• Ripleys Believe It or Not! (LOS ANGELES) -- It’s not as clumsy or random as a blaster, and for the first time, "Star Wars" fans can check out an original Luke Skywalker lightsaber prop displayed in a galaxy not so far away.Starting Saturday, and just in time for the release of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," visitors to Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum in Hollywood, California, will be able to see the iconic prop in person.Ripley’s purchased the saber hilt for a whopping $450,000 at an auction last June held by Profiles in History. The auction house specializes in Hollywood memorabilia and acquired the prop from the collection of Gary Kurtz, a producer on "Star Wars: A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes Back." It’s the first time the prop has been put on public display.Ripley’s spokesperson Suzanna Smagala-Potts says the prop appears on screen in "Empire," including a scene where Mark Hamill’s Luke uses the Force to dislodge his frozen lightsaber and makes his escape after partially dismembering a hungry Wampa ice monster.The original lightsaber hilts, described by Obi Wan Kenobi as “an elegant weapon, for a more civilized age," were crafted out of 1930’s-era Graflex camera flash handles by set designer Roger Christian. In a 2015 interview with CBC Radio, Christian described finding the parts in a London camera shop.“I brought out an old dusty box that hadn’t been opened for about 10 years,” Christian said. “Out of this box I found these Graflex flash handles. I just took one in my hand and thought, ‘There it is.’”The Graflex logo can still be seen, etched into the handle on Ripley’s lightsaber.Lucasfilm and ABC News are part of the same galactic family, owned by parent company Disney.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Today is Free Shipping Friday, the annual retail holiday celebrated by nearly 1,000 online shops that offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery before Christmas.While many online retailers already offer free shipping year-round with a minimum purchase required, on Free Shipping Friday the nearly 1,000 retailers will ship your items for free regardless of how much the total came out to in order to encourage some last-minute holiday shopping.ABC News' consumer correspondent Becky Worley recommends using the site FreeShippingDay.com to find out what retailers are offering free shipping today, and which ones require special promo codes at checkout in order to access the free shipping.Retailers offering free shipping todayHere is a list of some of the most prominent retailers offering free shipping, with no minimum purchase, today, according to the site freeshippingday.com:1. Macy's2. JCPenney3. Talbots4. Old Navy5. Target6. Toys "R" Us7. Kate Spade8. Banana Republic9. Asos10. Levi's A full list of retailers is available on freeshippingday.com. The roundup above can be used as guidelines and for planning, but Worley recommends always double-checking all the details before making a purchase.Deadlines in order to guarantee delivery before ChristmasThe consumer website BestBlackFriday.com also rounded up a list of the last day you can order from many popular online retailers in order to ensure that your purchase is delivered by Christmas. This roundup is also useful for planning purposes, but be sure to double-check the delivery details of your order before making a purchase. A full list of deadlines can be found on Best Black Friday's website.AmazonDec. 15: This is last day that you can order from Amazon and have your items ship for free -- with a $25 minimum purchase -- and ensure they are delivered before Christmas.Dec. 18: This is last day that you can order from Amazon and have your items ship with the standard shipping option and still ensure they are delivered before Christmas.Dec. 22: This is last day you can order with Two-Day shipping and have your items arrive in time for Christmas.Dec. 23 and 24: Amazon offers same-day or two-hour delivery options in some cities, although the shipping cost may be much higher. Best BuyDec. 19: This marks the last day that you can order large home delivery items and ensure their arrival by Christmas.Dec. 20: 10:30 a.m. CT on this day marks the last time that you can order most items and ensure their delivery by Christmas.Dec. 24: If you order your items before noon on this day with same-day delivery you may be able to ensure their arrival before Christmas. In addition, if you order online before 4 p.m. on this day with the in-store pickup option you may also be able to get your items before Christmas.JCPenneyDec. 20: This marks the last day that you can order online from the website and have your purchases arrive in time for Christmas.Toys "R" UsDec. 18: If you order online by 11:59 p.m. ET on this day, the toy retailer says they will deliver your purchase in time for Christmas.Dec. 20: If you order online by 3 p.m. ET on this day with the expedited shipping option your order should arrive in time for Christmas.Dec. 20: If you order online by 11:59 p.m. ET on this day with the express shipping option, your order should arrive in time for Christmas.Dec. 24: If you order online by noon ET on Christmas Eve and select the in-store pickup option, you should be able to receive your purchase in time for Christmas.WalmartDec. 13: This marks the last day that you can order from their website and ensure delivery before Christmas with their cheaper, freight, delivery option.Dec. 19: This marks the last day that you can order from their website and ensure delivery before Christmas with their standard delivery option.Dec. 21: This marks the last day that you can order from their website and ensure delivery before Christmas with their pricier rush delivery option.After or
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Google released its lists of trends for the most popular search terms, phrases and questions for the year -- and it turns out a whole lot of people are apparently making slime.How to make slime, it turns out, was the No. 1 "how" question people were searching. How to buy bitcoin was another common question, while others want to know what DACA and "covfefe" are.The internet giant unveiled its "Year in Search" alongside a video saying, "This year more than ever, we asked how" with clips of some of the most-searched content.  As for the top search terms overall for the United States, Google said they were calculated "based on search terms that had a high spike in traffic in 2017 as compared to 2016."Here's the list of the top 10 searches: 1. Hurricane IrmaHurricane Irma hit Florida in mid-September as a Category 4 storm, causing the evacuation of 6.5 million people and a trail of immense destruction that left a number of fatalities in the U.S. and the Caribbean.Before hitting Florida, the catastrophic hurricane struck Cuba as a Category 5 storm and left 90 percent of the structures on Barbuda destroyed.The cost of the natural disaster could hit multi-billions of dollars in economic impact and losses. 2. Matt LauerNBC announced on Nov. 30 they had fired Matt Lauer, one the hosts of the "Today" show, after receiving and investigating an allegation of "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," the network said.The network later received at least two more complaints related to Lauer, The New York Times reported, citing a person briefed on the matter. ABC News was not able to verify these additional claims and a request for comment from Lauer’s camp and NBC were not returned.In a statement he released on Nov. 30, he said some of the allegations were "untrue or mischaracterized," but "there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed." 3. Tom PettyTom Petty, best known as front man for the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, died on Oct. 2.Some of his most well-known hits included “Free Fallin’,” “American Girl” and “I Won’t Back Down.”Petty, 66, had been rushed to the hospital after going into cardiac arrest, according to his family.4. Super BowlThe New England Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, at this year's Super Bowl in an historic comeback after the Patriots were down 25 points in the third quarter.Players and pundits have called it the greatest Super Bowl of all-time. The game went into the first overtime in Super Bowl history.It was Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's fifth Super Bowl win and he was named Most Valuable Player. Lady Gaga headlined the halftime show. 5. Las Vegas shootingThe deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history left 58 dead and more than 520 injured on Oct. 1 at a country music festival in Las Vegas.The shooter, perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, shot down at the concert.He was found dead in his hotel room with more than 23 firearms inside. 6. Mayweather vs. McGregor fightIn one of the most anticipated boxing matches of the decade, pro boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated mixed martial artist Conor McGregor on Aug. 26.McGregor challenged Mayweather to the fight, and Mayweather came out of retirement to accept the challenge.With a price tag of $99.95, pay-per-view access raked in at least $450 million in revenue in the U.S.The search "how to watch the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight" was the No. 4 searched "how" question on Google in 2017.7. Solar eclipseA rare total solar eclipse was seen in the U.S. on Aug. 21, leaving parts of the country in utter darkness for a few minutes, but a partial eclipse was visible in every state.The eclipse was particularly rare because it was the first time since June 8, 1918 that the path of totality exclusively crosses the continental U.S. and it was also the first continent-wide eclipse to be visible only from the U.S. since 1776.
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  • 21st Century Fox(NEW YORK) -- The Walt Disney Co. is in the process of acquiring most of 21st Century Fox Inc. for $52.4 billion in stock, Disney announced Thursday. After the industry-shattering news broke, much of the conversation online and in social media was about what this acquisition could mean for Marvel Studios, which is also owned by Disney. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has intricately assembled a world with a specific set of characters since 2008’s Iron Man, the after credits of which saw Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury teasing Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark about a “larger world” of heroes out there. But in the past, studios like Sony have owned the rights to some of Marvel's biggest and brightest stars like Spider-Man. Last year, that changed when Marvel made a deal with Sony and brought Spidey into the fold for his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in "Captain America: Civil War." Earlier this year, Peter Parker was back again in his own film, "Spider-Man: Homecoming," to the tune of $880 million worldwide at the box offices. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 92% Fresh, so fans and critics alike were digging the fact that Tom Holland's Spidey could now fight crime with Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, which hadn't been possible before. Now, enter Fox, which has owned the rights to possibly Marvel's most popular team, the "X-Men," for the past two decades. In fact, it was "X-Men" in 2000 that really started the genre you see dominating theaters today. The film, starring a relatively unknown Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, alongside Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart grossed almost $300 million worldwide and let studios know that there was an appetite for comic book flicks. But even with this success and the success of future "X-Men" films, a Wolverine could never team-up with "The Avengers," though the cross-over does happen all the time in the books. Even Jackman himself has voiced his desire to suit up alongside Downey, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth in a film. In 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Chris Evans wasn't even allowed to use the word mutants, which the X-Men are, (he said "enhanced") because of licensing. In next year's "Avengers: Infinity War," the "X-Men" were a big part of that two-decade old comic series that serves as inspiration for the team's battle against the big bad Thanos. This merger may not affect that movie or even the next one, but it could make way for team-ups that fans have never even imagined on the big screen. ABC News spoke to Marvel editors Jordan White and Heather Antos on Thursday to get their expert take and see what they are excited to see in the future. "As a big fan of the Marvel movies, I think Marvel Studios knows the characters so well and does a great job with them," White said. "As much as I've enjoyed some of the Fox films, I think Marvel will do an even better job. I'm very excited to get presumably a new take on the Fantastic Four, even a new take on the X-Men." Antos pointed out how well the transition of Spider-Man went as he joined the MCU, "having this happen on the tails of the new Spidey movie, just makes me so excited for all of the possibilities to come." Even Ryan Reynolds, who plays "Deadpool," another Fox star, a tweet of excitement in his usual snarky tone. "Time to uncork that explosive sexual tension between Deadpool and Mickey Mouse," the actor wrote. And in the end, FiveThirtyEight's pop culture expert Walt Hickey put it best when he said, "This thing just gives [Marvel] new opportunities to tell stories." So the question is, what’s next? Will we ever see Hulk and The Thing doing their thing? Will we finally see Deadpool fanboying out for Jackman as Wolverine in the flesh? Only time will tell what those stories will be! ABC News, Marvel and Lucasfilm are all part of parent company Disney.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It seems President Donald Trump would have one less possible 2020 challenger.Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said Thursday he is extending his contract with the company through 2021.The timing would effectively put off any 2020 presidential run, the subject of speculation for some time.Iger appeared to put that to rest during an appearance on "Good Morning America" Thursday when he announced the planned acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets by Disney, which owns ABC News."I'm sticking around until the end of 2021 so you do the math," he said.Iger's contract had been set to expire in 2019."I am going to stay until the end of 2021. You know, I've got one of the greatest jobs in the world; I've enjoyed doing it for 12 years," Iger said, noting the proposed Fox deal "makes it even more exciting and I'm looking forward to the future at Disney."When asked whether the deal takes a presidential run off the table, Iger said, "I hadn't made any decisions about what my future was going to be. ... I enjoy this job immensely and I'm looking forward to doing it for a few more years."So Trump appears to be less of a target for now than the likes of Netflix. In light of the proposed 21st Century Fox acquisition, Iger said, Disney "aim[s] to be an able competitor to" that streaming service.Iger, 66, has fielded questions about his political aspirations for years, but has never given a firm confirmation or denial of specific plans.In a June 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said that he's "interested in politics... but I'm not exploring a run for governor or senator or anything along those lines.""A lot of people — a lot — have urged me to seek political office. All kinds of different jobs. Everybody has got a different idea for me, except all roads lead through my wife," he said at the time.Iger was one of 16 CEOs and business leaders who initially joined the Trump administration's President's Strategic and Policy Forum that was created during the presidential transition, but he resigned from the council in June over Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.
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  • 21st Century Fox(NEW YORK) -- The Walt Disney Co. is acquiring 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion in stock, Disney announced on Thursday morning. Fox will spin off and retain some of its properties, including Fox News, but Disney would own Fox's massive film and TV empires."The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before," Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., said in a statement announcing the acquisition.Disney, which owns ABC News, taking ownership of one the country's largest movie studios from the Rupert Murdoch-controlled company is one of the biggest media deals in recent years."We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry," said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, in a statement.The remaining 21st Century Fox assets include Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network and the Fox Sports 1 sports channel.Disney, which is home to family friendly films such as "Frozen" and "Finding Dory," will now also include assets from Fox that target a different demographic, such as FX Networks and National Geographic Channel.Along with the movie studio and the aforementioned TV channels, Disney will have a majority ownership of Hulu, which airs originally produced series such as "The Handmaid's Tale."And added to the Disney library will be TV shows such as "The Simpsons" and classic films such as "The Sound of Music."During an investor's call in November, Iger, who took over Disney's helm in 2005, spoke of the company's long-term growth. "We continue to make significant investments required to drive long-term growth across our entire company," Iger said.He continued, "No other company in entertainment today is better equipped to meet the challenges of the changing world or better positioned for continued growth thanks to our collection of brands, our strong franchises and our unique ability to leverage IP [intellectual property] across our entire company to maximize value and create new opportunities. We'll continue to invest for the future and take the smart risks required to keep moving forward."The acquisition of Fox's ownership of Hulu will mesh with Disney's streaming service, slated for a 2019 launch.During the investor's call, Iger said the streaming service will offer a "rich array" of content from four of Disney's major brands: Disney, Pixar, Star Wars/Lucasfilm and Marvel. Iger also said it will have four or five exclusive feature films per year. There are also original series already in development for the service, including a "Star Wars" live-action series, as well as series based on the "Monsters" film and the "High School Musical" series. The service will also offer thousands of hours of Disney film and TV library product, he added.But before Disney's as-of-yet unnamed streaming service makes its debut, ESPN's streaming service, ESPN+ will make its debut this spring, Iger announced during the investor's call. ESPN+ will be accessible through a new and fully redesigned app, "which will allow users to access sports scores and highlights, stream our channels on an authenticated basis and subscribe to ESPN+ for additional sports coverage, including thousands of live sporting events," Iger said.Iger spoke enthusiastically about ESPN+, telling investors, "This one app experience will be a one-of-a-kind product, offering sports fans far more than they can get on any other app, website or channel and immediately propelling ESPN in the new direction."Iger also spoke of Disney's various acquisitions in recent years, and how they have helped lift the company to new heights."The acquisition of Marvel help
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