Heilemann’s Star Wars collection is no more

His fantastic set of Star Wars images on Flickr is gone. It’s not too surprising, with the collection’s latest burst of popularity, that he got a C&D, but it’s still a big loss for the fandom. In his entry addressing the situation, he’s pretty brutal on Lucasfilm and StarWars.com, and I can’t entirely blame him:

Anyway, the take-down is a fair legal move as it were, even if I don’t (obviously) agree with it. After all, the collection was an attempt at remedying the exact _lack_ of such similar resources from Lucasfilm. Thousands of people have passed through the collection and been ecstatic at the chance to peek in behind the scenes at a mythology and a series of films that are forever, and I think that it is remarkable that even now, we all carry these films with us.

This is what starwars.com should be doing! But instead of its initial potential, it has grown into a tired, empty husk of a marketing machine, not only poorly designed technically (and a usability nightmare!), but also trying so desperately to promote the Clone Wars show that it has forgotten the very magic that once propelled the world into the stars, on May 25th, 1977.

As I said last time I linked him, I truly hope that one day LFL themselves would someday set up something similar. But in today’s economic climate, even a corporate behmouth like Lucasfilm probably isn’t supporting its website in all the ways it could. I can’t be angry at the StarWars.com folks – they do what they can, but a handful of people can only do so much.

The beauty of the internet is that we can do it ourselves, and often do – look at Wookieepedia. But then something like this happens, and we end up wondering why we bother.

6 thoughts on “Heilemann’s Star Wars collection is no more

  1. Aaron

    What a shame. I loved that collection. Of course, in a sense they didn’t have a choice. It was too good, too popular, too public. Which, I guess, is why Wookieepedia is still there and LFL never gave a damn about MillenniumFalcon.com: Outside the fandom, nobody knows these sites. Flickr on the other hand… Wide open, all too accessible.
    So it’s pretty much the opposite of StarWars.com. Man, that site sucks… *sigh*

  2. Dunc Post author

    Michael: That’s SW in a nutshell, isn’t it? ;)

    Aaron: It’s the internet: ANYTHING can be that popular, if it’s good and the right people link it, or simply a LOT of people do. (See also: Puppycam.) And a couple of years ago, the Wook did get the blog-spotlight treatment… But I don’t remember it being as hard or relentless as the last round for this one (or the puppies, for that matter) probably because of its more limited appeal.

  3. xadrian

    It’s a shame that they have to shut down something that IS popular, something that SHOWS what SW was at one point.

    I mean, it was posted on Neatorama and Sci-Fi Wire. The masses seem to have spoken and they like being able to see these things.

    For shame, LFL. For shame.

  4. Mark Newbold

    LFL seem a bit schizo when it comes to the sites they attack, and perhaps sometimes they simply don’t know about them.
    Good point about milleniumfalcon.com, that site leaked more plot and story info than Dave Prowse ever did and yet it stayed up.
    It’s like the recent Star Trek trailer. Everyonbe was convinced that Paramount would have it taken down, but the opposite happened because there was a great buzz about the trailer. I think sometimes it’s the same with this, and with LFL raiding the archives for classic era photo’s and info, this flickr album may very well have encroached on a planned Rinzler/Sansweet forthcoming project.
    If that’s the case – much like Bob Vitas with the encyclopedia – I hope Heilemann is involved.

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