Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #69, April 1983: Multiple Jedis

A few magazine insider notes on this issue: Starlog either switched printers or at least changed the paper stock it uses. Either way, the issue plumps up a bit more (that might sound strange; I mean it looks a bit less skinny, though the page count is the same as the previous month) and the uncoated (non-glossy) paper used for the black-and-white pages seems ... silkier. A bit smoother. Unfortunately, some of the black-and-white photos print very dark on this new paper.

Okay, so that doesn't interest you. How about this: The Return of the Jedi cover photo once again is not sufficiently tall to fill the entire cover, so black bands are added at the top of the image and at the very bottom of the image, as the magazine has done a few times in the past.

Still not interested? Okay, then there's this: This issue, Starlog announces the release of the first edition of the Starlog Poster Magazine. "10 GIANT POSTERS" shouts the ad on page 25. There are many exclamation points in the ad, too. But it was a science-fiction geek-out moment for many of us back then, because it did deliver a ton of cool posters in one package. Starlog would go on to publish quite a few editions of the poster magazines, including a series of poster magazines for its horror movie sister mag, Fangoria. This month Starlog also releases the second volume of its Starlog Scrapbook photo magazine, featuring E.T. on the cover.

Starlog #69
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.50

Now that the Star Wars sequel has finally been definitely named Return -- not Revenge -- of the Jedi, the fun can begin, as can Starlog's coverage of the movie, in earnest.

The rundown: Kerry O'Quinn probably was very pleased with the title for his From the Bridge column this month: "Out of My Drawers ...". But it's not what it sounds like; he instead is reaching into his drawers -- stop that line of thought right now! -- and sharing some of the newspaper clippings he's had stored in his desk drawers. Communications letters include Tron director Steven Lisberger, who takes the time to respond to reader reaction to his film, and other letters include support for a teacher facing censorship, thoughts on The Dark Crystal, and more; short news items in Log Entries include news of upcoming 3-D movies (Jaws 3-D, Space Hunter, and more), a peek at Blue Thunder, a profile of Matthew DeMeritt (who helped perform inside the E.T. suit for some later-discarded footage), Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta are teaming up to make the fantasy film Fire and Ice, Famous Monsters of Filmland (and Creepy, Eerie, Vampiralla, and 1994) have ceased publication, and more.

Jill Bauman provides a photo display from the Eighth Annual World Fantasy Convention; Ed Naha interviews Anthony Daniels about Return of the Jedi; Lee Goldberg interviews Tom Mankiewicz, about scripting Bond films, working on Superman, and involvement in an upcoming Batman movie; Ed Naha explores the controversy over the nuclear holocaust telefilm The Day After; Susan Adamo returns to the pages of Starlog to visit the studio where The Empire Strikes Back is being recorded for public radio; James Van Hise interviews James Kahn about his work in E.T. and on Poltergeist; Robert Greenberger interviews Jedi producer Howard Kazanjian; David Houston contributes "A Walking Tour: Part Two -- Welcome to EPCOT Center"; in her final Fan Scene column, Bjo Trimble says good-bye, her column a victim of her burgeoning interests elsewhere and O'Quinn's concern that the magazine had too many columnists; a three-page photo spread (in black-and-white) goes behind the scenes of the making of The Dark Crystal; David Gerrold announces an essay contest for Starlog readers to write his column; John Dods follows up his interview with Tim Hildebrandt by profiling estranged brother Greg Hildebrandt this issue; Bob Martin's Space Age Games throws some red meat to the SF crowd, looking at space war games; and editor Howard Zimmerman wraps it all up in his Lastword column with a farewell to Bjo Trimble.
"Nobody gets an easy ride in this picture. 3PO has moments of almost psychological tension in this film, moments where he's not sure what's happening or why. He also gets to be something that he always wanted to be. You know the way some people dream of becoming movie stars? Well, 3PO has a goal like that as well. In this movie, he finally achieves it."
--Anthony Daniels, interviewed by Ed Naha: "Anthony Daniels: The Man in the Golden Mask"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent home.
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