On May 25, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the first film of the series, the official "Star Wars" Web site will provide visitors to StarWars.com with access to Eyespots video editing tool and more than 250 scenes and music clips from all six movies, allowing fans to mix and match the movie material with home-brewed skits to their hearts content.
The offering makes a non-issue of the glaring copyright concerns typical of video mashups, as the Eyespot video editor is a browser-based platform, so the content never actually leaves the Web site, said Jim Kaskade, co-founder and CEO of Eyespot, based in Beverly Hills, Calif.
"Eyespots creative technology allows Lucasfilm to protect its intellectual property while offering a media playground for fans to have a fun and accessible experience due to our products extreme ease of use," Kaskade said.
Fans can share their new flicks with viewers around the world and hundreds of earlier fan-made films will also be installed on the site, from Kevin Rubios 1997 blockbuster "TROOPS" to the infamous viral video series "Chad Vader, Daytime Store Manager." The sites home page will also be getting an interactive facelift.
Produced by Lucas Online, a division of Lucasfilm, StarWars.com is already a powerhouse. The sites database is a bottomless font of information, from droid types to alien philosophies. The site has a plethora of blogs, scripts and games, fan club special features, a gigantic array of merchandise, and a Q&A feature so thorough it can tell you whether or not Darth Vader can use the Force through his mechanical arm. (He cant.) In 2006, the 10,000-page site was voted "Best Official Movie Site" at Movies.com.
"In 1999, we were the first to host the online premiere of a trailer," said Jeff Ulin, senior director of Distribution and Online for Lucasfilm, in San Francisco.
"Since 1977, Star Wars has been built on the idea that our fans are the reason we have been successful," Ulin said, "and they have long shown their enormous creativity and desire to have fun and express themselves through Star Wars. Our new site brings our fans innovative tools like the Eyespot editor that let them do just that."
"We want the new StarWars.com to empower fans to make and watch Star Wars videos, play games and share their love of Star Wars like no other site on the Internet," said Bill Gannon, Lucasfilms director of online operations.
Ulin added, "We are ensuring that StarWars.com will remain one of the most innovative and fun entertainment sites anywhere on the Web." If Lucasfilm achieves that goal, perhaps the company can rest secure in hopes that "Star Wars" fans will remain loyal—and a source of revenue—in the movieless years to come.