Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the Art of Worldbuilding

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm from Star Wars creator George Lucas for $4 billion in 2012, many fans had the same thought: Disney's got to make a theme park set in the galaxy far, far away. It's the peanut-butter-in-chocolate of worldbuilding: The creative minds at Lucasfilm know how to build cinematic universes; Disney's Imagineering team knows how to construct fantastical lands IRL. If the Mouse House didn't build Star Wars worlds at its theme parks, it would be a huge missed opportunity. Today, nearly seven years later, the first of those worlds opened its doors. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is now a fully functioning "land" at Disney's Anaheim park. Its twin will open at the company's Florida resort later this year. …

Why Women Are Called ‘Influencers’ and Men ‘Creators’

Being a "social media influencer" has nothing to do with the size of your audience or the nature of your work. An influencer used to be someone with a giant, million-plus following to sell things to, but marketers have since expanded the term, piling on prefixes like macro-, micro-, and even nano-influencers, who can have audiences of just 1,000. Influencers aren't confined to a genre anymore, either. There are still the standard-issue Instagram beauty and lifestyle influencers, but also restaurant influencers, real estate influencers, pet influencers. Really, the only way to guarantee that people will think of your online celebrity as "influence" is to be a woman. Emma Grey Ellis Optimization Smackdown: Hustle Porn vs. Zen Porn Emma Grey Ellis …

Game of Thrones Recap: The Endings We Choose to Believe

Game of Thrones has always been a story about stories, a fantasy that wanted to change how we thought about fantasy while spinning a fantasy of its own. It's over now, though its audience will probably never agree on how it "really" ended, or if it ended at all; like so many myths that fractured into multiple truths through multiple tellings, it will always be replete with alternative interpretations and theories, debates about what it meant and revisionist histories that imagine it through the lens of whatever people want to see. In that sense, it has truly come to embody stories—and histories—in all their slippery glory and their power to remake the past and shape the future. WIRED Staff Game …

Depth of Field: In Alabama, The Handmaid’s Tale Is a Haunting Metaphor

The year is 2019. It is a time of chasmic divides. Republican rule has taken hold in America. The land aches from unrest. In the Deep South, once a province of notorious racial and social subjugation, history again flirts with twisted judgement. On Tuesday, 25 state senators—all of whom were white men, and who, like clowns at the circus, bear names like Del Marsh, Shay Shelnutt, and James "Jabo" Waggoner with mischievous, cowardly grins—voted to all but ban abortion in Alabama. Their bill makes no exceptions for rape or incest, and it punishes doctors who perform the procedure with life in prison. Governor Kay Ivey signed it into law the very next day, and effectively transformed the Heart of Dixie …

Gaga and Bradley set the meme-osphere and our loins ablaze this week with their Oscar’s performance All the Memes

Image: MASHABLE COMPOSITE; HBO, NETFLIX, KFC, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, GETTY IMAGES/AMY SUSSMAN, GETTY IMAGES/GARY MILLER, GETTY IMAGES/JEFF KRAVITZ, vicky leta / mashable May is National Masturbation Month, and we’re celebrating with Feeling Yourself, a series exploring the finer points of self-pleasure. So far, 2019 hasn’t been a particularly sexy year. When you think about, we’ve all had to watch a lot of straight-up nonsense go down. Green Book won the Oscar for Best Picture, Jeff Bezos’ “sexts” leaked, and Sonic the Hedgehog got a full set of human teeth, for goodness sake. Gross! A bunch of this year’s pop culture moments have been genuinely disappointing, but we’re not going to let that harsh our self-love vibes. From sexy fashion statements and …

While You Were Offline: President Trump Is Suing Banks Now

Unfortunately, we have to start this roundup with tragic news: There were two shootings in the past week. Adding to that feeling are headlines about Wikileaks leader Julian Assange, now-withdrawn Trump Fed pick Stephen Moore, and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who resigned last week after weeks of speculation. On the plus side, the US economy is adding more jobs. Here's what else happened last week online. Banking on It What Happened: To stop them from responding to a congressional subpoena for information, President Trump, some of his children, and his company sued a couple of banks. What Really Happened: A good portion of the American public is continuously curious about their president's finances. Trump himself, however, is often elusive …