Friday, April 16, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #70, May 1983: Can't Make up Our Minds

The cover of Starlog #70 features three different movies, even though I'm sure that what the editors and publishers would have liked to do is feature Return of the Jedi on the cover again. But, as noted in a previous post, the magazine rarely featured the same production on two consecutive covers (E.T.'s belated appearance on #63 and #64 being the sole exception so far, I think). So, if I am making the correct assumption, they had to give themselves a break from Jedi on the cover of #69. But don't worry; Jedi's back on the cover of #71. And #74, 76, and 80. So this really is the Year of the Jedi.

Starlog #70
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.50

What's a magazine to do when it has three small movies to hawk on the cover of an issue that you still need newsstand buyers to pick up? Split the cover between Space Hunter, Blue Thunder, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. That's one idea. And announce a new contest. That'll do it. And bring back Harlan Ellison!

In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O'Quinn answers a reader's letter critiquing the popularity of mindless SF films in the fan community (O'Quinn prescribes patience and a more tolerant attitude toward other fans); Communications letters include a lengthy response from Harlan Ellison to the recent interview with L.Q. Jones (who adapted Ellison's story into the film A Boy and His Dog), reader reactions to the two Bonds in Starlog #68, a pro-Nimoy letter from Japan, and more; Log Entries includes short items such as a calendar of 1983 genre movies, news of a delay in Star Trek III (which concludes with the line: "At present, the film's only official working title is Star Trek III, not In Search of Spock"), Harlan Ellison reports that he's handed in his draft of the script for Bug Jack Barron, Brainstorm resumes production more than a year after Natalie Wood's death, and more; a reader contest asks readers to predict who "the other" is in Return of the Jedi.

James Van Hise previews Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, a 3-D movie starring Molly Ringwald; Ed Naha interviews the immortal Christopher Lee, who's starring in the bizarre Return of Captain Invincible; Lee Goldberg interviews Michael Sloan, the writer and producer of The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.; Ed Naha looks at the special effects of the spoof Airplane II; Jeff Szalay previews Something Wicked This Way Comes, adapted by Ray Bradbury from his own story; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier make their first of many appearances in the pages of Starlog with their report on Blue Thunder, speaking with director John Badham; Bob Martin's Space Age Games column presents "The Great Galactic Shoot-Out, Part Two"; Ed Naha's L.A. Offbeat column explains the business and hype of selling paperback books, such as his own The Suicide Plague); rock journalist Lisa Robinson (who would be a major contributor to future Starlog sister magazine Rock Video) interviews Blondie's Deborah Harry about her starring role in David Cronenberg's Videodrome; it's part three of David Hutchison's tour of EPCOT Center, in which he drinks a lot of beer and sings Bavarian song in the German portion of the park; David Gerrold serves up "GLOP," some leftover ideas of his (hey, that's by his admission); and Howard Zimmerman's Lastword column says good-bye to staffer David Hirsch.
"Having affection for L.Q. Jones is a lot like getting fond of a stammer you can't correct. No one stands in more delight at the film he made of my story 'A Boy and His Dog' than I (well, delight at about 97% of what he did). ...[T]he one aspect of the film version of 'A Boy and His Dog' that I have despised since I saw the rough cut long before the film was released is the last line. It is not the last line of the story, and corrupts the entire film, to my way of thinking. It is this last line, of L.Q. invention, that causes the justified backlash by women." 
--Harlan Ellison, writer, Communications
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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