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NASA Could Construct A Cloud City Over Venus, Details Here

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Cloud CityWith events like the successful test flight of the new Orion spacecraft, there’s been a great deal of talk about crewed missions to Mars lately. There’s even a rough timeline now, as NASA has eyes on setting foot on the Red Planet in the 2030s. But Mars isn’t the only planet in the neighborhood, and some are talking about travelling to Venus, and they’re borrowing ideas from Star Wars, specifically The Empire Strikes Back, to further their cause.

The surface and atmosphere of Venus are far too troublesome to realistically plan any human visitation—temperatures hover around 500 degree Celsius—despite the fact that it is a much shorter journey than the one to Mars: roughly 440 days versus somewhere between 650 and 900. That said, there is apparently one specific spot in the atmosphere where scientists believe we could place air ships and even build a permanent settlement, a kind of Cloud City. Whether or not Lando will come out of retirement to run the joint remains to be seen, but some think it could be easier than going to Mars, at least in some ways.

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Star Wars 7: Chewbacca, R2-D2, And More Have This Special Message For Fans

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We’re now officially less than one year away from finally seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Hell, by December 19, 2015, some of us will already have seen it three four times, maybe more. Earlier this year, J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm, and Disney capitalized on this massive fan interest and channeled it for good. Their “Force for Change” campaign raised millions of dollars to help at risk children around the world, and Abrams, the crew, and a couple of notable franchise stars, want to say thank you.

The earlier “Force for Change” videos offered fans our earliest official looks at the new film, with a special emphasis on the practical effects side of production. We got our first peek at that Jim Henson-esque character, and saw Abrams hanging out in front of a new X-Wing Fighter. While this video doesn’t have any cool reveals like those, both Chewbacca and R2-D2 stop by, or in R2’s case roll by, in order to thank everyone for helping out.

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Andy Serkis Tackles Force Awakens Rumors — Is He Really Playing Two Characters?

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SerkisThere are no shortage of mysteries circling J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but in the wake of the epic first teaser, several of those mysteries have involved actor and motion-capture master Andy Serkis. We’ve known for a while that he had a role in the next Star Wars film, but details about that character have been sparse and surrounded with crazy rumors. Now Serkis has gone on record to clarify a few things, and shoot down some of those rumors.

One of the biggest Serkis-related rumors suggested that he would be playing not one, but two different characters in Force Awakens (and possibly the films that followed). Given his mo-cap background, many — including me — speculated that one role might be CGI and the other live-action. Well, no dice. “I can say I only play one character,” Serkis told EW. And don’t expect him to give you any hints about that character’s nature, either. How about those rumors that he’ll be playing an old man who looks like he has “risen from the dead”? Serkis would say only that his Force Awakens character has “been through some stuff.”

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Comic(s) Relief: Princess Leia Takes The Spotlight In Her Own Comic Series

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Leia1Marvel is set to relaunch the Star Wars comics universe with a bang in 2015. The first issue of the new ongoing Star Wars series is set to release on January 14, 2015…and it’s already sold over one million copies, making it the best-selling single issue of a comic in 20 years. But that’s just the beginning. In March 2015 Marvel will be launching a mini-series focused on Princess Leia. Now ComicBookMovie.com has shared a first look at the first issue of Princess Leia #1, written by Mark Waid and with art by Terry Dodson. It’s only a couple of dialog-free pages, but it takes a new look at one of the most iconic scenes in movie history.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Who Is Captain Phasma?

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Star WarsSlowly but surely we’re learning about the fresh faces, and in one instance a back, we’ll see in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Still, these are only the handful of newcomers to the franchise who appear in the trailer, and we know there are many more lurking around out there. For instance, what is Gwendoline Christie’s character’s name? No idea, we don’t even know what she looks like. But today we do have one more name to add to the list, though that’s all the details there are at the moment.

What the hell, we’ll throw a spoiler warning right here, even though there’s not all that much to tell.

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Yoda Is Coming Back To Star Wars, Get The Details Here

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yodaNow that Disney owns Lucasfilm, they’ve set out to expand the Star Wars universe like never before, using the Marvel, everything-is-connected philosophy. Star Wars Rebels was the first big piece to be unveiled, and though it is obviously aimed at a younger audience, it’s being used for more than just eye candy. The things we see and the stories that unfold here will echo throughout the revamped franchise, and it is also, set between the prequels and the original trilogy, obviously keyed into the history and larger mythology. One way they show this is by bringing in familiar faces, and another big one is going to show up soon: a little guy named Yoda.

Okay, maybe the phrase “show up” is the wrong choice, as you aren’t really going to see the diminutive Jedi master in the episode titled “Path of the Jedi.” You will, however, hear his iconic voice, and it will be the actual voice you know and love. Much like how James Earl Jones lent his booming voice to Rebels when Darth Vader made an appearance, Frank Oz, who voiced Yoda, will be back for this go round.

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