William Keck and Gregory Kirschling
May 09, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

MOVIES Huhrhgg, ruh, ruh, ruh! The most special effect in Star Wars: Episode III may turn out to be the walking carpet. George Lucas has announced that Chewbacca, Han Solo’s hairy Wookiee sidekick, will be back for the last film in the prequel trilogy; English actor Peter Mayhew will resume the role…. Mark Wahlberg is attached to play his wackiest-named character since Dirk Diggler, in The Adventures of Wyatt McHenry, a hoped-for action franchise in development at Paramount and based on upcoming novels by Rick Gibb about a swashbuckling tour guide.

TELEVISION Parminder Nagra, star of Bend It Like Beckham, is now prepping to work it like Wyle; she’s signed to join Noah and the gang at ER next season as a med student…. Comic Kathy Griffin will host NBC’s summer reality show Average Joe…. Richard Linklater, director of Waking Life, is close to a deal with HBO for $5.15/Hr, a half-hour sitcom following minimum wagers…. Jennifer Coolidge (Legally Blonde) will appear on Sex and the City this summer as a purse designer…. You heard it here first: Ed Harris (The Hours) will voice on-air promos for the Discovery Channel.

MUSIC After 13 years MIA from record stores, Jane’s Addiction will be back on July 22 with an as-yet-untitled disc for Capitol; it’s their first studio album since 1990’s Ritual de lo Habitual.

BOOKS Richard Dreyfuss, who was until recently the youngest Best Actor winner in history (damn you, Brody!), has sold a novel — a Western about strangers on a wagon train to California. Hi-ho, silver-haired actor!

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