Saturday, March 13, 2010

Starlog Internet Archive Project: Starlog #7, August 1977: Star Wars Arrives

The arrival of Star Wars in theaters changed cinema forever, and it also changed the science fiction media magazine world forever. Numerous magazines (Fantastic Films, Questar, Star Warp, etc.) were launched in the wake of Star Wars mania in the late 1970s, and for Starlog, which had begun a year earlier and rode Star Trek fandom to success, a whole new fan base joined its readership. Starlog would never be the same, and it was for the better. Also coming aboard with this issue is Assistant Editor Ed Naha (who replaces James M. Elrod). Naha would be a big player in the Starlog world for many years, co-editing Future Life magazine, being the founding editor (under pseudonym Joe Bonham) of Fangoria, and writing many, many articles and columns.

Starlog #7
76 pages (including covers and partially numbered blueprint insert)
Cover price: $1.50

Starlog isn't the only magazine to use the above photo on its cover of a TIE fighter shooting at an X-wing, but it's the only magazine that ended up with an iconic cover with it. Go back and look at all of the covers for Starlogs one through six. Nice and colorful, yes, but number seven had action, space opera, adventure; the same elements that made Star Wars such a refreshing jolt to the moviegoing public in 1977 also makes this cover leap out from other early Starlog covers.

Kerry O'Quinn's From the Bridge column praises SF fans who put some energy into achieving their goals; censorship, 3-D, holography, and praise from William F. Nolan light up the Communications letters pages; Log Entries has its usual wide variety of short news, including info on the new Logan's Run TV series, Ray Harryhausen's Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, satellites and space probes, the space shuttle, giant SF conventions, and more. David Houston writes an excellent and lengthy cover feature on the making of Star Wars. Beautifully illustrated, filled with lots of good detail and background, the article strongly supported the idea that Star Wars was not just another new film but was a game-changer. Also in this issue, Susan Sackett's Star Trek Report gives some insight into the ongoing script games with the Star Trek movie; Bill Irvine interviews Allan Scott about the Trek film; Geoffrey Mandel has the center of the magazine, which is devoted to a Space: 1999 blueprint insert and article; a one-page article on the second Man from Atlantis TV film; David Houston explores the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.; David Gerrold chronicles his 1973 experience (with photos) as a chimp extra on Planet of the Apes; Ed Naha contributes a Rocketship X-M retrospective (illustrated by the great Kelly Freas); in part II of David Hutchison's SFX department, he gives the history of Robby the Robot; and the Visions column explores the outer planets of our solar system.
"The story is set in another galaxy and time and concerns a valiant struggle against a totalitarian empire that is spread among the stars. The characters herein have never heard of Earth. Their alien worlds and cultures, their dress and architecture, their technology, history and future (if any) are not of our world." 
--David Houston, writer, "Creating the Space-Fantasy Universe of Star Wars"
To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
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