Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #61, August 1982: The Wrath of Khan

It was an unlikely resurrection, this second Star Trek movie. The first one was critically panned, not least by Starlog's writers (see Starlog #33), and it was one of the most expensive films ever. So when Paramount decided to try again, they shunted aside Gene Roddenberry, gave the film to the studio's TV division (to make it more cheaply) ... and ended up with a modern classic in the space film genre. IMHO.

Starlog #61
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.50

Great cover photo and a strong article lineup help make this a good issue of the magazine. In fact, come to think of it, except for issue #56, Starlog's been on a roll lately. And an unrelated thought: Ever notice that in the same season, George Lucas was about to change the name of his upcoming Star Wars film from The Revenge of the Jedi to The Return of the Jedi, and Paramount changed the name of its new Star Trek film from The Vengeance of Khan to The Wrath of Khan? Revenge/vengeance -- much the same word.

The rundown: Kerry O'Quinn, in "Here's One for Mom," gives us a sense of the parents who raised and inspired him; Communications letters include response to the recent Battlestar Galactica coverage, hopes and fears for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, more anniversary greetings (Gene Roddenberry, Jim Danforth, Gerry Anderson & Christopher Burr, and more), someone falls for a Starlog April Fools joke, and more; in Log Entries, short news items include a roundup of summer SF books, a peek at the book The Atomic Cafe, Mork & Mindy is canceled, and more; the Spotlight page highlights Blade Runner special effects.

Ed Naha continues his look at "The Re-Making of Star Trek"; Steve Swires interviews Trek's Walter Koenig; Bjo Trimble explores the fan fantasy (er, fantasy?) of buying the Star Trek franchise; James Van Hise interviews The Road Warrior's Byron Kennedy and George Miller; Ron Miller highlights the planetary artwork of Chesley Bonnestell; Robert Greenberger interviews Conan actress Sandahl Bergman; James Van Hise interviews Sean Young, "Rachel" in Blade Runner; David Gerrold's Soaring column revisits Star Trek -- The Motion Picture and explores the transformation that Spock underwent in that film; Don McGregor looks at the props and vehicles used in Megaforce; Howard T. Brody examines the building of Disney's EPCOT Center (a continuation of a series of EPCOT articles begun in the now-discontinued sister magazine Future Life); James Van Hise sneak previews Revenge of the Jedi (as it's still being called), complete with photos from the location shoot; Steve Swires interviews The Thing producer Stuart Cohen; and Howard Zimmerman wraps it up in his Lastword column by talking about the magazine's two-page poster series.
"I'm still getting mail from people identifying the 'mystery photo' from issue #58 as Carol Burnett in Choo Choo and the Philly Flash. Yes, that is the correct answer; yes, it was an April Fools joke; and no, you cannot get a star named after yourselves. That was part of the joke, but some of you seem to have taken it seriously."
--Howard Zimmerman, editor, Lastword
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.

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