Between 1999 and 2009 Lightsabre.co.uk brought news, fanfic, podcasts and much, much more to the masses. Our ninety-fifth guest was the webmaster of UK website, Jedi Masters – Dean Carville.
Lightsabre – Dean, welcome to Lightsabre.
DC – Thanks for having me. I was completely surprised when you said you’d like to do an interview.
Lightsabre – Star Wars has had a profound effect on all of us but what started you off on your Star Wars journey?
DC – I watched them as a child, though the originals had all been released by the time I was born. My family always enjoyed them, mainly my brothers who watched the films as I was growing up. Though it was many years later before I grew a major interest in them, I can’t pinpoint why but it was the prequels that confirmed my interest, and pushed me from someone who knew about them, to someone who now spends most of his days either reading, watching or discussing them in some shape or form. I am just like everyone else, we grow up and have new experiences, I think we see the saga in other ways. Some become more complex with perceived meanings or others as more fun.
Lightsabre – Jedi Masters has been a presence on the net since 2006. Starting your site after the end of the movie series but before the television series begin, what do you think your sites focus will be? The new shows or Star Wars in general?
DC – Well that’s a good question. When I started the site, there was not much word of any TV series, so it was originally intended to target Star Wars in general. Though I do feel with the introduction of the Clone Wars and the Live Action TV series, there is an important opportunity to focus a little towards these important introductions to the saga. We plan to set up a section on JM for the Live Action show a little closer to the time, so the members can have a designated area to chat and discuss the ins and outs of each of the episodes as they are broadcast. Though even with these new shows, I do feel that JM will continue to focus on Star Wars in general, rather than branching off and concentrating on one specific area. The new Clone Wars and the live action will certainly add to the discussion groups and I can already hear the older members argue with the younger ones over what content there will be? Who’s going to be the main focus? I’m sure our members will find a way to start a discussion.
DC – That’s a tough one. I have been asked many times as to which is my favourite, but I have never managed to actually pick one of the six. To be honest it’s too hard, they all offer something different in terms of the story and entertainment value.
Lightsabre – What is it like to be a part of the Star Wars phenomenon?
DC – I am very proud of what we at Jedi-Masters are doing, as all Star Wars forum owners should be. Our sites and forums help connect Star Wars fans around the world together, every day at the click of a button It always amazes me to see some from one end of the world playing a simple game, or debating a discussion topic with someone who would be a day’s flight away. To me, that’s what it’s all about.
Lightsabre – As a fellow fan you must have many golden Star Wars memories. Tell us about some of them.
DC – I would say my introduction to the EU. For a long time the films was all there was, but once you put a site together and it actually works, you need to be knowledgeable about many facets of the subject matter. I wasn’t an EU reader. That’s changed. We now have a Book Club on the site where we choose a book to read. Presently we are finishing up Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. Its these moments, the ones where you get introduced to something new in the world of Star Wars, that I consider the best.
Lightsabre – Which of the Star Wars characters do you feel the greatest affinity for?
DC – That’s an easy one. Obi-Wan. There are so many interesting characters in the GFFA, but he always played such an important role in the saga.
Lightsabre – What would you change about Star Wars if you could go back in time and make alterations?
DC – I was always disappointed that the Yoda scene – Arrival on Dagobah, from Revenge of the Sith that was not included in the film. That scene in my opinion was perfect, showing Yoda arrive at the home we had previously seen him in, and to me it showed a perfect link between the prequels and original films.
Lightsabre – Jedi Masters has a broad selection of subjects to chat about in its forums and chat areas. With well over 500 registered users already, there are plenty of people there to chat, but what is the most common subject of conversation on the boards?
DC – I think it changes from time to time. The RPG is going all of the time. Last year we introduced a forum called the League of Characters. We took canon and EU characters and put them against in a popularity contest. The first half ends later this week. But during the voting process, the members wanted to know about their RPG characters, could we put them up against one another. As with any Star Wars forum, we have some great discussions and conversations within the general Star Wars films sections. We have some excellent passionate debaters on JM, and within this section we have Nefertiti and Rider, who seem to enjoy debating and arguing everything and anything related to the world of Star Wars. The Expanded Universe sections are also active areas, with the JM Book Club in full swing we have plenty of interesting discussions on the latest book that we are reading. With the Jedi-Masters Blog website also in full swing, we have members discussing comics, books and games, and their reviews are stored on our blog for other Star Wars fans to read. Although not a Role Playing forum in nature, JM also offers an active exciting role playing galaxy game which is run by some of the best role players around. Although it’s not a discussion based section, its still somewhere many of our members enjoy activity, and it is always something new members like to take a look at some point. I’ve always considered our Community section as the main hub for our forum. The members have time to relax here, while discussing their life events, news articles and Entertainment related stories from the latest films and music releases.
Lightsabre – The television era of Star Wars starts in the autumn of 2008 with The Clone Wars and in 2009 with the live action show. What are your hopes for the shows?
DC – Well like any fan, I hope they get the attention they deserve once they are broadcast. A lot of people remember The Holiday Special all to well, and the bad feedback that show still gets to this day. Though there is no chance this show will be anything like that in any shape or form. Looking at it from a simple fans point of view, I was pleased to hear that Boba Fett would be playing a part in the show, as I was a little concerned when I heard talk that no major or known characters would be appearing in the show at all, but on the other hand I was actually quite excited by the prospect of meeting and keeping up to date with a completely new set of characters from the galaxy. I just can’t wait to see what Lucasfilm has up their sleeves for the show, as I am sure they will be doing all they can to ensure its a complete success.
Lightsabre – What do you foresee for Jedi Masters in the future?
DC – We have several short and long range goals. I think since our creation back in August 2006 we have slowly but surely been building a very interesting community. A lot of forums would probably say the same about their community, but I really do believe that at Jedi-Masters we have something special building there. It’s due to these reasons that I believe that the Jedi-Masters community will grow from here on. I think it’s a good a time as any to announce some massive changes we have coming up for our site. Over the next coming months we hope to implement a large advanced system for our members, starting with a massively overdue Star Wars website, which we have been trying to have designed for some time now. Some of the exciting features that the site will offer will include, video uploading and sharing, create your own blogs and lastly a sort of marketplace type software which will allow members to swap unneeded items with other members within our network. We hope that this website will not only become an excellent resource for our current members, but also for all Star Wars fans worldwide. Also something that we are all excited about is the introduction of new forum software for JM. Currently the site uses the phpBB free software, but as the community has grown it is safe to say that we have out grown this type of software, and plan to implement a much more advanced system in the next few months.
Lightsabre – A quick question about our site. Any comments?
DC – It’s a great site. There are new articles and bits of information put out often. I especially like reading about other webmasters. Sometimes I see the Jedi-Masters site in them and I feel like I’m not alone!
Lightsabre – It’s been a great interview, and thanks for being our guest. Just one final question. Emperor Palpatine decides he wants to make a galaxy-wide broadcast and opts to use the HoloNet, but sabotage brings the network down, so he turns to you and asks you to suggest an alternative way of getting the word out there. What do you suggest?
- Carrier Pigeon?
- Chinese Whispers
- Something else?
DC – As I back-peddle my way out of there, I might suggest he use radio transmissions. He won’t be happy about that…hence the back-peddling!
This interview was originally posted on lightsabre.co.uk on 3rd February 2008.