Mystery Star Wars: Identities Project Happening?

UPDATE! Lucasfilm has revealed what Star Wars Identities is. Full details here.

Often, companies will buy up every possible domain name even tangentially related to projects in the pipeline.  Sometimes the projects never get realized and the domain names go unused, which is why I urge caution with the following news:  Last week, LucasFilm registered several domain names related to something called Star Wars: Identities.

Fusible reports that LucasFilm registered three domain names on November 7: StarWarsIdentities.com, StarWarsIdentites.com (for people who might mistype the first address) and sw-id.com.  If you’re interested, you can see the whole WHOIS record for StarWarsIdentities.com at those links.  They don’t really have any more information than that, though.  The domains were purchased, but we do not know for what purpose.  So, of course, wild speculation begins!

Some suggest that it could be a new video game or that additional film trilogy that pops up in discussions from time to time, but IFC thinks it could be something much more mundane (or, at least, less exciting) like “a collectible card game, a new line of Halloween masks, or, our personal favorite, a collection of Burger King glasses emblazoned with Star Wars characters.”


Bigfoot Nest Found?

Last month, cryptozoologists and Bigfoot enthusiasts from the United States, Canada, Russian, and Sweden met for an international conference in Moscow discussing all the latest finds and research on the big hairy hominids.  After the conference, a group of participants trucked out to the Kemerovo region (north of eastern Kazakhastan) to investigate recent sightings of the creatures that are sometimes known as Yetis.  The trip prompted Russian officials to announce that they have “indisputible evidence” of the creature, and now we’re being treated to some of that “proof”.

Photos in The Daily Mail and The Sun show what are supposed to be Bigfoot “nests”: sometimes twisted and knotted arches of trees and branches.  According to the involved researchers (and regional officials), such constructions can only have been created by Bigfoots.  The arches (referred to in many articles as “nests”) are reasonably similar to arches found in the United States, lending further credence to the theories about the sasquatch’s worldwide reach.  The Telegraph also says that the nests show similarity to nests built by orangutans and gorillas, which would only be natural of the missing link.


NASA Hiring New Astronauts, Do You Have The Right Stuff?

Yesterday we told you here that, somehow in spite of ongoing budget cuts, NASA is working on resuming its manned space program by 2014. That means they’ll need Astronauts, and so now they’re hiring.

Today NASA posted the following “help wanted” notice on their website

Want a career that’ll take you full circle? Adventure. Commitment. Leadership. Achievement. These are the core values of NASA’s distinguished astronaut corps. They’re also the rewards of fulfilling work. The 21st century astronaut will serve on long-duration missions aboard the International Space Station – and future deep space missions. NASA is going places where there are no boundaries. Your unique talents and experiences can take you there too.

Because NASA understands it is what makes us different that makes us successful as a nation, it seeks fresh perspectives to take us out of this world.

All U.S. civilians and active duty military personnel with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, science or math and three years of professional experience meet the requirements to apply to become the next highest class of astronaut candidates on Earth.

Apply to explore with us. Fly NASA, where the sky is not the limit.


Good News, That Terrible Doctor Who Movie May Not Happen After All

Here’s a strange new development in the world of Doctor Who. Yesterday here we learned that former Harry Potter director David Yates is working on making a Doctor Who movie in which he’ll throw everything that’s already been done about the character out the window to start from scratch and make it his own. Everyone generally agrees this is the worst idea anyone has ever had.

Even the BBC, apparently.

The BBC owns the rights to Doctor Who and would have to sign off on a Doctor Who movie. Yates made it sound as though they were involved and that he had his blessing, but the BBC has a completely different take on what he’s doing.

BBC executive Edward Russell had this to say about the project on Twitter:

There’s always talk of a movie. Perhaps? Maybe one day. But not right now!

Doesn’t sound like he’s even heard about the project, does it?

BBC America’s official twitter was also skeptical of the whole thing.

A Doctor Who feature film remains in development w/ BBC Worldwide Productions in LA. As of yet no script, cast or production crew in place.


Carrie Fisher Responds To Shatner’s Star Trek vs Star Wars Video

Back in September, William Shatner posted a video over on YouTube called Star Trek vs Star Wars, in which he explains why the Star Trek franchise is superior to Star Wars.  He pokes some light-hearted fun at Star Wars (Leia’s bikini, ), but also makes some fairly reasonable points (Trek‘s forays into philosophical and social issues, SW‘s .  And he ends with the proposal of Leia and Kirk riding off into the sunset together.  It’s mildly interesting and entertain, but not a lot more than fodder for the long-running battles of Star Trek and Star Wars fans.

Not to be outdone, Carrie Fisher taped a response video rebuffing The Shat’s assertion:


NASA Returns To Space In 2014

For an organization that was supposedly going the way of the dodo bird, NASA sure is in the news a lot lately.  They’re announcing new solar sails experiments, working on tractor beams, and (maybe?) getting what funding they still have slashed some more.  Well, here’s another NASA news item:  an unmanned test flight of the Orion spacecraft in 2014, three years earlier than originally planned.  Yes, it’s an unmanned flight, but one with great implications for future human deep space exploration.  The Exploration Flight Test (EFT-1) features a new Space Launch System (SLS), which the NASA press release says “will take astronauts farther into space than ever before, create U.S. jobs, and provide the cornerstone for America’s future human spaceflight efforts.”

Orion will be launched into space, orbit twice “to a high-apogee” (basically, to a good distance from the Earth), then bust back through the atmosphere at high speeds.  Orion will launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla, and make a water landing after re-entry.  The hope with EFT-1 is that it will provide essential data in figuring out how to design a spacecraft that can survive speeds upwards of 20,000 mph and return astronauts safely from greater distances outside of Earth’s orbit.  NASA says it’s developing Orion to bring humans to the moon, asteroids, Mars, “and other destinations” via SLS, but being able to travel at high speeds and still re-enter safely is also a basic requirement for any kind of craft for manned deep space exploration.

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for space exploration and NASA nerds of late, but moving a test flight up instead of postponing it might show there is hope yet.