Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #65, December 1982: Jedi Fever

Change is afoot at Starlog. On the staffing side, Milburn Smith joins the company as assistant publisher, and this is managing editor Susan Adamo's last issue before she moves on to Video Games magazine. The latest photo guidebook is released: Fantastic 3-D. And 16 pages of this issue are converted to full color, apparently to accommodate three color Parker Brothers video game ads. It's also the time of year for publishing the annual postal statement of ownership and circulation: The total paid circulation for the issue closest to the statement's filing deadline is listed as 119,634 (up from last year's 108,970), including the number of paid subscriptions of 16,815 (down from 18,550 the previous year).

Starlog #65
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.50

It's the second time in a little more than two years that Mark Hamill graces the cover of Starlog from the set of Dagobah, Yoda's home planet. He first did it back in issue #40, and here again he does it, though the photo this time is frankly kind of dark and a bit grainy.

Kerry O'Quinn gets back in his usual mode (after a couple issues delving into dysfunctional SF conventions and uncooperative movie studios) with a description of his trip to the Johnson Space Center in Houston (in the company of Nichelle Nichols, Harve Bennett, and others); letters in the Communications pages include an Ohio teacher who suffered a religious right-wing backlash for some SF/fantasy-inspired moments in her classroom, lots of thoughts about various aspects of Star Trek, a Swedish fan explains how The Empire Strikes Back was censored and edited in his country, and more; Log Entries short items include news of Superman III, Walter M. Miller's A Canticle for Liebowitz heads to public radio, the 1982 Hugo winners are announced, and more.

Mark Hamill is interviewed by Susan Adamo in the radio studio where he recorded The Empire Strikes Back for public radio; Ed Naha -- former senior writer/associate editor/etc. at Starlog, former co-editor of Future Life, and founding editor (under a pseudonym) of Fangoria -- begins a regular column in Starlog called Hollywood Babylon, with a behind-the-scenes look at life and business in Tinseltown; David Gerrold's Soaring column examines some of the ways fans critique Trek films; Alfred Webre interviews Arthur C. Clarke (about UNISPACE '82, 2010: Odyssey Two, and more; the centerfold two-page poster is from Raiders of the Lost Ark; Ed Naha previews Dance of the Dwarfs; Bjo Trimble's Fan Scene covers "The 10-Foot Star Trek Poll," a survey of Trek fans; Joe Copeland writes the story of his experiences as Mark Hamill's stand-in during the Arizona desert shooting for Return (though then still called Revenge) of the Jedi -- complete with a photo of him wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with Blue Harvest, the fake name of the film given out to mislead fans and the press during shooting; David Hutchison explores "E.T. -- The Little FX Movie that Made Good"; John Dods profiles Tim Hildebrandt following his professional breakup with his brother Greg; an unbylined article describes in text and photos "The World of The Dark Crystal"; and Howard Zimmerman's Lastword revisits the Spielberg-Starlog spat over E.T. coverage and also says good-bye to Susan Adamo.
"A growing friction between the brothers had begun to show in their work. Then the titans clashed. What has happened? Everyone involved had a different answer. 'No comment!' says Tim's wife Rita, '-- but someday I'm going to write a book!' 'It was not a friendly thing' offers Tim. Were there artistic differences? 'No, not many,' says Time. Greg agrees."
--John Dods, writer, "An Artist Unleashed: The New Career of Tim Hildebrandt"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.
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