Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #74, September 1983: Jedi Creatures See, You Will

Eight and a half pages are filled with a look at the making of the many creatures in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. There are lots of color photos -- including three full-pagers -- from the movie, as well as the cover pix, of course.

On an unrelated note, a full-page color ad has been running in the magazine for a Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Video Game Watch, a $19.95 digital wristwatch that includes a teeny little space attack game on it. No, I never owned one (I'd have rather had the Starlog watch advertised a couple years earlier), but I found it amusing. It's so very 1983.

Starlog #74
74 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

The magazine's tenth "Starlog Science Fiction Classic" lives up to its name by actually being a classic film, and a rare one at that. It's Barbarella.

The rundown: In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O'Quinn relates how he befriended David Packer, who became one of the stars of the original V miniseries (and I don't know if he's the same David S. Packer who interviewed Mark Hamill in issue #40 -- my quick internet search didn't provide any clues); Don Glut is among the letter writers in Communications, where the esteemed writer chimes in with praise for his pal Dan O'Bannon, and other letters remember the late Buster Crabbe, discuss Videodrome, riff on Luke and Leah being brother and sister, praise O'Quinn's "I Feel Young" editorial from Starlog #71 from Harve Bennett, Leonard Nimoy, and others, and more; Log Entries is filled with short news items such as a report on the spoof SF matinee Loose Joints, a video game (Dragon's Lair) that was co-created by Don Bluth, a photographic report on a visit to the Starlog offices (well, the Park Avenue South streetside outside the skyscraper in which Starlog has its offices) by some vehicles and costumed creatures from Spacehunter (if you ever wanted to see publisher Norman Jacobs riding on a tank, this is it), separate short profiles/interviews of writers C.J. Cherryh and Samuel R. Delany, and more.

Don McGregor interviews Maurice Binder, the man who designed the iconic title sequences for James Bond films, including the latest, Octopussy; Steve Swires interviews Lorenzo Semple, Jr, who scripted the alternate Bond film Never Say Never Again; Ed Naha's L.A. Offbeat column features actress Molly Ringwald, the star of Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone; the third of David Gerrold's four-part excerpt from his new novel, A Matter for Men, includes another introduction by the author and illustrations by Alex Nino; Mike Clark and David Hutchison discover "The Men Who Made the Monsters" for Return of the Jedi; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier preview the Matthew Broderick "Do you want to play a game?" film WarGames; Lenny Kaye's Space Age Games column looks at arcade games; Mike Clark and Bill Cotter cover Jaws 3-D director Joe Alves and producers Alan Landsburg and Rupert Hitzig; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview Malcolm McDowell about his role in Blue Thunder (with a sidebar on Daniel Stern); Patrick Daniel O'Neill interviews Spacehunter actor Michael Ironside; and Howard Zimmerman wraps it all up in his Lastword column, where he explores the serious side of the WarGames film.
"Kersh [director Irvin Kershner] is the most notorious destroyer of scripts in Hollywood, ... Some people say he's the only person who can turn a 'go project' into a development deal when he starts working on the script -- which he has done a number of times. Quite a few people in Hollywood turn white at the very thought of Kersh becoming involved with a project. His habit is to immediately say the script is terrible and start rewriting it himself."
--Lorenzo Semple, Jr., interviewed by Steve Swires, "Lorenzo Semple, Jr.: Having Fun with James Bond in Never Say Never Again"
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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