Tag Archives: starwars.com

LFL’s Roffman on keeping Star Wars fresh

Marketing Week’s Laura Snoad talks to Howard Roffman on how Lucasfilm is keeping Star Wars relevant in the post-movie era. He pings on the books, video games, and other merchandising issues. Includes a question from our very own Eliz, the answer to which contains interesting bit on the StarWars.com redesign:

The website will also be easier for people to shop for Star Wars products and connect with other fans to see what other news is being generated from multiple sources. There’s an evolution in StarWars.com from wanting to be the [only] fans’ site to understanding we can connect to other channels that fans use to communicate with each other.

A brand new StarWars.com

The official site has a new look – “the biggest re-haul since Star Wars’ official online presence began.” It appears the news portion of the site is now driven by the official blog.

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.

On that note, there’s also a page for fan sites and organizations – we seem to have made the cut, which is nice.

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.)

Star Wars Shop is closing down: What now?

In the latest in a string of big changes for StarWars.com, it was announced today that the Star Wars Shop will be closing down on July 18th.

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?

StarWars.com forums close today as ads go away

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.

I may miss the forums a little, but the ads? Nah.

Rostoni says goodbye to StarWars.com forums

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.

StarWars.com forums closing down

Well, it’s official: The StarWars.com forums are not long for this world. They’ll go read-only at the end of the month, and disappear entirely come June.

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.

StarWars.com’s Hyperspace to end in 2011

Hyperspace is going away next year.

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.

The quick guide to Star Wars on Twitter

Match the icon with the username! Okay, it's easy.

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.

And if you’re wondering about hashtags, StarWars.com has some suggestions (though I’m not about to give up on #EpisodeVII!)

Marquee names
  • Carrie Fisher (@CarrieFFisher) Played Princess Leia in the original trilogy.
  • Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) Played Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy.
  • Anthony Daniels (@ADaniels3PO) Played C-3PO in all six movies.
  • Ewan McGregor (@mcgregor_ewan) Played Obi-wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy.
  • Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) All -around badass; Played Mace Windu in the prequel trilogy.
  • David Prowse (@isDARTHVADER) Played Darth Vader (in the suit) for the original trilogy.
  • Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) Played Chewbacca in the original trilogy and ROTS.
  • Bonnie Piesse (@BonniePiesse) Played Beru Lars in AOTC and ROTS.
  • Ahmed Best (@ahmedbest) Played Jar Jar Binks in the prequels.
  • Warwick Davis (@WarwickADavis) Played Wicket W. Warrick in Return of the Jedi as well as several characters in The Phantom Menace and many other films.
  • Ray Park (@PARKYBOY74) Played Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.
  • Richard LeParmentier (@AdmiralMotti) Played Admiral Motti in A New Hope.
Crew
  • Joel Aron ( @joelaron ) Visual effects on Revenge of the Sith, The Clone Wars
  • Bad Robot (@bad_robot) Home base of Episode VII director J.J. Abrams.
  • Dave Filoni (@dave_filoni) Supervising director of The Clone Wars, Rebels.
  • Phil Tippett (@PhilTippett) VFX artist who now heads Tippet Studio; Did stop motion effects for ANH and ESB.
  • Greg Weisman (@Greg_Weisman) Writer on Rebels. Worked on Gargoyles, Young Justice.
  • Matthew Wood (@matthewood) Skywalker Sound; Voice of General Grievous in Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars.
Voices
  • Matt Lanter (@MattLanter) Voice of Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars
  • Ashley Eckstein (@HerUniverse) Voice of Ahsoka Tano. Used mostly for Her Universe business, and also listed under licensees, but Ashley shares other stuff here as well.
  • James Arnold Taylor (@JATactor) Voice of Obi-Wan in The Clone Wars
  • Catherine Taber (@cattaber) Voice of Padme Amidala in The Clone Wars
  • Sam Witwer (@SamWitwer) Voice of Darth Maul on The Clone Wars, Galen Marek/Starkiller in The Force Unleashed.
  • Dee Bradley Baker (@deebradleybaker) Voice of The Clone Wars clonetroopers.
  • Phil LaMarr (@phillamarr) Voice of The Clone Wars’ Kit Fisto.
  • Meredith Salenger (@MeredthSalenger) voiced Barriss Offee in The Clone Wars.
  • Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) Voice of Dengar in The Clone Wars. Director/Actor, Shaun of the Dead, Scottie in Star Trek prequel/reboot.
  • Greg Proops (@GregProops) Voice of Beed Annodue in The Phantom Menace.
  • Peter Serafinowicz (@serafinowicz) Voice of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.
Lucasfilm and licensees
Other official types
  • Chris Argyropoulos (@ThatChrisA) Lucasfilm Publicist
  • Dan Brooks (@dan_brooks) Works for StarWars.com
  • Tracy Cannobbio (@Tcann13) Lucasfilm Publicist
  • Mary Franklin (@MaryLFL) Sr. Event Lead for Lucasfilm, queen of all she surveys
  • Jennifer Heddle (@jenheddle) Senior Editor (fiction) at Lucasfilm.
  • Pablo Hidalgo (@infinata) Brand Communication Manager for Lucasfilm, author, internet rockstar
  • Leland Chee (@HolocronKeeper) Keeper of the Holocron, Lucas Licensing
  • Matt Martin (@missingwords) Works for StarWars.com
  • Erich Schoeneweiss (@Darth_Duff) Del Rey editor
  • Randy Stradley (@Randy_Stradley) Vice President of Publishing, Dark Horse Comics
Writers
  • Aaron Allston (@aaronallston) Author, X-Wing, Legacy of the Force, Fate of the Jedi series.
  • Kevin J. Anderson (@TheKJA) Author, The Jedi Academy Trilogy
  • Corinna Bechko (@CorinnaBechko) Writer, Legacy
  • Haden Blackman (@HadenBlackman) LucasArts / Writer, The Force Unleashed
  • Jeremy Barlow (@Jeremy_Barlow) Writer / Dark Horse editor
  • Bonnie Burton (@bonniegrrl) Writer, You Can Draw: Star Wars
  • Nathan P. Butler (@swfanworks) Writer, ‘Equals and Opposites’ / StarWarsFanWorks.com
  • Chris Cassidy (@Yav14) Writer, ‘Precipice’
  • James.S.A.Corey (@JamesSACorey) aka Daniel Abraham (@AbrahamHanover) and Ty Franck. Authors, Empire and Rebellion: Honor Among Thieves.
  • Paul Ens (@paulens) Writer, R2-D2: Beneath the Dome, ‘Evasive Action’ webstrips / Owner of Red 5 Comics / Former Director of Lucas Online
  • Jason Fry (@jasoncfry) Author, The Essential Atlas
  • Christie Golden (@ChristieGolden) Author, Fate of the Jedi
  • Kevin Hearne (@KevinHearne) Author, upcoming Empire and Rebellion Luke novel.
  • Helen Keier (@HelenKeier) Writer, The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
  • Drew Karpyshyn (@DrewKarpyshyn) Author, Darth Bane novels.
  • Paul S. Kemp (@Paulskemp) Author, Crosscurrent
  • Tim Lebbon (@timlebbon) Author, Dawn of the Jedi novel
  • John Jackson Miller (@jjmfaraway) Writer, Knights of the Old Republic, Kenobi
  • Abel G. Peña (@ThePhilodoxer) Writer, things fanboys love
  • J. W. Rinzler (@jwrinzler) Writer, The Making of Star Wars, other nonfiction.
  • Joe Schreiber (@joeschreiber1) Author, Death Troopers
  • Mike Stackpole (@MikeStackpole) Author, X-Wing series
  • Matthew Stover (@MWStover ) Author, Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, Revenge of the Sith novelization.
  • Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) Writer, Invasion comic.
  • Paul Urquhart (@quhart) Writer, The Essential Guide to Warfare
  • Dan Wallace (@danwall88) Author, The Essential Atlas
  • Martha Wells (@marthawells1) Author, Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge
  • Sean Williams (@adelaidesean) Author, The Force Unleashed novelizations
  • Ryder Windham (@ryderwindham)
  • Brian Wood (@brianwood) Writer, Star Wars, the comic that began in 2013
Artists
Organizations
Fan sites and the like
Notable fans
‘Characters’
Misc
Other notables