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.
TFN’s Forcecast (which now has a brand-new website of their very own) caught up with Steve Sansweet at Chicago Comic Con. He talks about Celebration V and the issues as to why we don’t have a definitive announcement yet. Key statements: He hopes to announce it before the end of the summer, and “It could very well be later in the summer” than the previous events.
They also address the whole ‘second animated series’ thing. “You don’t build two animation studios and just do one series. You have other things in mind,” and “not nessarily Star Wars,” Steve said.
It may be hard to fathom now, but back a decade or so ago, when this here internet was still shiny and new, the free web space that GeoCities was as important to fandom as… Well, blogs and forums and wikis and Livejournal are now. It was the place where people were driven by their passion for whatever random bit of… whatever… made sites dedicated to their foci. Sure, it looks goofy now. (To quote Heidi MacDonald: “If you want to see the Web as it existed ten years ago just find any webpage hosted on GeoCities.”) It’s certainly not where fandom – even internet fandom – began, but it’s an important touchstone. And soon it’ll be gone.
Here are a few sites where you can get a feel for the internets of fandom past:
The Star Wars wiki has expanded into the world of blogging with Wookieepedia Newsnet, a companion to the main site. Spearheaded by CJ reader Graestan, the blog will let those of us who maybe don’t log into our accounts for months weeks at a time keep up with community goings-on.