Friday, April 9, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #62, September 1982: Tron Tron Tron!

When I worked in the publishing department of a firm in Chicago in the 1990s, I was also involved in our web site and its database. The database was created and maintained by an outside firm, and on occasion I had to go into it to retrieve or change some data. The password? Basically, it was TRON. That was the first time I realized that this early-'80s Disney movie wasn't just a flash in the pan, that it had a following many years later. With issue #62, the original Tron is featured on the cover, using what is really a collage of several different images of characters, scenery, and vehicles.

Starlog #62
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.50

In addition to the Tron coverage (and kind of connected to it, when you think of it), we see the first appearance of what would be a steady stream of video game advertising in the magazine. Starlog never did rely much on advertising (which is part of the reason its cover price tended to be relatively high), but it did benefit for a time from TSR Hobbies, Atari, and the like. Also this issue: An old friend of the magazine returns to pen an article -- writer and actor Walter Koenig. This was not his first, nor would it be his last, contribution to Starlog.

Kerry O'Quinn uses his From the Bridge column to discuss how people's views toward eclipses changed as they gained more knowledge about the phenomenon; Communications letters include reader views on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, E.T. and Poltergeist, additional followup to Howard Zimmerman's call to support Greenpeace to save the oceans, and more; Log Entries short items include first word on Superman III and the Twilight Zone movie, a wee controversy over Caroline Munro's voice being dubbed in The Last Horror Film, actress Sarah Douglas from Superman II visits the Starlog offices, and more; and the Spotlight page highlights winners of a Quest for Fire contest.

Robert Greenberger interviews Ricardo Montalban, who played Khan Noonian Singh in the Trek sequel; Walter Koenig asks "Where Have You Gone, Gene Roddenberry?"; David Hutchison chats with composer Basil Poledouris about scoring Conan the Barbarian; Bjo Trimble's Fan Scene explores the world of fan letter-writing to Hollywood heroes; the Quest page features the sketches and blueprints of Bill Earle; a two-page spread commemorates the re-release of Star Wars: A New Hope with color photos from the movie; the centerfold two-page poster is from Superman; another two pages feature color paintings by Ralph McQuarrie from the upcoming Star Wars: Revenge of the Jedi; David Hirsch examines the new season of Britain's Doctor Who by talking with the producer, John Nathan-Turner, and new actor Peter Davison; Robert Greenberger interviews Star Trek's James Doohan; Steve Swires interviews actor Kenneth Tobey, who talks about his starring role in the Howard Hawks 1951 version of The Thing; David Hutchison looks at how Disney created the innovative special effects in Tron; David Gerrold continues his look at "The Transformation of Spock" in his Soaring column; and Howard Zimmerman gives some capsule reviews of big SF films (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Conan, The Thing, E.T., etc.) in his Lastword column.
"He tasks me -- and I'll have him. I'll chase him round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round Perdition's flames before I give him up!"
--Khan Noonian Singh (played by Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), printed at the beginning of the article by Robert Greenberger, "The Charm of Khan: An Interview with Ricardo Montalban"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
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