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LG G Pro vs. iPhone 5S? Alternative brackets to March Madness

March Madness doesn't have to be just about basketball. You can get a tournament fix without ever setting eyes on a round orange bouncy object or the extremely tall humans who use it.

Instead, you can bask in a much nerdier alternative tournament where you get to do things like root for Neil deGrasse Tyson versus the Dowager Countess from "Downton Abbey" or cheer on the iPhone 5S in a pitched battle against the LG G Pro 2.

Welcome to the world of alternative brackets. Here are five to feed your competitive fire, and they have pretty much nothing to do with basketball.… Read more

Dancing with the 'Star Wars': Billy Dee Williams cha-chas as Lando

Shimmying stormtroopers. R2-D2 beeping to disco music. Lando Calrissian taking Princess Leia for a spin on the dance floor. While it sounds like one of the gaming levels in "Star Wars Kinect," this was the "Dancing with the Stars" debut of actor Billy Dee Williams and his dance partner Emma Slater.

Dressed in a costume reminiscent of his role as Lando Calrissian, Williams began the cha-cha number flanked by stormtroopers and announced by a beeping R2-D2. His dancing partner donned a costume inspired by Princess Leia's metal bikini in "Return of the Jedi," as well as her famous hair buns. … Read more

'Star Wars: Episode VII' tells tale 30 years after 'Jedi'

Some news for fans excited to find out what life is like post-Ewok battles and that metal bikini: Lucasfilm has announced a start date for shooting "Star Wars: Episode VII." Director J.J. Abrams and his team will begin shooting principal photography in May at London's historic Pinewood Studios.

Lucasfilm also announced that "Star Wars: Episode VII" will take place about 30 years after the events of "Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi," and will star "a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces." … Read more

May the 'Star Wars' March Madness be with you!

Yoda triumphed last year as the most popular "Star Wars" character, but who will win this year's geekiest bracket tournament in the galaxy? Darth Vader, R2-D2, Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Yoda, and other fan favorites compete for fan votes in This is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament 2014, which started earlier this month and runs through April 7.

Upgrades to this year's online competition include real-time voting results, social-media sharing functionality, and new character divisions such as Rebels, Jedi, Scoundrels, Republic, Empire & Separatists, Sith, Bounty Hunters, and Underworld. There's also an "Attack of the Play-Ins" round, which allows four wild cards to enter the main tournament. … Read more

Exclusive cover peek at latest Ian Doescher 'Star Wars' parody

Life's but an Ewoking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage.

"William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return" -- the third installment of Shakespeare's "Star Wars" parody books by Ian Doescher from Quirk Books -- hits bookshelves on July 1, and CNET got an exclusive look at the cover.

On it, Jabba the Hutt takes his place as the ultimate Shakespearean villain. Will Princess Leia's metal bikini, the treacherous sarlacc pit, and Ewoks and the Battle of Endor all be given the Shakespearean treatment? Fans will have to wait until the summer to discover what exactly is in store for their favorite characters in this homage to George Lucas' iconic "Star Wars" film "Return of the Jedi." … Read more

Let them eat Yoda: A geek food feast full of fun and failure

I recently stood at the end cap of a grocery store aisle, doing a double-take at a stack of macaroni-and-cheese boxes. I rubbed my eyes. I wasn't seeing things. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Kraft mac and cheese is a real thing. And it's not alone. Geek marketing of foods is a trend.

There are Angry Birds fruit gummies, Super Mario Campbell's chicken noodle soup cans, Spider-Man Cheez-It crackers, Iron Man candies, and some sort of mysterious juice beverage with the Incredible Hulk's roid-rage head on top of it. I bought them all. I poked and prodded them. I inspected Yoda's apple-flavored gummy ears. I held crackers up into the light to evaluate the artwork. I even ate them.… Read more

It's a 'Star Wars' snack! Admiral Ackbar cupcakes aren't a trap

Transforming an ordinary cupcake into Admiral Ackbar's head is simple with a few yellow candy melts, coffee sprinkles, black icing, and cocoa-cinnamon butter cream frosting.

Jenn from the JustJenn Recipes food blog explains how to make Admiral Ackbar cupcakes. "These cupcakes are sweet and delicious if you can get past Ackbar's giant eyes staring back at you begging you not to eat him," Jenn wrote on her blog. "Don't fall for it -- it's not a trap, IT'S A SNACK!"

Jenn is quite the Jedi Master chef when it comes to creating "Star Wars" treats. She's paid tribute to both the Millennium Falcon and its pilot Han Solo in Jell-O. She's baked a gruesome-yet-tasty severed Wampa arm cake. She's paid homage to Princess Leia in cupcake form with adorable Oreo hair buns. So Ackbar cupcakes are a nice addition to her portfolio of pastries, cakes, cookies, and other desserts for this galaxy and one far, far away. … Read more

Transform your toilet into a 'Star Wars' sarlacc pit

When geeks discuss euphemisms for going to the bathroom, you end up with some oddball entries. One of Robbie Rane's buddies suggested "toss Boba Fett in the sarlacc" as a reference to doing your doo-duty. That was all it took to set Rane off on a quest to turn his toilet into a sarlacc pit.

In case you need a quick refresher, the sarlacc is a tentacled, spiny, burping, large-mouthed creature known to eat just about anything that gets near its pit. Bounty hunter Boba Fett once very nearly got munched to death by a sarlacc on Tatooine.… Read more

Lego Sandcrawler rolls through 'Star Wars' universe

When I saw "Star Wars" the first time, on opening day in 1977, I had to wait in line for more than an hour to get in. Which meant that by the time I entered the theater -- San Francisco's famous Coronet -- the first thing I saw on screen was the Jawas' Sandcrawler, rolling across the desert sand.

For people who have such memories of that giant transporter, and even those who don't, Lego has something worth getting excited about: a new Lego Sandcrawler set, just the latest in a long and successful partnership between … Read more

Return to Jedi Academy in Jeffrey Brown's new 'Star Wars' book

Gamorrean Guards serving school lunch? Students trying to master the Force? Alien poetry tests? Writer and artist Jeffrey Brown's New York Times best-seller "Jedi Academy" gets a sequel with "Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan" from Scholastic, due to hit stores on July 29.

When the book's main character, student Roan Novachez, returns to Jedi Academy for a second year, he thought it would be easier. But his problems are just starting. He's not the expert pilot he hoped he'd be. He's feeling more distant from his friends. And when bullies … Read more