It was 20 years ago today that the domain name TheForce.net was registered. Formerly "The Star Wars Page at Texas A & M." It had outgrown the local server traffic and needed a place to grow, thus TheForce.net was born.
The site began in late 1996 as "Texas A&M University's Star Wars Page," founded by roommates Scott Chitwood and Darin Smith. Originally, the site was, in Chitwood's words, "a few pictures and tons of text," but it eventually outgrew its environment. In September 1997, TheForce.Net was born.
Soon the staff numbered over a dozen. Eventually, Joshua Griffin came on board as partial owner. Later, entrepreneur Philip Wise, owner of both the collecting site Rebelscum.com and the Lucasfilm-licensed autograph company Official Pix, joined Griffin as a co-owner of the site. The site's main technical staff are Anthony Baratta and Michael Spellacy.
Early in TFN's lifetime, the site was a resource for spoiler information on the upcoming prequel films. However, as its profile grew, and as StarWars.com started meeting much of the demand for advance information, the site's focus moved away from spoilers and into more standard news reporting.
"I'd like to personally thank the many people who have volunteered at the website over the years, dedicating their time, energy and effort into creating great content, and a better online community experience for Star Wars fans around the world." - Dustin