Disney has just confirmed that they will acquire George Lucas‘ Lucasfilm Ltd for $4.05 billion, in a deal that includes rights to the Star Wars franchise. Disney has scheduled Star Wars: Episode 7 for a 2015 release, with future movies to come every two to three years. Not much is known about what to expect from the films other than the fact that Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy will be executive producer on any forthcoming Star Wars movies, while George Lucas himself with serve as creative consultant.
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said Lucas. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
Killer robots have officially gone out to sea. For the first time, the Navy has fired missiles from a remote-controlled boat, as shown in the video above.
The firing came as part of a test off the Maryland coast on Wednesday. Six of Rafael’s anti-armor Spike missiles got fired off a moving inflatable hulled watercraft, aiming for a floating target about two miles away. The missile firings and the boat’s controls were all handled remotely by Navy personnel on shore at the Navy’s Patuxent River base.
It’s the “first significant step forward in weaponizing surface unmanned combat capability,” Mark Moses, the Navy’s program manager for the armed drone boat project, tells Danger Room. Sure, the U.S. military has no shortage of armed robotic planes and — soon — helicopters. But it doesn’t have weaponized drones that patrol the seas, either above it or below it. The Navy’s early experiments with robotic submarines are for spying and mine clearance, not for attack. Until this week’s tests at Pax River, the Navy didn’t have a robotic surface vessel capable of firing a weapon — the fulfillment of a goal the Navy set for itself in 2007.
The Navy’s been tricking out this 11-meter inflatable boat for the past several years at its base in Newport, Rhode Island, to do just that. Mounted on the boat is a dual-pod missile launcher and an Mk-49 mounting system, all made by Rafael and fully automated, which the Navy’s calling a “Precision Engagement Module.” The Navy seems the module as the sort of thing that could protect U.S. coastline without danger to sailors or coastguardsmen, or prevent pirates or Iranian sailors from maneuveringtheir small, fast boats between targets that Navy Destroyers can’t risk hitting.
The Precision Engagement Module “could be used in a number of applications including harbor security, defensive operations against fast attach craft and swam scenarios, which is of primary concern for the Navy,” says Moses. “However, it is probably most effective when targets try and hide among commercial vessels –for example, congested waterways.”
In three days’ worth of tests at Pax River this week, the Navy shot off the long-range version variant of the Spike, a 30-pound missile with an effective range of about 2 and a half miles. The video above shows six of the remote firings — and while they looked to our untrained eyes like near misses, the Navy says that’s a trick of the camera angle, and they actually hit their targets.
All this is just a demonstration; it’ll be years and many more tests before the Navy decides if it wants to purchase a fleet of remote-controlled, missile-packing boats. But “the increase in attention and effort for water borne technological advancements coincides with the drawing down of U.S. military resources in the land locked campaign in Afghanistan,” Mark notes, “and a strategic refocusing to problem regions where unconventional maritime threats must be accounted for.” In other words: put the robo-boat off Iranian or Somali waters, and let sailors at a safe distance aim and fire its missiles, much like the Air Forces drone pilots do.
Nicki Minaj will be featured in an upcoming Vogue Magazine issue. Here is a preview of what Nicki had to say in the article
“She recounts this from a Manhattan hotel suite, clad in leggings, a custom-bejeweled jacket from the Versace for H&M line (she performed at its extravagant launch), and an early–Marilyn Monroe fuchsia wig. Minaj also reveals a far soberer side than her stage act might indicate. “A huge part of me wanted to be a lawyer! I would do a really good job as a prosecutor,” she alleges. That’s not the singer’s only alternative personality—famous for creating stage alter egos with names like Roman Zolanski, she confesses that she sometimes imagines herself clad in a bikini and high heels, cooking dinner for a breadwinning husband.
Axel Alonso was appointed Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics a year ago and the comic book creator hasn’t wasted anytime ushering the iconic brand into the future. This past fall, Marvel rebooted theUltimate Spider-Man series and put a with a new spin on our neighborhood friendly superhero. With great power comes great responsibility, and Alonso knew in order to be successful in this new leadership role, he had to take a risk. So when it came time to make a decision to kill off Peter Parker and replace the popular character with a biracial teenager from Brooklyn– Alonso pulled the trigger.
It’s been four months since the world was first introduced to Miles Morales, the half African-American and half Puerto Rican successor of the beloved Peter Parker as Spider-Man. Miles has received an overwhelming reception from fans –new and old– across the globe –as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 broke the first day sales of new releases in comics digital download history– and some detractors in Glenn Beck. Still, as Miles continues to swing into action as an important milestone in comic-book history, Life + Times sat down with Alonso to discuss Marvels new direction, race in Hollywood, hip-hop and Tim Tebow.
In VOYR‘s latest episodes of the Watch The Throne Tour we go backstage for the first show in Atlanta with Kanye manager Don C creative director Virgil Abloh stylist Rene Padora, stage designer Es Devlin and many others.