Finding the Star Wars Kid

The Star Wars Kid has been found!

The two videos were downloaded 1.1 million times from my site alone, a staggering 2.3 terabytes of traffic, placing a geeky little kid at the center of the web’s attention practically overnight. So who was he and what was he thinking?

My research revealed few details, until the culprits finally contacted me. His name is Ghyslain, a 15-year-old tenth grader living in Quebec. Originally recorded onto an 8mm tape on November 4, 2002 in the school’s studio, the video was never meant to be seen by anyone. After Ghyslain returned the borrowed videotape to his friend, the video sat in a basement for months. On April 19, 2003, Ghyslain’s friend stumbled on the tape’s secret contents and immediately shared it with friends. They thought it would be a funny prank to encode the video and upload it to Kazaa.

It only took two weeks for the video to spread around the world. Raven Software’s Bryan Dube added the Star Wars effects on April 24, a mere five days after it originally appeared to the Internet. A week later, both videos were linked on every major gaming- and technology-related website, forum, and chat room online.

What does Ghyslain think about all this? My French-speaking friend Jish interviewed him today to find out what he thought about his newfound popularity. Read the interview now. Overall, he seems like a damn cool kid. I don’t care what anyone else thinks; Ghyslain is my new hero.

Update: In return for all the trouble he’s gone through to entertain us, I think we should buy a new iPod for Ghyslain. We’re up to 421 donations, totalling $4,334.44! We can buy him a 30GB iPod and much more! The fundraiser is now closed; thank you to everyone who donated.

July 16, 2003: The Star Wars Kid received his presents.


$25+:

Anonymous ($500.00!!!)s

Jason Bobier ($100!!)

Phil Henderson ($100!!)

Anonymous ($50!)

Drew Curtis ($50!)

J. Scott Dorr ($50!)

James Justin ($50!)

MajorGeeks.com ($50!)

Sean Stidman ($50!)

Christopher Linster ($35)

Lulu.com ($35)

Joey the Film Geek ($30)

Anonymous

Anonymous

Anonymous

Bloody Hell

P. Hrissikopoulos

ICalledIt.com

Daniel Korn

Chip Lynch

RealWorld Systems

Chad Sakac

Vincent Star

$20:

Christa Adams

Stephen Anderson

Roland Blais

Bovine Ignition Systems

Jeremy Brown

Jay Calderone

Heather Champ

Brad Choate

Joe Crawford

Eric DeFilippo

V.S. Dobbs

Jack Driscoll

Adam Eberbach

Joshua Fogel ($18)

Susan Gardner

Brandon Harris

Minh Le

Regina Lee

Electric Mohawk

David Gorzsas

Matt Haughey

S. Hawkins ($18.14)

Hyperbolic Mollusk

Adam Ingram

Frank van Keeken

Said Kobeissi

Naked BoB Morgan

Hiroshi Nakahara

Gianluca Neri

OneMoreBite – WeightLoss

Craig Patchett

Mark Prince

Michael Pusateri

Michael Royce

John Russell

Sarcasmo

Rupert Scammell

William Shunn & Laura Chavoen

John Simms

Sean Stacey

Oliver Tan

Joe Utsler

Elizabeth Warner

Joshua Yadron

$15:

Anonymous

Cyan Callihan

Donovan Cox

Gavin Cummins

Cymbic

Farscape Props Forum

Paul King

Phil Lockwood

Alexander Pavloff

$10:

Alien Soup

Anonymous

Anonymous

Jeffrey Arnold

John B

Robin Baker ($11)

Matthew Baldwin

Suso Banderas

Chris Balven

Jeff Bartolotta

Thomas Beerbower

Daniel Bishop

Darrin Blankenship

Uriah Blatherwick

David Boeke

Chris Borden

Scott Braut

Nancy Brindley

Rob Brown ($8)

Spencer N Burt

Eric Burton

Lia Bulaong

Tom Campbell

Mike Carvalho

Dave Cassel

Julian Church

Derrick Claar

Mark Connelly

Jock Cooper

Mark Cooper

Christian Counts

Anil Dash

Darrel Davis

Brian DeVoe

Sigrid Ellis

Andrew Fetsch

Jim Flanagan

Mark Fogle

Robert Franklin

Geek News Central

David Godfrey

Robin Goldstein

John Grant

Bart Grantham

Michael Hamilton

Paul Hase

Jon Hewitt

Alan Heymann

Holly Hirzel

Charles Hopkins IV

David Howard

Jonathan Hudson

Chris Hutchinson

Nathan Jacobs

Brian Jenkins

Stephen Jenkins

Christopher King

Chris Kohler

Mark Kurt

Wyatt Landesmann

Andrew Leyden

Hector A Leyva Jr

Michael Long

Jorge Lopez ($12)

Jeffrey Luck

Ron Lussier

Daniel Lutger

Robert Martynec

Walter Mason

Maynestream

Ian McCarthy

David McNett

Kevin Meehan

Doug Miller

Linda Moore

Steve Morgan

Erich Mueller

Jish Mukerji

Alec Muzzy

Jonathan Nathan

Roger Nesbitt

Byron Norris

Dan Oster

Adam P.

Steven Pack

Duncan Parkinson

Lisa Paulsen

Jeff Parry

Charles Peters

Nathan Phail-Liff

Dustin Rector

Ian Rumble

Andrew Russell

Bob Schaefer

Oliver Schnarchendorf

Mauri Skinfill

Lloyd Sommerer

Soul Magnet

Nicholas Stathis

Michael Sterling

The Wave Magazine

Twilight Software

Jason Stuck

Kevin Watson

WebDeities

Thom Wetzel

Mark Woolrich

Jon Wright

X51.ORG

$5:

Americansforwar.com

John Anderson

Anonymous

David Baker

Darren Barefoot

Brian Basterrechea ($6)

Skott Bennett

Patrick Bergeron

Mike Berkey

Magnus Bodin ($6.66)

Johan von Boisman

William C. Bradford II

Elliott Brady

James Bray

Michael Breems

Taylor Brown

Stuart Burns

William Buthod

Geoffrey Carlton

Scott D Cartier

Bonne Chance

Jerry Christensen

Stephen Clark

John Clover

Scott Daley

Catherine Decarie

Aaron Delwiche

Jason DeFontes

Albert Deschenes

Dumbass and the Fag

Robert Earl

Eve

Jeanie Faust

Brian Feltovich

Laura Fisher

Paul Floriani

Josh Forman

annfrankenstein

Daniel Frysinger

Jennifer Funk

Teri Galindo

Sergio Bayarri Gausi

Mark Gerdes

Joshua Gibson

Jorn Gilberg

Damian Glenny

Scott Gould

Myles Grant

Shannon Hale

Christopher Hall

Steinar Hansen

Joe Harlow

Brendon Harvey ($5.42)

Ilya Haykinson

Charles Herrera

Scott Hicks

Joris Hilhorst

Luke Hopwood

Brian Howe

David Hurley ($6)

Robert Jagger

Karan James

Neil Janowitz

Seth Johnson

Andrew Kaplan

Gregg Keefer

Meko Kifer

John Klapak

Steven Kramer

Peter Kucharczyk

Jason Kuykendall

Michael Langlie ($6)

Phil Lawrence

Thomas Leddy

Seppo Lehto

Jim Lewis

Aidan Low

Mafia.com

Sean Malloy

Tarynn McKeage

Joe McKinney

Bart McPherson

David McIlwain

Pierre Menard

Joseph Mettenburg

Anthony Mikolajunas

Brian Millar

Douglas Miller

Monte Miller

Ivan Milles

Tim Morgan

Tomoyuki Nezu

Peter Noone

Michael O’Brien

Michael O’Donnell

Sheila O’Quinn

Paradise USA

Gavenesh Patel

Kevin Pecks

Tom Phillips, RA

Pneu International Software

Pocket PC Thoughts

Jarod Pranno

Rob Pugh

John Redpath

Delmar Reid

Emily Rhoads

Brian Rice

James Riehle

Ben Roubique

Greg Rucka

Joshua Sera

Todd Serotiuk

Den Shewman

Daniel Sinclair

Brian Smith

Rick Spencer

Songdog

Jannon Stein

Richard Soppet

Zeb Spade

Sean Stephenson

Derek Taylor

Philip Traynor

Nathan Tsui

Peter J. Tullao

Todd Vallie

Alexander Vargas

Peter Vessenes

Eric Weber

Greg Webster

Tony White

Frank Williams

Ashley Wagner-Williams

Andrew Young

$3:

Chris Alfano

Anonymous

Kari Chisholm

Scott Dunbar ($3.01)

BJ Dutton

Berklee

Josh Glasser

Alexander Halavais

Tim Hopper

Aaron Kassover

Matthew Manuel

Matthew Pardee

Joseph Prisco ($3.33)

Tracy Rhodes ($2.70)

James Turnbull ($4)

$2:

Shaun Aiken

Anonymous ($2.17)

James Bishop

James Blachly

Rick Bruner

Michael Bunch

Erik Bystrom

Michael Choy

Robert Choy

Melissa Clarke

Dariush Derakhshani

Travis Fessler

Jeffrey Field

FFWD Internet ($2.50)

Glorious Noise

Daniel Graham

Steven Grantz

Rolf Hagelgans

Dave Hamilton

Gary Hamilton

Aaron Hodges ($1.50)

Thomas Johnson

Sarah Kamens

Josh Kellar

William Kleinpeter

David Latka

Barbara Lauriat

Christopher Lemon

Larry Lieberman ($1.78)

Jasper Luiken

Eric Marcoullier

John Massaglia

Kurt McCoy

Luke McEvoy

Adolfo Munoz

Kevin Noone

Ned Ren

Jeremy Sabol

Ron Sheridan

Matt Silber

Toby Slater

Julian Smith

Dale Taylor

Micah Van Hoff

Christopher Wilson

William Winter

World RPS Society

Joseph Zukowski ($2.22)

$1:

Josh Anderson

Anonymous

Joel Arandia

Michael Barud

Catalyst Design Group ($1.50)

Wesley Chuen

Torbjoern Dahle

Branko Daljevic

Tuncer Deniz

Tiare Dickinson

Michelle Elbert

James Garrigus

L.G.

Andrew Goodwillie

Michael Gorn

Hibiscusroto

John Hodges

Mark Horowitz

Carmen Johnson

Susanne Johnson

Kristian Karlsson

Noah Lamson

Rolland Malegana

Keith Martz

Tony Mason

Brett Meyer

Ian McAllister

Michael Newman

Joost Pisters

Tim Rhodes ($1.01)

Jonathan Roig

Eshan Shah-Jahan

Rosalind Skinner

Patrick Smith

Benjamin Taylor

Brian van Brunt

Christ van Willegen

Rosemary Waigh

Thomas Yang

147 thoughts on “Finding the Star Wars Kid

  1. I take the blame for any problems with the interview… I wrote the questions. Plus, the answers were translated from French, so that probably accounts for some of it.

  2. Yes that was a weak interview. Should’ve asked basic questions: Why did you do that? Are you a Star Wars fan? Was it a joke? etc.

  3. I should also take some of the blame for the “weak” interview. Although I’m pretty fluent in French, I realized I’m not comfortable enough to come up with snappy questions on the fly.

  4. His Jedi powers overloaded my server. 🙂 I’m glad that he seems so cool, it’s a perfect end to an unexpected meme.

  5. Well, he’s actualy getting quite fan club online. But in real life, at school, no one is talking about this anymore. It’s almost as if it was forgotten.

  6. Hi all, thanks for doing all the good work in making the video available, and for finding the guy! The more I watch the it the more it seems his moves are pretty good. When you consider how much professional help the real actors must have received in learning the fight scenes, the more you appreciate the guy`s efforts. Let`s buy him an Ipod dammit! I pledge $5 – where do I send the money ?

  7. I already see the next video… the kid bashing his “friend” Fight-Club-like, special fx added by Silicon Graphics 🙂 Nevertheless, he’s just cool.

    @Interview: no matter, at least he answered.

  8. I say… if anyone makes fun of this kid they need beaten. We all have seen star wars and we all have reinacted fight scenes with light sabers, sticks, pipes…whatever. So to anyone who thinks the kid is a geek…back the fuck off. I think the kid is awesome

  9. Well… for some of us being a geek is a Good Thing (TM), though that comes with age, when you’re small it can be bad…

  10. Okay, it wasn’t a great interview, but so what? At least Jish tracked him down and didn’t humiliate him, and that’s noble. (So kudos to Jish.) If I’d interviewed him in French, I probably would have asked him “Fromage?” a bunch of times.

    I just hope that Ghyslain knows that a lot of us laughed at the video because we were just like him in high school and we turned out okay – and now can laugh at ourselves. He shouldn’t feel badly about the video; we’ve all done goofy stuff like that. I’m glad that I was 15 in the pre-web era, that’s for sure – some stupid thing I’d done would have made it online for sure. 🙂

    Hey Ghyslain (if you ever read this): Life gets _much_ better after high school.

  11. Boy am I glad the Web wasn’t popularized until the 90’s. If it had been in the 80’s I’m sure ALL of us StarWars fans would have incriminating videos of us pulling crazy stunts. But seriously, that Canuck sure is light on his feet eh?

  12. Well, I just want to congratulate Ghyslain! I’m in his school and he took the “Starwars Kid” case in a very cool way! Hold On Ghyslain! We are with you

  13. haha, im from Quebec, I know this guy! He go at my school! WOW, he is really intense, seriously, he owns! LOL So funny, that’s the VIDEO OF THE YEAR!

    see ya, im gonna get an autograph of him now!

  14. Soon, you will be famous. This email captivated us immediately. I think this kid is the best raw talent I have seen in ten years.

    Good luck, and tell everyone who bashes this video to ‘f’ off, because you are going to get rich off of it. For doing what YOU love.

  15. John Lennon once said the beatles were bigger than jesus. however in a few short days Ghyslain has circled the globe – John could never have imagined this perhaps this is the internet epiphany? beyond clare swires beyond all the web myths.. beyond it all. truly Ghyslain has touched more hearts than the Big J guy. indictment of society? or a new Proletariat upswell?

    you have got to love him and his ungainly ways. expect the Ghyslain 1:1 quotes on underpasses soon

  16. by the way can someone tell us how to pronouce his name?

    ignorant English only speaking fuffer

  17. I want his kids! I will make this boy a man!! …although someone told me Jedis aren’t allowed to love. so sad

  18. I say we somehow contact Ray Park (AKA ‘Darth Maul’) to give Ghyslain a free staff fighting lesson. I’d say the kid has earned it.

  19. My friend TJ showed me the first then the second video. I found the first one amusing and the second one had me laughing so hard I was crying! God bless this kid, we all could use a good laugh these days.

  20. Ghyslain, if you happen to read this… Just wanted to say you made my day, and brought a smile to me and all my geeky friends. Trust me, we were just like you, and now we’re pretty sucessful. Alot more than anyone who gave us a hard time in school!

    Also, sorry for the Frank Sinatra version of your video, it was a moment of weakness on my part 🙂 Never use your powers for evil!

  21. Almost forgot…

    Andy, is there any way to tell how close to the iPod goal the fund is?

  22. I don’t think this guy could fill Shay stadium, especially if he opened up head to head against the Beatles. 🙂 IMHO. He’s got a showing in the race but Lennon and McCartney will always win! (by a hair past MJ)

  23. [b]by the way can someone tell us how to pronouce his name?[/b]

    its a hard ‘G’ like hmm Gerard, the ‘y’ is sounds like how you prononce ‘e’ when you recite the alphabet, and ‘slain’ is like ‘slain’ (!!) in english but you don’t pronouce the ‘n’ at the end…

    G e slai… lol

    btw I am a quebecer, if you have interviews to do in french, ask me! 😉

  24. Can we ask the kid to do a Matrix-style video next up? Image him doing bullet-time…I doubt even CGC could suspend him up there for too long 😉

  25. Erm…how do i know that u just dont want a free ipod, and that all of this is a hoax?

  26. And also, half of those questions were aimed asking what ipod he wants…this is so fake its untrue..i mean c’mon ppl i know ur all american / canadian but u cant all be that stupid

  27. I told Jish to ask Ghyslain about an iPod, because I thought starting a donation drive to buy him one was a good idea. As for proof, Jish recorded the phone call, so he has an MP3 of the entire thing, which I’m sure he’s willing to post once traffic dies down a little (his server was already taken offline once by all the Fark traffic).

    I also have a photo of Ghyslain and his contact information, but I was advised not to release it because he’s a minor. When I’m ready to ship the iPod, I’ll provide proof that it was purchased and mailed to Ghyslain. I guarantee that it’s not a hoax.

  28. I say we keep going. Keep the donation drive open until Monday, buy the best iPod the donations can afford, and use the remainder as credit for him on Amazon.

    Anyone else have ideas on how to spend the left-overs after the iPod is purchased?

  29. What should I say?

    Personally, I wouldn’t like having a “friend” post a video of me online without my consent that would get thousands of people to make fun of me… I think Ghyslain is very courageous and I congratulate him for that.. I really don’t think he deserves to have people make fun of him.. Unless it’s in a friendly way! [ which seems to be the case with a lot of you guys ]

    I think he’s awesome and there’s nothing wrong with doing stuff like that! I think it’s actually fun that he did something without caring what other people would think. What else? I live in Qc and I wonder what school this guy is going to…

  30. For the record, new iPods came out recently, and with $499 you can buy the new 30gb iPod, which is a new design and much nicer (thinner, lighter) than the old iPod. The new 15gb is $399, so it seems worth holding out for the full $499 to buy the twice-as-big 30gb. (There is no longer a 20gb iPod.)

  31. Does anyone have any other remixes/versions floatin around, and if so are there weblinks to sites w/ them?

  32. I say rock on, Ghyslain, and rock on, Andy! I thought the video was funny, but I also admit to being a very awkward teen… thankfully, I seldom had access to video, and none of my (friends? enemies?) had access to the web. I did think the interview sounded a little like a market researcher for Apple, but… that actually made it funnier for me.

  33. Post a list of questions you’d like to ask to Ghyslain, I’ll get in contact with him, I speak his language (quebec-eeze).

  34. I’m glad the kid is getting something for this.. I can imagine he was probably horrified about this at first… I wish I could donate but I’m broke..

  35. Really, who hasn’t been here? Pity the Internet wasn’t around when I got caught pretending, or I could have enjoyed any number of splendiferous gifts. Nonetheless, I gave the kid five bucks. DB.

  36. Yes! This kid rules! It’s like it’s straight out of Kids in the Hall…

  37. He is teh man.

    For a “large” boy he is quite agile. The force must of been with him that day !!

    If the Aussie Dollar was worth more I’d donate…kekekeke. $1 US = $1 Million AUS

  38. Maybe we can raise enough donations to get him an iPod, TiBook and DV Cam.

    Can’t let his talent disappear.

  39. This kid rocks!! Reminds me of all the crappy wrapping paper lightsaber duels I had with my brother. Damn if only we had the tec back then…

    I could of had a cgi sarlak pit instead of burying my kid brother in the sandbox…

    Ghyslain si c’etais moi j’aurai donnez un coups au geule a ton amie qui a fait sa avec ton vid. Mais apres tout.. c’etais vraiment amusant. Et j’attend pour la prochaine.

  40. That kid’s got *guts*, man. Even if he didn’t think the videotape would ever be seen. Like the corny old country song says: “you’ve got to dance like there’s nobody watching”.

    Me, I’m a fan. As soon as paypal’s back up from maintenance, I’m pitchin’ in.

  41. What a great idea. This kid will be really happy because you decided to be so generous. Thanks for renewing my faith in mankind.

  42. Initially, I didn’t know whether or not it would be mean to laugh at Ghyslain’s video. I have come to realize we (geeks/nerds)(though we may be older), all still have a bit of Ghyslain in us all. It isn’t about feeling better about oneself by mocking another human being, it is about realizing you’re that kid on the inside. Have a lil fun and laugh.

    Hell, I still make light saber noises.

  43. That kid is a really good sport about it all, he seems like a such a great little guy. He embodies what we all are, and have done in our own privacy. Props little dude, I’m donating for sure…

  44. Three American newspapers and one Canadian newspaper are working on stories about this fundraiser that will likely be published next week. I guarantee that this is legitimate, and I’ll provide proof once the iPod and Amazon gift certificates are purchased. I’m sure Ghyslain would be happy to take a photo of himself with the iPod for posterity, once he receives it.

    As for this ridiculous accusations of a scam,

    this is exactly the kind of knee-jerk contrarian opinion that’s giving the geek community a bad name. I’m deleting the negative comments because they’re mean-spirited, completely false, and have no place on my personal website.

  45. Hey man hope you’ll read this message..

    u have been very courageous in all that andi think u really fucking deserve that ipod =P

  46. This is wicked – and heartwarming – the net community will still stick behind one of their own. Oh, and <burns old video cassetes />.

  47. Andy, I like JayV’s idea, you could actually afford to get him a spiffy DV camcorder and an iPod and still have some money left over, or an iPod and one of the older iBooks.

  48. – Ghislain is pronounced Gi-slain

    – I hope there will be a sequel to this!

    – Ghislain: T’en fais pas l’ami, le temps est reparateur pis tes erreures du passé vont devenir tes meilleurs histoires a raconter dans le futur!

    – We should keep the donations up to see if we can buy Ghislain a F-18 or a russian MIG fighter or something.

    BEn

  49. Well it’s a worthy cause! I’m happy to donate!

    Mirroring the files munched through around 70GB on my server, not too bad actually – I expected much worse!

    Well done to the kid, deserves every bit of an iPod!

  50. I’m donating my $20 because this kid deserves it for entertaining me and my family. Definitely get him a digicam also so he doesn’t have to borrow anything from his loser friends anymore.

  51. iPods are cool, but why is that the first thing that came to mind? The dude clearly digs video, so a digital camcorder might be the first item on the list. Then, with nearly $1200 raised so far, it’s feasible he could get a camcorder *and* a bitchin’ computer to edit the video on. At least, I’d hope he’d get some options so he could choose what he most wanted.

    Anyway, very cool that he’s been so embraced. He’s the greatest.

  52. Never mind the interview, the video is worth more than a thousand words! Must have been a bit nerve-racking to interview a young Jedi of that caliber. At least I know who my new found hero is!!

  53. I think it’s great you all are doing this for this kid. He and others like him need to know that they’re not alone.

    At the moment, I’m trying to get some of my sister female geeks together to see if we could put up something to show our support for this and other younger geeks-in-training. Any tasteful suggestions would be welcomed at:

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/mamaslyth/229887.html

  54. why dont we buy him an authentic lightsaber and a video cam, and the knowledge that we would take the sequel seriously 🙂

  55. You could go up to Canada with your sister geeks and give him something he will never get on his own!!! While we are making this kid out to be a greeking hero you may as well treat him like a rockstar!! Ride it sister!! Ride IT!

  56. Maybe we should just give him the extra money so he can get stuff with Apple’s New Music Site. That and maybe some of the great stuff from Griffin Technology (the [http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/itrip/]iTrip and the [http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/ifm/index.html] iFM would be cool).

  57. dude, you rock! when was the last time you saw a 15 year old with that much enthusiasum and energy? that kids going to go places. and for the record i’m not laughing AT you, i’m laughing WITH you cause that was me 20 years ago.

    rock on

  58. I’m not sure that he’s cool, but he’s definitely human. Seeing as kazaa is quite new, most of us will never know what it would be like to be 15 and have this happen. I hope this deosn’t end up being too traumatic for him, cause he really hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary, and pple should never be criticized for their weight, or their clothes – that’s just cheap, and open to debate. Hopefully, maybe he’ll get a girlfriend (or boy) out of this, and maybe this could be good for him. But really, we could be downloading more important stuff than this, and I’m sure he knows this 🙂 I hope this doesn’t effect Ghyslain in the long term, because goddammit, the net really isn’t THAT important.

  59. With that kind of cash, why not buy him a 10GB iPod and an eMac? That 30GB monster is excessive — 10GB (2500 songs!) is enough, I’d think — and he says he likes the Macs at school. Hook the kid up.

    *** Disclaimer: I didn’t donate. It’s none of my business. But I do think most kids would rather have the whole setup than just the bitchenest iPod.

  60. Ghyslain, I hope you read this. Thanks for the laugh and I hope you’re to the point that you can enjoy it yourself. As for your sequel, I thought you could use a few new moves. Here’s a site that will teach you some basic staff moves, useful for spinning a glow staff, fire staff, or even a double edged light saber. 😉

    http://www.homeofpoi.com/staff.htm

  61. I would LOVE to see this kid in the latest StarWars movie, kind of a “where’s Waldo”. Just make him an extra in the bg somewhere. I would pay to see the movie just to try and find Ghyslain in it!!

    How ’bout it George???

  62. Well, I hate to spoil the generally positive ambience of this topic, but:

    “As nice as it might be to get an iPod, he said, he would have preferred that the video, which he had not intended anyone to see, had remained private.

    “People were laughing at me,” he wrote in a follow-up e-mail message. “And it was not funny at all.” ”

    ***

    That doesn’t sound too damn positive to me. I know I’d feel damn near suicidal if something like that came out from me; maybe it’s because I’m still in education. Yeah, I downloaded it, and yeah, it’s funny, but I just feel really, really sorry for the poor kid. When he leaves school, the other kids are ging to remember him as Star Wars Kid, make no mistake. Kids are like that. Maybe the majority of you don’t remember.

    On the plus side, with nearly 3 grand of donations… hell, you could release most of the foolish stuff I did in the past. I guess the difference is, this isn’t the past for him.

  63. I think there are three types of people when it comes to this video:

    Those that identify with Ghyslain (perhaps too much) and do not see any humor in it…

    … those that identify with Ghyslain (to some extent) and can laugh because it reminds them of themselves to some degree…

    … and the mean bastiches that like to laugh at others and make disparaging remarks to mask their own inadequacies.

    One thing no one can argue with however is the fact that the $2k+ raised so far proves one thing – the geek community takes care of its own, when it needs to. Ghyslain may feel bad for a few weeks, but the iPod + other stuff will last alot longer than that.

    PS: My website traffic is about to be exceeded (http://home.earthlink.net/~ransak/star_wars_kid_meets_frank.mpg), so if someone wants to mirror that it would be spiffy.

  64. On the point of being a bad idea to release this and that he was really embarrassed. Like this kid, I remember being the dorky kid in school. Until I was 19, I resented the whole thing and hated everyone who ever looked at me funny. Then I realized that in the real world, life is much easier if you learn to laugh at yourself. I just hope that this experience helps this kid to understand this. He’ll be much better off and more confident if does.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to berate him. I just hope he learns to laugh at this someday, instead of thinking that he will forever be unpopular. It’s just so hard to understand this in high school.

    Also, I second the suggestion to try to get this kid in Episode III somewhere. At least get Lucas to let the kid watch the filming. Anyone have any ideas of the best way to do this?

  65. Find a contact address or number for Lucas and send him an eloquent missive explaining why Ghyslain deserves to be included in at least a small part of Episode III, if only to let him watch part of the filming.

  66. Get him a 17″ AlBook and a 30gig iPod. He deserves it, and he said he loves the Mac world. We need more people on the light side. Seriously, he deserves it.

    Oh, and Gyslain – if you’re reading this, if anyone laughs at you, ask them if they ever made close to $3,000 American Dollars dancing on camera in the school studio – or anything else anywhere else for that matter.

  67. OK, first of all I wish I could move like this kid! Second, at the rate the donations are going you should get him a DV camera, a 17-inch PowerBook, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, AND a 30-gig iPod. He deserves it.

  68. you know, this kid’s not bad… i mean he took it without a problem.

  69. Damn, I laughed and cried thinking about my own high school experience.

    This guy inadvertantly made me optimistic about the whole damn world again. We should raise enough to send him through college.

    May the force be with you, high school Jedi…

  70. I’ll dress up like rambo and jump off a tree…then you guys can edit it with vietnam war scenes and helicopters etc..I want an ipod.

  71. Maybe Adobe could donate some software….

    It was very funny, in that it reminded me of myself when I was his age.

    Never grow old.

  72. I’ve fallen in love. This child has the skills of a master at only the ripe age of fifteen. I applaude him and am begging for the sequel.

  73. What a terrific kid! He was obviously VERY into it whe he filmed it, and he took what some would live down as humiliation and demonstrated a remarkably good and mature sense of humor about it. I do hope he has the good sense to carry this to it’s logical end; a sequel, the talk show circuit, the works. Why not! He certainly deserves the good fortune being bestowed on him by this site! And also, kudos to the Raven Software whiz who had the foresight to do an outstanding job remixing it and adding the effects. If only he’d done more. I’m sure there will be other iterations as folks try to one-up the original. This kid made my whole week!!

  74. Alc makes a good point about how difficult this experience probably is for the kid right now and then writes, “When he leaves school, the other kids are ging to remember him as Star Wars Kid, make no mistake. Kids are like that.”

    Who gives a flying f*ck how the other kids remember him? Ghyslain shouldn’t. I only remember a few people from my high school(s), where I wasn’t particularly popular. You know why? I have a life.

    The best thing to tell outsider kids is that after graduation, it’s all downhill for the popular crowd and the athletes. For unpopular smart kids, by contrast, things often go much better in adulthood.

  75. He is 15 and very self conscious. I hope he can realize that most people are laughing with him and not at him (especially older people). There are those few idiots that have to purposely say mean things. However, I think that the vast majority of people can really relate with him because they have done what other people would find very amusing too. The difference is that they did not tape it or were taped, but if someone saw, they would get a kick out of it too. When I was younger, I used to daydream about being ninja, rock star, Special Forces guy and sports star. I used to act all that stuff out in the basement while watching TV. Looking back, it probably would have been hilarious to watch from a window or something.

    I hope that the donations keep coming in. Maybe in the end, he will have the last laugh when his peers bust on him for being the “Star Wars Kid”.

  76. If George Lucas hears of this, and has as much soul as I think he does, this kid WILL be in the next Star Wars movie if only in a small walk on part. It should happen … no … it must happen! Innocent joy should be rewarded once in a while don’t you think? How can we get a petition started for this?

  77. If there’s money left over, buy him a BUNCH of little webcams and some USB extenders, and see if he/you can hack up a software-driven bullet-time camera.

    (You’ll need webcams that can capture the image and hold it until downloaded without heavy software intervention. I’m not up enough on webcam internals to know if none/all/which ones do that, so somebody with a clue should check this idea and select the cams if it’s possible.)

  78. I’m so stoked for the guy, I hope he didn’t get too much hassle from other people in school. he definatly deserves the money for the entertainment value!

    he’s best thing since the bloke that said ‘i kiss you!’

    wonder when the ghyslain fanclub will start..

  79. For you Ghislain,

    “Je suis de St-Hyacinthe, et je dois t’avouer que je comprends comment tu peux te sentir, tout comme la grande majorité de ceux qui commentent ici, sur ce forum. Mais sois assuré que nous sommes tous derrière toi. J’aimerais vraiment te voir la face quand tu recevras le montant d’argent qu’ils ont rammassé pour te remercier et un peu s’excuser d’avoir ri de toi. Je t’encourage fortement à ne pas t’en faire. Ce sera chose du passé plus vite que tu ne le crois. Déprimes pas, et dis toit que pour 1 idiot qui te niaiseras, des centaines d’autres te supporte.”

    “I’m from St-Hyacinthe (Quebec province) and I must admit to you that I really understand how you must feel right now, as does most of the ones here, on this forum. But rest assured that we are all behind you. I would really love to see your face when they’ll give you the amount they’ve raised to thank you, or to beg for forgiveness of laughing at ya. I strongly encourage you not to worry too much about all this. It’ll be a thing of the past sooner than you think. Don’t depress, and remember that for 1 idiot moking you, at least a hundred more are supporting you.”

    Smumdax

  80. the video brought back good memories. it made laugh and feel embarrassed about myself. me and my friends used to chase each other with light saber toys on the street at night during a full moon. those light saber flashlights rule! im just glad we didnt have access to the internet or video equipment in the 80s. my friends are much more evil pranksters than ghyslain friends. i shudder to think what they could have done with a video like this.

  81. Ghislain, good on you! Always do what you want, what others say doesn’t matter. There will always be those who laugh or criticize, but take note – the ones laughing are always the ones sitting on their asses, because they’re too scared of what people will say about them. I donated, I hope you buy a DV camera and I hope to see more film from you in future.

  82. It’s really amazing what can happen to a young

    guy with today’s technology (Internet).

    I saw (an hour ago) the whole story on the local

    news on CFTM-TV here in Montreal, QC.

    You are lucky in your badluck Ghyslain, you are in the middle of your own “15 minutes de gloire” so live it as you should, you’ll get a new IPOD

    an hopefully a new DV-Cam, for me , it worth all the teasing you could get in school.

    BTW, i’m 35, and i’m still a geek like you, but dont worry, i erase all my tape after each “prestation”.

  83. I am sending a link to the stories about this and the videos to a friend of mine at ILM. I will say that chances are people at LucasFilm probably already know about this. Pretty much anything “Star Wars” related on the web gets their attention, at least briefly.

    Oh, and Ghislain, you rock!

  84. The original Star Wars hit when I was around 11 years old. Yep. I can identify.

    I like the idea of getting Mr. G some nice toys but how about putting some of the extra donations into a college fund too?

    Let him take some courses in acting/film/whatever he loves on us?

  85. This video rocks. I heard the story on NPR today! WOW! He’s also appearing on one of the talk shows too. Leno or Letterman I forgot. Ghyslain you rock!

  86. I think the really awesome thing wouldn’t be an iPod, but trying to get him an actual part in the next Star Wars movie? Even just a walk-on part.

    Anyone here with any contacts at all who could possibly even get Lucas to see the wisdom – and let’s face it, downright taste of revenge – in this idea? 🙂

    I mean, if you really want to make him feel good…and get back at the people who wouldn’t stop making fun of him…

    My $0.02 🙂

    Wowbagger@nerra.com

  87. A suggestion: If there’s enough cash in the fund after the ipod, how about a good video camera, like a Sony VX2000 or something? He was in the A/V club room, so he must be interested in that stuff.

  88. I was this kid in junior high. Now I’m a goofball on stage for fun (as a side to my geekier computing career).

    Get him a nice digital video camera, an iPod and a nice little Mac G4 to edit his own home movies. Perhaps he’d like his own blade from parksabers.com and some kendo lessons so he can really learn to weild that sucker!

    Keep up the good fight, G!

  89. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you. Or at you.

    If this happened to me, and at his age, I would’ve felt partly humiliated. At least initially. Of course he’s not ‘owed’ anything, as others have pointed out, similar things have happened to many of us. Just not in front of a world-wide audience.But if it were I that it happened to, I wouldn’t regard a material trinket like an Ipod (however sweet) to equal the price of this objectivity at such a grand scale.. perhaps he wants nothing more than to be left alone.

    With that, and only IMHO, I think Ghyslain should be offered something a little better, like an all expense paid trip to Skywalker Ranch, a possible meeting with George Lucas or as another person mentioned, Ray Park (aka Darth Maul) or other professional stunt/fight scene coordinator.. and that’s only if the subject still holds his interest.. Perhaps Gyslain should be ASKED what he wants that is worth the collected dollar value of the donations? Or even if he wants it at all?

  90. Please, oh please get the IPod engraved with the message “THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE” on the back!

    This kid is great. He’ll go far in life!

  91. i can’t wait to get home so i can watch the video. the morning show i listen to just posted a related site that brought me to this site on their own site, mjmorningshow.com.

  92. Any more links to more remix video’s

    meet frank mpg page is over kota any mirrors ?

    Thanks ;+)

  93. His video (the original) and the light saber remake of it brought me and my friends much happiness during finals week. It was a much needed laugh and helped keep most of us sane during crunch time.

    Thanks Ghyslain.

  94. Ghyslain Rocks! What a phenom! Anybody who laughs “at” this kid must never have done anything kooky in their entire life. Boy I’d sure like to meet that person because I’d wouldn’t mind having the secrets to being perfect. But, for most of us, this kid takes us back to the first movie, and the incredible impact it made. I mean how stupid is this: Me and my brother made lightsabers out of flashlights, duct-tape and golf club sleeves. We were dorks, but fascinated with being something else. Aren’t we all?

  95. With the fund, try to throw in a Master Replicas Darth Maul, as well as a lighted saber from parksabers.com

    Mebbe add in a shirt that says “My video cracked up the planet, and I got a LOT more than this lousy t-shirt”

    As unintentional as it may have been, this guy cracked us up here in the office something fierce. As we can surely expect a handfull of copycats “accidently” letting their videos slip onto the net…..Ghyslain can sefely say he 0wnz them all

  96. THIS GUY IS GREAT. I have done things like that at his age and MUCH older. When I was his age, I was a geek and I was ashamed. Now I’m still a geek and I PROUDLY state that in my webpage. Hope he reads these comments.

  97. So there’s money left over, and he’s in high school. How about giving it to his parents for a college fund? The folks who posted the video can work in crappy fast food places for the dough, and Ghyslain gets application fees, maybe test prep, etc. handled without the crap. nyah.

  98. I just saw a message where the kid came on and confessed to everything being a money making scam.

    And now its gone. Am I seeing things?

  99. Kid –

    I have seen many would be martial artists twirl a stick, and you actually have natural movements that, with proper training, could become serious skills.

    Keep twirling and find a martial arts school.

  100. Ghyslain, You have no clue how lucky you are. Maybe you do, I don’t know, but I would be more proud than… than a wallabe on National Wallabe Day if that was me in that video. To have 1.1 million people see me doing something hilarious is my dream. My DREAM I tell you.

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