Re: Stuff and Nonsense Unleashed
« Reply #1502 on: May 25th, 2017, 11:52am »
'Star Wars'! 40 Surprising Facts from a Galaxy Far, Far Away
By Jasmin Malik Chua, Space.com Contributor May 25, 2017
Surprising Facts On May 25, 1977, a director named George Lucas gave the world its first glimpse of a galaxy far, far away. Who knew that a space opera about a farm boy who befriends a wizard and a smuggler pirate, frees a princess and liberates a galaxy would spawn a multibillion-dollar franchise and cultural touchstone? Not 20th Century Fox, and certainly not Lucas, who was convinced it would flop.
"Star Wars" would end up making $1.5 million on its opening weekend and more than $220 million during its first run — a veritable fortune at the time.
Forty years and eight films later, Lucas' depiction of the battle between good and evil remains as relevant today as it was then. In honor of the 40th anniversary of "Star Wars: A New Hope," here are 40 surprising facts about the movie that started it all.
John Williams John Williams, the Oscar-winning composer who scored the music for almost every "Star Wars" movie (excluding "The Clone Wars" and "Rogue One"), told the Mirror he has never sat all the way through any of the "Star Wars" movies.
Chewbacca While playing Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew spoke his lines in English. The dialogue was later dubbed into Wookie — a combination of bear, walrus, lion and badger sounds — during postproduction.
Princess Leia Because Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia Organa) was a foot shorter than Ford, she had to stand on a box for most of their scenes together.
Inspiration Lucas' Alaskan malamute inspired the character of Chewbacca. "A very sweet dog, she would always sit next to me when I was writing," he said. "And when I'd drive around, she'd sit in the front seat. A malamute is a very large dog — like a 130 pounds and bigger than a human being, and very long-haired."
Competition When Lucas visited Steven Spielberg on the set of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," he was convinced his friend's movie would eclipse his own. "George came back from 'Star Wars' a nervous wreck," Spielberg recounted. "He didn't feel 'Star Wars' came up to the vision he initially had. He felt he had just made this little kids' movie." Lucas proposed a trade: 2.5 percent of the profits from "Star Wars" in exchange for 2.5 percent of "Close Encounters." Spielberg took the gamble, and receives royalties from the film to this day.
Han Solo Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo, wasn't a fan of Lucas' script. In fact, he once groused to the director "George, you can type this s---, but you can't say it!"
R2-D2 In Lucas's original treatment, R2-D2 could speak. A 1974 draft of the movie gave him such lines as, "The structure has exceeded the normal stress quotient by point four, although there appears to be no immediate danger."
Danger While filming the trash compactor scene, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) held his breath so long he popped a blood vessel. As a result, many of the shots show only one side of his face.
Love Fisher and Ford had an "intense" three-month affair while filming "Star Wars: A New Hope," according to Fisher. Ford was a married father of two at the time.
Obi-Wan Kenobi In a letter to a friend, Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, dismissed "Star Wars" as "fairy-tale rubbish." He also later claimed it was his idea to have his character killed off so he "wouldn't have to carry on saying these rubbish lines."
Rights By agreeing to waive $500,000 in directing fees, Lucas persuaded 20th Century Fox to let him maintain licensing and merchandising rights. Consequently, the studio missed out on billions in profits.
Darth Vader Lucas originally wanted the iconic film director Orson Welles to voice Darth Vader, but feared that his intonations would be "too recognizable." Besides his many films, Welles is famous for his radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel "The War of the Worlds," which caused terrified some listeners when broadcast in 1938.
Weapons Sound designer Ben Burtt created the lightsaber's signature buzz by combining the hum of an old film projector's motors with the interference caused by a TV on a shieldless microphone.
Brothers "Star Wars" was originally titled "Adventures of the Starkiller, Episode One: The Star Wars." It featured two brothers: Deak and Luke Skywalker.
Choices Al Pacino, best known for his roles in "The Godfather" and "Scarface," turned down the part of Han Solo because he found the script too confusing.
Grand Moff Tarkin Peter Cushing's riding boots pinched his feet so much that Lucas let him wear slippers on the set. That's why you only see Grand Moff Tarkin from the knees up or strategically positioned behind a desk.
Crew Lucas admired Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" so much he hired most of its production crew. The alums were dubbed the "Class of 2001" on the set, CBS News reports.
The Can When the cast and crew broke for lunch, they would frequently forget that Kenny Baker was still in the R2-D2 "can" and leave him behind, according to IMDB.
Tatooine Tatooine got its name from the Tunisian city of Tatouine, although no shooting was conducted there. Various locations in southern Tunisia stood in for the desert planet, and many of the wood-and-fiberglass structures from the movie are still in use today, mostly as tourist attractions.
Re: Stuff and Nonsense Unleashed
« Reply #1508 on: May 26th, 2017, 2:06pm »
Scientists create designer virus to kickstart immune system and kill cancer
By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor 26 May 2017 • 5:29pm
A designer virus which helps the immune system clear our cancer has been created by scientists.
Cancer cells are very good a evading the immune system, but the new therapy capitalises on the body’s ability to quickly spot a virus.
Swiss scientists inserted cancer proteins inside an artificial virus so that when the immune system sees it, it also hunts down cancer in the body with the same proteins.
The technique could in theory be used to fight any type of cancer. Scientists could simply take proteins from a patient’s own tumour, place it in the virus and inject it into the body to trigger a strong immune response against a specific disease.
In mice, the treatment was shown to bring remission and researchers are keen to move to human trials.
“We hope that our new findings and technologies will soon be used in cancer treatments and so help to further increase their success rates,” said Professor Daniel Pinschewer, lead researcher from the University of Basel.
The researchers built artificial viruses based on lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), which can infect both rodents and humans.
Although the virus is harmless, it still triggers an immune response. The scientists also added proteins which are only found in cancer cells.
The combination of the virus triggering the alarm system and the cancer proteins, was found to create a powerful army of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes, also known as killer cells, which identified the cancer cells through their protein and successfully destroyed them.
The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.