Star Wars creator George Lucas would probably be the last one to disavow the power of the Force. TheForce.Net that is. The Website draws up to 50,000 fans a day, and boasts more than 9,000 pages compiled by 52 staffers across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. It regularly releases juicy tidbits, images, and audio clips of upcoming releases. It was the first, for example, to release sound files of the bungling, Bob Marley-talking alien Jar Jar Binks three months before he appeared in 1999’s The Phantom Menace.
So what could trouble Lucas and his privately held, San Rafael, Calif.-based Lucasfilm, about the TheForce.Net? How about this: The Website is run by unpaid volunteer fans. It is wholly independent of Lucasfilm, or any other Lucas corporate entity for that matter, and it rivals Lucasfilm’s official Star Wars site in both scope and sophistication.
Most corporations owning a brand like Star Wars would power up their Death Star against such blatant brand encroachment. Imagine McDonald’s sending over complimentary burgers and fries to the volunteer staff at a BigMac.Net. Not likely.