TIME Apple

How Apple Influenced the New ‘Star Wars’ Films


Galactic fashion features a dash of Cupertino

Apple seems to have had a hand in dressing the Galactic Empire—at least from a design perspective.

We’re not talking Levi 501s and black mock turtlenecks, as was the signature style of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Rather, Star Wars costume designer, Michael Kaplan, tells Vanity Fair in a Q&A that he channeled the tech giant’s minimalist taste in creating the uniforms worn by characters in the next installment of the blockbuster series.

Kaplan cites a number of inspirations ranging from the Third Reich to the sci-fi classic Blade Runner to Sam Spade, the fictional detective in The Maltese Falcon. But he also gives a nod to Apple. Here’s the relevant bit:

Q. Did you invent some kind of fashion back-story in your head to explain how the look of this galaxy might have evolved?

Maybe subconsciously, but with the stormtroopers it was more of a simplification, almost like, “What would Apple do?” J.J. wanted them to look like stormtroopers at a glance but also be different enough to kind of wow people and get them excited about the new design.

That’s right, stormtroopers.

Earlier this year, a New Yorker profile of Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive mentioned that he had some minor input on the look of a new lightsaber. “Ive once sat next to J. J. Abrams at a boozy dinner party in New York, and made what Abrams recalled as ‘very specific’ suggestions about the design of lightsabres,” journalist Ian Parker writes.

Later, Parker reports that Ive backed off from claiming he had any substantial impact—especially on the subject of the weapon’s contentious cross-guard, the part just above the handle for protecting the hand.

I asked Ive about his contribution. “It was just a conversation,” he said, then explained that, although he’d said nothing about cross guards, he had made a case for unevenness: “I thought it would be interesting if it were less precise, and just a little bit more spitty.” A redesigned weapon could be “more analog and more primitive, and I think, in that way, somehow more ominous.”

It’s worth noting that the influences between Apple and Disney work both ways. One of the faces on the new Apple Watch features Mickey Mouse, after all.

It’s unclear what Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks about his company inspiring the stormtrooper uniforms. For more on the shared influences between Apple and Disney, read Fortune senior writer Michal Lev-Ram’s recent cover story in the magazine: “Disney CEO Bob Iger’s Empire of Tech”.

For everyone else, here’s a gif from Apple’s notorious 1984-style commercial that hints at the Empire’s boys in white.

Courtesy of YouTube.
MONEY fashion

New Kind of Disney Cosplay Slightly Less Embarrassing Than Original

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Ever imagine what Sleeping Beauty, Buzz Lightyear, or Dumbo would wear if they were real people?

This week, the Orlando Sentinel reported on “Disneybounding,” a growing dress-up trend that some will think is a super fun hoot, while others will perceive it as a disturbing sign of the coming apocalypse.

To be a Disneybounder, you dress up in regular clothes to achieve a look inspired by a Disney character. The look “falls somewhere between a character T-shirt and an elaborate costume,” the Sentinel explained.

According to the Disneybound Tumblr (“Where Disney nerds and fashion geeks collide”), which was created three years ago by a woman named Leslie Kay and is credited with creating the trend out of nowhere, Disneybounding can be summed up this way: “Using items you can find in your own closet or local mall, create the looks outside of costumed or cosplay looks, which represent your favorite Disney character, while having fun with fashion!”

For instance, instead of dressing up in a head-to-toe Little Mermaid costume with a tail and all, you might wear green jeans or a skirt and a purple top, to create a vaguely Ariel-like look. A Disneybound Mrs. Jumbo outfit, inspired by Dumbo’s mom, might consist of gray skorts, a pink blouse, and a light blue sweater.

The most obvious place to go Disneybounding in character-inspired attire is, of course, one of the Disney theme parks. Yet if these fans love Disney so much, why aren’t they just wearing full character costumes?

Beyond the obvious—it’s somewhat ridiculous for adults to dress in costumes when it’s not Halloween (and perhaps even when it is Halloween)—Disney parks actually don’t allow adults to wear masks or dress up in Disney costumes. Included on the official list of attire that’s not appropriate at Disney World are “Adult costumes or clothing that can be viewed as representative of an actual Disney character.” Presumably, without such a policy, theme park guests could be confused as to whether that guy in a costume is a Disney employee or just some random dude from Des Moines who enjoys dressing up as Cruella De Vil.

While Disney frowns upon adult guests wearing costumes at theme parks, the company has embraced Disneybounding. Last summer, the official Disney blog created a quiz meant to steer you toward the character whose look you should emulate in Disneybound attire. After selecting your favorite Disney song, overall style, Disney snack food, favorite retail brand, and so on, an algorithm spits out that you should try to dress like Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, Olaf from Frozen, or whoever.

Disney also created a similar quiz to help high school girls choose which Disney character should be the inspiration for their look at the prom. Mrs. Jumbo is not one of the options.

TIME Disney

Disney Hates Your Selfie Sticks

Selfie stick
Biljana Molan Klisarova—Moment Editorial/Getty Images Selfie stick

You can't use your selfie stick on Thunder Mountain

Selfie sticks may make it easier to take photos that make your friends jealous. But the some people aren’t too fond of them, including the people at Disney.

The entertainment company is placing anti-selfie stick signs in its theme parks and having staff more rigorously enforce an existing ban on them, reports the Huffington Post. The ban was first reported earlier this year, when Disney ride operators started making announcements reminding customers not to use selfie sticks.

It’s both an issue of safety and manners, the article says. Not only do the sticks create a nuisance for other customers, but some people are putting themselves and others in danger by using them on rides.

Other theme parks have taken similar measures, the story notes, including installing metal detectors in the lines outside rides. A growing number of museums, sports arenas, and conferences have also banned selfie sticks.


TIME movies

See Just How Often Disney Recycled Animation

Watch each scene move seamlessly into the next one

Disney has been animating cartoons and feature films for almost a hundred years, creating some of the most innovative (and gorgeous) animation of all time. Still, even Disney artists get tempted to reuse and recycle.

A new fan-made video splices together scenes from iconic Disney movies to show just how similar some of them are. Specifically, it looks at scenes from Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Robin Hood, and more, and it’s fascinating to watch each scene move so seamlessly into the next one.

It’s not a huge secret that Disney has reused animation in the past to save costs, and a similar 2009 video pointed out a lot of the Robin Hood similarities. Apparently, dancing isn’t easy even in animation.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME movies

Indiana Jones-Themed Bar Could Be The Best Reason to Go To Disney World

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."
Paramount Pictures/Lucasfilm Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."

Rolling Boulder Meatballs are on the menu, of course

If you’re looking for a place to throw back a few shots of whiskey after raiding a Venezuelan tomb for archaeological treasures or, you know, standing in line for Space Mountain for two hours, the new Indiana Jones-themed bar might be just the place.

As Disney mulls over making another Indiana Jones film, they are making the most of the franchise by opening a themed bar at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, FL, this fall — perfect for thirsty parents and their tiny adventurous whippersnappers.

The new watering hole is named after Indy’s trusty pilot Jock Lindsey and has an airplane hangar theme. According to the Disney blog, the bar will reflect the Indiana Jones story, complete with aviation-themed decor, vintage travel posters, propeller-based ceiling fans (don’t stand too close!) and a diving bell “booth.” Rumor has it that Jock’s pet snake Reggie will also be incorporated into the restaurant somehow. (Perhaps to discourage too much adventurousness from those whippersnappers?)

Naturally, the menu features themed cocktails like the “Hovito Mojito” and will include food like “Rolling Boulder Meatballs.” There’s no word yet on whether the entire bar is booby-trapped if you attempt to make payment with a bag of sand.

TIME movies

Disney Is ‘Talking About’ the Next Indiana Jones Film

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."
Paramount Pictures/Lucasfilm Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."

Producer Kathleen Kennedy says Disney 'will one day' make an Indy movie

Ever since Disney acquired the Indiana Jones film rights in 2013, there has been an assumption that some plans for another installment in the franchise would be forthcoming sooner rather than later. Now, producer Kathleen Kennedy has made it quite clear that Disney fully intends to keep Indy’s spirit alive on the big screen.

Speaking with Vanity Fair, Kennedy said that an Indiana Jones movie “will one day be made inside this company,” though she couldn’t give specifics about when exactly the movie would ever come together. According to Kennedy, there’s no script being worked on “but we are talking about it.”

There were recently rumors that Jurassic World star (and erstwhile Burt Macklin) Chris Pratt was being considered for the role made famous by Harrison Ford, but Kennedy did not address whether those rumors have any validity.

Kennedy is, of course, busy with another major franchise revival for Disney—Star Wars, which you can read all of EW’s continuing coverage here before The Force Awakens arrives later this year.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME movies

Why Movie Theaters Are Mad at Disney Over Avengers

Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Marvel/Disney Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans star in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Disney is reportedly keeping ticket prices high

As Disney continues to rack up box office hit after box office hit, its movie studio is gaining increasing leverage to dictate how theaters show its films. Now theaters are voicing their concerns over policies they say could lead to higher prices for moviegoers.

The National Association of Theatre Owners issued a letter to Walt Disney Studios decrying an “avalanche of complaints” it had received from theatre owners over strict conditions placed on screenings of Avengers: Age of Ultron, according to the Wall Street Journal. Among the requirements: theaters had to stop matinee screenings of the blockbuster film by 5 p.m., as well as charge at least the national average price for a movie ticket in order to keep a cut of the film’s box office revenue.

The last point in particular is contentious because smaller markets regularly show movies at prices cheaper than the national average.

Disney can make these kinds of demands because its movies are simply too lucrative for exhibitors to pass up. The Avengers is the third highest-grossing movie of all-time globally, while its sequel, Age of Ultron, just had the second biggest opening weekend ever in the United States.

Beyond Marvel Studios, Disney also has a new Pixar movie coming out this year, while the relaunch of the Star Wars franchise kicks off in December.

Still, Disney depends on theaters to distribute its films to the masses, so it wants to maintain an amicable relationship. The company has recanted on its matinee cutoff and is willing to draw up different pricing schemes for areas where ticket prices are typically below the national average, according to the Journal.

Disney and the National Association of Theatre Owners did not respond to requests for comment.

TIME movies

Watch the Teenage Spawn of Disney Villains in the Trailer for Descendants

"They're at their best when doing their worst"

If you’ve ever wondered if evil skips a generation, the trailer for the Disney Channel’s forthcoming TV movie Descendants would suggest that it doesn’t. The movie features the spawn of four of Disney’s most heinous villains: Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent (Kristen Chenoweth), Snow White’s Evil Queen (Kathy Najimy), Aladdin’s Jafar (Maz Jobrani) and 101 Dalmatians’ Cruella de Vil (Wendy Raquel Robinson).

In the TV movie, the wicked offspring — Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos — leave the rough-and-tumble streets of the island prison they call home to attend a fancy prep school with abundant opportunities to wreak havoc. They’re like the kids skipping class and smoking cigarettes in your average high school parking lot, but minus the cigarettes (this is Disney), instead using hair dye, leather and magic spells to signify their rebellion.

But these teens have a choice: to carry on the legacy of evil they’ve inherited, or to forsake their birthright and do good. What ever will they choose? The suspense is killing us.

TIME movies

This Is Why Germans May Not Be Able to See The Avengers

Small theaters are upset over rental fee hike

Hundreds of small movie theaters in Germany are threatening to extend their boycott of the film The Avengers: Age of Ultron to include all future films from Disney in protest of the company’s rental fee hike.

193 towns in Germany refused to show the film after Disney raised its rental fee (the amount Disney collects from ticket sales) for its films from 47.7% to 53%, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The smaller theaters say this puts them at a financial disadvantage since Disney focuses its advertising on larger cities. This means they don’t benefit from the studio’s advertising and have to use more resources, which is why they’ve historically had lower rental fees.

Disney has told the theaters that it is not changing the fees, leading the theaters to argue that if Disney does not meet demands, the boycott will extend to all upcoming titles from the studio.

The size of the impact is hard to pin down. According to THR, the theater boycott includes 686 screens, but not all of the screens were going to show The Avengers. The loss of screens not playing the film is likely closer to under 200.


TIME public health

California Measles Outbreak Is Over, Health Officials Say

No new cases related to the outbreak have been reported in 42 days

A measles outbreak that infected 131 Californians has ended, the state’s Department of Public Health said Friday.

The outbreak, which began in December at Disneyland, infected people ranging from 6 weeks to 70 years old, sending 19% of them to the hospital. No new cases related to the outbreak have been reported in 42 days, officials said.

“Having this measles outbreak behind us is a significant accomplishment,” Gil Chavez, California’s state epidemiologist, said during a press call. “Measles can be very serious with devastating consequences.”

Health officials believe a tourist brought measles to Disney’s Anaheim, Calif. theme parks in December, eventually infecting 42 people at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. The disease then spread to a number of students, teachers, health care workers and other Californians. No deaths were reported.

At least 56 of the people who contracted measles during the outbreak had not been vaccinated, according to Chavez (the vaccination status of 38% of those who were infected is unknown). He encouraged unvaccinated people to get the measles vaccine “to protect themselves, to protect their loved ones and to protect the community at large.”

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