Well, my role in the Star Wars Kid saga is finally over. FedEx reports that Ghyslain's iPod was delivered and signed for. (Here's a photo of the iPod and a letter I wrote. Also included was a printout of everyone who donated.) The Canadian taxes have been billed to my newly-formed FedEx account, and the Futureshop gift certificates have been ordered.
Here's the final breakdown. (All amounts are in U.S. dollars.) There was $3,254.09 donated, after refunds and Paypal fees (more info). After tax, the Apple 30GB iPod was $534.76. FedEx International shipping for the iPod was $83.37, and Canadian sales tax was $35.67. In all, $653.80 for the iPod, leaving $2600.29 in leftover donations. Using today's exchange rate, this amounts to $3,610.50 in Canadian dollars. I bought eighteen $200 gift cards from Futureshop's online store, and they'll be shipped tomorrow via UPS. That leaves $7.56 in U.S. dollars, which I'll likely spend on a couple pints of cold, delicious beer.
A huge thanks to everyone who donated. With luck, we'll hear back from Ghyslain once the dust has settled.
In other Star Wars Kid news, there seems to be a growing movement to get Star Wars Kid into Episode III. There's a popular petition started by Fred Quimby of Jedimaster.net, the best place to find SWK-related videos. Even the Lucasfilm crew supports the idea... TheForce.net reported that the official Lucasfilm webcam showed the Episode III makeup crew watching the Star Wars Kid video and holding up a sign saying, "Ghyslain 4 Episode 3.? C'est possible, non?"
July 17, 2003: Just when you thought it was over... Journalist Bruno Guglielminetti has learned that Ghyslain's family has filed a lawsuit against four students and their parents. They're seeking CN$225,000 in damages. Bruno will be interviewing the lawyer again tomorrow, which will be posted on the Radio Canada weblog. Here's a new article from the Globe and Mail with tons of new information about the lawsuit and the kids who put the video online.