Among the changes is a scaled back version of the Databank – now called the Encyclopedia – which now only seem to features characters from the movies and The Clone Wars. (Sigh.) Entries are very brief, and link directly to the Wookieepedia, however. That’s pretty inclusive for an official site.
And no doubt we’ve only scratched the surface tonight… I’ll be interested to see where this goes.
One thing I will say – this site design is very simple, and very basic. Since there is a tendency in Star Wars design to go completely over the top and throw everything that applies, I’m glad to see at least one aspect is keeping it simple. (Even if I still do wince at that Blu-ray cover art.)
I must admit I’m kind of shocked by this news – when the site’s advertising went away, I had assumed that the shop’s success was part of the reason.
The announcement says they are looking at “new ways to showcase Star Wars merchandise” and that information would be shared “in the coming months.”
Matt Martin, the site’s buyer, is staying with Lucasfilm, “shifting into something new,” he said today on Twitter.
For that matter, we’ve had no official word on Steve Sansweet’s replacement, though he’s been officially retired from Fan Relations for several months now. Could a reworking of StarWars.com coincide with that announcement?
Between these two tweets, I have to wonder… Could the closing of the forums and the loss of ads be related? Or is it just simply a coincidence? Just part of the site’s regular housecleaning?
I can’t recall exactly when StarWars.com started running ads (Before the forums? With the forums?) but I do remember when Hyperspace membership ceased to mean browsing ad-free. Not a lot of happy people that day…
Of course, you will still see some ‘ads’ on StarWars.com – but they’re all for Star Wars Shop, DVD/Blu-Rays and other things that directly benefit the company. (House ads, called them back in my print days.) Hopefully this is a good sign for Lucasfilm’s faith in the site – and/or Lucas Online’s ability to support itself.
LucasBooks editor Sue Rostoni bids farewell to the official forums (which are going away) but refrains from stating whether she’ll return in another venue.
I want to thank you all for welcoming me here. I’ve so appreciated our conversations and the fun we’ve had, and will really miss you all. It’s been a lot of fun getting to know you and having this forum be a part of my work-life. I’ve appreciated having a direct connection between the books and the readers — something most editors never get to experience in this way. I’m grateful to you all for your openness, your humor, and for staying with the adventure.
As far as keeping in touch via other sites — the future is hazy; outlook unclear.
Fans don’t exactly lack for places to mingle with Expanded Universe VIPs – both continuity guru Leland Chee and the Star Wars folks at Del Rey have active Facebook pages – but the casual question-and-answer format that evolved in TOS’s Expanded Universe VIPs thread was a great resource. We’ll certainly miss Sue, and hope she finds a place to keep in touch with fans in the future.
I spent a lot of time on the forums in their early years as a moderator, but they had ceased to be a destination for me years ago, save for the VIP thread in the book forum where Sue Rostoni and others would often drop tidbits of information and answer fan questions.
Still, the forums in their day were a great community and launching (or re-launching) pad for many of us, and I am a little sad – if not particularly surprised – to see them go.
Started right before Revenge of the Sith began principal photography as subscription section on StarWars.com, Hyperspace went through several incarnations. During the ROTS filming it offered fans extraordinary access to film’s set in Sydney with a live webcam, chats, and a set diary by Pablo Hidalgo. (It also had the nice side effect of effectively ending the cut-throat fansite spoiler-wars that marked the runup to The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.)
However, once Revenge of the Sith was released, Hyperspace had much less to offer subscribers (even the ‘ad-free’ promise eventually expired.) Features were added, like the blogs, but the content over the past few years has been irregular and often only of interest only to those who enjoy fairly obscure parts of the GFFA.
It even merged with the fan club and became part of a package deal with Star Wars Insider for a time. The Insider is no longer included, but the Official Fan Club still uses the ‘Hyperspace’ name. (If Hyperspace is truly being discontinued, will the fan club be getting another makeover in the coming year…?)
I can’t say I’m surprised at this – the ‘exclusive’ content has been sparse for years and StarWarsShop probably brings in far more revenue – but Hyperspace has been around for quite a while in internet times, and it’s entwined with some particularly interesting times in the fandom for me. But it’s clearly been on the backburner for quite a while, so might as well give up the ghost and move on. And hey, what the hell – I renewed my subscription one last time this evening for old time’s sake.
As the legion of Star Wars accounts on Twitter grows, it’s getting harder to keep track of. It’s impossible to list everyone, but here are a few accounts that may be of interest.
Please note that although we provide this page as a service to fans to find official accounts and other people they may wish to follow, we do not encourage pestering or harassing celebrities and/or other fans. Please be respectful to the celebrities and each other.