Before there was YouTube, before there was what you could call social media, there was a man known as “SuperShadow”. SuperShadow got his start on the free web hosting service called Tripod, that was popular in the 90’s.
SuperShadow’s Tripod website was titled “Darkside Prequel Rumours” exploded, SuperShadow claimed to have confidential LucasFilm informants feeding him information. He claimed to have multiple inside sources at LucasFilm, claiming to be an employee of ILM and he even claimed to be close personal friends with the creator of Star Wars himself, George Lucas. “Conducting” exclusive multi-part interviews with Lucas himself.
Now of course all of this turned out to be nonsense. But from the mid-90’s to 2014, SuperShadow stayed on message. Posting daily, throwing a bunch of text on a screen non-stop for twenty years. Two decades of nonsense.
It started out small scale, single sentences dating back to 1993. Things like the Prequels being codenamed “Red Tails“, or that the three films were going to be shot back to back, or that Ben Kenobi is a clone and that C-3PO contains the brain of a Jedi.
“Just to set the record straight, the names like Darth Maul and Darth Sidious, that have been circulating the WWW, are code names for characters in the prequels. It is similar to the code name that George used for ROTJ: Blue Harvest” (Source: Confidential LucasFilm Informant)
– Tuesday, December 30th 1997
This went on for years. SuperShadow even claimed to have an early rough draft of Episode I titled “The Ways of the Force”. And when the actual title for Episode I came out he juked. When the movie came out and it was nothing like he concocted he juked again.
SuperShadow even had fan mail, thousands of readers would write into SuperShadow asking him questions, telling him what they thought would happen in the films and he would respond to them with overwhelming confidence and even tell people that their ideas were so great that he would send them to George Lucas.
In 1998 SuperShadow began publishing interviews with George Lucas, these of course turned out to be fake but out of all the outlandish things posted by SuperShadow, these interviews are kind of subdued. And this went on for years, thousands of baseless guesses, thousands of quote-unquote leaks, thousands of hilariously false tidbits of information (Reminding you of someone?) Multiple interviews with George Lucas, all while claiming to be being fed by those inside sources, aka Anonymous LucasFilm Informants.
When Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released, SuperShadow mission was not finished, despite everything he wrote being completely wrong in all of his claims being an obvious ruse, he pressed on. And a sizeable group of readers in the thousands continued to gobble it up.
“Reliable spies inside LucasFilm have replayed to us that Darth Sidious’ new apprentice in Episode 2 will be be a warrior called DARTH RAGE. As I have stated before, Rage is a cybernetic character, which means Rage is half-human and half-machine.”
A month after the release of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, SuperShadow claimed to have a leaked draft of Episode II’s screenplay. Going on to say it was obtained by his network of spies and once again none of it was true.
Day after day, month after month, year after year, Super Shadow pressed on. And at the end of the millennium he left Tripod to buy his own domain: SuperShadow.com (Which you can still check out using archive.org’s wayback machine). And then the craziness really started to happen. On his site’s about page, he said that he was heralded by the fans as the most important, influential and ingenious in history and that he completely revolutionised the way Star Wars movies are created. And that his website played a crucial and pivotal role in the development of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. Even claiming that many of the fan ideas submitted to him were being integrated by George Lucas into the final scripts. Even saying that George Lucas has acknowledged many times in public that SuperShadow is the best thing to have ever happened to Star Wars.
(Wow, just need a moment. Talk about blowing your own trumpet. Jesus, what an ego.)
Ohhh and the picture he claimed was him was actually a photo of a young Ray Park, the actor who portrayed Darth Maul.
Through all of that, SuperShadow continued to answer fan mail, claimed to have spies inside of LucasFilm and to be close friends with George Lucas.
Super Shadow eventually introduced a paid section to his website.
- $8.50 for a one year membership.
- $14 for a two year membership.
- $30 for a lifetime membership.
Then when the Prequel films were all but released SuperShadow shifted focus. The well had dried up. He needed a new avenue. And soon claimed that Episodes VII, VIII & IX were being made. This was about six/seven years before any rumblings of Disney acquiring the franchise and distributing more Star Wars movies.
SuperShadow even wrote stories for all the fictional Episodes, once again claiming them to be legitimate because hey, he’s best buddies with George Lucas.
One of the best (and also probably the saddest) things to about SuperShadow.com was the exclusive “Hey, you can write to George Lucas and he’ll answer you” section of the website.
The are pages and pages and pages of people sending messages to “George Lucas” only for Super Shadow to respond masquerading as him.
“Super Shadow is the best and closes friend in my life. I’m willing to do whatever he says. After the unparalleled success of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, I don’t think any of us can doubt the incredible creative talent of Shadow.”
(Ohh my god, was this guy full of himself)
In 2006 inside the magazine Star Wars Insider issue No. 90, Pablo Hidalgo was asked in an interview: “Is there any truth to the George Lucas interviews concerning Episode VII-IX at SuperShadow.com.” Pablo when on to answer the question saying:
“Not one bit. I’ve often cautioned about the validity of Star Wars information found on the internet, and here’s a perfect example why. 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.”
– Pablo Hidalgo
SuperShadow goes down as one of, if not the first Star Wars Internet Trolls. In the sea of modern misinformation fake Star Wars leaks and the monetisation of baseless rumours.
SuperShadow may seem kind of quaint by today’s standards but a lot of people bought into the nonsense just as a lot of people buy into the nonsense today. As HelloGreedo says it’s important to have your bullshit detector charged up because there are a lot of “supershadows” still out there posting a bunch of baseless nonsense, claiming to have insight sources, claiming to be privy to leaks and making stuff up at a rate that rivals SuperShadow.
(Cough Mike Zeroh)
SuperShadow’s identity was eventually discovered and his website died in 2014 and is no longer available. Which his last post saying the following:
“I, Mickey Suttle, am extremely sorry and very much apologize for the lies I told on SuperShadow.com for nearly 20 years. I am extremely sorry and apologize to those this offended. I am very, very sorry.“
Since then he hasn’t made a peep. Thousands of rumours, thousands of leaks, all proving to be completely baseless. A friendship with George Lucas that didn’t exist. LucasFilm spies and informants that were never real.
Was this all a joke? A way to get a laugh whilst messing with people. It is funny and hilarious if you look at it through that lens, because the alternative explanation is kind of sad. The alternative explanation is that someone out there who went by the name SuperShadow posted online for 20 years pretending to be someone he was not. All the while living in a fantasy world that he constructed in his head.
Video by: HelloGreedo
Adapted to article form by: Connor Heggie