary club alongside just 11 others – including Stieg Larsson, James Patterson and Nora Roberts – by racking up her millionth Kindle sale. Unknown is, of course, a relative term in this case (no one can shift that many books by remaining anonymous) but Hocking is unusual because she has sold all of her books via Amazon's electronic Kindle reader. Entirely self-published, her first physical book does not reach traditional bookshops until January.

Mega bites: Amanda Hocking sells on average 9,000 e-books a day

Want to be a Kindle millionaire? Write novels about trolls

A self-publishing fantasy writer has become an e-book phenomenon

The science of the trailer

A stunning teaser can make a mediocre film look like a classic, but what are the vital ingredients when making one? David Crookes finds out why a pop song can be just as key as a classy voiceover
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine