Disclaimer: I do volunteer development work for TheForce.Net, and am a Manager Emeritus of TheForce.Net's Jedi Council Forums.
When visiting TheForce.Net (http://www.theforce.net/, for quite obvious reasons), these words grace the top of your screen, and you're whisked away to that galaxy far, far away that has inspired, excited, thrilled, and made George Lucas one heck of a lot of money. But what's behind TheForce.Net? What makes it tick? What does it have to offer?
Well, that's what you're here to find out, isn't it? So let's go.
Back in 1996, Darin Smith and Scott Chitwood were attending Texas A&M, and both of them, for some particular reason, had this love of George Lucas' movie series Star Wars. They put together a website, the Star Wars Page at Texas A&M. Darin did most of the coding; and soon enough, they were getting thousands of hits, and it was growing exponentially.
Soon enough, in August 1997, they purchased the domain name TheForce.Net, and the rest is history.
Today, TheForce.Net has a number of main attractions, and hundreds of other things to do aside from that. These include:
- Star Wars Prequels spoilers - Many people come to TheForce.Net daily to get updates on the latest news for the new movies, and "spy reports" from people who are working on the movies (most of them given illegally).
- Other Star Wars news - There's news on the other movies, such as when the movies are going to be shown on TV in many places around the world, times when there is a Star Wars reference in a TV show, news where Star Wars is mentioned, and so on.
- FanForce (based at http://www.fanforce.net/, affiliated with TheForce.Net) - A grassroots organization started in 2001 by TheForce.Net, it focuses on building Star Wars fan clubs (FanForce chapters) in cities and countries around the world. Every FanForce chapter has a forum on the Jedi Council Forums which they use for announcements, discussion, and the like. FanForce chapters do many cool things, such as go see Attack of the Clones on IMAX, have regular meetings, try to bring conventions to their cities, just sit around and talk about all things Star Wars, and so on.
- TheForce.Net's Jedi Council Forums (http://boards.theforce.net/) - TheForce.Net's forums are gigantic. They have over 50,000 members, and over 300 boards. People discuss things from Fan Fiction to The Phantom Menace to John Williams' scores to the possible war on Iraq. It's a great community, and a lot of fun. It is extremely addicting; I was a "Manager" there for about a year and a half.
- Fan Films - TheForce.Net hosts a host of "fan films", movies filmed and edited by Star Wars fans that take place in the Star Wars universe or about Star Wars. Their most famous is TROOPS, a parody of the COPS TV show, with Stormtroopers.
- Fan Fiction - TheForce.Net's Fan Fiction archive, launched in April 2001, now has over 150 pieces of fan fiction archived. It is a juried archive; all pieces must be reviewed for quality, family friendliness, and so on by a team of reviewers of and editors (I am an Editor for the archive currently).
There are tons of other things, from a Humor section to Technical Commentaries on the movies to Fan Art to editorials to comics, collecting information, charity drives, and much more.
TheForce.Net works hard to keep its image as a family-friendly website. It has been listed on Family Friendly sites as one of the really good family websites out there, as they keep all their content clean and make an effort to help kids.
Today, TheForce.Net is run by Joshua Griffin, and a team of over fifty people who work hard to keep the site new and interesting every day - so that it really is your daily dose of Star Wars.
Note that TheForce.Net is not affiliated with or endorsed by Lucasfilm, Ltd. or Starwars.com, the Official Star Wars website in any way. It is by their good graces that TheForce.Net, and many other star wars websites, have been allowed to run easily and fantastically while other websites about Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and other copyrighted items of our culture have been shut down.