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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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness