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A Chat with Lucasfilm

As you may remember, last month we posted a sound clip of Jar Jar. We debated about whether to do so and if it would be OK with Lucasfilm. A day later, we did receive contact from LFL. To our relief, it was not with the legal department, but rather with LFL's head of Internet Marketing, Marc Hedlund requesting a phone conversation with us and Jim Ward, head of Lucasfilm Marketing.

So on February 26, we (TheForce.Net staffers Paul Ens and Scott Chitwood) were on a conference call with Jim Ward, Marc Hedlund and (to our pleasant surprise) Lynne Hale. It was really only a short 15 minute conversation, so here's the short version.

Jim started out by telling us they enjoyed the site and that they came by often. He said that their fan base was extremely important to them, and that they understand and value the role of fan sites in the world of fandom. At the same time, the most important thing to Jim is the experience that each individual fan will have when they see TPM in the theater. While they naturally would prefer to contain leaked information, they are willing to let most things go by. An example he gave was our shot by shot description of trailer B. They weren't excited to see it, but at the same time they felt it does not hurt the trailer because, as Jim said, "it will blow you away".

The line they draw is at the posting of sound or video files from the film because the non-controlled and out-of-context setting could hurt the ultimate presentation of the film. Why? Because, people are making judgments about the character, dialogue, and voices without the benefit of having the music of the film, the special effects, and the full context the dialogue is in. They don't want people having pre-conceived notions about the character based on one little snippet.

According to Hedlund, making judgements about the film based on any such clips would be like "judging a painting you've never seen based on one color on the artist's pallette".

And they have a point. Remember some of the reactions? From loving it, to hating it, to thinking we had another Ewok fiasco, to hoping Jar Jar dies... all from one clip. Of course, this was not our intention, as we simply wanted to share with you some depth toward this character we know will be a fan favorite. Can you imagine if people had heard a clip of Chewbacca before May 25, 1977? Or seen a picture? "It sounds like a bear!" "He looks like Bigfoot!" "He sucks! He looks like a guy in a dog suit!" "What kind of STUPID name is 'Chewie'?!?!" However, he remains one of the most popular characters today.

The experience could have been very negative, as you can well imagine, but in the end it was very positive. Had this been Paramount or Fox TV, we simply would have had a fax from a lawyer to shut down. Lucasfilm demonstrated great care and understanding and a desire to work with us for the good of fandom.

Naturally, we will be respecting Lucasfilm's wishes (there's no sense in risking "further action that neither of us want") and will not be posting more sound or video files before they are released on film. (Maybe at some later date, we'll see.) The fuzzy line of what's acceptable has become clearer for us, and LFL invited us to share this information with you.

Scott Chitwood and Paul Ens
September 3rd, 1999


04/08/03 - Christopher Knight - Oscars Give Short Shrift to Fantasy
03/17/03 - Joshua Griffin - Put the REAL Classics on DVD
01/29/03 - Joshua Griffin - Imagine a Star Wars HALO Videogame
01/14/03 - Michael Potts - Clone Wars: Expanded Universe Editorial


09/03/02 - Joshua Griffin - Digital Pirates Sink Ships
05/17/02 - Chris Knight - Digital Projection: The Audience Is Watching... And Waiting
04/11/02 - TFN Staff - Thumbs Up, Tumbs Down for SW2 Marketing
03/08/02 - TFN Staff - Clone War Trailer Reaction
01/13/02 - TFN Staff - TFN Reaction to SNL N'Sync Skit
01/03/02 - TFN Staff - Boy Band Jedi Reactions


12/12/01 - Chris Knight - Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
12/07/01 - Jeff Yankey - All I Want for Christmas
11/17/01 - Guest Editorial - Ritual and Romance of Episode II
10/04/01 - Guest Editorial - Why Episode I is Brilliant
10/02/01 - Guest Editorial - Episode I is Star Wars
09/30/01 - Guest Editorial - Why I Loved Episode I
09/25/01 - Joshua Griffin - Episode II: Make It or Break It Time
08/21/01 - Chris Knight - SW2: Attack On The Soul?
07/13/01 - Joshua Griffin - Special Time for SW Fans
05/14/01 - Joshua Griffin - AlphaCon is Finished
05/09/01 - Chris Knight - In The Beginning... Star Wars Comes To A Wired World
04/17/01 - Joshua Griffin - Global TFN - International Outlook on Star Wars
03/14/01 - Chris Knight - Palpatine vs. Hitler: Prequel Speculation Runs Amok!
02/13/01 - Chris Knight - "The Force" of Love: A Valentine's Day Editorial
01/17/01 - Chris Knight - Star Wars Could Continue... As Television Anthology
01/11/01 - Guest Editorial - A Review of A New Hope After the Prequels
01/07/01 - Guest Editorial - No - We Want the DVDs Now!
01/04/01 - Chris Knight - New Digital Disciple Says "Lets Wait On Star Wars DVDs"


12/21/00 - Joshua Griffin - Is George Lucas Really a Genius?
11/18/00 - Joshua Griffin - To Spoil or Not to Spoil
11/06/00 - Joshua Griffin - The Power of the Election
11/01/00 - Chris Knight - Why Isn't There A Star Wars Postage Stamp?
08/17/00 - Jason McCabe Calacanis - The SW2 Fan Trailer (guest editorial)
07/14/00 - Joshua Griffin/Scott Chitwood - TFN's Spoiler Policy
06/20/00 - Chris Knight - Star Wars and the Saga of Life
05/13/00 - TFN Staff - Wish List
04/08/00 - Special Guest Editorial by Skybaugh - Worth the Wait
03/30/00 - Joshua Griffin - What Star Wars Has Won
03/19/00 - Joshua Griffin - The Next Denver Celebration
03/14/00 - Joshua Griffin - Fair Weather Fans
03/07/00 - Joshua Griffin - Predicting the Academy Award Winners
02/22/00 - Joshua Griffin - Who should profit from Star Wars?
02/16/00 - Joshua Griffin - Episode I and the Academy
01/27/00 - TFN Staff - Flaming TFN over DVD
01/25/00 - Chris Knight - Motivations of the Sith
01/20/00 - TFN Staff - Leonardo DiCaprio as Anakin?
01/10/00 - Joshua Griffin - World-Wide Star Wars
01/03/00 - Joshua Griffin - Mass Merchandising Menace


12/13/99 - Joshua Griffin - Questioning Star Wars
11/22/99 - Joshua Griffin - Trusting Internet Rumors
11/11/99 - Paul Davidson - Rise of the Empire: China and TPM
10/28/99 - Scott Chitwood - Signs There Probably Won't Be a Sequel Trilogy
10/18/99 - Joshua Griffin - Why not Episode I DVD?
10/15/99 - Joshua Griffin - What Makes SW Fans Special
10/01/99 - Joshua Griffin - The PG Rating of TPM
09/07/99 - Scott Chitwood and Paul Ens - Comic and Book Wishlist
08/18/99 - TF.N Team - Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down on Episode I Everything
07/11/99 - Joshua Griffin - Parody Site isn't that funny
07/10/99 - Brian Linder - The Jar Jar Factor
06/08/99 - Joshua Griffin & Chris Knight - Why is Jar Jar in Episode I?
05/06/99 - Darin Smith - Return of the Child
03/09/99 - Scott Chitwood and Paul Ens - A Chat with LFL
02/07/99 - Amy Pronovost - Convention Romances, Can they Work?
01/23/99 - Scott Chitwood - What's up with Prowse?
01/01/99 - Scott Chitwood - Uncle George and Episode 1


11/23/98 - Scott Chitwood - What Lucasfilm is doing right
11/05/98 - Scott Chitwood - Prequel Spoilers
09/28/98 - David Coates - First thoughts on the the Episode 1 Title
06/19/98 - Scott Chitwood - How Godzilla affected Episode I
04/09/98 - Scott Chitwood - The Art of the Space Battle
04/09/98 - Scott Chitwood - DIVX SUX
02/26/98 - Scott Chitwood - X-WING TV Series Should Fly
02/09/98 - Scott Chitwood - Xerox Sites
02/03/98 - Scott Chitwood - Canon Issue, Part 2
01/07/98 - Terrence Daniels - Canon = Personal Preference


12/17/97 - Darin Smith - Everything I need to know...
11/15/97 - Chris Kivlehan - Six Episodes or Nine Episodes?
11/07/97 - Scott Chitwood - How do you solve a problem like Ewan?
11/03/97 - Scott Chitwood - How we get our Prequel 'Spy' info
10/22/97 - Paul Davidson - Trek vs. Wars

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