Site History | Development and Visitors | TK421 | About the Author | A Note about Copyright | Site Components and Structure
In 1996, after taking a free trial month on Prodigy, America Online, CompuServe, Wow!, and the Microsoft Network, I finally found the best service for me. I didn't like most of the services because they had a childish interface and gaudy design. But I found a no-nonsense Internet Service Provider (as opposed to an Online Service cluttered with so-called original content) with a sharp matter-of-fact interface. There was reliable access and I was allotted 20 megabytes of Web space. It was with this service that I started working on the site you now see.
So what happened? Well, the service I chose was called Global Network Navigator, and guess who owned GNN? America Online, and some blockhead at AOL decided that rather than have different user types represented by its Internet for dummies (AOL users press ALT-F4 to see what I'm talking about) service (AOL) and those who actually liked being able to use a pop mail server (GNN), let's just swallow up GNN and make all customers convert their accounts to America Online.
In late 1996 this site was transferred from members.gnn.com/jhtk421 to members.aol.com/analander (analander is a name from Steve Jackson's Sorcery!, where the main character is from the country of Analand). At least I was able to keep my 20 megabytes of Web space, since AOL members are only given 2 megabytes per mailbox. I settled in and wondered if AOL was really that bad. Well, it was. Their market flood of free trial disks and a new unlimited hours policy was unmatched by their growth in phone lines, and here came the busy signals. However, it was during this time that AOL was so strapped for cash that they were offering access at $14.95 a month if you prepaid for two years. Having some extra Christmas cash, I decided to go for it, and when that expired I was too busy to do anything but renew for another year.
www.tk421.net became a reality in January 2000, when I had enough time to realize that I was paying $20/month to AOL for the sole reason that I wanted to keep my Webspace (due to the advent at the time of free Internet access and e-mail). So I registered this domain name and signed up with a hosting service. After three years with Hostway, I did some new price checking and found their services no longer competitive. In January 2003 this domain was switched to Dreamhost for hosting. As of 2007, they still seem to offer one of the best deals out there for shared hosting. It is $7.95/mo, 190GB disk, 1.9TB/mo xfer if you're looking for a host.
The site has received very little traffic. Some of it is from Webrings. A few of the pages have been indexed by Web directories but for the most part, Yahoo! and the gang still refuse to list this site (probably because I'm not paying them to do so).
TK421 was the identification of the unfortunate Stormtrooper in Star Wars (and the only named Stormtrooper in the Star Wars movies) whose uniform was stolen by Luke and Han after they ambushed the scanning crew. The Stormtrooper disappeared from guarding the Millennium Falcon to supposedly assist the scanning crew, thus the line by Sub-Lieutenant Pol Treidum, Gantry Officer of Docking Bay 327, "TK421, why aren't you at your post?"
In the book by George Lucas, the Stormtrooper is named THX-1138, while the revised fourth draft of the screenplay calls him TX-421. In the movie, the name was changed to TK-421, but Luke and Han do escort Chewy to Leia's detention block by calling him a "prisoner transfer from cell bock 1138." And there's much more:
- In The Empire Strikes Back, Rogue 11 is ordered to sector 38.
- In the Phantom Menace, 1138 is the number of a battle droid who is tipped over by Jar Jar Binks after the control ship is destroyed.
- In Raiders of the Lost Ark the Nazi harbor loudspeaker announces "ein, ein, drei, acht" (one, one, three, eight).
- THX 138 is a license plate in the movie American Graffiti. George Lucas allegedly drives a car with the license plate THX 138 as well.
- 1138 pops up in several Lucas-affiliated video games: in Maniac Mansion, a Cadillac's license plate is THX 1138; in Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, a phone bill totals $1138; in Outlaws, a train is numbered 1138; in the campaign add-on for X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, Balance of Power, during one of the cutscenes a Corellian Corvette named "Corvette 1138" is attacked and destroyed by a Calamari Cruiser; and in Star Wars: Republic Commando, the character's serial number is RC-1138.
- THX-1138 was George Lucas' first movie as a director.
- THX is the name of a sound certification system, also created by George Lucas This name may also relate to Tom Holmo, who designed the crossover for the speakers (Tom Holmo Xover).
- In the film Boogie Nights, a stereo system is referred to as having a "TK421 modification."
- In Animaniacs opening scene, The Brain writes THX1138 on a chalkboard
- On the Star Tours ride at Disneyland, a message plays about an illegally parked land speeder, with a license plate of THX1138.
- In the Legion of Superheroes epsiode "Brain Drain" the character Braniac 5's hive number is TK421.
I share Lucas' fondness for this particular callsign. As a kid I saw Star Wars many, many times, enough that the name TK-421 stuck with me so much that is became a special designation. I not only pondered the significance of the name as I developed theories on the structure of Stormtrooper hierarchies, but knowledge of the name also came to carry importance to me, and of course a tool for recognition amongst the truly big Star Wars fans (many visitors to this site are from search engine queries for "tk421"). When it came time for me to pick a domain name, therefore, it was a rather easy choice (I didn't choose .com because this is not a commercial site, plus it was already taken).
Although there are a few Star Wars selections throughout this site (sounds, pictures, essays), this isn't really the place to find out about Star Wars on the Web. For that, check the Science Fiction section of my links page to find a list of the best Star Wars Websites (of which my favorite is JediNet).
Between my list of bookmarks and top 5 lists, quotes and essays, and gallery selections, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of my personality. My name is John Hubbard and I live with my family in Milwaukee WI. I have also lived in Atlanta GA, Wichita KS, Basking Ridge NJ, Saint Paul MN, Portland OR, and Philadelphia PA in case you're wondering.
In addition to my own intellectual property that is displayed here, many of the sound and image files appearing on this site are derived from copyrighted works (not to mention the domain name itself), and in all cases any ownership rights remain the sole property of the copyright holder, and I am not associated or endorsed by the copyright holder. Being as this is a non-commercial fan site which uses a relatively small portion of any copyrighted materials with no discernable detrimental market impact from their use, I can reasonably and in good faith conclude that the use of copyrighted materials on this site constitutes Fair Use as described in Title 17, Section 107 of the U.S. Code and is therefore legally permissible.
As webmaster of this site, however, I do take sole responsibility for any copyright infringements resulting from the use of copyrighted materials on this site. If you are the owner of any legitimately copyrighted materials appearing on this site, and you object in any way to their presence here, feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss removal of the free advertising of your product.
Each page has a navigation bar on the bottom offering links to the divisions of this site. Explore and enjoy, and feel free to drop me an e-mail anytime. Cheers!
Created, maintained and © by John Hubbard (write to me). Disclaimers. Hosted by Dreamhost. Last modified: August-09-2007.