"The inspiration for this StarWars.com feature comes direct from the fan community, from an earlier iteration created by Brent Budden, a graduate student from Louisina. "It's always interesting to me how somebody unknown can create something that turns out to be great and popular on the Internet," said Budden, who as a hobbyist had created widgets and interactive online features for fun. He created his own fan-made version of a customizable crawl generator back in 2008.
"This was always something I had in the back of my head, because I'm a big Star Wars fan and I've seen people do their own crawls for fan-made videos," explained Budden. "So, I knew there are people who want to do this, but I figured there had to be an easier way to do it."
Budden's crawl generator -- his first creation in Flash -- quickly became a web sensation. "For the first week, I didn't see a whole lot of hits. But it got posted to the right blog, and about one week into it, I noticed the counter started going crazy. We started getting 10,000 hits an hour."
This popularity drew the attention of Lucasfilm. "There have been a number of crawl generators made over the years, but Brent's work was what inspired our team at StarWars.com to create our own. And we took the idea of a crawl generator to the next level with an easy Facebook integration and other advanced features," said Bill Gannon, Director of Digital Media at Lucasfilm.
The new StarWars.com Crawl Creator was created from scratch by the Digital Media team at Lucasfilm (Nicole Love, Wiley Evans, Craig Drake, Dennis VonGalle, Mike Young, and Shan Chun).