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The new 'Star Wars' movie took a big piece of inspiration from the expanded universe


Warning: There are huge spoilers ahead if you haven't seen "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

Do not keep reading if you haven't seen the film.

kylo ren

The biggest reveal in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is the identity of Kylo Ren. 

Last chance to head back before spoilers!

kylo ren lightsaber

Towards the end of the movie, we learn Kylo Ren is actually the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa. 

If you're a big "Star Wars" fan, you probably weren't TOO surprised.

After all, Han and Leia have a few kids in the expanded universe (EU) — two boys and one girl.

However, the big twist, which probably threw fans off, was the reveal of Kylo Ren's actual name — Ben. The names of Han and Leia's kids in the EU are twins Jacen and Jaina and Anakin, named after Leia's dad. 

It's actually Luke who ends up with a son named Ben Skywalker, which honestly makes more sense because Ben/Obi-Wan Kenobi has more of an influence on Luke in the originally trilogy from a viewer's perspective.

Though Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012 rendered the "Star Wars" EU no longer canon, it looks like "The Force Awakens" is using some inspiration from one of Jacen Skywalker's most popular storylines.

darth caedus

Jacen appears in several series in the EU, but it's in the "Legacy of the Force" where he turns to the dark side and takes on the identity of Darth Caedus. 

In that series, Jacen is close with his cousin, Ben Skywalker. However, he's told in order to truly become a Sith lord he most kill someone close to him. Jacen ultimately ends up killing Ben's mother and Luke Skywalker's wife, Mara Jade.

Ben then vows to avenge his fallen mother.

There's much more to the nine book series, but those basic details look like they may have served as inspiration for "The Force Awakens."

Kylo may be a version of Jacen while Rey could very well be a genderswapped adaptation of Luke's son, Ben.

Of course, we have no clear idea who Rey is yet, but it seems very likely she could end up being Luke's daughter. Either way, it appears the new franchise could be leading to an exciting showdown between Rey and Kylo in later films.

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NOW WATCH: Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the problem with the Death Star

Universal sent 'Star Wars' an awesome congratulations for beating the 'Jurassic World' box-office record


star wars the force awakens chewbacca harrison ford han solo

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" broke multiple box-office records opening weekend. The film now holds the record for highest-grossing opening weekend with $247 million. "The Force Awakens" also debuted to a record $528 million worldwide.

Both numbers shattered records "Jurassic World" set earlier this year when it premiered in June with an unexpected $208.8 million domestic opening. It beat out Disney and Marvel's "The Avengers" which held the record since 2012.

Universal doesn't seem too upset, though.

"Jurassic World" producer Frank Marshall tweeted out the following image congratulating the cast and crew of "Star Wars" for besting the dinos at the box office. The image shows the "Jurassic World" T. rex presenting "Star Wars" droid BB-8 with a medallion.

jurassic world star wars

Previously, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige sent the following congratulations to Universal when "Jurassic World" topped the previously box-office record held by "The Avengers" since 2012.

The image shows Chris Pratt, who starred in both "Jurassic World" and Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," atop a T. rex holding Thor's mighty hammer.

Both images are a continuation of a long-standing tradition between "Star Wars" creator George Lucas and "Jurassic Park" director Steven Spielberg. The two used to take out ads to congratulate each other whenever their films surpassed each other's at the box office.

Spielberg sent out the following image after 1977's "Star Wars" beat out "Jaws" at the box office.

jaws r2 d2

When Spielberg's 1982 film "E.T."became the highest-grossing movie of the year, Lucas took out the following ad in Variety.

variety et star wars

Then when Lucas released refurbished versions of his original "Star Wars" trilogy in the '90s, Spielberg once again took out in ad in Variety after the re-release beat out "E.T." at the box office.

Here's the Variety back cover from February 1997.

e.t. star wars lucas spielberg

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NOW WATCH: A 'Star Wars' star snuck into showings of 'The Force Awakens,' and fans flipped out

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains what 'Star Wars' gets right about science


The original "Star Wars" movies are one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises of our time. But one thing they are not known for is their scientific accuracy. However, Neil deGrasse Tyson found one thing from the movies get right, even if only by accident.

Produced by Darren Weaver and Kamelia AngelovaAdditional production by Kevin Reilly.

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StarTalk Radio
 is a podcast and radio program hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, where comic co-hosts, guest celebrities, and scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the
 universe. Follow StarTalk Radio on Twitter, and watch StarTalk Radio "Behind the Scenes" on YouTube.

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Here's everything leaving Netflix in January that you need to watch


gladiator joaquin phoenix

With 2016 soon upon us, it looks like the Netflix deals for a lot of classic titles end the first of January.

“Rocky” 1-5, "The Bourne Identity" (and "Supremacy"), “The Graduate,” "Gladiator,"“A Clockwork Orange,” “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," "Jerry Maguire,” “Rosemary's Baby,” "Lawrence of Arabia,"“Serpico” — there’s a lot to binge before the year is up. At least now you have a plan while spending time with family over the holidays.

Below are all the titles. We’ve bolded some we suggest you watch — again, or for the first time ever.


SEE ALSO: Everything coming to Netflix in January

Leaving 1/1/16

“A Clockwork Orange”
“Almost Famous”
“American Psycho”
“American Psycho 2”
“The Bourne Identity”
“The Bourne Supremacy”
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005)
“Coach Carter”
“Conan the Barbarian”
“Corpse Bride”
“Coyote Ugly”
“Four Brothers”
“The Graduate”
“Grandma's Boy”
“Harriet the Spy”
“The Hours”
“The Italian Job” (2003)
“Jackass: The Movie”
“Jerry Maguire”
“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”
“Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life”
“Lawrence of Arabia”: Restored Version
“The Longest Yard” (2005)
“The Machinist”
“Million Dollar Baby”

Leaving 1/1/16 (cont.)

“Mission: Impossible”
“Mission: Impossible II”
“The Patriot”
“Planes, Trains and Automobiles”
“Rambo: First Blood”
“Rambo: First Blood Part II”
“Rambo III”: Ultimate Edition
“The Rescuers”
“Risky Business”
“Rocky II”
“Rocky III”
“Rocky IV”
“Rocky V”
“Rosemary's Baby”
“The Sum of All Fears”
“There Will Be Blood”
“Trading Places”
“The Virgin Suicides”

Leaving 1/4/16

“James and the Giant Peach”
“The Aristocats”
“The Fox and the Hound”
“The Great Mouse Detective”
“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
“The Rescuers Down Under”
“The Tigger Movie”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Harrison Ford was reportedly paid 50 times more than the rest of the 'Star Wars' cast


han solo star wars

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opened December 18 and has been breaking box-office records worldwide. But recently people have been buzzing less about the ticket sale numbers, and more about the the zeros in the actors' paychecks.

The Daily Mail reported Saturday that Ford will earn a whopping $34 million for reprising his role as Han Solo in "The Force Awakens." However, Variety reporter Justin Kroll corrected this number on Monday evening. "A Disney insider tells Variety the story is completely false and way too high,"Kroll writes. "But other sources did confirm that the 73-year-old actor earned a substantially larger cut than his co-stars."

The real figure, as per Variety's sources, was somewhere between $10 to 20 million — still a significant sum.

Ford's costars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega were both paid in the "low-six-figure range ($100-300k)"according to Variety. Though the Daily Mail report was extreme, the Variety report still puts Ford at potentially earning 50 times more than Ridley and Boyega.

The pay gap could be explained by both Ridley and Boyega's lack of previous roles in huge blockbuster movies. Ford, along with the original cast members Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were all given salaries in the seven-figure range due to their longer careers, especially within the "Star Wars" franchise. 

star wars force awakens trailer

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Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' is the best, most thoughtful Western movie in ages


the hateful 8 2

Early on in “The HatefulEight,” John Ruth (Kurt Russell) keeps repeating the line “slow like molasses.” Later on, another character informs his gang that their mission is going to take patience.

This describes “The HatefulEight” well, too: It deserves your patience. 

“The HatefulEight,” the latest film by Quentin Tarantino, shows the very odd path that one of the greatest living filmmakers has decided to take. While many directors start out conventional and then experiment once they have clout, Tarantino has abandoned much of the nonlinear storytelling on which he made his name (with "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction") for something more traditional.

But when Tarantino does traditional, he does it on his own terms.

“The HatefulEight” takes place in the Wild West not long after the Civil War. Union veteran Major Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) is picked up by a stagecoach carrying Kurt Russell's bounty hunter Ruth, who is transporting the wildly unpredictable Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to stand trial. During a harsh Wyoming blizzard, the three of them get stranded in a nearby cabin.

Hateful Eight

There's no doubt that “The HatefulEight” is epic — from the gorgeous 70 mm photography to the stunning mountain vistas, it demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible. But it really only has one or two locations. It's one of the most intimate epics I've ever seen, which allows Tarantino to focus on the characters even more than the visuals. Seriously, this could have been a play and it would have been just as good. 

“The HatefulEight” boasts a perfect ensemble. From Bruce Dern to Tim Roth, the actors make Tarantino’s layered dialogue truly sing. Meanwhile, Leigh, who spends a majority of the movie covered in blood like some outlaw version of Carrie, sometimes feels like the villain and other times like the hero. You kind of want to root for everybody in the cast at certain times, even though they are all terrible people in their own unique ways.

The actors mitigate some flaws in the script. Yes, Tarantino likes to keep us waiting, but the first act feels more like stalling than buildup. Tarantino is exploring new territory, and sure, the Wyoming landscape looks stunning, but it isn’t until the characters are together that the film kicks off. 

Hateful Eight

Once it does, there's plenty of brilliance to go around.

Tarantino is a skilled manipulator who can fill the viewer with many contradictory emotions. There are a few spurts of violence here that caused me to burst into uncontrollable laughter, while others in the audience weren't sure how to feel. Tarantino doesn’t go for the big emotional gut punch; he goes for confusion and ambiguity instead. Thanks to a creepy piano in the background, as well as Ennio Morricone’s fantastic score, certain scenes are brimming with tension even without the bloodshed.

In a way, Tarantino has been making Westerns his whole life, so it's fitting that he's doubled down on the genre. “The HatefulEight” isn’t a comeback for Westerns (which didn’t exactly die), but it's the most thoughtful entry in ages. Tarantino contrasts the harshness of nature with the brutality of mankind. “The HatefulEight” is really about America trying to put together its pieces after the Civil War, and there are few better places to show that than in the wide-open frontier. In watching a group of people try to build civilization out of savagery, “The HatefulEight” is the most optimistic film the director has ever made. 

Hateful Eight

This could also be Tarantino’s safest film yet, despite the many insanely violent outbursts. The small scale makes it feel like he's returning to his roots. Some might accuse him of stealing from both himself and others, but Tarantino likes to use the familiar in order to lure you into something bold and different.

And sure, maybe the first half is a bit weaker than the second. But even after the first half ended, I knew that one viewing of “The HatefulEight” would not be enough.

"The Hateful Eight" will be out in theaters on December 25, 2015.

SEE ALSO: Quentin Tarantino reveals his two favorite scenes he's ever written

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NOW WATCH: Adam Savage from 'MythBusters' has an incredible connection to the 'Star Wars' franchise

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' breaks Monday box-office record with $40.1 million


the force awakens daisy john

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" continued its history-setting ride at the Monday box office, grossing $40.1 million from 4,134 theaters in North America to crush the previous daily record set by "Spider-Man 2" in summer 2004 with $27.7 million.

Buoyed by many kids and college students being out of school, J.J. Abrams' tentpole finished the day with $288.1 million in domestic ticket sales and $610.8 million worldwide. It will race past the $300 million mark in North America sometime on Tuesday.

"Spider-Man 2" took in $27.7 million on the Monday following July 4th, when many people were on holiday. The biggest non-holiday Monday belongs to this summer's "Jurassic World" with $25.3 million. As a way of comparison, Force Awakens came in nearly 40 percent of "Spider-Man 2" and more than 25 percent ahead of "Jurassic World."

Over the weekend, "Force Awakens" launched to a stunning $248 million domestically and $529 globally, wresting the crown from "Jurassic World," which opened to $208.8 million domestically and $524 million globally.

Its performance so far is a major victory for Iger and Disney's film studio. “Our sole focus has been creating a film that delivers that one-of-a-kind "Star Wars" experience, and director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and the Lucasfilm team have outdone themselves,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement.

Abrams' sequel, set 30 years after the events of "Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi," features a strong female heroine in Rey, a young scavenger played by newcomer Daisy Ridley. Rey and a renegade stormtrooper (John Boyega) band together to challenge a rising evil that includes a new planet-killing laser cannon.

The film also stars Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o and Domhnall Gleeson, along with original trilogy stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.

At this rate, there's no telling how high "Force Awakens" will ultimately fly in terms of box-office revenue, since films over the year-end holidays can see huge multiples. James Cameron's "Avatar" opened to $77 million on the same weekend in 2009 on its way to becoming the top-grossing film of all time with $2.79 billion in global ticket sales, including $760.5 million domestically. And on the weekend before Christmas in 1996, Cameron's "Titanic" took in a mere $28.6 million on its way to grossing $2.19 billion worldwide.

"Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip" came in No. 2 with $2.9 million from 3,653 theaters for a four-day domestic total of $17.2 million for 20th Century Fox. Universal's raunchy, R-rated comedy "Sisters," starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, followed with an estimated $2.5 million from 2,961 locations for a four-day domestic total of $16.5 million.

SEE ALSO: Universal sent "Star Wars" and awesome congratulations for beating the "Jurassic World" box-office record

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Here's what everyone in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' was reportedly paid — from the highest to the lowest


the force awakens star wars box office

With "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"shattering box-office records over the weekend, the inevitable question now is how much did everyone in the movie get paid?

Variety looked into the question, and what it found is that seniority in a galaxy far, far away certainly helped at the negotiating table — especially for Harrison Ford.

We broke down the reported figures for all the main actors here:

SEE ALSO: The new 'Star Wars' movie took a big piece of inspiration from the expanded universe

Harrison Ford: $10 million to $20 million

There's a report by the Daily Mail that Ford had a $25 million payday to return as Han Solo, but according to the studio insiders Variety spoke to, that's untrue. But there's no disputing that Ford walked away with the biggest check of the actors. A big reason for that is [SPOILER ALERT] this is ol' Han's final appearance in the "Star Wars" saga. But it also clearly has something to do with Ford's stardom and experience relative to his costars.

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher: Low seven-figures

Though neither had a lot of screen time in "The Force Awakens," both had salaries in the millions for the movie, and those will rise as their involvement in the upcoming films grows. According to Variety, Disney instituted a "legacy pay scale" in 2014 before casting the new roles so talent from the original trilogy would have a bump compared to the new actors.

Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac: Mid-to-high six-figures

From the new cast, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac reportedly landed on the high side for salaries. This is because of their previous TV and movie work, which gives them fixed rates. Isaac has been in "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "Ex Machina," among others. Driver has worked on "Lincoln," HBO's "Girls," and more.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

THEN AND NOW: The original 'Star Wars' cast 38 years later


star wars luke leia han solo

The first movie installment of "Star Wars" premiered in 1977, and anticipation for each new sequel and prequel has snowballed ever since.

With "The Force Awakens" being released, many of the films' beloved original actors — including Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher — are reprising their roles. But others won't be around for Episode VII.

So what's everybody from the original three "Star Wars" movies been up to in the past 38 years? Scroll through to find out.

THEN: Harrison Ford was working as a carpenter to supplement his flailing acting career. But after "Star Wars: A New Hope" came out, he rocketed to stardom.

He knew director George Lucas because they worked together on "American Graffiti." Ford was helping stand in for screen tests while other actors auditioned. To his surprise, Lucas offered him the part without even telling him he was up for it.

Source: Business Insider

NOW: Ford is a bona-fide A-list movie star and playing Han Solo again.

The first three "Star Wars" films put Ford on the map. Since then, he starred in the "Indiana Jones" movie franchise and plenty of other films from the 1980s until today. He recently returned to the action genre in "The Expendables" and its sequel.

Most importantly, though, he's reprising his role as Han Solo in "The Force Awakens." Fans around the world lost it when he appeared at the end of an early teaser to say to his Wookiee sidekick, "Chewie, we're home."

THEN: Carrie Fisher had had some small roles, but was predominantly known as the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds until being cast in "Star Wars: A New Hope."

In her feature-film debut, she had a small but memorable role as a rambunctious teen in the Warren Beatty vehicle "Shampoo" in 1975. She landed "Star Wars" two years later.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

It turns out most Americans agree that 'Die Hard' is not a Christmas movie


die hard 20th Century Fox

Americans have decided on one of the country's most heated cinematic debates: "Die Hard" is not a Christmas movie.

That's the opinion of 62% of Americans who responded to a new Christmas-themed national poll of voters from Public Policy Polling. Only 13% of respondents believed Bruce Willis' pivotal 1988 action movie can be considered a Christmas movie.

"Americans have spoken and have an emphatic message: Die Hard is not a Christmas movie," PPP director Tom Jensen wrote.

Why this is even a debate: "Die Hard" is a popular, if slightly unconventional, pick around this time of year for Christmas-related viewing. It's recommended over and over again alongside more obvious picks like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Home Alone." Business Insider even put "Die Hard" on our list of the 12 best holiday movies ever.

The primary reason for this is that "Die Hard" takes place over Christmas. New York Police Department officer John McClane (Willis) tries to save his wife and others who are taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas office party.

die hard bruce willisEven though he admits the plotline doesn't have that much more to do with the holiday, MovieFone writer Drew Taylor argued in his article, "Why 'Die Hard' Is the Greatest Christmas Movie Ever Made," that the film expresses certain notable Christmas motifs:

During the course of the movie, McClane is transformed. When he emerges, bloodied and burnt, at the end of the movie, his wife can barely recognize him. And how does she address him? "Jesus Christ," the kid whose birth we're ostensibly celebrating on Christmas Day. But his transformation is also spiritual. At the end of the movie, you get the sense that he's recommitted to being a fully present parent (and there is some evidence to suggest that he followed through, at least in the second movie).

Maybe, as time passes, more people will come to see Taylor's point and "Die Hard" will become widely accepted in the US as a Christmas classic like "A Christmas Carol" and "Miracle on 34th St."

But for now, Americans are pretty clearly against categorizing "Die Hard" as a Christmas movie.

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 10 best movies of 2015

MORE: RANKED: The 10 best TV shows of 2015

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NOW WATCH: The most popular Christmas traditions have nothing to do with Jesus

I can't shake this totally believable theory about the new 'Star Wars' villain


Warning: There are spoilers ahead if you haven't seen "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

There's still a lot we don't know about after seeing the new "Star Wars" movie. One of the biggest mysteries surrounds the new villain, Supreme Leader Snoke.

kylo ren

Since the moment I saw the character on screen, I've only had one thought about who Snoke could be: Darth Plagueis, the Sith Lord mentioned back in "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith."

It was my gut feeling when I saw him on screen last Tuesday evening at a screening, and it's something my brother, a big "Star Wars" fan, and I have been discussing ever since.

But Plagueis died a long time ago, right? I'll explain.

Let's lay out the evidence.

Who is Darth Plagueis?

anakin emperor palpatine

Plagueis was a Sith Lord and the master to Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious. The important thing to know about him is that Plagueis was studying immortality and supposedly figured out how to conquer death.

Do you see where I'm going here?

In "Revenge of the Sith," Palpatine recounts the story of Plagueis to a young, troubled Anakin Skywalker.

From the clip:

Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side,he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.

Forget the stuff about the midi-chlorians and focus on the latter part of that sentence.

Palpatine says Plagueis was the only one who ever learned to conquer death. The problem: He was killed by his apprentice, Darth Sidious/Palpatine.

But what if he wasn't killed?

Maybe Plagueis was so well-versed in immortality that he either (1) figured out a way to fake his death or (2) figured out a way to bring himself back to life.

It's becoming a pretty popular Reddit theory.

Here's how one fan thinks it could have happened:

You create an illusion, or do die and self-resurrect, or are just gravely injured and able to heal using the Force. Now, as an injured/resurrected Sith Lord, you know you can't return and face your old apprentice one-on-one because he'll kick the crap out of you. However, you can watch from the shadows as he eliminates the Jedi Order, builds up the Empire, draws out the Son of Skywalker, and self-destructs, leaving you the perfect opportunity to swoop in, corral the Empire's remnants, and take control of the galaxy without needing to do any real legwork. Then, knowing Luke is the most powerful (and still living) Force user out there, you find a weak point you can exploit to take control of that power--what better than a disenchanted, emo youth of the same bloodline? Turn that youth to the Dark Side, bring down the new Jedi Order from within, and move your pieces into checkmate position.

Seems completely plausible and would tie nicely into the prequels. A thread like that would actually give them some on-going relevance.

What we know about Snoke

Not much!

Unlike his hologram in the film, he's not a giant. Snoke is over 7 feet tall and extremely thin. Many have taken that to mean he may be a member of the Muun, the same species as Plagueis.

Snoke has an awful head scar.

According to book, "The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Snoke was originally supposed to be female. That's one piece of information which throws a wrench into my thoughts. Let's leave that thought aside for now because it sounds like it was in an earlier draft and was changed.

Is Snoke Plagueis?

This is what I've been grappling with.

It would help explain that nasty scar on his head if Palpatine tried to/did kill him and he came back from the grave.

The reason I first thought Snoke was Plagueis was because I knew I had seen a similar face before the moment Snoke came on screen.

While I don't have any images of Snoke, here are a few images of Plagueis from toys and books. Tell me they don't look like Snoke:


Here's what comes up when you Google image search Plagueis:

plagueis google

Here's the cover of 2012's best-selling book on the Sith Lord. The cover, showing Palpatine kneeling before Plagueis, is reminiscent of scenes of Kylo Ren before Snoke in "The Force Awakens":

darth plageuis cover

I'm aware the book is outside of "Star Wars" canon, but we know "The Force Awakens" is taking inspiration from the expanded universe in the new films. Just look at Kylo Ren's character.

How many tall, thin, creepy men can you have lurking around in the "Star Wars" universe?

Another Reddit user pointed out that the theme music for Snoke eerily matches a lot of the music used when Palpatine discusses Plagueis.

Here's Snoke's theme from "The Force Awakens":

And here's the music from the Plagueis scene in "Episode III":

But my brother then pointed out that that tune is a pretty general theme used for any Sith.

The best example of that, which I can't find a clip of, is from "Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones," when Count Dooku meets up with Emperor Palpatine near the end of the film. Here's a compilation of the Emperor's theme music which has some undertones of the Snoke theme.

Let's say he's not Plagueis

Who could he be? Are we to believe he's just some random new addition to the film? It seems that General Leia Organa may have had some knowledge about who he was. Was Snoke a former ally who turned to the dark side?

The only other plausible theory I've seen is that he could be Emperor Palpatine, who figured out how to cheat death himself. I'm just not buying that one. It sounds pretty silly, but Palpatine does tell Anakin in "Episode III" that Plagueis taught his apprentice — Palpatine — everything he knew. Did he also teach Palpatine about saving others from death? Maybe. But Palpatine had his time. Right?

emperor palpatine

But he has to be Plagueis ... right?

Here's the one thing my brother keeps saying to me: "Star Wars" is supposed to be a poem. He's right. Lucas has said the movies are supposed to rhyme. "You see the echo of where it all is gonna go," Lucas says in a compilation video. "It's like poetry, sort of. They rhyme."

While I know Lucas is no longer involved in the new films, from what we've seen so far, it looks like Disney is trying to honor the past films — even the prequel series — by having connections to the earlier works. It's one reason why Episode VII feels so familiar.

Things have always been mentioned in earlier "Star Wars" films which don't make sense until later. The Plagueis comment, while it mostly explains where Anakin came from and hints at Palpatine's true identity, could have more meaning.

It makes more sense to bring a character full circle — someone who has been pulling the strings with the Skywalker lineage since Anakin — then to tack on a new character.

When Disney purchased Lucasfilm, they did get treatment scripts for the next three films, meaning that they would know who Lucas may have had in mind for the film's next Sith Lord. Maybe that was the return of Plagueis.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A 'Star Wars' star snuck into showings of 'The Force Awakens,' and fans flipped out

Jennifer Lawrence saves her latest Oscar-hopeful movie 'Joy' from being a total disaster


Joy 20th Century Fox final

There are a couple things we know about director David O. Russell. He's fueled by dysfunction, and, more recently, the talents of Jennifer Lawrence.

Dysfunction has been in his storytelling (likely) all his life. Sometimes his stories have been hits ("Flirting with Disaster") and other times misses ("I Heart Huckabees"). But now with the addition of Lawrence, even if he's off the mark, the effort is still a worthwhile experience.

"Joy" is not Russell at his finest. But teaming with Lawrence for the third consecutive time (previously "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle"), he gives the story completely over to his lead's abilities — and it saves the movie.

Lawrence plays the real-life Joy Mangano, a divorcee who still lives with her ex (Édgar Ramírez) and their two kids, along with her mother (Virginia Madsen), grandmother (Diane Ladd), and father (Robert De Niro). Barely able to make ends meet, she's also faced with solving the problems of everyone under her roof.

Joy FoxAlways inventing things since she was a child, Joy grabs onto that million-dollar idea every inventor dreams of. While mopping up broken glass and cutting up her hands wringing it out, she comes up with the revolutionary "Miracle Mop." It would become one of the biggest hits on the newly created QVC channel (run by Neil, played matter-of-factly by Bradley Cooper).

Family turmoil continues, Joy gets hustled by her manufacturer, and basically Joy can't catch a break until she fights back, and that's when Lawrence shines.

From insisting on wearing a casual white blouse and slacks on QVC (instead of a dress) to a Michael Corleone-like showdown with her half-sister, Lawrence plays Joy as a headstrong woman who has vowed not to end up like her mother, watching soap operas all day in bed.

Joy YouTube Fox final"Joy" is not a true biopic, as once Russell got involved in the project he reworked the script heavily and combined many female entrepreneur rags-to-riches stories into his Joy. But that's standard operating procedure for Russell.

Though the cast is great on paper and Russell has been successful with recent ensembles, outside of some strong scenes between Lawrence and De Niro, there are few highlights for the whole group.

Then again, this was always Lawrence's show. "Joy" is as much a movie about the actress standing her ground in the Hollywood system that regards women as second-class as it is a look at a female entrepreneur taking on the world.

"Joy" opens in theaters everywhere on Christmas Day.

SEE ALSO: Meet Jennifer Lawrence's small but powerful squad that's taking over Hollywood

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The trailer for Richard Linklater's long-awaited 'sequel' to 'Dazed and Confused' is here


everybody wants some final

In 2013, director Richard Linklater told the world that he was starting work on a "spiritual sequel" to his 1993 film, the cult hit "Dazed and Confused." 

Now titled "Everybody Wants Some," that movie's trailer premiered on Tuesday, and it looks very similar to "Dazed" indeed, and not just because of the cast of unknowns running around getting drunk and partying.

As "Dazed and Confused" looked at life for high school teens in the late 1970s, "Everybody Wants Some" is set in the 1980s and explores a group of college kids getting their first taste of adulthood. And if the trailer is any indication, its plot will have a similarly loose, fun shape, with the characters often simply hanging out.

The title of the new film would seem to be a nod to the Van Halen song, which plays in the trailer. Here's hoping for a soundtrack that's as great as the one featured in "Dazed and Confused" (but here's also hoping that, as with "Dazed," the title song is curiously left out).

"Everybody Wants Some" opens April 15, 2016.

Watch the trailer:


SEE ALSO: The 50 most successful movies of 2015

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NOW WATCH: Scientists discovered the dirtiest places on an airplane

Everyone is obsessed with these 2 ‘Star Wars’ theories about the movie’s deepest mystery


"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is finally here and we have so many questions! But none bigger than this one, these theories, though, could help. WARNING: Spoilers!

Produced By Matt Johnston & Kirsten Acuna. Video courtesy of Disney and Lucasfilm.
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How Oscar Isaac went from being a ska musician in Florida to a lead in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'


star wars the force awakens poe dameron

Oscar Isaac is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood right now and he's only about to get bigger. 

Often compared to 1970s movie stars like Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, Isaac has become known in the past few years for churning out dark, brilliant performances in "Drive,""Inside Llewyn Davis," and 2014's "A Most Violent Year".

2015 has already been a stellar year for 36-year-old actor.

After an excellent performance in sci-fi indie "Ex Machina" and a lead role in HBO miniseries "Show Me a Hero," Isaac has his first blockbuster role in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

With an upcoming role in next year's "X-Men" sequel on the horizon, it looks Isaac is truly about to become a huge movie star. 

See how Oscar Isaac went from class troublemaker to future blockbuster star.

Oscar Isaac Hernandez was born in 1979 in Guatemala. His family left and moved all around the United States before finally settling in Miami.

Source: Details

Isaac shortened his name as a young actor in Miami to avoid being cast as the "Latino Gangster.""Being called Oscar Hernández in Miami is like being called John Smith; there are 15 pages of us in the phone book." said Isaac in 2014.

Source: The Telegraph

As a kid, he frequently got into trouble. In the seventh grade, Isaac was expelled from private school for many reasons, one of them being that he broke into somebody's ranch who bordered his school, and pet the animals.

Isaac liked to cause trouble at his private grade school when he was growing up. “I set off a fire extinguisher in the gym, defaced a mural, just stupid stuff,” he told The Globe And Mail in an interview.

Source: Details

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Pirated screener of 'The Hateful Eight' is traced back to a top Hollywood executive


Hateful Eight

A copy of the new Quentin Tarantino movie "The Hateful Eight" that leaked online earlier this week has been linked to a top Hollywood film executive, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Andrew Kosove, co-CEO of production-finance company Alcon Entertainment, was sent the “screener” copy of "Hateful Eight" for year-end awards consideration. That copy was signed for by an office assistant and later shared online, where it is now circulating on multiple file-sharing sites. Sources say officials with the FBI, working in conjunction with distributor The Weinstein Co., have been able to pinpoint Kosove's copy of the film as the source of the leak from a watermark on the DVD sent to him. FBI agents are visiting Alcon’s Century City headquarters Tuesday to determine the chain of custody of the DVD and who is responsible for its uploading. Alcon is cooperating fully in the investigation.

"I've never seen this DVD," Kosove tells THR in an interview. "It's never touched my hands. We're going to do more than cooperate with the FBI. We're going to conduct our own investigation to find out what happened."

Indeed, it is likely that Kosove is a victim in this leak rather than the perpetrator. Another employee at Alcon could have obtained and uploaded the DVD, or someone who either was given the screener or stole it could be responsible. Regardless, between 200,000 and 600,000 downloads of the film, depending on various reports, occurred the first day it was available online. Physical copies of "Hateful Eight" have been seen for sale on street corners in China and other markets.

According to a “Web Watch” report produced in response to the leak and shared with THR, an office assistant named "Tom" signed for the DVD at Alcon's offices. Later, a hacker or hackers identifying themselves as Hive-CM8 uploaded the Hateful Eight file after attempting to remove watermark technology from the DVD, which was manufactured by Deluxe. A message posted in a file-sharing chat room stated "Hateful Eight" was “one of 40” current movies that would be uploaded by Hive-CM8. “Will do all of them one after another … started with the hottest title of the year. Others will follow.”

Jennifer Jason Leigh The Hateful Eight Andrew Cooper
Movie screeners are a Hollywood tradition during the annual awards season. It’s generally accepted that a distributor is all but required to send screeners to the voting members of the Academy, Screen Actors Guild and other awards bodies if a film hopes to garner nominations for Oscars, SAG Awards and other accolades.

But over the past decade, as file-sharing services have proliferated, screeners have leaked online with greater frequency. In 2003, the MPAA briefly banned studios from sending out screeners in response to the problem. That policy didn’t last, but in 2004, the Academy voted to expel member Carmine Caridi, a 70-year-old actor who appeared in "The Godfather," after he admitted sending copies of movies in the awards race to a friend in Chicago. (Films that popped up online were traced back to Caridi's screeners.) Later, an Illinois man was arrested for allegedly duping Caridi into turning over his screeners; the man eventually pleaded guilty to copyright infringement.

In more recent years, screeners of several top movies have leaked online. The most damage can be caused to films that are not in general release when screeners are shared. "Hateful Eight"— a highly-anticipated $70 million Western starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell, which opens in limited release Friday and goes wide Dec. 31 — falls into that category. So does "The Revenant," another big-budget film whose screener leaked online earlier this week. That film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu, opens in limited release Friday and expands nationwide Jan. 8. It’s unclear if Kosove’s screener is the source of that leak as well.  

The RevenantAlcon, the film financier and production company backed by FedEx founder Fred Smith, is perhaps best known for the 2009 smash "The Blind Side." The company, which has distribution deal at Warner Bros, is run by Kosove (who was nominated for a best picture Oscar for producing "Blind Side") and co-CEO Broderick Johnson.

Alcon’s latest movie, a $100 million remake of the 1991 Kathryn Bigelow action-thriller "Point Break," is set to hit U.S. theaters on Friday. Kosove says he is "furious" at the leak of his DVD, which he says is a symbol of widespread online "theft" of films. "It's not an issue of just one movie," he says. "This is a threat to an entire industry."

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 10 best movies of 2015

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NOW WATCH: Everyone is obsessed with these 2 ‘Star Wars’ theories about the movie’s deepest mystery

Why one of the biggest scenes from the 'Star Wars' trailers didn't make it into the movie


Warning: There are spoilers ahead!

If you've seen "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" you're probably aware some of the best sequences from the trailers didn't make it into the final film.

One of those scenes is this one, which shows the pirate alien Maz Kanata handing off Anakin/Luke Skywalker's lightsaber to General Leia Organa.

lightsaber star wars force awakens

It was seen in the second official teaser for the movie in which a voice-over from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) tells viewers the force is strong in his family. He has it. His sister has it (cue above image), and some other unmentioned figure (most likely Rey) has it, too.

The above scene was supposed to occur shortly after the First Order attack on Maz Kanata's palace. Maz was supposed to head back to the Resistance base with Han, Chewie, and Finn and hand over the famed lightsaber to its owner's sister.

leia organa star wars

Why didn't it make it into the final cut?

Director J.J. Abrams just didn't think it was necessary.

That was a scene actually filmed, but we took out," Abrams told Entertainment Weekly after a Writers Guild of America screening and Q&A for the film. "At one point, Maz used to continue along with the characters back to the Resistance base, but we realized that she really had nothing to do there of value, except to have her sitting around."

"Lupita did film scenes on set for that sequence, but it felt like going right just to go left, and it was unnecessary. So we ended up leaving those things out," he continued. 

When the scene was included in the April trailer, Abrams said it was still in the movie.

"The moment was nice and the people who cut the trailer didn’t give a s–-," he joked to EW.

You can check out the 30 minute Q&A with Abrams and "The Force Awakens" screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan below.

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NOW WATCH: Everyone is obsessed with these 2 ‘Star Wars’ theories about the movie’s deepest mystery

Here's why Will Smith's new movie 'Concussion' can legally use NFL logos without the league's consent


will smith concussion

"Concussion," out Friday, stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian doctor who discovered the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, better known as CTE, which has become a hot-button topic related to football in the past few years. More and more of the game's players (from professional to recreational) have described having symptoms associated with CTE. In "Concussion," Omalu attempts to raise awareness of the disease as the NFL tries to cover it up.

For the sake of authenticity, the movie is filled with shots of boardrooms with the NFL logo and authentic team logos prominently displayed.

concussion_NFL_skitch finalNFL is clearly not outwardly endorsing a movie that shows it attempting to sweep away an issue that could cripple its business. So why is "Concussion" legally allowed to show copyrighted material without the league's consent?

According to entertainment lawyer Michael C. Donaldson, as long as the use of the NFL trademark and team logos does not in and of itself disparage or misrepresent the brands, there is no need to ask for permission.

Donaldson, who has over 30 years of experience in copyright and entertainment issues, told Business Insider the NFL "browbeat a lot of people into paying fees that don't have to be paid." He added: "They extract those fees from filmmakers who are either nervous or not completely aware of their rights under the law."

Donaldson gave this example in how to understand trademark law:

"It's all right to say, 'This Coca-Cola tastes awful.' You can say, 'I hate Coca-Cola.' What you can't say is something that misrepresents it, such as you drink a Coke and you drop dead and someone says, 'That happens all the time.'"

What causes the confusion, Donaldson said, is what goes on at the networks. Because they air NFL games, they have broadcast rights. You may notice the disclaimer during games that says in part, "Any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent is prohibited."

"So people think, 'Oh, the networks pay for the use of logos, obviously I have to,'" Donaldson said.

But that is different from trademark rights.

For example, in this scene in "Concussion," the NFL logo is prominently shown as a backdrop during a news conference:

concussion_NFL_2_skitch finalBut because the logo is shown in a way that does not misrepresent its real-life use, the depiction is completely legal.

The issue of using material copyrighted by the NFL also came up earlier this year during the premiere of HBO's new show "Ballers," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as an NFL player turned agent. As with "Concussion," the show uses the NFL logo and team logos throughout.

In the opening scene of "Ballers," we see Johnson's character, Spencer Strasmore, having flashbacks from his days on the gridiron as a Miami Dolphin. He's wearing a Dolphins uniform with the team's logo in plain view. He's chasing down a Buffalo Bills quarterback, whose helmet logo is also clearly visible.

ballers logo finalDonaldson said the show's depiction was legal.

According to Donaldson's partner at his practice, Chris Perez, the show can go even further, and the NFL could still not have a case.

"One thing that we can say for sure about players in the NFL in the last few years is that fights happen on the field every so often and then they get broken up by referees or coaches," Perez said. "Players have engaged in domestic violence and then been convicted of that, and NFL players have committed murder. So you can create a show that uses NFL logos and create a fictional situation where all of those things happen."

Later in that episode, the show does depict a player in a negative light. A fictional star receiver for the Green Bay Packers, Ricky Jerret (John David Washington), gets into an altercation with another man at a nightclub and beats him to the ground in front of everyone.

ballers12Though the NFL surely doesn't like that scene, Perez says the show is within its rights to air it.

"Where you can get into trouble," Perez said, "is portraying how the NFL reacts to it. The response has to be consistent to how the NFL would react in real life."

According to Donaldson, if there were a scene in which someone playing the NFL commissioner held a news conference and said the NFL wanted players to get into fights at bars, the show would "get into big trouble." (The NFL had "no comment" for this story.)

Jerret's actions in the episode do not go unpunished. Following the altercation, with the Packers logo in full view, we see the general manager say "cut him."

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 10 best movies of 2015

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NOW WATCH: Forget 'True Detective' — HBO's new show 'Ballers' featuring The Rock looks like the hit of the summer

Jennifer Lawrence was told she was 'too pretty' for the role that made her famous


Jennifer Lawrence's breakout role was in 2010's "Winter's Bone." It was the role that earned her fame, as well as her first Oscar nomination.

However, she almost didn't get the part because producers thought she was "too pretty."

In a recent interview on NPR's "Fresh Air," host Terry Gross asked her about it. 

"Well they... turned me down and then they moved casting to New York, and I put myself on a red-eye to just show up to casting the next day in New York," Lawrence explained. 

This ended up helping her in a big way.

"So that always helps. Red-eye. Not showering. No makeup. Eventually they went, 'Oh, she's right. She's not cute!'" she said. 

Her persistence paid off, as she ended up getting the role.

You can see Lawrence in the upcoming movie "Joy," which comes out in theaters on December 25th.

Story by Ian Phillips and editing by Andrew Fowler

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RANKED: Every Quentin Tarantino movie from best to worst


the hateful 8 1

Since his feature debut "Reservoir Dogs" came out in 1992, Quentin Tarantino has established himself as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time — if not always the most varied.

From "Pulp Fiction" to "Django Unchained," his style is defined by a mix of shocking violence and humor.

His latest film, "The Hateful Eight," comes out on Christmas Day. At long last, Tarantino decided to do a full-blown, traditional (or traditional-ish) western.

But where does "The Hateful Eight" fit in with the rest of his filmography?

Here is a ranking of all of Tarantino's films, starting from the worst and going to the best. But hey, even the worst ones are still pretty great:

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 10 best movies of 2015

9. "Death Proof" (2007)

Tarantino’s worst outing as a director requires some context. “Death Proof” was one half of “Grindhouse” (the other was Robert Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror”), an experimental double feature meant to recreate the experience of the schlocky B-movies of the 1970s.

The problem with “Death Proof” is that it feels half-assed. Tarantino is so good with homage, but this still feels lazy. Tarantino’s signature long conversations don’t work for a film this short. Even with a stellar ending and a great performance from Kurt Russell, “Death Proof” feels like the first time in Tarantino’s career when he didn’t just go for it.

8. "Jackie Brown" (1997)

“Jackie Brown” had the unfortunate timing of being Tarantino’s follow-up to “Pulp Fiction.”

No matter what he did next, it was bound to not live up to monumental expectations. When “Jackie Brown” first came out in 1997, people missed one of Tarantino’s smartest and most understated movies, if not his most thrilling.

7. "Django Unchained" (2012)

“Django Unchained” is Tarantino’s most polarizing work to date, and for good reason. It asks a lot of challenging questions about slavery and whether it gives the right answers is entirely up to the viewer.

"Django" is boosted by some strong work from Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson. Maybe the biggest thing running against it is that, at two hours and 45 minutes, it would have been much better if the filmmakers trimmed it down by about an hour.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider