Dan Brooks takes a look at the history of the official Star Wars website, which launched back in late 1996 to hype the release of the Special Editions. Dan talks at length with the team who started the site back in the mid 90’s including Steve Sansweet, Lynne Hale and Jim Ward.
The story of StarWars.com is one of risk, failures, frustrations, huge successes, and innovation. (And Jawa garden gnomes.) In honor of our 20th anniversary, StarWars.com spoke to many of the people who contributed to the site over the years, and let them tell the story in their own words. Turns out, it’s a saga all its own.
The only official online Star Wars destination up until 1996 was on Twentieth Century Fox’s website. With the theatrical release of the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition planned for January 1997 — which was considered a big, almost reckless risk by many internally — and George Lucas beginning production on the Star Wars prequels, Lucasfilm decided to create its own Star Wars website: StarWars.com. It would complement this new era of activity and provide an outlet to message directly to fans. The idea for the site came directly from Lucas himself.