Unless you were hiding in your Y2K bomb shelter for the past two years, you've probably heard that writer/director George Lucas decided to return to his "Star Wars" universe after sixteen years to tell the tale of how Anakin Skywalker became the evil Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader.
The prequel (since it takes place before 1977's "A New Hope") is called "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace," and according to the October/November issue of Star Wars Insider, it is the third highest grossing movie of all time with $422.3 million, right below "Episode IV A New Hope."
In Vanity Fair's February 1999 issue, David Kamp likened fans' anticipation over Episode I to the idea of "knowing that the Beatles had written and rehearsed three follow-ups to 'Abbey Road' but never released them.
"So when, in 1993, Lucas announced that he was back in the saddle," Kamp continues, "it was hallelujah time. He has returned. It's really happening."
Fans hungry for anything related to Episode I turned to the Information Superhighway for the latest on "The Phantom Menace," whether it was through Lucasfilm's official Web site or through unofficial fan sites.
This Web site will delve into the "Big Three" of Star Wars fan sites (T'Bone's Star Wars Universe, JediNet and TheForce.Net) to discover their motivations for posting information beyond what Lucasfilm wanted fans to know. You'll also read Lucasfilm's side of the story and how using the Web helped boost interest in "The Phantom Menace," as well as links to all the sites mentioned. The links within this site are on the left.
I'd like to thank the people I interviewed for this project: Robert Beasley and John Benson of JediNet; Lou Tambone of T'Bone's Star Wars Universe; Scott Chitwood of TheForce.Net; and Jeannie Cole of Lucasfilm Ltd. The Force is strong with all of you.