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Starwars

Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

StarWars.com
URL

http://www.starwars.com

Alexa Rating

4,977

Commercial?

Yes

Type

Fan news

Language(s)

English

Registration

Optional (Paid subscription required for Hyperspace section)

Owner

Lucasfilm Ltd.

Maintained by

Lucas Online

Launched

November 1996

Current status

Active

Revenue

Advertising, subscriptions

Founded in November of 1996, StarWars.com is the official website for Star Wars run by Lucas Online, the online entertainment arm of Lucasfilm Ltd. Evolving considerably in its twelve-year history, the site has undergone frequent redesigns that are often motivated by the current Star Wars movie in production. Its latest iteration began in 2007.

The site is subdivided into a number of specific sections, including areas dedicated to each film, the expanded universe, and a special section that is only accessible to paid members, known as Hyperspace. One popular segment of the site is the Databank.

Within the Star Wars universe, www.starwars.com was the HoloNet address of an extensive list of historical resources.[1]

Contents

History

Original logo of StarWars.com from 1996.

StarWars.com was launched in 1996 to help market the upcoming 1997 release of the Special Edition Star Wars Trilogy. It was the first official movie website to post video documentaries in anticipation of a theatrical release, with the multi-part "Anatomy of a Dewback" series. Following the release of the Special Edition Trilogy, StarWars.com focused its attention on Episode I, providing news updates, behind-the-scenes features and the popular web documentary ("webdoc") series, Making Episode I, which was also known as "Lynne's Diaries" as they were often introduced by Lucasfilm's Head of Public Relations, Lynne Hale. StarWars.com became a web destination in 1998, when it first hosted the Episode I teaser trailer, breaking download records in a major milestone of Internet events.

After the release of Episode I, StarWars.com diversified its content to include coverage of Expanded Universe and community activities. It adopted its multi-section model in the build-up to Episode II. During Episode II, StarWars.com posted weekly videos hosted by Ahmed Best from the set of production, entitled "on location." It also posted a photo or image hand-picked by George Lucas every week as a "George Lucas Select." It was during this period that StarWars.com supplemented its online covering with a biweekly newsletter, the Homing Beacon.

Right before Episode III started principal photography, StarWars.com introduced a pay-service component to its coverage. For an annual subscription rate of $19.99, subscribers would have access to exclusive coverage, including daily Set Diaries from Australia, a live webcam broadcasting from the set, online chats, and exclusive archival content, such as the deleted Episode II scene, "Jedi Attack on the Control Ship" and classic reprints of the original Bantha Tracks newsletter.

In 2004, with the transfer of the Star Wars Insider license from Paizo Publishing to IDG Entertainment, the Official Fan Club ceased to be a licensed property and returned in-house to Lucasfilm, where it became part of StarWars.com Hyperspace. The online subscriber service was renamed Hyperspace: The Official Star Wars Fan Club. Also that same year, Lucasfilm entered the direct retail business for the first time with the opening of StarWarsShop.com.

In October 2006, StarWars.com was voted as best Official Movie Site at movies.com's first annual readers' poll. In December 2006, the site recognized its ten year milestone as item number 10 of Star Wars: The Best of 2006. On May 24, 2007, the main page of the site underwent a major refurbishment at the start of Celebration IV. Beginning in April 2008, the site's regular update schedule was altered, with stories being posted in increasingly fewer intervals. While the weekly polls rotated and a new page was added to promote the new The Clone Wars film, the site did not post any new updates from May 29 until it relaunched with a new design on July 1, 2008.

The most commonly seen graphic on the revamped StarWars.com

The new site is more Flash-based, but much of the site's content has yet to be converted for the new format. Fan reaction to the new site has been decidedly negative, with an outpouring of complaints on message boards regarding the new look, the vast amount of missing content (something the fans paid for with their Hyperspace subscriptions but no longer have access to), and the non-user-friendly navigation. According to official forum posts, all old content will be put back up, much of it now available to all users, but this has yet to happen with even a fraction of the old archives.[2]

Main categories

Features

Perhaps the archives are incomplete.

This article or section is incomplete and in need of attention.

Please follow the guidelines in the Manual of Style and help us by expanding this article. Remove this message when finished.

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Ask the Jedi Council

"Ask the Jedi Council" was a section in the official Star Wars website where selected members of the production crew answered questions raised by fans. The section is now inaccessible, and has been replaced with a "Questions and Answers" section that includes all previous "Ask the Jedi Council" questions. "Ask the Jedi Council" was shut down in 2005.

Databank

The StarWars.com Databank is considered the official online Star Wars databank. Its content is divided into Characters, Locations, Species, Creatures, Technology, Vehicles and Starships, and also categorized by Episode appearance. It even has hundreds of EU articles explaining characters that were in the movies and their adventures along with EU planets and technology.

Note that the Databank is not a fully comprehensive account of all aspects of the Star Wars saga and Expanded Universe material. Many of its pages are out-dated, and a great amount of material is not included—since the Databank largely focuses on the major aspects of Star Wars, as opposed to the minutiae covered on this site—for example, material from the second half of The New Jedi Order series, the Dark Nest Trilogy and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.

Star Wars Hyperspace

Hyperspace began in 2003 as a pay service on StarWars.com, and in 2004 became the official Star Wars fan club and is only located on StarWars.com. It has member-exclusive webstrips, behind-the-scenes features, and other exclusive material, such as exclusive items to buy on StarWarsShop.com. Originally, U.S. subscribers to Hyperspace also became Fan Club members and received subscriptions to the Star Wars Insider magazine. This was later changed so that subscribers could choose which services they wished to receive.

DVD-ROM Exclusive Content

Owners of the Star Wars DVDs have access to an exclusive section of the site that provides "Behind the Scenes" commentary for all six films.

News and Other Features

StarWars.com has updated news about many different Star Wars topics like the Expanded Universe, Episode III and Star Wars general. It updates every weekday, around 5 to 6 p.m. Pacific time, as the content team is situated in San Francisco, California at the Lucasfilm headquarters at the Presidio. Other notable sections include The Clone Wars, StarWarsKids and Community.

Its news headlines are distributed via an RSS feed that many fan sites have incorporated into their front page designs, including TheForce.net.

Blogs

Hyperspace members are able to create a blog at StarWars.com and visit other fan's blogs. Visitors can comment on blogs but can not create a blog without Hyperspace.

Some notable Star Wars celebrities have created Star Wars blogs in the past, which are VIP blogs that only Hyperspace members can comment on.

During Celebration IV in the summer of 2007, StarWars.com launched the Official Star Wars Blog at http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/.

Star Wars Message Boards

Located on StarWars.com, the Star Wars Message Boards are a fun, moderated community where fans can gather up to post messages. From the movies, to expanded universe, to even a non-Star Wars forum called the Cantina, where fans can talk about anything.

Visual Guides

An in-depth look behind-the-scenes at Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in a series of updates containing screenplay sections, rare photographs, trivia and annotated screenshots.

Staff

The content development team managed by Pablo Hidalgo, includes Bonnie Burton and Pete Vilmur. The content production & design team managed by Nicole Love, includes Dennis VonGalle, Mike Young, and Craig Drake.

Notes and references

External links


This article uses material from the "StarWars.com" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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