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9 items from 2001


Jackson's Purple Saber Makes Star Wars History

28 November 2001 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

George Lucas has made Star Wars history - by allowing Samuel L. Jackson to have his own personally colored light saber. Jackson plays Mace Windu in Attack Of The Clones, and, after making a special plea to the creator of the legendary sci-fi series, has secured himself a purple saber - the sword-like weapon used in the movies. Jackson explains, "I actually made a request to George, just kind of jokingly. I said, 'Everyone's got these same color light sabers, you think you can make my light saber purple?' "George said, 'No, there's red for the bad guys and blue for the good guys.' So I'm like, 'Alright, alright.' Anyway, I got there the next Monday and he's like, 'Guess what?' and he turns on this trailer and I've got a purple light saber! Yeah!" And Jackson's special treatment has created intrigue amongst Star Wars' massive band of dedicated followers. He laughs, "This has caused a huge furor in the Star Wars community. Everyone's like, 'What is the meaning of this? Why does he have a purple light?' People are gonna be asking me that now, 'Why do you have a purple light?'" »

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Jedi Makes The Census List

10 October 2001 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Scientology, author L. Ron Hubbard's creation that detractors call a "sci-fi religion," may be soon be overshadowed by George Lucas's honest-to-goodness sci-fi religion. Jedi Knight has joined mainstream religious choices - like Church of England, Hindu and Muslim - and less mainstream choices - like Scientology, Druidism and New Age - on the list of religion codes for the 2001 British census. Earlier this year, Brits were urged in an email campaign to list Jedi - the mystical way of life followed by Obi-wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies - as their religion on census forms. And the project has succeeded. Its official code is 896, placing it at #174 on a list of 177 choices, just above Heathen, Athiest and None. Though sufficient numbers of people wrote the entry in for it to be allocated its own code for the census processing team to use, officials from Britain's Office Of National Statistics are keen to note the code does not confer an official status on the religion, saying, "It is not up to us to recognise or not recognise religions." It is not yet clear how many people will declare themselves as Jedi, as the counting process is still going on. Results are to be published in Autumn 2002. »

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Ewan McGregor Terrified Of Public Appearance

4 October 2001 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Ewan McGregor is due to host a charity auction in his native Scotland, but is feeling shy about taking his place in the auction room. The Scottish actor, who is playing Obi Wan Kenobi in the second Star Wars trilogy, has agreed to host the sale in aid of the Children's Hospice Association of Scotland, which cared for his daughter Clara when she was diagnosed with meningitis. But the star, who is in Scotland promoting his new film Moulin Rouge, is feeling anxious about taking up the gavel, "I don't want to do it myself, does anyone know any good auctioneers?" Ewan has donated memorabilia from both Moulin Rouge and Star Wars to the auction. »

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Hanks Fears Hollywood Stars To Be Replaced By Robots

9 July 2001 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Tom Hanks is worried he and his Hollywood colleagues are going to be replaced - by computer-generated actors. The Oscar-winning star is concerned new technology could be used by film studious to replace humans with more compliant and cheaper electronic characters. Speaking as Hollywood prepares for the release of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within which stars Aki Ross, a computer-generated actress, Hanks says, "I am very troubled by it. But it's coming down, man. It's going to happen. And I'm not sure what actors can do about it." Aki Ross, a pretty brunette with sparkling eyes, is being hailed by Hollywood bosses as the first truly convincing digital actor. But Hanks' concerns have been rejected by Star Wars director George Lucas. He says, "I believe that I have used more digital characters than anyone else but I don't think I would ever use the computer to create a human character. It just doesn't work. You need actors to do that." And Steven Spielberg, whose current film A.I. stars Jude Law and Haley Joel Osment as robots, agrees, "It's a non-issue." »

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Hamill Checks In With Star Wars Boss

5 July 2001 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Movie star Mark Hamill called Star Wars creator George Lucas to make sure his new spoof light saber battle in Kevin Smith's comedy Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back wouldn't offend him. Hamill felt sure Lucas wouldn't agree to the spoof scene in Kevin Smith's new movie, in which Hamill, playing a colourful superhero, battles with the film's stars and was amazed when the Star Wars director said OK. Hamill says, "He just insisted that we used different colour lights at the end of the sabers. I was like, 'You mean, despite all the F-words and the pot smoking in the film, you're OK.' He was." Hamill's Star Wars co-star Carrie Fisher also appears in the new film - as a nun. »

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Freddie's Star Wars Scar

29 May 2001 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Freddie Prinze Jr. used to play Star Wars with his cousin Ricky - and has scars to prove it. When he was just five years old the Hollywood heart-throb injured his chin playing with a make-shift light sabre, and still has the marks to remind him. He recalls, "I was Luke Skywalker and he was Darth Vader. He was taking me back and we were on this jungle gym and I slid down this slide to get away from Darth Vader. The pole we were using as a light sabre hit the ground before I hit the ground and then it stuck in my chin. When it came out a big old piece of my chin came with it and my mom ran out screaming and she grabbed the piece of my chin and we rushed to the hospital. They put it back in and stitched it in and it looked like I had a beard at five years old with my stitches." »

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Australian Government Officialy Discriminates Against Jedi Knights

19 April 2001 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Australian Star Wars fans have been ordered not to list their religion as Jedi on census forms. The Australian Bureau Of Statistics has issued the warning after the launch of an e-mail campaign to have the ideology from the cult series recognized as an official religion. Enraged representatives for the government body says anyone providing false information on their census form can face a fine equivalent to $525. An e-mail widely circulated earlier claimed the Australian government would have to officially acknowledge Jedi as a 'religion' if more than 10,000 listed it on their census forms. »

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Darth Vader Goes Home

8 March 2001 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Darth Vader actor David Prowse has been released from the hospital after being struck down by a paralyzing mystery illness two weeks ago. The former champion bodybuilder was hospitalized after losing the use of his right arm - but is now raring to get to a Canadian Star Wars convention in May. The 65-year-old father-of-three, who appeared as the villain in three Star Wars movies, has been allowed home under strict orders that he must have complete rest. His spokesman says, "He is delighted to be back at home, albeit a couple of stones (28 pounds) lighter. David wants to pass on his thanks to all those who have sent him cards and letters. He has been very touched by everyone's kind thoughts." Doctors were baffled by what had caused his paralysis, but were concerned that all the air travel required by his attending Star Wars functions around the world might have been a factor. »

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Darth Vader Actor's Paralysis Spreads

1 March 2001 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Star Wars actor David Prowse's mystery paralysis has worsened, spreading to his back. The former champion bodybuilder, who played Darth Vader in the hit movie trilogy, had to be taken to the hospital last week after suddenly losing the use of his arm while on a trip to Germany. He has since been resting at the hospital in Croydon, south London, while doctors carry out tests, although they have now ruled out a stroke. His spokesman, Phil Day, says, "The paralysis he had has now spread to his back so it is not looking good at the moment." »

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9 items from 2001


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