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Star Wars

Ron Howard takes helm of Han Solo ‘Star Wars’ film

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Ron Howard is taking command of the Han Solo “Star Wars” spinoff after the surprise departure of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Lucasfilm announced their replacement director Thursday, two days after Lord and Miller left the project over creative differences. Howard gives the reeling production a veteran hand in the wake of Lord and Miller’s exit in the midst of shooting. Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said filming will resume July 10. The untitled film, which stars Alden Ehrenreich…

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Disney’s wonderful world may be too good to last

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Disney has been on a tear the past few years, thanks to popular channels like ESPN, its “Star Wars” and Marvel superhero franchises, and improving results at its global parks. Now comes the hard part. CEO Robert Iger’s contract runs out next year, creating management uncertainty just as Disney needs to keep its lucrative television offerings relevant in a world increasingly dominated by streaming services. The company faces “a time of transition” as consumers abandon expensive cable subscriptions, said Morgan…

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Blake Dowling: Star Wars: Rogue One brings hope, inspiration with CGI movie magic

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I saw the new Star Wars flick last week. Loved it. Like really loved it, as much as Luke loved shooting Womp Rats on Tatooine. I figured I would wait until the crowds thinned a little bit and not see the film in the first few weeks after release. I remember, as a kid, standing in line on the opening night of “Return of the Jedi” at Porter Square Mall in Dothan, Alabama; with what seemed like tens of thousands…

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Holiday retail forecast bright

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Forecasters are predicting a robust holiday shopping season for Florida retailers. The Florida Retail Federation, the trade association representing the state’s retailers, is predicting a 4 percent increase in sales for Sunshine State retailers, expected to outpace the national average of between 3.3 and 3.5 percent. Florida benefits from 100 million tourists visiting the state during the 61-day holiday shopping season from November through December. Surveys consistently list shopping as one of the top vacation activities. “Florida’s economy remains strong,…

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Rays celebrate May the Fourth with Star Wars Day ticket promotion, giveaway

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Everyone loves a good promotion, and just as many love Star Wars. Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays are no different. To honor May 4, the Rays are advertising one-day-only half-price ticket prices as well as a Star Wars-related giveaway. For those living in a galaxy far away, May 4 has become popularly known as “Star Wars Day.” As in “May the Fourth be with you.” The promotion — a partnership between Lucasfilm and MLB — has the…

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At Disney, running a race is all about the costume

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At Walt Disney World, you might find Darth Vader, Tinker Bell or a classic Disney princess running alongside half-marathon participants. These events are no ordinary races, and the trips that participants take are no ordinary Disney visits. Few care about race times, particularly with opportunities to pose with costumed characters such as Donald Duck and Boba Fett. Racing is mostly about getting to the photo ops before lines get too long. Disney has races to honor classic Disney and Pixar…

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New “Star Wars” trailer previews the story of rebels’ past

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The dust has barely settled from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but audiences already have a new installment to get excited for. The world got a glimpse of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in a teaser trailer that debuted Thursday on “Good Morning America” and quickly became a top trending topic on Twitter. The movie looks back to the events before 1977’s “A New Hope,” introducing the ragtag rebels who unite to steal plans for the Death Star. One…

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