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• The Force was strong enough at an Arizona store to reunite Luke Skywalker with his long-lost vinyl record. Actor Mark Hamill is praising workers at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange in Flagstaff for returning the Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope soundtrack that he got as a gift from film composer John Williams. Hamill said in a tweet Saturday that it felt "totally unexpected & positively surreal" to get back the record he hadn't seen since the early 1990s. He commended the store about 145 miles north of Phoenix for being honest and not selling it. "I happily offered to sign any [Star Wars] items they sent me," the actor wrote. Williams had written on the vinyl's sleeve: "Dear Mark Hamill, May the Force always be with us." The record was one of numerous Star Wars items brought in by a woman after her father's death in 2018, the Arizona Daily Sun reported. Employees at the Arizona-based chain that sells used books, movies and CDs tried to verify the signature. Micheil Salmons, the store's general manager, said they reached out to Hamill via social media. The actor confirmed it was genuine, and the vinyl was sent back to him. Salmons said Hamill signed a DVD of Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope and two medals that are replicas of those given to his character and Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, in the film.

Photo by SIPAPRE
Mark Hamill

• Supermodel Gigi Hadid is in the running to be a juror in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial after telling a judge Monday that she thinks she would be able to "keep an open mind on the facts." Hadid, who lives in Manhattan, turned heads as part of the latest pool of 120 potential jurors summoned for the case. Hadid, 27, disclosed that she has met Weinstein and actress Salma Hayek, a potential witness, but said that she could remain impartial. She was asked to return Thursday for additional questioning. Hadid was questioned during an initial screening process, now on its fifth day, that has been stymied by a host of challenges and distractions. Surrounded by photographers as she left the courthouse, Hadid said: "I'm not allowed to talk about jury duty. I'm sorry." Weinstein, 67, is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another in 2006. The former studio boss behind such Oscar winners as Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love has said any sexual activity was consensual. Once jury selection is complete, prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case hope to give their opening statements before the end of the month.

Photo by Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Gigi Hadid arrives at the 53rd annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.

A Section on 01/14/2020

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