I’m writing this because there’s been a lot of comments, some even harsh, against people skeptical about every big rumor posted or tweeted out by certain sources. Hopefully this will explain why many of us are skeptics with unproven sources…
Long time Star Wars fans have been though a lot when it comes to rumors. Back prior to the Special Edition releases, one of the earliest Star Wars fan sites called Red 5 got a little egg on his face when he was leaked false information that said that the Episode IV SE trailer would be attached to a certain movie in 1996. Obviously it wasnâ€™t, but people were angry that such a big rumor turned out to be false. Red 5 survived and continued to be a good online resource for Star Wars fans until he decided to sunset his site a few years later.
Fast forward a couple of years, and the first Prequel was in production. A website popped up called Supershadow with all sorts of â€œexclusiveâ€ information in the form of what would soon be revealed as completely made up rumors that had zero truth to them at all. The guy claimed to be a close personal friend of George Lucas, and he continued his rumor mongering throughout the next two Prequels. He even began spew some really crazy stuff about the Sequel Trilogy, even claiming that Lucasfilm wasnâ€™t making them: he was.
The problem with Supershadow is thanks to his website, his craziness was picked up by the mainstream media. His rumors were reported on network and cable news as fact about the Prequels, even though they were completely false. Things got so big that he decided to try to make money from gullible fans, at which point Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo said the company even went after the site:
“The site and the person who runs it, have absolutely no relationship with Lucasfilm or George Lucas. The person who runs it has never met nor talked to George Lucas. So-called information, “scoops”, and interviews on the site are complete fabrications. Lucasfilm has taken action against the site several times when it has attempted to solicit fans’ money under false pretenses.”
In 2014 the Internet is a much bigger place than it was a decade ago. There are a lot more sites out there trying to lure people in with false Episode VII rumors. Just slapping â€œStar Wars Episode VII Scoop!â€ or “Speculation: Is Adam Driver Playing Thrawn?” in a headline or Tweet is enough to bring traffic to their site, even if the rumor is completely made up out of thin air.
Long time Star Wars fans who were active online during the Special Editions and the Prequels have lived through the Supershadow craziness, so they look at many of these new rumor sites with the same bit of skepticism.
From Boba Fett erasing the Prequels, to Lupita Nyong’o playing Asajj Ventress (despite it going against established canon), there’s a lot of bogus click-bait out there now masquerading as “speculation”. Just slapping “speculation” on a hit-whoring piece of lies doesn’t excuse you from criticism by those who can spot stuff that’s obviously made up out of thin air just to milk “Star Wars” hits from gullible people who don’t know better.
Sites who claim to be run by “Star Wars fans” sure don’t act that way when they post rumors or speculation that fly in the face of established canon. Lucasfilm said the six movies and The Clone Wars are “immovable objects” of canon. If something is an “immovable object”, you need to check yourself before writing up a huge rumor that contradicts that “immovable object”. If you proceed to post such a rumor or speculation, even when knowing it makes absolutely zero sense based on the established canon of the franchise, you come off as just fishing for clicks and it will come back to haunt you like Supershadow’s antics now haunt him.
The general rule is, until itâ€™s announced by Lucasfilm take it with a grain of salt.