First, some background on Knights of the Old Republic: Apeiron fan made video game.
Robert Purchese of Eurogamer.net wrote back in August of 2016:
The Unreal Engine 4 reboot of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, known as Apeiron, sounds too good to be true. BioWare’s treasured 2003 role-playing game brought not only up to date visually but also mechanically, with new content on top. Yet there are pictures and videos of Apeiron and it looks great.
But there are also red flags. We’re talking about an entirely voluntary workforce taking on an ambitious reboot, not a simple makeover. Perhaps more importantly, Disney, the rights holder, hasn’t said yes. It hasn’t said anything.
“Yes, everything is voluntary,” he said, “but in the last couple of months the problem definitely hasn’t been finding people. We’ve had an enormous outpouring of people wanting to help. The hard part is finding the right people … I need someone to do a job for me, treat it like a real job, and behave like it’s a job, because it is. The obvious downside: I can’t pay you. Anything.”
What of the thorny issue of Disney holding the IP? My eyebrow nearly hit my fringe when the Apeiron website’s answer to “is this legal?” was “we believe so”. It’s a free mod Trotter hopes Disney doesn’t take issue with, basically.
I asked him whether anyone had actually spoken to Disney about it and he dodged a direct answer, which probably means no. Instead he said, “Star Wars has a long history of fan-made [content] … There is even a Lucasfilm official award ceremony each year called The Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards .” And last year Knights of the Old Republic: Broken Souls won Best Visual Effects, he said.
“So to us,” he added, “it’s an obvious long-standing tradition in the Star Wars community, fans reaching out and showing what kind of art they can bring to the table, and we hope to follow in those footsteps. We don’t see this game as stepping on anyone’s toes.”
Apparently, someone at today’s Lucasfilm felt their toes being stepped on.
Apeiron Game posted the following on Twitter, with the accompanying scanned letter direct from Lucasfilm:
It’s with a great sadness that I’m posting today; I recently received a letter from Lucasfilm instructing Poem to end production on Apeiron. After a few days, I’ve exhausted my options to keep it afloat; we knew this day was a possibility. I’m sorry and may the force be with you pic.twitter.com/OCRmMIjwGT
— Apeiron Game (@apeiron_kotor) October 11, 2018
Previously Lucasfilm also attempted to halt a fan-made documentary about Darth Vader, but the filmmaker won at trial and was awarded damages. That filmmaker is now producing a documentary about the backlash, entitled Episode Backlash.
What effect this may have on other Star Wars fan endeavors is uncertain at this point in time. Though if Lucasfilm decides to go after fan fiction, it may destroy a useful resource for the company.
A similar situation has taken place in Star Trek fandom.
Doomcock discussed the Stage 9 situation:
Creative fans who are forced to abandon their fan made efforts, might be advised to abandon the associated franchises altogether, and follow the example set by #ComicsGate and produce their own original material instead.
This blog post has been archived here.
A Twitter user posted an interesting response to this story:
40 years and George Lucas let fans be to create and solidify the love of the frsnchise. Iger/Kennedy will kill it in less than a decade. Then at least one fan will write the future best seller “How to turn $4,05 Billion Dollars in to Garbage in 10 Easy Lessons.” Bravo Kathy. https://t.co/L6TNUHBXXe
— HamillSparkles (@hamillsparkles) October 12, 2018