Star Wars sites clone rapidly on the Web
Gossip, parodies, and the-universe- according-to-Lucas share cyberspace
May 4, 1999
HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- In the infinity of cyberspace, Star Wars web sites seem to be multiplying at warp speed in the days before "The Phantom Menace" hits movie theaters, and in this one medium, series creator George Lucas is powerless to exert his legendary control over all things Star Wars.
The casual computer user can barely launch a Web browser without tripping over Star Wars references; the Yahoo portal alone lists over 1,200 sites pertaining to the hugely popular movie series. A mere 18 currently concern "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace," but prequel-based sites are sure to multiply after the film's release on May 19.
Perhaps the ultimate fan site can be found with a Jedi-like search for theforce.net, which describes its Web pages as "your daily dose of Star Wars."
"Our most popular aspect is the fact we have news quite frequently," said Steve Head, co-editor for theforce.net. "But we've got other sections that are really entertaining. There's our 'Troops' section," for example.
Parody: tribute or 'lying piece of Bantha Poo-Doo'
"Troops" is a film parody of "Star Wars," created by Kevin Rubio, and carried in short digitized clips on theforce.net site. While many find it amusing, a chat room allows the full range of public opinion, such as the recent posting, "Kevin Rubio is a lying piece of Bantha Poo-Doo."
For the official poop on Star Wars, 'net surfers can go to the clearly named starwars.com, where George Lucas has recreated his media and merchandising empire for the Internet. Those with powerful computers can download a brand new "Phantom Menace" music video, see commercials and clips from the upcoming movie, search an online encyclopedia of Star Wars trivia, and of course, shop for all manner of Star Wars products directly over the Internet.
From L.A.'s entertainment industry, Hollywood.com offers an entire section dedicated to "The Phantom Menace." "We have a tremendous amount of coverage of the film which, needless to say, will be one of the top films of all time in terms of its popularity," said Stuart Halperin, executive vice-president of Hollywood.com.
And for the gossip and rumors that spread through the Star Wars universe like an intergalactic plague, there's aint-it- cool-news.com. This movie-themed site specializes in insider reports about upcoming productions, and tackles rumors head-on, attempting to debunk the less accurate.
But before venturing too deeply into Star Wars cyberspace, fans should consider this: aint-it-cool-news and other sites might give away too much about the upcoming "Phantom Menace," and make seeing it in the theater a starry let-down.
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