KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Tori Whitley

The Star Wars universe is expanding.

Star Wars: Visions is the latest series in the franchise, produced by Lucasfilms in collaboration with seven well-known Japanese anime studios.

While this technically is the first time these worlds have collided, George Lucas has been inspired by Japanese entertainment since the original trilogy.

Thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C., and other cities across the country on Saturday to protest a recent slew of legislation that critics say suppresses voter rights, particularly for voters of color and young voters, in many Republican-led states.

Ella Yelich-O'Connor, known to the world as Lorde, is embracing a sunnier and more analog sound, full of plucked acoustic guitars and brushed snares. Since releasing her breakout single, "Royals," in 2013, she's made the most of hook-heavy pop songs constructed from a palette of overcast electronic sounds.

"In the past," she says, "I'd hear an acoustic guitar and I'd say 'Oh, here we go. It's about to get painfully authentic!' "

When director Kristine Stolakis went to film school, she knew precisely what her first documentary would be about. It's a movement that according to one estimate has affected the lives of nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. with disastrous results.

As a kid, Rebecca Sugar felt like they only liked the wrong things.

"I remember I was really interested in shows for boys," she says, "and I knew at a very young age that was incorrect. I have found little diary entries from my five-year-old self guiltily admitting that I loved SWAT Kats, and I had no interest in shows for little girls."

With less than 100 days until the 2020 presidential election, Ohio's 18 electoral votes are in play.

The state went for President Trump in 2016, and Ashtabula County is one reason why.

The Chicks — formerly known as the Dixie Chicks — is back with a new record called Gaslighter after 14 years. Why the long time gone? Martie Maguire, Emily Strayer and Natalie Maines say they wanted a break to raise their kids, among other things, but after a 2016 reunion tour, they felt the hunger again. Their new album is rooted in failed relationships, some good ones, anger and a lotta humor. Maguire says life experience never hurts writing.

The pandemic, a bad economy, police killings and a fight for racial equality: It's a lot of take in. For some, music has been a way to cope and try to make sense of it all and that is the premise behind the Morning Edition Song Project, in which we asked musicians to write and perform an original song about this moment.

Editor's Note: Since this story published, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power showrunner Noelle Stevenson has come out as bigender. Bigender is a nonbinary gender identity that describes someone who has two genders. These genders can be, but are not always, male and female. Stevenson uses all pronouns to refer to themselves: she/her/hers, he/him/his and they/them/theirs. The digital story has been updated to reflect Stevenson's public identity change. The audio version of this story is archived in its original form.

The Lumineers have taken their latest album, III, as an opportunity to shine a light on a topic that's close to many of the members' lives — addiction. III tells a story of addiction in three acts. As the album runs from one song to the next, it's a tale of one family facing the same problem. "It's the family secret and it's a taboo," Wes Schultz, the band's lead vocalist, says.

Drummer Jeremiah Fraites says addiction happens in cycles and should be considered that way.

At a cancer treatment center in Iran's capital of Tehran, a doctor's fight to treat her cancer patients has become harder. As U.S. sanctions sink in, the flow of medicine and medical supplies in Iran appears to have slowed — and the reasons are difficult to pin down.

Dr. Mastaneh Sanei, an oncologist at the Roshana Cancer Center, says she's treating patients without the benefits of consistently functioning equipment and a reliable supply of drugs.

With the right treatment, she says, "you may not cure these patients, but they have the chance to prolong survival."

Tanya McCloskey and Marcia Kadish didn't set out to make headlines when they got married on May 17, 2004.

That morning, McCloskey and Kadish were the first same-sex couple to get legally married in the U.S. after being together for nearly 20 years.

"We felt we were married already," Kadish tells Morning Edition host Rachel Martin. "This was just making it legal."

Ani DiFranco grew up in a house with no walls. "It was like a brick carriage house there. Inside there was just one room on the first floor and one room on the second floor. So it was an intimate house for a non-intimate family."

DiFranco's deep craving for intimacy led her to writing music. And the things DiFranco wanted to write were exactly what a generation of women coming of age in the '90s wanted to hear. DiFranco relives those early years in her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream.

Rock fans fell in love with The Cranberries in the early '90s, thanks, in large part, to the haunting, Celtic-inspired voice of the Irish rock band's lead singer, Dolores O'Riordan. The Cranberries, made up of O'Riordan on lead vocal, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler on drums, created an intoxicating juxtaposition of grunge and alternative pop, with O'Riordan's lilting lyrics searing through right in.

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is known for blurring the line between fantasy and reality. He directed the 2006 dark fantasy Pan's Labyrinth, and in his latest film, The Shape of Water, he once again mixes realistic sets with mysterious monsters.

The Shape of Water is set near Washington, D.C., inside a Cold War government lab. In the midst of the space race with Russia, American authorities capture an amphibian sea creature. They plan to dissect it and see if it can withstand being shot into space.