Ron Howard Weighs In on Star Wars and Willow Shared Universe Theory

Emma McIntyre, Getty Images
Emma McIntyre, Getty Images

​While he's best known as the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, ​George Lucas is an accomplished filmmaker outside of those franchises, too. He's the mind behind cult classics like American Graffiti, THX 1138, and Willow.

While Willow was ​directed by Ron Howard, Lucas wrote the script and for years rumors have persisted that the film shared a universe with Star Wars, but that it simply took place on a distant planet unaffiliated with the goings-on of the famed space opera. However, Howard himself recently put this rumor to rest.

"I never heard anything about that," Howard stated. "​George never suggested anything like that."

Howard also denied the rumors that the trolls in the film were modeled after his brother, Clint. "The trolls are just trolls. I love working with my brother Clint and every opportunity that I ever have, I do it but I never force it. We were shooting in London and [there was] no role worthy of dragging him over," he shared.

However, Howard did go out of his way to confirm one long-held belief about Willow: that two of the villains were named after famous film critics. The evil General Kael was named after the notoriously ruthless Pauline Kael and the two-headed monster Eborsisk was named after the iconic At the Movies duo of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

The Ark From Raiders of the Lost Ark Just Showed Up on Antiques Roadshow

John Rhys-Davies and Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
John Rhys-Davies and Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
Lucasfilm, Ltd.

For any memorabilia collector looking to mimic Indiana Jones’ search for the Ark of the Covenant in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, they’re largely out of luck. The screen-used ark in the movie, which was said to contain the Ten Commandments and was pursued by both Indy and Nazis in the film, is safe and sound in storage at Skywalker Ranch.

But someone has a prototype, and it just showed up on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow.

A segment filmed at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California, saw a man arrive with what he claims is an early version of the ark prop that was brought home by his father, a pyrotechnician who worked at Industrial Light and Magic, the George Lucas company that did the effects for Raiders of the Lost Ark. The prop, which was made primarily of glued-together picture frames, was used to house the family blankets rather than any religious iconography.

Appraiser James Supp believes the prototype could sell for anywhere between $80,000 to $120,000, though he didn’t rule out a sale price of $250,000 at auction.

Indiana Jones collectors have previously spared little expense in chasing memorabilia from the franchise. One of the many fedoras worn by Harrison Ford sold for $425,000 in 2018. A whip used by Ford in the first three films sold for $35,000 in 1999.

Ford, 77, is still involved in a fifth Indiana Jones film set for release in 2021, though Steven Spielberg is no longer directing it. Ford vs. Ferrari director James Mangold is reportedly in discussions to take his place.

[h/t MovieWeb]

Think You’ve Got What It Takes to Be the Next Jeopardy! GOAT? You Can Now Take the Test Whenever You Want

You might want to brush up on colorful terms before taking the Jeopardy! Anytime Test.
You might want to brush up on colorful terms before taking the Jeopardy! Anytime Test.
Jeopardy!, YouTube

Up until now, qualifying to compete on Jeopardy! wasn’t just about acing the entrance exam—it was also about being available to take the test in the first place, since Jeopardy! usually only offers it at specific times once or twice a year. Earlier this month, however, the classic trivia game show released the Jeopardy! Anytime Test, a version you can take whenever it fits your schedule.

The format hasn’t changed at all; you still have 15 seconds to answer each of the 50 questions, and your answers should not be typed in question form. Although you can complete the test at any time, you can’t complete it multiple times in a short period—just like the original test, you’re only allowed to take an Anytime Test once a year. Having said that, if you took the regular test when it was available in January, you are eligible to submit the Anytime Test, too. According to the website, Jeopardy! will use whichever score is higher.

In other words, rather than replacing the regularly scheduled tests, the Jeopardy! creators are giving you one extra chance to qualify per year. This round of the Anytime Test closes in late April 2020, and they’ll presumably release another one sometime soon after that for anyone who didn’t catch the first round.

If you begin the Anytime Test and aren’t able to finish it, your answers won’t be saved, but you will be able to start fresh later with a new set of questions. You should probably try to avoid letting that happen more than once—Jeopardy! warns that participants “are only allowed a limited number of attempts,” yet doesn’t specify what that number is.

For those of you who would like a little practice before you try your hand at the test, you can study nearly 400,000 past Jeopardy! clues in the J! Archive.

For everyone else, register for the Anytime Test here.

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