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Who will be the last Jedi? Everything we know about ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’

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***Original post published on Digital Trends***

Director Rian Johnson’s addition to the Star Wars canon, Episode VIII — The Last Jedi, may seem like a distant point in a galaxy far, far away, but make no mistake: December 15 will be here before you know it. And while there’s no doubt the actual premiere is the big payoff, all the rumors leading up to the film are what make the Star Wars universe … well, the Star Wars universe.

To that end, we’re loading up this bastion of Star Wars lore with all the news, rumors, and clandestine whispers we can find to help you analyze the details and get you geared up for the big night. Keep in mind that this post does contain some spoilers, so if you’re looking to head into theaters in blissful ignorance, turn back now.

It’s all The Last Jedi from here on out, so stop searching your feelings, and follow us below.

Introducing C’ai Threnali

During 2017’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, Lucasfilm introduced a new character that will debut in Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the project’s official Comic-Con booth. Like the X-Wing fighter pilot Ello Asty from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the new character named C’ai Threnali is a male member of the Abednego species and a pilot in the Resistance.

As reported by IGN, C’ai Threnali was introduced as a life-sized character model stationed at The Last Jedi booth amid a recreation of a Resistance war room. The official description of the character reads as follows: “A skillful fighter pilot of Abednedo descent, C’ai Threnali flies as Poe Dameron’s wingman following the evacuation of D’Qar.”

D23 brings fresh footage

During Disney’s biennial fan event D23 expo, Lucasfilm, and Walt Disney Studios released a behind-the-scenes video for Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi that offered some fresh footage from the much-anticipated film.

Along with some new scenes featuring Daisy Ridley’s Rey training with Jedi master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the video offers a peek at several explosive scenes with both the New Republic’s Resistance forces and what appears to be the remnants of the Galactic Empire and the rising First Order.

Several other, familiar faces also appear in the video, including John Boyega’s former stormtrooper, Finn, and Oscar Isaac as Resistance pilot Poe Dameron. Veteran franchise actor Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) also appears in the video, and in a bittersweet series of scenes, deceased actress Carrie Fisher can be seen in her last performance as General Leia Organa.

New faces, new names, and a look behind the scenes

As part of Vanity Fair’s coverage of The Last Jedi, the magazine released a series of photos of the cast and creative team in May 2017, snapped by celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz. The photos were accompanied by a behind-the-scenes video that offered a peek at the cast in costume, various sets, and maybe most importantly, more than a few lightsabers.

Among the photos released by the magazine are the first, official looks at a few new characters joining the franchise in The Last Jedi.

Among the fresh faces photographed in costume is Benicio Del Toro, who reportedly plays “a shady character of unclear allegiances … who goes unnamed in the film but is called DJ by the filmmakers.”

The magazine’s report also reveals that the new character named Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran, will play one of the biggest new roles in the film. Rose is described as “a maintenance worker for the Resistance” who becomes involved in “a mission behind enemy lines with [John] Boyega’s Finn.”

There’s also a photo of Laura Dern’s character, “a prominent officer in the Resistance named Vice Admiral Holdo.”

More photos and reporting from the magazine’s coverage of The Last Jedi can be seen at the Vanity Fair website.

The first trailer

As many fans (and industry pundits) predicted, Disney and Lucasfilm premiered the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi during 2017’s Star Wars Celebration event in Orlando, Florida.

Packed with ominous imagery and suggesting that the time of the Jedi could indeed be nearing its end, the trailer hinted at dark things to come for Rey, Finn, and the rest of the franchise’s current cast of characters.

A big chase

The spies of MakingStarWars.net have been keeping an eye on production, and they’ve seen some interesting things. Based on the website’s intel, there will be an interesting chase scene with Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) on horseback. Rumor has it the pursuit will take place on Canto Bight, a gambling-heavy planet, and they’ll be riding on special space race horses called falthiers. Apparently, the chase will culminate in Finn and Rose’s escape to a coffee shop of sorts that the site describes as “like a neon Starbucks.”

That which we call a rose

Fans of the franchise were introduced to Kelly Marie Tran during the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando in mid-April, as Deadline reports. We’ll see a lot of the actress in The Last Jedi. Her character, Rose, is a maintenance worker for the Resistance who gets caught up in the action thanks to Finn and Rey (Ridley).

Being able to reveal her role was probably a relief to Tran; she initially had to tell her family and friends that she was working on an indie flick in Canada because she was not allowed to tell them she snagged a role in Episode VIII. Oh, the secrecy.

A dark turn?

There have been hints that the Luke Skywalker we know won’t be the one who shows up in The Last Jedi. Ridley hinted at big surprises during the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando.

“Rey has a certain expectation as to what she might be getting from Luke and what that might entail,” she said, according to Deadline. “It’s difficult when you meet your heroes, because it might not be what you expect.”

She hinted that the iconic character could be “being challenged or going in a different direction,” and Hamill threw fuel on the fire with similar comments about his character.

“It was as shocking to me to read what Rian [Johnson] had written as I’m sure it will be for the audience,” he said, according to the International Business Times.

An ominous title

All of the speculation regarding the film’s full title was finally put to rest on January 23, 2017, when the project’s official title was revealed to be Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.

The announcement was made on StarWars.com, and although it answered a long-standing question about the film, it also prompted even more guessing games among fans.

Could the titular last Jedi be Luke? Per Yoda’s dying speech in Return of the Jedi, “When gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be.” Maybe the title refers to Rey, who is poised to study under Luke in the upcoming film?

As Jedi is both the singular and plural form of the word, there is a lot of ambiguity in the title. If foreign translations of the title are accurate, however, it seems there will be more than one Jedi in the film. The Spanish translation of the title is Los Últimos Jedi; unlike in English, adjectives in Spanish match the noun they modify in number, and “últimos” is the plural form of the word.

The other foreign translations of the title, such as the French and Italian, also use plural adjectives, so the evidence seems overwhelming. Exactly how many Jedi can fans expect to see? For now, we must wait to find out.

***This post originally published on Digital Trends***

Digital Trends is a leading consumer technology publisher helping people navigate an increasingly digital world. With easy-to-understand product reviews, entertaining news and videos, Digital Trends serves more than 30 million unique visitors each month. Digital Trends reaches 90 million tech influencers through their own media network, and its syndicate partners include Yahoo!, FOX News and more than 200 broadcast news stations. Digital Trends is headquartered in Portland, OR with offices in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Chicago.

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Ingredient in McDonald's French Fries Could Cure Baldness

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While McDonald’s french fries are scientifically engineered to be delicious, it seems that one of the ingredients might have another slightly unexpected use.

A team of researchers from Japan’s Yokohama National University explored methods to treat hair loss and found that when they used a chemical called dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) as part of the therapy, they found successful sites of successful hair growth on the mice used in the study.

That chemical isn’t just available in a lab. It is used in all of McDonald’s fried offerings.

Related: McDonald’s Unveils the ‘Frork,’ a ‘Flavor-Focused’ Utensil

When you head over to the McDonald’s website to do some product research, it is available in the fine print at the bottom of the page: “Our fried menu items are cooked in a vegetable oil blend with citric acid added as a processing aid and dimethylpolysiloxane to reduce oil splatter when cooking.”

Apparently it isn’t only the fries recipe that contains the chemical. It is also found in makeup, hair conditioner, caulk that you would use for bathroom tile, silicone implants and Silly Putty.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

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Entrepreneurs: Resolve Not to Resolve This New Year

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It’s that time of year again. The time for people to set expectations and goals to better themselves — or their businesses. Some squirm in their seat when hearing those three words, “New Year’s resolutions.” Oftentimes those resolutions don’t even see the end of the year. In fact, New Year’s resolutions have a failure rate of around 90 percent, according to various studies.

Related: 5 Important Resolutions That Grow Your Business and 10x Your Life

The problem? Setting unrealistic goals.

For small-business owners, 57 percent set annual goals for their businesses, while the remaining 43 percent hold back, according to a recent survey of 217 small businesses from The UPS Store. The main reasons for not setting yearly resolutions include business and market unpredictability, not seeing a need in setting goals, owning a seasonal business or having the mindset that the business is too small for goals. However, setting yearly goals is beneficial for every business. And turning those goals into achievements doesn’t have to be painful. Follow these helpful hints to make your 2018 business goals a success.

Avoid lofty goals.

One thing that will end your resolution quicker than it started is being unrealistic. Set a series of short-term goals that make a long-term impact. Increasing sales and acquiring more customers are among the most popular business goals of 2018 from small-business owners. Many times, people set goals that are unrealistic for their situation. Set yourself up for success by knowing or making a more realistic guess of what will work for your business.

Related: Happy New Year! Now, How Exactly, Are You Going to Make Those Resolutions Stick?

Make it measurable.

Make quarterly or monthly plans to work your way toward your ultimate goal. According to The UPS Store’s survey, 44 percent of respondents check their progress monthly to keep on track. Track your progress and keep records to hold yourself accountable. Having tangible evidence that you’re getting closer to your goal will keep your mind at ease and focused.

Knock down the hurdles.

Sometimes you are your own worst enemy. Did you slip up? Take note of it and move on. Fight the negativity and doubt, and remember why you made the resolution in the first place. Keeping your end result top of mind will keep you motivated to ultimately make it happen, no matter the obstacle.

Related: Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail and What You Should Do Instead

Plan ahead.

Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that your goals will be accomplished immediately. Not only should you plan what to do to reach your ultimate goal, but you should also plan for roadblocks. Sometimes life can get in the way — planning for setbacks before they happen will make the coping and rerouting process more seamless.

Revisit your passion.

What did you envision when you started with just an idea? What made you or motivated you to start your business to begin with? Revisit those roots. Visualizing what you imagined your business to be before it all began can reignite your passion to achieve the goals that will help drive your business forward.

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How to Stick to Your New Year's Career Resolutions

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This story originally appeared on Glassdoor

The best part of the New Year? We all get a chance to have a do-over. Whatever goals and dreams you have been thinking about over the past year, now’s your chance to make those achievements possible over the next twelve months.

Related: 10 Things That Will Help You Get Promoted in 2018

Looking for a new job? Working toward a promotion? Planning to ask for a raise? No matter the career aspiration, we all need a little help and guidance to keep us on track — which is why we spoke with Laura Weldy, life coach at The Well Supported Woman. Based in Nashville, TN, Weldy helps millennial women seeking more confidence, clarity and connection in their daily lives. Here’s what she advises for all jobs seekers and workers who want to stick to their New Year’s resolutions in 2018.

1. Set realistic resolutions

Most of us who set New Year’s resolutions tend to have a few goals that are vague or a little too over the top. If you want to actually see your resolutions through, make sure you think about how realistic your goals are and how you will track the progress you make.

“For those of us with a full-time job, I love the idea of crafting some resolutions around the progress you desire to make in your career and the lifestyle you want to experience in your downtime,” says Weldy.

For those work resolutions, Weldy says it’s important to consider very measurable ones — so focus your resolutions on specific awards, titles, projects or milestones you want to complete or work on this year.

2. Don’t let resolutions stress you out

One of the hardest parts about setting New Year’s resolutions is how we treat ourselves when we don’t stick to them. Don’t worry — you’re not alone in this. So many people feel the same way about their resolutions.

If you want to get ahead in your career, you can’t set resolutions that are going to make you feel bad about yourself. It’s hard to avoid this, but it comes down to spending more time thinking about the resolutions you are setting and why you are setting them.

“This is one of the downsides of the New Year’s resolution phenomenon — if you didn’t achieve your resolutions last year (or the year before that!) it’s easy to get discouraged,” says Weldy. “Your resolutions or goals should never be a source of shame for you — instead, think of them as always changing reflections of what matters to you right now.”

Working a full-time job or tackling the job hunt is hard work enough–so your resolutions should focus on positive ways to help make the process easier, or to help you achieve your goals.

Related: 4 Powerful Strategies for Relaunching Your Career in 2018

3. Prioritize your resolutions

If you set a long list of resolutions where the majority are goals that are going to take a lot of work and add more hours to your workday, you’re eventually going to burn out. As a result, find it hard to keep up with everything. Not to mention, you won’t be feeling too happy, both about your work ethic and yourself!

Weldy encourages us to evaluate our resolutions by asking ourselves: “Is this truly important to me, or is this something I feel I should do?”

Instead, she says to focus on the resolutions that you’re really excited about in order to have the most success with your goal setting. If there’s a really exciting project you can take ownership of in the New Year, focus on that goal right away.

4. Keep your list of resolutions short

Sometimes when we set our New Year’s resolutions, we set too many big goals and later find ourselves completely failing at keeping most of them. We start the year excited and make a long list of all the ideas we have and all the things we want to accomplish. Some 50 resolutions later, and we can’t even remember half the ones we set for ourselves.

“I see this all the time with resolutions because I think goal setting and living in that mental space of what could be possible for you is so much fun,” notes Weldy. “But even more fun than creating a list of 2,000 goals and imagining your dream life is actually living that life. That happens when we prioritize and focus.”

Weldy recommends keeping your resolution list short with about 3-5 resolutions in total.

Related: 6 Career-Ending Mistakes You Should Never Make on the Job

5. Have someone hold you accountable

It’s hard to stick to your goals on your own — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Consider showing your resolutions to your boss and asking them to help keep you accountable for the career goals you’re setting in the New Year.

If you don’t necessarily want your manager to know your resolutions, you can always confide in a co-worker, or even consider working with a personal coach.

“Find someone to help hold you accountable, and keep your resolutions somewhere where you see them every day,” advises Weldy. “If you are still struggling with sticking to your resolutions, you may need someone to help you better understand your mode of operating in the world, your motivations and how to maximize your time and energy. Nothing in this world is truly one-size-fits-all — including productivity hacks and tools for goal accomplishment. This is when working with a professional life coach comes in handy.”

Don’t worry — you’ve got this! And if you don’t quite reach your goals this year, you’ll always have a do-over at the end of 2018.

(By Isabel Thottam)

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Why Most New Year's Resolutions Fail and What You Should Do Instead

Entrepreneur

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Did you look forward to the holidays for a short rest to recharge your batteries, reflect upon your business and then start planning for the new year?

Many of my clients share that they enjoy the short break, but then harsh reality of life quickly sets in, and they complain about being tired, overworked and burned out. Can you relate? Most entrepreneurs and executives have high-performance expectations for themselves and can feel disappointed with their lack of progress regarding their health, relationships and their revenues after reflecting upon the past year. That’s when we are now convinced that something’s gotta change, right?

Related: 10 Simple Daily Practices That Will Make You Happier

Suddenly, we are empowered and excited by moving into the “New Year.” We come up with all sorts of New Year’s resolution ideas. It’s our chance to start fresh like a new baby. We get in the car and rush to join the gym (again) while setting some great New Year’s resolutions for our body and our business, thinking to ourselves, This is it, this is my new year of success, prosperity and happiness.

A lot of people have great resolution ideas to achieve their goals, like automatic bank transfers for saving money and a new smartwatch to help with weight loss. However, statistics show that only 9.2 percent of people ever achieve their New Year’s resolutions and break free from their bad habits.

I believe that New Year’s resolutions not only don’t work but can make matters worse. Most people live in a safe comfort zone where they have scripted their life with their subconscious mind. The subconscious acts as a recording that repeats the same song over and over again. We might be telling ourselves all day long that we want something different from our past but, in vain, our history plays back by default, and we get the same results.

Do I need to remind you about the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different results? Now that I have hopefully touched a sensitive nerve, you are probably asking, “So why do most New Year’s resolutions fail? If they don’t work, then what does work?”

Related: I Started Saying ‘No’ to These 6 Things. My Life and My Business Got a Lot Better.

The reasons why most New Year’s resolutions fail

Unfortunately, most of us create too much resistance by injecting too many resolutions and goals into our minds. We write down a long list of stuff like the following.

  • Double business revenues.
  • Get more online reviews.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Quit drinking.
  • Lose weight.
  • Spend more time with friends and family.
  • Read more books.
  • Eat more healthy food or stop eating junk food.
  • Learn to play an instrument.
  • Learn a new skill, like social media marketing.
  • Meet new people.
  • Travel more.

This process results in setting too many expectations and creating unrealistic goals. We end up with a long list of trying to do everything at once, relying on our emotions to keep us motivated until we achieve them.

Related: 12 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reinvent Yourself

So, what should you do instead of making New Year’s resolutions?

Change just one of your habits that creates the most change.

I discovered that making just one small change in your daily repetitive routine is a crucial step to alleviate the resistance that comes with change.

Remember that real change takes time, effort and patience. According to research from University College London, it takes about 66 days to completely break an old habit, and it can take much longer to master something new. While you are anchoring this unique pattern of action into your life, you are also uploading a new program in your subconscious. To stay motivated, it is important to celebrate even the smallest positive changes.

As you transform, it is very natural to experience different waves of emotion as you become more aware of how you feel. Honestly, self-awareness is the key to unlock all your potential for success.

Related: 5 Powerful Ways to Become Your Best Self

21 habits of highly successful people

What do highly successful entrepreneurs have in common? They share productive habits that lead to prolific action which translates into positive outcomes and results!

Ultra-successful people like Bill Gates, Daymond John, Oprah, Richard Branson, Marcus Lemonis, Deepak Chopra and even Napoleon Bonaparte all share everyday habits that are proven to produce success:

Here’s just a list of the 21 habits of successful entrepreneurs:

  1. They keep a journal.
  2. They talk to themselves in a mirror.
  3. They meditate.
  4. They read.
  5. They embrace their fears.
  6. They know that failure is part of success.
  7. They associate with only positive people.
  8. They set intentions.
  9. They talk to the universe.
  10. They are thankful.
  11. They prioritize their time.
  12. They don’t sweat the small stuff.
  13. They focus on what they can control.
  14. They actively listen.
  15. They enjoy money as a byproduct of their dream.
  16. They don’t count on luck.
  17. They love having fun and celebrate.
  18. They forgive themselves and others.
  19. They never give up but will change when needed.
  20. They don’t make rash or emotional decisions.
  21. They listen to their intuition.

Related: 5 Keys to Making Your New Year’s Financial Resolutions Stick

Hopefully, you noticed that most of these new habits are not activities, like going to the gym. Instead, they relate to creating new patterns for your thoughts. Once you change your thoughts, your habits and actions will automatically change, too.

It typically takes 21 days to shift into a new gear, so don’t give up! In his bestselling book Psycho-Cybernetics, author Dr. Maxwell Maltz says the “human mind takes almost exactly 21 days to adjust to a major life change.” Even though his research was originally on traumatic life events, he claims the principle applies “universally” and works just as well on positive changes.

If you can stick with it for only 21 days, you will have an excellent chance to succeed in achieving your goal because you changed just one habit. Commitment is key! You can do anything for 21 days, right?

Related: 8 Ways You Can Use Science to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Don’t worry if you fail for that day, just keep going to the next day and the next day after that. Remember to celebrate your small victories, so you train your subconscious brain to program you for continued success.

Start by doing something about today and don’t waste your time thinking about why it may not work, or you won’t do it. Your one new daily habit will soon replace your motivation, and it will become a consistent part of your life, like brushing your teeth.

The reason you are an entrepreneur is that you are far from average and taking educated risks gives you an edge. You rise up daily, make life-changing decisions, and you hopefully perform better every day by overcoming challenges and solving other people’s problems. You can do this!

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