Aldera.net, also known as "The University of Aldera", was a largely popular Star Wars blog created shortly after the release of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. Throughout its two and a half year existence, Aldera.net was known for posting highly sensitive material about the upcoming Episode II and was sent an order to cease and desist by LucasFilm on at least two occasions. Contrary to popular belief, Aldera.net was not shut down by LucasFilm when it went offline in 2003.
Aldera.net was created in January 2000 by webmaster Charles Taylor. The blog slowly gained popularity for its insightful take on rumors about the upcoming Episode II. Aldera.net's first major boost in popularity came when it named Hayden Christensen as the new Anakin Skywalker months before it was made official.
Aldera.net was made famous in late September 2000 when it posted scans of an Episode II storyboard of the "rain duel" fight sequence between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jango Fett. Within a matter of hours LucasFilm had contacted Aldera.net's ISP - Net Nation - and demanded that they remove the web site from their network. Net Nation declined to do so without a court order. Webmaster Charles Taylor removed the storyboards after speaking with LucasFilm's lawyers.
Although difficult to verify, this may have marked the first occasion a major film studio threatened legal action against a blogger.
Aldera.net interviewed three actors from Star Wars Episode II: Rose Byrne, who played the handmaiden Dormé, Leeanna Walsman, who played the bounty hunter Zam Wesell, and Joel Edgerton, who played Owen Lars. While pursuing a fourth interview, LucasFilm asked the agencies to discontinue allowing Aldera.net interview privileges with actors in the film.
Among the sensitive material publish on Aldera.net before the release of Star Wars Episode II was a complete outline of the secretive plot to Star Wars Episode II, including quotes of dialogue directly from the script.
A reference to Aldera.net's webmaster Charles Taylor was made on an official Star Wars web site called HoloNet News (holonetnews.com). The article discusses formal censuring and suspension of The University of Aldera's Dean "Halcor Raystel"—an anagram for "Charles Taylor". The article also described its subject as a "thorn in the side" and made reference to drug use because webmaster Charles Taylor often wrote about smoking marijuana on his site.