Yesterday the Star Wars community online was talking about the rumors of Sith Inquisitors in Star Wars Episode VII. While most sites treated the rumor, as well as the source of the rumor, with respect…now matters are worse. Twenty four hours after the rumor taking the Star Wars community by storm, a large Star Wars fan site with a long history online has taken it upon themselves to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the site that began the rumor. My problem with this is that the site didn’t bother to back up their claims when flat-out calling the other site a liar in big bold print.
The report on MakingStarWars.net about the villains of Episode VII is completely wrong. Nothing in the report is accurate.
I cannot explain how I know this, but I do. I wouldn’t have put the big “reveal” from MSW’s report in the first paragraph of this post if I thought that there was any chance that it was right.
Eric Geller refuses to back up his claims. We just have to take his word for it. Even more insulting is that Eric Geller used the bolded text as the subject of his tweet linking to the story.
You know, the same word he gave us when he said there was NO executive Star Wars breakfast taking place at Walt Disney World? Right before MakingStarWars.net posted photo evidence that such a breakfast did, indeed, take place.
I admit I haven’t been the biggest fan of Devin Faraci at Badass Digest, but even he’s heard some of the same things in the MakingStarWars.Net report, and tweeted this out today after TFN decided to attack the site’s credibility:
You know why Devin said that? Because he has real sources that are telling him the some of the same things MakingStarWars.Net is hearing…from their real sources. These are real people with lives, families, and jobs that can be in jeopardy if it’s ever found out that they were involved in leaking highly-senstive information to a fan site. That’s why sites cannot name their anonymous sources. They’re trying to protect real people.
That being said, citing “multiple sources within Pinewood Studios” is usually enough for most fans to look at a rumor a little more reliably than a debunking story with no cited sources at all and an explanation of “I cannot explain how I know this, but I do.” I’m sorry but if you’re going to put big bold print on a very large Star Wars site to debunk a smaller site, you need to do more than say “take my word for it.”
TheForce.Net has a long history among the Star Wars fan community and their name carries a lot of weight, but in the last few months (at least starting with “Breakfastgate”) it really feels like they’re lashing out against smaller sites. I won’t speculate why they are doing so here, but if internet fan site history as shown us anything it’s that sources can dry up for larger sites while a smaller site picks up the torch.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m friends with Jason over at MakingStarWars.Net and I even go on their podcast (Now, This is Podcasting!) each week to talk about how much we love Star Wars. In the defense of his site in light of these attacks by a larger Star Wars site with a trusted name, I can say that I trust his sources.
This isn’t something they just threw up after hearing over drinks one weekend, this is something that was sat on for a very long time as more information came in from multiple sources that were confirmed to be at Pinewood Studios. As I explained earlier, these are real people with lives that can be impacted if anything can be traced back to them, which is why sites have to wait until it’s safe to release it.
And guess what? There’s a lot more stuff that’s being “sat on” until it’s safe to release without jeopardizing the livelihood of a source. There’s even one bit of information about the movie that’s so shocking and unexpected it’ll likely cause the internet to implode. But that stuff can’t come out yet as the first priority is to protect the people who are taking a huge risk by talking about what they see happening as the movie is being made.
Part of me worries that when this information will eventually come out Eric Geller will sit there in his Death Star and post a debunking story to blow the rumor away with a super laser he really doesn’t have, you’ll just have to take his word for it. That’s what inheriting a long-running fan site gets you. A big name people will blindly listen to.