Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #37, August 1980: The Empire Strikes Back

The Year of Empire continues with Starlog #37, featuring one of the best covers in the magazine's history. Yes, I'm biased, because I like space opera, but it's still a great photo even accounting for my personal likes. It's a great action image from the big hit movie of the moment.

Starlog #37
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.25

Everyone likes Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, it seems. The publisher, the editor, the audience -- they all chime in with love for the fifth (or the second) Star Wars film. But even for the non-Wars fan, this issue has something, whether it be Buck Rogers behind-the-scenes stuff or further coverage of the Star Trek movie.

Kerry O'Quinn gushes with affection for The Empire Strikes Back in his From the Bridge column; reader letters cover Tom Baker's Doctor Who, a Fantasy Artists Network update, the Academy Awards, and more; Log Entries short news items include the cancellation of Galactica 1980, the first issue of Action Comics sold for a then-record of $6,000, the Urshurak movie, obituaries for producer George Pal and director Alfred Hitchcock, Ben Bova and Harlan Ellison win their copyright infringement suit against ABC and Paramount, and more.

David Packer makes his first byline appearance in the magazine with an interview of Harrison Ford, Star Wars' Han Solo; Bjo Trimble's Fan Scene column explores Los Angeles-area science-fiction fandom; David Gerrold's Rumblings talks computers and stories; an un-bylined one-page article shares some man-on-the-street reviews from people who've just seen The Empire Strikes Back (and included in the interviewees is actor Jerry Orbach and his son); Karen E. Willson writes part I of her making-of series on the production of the Buck Rogers episode "The Flight of the War-Witch"; Dennis Ahrens gives the background on the soundtrack to The Empire Strikes Back; journalist Samuel J. Maronie shares some anecdotes from his career, including interviewing Charlton Heston in a men's room; Maury Schallock and Susan Adamo describe how the miniature spacecraft for Battle Beyond the Stars were created; David Hutchison profiles Harvey Mayo and his miniature furniture creations (including a Wellsian time machine); the Quest page includes a short-short story by William Cofflin and some artwork by Jack Imes; Kenneth Walker looks at the creation of the music for the movie First Men in the Moon; Alan Brender interviews Doctor Who script editor and author Terrance Dicks; Karen E. Willson interviews Persis Khambatta, who plays Ilia in Star Trek -- The Motion Picture; Mike Jittlov interviews himself for the SFX section, "Ask Mr. Wizard, by Mike Jittlov: Master of Speed and Time"; David Houston's Visions column looks at interludes in SF movies that provide moments of big emotional impact, citing Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Superman and Star Trek -- The Motion Picture; and Howard Zimmerman's Lastword gushes more praise for The Empire Strikes Back and shares some more thoughts on Galactica 1980.
"'Remember when Mark [Hamill] and I break into the cell block to free the Princess? That scene was written for me to speak into the communicator (before blasting it), but when it came to producing confusion -- I mean the first time anyone would ever see Han Solo confused, the man who always knew exactly what he was doing ... Well, you put him out in front of the thing and -- nothing! That was the joke of that. I never bothered to learn the exact lines so that I could really be confused. That's technique,' Ford adds with a chuckle."
--Harrison Ford, interviewed by David Packer, "An Interview with Harrison Ford"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.

No comments: