Ghyslain Raza became widely known on the Internet in May 2003 as the “Star Wars kid”. At the time of his celebrity as an “internet phenomenon,” he was a high school student in Trois-RiviÃ¨res, Quebec.
On November 4, 2002 Raza made a video of himself swinging a golf ball retriever around as a weapon, imitating the Darth Maul character from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace wielding a double-bladed lightsaber. The video was filmed at the studio of his high school, and the tape was left forgotten in a basement for a few months. On or around April 19, 2003, the original owner of the videotape discovered Raza’s recorded acts and immediately shared it with some friends. Thinking that it would be a funny prank, they encoded it to a WMV file and shared it using the Kazaa peer-to-peer file sharing network under the filename Jackass_starwars_funny.wmv.
Within two weeks, the file was downloaded several million times. An adapted version of the video was created, adding Star Wars music, texts, and lightsaber lights and sounds to Raza’s golf ball retriever. According to Waxy.org, this was done by Bryan Dube, an employee from Raven Software. Several gaming, technology and Star Wars-related sites began to host the video, further increasing downloads. Days later a second “Matrix Reloaded” version hit the internet. Soon, people all over the world picked up the original and began making conversions of it, adding music, visual effects, and sounds, combining it with other well-known videos or scenes from films.
- Original video
- Example modified video
- 2nd modified video
- 3rd modified video
- 4th modified video
- Ghyslain Raza
- Waxy.org: An early Internet posting about the Star Wars kid (April 29, 2003)
- Waxy.org: An effort to buy Ghyslain an Ipod for his trouble (May 13, 2003)
- Waxy.org: Ghyslain gets his Ipod (July 16, 2003)
- CBS News