Reviewed by Melissa Minners
It was 1999 and a writer was seated at a brand new computer surfing the web for all things Star Wars. The writer had been a fan of Star Wars since the original movie began playing in theaters in 1976 and consequentially had read every new book, watched every new episode (including the Christmas Special), and now, with the release of Episode I: Phantom Menace, was now searching for every possible source of Star Wars information to be found on the web. A random search for a favorite Expanded Universe character, Mara Jade, brought the writer to LMS: Star Wars, Luke, Mara and The Prequels. Having loved the site so much, the writer approached the owners of the website with news tidbits and assorted suggestions. Thus, the website incarnation of Talon Karrde, Information Broker, was born.
When I first stumbled upon this website, I noticed something wholly new in the vast sea of Star Wars websites. For one, the site held my favorite character, Mara Jade in very high esteem. There werenít many Mara Jade sites out there and what few there were didnít seem to have much in the way of pictures or fanfic. Many of the other Star Wars websites I had found were hard to navigate. LMS made everything simple and easy to find. News and events were featured in the opening page, each character covered by the site was easily found in a vertical menu. Stories were easily accessible as were the many pictures of favorite characters.
The creators of LMS encouraged originality, posting fan fiction stories and artist renditions of Star Wars characters. At one time, LMS even issued monthly awards to different Star Wars websites that seemed to stand out in originality and informativeness. Discussions were encouraged in the message board and surveys were often posted in an effort to discover features of the movies, comics, and books that fans most enjoyed.
There arenít many sites that display the foreign book covers of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. LMS began doing this long before others, showing Americans just what we were missing when it came to the artistic covers to be found internationally. Another impressive feature is the Icons & Cursor page, which contains many icons one would be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
Perhaps the best feature of all is the fan fiction to be found on the site. Mara Jade: The Jediís Path by BHazard and Mosaic by Nyc stand out as two of the best stories featured on the site. For someone who is not a fan of the character Callista, these two authors made her return and her role in Mara Jadeís life actually enjoyable. Mara Jade is portrayed perfectly by these two authors.
There was a short period when the website was in a dormant stage, but with the release of Revenge of the Sith, LMS has gone through a period of rebirth, with new surveys, a revamped discussion board and new pictures. Even before this update extravaganza, LMS enjoyed a tremendous fan following that spans many nations. Folks from all around the world have signed the guest book, even during the siteís dormant stages, raving about the site and their favorite features.
A favorite of this Star Wars fan for over 5 years, LMS: Star Wars, Luke, Mara and the Prequels has always been one of the first sites I would recommend to hard core expanded universe fans everywhere.