Celebration VI Coverage: StarWars.com and Beyond Panel

We’re on the move, so without a whole bunch of exposition here are the highlights from the StarWars.com staff panel! There’s a bunch of stuff, so jump to the cut.

  • On the panel: Steve Sansweet, Ashley Eckstein, Katie Cook, Leland Chee,
  • So what’s with the changes at the site? Part of it was to capture the epic look and feel of the Star Wars universe.
  • The site should be considered a perpetual work in progress. They do take seriously what people say about the site.
  • Rather than trying to compete with fans who are creating great products, the staff chose to direct people to fansites for certain information, such as the “More on Wookieepedia” links on articles.
  • The staff is looking for fan input and guidance to figure out what everyone wants the official site to be.
  • Starting this fall, there will (hopefully) be a companion web video series looking at different aspects of The Clone Wars. Think Doctor Who Confidential as a comparison.
  • The staff is working on hosting the old animated 80s cartoons (EWOKS! DROIDS!) on the site.
  • A new set of soundboards are coming to the official site.
  • New activities like How to make a Fortune Wookiee are going to be introduced as well.
  • There are games on the site, but “we believe we can do better” than what is already there.
  • A new game will be released RIGHT AFTER THIS PANEL called Ewok Village. It’s still in beta, but people will be able to play it right away for CVI attendees. You’re the chief of an Ewok village, so it’s your job to grow your tribe and keep them happy. It’s sort of a pseudo-Sims game mashed up with Spore. Interesting looking, definitely a new approach to games on the official site.
  • Another game in the works is “Galactic Spy: Tatooine.” You work for Watto and he asks you to track down objects throughout the city. It’s sort of a point-and-click I, Spy game that looks like a bit of fun.
  • And, of course, there’s a Boba Fett game coming.
  • As far as the StarWars.com community goes, the staff is aware that they took a step backwards with the upgrade. It wasn’t an easy decision to get rid of the personal blogs. Unfortunately, the staff were spending all of their time supporting rapidly aging software and there were other (perhaps better) Star Wars forums elsewhere on the net.
  • The forums WILL be back, and there will be more integration on the site.
  • The personal blogs won’t be back, only because it’s super easy to set up your personal blog anywhere on the web.
  • StarWars.com wants to work with the fan community to help fan films get made.
  • The new Star Wars blog aims to be sort of the Huffington Post of Star Wars, involving people inside of Lucasfilm proper and fans outside of that realm. What they want the blog to ultimately become is the embodiment of Celebration year-round.
  • Expect Dave Filoni to blog after every new episode.
  • Steve Sansweet: More from Rancho Obi-Wan is coming, but he’s also going to be blogging a lot about fandom in general.
  • Ashley Eckstein: Excited for the blog because some of the best stuff in The Clone Wars happens behind the scene, the blog gives her a chance to discuss that side of things. Also keep an eye out for her video blogs.
  • Katie Cook: More illustrations coming!
  • Leland Chee: More addressing continuity questions on the blog. Mainstream questions will likely go to Insider Magazine, more obscure stuff may find their way to the blog.
  • Fan question: Will there be more educational material on the site? Answer is “definitely.”
  • Ashley Eckstein to Ivan: Can I just say you should keep in mind there’s a lot of girls who want to have Star Wars-themed parties.
  • Clone Wars videos will be viewable on iOS devices in Septembers.
  • A StarWars.com app is in the works.
  • They are working on getting TCW videos to show in different regions.
  • Will the Star Wars shop be back on the site? Answer, “in some capacity.”

 

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