Director J.J. Abrams (left) and actor Harrison Ford of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at a Disney conference this weekend where lots of news was revealed. Director J.J. Abrams (left) and actor Harrison Ford of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at a Disney conference this weekend where lots of news was revealed. Even Darth Vader doesn't know about this stuff. (Photo: Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images)

4 secrets revealed in the 'Star Wars' universe

A new director is hired for Episode IX, theme parks announced and George Lucas talks Jar Jar Binks.

Think you've got a good handle on the epic series? Well, that handle just got a whole lot more slippery. New things are happening in the "Star Wars universe," and we've rounded them up for you.

Jar Jar Binks was based on Goofy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDM_EFlNP8M

At this weekend's D23 Disney convention, George Lucas let out one oh-so-interesting tidbit: The galaxy's favorite dopey sidekick was based on another dopey Disney sidekick: Goofy. It's one of those things that seems obvious after Lucas mentioned it.

Disney animator Art Babbitt explained Goofy in a 1934 memo: "His brain is rather vapoury. He laughs at his own jokes, because he can't understand any others. He is very courteous and apologetic and his faux pas embarrass him, but he tries to laugh off his errors. He talks to himself because it is easier for him to know what he is thinking if he hears it first."

So let's see, does that sound like the most famous Gungan in the galaxy?


People are already talking about Episode VIII

star wars episode VII trailer SFXFlame wars. (Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney)

Episode VII isn't even out yet, but fans are already talking Episode VIII. Israeli producer Ram Bergman and American producer Kathleen Kennedy are on track to release "Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2017." Kennedy shared her excitement about working with writer-director Rian Johnson in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

“We know where we’re going, but only in the broadest sense," Kennedy said. "When Rian came in and started writing his script, he started from scratch, other than knowing what we had done in Episode VII and projecting out where it was going. He then sat down and put pen to paper, and it’s 100 percent him.”

2017 is a while away, but no worries: Episode VII is arriving in theaters this December. So if you're not into champagne or giant glass balls lowered slowly to the ground, you can always bring in New Year's "Star Wars-style."


Disney is building Star Wars Land

An artist's rendering of the forthcoming Star Wars Land at Disney theme parks.An artist's rendering of the forthcoming Star Wars Land at Disney theme parks. (Photo: Lucasfilm)

Yes. This is real life. The company that makes dreams come true is building "Star Wars" theme parks in both Anaheim and Orlando. You, my friend, will be able to pilot the Millennium Falcon in a battle between the First Order and The Resistance.

Since the parks were announced this, the Internet has been buzzing with excitement, as it is wont to do. The place will feature droids, aliens and a cantina, naturally.


The guy who directed 'Jurassic World' is going to direct Episode IX

Chris Pratt in a scene from the record-breaking "Jurassic World" movie.Chris Pratt in a scene from the record-breaking "Jurassic World" movie. (Photo: Universal Pictures)

Colin Trevorrow is the man for directing stuff that takes place a long time ago. He wrote and directed Jurassic World, the latest "Jurassic Park" installment, and now he's going to try something a little more futuristic. Or well, since "Star Wars" is set in the past, and "Jurassic Park" is set in an alternative present, maybe futuristic's not the word. He's going to try something a little more spaceshipy.

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