If you happened to be hanging out on Twitter over the weekend, and follow prominent bloggers like Sean Bonner, Rudy Jahchan, Tara Brown and Veronica Belmont, you may have witnessed a virtual trench run on the Death Star.
The Twitter trench run is the idea of interactive storytelling consultant Jay Bushman who decided to do a social experiment online to see who indeed is strong with the Force. Starwars.com chats with Bushman about #Sxstarwars.
For non-Twitterers, what the heck is SXStarWars all about?
It was like a guerilla improv theater performance, but instead of being done by actors speaking lines in a theater, it was done by people writing lines over a live updating chat room. It was performed during the SXSW Interactive festival; playing on that, all the Twitter posts have the tag #SXStarWars, so you could filter those entries out of the main stream of everything posted
Why did you decided to do SXStarWars on Twitter?
One of my ongoing projects is producing adaptations of classic literature, reconfigured and re-imagined for different forms of web media. I’ve done a sci-fi version of a Melville short story using Twitter, Goodcaptain.com, a contemporary Spoon River Anthology as a group blog and I’m working on a modernized Pride & Prejudice using Facebook. So I’m always thinking of ways to retell familiar stories in new ways, using wide-reaching interactive media tools. I was also involved with a Halloween retelling of War of the Worlds which used Twitter, Google Maps and other web services to allow hundreds of people to recount a Martian invasion, and that got me thinking of how Twitter could be used for live story events.
The specific idea for doing a Star Wars story came from a tweet by Wil Wheaton. One day he wrote, “This is Red 5 standing by,” and was deluged with replies of Star Wars quotes from his followers. In a follow-up, he said that we could mount a serious attack on the Death Star just from people on Twitter, and I instantly thought “Why don’t we go ahead and do just that?”
I offered Wil the role of Han Solo, but unfortunately he had a previous commitment. Actually, I believe what I wrote to him was: “I have a question for you that every man of our generation wishes he’d get asked: How’d you like to be Han Solo?”