76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.25
Harlan! Ellison! Reviews! Star! Trek! Okay, Starlog didn't use the exclamation marks when it put that statement in the roof text on the cover, but it might as well have. This would prove to be arguably the most controversial article in Starlog's history, and deservedly so. After all, some of the other controversies (such as Ellison vs. Mark Hamill) simply really didn't matter beyond the spectacle of famous people arguing. But the multi-issue brouhaha that would ensue from Ellison's negative review of Star Trek -- The Motion Picture was important, because it got to the heart of whether SF fans (and Starlog) just placidly accepted whatever was handed to them by the movie studios, and whether they could handle criticism with which they didn't agree, and whether Gene Roddenberry could be called on the carpet in front of his most fervent fans. What's sometimes overlooked is that this issue also included negative Trek reviews from Howard Zimmerman and David Gerrold, but -- though there are plenty of Gerrold detractors out there -- Harlan Ellison is in a category all his own. A side note: Ellison's review in this issue would lead to him pitching a movie column to Starlog, but he was instead offered a regular slot in sister magazine Future Life, where beginning later this year (1980) he would begin an excellent column (his best nonfiction since The Glass Teat years, in my opinion) that would run until that magazine's untimely death a couple years later. It's worth searching for Ellison's collection of those columns in book form, An Edge in My Voice.
"The mark of Gene Roddenberry's limits as a creator of stories is heavily, indelibly, inescapably on this production. ... The script has all the same dumb flaws that were perpetrated in the series ... with bigger, prettier pictures. ... The basic story, for all its 'latest state of the art' and its tricked-up trekkiness, is Gene's standard idea, done so often in the series: we go into space, we find God, and God is (pick one) malevolent, crazy, or a child."
--Harlan Ellison, writer, "Ellison Reviews Trek"To view previous Starlog Archive issues, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.