Arts and Entertainment Star Wars: Episode VII, directed by JJ Abrams, will be released in December 2015

The Lord of the Rings trilogy and James Cameron's Avatar scored huge box office numbers with a December release. Will Star Wars follow suit?

Today from i: Icons of Star Wars

Yesterday a Supreme Court copyright ruling cleared the way for Andrew Ainsworth, the UK designer who made the Star Wars stormtrooper helmets, to sell his replicas of the famed costumes.We look at other icons from the sci-fi saga that have permeated pop culture.

Supreme Court strikes back at George Lucas

A British prop designer who made the original Stormtrooper helmets for the first Star Wars film won a Supreme Court battle to continue producing replicas – but faces a damages payout to the creators of the science-fiction blockbuster.

Star Wars - When the fans hit the Sith

In a new documentary, George Lucas is accused of ruining his Star Wars franchise with poor prequels and gratuitously tweaked reissues. James Mottram reports

Agora (12A)

Hypatia of Alexandria was a historical figure, a neoplatonist philosopher of the fourth century who was torn apart by a Christian mob because of her supposed influence on the local Roman governor at a time of religious conflict.

Feel the Force: Inside Skywalker Ranch

Deep inside a Californian valley is Skywalker Ranch, the nerve centre for Star Wars and its offshoots, another of which begins tonight

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (PG)

George Lucas's never-ending sci-fi saga gets an animation makeover, which at least spares us the agony of watching perfectly decent actors sporting hideous costumes and spouting banalities to one another.

Arts: The man who was Yoda

How did an obscure scholar called Joseph Campbell inspire so much of our mass culture?

Words: gussy, v., n. and adj.

KINGSLEY AMIS often urged the dictionary habit, never let a word slip by. Chances are that many a trainbound reader of Robert Hughes's recent elegant demolition in these pages of The Phantom Menace forgot to look up what he meant by George Lucas's being "able to gussy it up with special effects that didn't exist 75 years ago".

The fandom menace

They've queued for days and nights for tickets. They claim it is the Woodstock of their generation, a symbol of the eternal triumph of good over evil. Andrew Harrison touches down in an LA riddled with `Star Wars' fever. Photographs by Robert Yager

Profile: George Lucas - The troubled emperor

HAS WORD reached you yet? Later this month, George Lucas's new film, Star Wars, Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace, will open all over America - the rest of the world to follow. The signs could hardly be more propitious. Movies playing the trailer for The Phantom Menace experienced a terrific increase in business. Many authorities are sure it will gross $100m in its first weekend; and that by the end of the summer it will have pushed Titanic into second place on the all-time box-office list. An executive at Toys'R'Us, anticipating the related merchandising, has called it "the biggest consumer-product opportunity of 1999". There goes the century.

The grand illusion

If `Star Wars' was the death of film, it must prepare to die once more. Andrew Gumbel reports from Los Angeles

The Joys of Modern Life: 23; `Star Wars'

AMERICANS ARE such lucky bastards. I've spent most of my adult life envying their huge cups of coffee, low-priced electrical equipment and 24-hour showbiz news cable channels, but I have never envied them more than I did on 17 November. Because that day, anyone in America who could take the day off work, be in line by 10.45am and pay $7 for entry to an Arab-bashing Denzel Washington film called The Siege, got to be among the first in the world to find out whether Ewan McGregor really knows what to do with a lightsabre.

Obituary: Leonard Matthews

Leonard Matthews did me a good turn, writes Jack Adrian. Thirty-odd years ago, as Editorial Director (Juveniles) at the old Fleetway Press (then the biggest fiction factory in the world), he wrenched me out of the comfy but terminally boring editor's chair of a glossy county mag (all balls, blooming Soroptimists and baying drunks in DJs) in Stoke- on-Trent to the sub's seat on Lion ("King of Story- Papers!") in swingin' London.

Film: Slug it to us

Star Wars: Special Edition George Lucas (U)

Star Wars: the bottom line

Amount paid for George Lucas's script: pounds 15,000
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