Between 1999 and 2009 Lightsabre.co.uk brought news, fanfic, podcasts and much, much more to the masses. Our one hundred and twentieth guest was part of the team that ran Galactic Binder – Douglas Boone.
Lightsabre – Douglas, great to have you here at Lightsabre.
DB – Thanks for having me
Lightsabre – Star Wars has made an impact on all our lives, but how did it first grab your attention?
DB – Probably the lines snaking around any theater where the movie was showing. I was a little kid when A New Hope came out in 1977, and those lines really stood out to me. Once that Star Destroyer screamed over my head and reeled in the Tantive IV, I was hooked, just like everyone else who waited in line.
Lightsabre – Galactic Binder has seemingly come out of nowhere and is suddenly referenced all over the place. Tell a bit about how the site grew and developed to where it is today?
DB – We only launched about three and half months ago, so it’s definitely still a work in progress. We’re trying new things almost every day. Pete Svab a.k.a. Swabie24 co-founded the site with me.
And Old Swabie24 knows more about Star Wars than Palpatine himself, which has been a huge help to us. I think the GalacticBinder name has spread because there’s such a strong and supportive Star Wars community out there. It seems like the fans and other site owners, for the most part, are genuinely interested in helping each other.
GalacticBinder fits right into that environment, we’re a site to promote other sites. The cool part is at the same time we’re serving as a huge resource for fans to find sites they never knew existed and see exactly how vast the Star Wars universe online really is!
For anyone who hasn’t visited GalacticBinder yet it’s the world’s largest Star Wars directory, the Star Wars Yellow Pages if you will. We have over 1,600 sites listed by category, and we’re adding more all the time. It really makes searching for specific types of Star Wars sites so much easier. For instance, we have Star Wars costuming sites separate from retail sites that sell Star Wars costumes. So no more having to put ‘Star Wars costumes’ into Google and then weed through dozens and dozens of sites that may or may not be related to what you actually wanted.
One way to consider what we’re doing is that we’ve built a site ‘inside out’. Typically the links section of a site is something ‘extra’ and buried in the site’s overall content or behind the scenes if you will. We’ve done the opposite – the links and helping people navigate to what they need is our primary focus. Behind that we round it out with feature interviews, articles (like our recent Top 31 Star Wars Bad Ass Moments) and of course giveaways. We’ve been fortunate to have so many awesome sponsors help us do killer giveaways! Gentle Giant and ACME have been particularly generous. And the number of entries we received for our Jerry Vanderstelt Celebration III litho giveaway was jaw dropping. A hint for your readers, we have more Celebration III and IV litho giveaways coming up soon!
Lightsabre – Which of the seven cinematic Star Wars episodes stands out as your favourite?
DB – It’s a horse race between A New Hope and Empire. It feels like a horse race because A New Hope was my defacto favorite until the theatrical re-release, but over the years, the writing and complex themes of Empire have just really grown more and more on me. Empire has Lando and AT-ATs and of course Yoda, so Empire continues to come up strong on the outside, but A New Hope still has a slight lead.
Lightsabre – Back before The Phantom Menace came out there were plenty of link sites and search engines to locate the then many thousands of Star Wars sites on the net, but that trend fell away somewhat. Galactic Binder seems to be continuing that old tradition. Is that your intention?
DB – While Pete and I still occasionally see a couple of these sites you mention referenced in articles (or find them as dead links), we aren’t that familiar with the details of what most of them offered.
So I can’t honestly say that we’re trying to continue what they started. Some may have been started fast to capitalize on the immediate popularity and massive buzz surrounding The Phantom Menace. Once that faded so did the sites. Building a successful directory is a labor of love for sure. It requires a long term commitment, dedication and an insane passion for whatever type of directory you’re building. We feel that’s what’s going to separate us from any of the attempts that existed before us.
Lightsabre – We all have a stand-out memory of Star Wars, be it playing with the toys as a kid or attending a special convention and meeting a star. What’s your one big Star Wars moment?
DB – I feel like I have lots of moments or memories connected to the saga, but most recently it’s all about Comic-Con in San Diego. The Star Wars pavilion is there and artists alley is lined with Lucasfilm approved artists. Two years ago I met Cat Staggs there, and she pencilled a Topps style sketch card with my likeness as a Jedi. Nothing brings home that Jedi feeling like your own sketch card by a great artist. I’ll need to get another one that captures my dark side.
Lightsabre – The television era of Star Wars starts with The Clone Wars and in 2010 with the live action show. What are your hopes for the shows?
DB – My biggest hope is that they’re both well written. I really hope the live action series is something dark and geared more to a mature audience. I’m a big Battlestar Galactica fan so I hope it’s character driven like Galactica is. My partner at GalacticBinder is into the animation more than I am, but I just hope the series is fun and provides solid action adventure so we can all get a weekly dose of Star Wars fun
Lightsabre – Which of the Star Wars character do you feel the greatest affinity for?
DB – You know, we just did an interview with Haden Blackman (the project lead on The Force Unleashed) and he mentioned the idea of hanging out with Lando. I never really thought about it before, but as soon as I read that I thought that sounded fun. First thing I’d do is get a drink with Lando. I’m not sure if the movies ever mention whether he’s a big drinker, but I’d go beer for beer with him and see where we wind up
Lightsabre – You have a time machine and you can go back to the early 1970’s or any time since and make changes to Star Wars. What would they be?
A – Who told you I have a time machine? The films are pretty awesome so I’d leave them alone. Maybe I’d have to go all the way back to the 60s when George Lucas was at USC and get in good with him. Then I’d see if I could get him to sign over the Star Wars licensing rights to me!
Lightsabre – What interests do you have outside of Star Wars?
DB – I guess sports is one way that I waste a ton of time. I play softball in a Los Angeles city league. We won the LA City tournament last summer. Not bad right? In a city with about 4 million people my softball team was the best. And then there’s fantasy sports, baseball, football? And watching games, and then highlights, and then reading the scores the next day
Lightsabre – What do you foresee for Galactic Binder in the future?
DB – One feature we want to continue is PictureBinder, which is a technology we created that shatters an image digitally, and then puts it back together over a period of time. The effect is people get to see a Star Wars picture ‘develop’ before their very eyes. We just did our first product reveal with Acme Archives using the PictureBinder technology last week. The image was the awesome new art piece from Christian Waggoner, depicting Han Solo frozen in Carbonite reflected in Boba Fett’s visor. This is officially licensed art that had never been seen before. We set it up as a contest, so as the image ‘developed’ whoever guessed it first won a free copy of the art! The piece will be available from ACME Archives in the near future as both a giclee on canvas and a giclee on paper.
DB – I think I first discovered Lightsabre because of the feature interviews, you guys really have some great ones. Then I found the Setnin sector and the comic books in particular. Excellent layout and story. Everything on Lightsabre is professional and the passion you guys have for Star Wars shines through. For that reason, Lightsabre is exactly the kind of site we love promoting at GalacticBinder!
Lightsabre – It’s been a great interview, and thanks for being our guest on Lightsabre. Just one final question. Ahsoka Tano and Kit Fisto are standing in the queue at the Jedi cafe when Master Yoda butts in line. Neither of them say anything, but when Master Windu and Master Kenobi start cutting into the line they decide to do something about it. What do you think they do to stop them?
DB – I think Ahsoka creates a distraction while Kit Fisto discretely uses the Force to levitate a few hundred packets of whatever the galactic equivalent of mayo, mustard and ketchup are into the air.
Kit slowly moves the floating packs of condiments over Mace, Kenobi and Yoda and then pops them all open at once! Ahsoka, knowing what’s coming, dashes aside at the last second and lets the Jedi Masters get their comeuppance.
Interview originally posted on Lightsabre.co.uk on 14th September 2008.