The Mos Eisley Tribune

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Zine
Title: Mos Eisley Tribune
Publisher: Janice W. Sidwell
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1978-1979
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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Contents

Mos Eisley Tribune is a Star Wars anthology. It ran for three issues and then became Echo Seven. The zine is named after Mos Eisley, a town on the planet Tatooine. Obi-Wan Kenobi calls it a, "wretched hive of scum and villainy." The cantina where Luke and Obi-Wan encounter Han Solo for the first time is located in Mos Eisley.

The Plan for More Issues

In 1980, Nikki White writes of a story she'd written that was to appear in issue #5:
I
 feel fan stories should try to develop 
and be something other than carbon
 copies of the SW film in the SW film 
format. To make the characters inter
esting to read about, they must be 
given depth, and layers to their
 personalities, given backgrounds and
 complexities. I have tried to do this
 in my own series about Darth Vader 
(and to a lesser extent, Han Solo), 
one story of which will appear in Mos Eisley Tribune #5 and the rest in Multiverse. [1]

In 1983, a fan, Darla Doxstater, writes a personal statement saying that editor, Sidwell, had sent her a letter in April 1983 agreeing to let her take over the zine, but that she had heard no further communication nor had received the materials to do so. It is to be assumed, then, that something was worked out as an ad in Datazine #28 states that: "Formally Mos Eisley Tribune, Echo Seven encorporates the long awaited 'Mos Eisley Tribue 4,' and a few other things." [2]

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1, Teanna Byerts
back cover of issue #1, Teanna Byerts

Mos Eisley Tribune 1 was published in October 1978 and contains 88 pages. The front and back covers are by Teanna Byerts.

  • Communique from the Editor (2)
  • Meet the MET Staff (4)
  • Contributors (6)
  • Visit Beautiful Tatooine by Teanna Byerts (7)
  • Surprise Attack by Janice Sidwell, art by Teanna Byerts (9)
  • Test Your Star Wars Skill by Elyse Dickenson (25)
  • Don't Believe It for a Minute by Susan Matthews, art by Becey Aulenback (27)
  • Millennium Spacelines by Teanna Byerts (36)
  • Art by Teanna Byerts
  • Collector's Corner by Elyse Dickenson (52)
  • Mission: Power Failure by Janice Sidwell, art by Teanna Byerts (57)
  • Answers to the Star Wars Quiz (83)
  • Science Fiction Yellow Pages (86)
  • Sneak Preview of Issue Two (88)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

With the duo of Mos Eisley Tribune and Falcon's Flight, Tennessee seems to be developing quite a stronghold of SW
fans. Mos Eisley Tribune, or MET as the editors refer to it, is quite a good first issue. Leading off the fiction in the 
zine is a story by the editor titled "Surprise Attack," which has a very good introspective scene with Luke and Leia. It
 makes sense that Luke may have had problems adjusting to things after things had all calmed down. After all, the kid did
 go through a lot in a very short time. Janice explores his situation quite well. Later in the story there is a reunion
between Han, Chewie and Luke,and Leia is called to the council chamber only to discover Darth Vader there with a comple
ment of Stormtroopers, which is where the story ends, presumably to be completed later. As part one of a continuing story, 
it doesn't have enough to keep the reader inticed. Janice should have given us some idea of how Vader takes the entire 
council hostage while the rest of the base seems totally unaware of it. She may tie that all together in the next segment 
but should have more connecting strings in the first installment. "Don't Believe It For a Minute," by Susan Matthews, 
can't be described without giving away the whole point of the story. Suffice it to say, that in the evolution of SW fan-
fic, that this is a story that to be written. The next two pieces, both by the editor, "Special Delivery," and "Mission: Power Failure" both involve missions for the rebellion. In the first, Han risks his life to deliver a consignment of weapons, without the expected results he hoped for. The second story, also part one of a continuing piece, is tighter and more coherent than Janice's other sequel story. Here Han and Luke are chosen to sabotage an Imperial planet, and render its defenses useless so that the rebels can attack safely on a nearby planet. The plot suffers from the fact that the heroes only have to disable one electronic component to disable the defenses of an entire planet. It's too convenient to be credible. The rest of the plot, action and characters move alonq fairly well however. There are some small features in the zine, such as a SW quiz, a list of other SW zines and clubs, and a discussion of some of the professionally marketed SW items. Teanna Byerts has two delightful sets of cartoon/illos: "Visit Beautiful Tatooine," and "Millennium Spacelines." Teanna also has a number of fine illustrations to various stories throughout the zine, including the front and back covers. The graphics of MET are clean and legible, and the print is thankfully not painfully small, not that I should talk of such things. Issue "2 of Mos Eisley Tribune will cost $4.50, and since it doesn't say otherwise, I assume that includes postage. You can probably look forward to seeing more features in MET. The "Sneak Preview" from issue 1 promises the continuation of the sequels and a new section or two. [3]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Teanna Byerts

Mos Eisley Tribune 2 was published in 1979 and contains 110 pages.

  • "Surprise Attack Part 2" by Janice Sidwell
  • "Metamorphosis" by Ellen Blair
  • "The Triumphant Defeat" by Liza Gregory
  • LoCs, contributor bios, poetry, a pen pal list
  • art by Becky Aulenbach (Wookiees and landscapes)
  • a Collector's Corner (merchandise and zines)
  • other unknown content

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

The first thing you notice is the fantastic cover. Eye-catching, technically expertise... The fiction is competent, but somehow not as 'exciting' as some others I've read. The zine is well-laid out, easy to read, and a visual delight. I can't praise Teanna's artwork enough. [4]
If nothing else, Tennessee should receive the thanks of Star Wars fans for possessing a fair percentage of the active zine editors around. Sometimes, for reasons we'll probably never know, some states produce a volume of fans and fan activity that is disproportionate to the number of people in the state. That happened with Colorado in Trek fandom, and seems to be happening with Tennessee in SW fandom. Whatever the reasons, we can only hope that the trend continues. That one state seems to produce a good portion of the potentially best fanzines around. This issue of MET leads off with the second part to "Surprise Attack," written by the editor. In the last episode the Princess walks into a trap. Darth has serenow managed to sneak onto the rebel base (evading all of the base's sensors and detection equipment). He escapes off-planet with Leia and General Dodonna. Along the way to the main Imperial base Vader confides information to his two captives that can only lead them to suspect that Vader's plans include disposing of them so that they will never get a chance to tell anyone else. However, no sooner does Vader tell Leia and Dodonna this information that the ship suddenly, and suspiciously loses control. End of part two. To be honest, there is nothing in this part of the serial to interest the reader. There are no major conflicts dealt with, and the characters and the readers are merely along for the ride. Besides all of this, there are too many questions the reader can ask of the story at this point that make it incredulous to believe... Janice may have answers to these questions later on in the serial, but if you're telling a serial, the reader needs the answers to such questions within each segment of the story, or the story siirply falls apart. The editor of Falcon's Flight, Ellen Blair, has a story called "Metamorphosis." The story starts innocently enough when Han, Chewle, Luke and Leia are on their way to someplace or another from someplace else. Where isn't important. As they're wafting through the cosmic boonies at hyperspeed (no doubt doing a good twelve parsecs or so) the ship develops a malfunction and must drop cut of hyperspece to effect repairs. They pop back Into normal space somewhere between the ams and begin repairs, only to find a space station nearby. Coincidence? No, and If you're fast enough, you've already guessed that our favorite nasty is aboard the station. The Falcon is grabbed by a tractor beam from the station and pulled in. Fortunately Ellen passes up the opportunity to have Luke say "I've got a bad feeling about this," or else I might not have continued reading. Once inside Vader does indeed show up After everyone finishes exchanging pleasantries, Vader takes Han aside and begins to question him. Han has information about a certain alien named Galatar, and Darth goes to great trouble to break Han. and get the information. In the end, Han Is led to the point of insanity when he cannot distinguish between reality and illusion...or can he? This reminds me of another story from Trek fandom called The Logical Conclusion by Paula Smith. While the characters and plot are different, the methods used to break the protagonist are the same. I would, as a result, class this as a get-em story, and thus cannot tell you whether I like it or not. You will likely be the type of person who likes/accepts get-ems on face value, or dismisses them out of hand. I can however prepare you. Even so. Ellen has chosen a difficult type of story to write. This story requires setting up a whole scenario for the reader, letting him draw certain assumptiors and then yanked the whole rug out from under him. A few professional mystery/suspense/horror writers can do that well. Ellen does a fair job at it, but I must admire her for the courage needed to undertake such a task. "The Triumphant Defeat," by Lisa Gregory, makes about as much sense as its title. Luke, Han, Chewle and the droids head for planet Centur to pick up Leia's cousin Princess Adelphi, who is for the sake of this story, Leia's surrogate. While the heroes are on the planet they discover that of all the planets in the galaxy, the Empire just happens to have a base there and I'll bet you can guess who shows up. Gee, small universe, isn't It? Well, Princess Adelphl gets away and of course, captured by the Imperials. Vader uses her as bait to lure Luke in, so that Darth will have the chance to battle the last of the Jedi... Luke does, but Vader doesn't. They get away, with the Princess and so does Darth. "Egad!" someone just cried, "you gave away the whole plot." Yes, I did, and as a reviewer I should not do that, but believe me, in the case with "The Triumphant Defeat' I have saved you great anguish in so doing. You see, when it comes to fan-written stories, I try never, ever to totally kill a story. I can usually find something good to say. In this case—I simply can't. The story is atrocious, the characters implausible, and the action laughable. The author hops from place to place in the story without describirg how she got there. She only tells you what happened between point A and point B and expects you to be satisfied. At times Ms. Gregory jumps the characters in time and space and uses only a sentence or two to tell you how. The characters manage to become puppets of the author, which she drags clumsily through a disease-ridden, terminal plot. While the Star Wars characters are fairy tale stereotypes, the ones in this story go beyond merely hackneyed, and they spout enough cliches to make Jody Powell green with envy. On top of this, the author's knowledge of the English language is at times nonexistent. In one scene, Han and Luke see the Imperial base for the first time. "Impregnable," Han says matter-of-factly having never seen the thing before in his life. In another scene, Princess Adelphl is about to spit on Vader so he slaps her. "She fell lifeless onto the concrete floor." Considering that Vader kills her in that sentence, her dead body continues to remain quite active throughout the rest of the story. In all, "The Triumphant Defeat" was written without the author's brain being in gear. As Truman Capote said: "That's not writing, that's typing." For the above review, I am truly sorry. Please Ms. Gregory, don't slash your wrists because of me. In this instance, I simply had to be honest. To the editor I say—you should flog yourself every time you fall to say "Does this make sense?" The mechanics of Mos Eisley are very good, and your zine has tremendous potential, but there is no editorial control over quality, or at least none that I can see. I see the same flaws with MET as I do with Falcon's Flight: weak stories. That is not entirely the fault of the authors.. .once a weak story gets into print, it is the editor's fault too. For God's sake, MET is too potentially dynamite to let cowardly editing ruin it. Do what an editor is supposed to do: EDIT! Whether you can do that or not will determine if MET will continue to print anything handed to it, or if it will actively seek out and demand of its contributors what its readers in turn demand from it. [5]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3

Mos Eisley Tribune 3 was published in 1979 and contains 164 pages. It has a color cover and color centerfold.

flyer printed in Falcon's Flight #4
  • Communique from the Editor (3)
  • Contributors (5)
  • Pick a Pen Pal (10)
  • Intergalactic Feedback (12)
  • The Vow by Maggie Nowakowska, art by Beckey Aulenbach (17)
  • You May Have Been a Headache, But You Were Never a Bore by Nikki White, art by Beckey Aulenbach (18)
  • Corellian Wake by Susan Matthews, art by Pam Kowalski (23) (a very rare Deathfic in this fandom) (It had finally happened! The moment that Chewbacca had dreaded for so long! It had finally arrived! And, he had one last promise to keep... a Corellian wake.)
  • For Luke Skywalker: The Incredible Force by Pammi Bowen, art by Caro Hedge (27)
  • Surprise Attack by Janice Sidwell, art by Teanna Byerts (28) (The rebel forces discover the presence of an Imperial spy among them! How much has he learned? Will he destroy them? Han and Luke must journey to Tatooine to rescue Princess Leia... but they cannot land in the occupied Mos Eisley Spaceport! Will Han Solo land... or crash... in the old Saraza landing pits?)
  • Womp Rats by Elyse Dickenson, art by Beckey Aulenbach (42) (Another in a series about the creatures that manage to survive on the arid, desert world of Tatooine. Learn more about these creatures and how they live.)
  • Pomp & Correlians by Maggie Nowakowska, art by Beckey Aulenbach (46)
  • Intruder by Ann Wilson, art by Beckey Aulenbach (47) (Darth Vader must join forces with Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in order to overcome and destroy an unwelcome intruder that could destroy the entire galaxy! Can they possibly succeed with such odds against them!?!?!?!)
  • Weekend in Mos Eisley by Pammi Bowen, art by Beckey Aulenbach (106)
  • Encounter by Dee Gurnett, art by Shari Kaiafah (108) (Imperial Lord Darth Vader has been captured by the rebel powers on a backwater planet! What horrible fate lies in story for him? What torture will they plan for their dreaded enemy? Why can't Vader use the Force? Has he finally been defeated? Or, will he survive?)
  • The Weapon of the Jedi by Bernie Davenport, art by Davenport (118) (Learn more about these elegant weapons used by the ancient Jedi Knights.)
  • The Emperor's Nephew by Tracy Duncan, art by Lisa Adolf (120) (Luke is captured on a wild Imperial planet and scheduled for the gladiator games! Can Han and Leia him? And who is the young man who is Luke's twin? Can Luke save Leia from him?)
  • The Battle of Yavin Four by Maggie Nowakowska (158)
  • The Science Fiction Yellow Pages (160)

Issue 4 (was not published)

Some of the content of this proposed issue was to have been included in Echo Seven when "Mos Eisley Tribune #4" did not become a reality. [6]

flyer printed in Pastaklan Vesla #6, click to enlarge
From an ad in "proposed zines" in Jundland Wastes #1:
Includes 'The Kessel Run' -- Han Solo ferries Leia to a diplomatic meeting, but insists on stopping by Kessel on the way; 'The Return' -- even after the Rebellion, Han finds himself on the wrong side of the law; 'The Girl Back Home' -- how can Luke let a marriage-minded girl down without hurting her? It also contains an interview with David Prowse. Also, fiction by Nikki White, Ann Wilson, Dee Gurnett, Candace Wiggins, Susan Matthews, J.J. Adamson, Maggie Nowakowask and more. Art by Adamson, Gilroy, Aulenback, Gallachi, Munson, Martyann, Lisa Adolf and more. Over 300 pages.

Proposed Contents:

  • The Kessel Run by Susan Matthews
  • The Return
  • The Girl Back Home by Carol Mularski
  • The Gambler
  • Requiem
  • The Final Moment by Elyse Dickenson
  • Surprise Attack, part 5 by Janice Sidwell

References

  1. from Alderaan #7
  2. from Universal Translator #20
  3. from Alderaan #4
  4. from Scuttlebutt #14
  5. from Alderaan #5, the reviewer prints a sort-of apology for this review in Alderaan #6, see that page for more of the fallout
  6. In the end, none of the content transferred to Echo Seven
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