Werner Herzog, Who Is Starring in an Upcoming Star Wars Series, Has Never Seen a Star Wars Movie

 Andreas Rentz, Getty Images
Andreas Rentz, Getty Images

Werner Herzog has done a lot of things in his prolific film directing career. He perused prehistoric art while creating the Cave of Forgotten Dreams documentary. He visited a jungle (and hated it). He ate his own shoe in front of a live audience. But one thing he hasn't done is watch a Star Wars movie.

"I have to confess I never saw a single one," he said while shaking his head in an interview with the Associated Press. "I've seen some trailers. I've seen some excerpts here and there. And I know about the whole franchise and about the toys for the kids and so—it's all a new mythology."

This wouldn't be all that unusual, except for the fact that he's starring in The Mandalorian, Disney's forthcoming series set in the Star Wars universe. According to AV Club, Herzog will be playing the role of a "mysterious villain" in the show, which was created by Jon Favreau. Herzog said he will likely appear in two or three episodes.

Despite this lack of a proper introduction to the Star Wars world, Herzog said he didn't have any misgivings about being part of the project. "I looked at the screenplay and I had the feeling of—though I know very little about Star Wars—I had the feeling, 'Yes, I could do it,'" he said.

He praised filmmakers for eschewing the "artificiality" of the green screen in favor of a more tangible approach. "[The Mandalorian] brings movie-making back to where it should be. It's a phenomenal achievement," he said.

According to the official synopsis of the series, "The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic." It will premiere on Disney's streaming platform, Disney+, sometime this year.

[h/t AV Club]

Virginia’s University of Lynchburg is Adding a Harry Potter Class to Its Fall Curriculum

Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R.
Warner Bros. Ent. Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R.

While it’s not exactly an invitation to Hogwarts, students at Virginia’s University of Lynchburg are getting just about the next best thing. This fall, the campus is adding a Harry Potter-themed class to its curriculum as a general education course.

The university is in the process of changing some of its course offerings and streamlining classes in recognition of its modern students. According to WSET ABC 13, Dr. Sharon Foreman, director of general education, said of the new curriculum: "It is very targeted towards 21st century students who are going out into a global society and so we want faculty, staff, and administrators to know what that means, what it looks like, and [to] experience it first hand.”

Faculty have decided providing an education for a global society includes offering courses like the upcoming "Harry Potter and the Good Life," which will ask students to read J.K. Rowling’s books alongside the works of philosophers to create connections between the past and present.

University of Lynchburg coordinator of integrated seminars Amy Merrill Willis told WSLS 10 News that the course's instructor, Devin Brickhouse Bryson, is "going to be introducing philosophical concepts from [Plato], Socrates, and Aristotle, and asking students to think about the Harry Potter series in depth.”

Although there may not be a sorting hat or Butterbeer involved, the class sounds like a creative way to engage students in philosophy and critical issues, all while focused on the beloved Harry Potter series.

[h/t WSET ABC 13]

Pennsylvania Has Become a Hotbed of Bigfoot Sightings

iStock, THEPALMER
iStock, THEPALMER

If catching a glimpse of a real, live Bigfoot has been on your bucket list, you might want to plan a trip to Pennsylvania.

According to CBS Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania now ranks as the third best place to catch a glimpse of a Sasquatch. These findings came to light thanks to the Travel Channel’s new show In Search of Monsters, which analyzed the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) collection of sightings data.

According to the BFRO, which dubs itself “the only scientific research organization exploring the Bigfoot/Sasquatch mystery," of the 23,000 Bigfoot sighting reports they have on file, 1340 of them came from The Keystone State (although the site notes that there may be significant under-representation in some areas that lack sufficient internet access or computers).

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported on the growing popularity of Bigfoot hunting in Pennsylvania, with some cryptid searchers even viewing it as a fun weekend pastime.

Though Bigfoot's popularity may be on the rise in Pennsylvania, both California and Washington have PA beat when it comes to the sheer numbers. California was deemed the second best place to look for Sasquatch with over 1697 sightings reported, while Washington leads the country with 2032 sightings in all.

If you do happen to run into a Sasquatch, keep in mind that your reactions may have certain legal repercussions (for example, it's illegal to shoot Bigfoot in some states; you'll want to check with your state's wildlife department for your area's exact rules). And if you want to register that sighting, the BFRO makes it easy with an online form that allows you to recount all the key details—and speak with a BFRO investigator.

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