Alderaan/Issues 11-15

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Issue 11

cover of issue #11, Jo Ann Slayton

Alderaan 11 was published on April 1, 1981 and contains 8 pages. It was mailed to subscribers at the same time as issue #12.

  • The Empire Strikes Back: "... has fandom taking sides on a number of issues. The first fans who hated SW but loved TESB are writing in. The Duncans of Against the Sith are a major subject of discussion after they circulate a long letter to fanzine editors, demanding a boycott of TESB and the destruction of the film by Lucas. Confusion over the meaning of Mary Sue continues as the older meaning battles with the newer, broader implication that any strong female character, especially if she gets the guy, is a Mary Sue. The first formal apologetics for the Empire are presented by Imperial SW fans. And yet more on Leia's presentation." [1]
  • a fan asks:
    Has anyone with an SW zine been sued by Lucasfilm?... I have a friend who is writing this great SW story and she doesn't exactly want a lawsuit on her hands, but I think she should share it with all the other fans who want to read it. So we'd like an answer to that question.

  • another fan comments on copyright and fanzines:
    I am writing a SW story-novelette and I've been wondering about the copyright mess on fan creations. I agree with Carol [referring to the article about copyright in the previous issue] that as long as silent consent is given that fans should keep copyrighting their material. Since the fanzines are non-professional publications, they may be safe. If they were professional, the matter would be totally different. As long as the editors, artists, and writers use common sense, and discretion in their works, I believe that Lucasfilm will respect us and grant us this wonderful means of learning and expressing ourselves and our love for the Star Wars world.

  • Devra Langsam writes about fanzines, copyright, and lawyers:
    Not only has Paramount known about ST fanzines, but there is published evidence. I have in my possession a newspaper clipping showing Roddenberry holding a copy of Spockanalia. You can see the title of the zine fairly clearly in the photo. Further, the article speaks of fanzines. Also, I have letters of thanks from Roddenberry for copies of Spockanalia which I sent to him while the show was still in production. When New Voyages first came out, they neglected to indicate on the copyright page that Ruth Berman's story was a reprint. I had warned Joan Winston (friend of Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath [editor's of New Voyages]) that I expected to have my original copyright acknowledged. I did not at any time object to the author's sale, or ask for any money—I just wanted my original copyright listed (the way they do in the reprints of sf collections.) When it was not done, I got my lawyer after them and, in due course—after many months, the copyright was included. When they then printed New Voyages #2, and again did not include an acknowledgement of prior publication, I got really irritated. This time my lawyer asked them for money to cover my expenses, and a letter of assurance that they would not neglect to include copyright in the future. (I considered the second publication without notice to be malicious and intentional the first could have been an accident.) Bantam Inserted the notice, paid the expenses, and sent me a letter of assurance. I know that the major copyright in this case belongs to Gene and Paramount, but it is interesting that Bantam was willing to insert the notices, send me the letter, and pay my lawyer's expenses—they didn't want to go to court over it. Maybe I would have lost, and maybe not—after all, I was basically asking for due acknowledgement of my great editing. Anyway... In any case, the copyrights I took out on Spockanalia are now more than ten years old, and they might have some trouble contesting them in court... that's a long time to wait, especially when we have evidence that they were a-ware of the material years ago.

  • there is a letter from Nancy Duncan, which is somewhat combative, and rather mysterious in its reference to her zine, Against the Sith:[2]
    I... think that you shouldn't keep running letters commenting on trivial matters from past letters. If you think a subject is worthy of debate, print it, then let fans comment, then start something else. And you don't have to rely on just the letters to kindle discussion. You as editors could ask fandom what they think of some subject. We do this is in ATS in our Forum and it has worked ery well. We give them an idea so they will write. The issue of reviews was a poor choice because there hasn't been any reviews since ish #5. So, who cares? Subjects should be the film first, fan stuff second. The copyright issue for the last ish sounds like a good one. But most fans know that our zines are illegal technically, and Lucas knows it, everyone knows it, but there ain't anything to do about it really. Nobody really cares. We even asked Lucasfilm way back when about it and got no response. They have since said they're trying to figure out a policy for zines, but it must not be pressing because they haven't hopped to it. I don't think the issue is a threat to them or important enough for them to be worried about and until they say something we shouldn't worry. Besides, zines help promote interest in the films, too. We're good press. Another subject now. I feel fandom is afraid of people having opinions, strong opinions and making them known. Because of the way some fans reacted toward our letters, I think that parts of fandom don't like other ideas, or controversy. Many of these fans were very active fans who have been in fandom for a long time. I believe they felt Tracy and I could somenow wreck fandom because we said what we really felt. This is assinine. Fandom cannot be ruined by controversy. Nor can a film company like Lucasfilm tell fans to quit their fandom because of what they might say. Fandom is for the fans, formed by fans and has nothing to do with the pros, really. A fandom will exist regardless of what pros may think or like. There are parts of fandom that are very paranoid. They should have more faith in their own fandom. They should also not be so scared of strong opinions. As fans, we have every right to say what we feel. Lucas does owe fans some respect. It is the fans who made SW films tick, made them great. They're nothing without the audience, and I feel he should listen to us. ... Not only that, but all the products and the good press I have given the film in my own zine count for something. So if fans feel disappointed about anything Lucas has done or is doing, they can scream. It might do no good, but this was a free society still when last I looked. Another thing fans wrote to us about was our possible libeling of Lucas. But one can't libel a public figure in his area of influence. ... this is a free country and we have every right to use our little fan press to act as a watchdog.

  • a fan writes:
    And finally a word in defense of Tracy and Nancy Duncan. Like many, I got their open letter about TESB [best guess: very late May, early June] and their retraction a couple of weeks later. I also got to talk to Tracy and Nancy personally. Tracy and Nancy came to Portland for a one-day SF festival featuring Pater Meyhew and later to see TESB... [this fan mentions that Mount St. Helens had erupted a day or so earlier, a datestamp]... We had a chance to discuss their open letter. The Duncans were at the opening of TESB in Eugene... [the letter writer writes that when the Duncans first saw the film, the theatre had multitude of technical problems, including the film reels being shown in the wrong order]... Do you know what Tracy and Nancy saw? In the final battle scene, Luke has just lost his lightsabre and has been backed into a hole in the center of the carbon freezing chamber and Darth Vader has just pulled the switch. Suddenly, Luke is walking down a dark hallway with his lightsabre when suddenly Darth Vader pops out of nowhere (he must have been holding his breath in that scene) and attacks. Wouldn't that ruin the film for you too? The loss of those critical moments in the final scenes of the movie made Luke look like he didn't know one end of his sabre from the other and for Tracy and Nancy, both dedicated Luke fans, that was devastating. Their reaction was strong, perhaps a bit too strong, but quite understandable considering the circumstances. I can't fault Tracy and Nancy for their open letter but rather place the blame for the whole incident on the shoulders of some unknown. Imperial projectionist in Eugene. May the whole affair rest in peace.

  • a fan adds her opinion to the Leia debate:
    I don't want to go on and on, but I would like to say that I wish Leia's fans would realize that it is possible to dislike Leia as a character without disliking strong, confident, liberated female characters in general. Since TESB, I have a much more positive view of her, but when SW came out, I disliked her intensely for reasons that had more to do with her politics than her personal life. As a medievalist and a conservative, a believer in hierarchy and order with Imperial sympathies, I saw her as a fanatic revolutionary ideologue and (to use a snobbish old phrase) a traitor to her class. People like that have caused an incredible amount of misery to an incredible number of plain human beings in our own Earth's history, and I do not find them admirable when transferred to a galaxy far, far away. Still, as someone once said, she's got a lot of spirit, and now she seems to developing a heart as well. I might find myself liking her after all.

  • a fan adds her opinion about the movie:
    The Empire Strikes Back... left me totally cold, and I assume that future issues of [Alderaan] would center around it in discussions in the lettercols. The overwhelming indifference to TESB on my part would make it rather a waste of my time for me to buy zines which are centered around it. Blame Lucas and co. for not giving us a sequel with a decent plot and a proper dramatic structure, and blame some of the actors for turning in such flat, wooden performances that I just found that [ couldn't get involved in the characters' plight.

  • a fan comments on The Duncan Scandal, though she doesn't refer to it by this name:
    A good example of knowing what to put into print and what not to is the Duncan diatribe. If they didn't like Empire, it could have [been] stated succinctly in a few paragraphs. Instead, they chose to take nine pages of print to say it, quite virulently at points, and even linking the volcanic eruption in Washington to Empire. A simple statement—I didn't like Luke losing his hand; I wanted Luke to get Leia, not Han to get her; I don't agree at all with Vader as Luke's father; etc.—would have sufficed. It is unfortunate that they did not do so. The contents of the original narrative would have been fine if they had wished to send it as a personal letter to people. But they printed it up and sent it to a large group of people. With the statements made within it, I consider it to be libelous. The one page retraction was nice to receive, but it can't erase what rage they incurred to themselves and fandom. Hopefully, a lesson can be learned for all this... people must think before putting something down in print. Fanzines don't have lawyers to protect them like newspapers do.

  • a fan wants to know:
    Who is Tracy Duncan and what does she have against TESB?

  • about the fan fiction possibilities and the new movie:
    I can see that the SW fanzine world is going to be very interesting the next couple years, filling in "unwritten scenes" in TESB such as, just what did Han and Leia do to entertain themselves during the long trip to Bespin? [3] Hmmm? I'm looking forward to reading at least ten different versions of how Luke's father became Darth Vader, why Obi-Wan hid the truth, how Luke reacts to the bad news. (Then George'll come along with "Revenge of the Jedi" and blow all our theories—but that's OK, he's the Master.) I anticipate lots of what I call 'tween-quels, stories that come between and tie together SW and TESB. One area of speculation is, how did Vader find out his son is alive and well and with the Alliance? Spies? The Force?

Issue 12

cover of issue #12, Anne Davenport

Alderaan 12 was published on April 30, 1981 and contains 8 pages. It is the third anniversary issue and the discussion revolves around Vader and Han Solo. This issue, and issue #11, were mailed to subscribers at the same time.

  • this issue has a flyer for the very first Media*West
  • fans comment about The Duncan Scandal, see that page
  • "Vader is getting back in the limelight....Han is discussed as a "wild card" character; rumors abound as to his fate and place in the saga. The intensity of fandom is picking up according to the people who start reminding us all that SW is "just a movie". And more on Leia, with writers reminding us all that she is a Senator as well, and more important than that, a princess." [4]
  • the editor writes:
    Allyson Whitfield resigned as the co-editor of Alderaan in March. She will be editing a letterzlne of her own to be named COMLINK. Allyson and Carol tell me they will debut the new zine at Media West*Con. I wish them all the luck and hope that you will pick up a copy if you attend the convention. "Comlink" will probably become the heir apparent to Alderaan. I will be discontinuing the publication of Alderaan sometime this year, probably at the end of summer... I have no exact date for the last issue. That information will be published as soon as It becomes available In the meantime I will accept subscriptions as usual.

  • a fan remarks on the movie:
    I am still in a state of shock from seeing Empire three times last week. Aside from the fact that Carrie Fisher's acting is as terrible in this one as in SW, I can't think of anything that did not live up to my expectations. Luke is vastly improved and it is interesting to see Han develop into a more rounded character, although his scenes with Leia got a trifle soggy in parts for my taste (purely personal opinion). It pleases me tremendously to see that SW seems to be moving in the direction I had hoped [for] and that the new light Empire throws on the SW characters does not contradict anything on which I have been basing my own ideas. Wheh! I am intrigued by the new material on Vader; he really seems to pull the whole movie together, to become the center. Whether this was what Lucas intended, or just my prejudice showing. I can't tell, but the interlaced stories of the other characters seem to intersect with him as the focal point.

  • a fan comments on Ben Kenobi:
    I'm glad to see that Kenobi is beginning to lose some of his halo in Empire, too- The look he gives Luke in SW when he tells Luke that Vader betrayed and murdered Luke's father, which I first interpreted as sorrow, sort of, now begins to look like the shifty attitude of a liar caught out in a deception. Kenobi is a creep, and I don't trust him (would you buy a used speeder front this man?)

  • regarding Leia:
    People avoid her, rather women do, because they are so hung up on Han. What's that old word, "jealousy"?! ... you Leia haters out there, let go already and grow up!

  • more on Leia:
    There appear to be two sides (how convenient.) Those who think Leia is a great gal, even if she is a little bitchy, and those who think she is a fancy little fluff that Lucas added to give "Our Boys" something to play with. Both sides have one thing in common, they constantly refer to her as "Princess" and completely ignore her other title of "Senator." When you think about it, her behavior in both movies more closely resembles that of a senator than that of a princess. She didn't get to be leader of the rebellion because she was the highest ranking [person.] She can lead. I don't think that's something she learned greeting, foreign ambassadors or christening new bridges. So what if she isn't the archetypical "Princess."? If she had been a whimpering, damsel in distress, there would probably be a large contingent of female SW fans shouting "chauvinism." Unfortunately, it appears that Leia represents a "rival" to some of her opposition. It is, I imagine, difficult to manuver your carefully constructed alter-ego into an alluring position with "Our Boys" while Leia is peeking over your shoulder. I must admit it's quite a problem. All of that has little to do with how she actually functions in the movie. In some ways, she is the balance of reality that keeps Luke, Han, Ben, Vader and all the others from seeming [too] overplayed. We can expect the rest of the major characters to perform in their own inimitable way the archetypical dance for which they were created. They are seldom disappointing. So Leia sticks like a thorn in our own paws because she plays both sides against the middle, and comes out still wearing the white of purity. Let's face it, without Leia, SW would be just another fairy-tale. The interplay between characters would eventually lead up to the invevitabie happy ending where the hero gets the girl. She isn't what we expect and that makes her hard to swallow. Personally, I think she the strongest and most individual character in SW, but she does stick out. She does have flaws. They all do. It's difficult to judge a creation that has only just begun. I can understand why artists get uptight when someone peeking over their shoulder at a portrait in progress becomes disappointed at what they see. Who knows? I still think it's a little early to pass judgement on Leia. All the evidence has not been released.

  • a fan comments on, well, fanaticism:
    Picky little details. Some people seem to think that you have to have seen the movie (either one, or perferably both) at least ten times before you can truthfully call yourself a SW fan. It has become almost like a religious ritual. The more times you prostrate yourself before the shrine, the more holy you become. That is a lot of bull. The point I'm trying to make is that SW is after all just a movie. A damn good one. It is not because of the characters, they were rather shallow and archetypical; and not because of the story, it's been told before in some form or another; and not because of the special effects, though without them it would not have worked, but because of the way in which Lucas mixed them all together to come up with a movie that is not only fun and fantasy and childhood daydreams, but is real too... Of course, the second and third and fourth time [you've seen the film] are enjoyable, but nothing can match the suspense of the very first time you were led into this strange and adventurous land. (Personally, I gave up after the fifth time. It just didn't do anything for me anymore. I kept prompting the actors to hurry up and say the lines I knew were coming.) I want you to think back to the very first time you saw SW, to remember how excited, scared and demanding you were. And believe me, if SW hadn't been as good as it was, you would have torn it apart. It was good. Better than a lot of you thought it was going to be. I guess I'm trying to play the voice of conscience or that biting sting of reality that creeps into SF now and then. It just seems to me that all those voices who are lauding the littlest details are looking at a rose petal two inches from their nose while all around them the dawn is breaking. The only thing they can see is that petal. It angers me that the magnificence of the whole creation goes unnoticed... While I'm on my high horse, I want to say something about SW fan fic. 90 percent of it is crap. That law works as well as fanfic as it does in SF or in the outside world for that matter. Despite what some people might think we on the inside are no better that those people on the outside. And perhaps a little less so for believing we are better. We are all human, we can't escape that.

  • about the "borrowing" of plot lines and ideas:
    I'm glad you asked for comments on Carol's copyright article and I have a couple of them to make...I want to decry the growing necessity for copyright registration by fan authors— which is not an inexpensive process—due to the outright pilfering of fan ideas by other alleged fen... *Sigh* If we can't trust our fellow fans, who can we trust? I am a relative nobody in the realm of SW fanfic, but I can assure you, no one outside my immediate circle gets any details of anything I've written that hasn't been published!

  • a zine ed asks:
    In regard to the editorial question on prices, I would like to hear what kind of feedback you're getting. My first zine had a pretty steep price, and I've heard a bit of grumbling (mostly by people un-involved with zines,) although one correspondent gave me a three-page essay on how fanzines were "supposed" to be funded...); I personally wonder how some of the less expensive zines in fandom afford to stay in print! I don't work (I go to school) and don't have an income to fall back on, so the principle of PTOA governed my price structure on Twin Suns #l. As it turned out, I had a small profit which immediately was channeled into #2, turning its price down by about $1.00 a copy under what I would have had to charge otherwise. I'm hoping that the small "cushion" I've included in the price for #2 will give me enough of a nest egg to print a third issue, but it makes me personally nervous to have promised to print stories and artwork and have the prospect of going broke hanging over my head. Maybe I need to send the zine out of town to be printed—I hear of absolutely unbelievable price guidelines elsewhere—but I just plain don't trust a printer I can't stand over and check the work with. And local printers don't carry accounts, so the $1000-1200 printing cost for each issue must be paid on delivery. Is is unethical for me to "cushion" the price of each zine to fund the interim expenses for the next one? (I'm talking about a 12-15% per issue margin.) As it stands now, as I have to wait longer and longer to print my second issue, prices are climbing even as I write and I may take a trouncing on the already-set price of #2.

  • regarding zine costs, a zine ed writes:
    Concerning the question of zine prices, you needn't fear that Alderaan's price increase is unjustified. I think sometimes that fellow zine editors realize much more clearly that the general readership how much boosted printing and supply costs can affect a zine!... Everyone knows the effect of inflation and the increased postage rates! As an example, the last issue of Obsc'zine came out to something over two years ago, and the cover price at the time was $3.50. #4 has just come out, and though I'd said in a flyer between last May and now that the new cover price would be $4.50, I found when time came to actually tally up the total printing bill, that cover price would have to be a minimum of $5.00, which I've set it at. In honorinq all previous orders for the issue, many people paid only $4.45 including postage, so I'm takinq somewhat of a dunking, but I'm fortunately able to print 100 copies over the number of copies reserved, which will hopefully take up the slack. Of course, for subscriptions to #5 onwards, I'll now have to revise the prices upwards slighly to reflect the cover price increase. I think zines like Warped Space, Obsc'zine, Alderaan and Interstat etc., are more hard hit by increases than one-shots or zines which come out infrequently, like Pegasus or Skywalker, and are able to take reservations, with total price due upon receipt of imminent publication date. I feel that most zines are fairly priced. Especially at cons, one is free to leaf through each issue and if one wants to buy the zine, one will. Granted, it is a little more difficult to go through the mails, and on occasion, I've purchased zines by mail that I felt didn't live up to expectations (i.e., were overpriced, in my opinion). One's definition of overpriced doesn't necessarily reflect the question of the actual price but whether or not the material inside was as interesting or as concentrated on certain topics as one had expected.

  • regarding Mary Sues:
    I'm a dedicated feminist and ERA supporter, and I like strong female characters in fanfic, but I have read some Mary Sue stories (even printed a few), and there isn't necessarily anything wrong with a well-written Mary Sue story. Some Mary Sues are just more obvious than others. As an aside, my printer's assistants are all strong feminists and ERA supporters, are actively involved in supporting the local Lesbian Theater, etc., and some of them have strongly expressed the opinion that Obsc'zine is "degrading to women." I know Alderaan is primarily a SW oriented zine, but if anyone would care to debate the question of Obsc'zine in specific or "adult" fanfic in general, I'd be interested in hearing points of view especially since, as Chris points out, the active subfandoms are predominantly female.

  • a fan comments on the femaleness of media fandom:
    My explaination for the majority of active fans being female is related to one I heard someone say, to whit that there is still some bias in the sf pro field towards women writers (this was some time ago), and the argument that if you write well you go pro and drop fanzines (which I think is a lot of bull). I think it is also related to Women's Lib. As women become "free-er", we associate more with other women, into previously "taboo" subjects. And fandom is wondrously liberatinq. Whole new worlds, and all that. And I think women simply read more than men, in general. The more we read, the more we find to read. And once we hook into one subfandom, we hook into another. I don't think the explanation is that women are more creative than men. I think that as the women in the subfandoms start encompassing sf in general, you find that the population at sf cons is slowly swinging towards more of an equal balance, whereas before they were predominately male. It's an interesting process to watch!

Issue 13

cover of issue #13, Jeff Johnston and Gee Moaven

Alderaan 13 was published on June 13, 1981 and contains 8 pages.

  • the editor announces the letterzine will cease in August with issue #15, and that he is gafiating: "The move east [for job reasons] will necessitate leaving fandom. After August I shall have no forwarding address for several months and no phone. The Kzinti Press account shall be closed. Any business matters that need to be discussed must reach me before the end of August"—he asks that all LoCs be forwarded to Comlink
  • there is an announcement that the president of the Star Wars fan club (first Craig Miller, then Ira Friedman) is now Maureen Garrett
  • this issue has a long article by Judith Gran called Fandom vs The Courts: Fan Fiction and Fair Use which was a response to Carol Mularski's article in issue #10, see that page
  • there is an anonymous letter by a fan who supposedly overheard by a fan at a con regarding comments made by a friend of a "friend who was close to LucasFilm"—of the six major plot points mentioned; aside from the bland general statements, the rest (including that Kenobi is Luke's father, Luke is a clone of Vader, and that Han and Leia's son is The Other) are false
  • the writer of Moon Silver (see that page) writes about the reaction that story received from The Powers That Be—something that led to the Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett
  • there is an announcement that two zine eds have parted ways:
    [C H] has announced that her partnership with [C C] has dissolved and that their zine Galactic Falcon has been discontinued. Cyndi will publish a new zine, Docking Bay, that will contain the contents originally intended for GF #2. If you've sent a check for GF and not received it, send Cyndi a copy o the check and she'll attempt to cortect matters.

  • an optimistic, and frankly naive, fan, writes:
    As for the article "The Quest for Legitimacy" by Carol Mularski— SUPERB!!! It was well written and extremely informative. Zine readers may find it interesting, but writers and editors should pay particular attention to it. I edit/publish a zine of my own, and have wondered about this quasi-legal state that us zineds find ourselves in. I doubt Poppa Lucas, with or without 20th Century Fox, would take any of us to court (except in the case of pornographic/gay material) —the impression I have of him is that he is a fan's film maker. He can appreciate the fans and the part they play in the success of films. Other film makers, directors, producers, corporations, etc. are mainly money-motivated and couldn't qive a bantha's hind end about fan appreciation. Their goal isn't to please fans, it's the almighty bozo bucks.

  • a fan comments:
    Like Carol said, zines keep the fan interest going and are excellent publicity; especially in the case of Star Wars where we have to wait three years between each adventure! Lucas gave us something to enjoy, a dream to live for two hours at a time, and we should do just that. Otherwise it would be like getting a ball for Christmas, and your mother saying you can only play certain games with it.

  • some comments about the male-femaleness of media fandom:
    One question to you, Jeff: how does it feel to be involved in a female-dominated activity/society/whatever? It puzzles me that a majority of the pro sf is written and read by males, but when it comes to zines and fanfic, there is nary a male in sight. I think I've seen only five males in the zine business. (For you guys out there, I guess that's what you call having the odds in your favor. How sexist of me. Sorry.)" The editor responds: "Pat Nussman is working on an article on this very subject and will likely use some comments from me that will give you a better idea of what I think. In brief, however, I enjoy being able to exchange ideas with so many different types of people through the mail, regardless of traditional societal roles. In person however, female fans either shut me out or treat me with veiled hostility. Because of it, I have not been to a convention since 1978. An assumption also exists that guys go to media cons for the sole purpose of sleeping around. Most fans, I find, are not as liberated as they profess to be.

  • a fan comments:
    While reading [E D's] letter [Alderaan #11], I was struck with a feeling of paranoia. You see, I have done two reviews for Jundland Wastes one published in the first issue and the other soon to appear, and I was wondering if I was going to come under the microscope since some folks were commenting on reviewers. With trepidation, I scanned the letters, and with a sigh of relief, saw that no one mentioned my review. Or maybe that sigh was one of regret that no one remembered my review—we fanzine reviewers are sometimes a bit egocentric - even lambasting is better than indifference, right?

  • a fan comments:
    I guess I just detest labels. Fandom is one of the few places that really is active in ERA. It's astonishing to find how many women in the mundane world either don't care or are actively against it, even if they do realize that they are cutting their own throats by doing so.

  • a fan admits she didn't like the new movie:
    On the subject of TESB—I didn't like it. Yes, I know that makes me suspect-. Quick, get me shrink!! I can't even say exactly why I don't care for it when most everyone I know is seeing it for the 40th time. It depresses me instead of making me feel joyous like SW did. The effects are wonderful. Harrison steals the show, Luke is as appealing as ever, even if I do think Yoda is a wart on the backside of the Force. I even like Lando, but I didn't much like the film. What I do find interesting is that we haven't been flooded with "save Han" stories like I thought we would. I don't believe I've read any to date. I think that in itself says something about the way the movie made people feel.

  • about fanzines and the pricing of them:
    Well, that's a tricky business. The only decent way we've (Facets) figured out is to price each zine individually and not have subscription rates. So far this has worked out well for us and only a small handful of fans have complained about it - We take the printing price, double it, add another 15% or so for extras like Zip-a-Tone. This keeps us one of the lowest-priced zines out, and gives us enough to pay the printer some ahead for the next issue. Fortunately he's willing to let us run a bill for the month or so it takes to pay it off. I can imagine that someone who puts out a big zine regularly would have a hard time if her printer demanded full payment at once. However, a zine account is nothing to sneeze at, so I would take my business elsewhere if I was met with a "money on the counter" attitude. The world is full of good printers, it is not full of fans with $10 to spend per zine.

Issue 14

cover of issue #14, Jaeger
"In my active days the printers I used often went nuts over some of the drawings, as happened with the Yoda. They did a two-color print on a nice tan paper (about 11" x 17"); I think they did the lettering in green - spelling out, "Yoda Does It In The Swamp!" Who knows how many they ran off - something printers love to do. I imagine it helps to make up for the messy job that offset printing is. Anyway, I couldn't resist making the snake cute as well. I guess it must have been the spirit of the 70s." [5]

Alderaan 14 was published on August 15, 1981 and contains 6 pages.

  • the editor includes this on the first page:
    An important notice appears on the final page of this issue concerning a warning from Lucasfilm about X-rated fanzines. Although they didn't mention any names, the warning is directed to all of us in fandom. It's difficult to tell if any winners would come out of a court battle. Despite the light that Carol Mularski and Judith Gran [referring to articles in two earlier issues of "Alderaan"] have attempted to shed on the subject, pornography is not the same as copyright infringement. I believe that both Lucasfilm and fandom would lose if this has to go to court. I would like to implore fandom to impose a voluntary ban on X-rated fanzines. While some might argue that this infringes on freedom of expression, Lucasfilm does have a big stake in the characters they have created. Falling out of their good graces would be damaging to all, and not just the few who feel they have the right to use the SW characters as they please.[6]

  • the editor writes:
    Thanks to Vel Jaeger for the cover art for this. There will be no cover for issue #15 however. I was working on a cover but never had time to finish it. And so it goes...[7]

  • a fan writes about the Open Letter to Star Wars Fans by the Duncans:
    No comment on the Duncan letter, except to say that while criticism of Lucas's work is not libelous, they went far beyond criticizing the work in their long letter and cast aspersions on the man's morals and character, and that ia libelous. Aside from amusement, my first reaction to receiving their letter was incredulity that anyone would leave herself so open to a libel suit. It's true that Lucasfilm could not have shut down fandom as a result, but they could well have cracked down on fanzines; and while it may turn out that Judith Gran is correct and fanzines are really a fair use under the new copyright law, how many fans have the time and money to take on Lucasfilm? There's an old saying: don't bite the hand that feeds you. This is purely aside from ethical issues involved in libeling someone else; it constantly amazes me that the people most concerned with "morality" are often most likely to resort to unethical means to preserve it.

  • about Leia:
    I think I would like to stick in my two cents worth about Leia, speaking from my own bias, and that is that I like the character very much as she is. The most important factor in Leia's personality is that she is a revolutionary, and more than that, she is a leader in the revolutionary movement, which role she presumably has partly from her position (the Princess of Alderaan is going to be a potent symbol to the Alliance, particularly after the destruction of Alderaan) and partly from ability. Leia is not immature; she is extremely mature in a way that neither Luke nor Han may ever be. She's learned to put herself last, to work for a cause that may ultimately benefit all the people of the galaxy, and to keep that goal constantly before her. If she must ignore or suppress the gentler feelings-there's be time for those when the battle is won, she'll have suppressed all those gentle emotions for so long that she'll find it difficult or impossible to rekindle them; and she won't be the first revolutionary to become something of a sad or tragic figure in later life. But I think she would think the risk is worth it: she's made her choice, and I'm quite sure, the way she is portrayed, that she made it consciously, knowing what the tradeoffs were. Actually, I don't think either Luke or Han at this point is the right man for her. Luke is still in awe of her, while Han is acting in a way that could subvert her ability to lead the rebellion, probably because he doesn't understand why she acts the way she does. Luke, I think, could become the right one, havinq already come the right one, having already some of the seeds of dedication of the sort Lei a already has.

  • a fan explains the term Mary Sue:
    The name itself was coined by Paula Smith around 1974 in a series of vignettes about Lt. Mary Sue Parker, the youngest lieutenant in Star Fleet, who had Kirk, Spock and McCoy madly in love with and performed several heroic feats that no one else was capable of, and in the end died saving a planet from a dreadful plague. However, I agree that the phrase is overused, and has been applied to any strong female character, on the assumption that this was an alter-ego of the author (there are no strong female characters with their own right to exist, perhaps?); certainly not all good female characters are Mary Sues, and for that matter, neither are all alter egos. I do think, however, that there is a recognizable Mary Sue syndrome, and that's the character who is too good to be true. She can do everything, has been everywhere—usual y at relatively tender age—is more than a match for any of the main characters from the movie, and has no apparent faults. She may or may not fall in love with, or cause to fall in love with her, one of the main characters.

  • another fan comments:
    If you really get down to it, every single story is a Mary Sue, whether there is a new character added, or if the original characters are used. Every story has a little of the writer ingrained into it—or even a lot! I'll give almost anything a chance, and I hate to pin labels. Who am I to do so anyway?

  • a fan proposes a change in language:
    I must have a different definition of the term "adult" in my head, just as I seem to have a different concept of "sleazy." Sigh. Sorry, but don't conceive of "adult" as meaning "explicit sex and violence"—rather, it means to me that a story has some concepts that young ones may not have the maturity and good judgement to deal with yet. (And it bothers me that "adult" is popularly seen as meaning "X-rated." The reverse of that coin is that, no matter how mature and meaningful a story's concepts are, if it doesn't have explicit sex and/or violence it's "childlike." I'd like to see the nomenclature changed.)

  • regarding George Lucas and any hints he drops about the third movie:
    ROTJ ... it's so much more fun to pounce on rumors and speculate, it gets the creative juices flowing. All the wonderful SW fannish Alternate UniversesThousandworlds, Foreshadows, Continuator, Beckett, and many others—grew out of speculations between SW and TESB. ! hope many more come out of the speculation between TESB and ROTJ. And none of them are invalid just because they don't agree with Lucas's "canon." They remain fine examples of literary creativity, and are endlessly enjoyable. We'd have none of them if we already Knew All.

  • a fan comments on Leia:
    The "Leia Conspiracy"... hmmm.. . I loved her In SW. The one line that endeared her to me was the one to Luke—"You're who?" It was perfect—who was this blond turkey to her, anyway? I really got sick of heroines jumping into their rescuer's arms and asking no questions! But in TESB—another matter entirely! She was, to put it mildly, a bitch! The thing that really made me hot was her use of Han and Luke against each other. You don't do that to friends—it's damned dirty pool! Besides that scene, however, I don't think that the character of Le1a is the problem—it's Carrie Fisher. She doesn't seem to care, and a remark that she made in an interview only seems to prove my point. She said that she didn't know anything about Leia, except that she liked white and wore her hair funny. Now, what caring actor knows so little about a character that he or she is portraying?

  • a fan writes:
    ... Lucas may not know how to present the strong female characters to the maximum, but Leia certainly is a good try and has many virtues as well as [her] faults (like our dear Han and Luke). In the scene where Leia is playing off Han and Luke together that she was teasing. Simple game-playing. Sexual attration provokes this most often, and on a scale of one to ten I'd say that scene rates a ten for this sort of behavior by Leia. And if Leia was teasing in that scene, then so was Han with his jokes at her. Tit for tat.

  • a fan responds to an earlier comment that 90% of fanfic is crap:
    Nothing is crap, be it fanfic or profic, if it serves a purpose—even that purpose is merely to please one or two people. Merely? Hah! Making people happy and communicating is what fanzines are all about, anyway.

  • is Obsc'zine offensive to women? -- one fan says:
    I am a feminist and. I can understand why some women may be offended by Obsc'zine. They are essentially against being displayed as sex objects, as [is] apt to happen in most cases of nudity and sexual diversions in magazines like Playgirl and Penthouse, but I think [that judging] Obsc'zine this way is an extreme point of view. After all. It's a zine focusing on sexual encounters with either gender. There's some delicious art and wonderfully diversified stories on small aspects of relationships and sex. It really depends on your own ideas of fun, entertainment and pleasure. Each to his or her own viewpoint and taste, I say.

Issue 15

cover of issue #15, by Jeff Johnston -- it is the same art that was used on the original flyer

Alderaan 15 was published on August 31, 1981 and contains 6 pages. It is the last issue.

  • There is a long article called Where the Boys Are which talks about the sexual disparity in fandom: "One major conclusion [of the article] is that "boys do it for the money" because the money is available and therefore go pro, whilst there is no outlet for derivative fiction, so girls do it for love and therefore dominate media fandom. After this, letterzine fandom's attention focused on Jundland Wastes, where letterzines 6 to 18 pages grew into hefty 50+ page monster zines." [8]
  • a few fans comment on The Duncan Scandal, see that page
  • from the editor, who is gafiating:
    Inside this issue you will find Pat Nussman's article on the imbalance of the sexes in media fandom... Speaking of the imbalance of the sexes, I'll be weighting the gender scale even more in just a few days when I leave fandom... Because of my move, remember that the post office box here in Toledo will be closed. The Kzinti Press account will also be closed. Anyone who needs to get ahold of me can forward mail through my parent's address, listed in the column to the left of this editorial. I cannot guarantee responses in less than several month's time.

  • the editor signs off:
    I can only end this editorial with heartfelt thanks to all of the people who have contributed to Alderaan and made it special. When Alderaan started, there was no Star Wars fandom, only a collection of media fans, mostly Trekfen, who liked the show a lot, but didn't know who to contact to get some action going. I'd like to think that I helped bring together a few fans from time to time, and I feel certain that the comments of the readers have been interesting and enjoyable for all. Thanks to all of you for making this a rewarding and fun experience.

  • there is more speculation on The Other:
    I wonder what Han and Leia did to pass the time away on Bespin myself. I think Leia is pregnant, and her baby(s) will end up being the "other hope". Then again, the Other Hope might not have to be a person. It might be a series of events, a decision by a character (even Vader) or even the Rebellion itself. In his Rolling stone interview, George Lucas said that in the first three chapters, before Star Wars, that the "other" becomes apparent, and after the third film, the "other" becomes apparent quite a bit. So who knows! I don't think it's Leia. Too obvious. But I do think that the Force is with her, in a strong way. To be a Jedi and to be a Force sensitive is probably not the same thing. Luke's call to Leia may indicate some sort of bond between them.

  • fans comment about the threatening letters by Lucas:
    I really don't think Lucasfilm or 20th Century Fox or any other corporation has any call to interfere in fan activities. As far as I'm concerned, I've "bought" SW/TESB several times. Everytime I pay for the ticket I "buy" a small part of the movie. This, and the fact that fanzines are a social tool and not produced for profit. Tell me, what do you think the reaction would be if a fanzine [editor] was sued, for whatever reason? Somehow I don't think that either party would profit from it, no matter who won or lost.

  • regarding fan fiction and legality:
    [Copyright] really wasn't that major of an issue until Star Wars; most fan fiction was either so small as to make no difference, or was almost necessary for the survival of the origina1 (e.g. Star Trek). However, with Star Wars and its many clones (Battlestar Galactica, to name the most obvious of these) fandom and fan fiction have more than doubled in size and volume. Rumor has it that some of the supposedly "amateur" fanzines are, in reality, put out under the auspices of the creators, but under different names... Now, the issue of copyright infringement is important. I am not going to worry too much about it myself until I get a subpoena.

  • more about fan fic and legality:
    ... there is something here which goes beyond the question of legality. Whether or not fans may legally write these stories, is a question for the courts to decide if and when the question arises. But fans do have one obligation which transcends the question of legality. In this I am referring to Lucas' request that no sexually explicit Star Wars stories be published. It is my feeling that, since Lucas created the characters of Star Wars, and therefore they are best known to him, it is his decision to make whether or not such stories may be published. If enough pornographic stories appear in print, Lucasfilm will be forced to take some sort of action, if only because the cannot back down from the earlier request. Whether or not Lucasfilm could win a court case (and I suspect they could) the entire affair could ruin the fanzine "industry". I, for one, would not put out a fanzine if I knew there was a case in court. I would not even write for one. Even if the case were not decided in Lucasfilm's favor, there would be enough fear in fandom that many zines would) out of existence. So, this is a plea to all would-be writers of Star Wars pornography and the already-existing writers of such. Please, do not continue doing this! Most of us are having a wonderful time writing fiction and would be very unhappy to see it disappear. I know how much fun it is to write sexually explicit material; I've done so myself, but I don't plan to publish it. Writing it and publishing it are two different things altogether. If you want other people to see your lovingly assembled porn, show it around, but don't publish it "officially" or there may be trouble for which the vast majority of fandom would never forgive you.

  • about The Other:
    The subject of the "other" has certainly become a major controversy. At the time of TESB's release, the question foremost in the minds of all Americans was "Who shot J.R.?" Thanks to TESB, the question of J.R. Ewing was lost in the clamor over "Who is the Other?" The reason I found this amusing, though, is quite personal. I made the statement (mostly in jest) that the "other" was Leia's child, either by Han or Luke. A friend of mine picked up the idea and cided that it would be Han's, but it Leia would most likely marry Luke, since a hero of the Rebellion is a more likely consort than a smuggler.

  • more on The Other:
    I've been told by J.J. Adamson that a rumor was printed recently in a Japanese fan magazine that Luke and Leia turn out to be brother and sister.

  • the editor prints the two letters from Lucasfilm that have received by fanzine editors:
    The two letters from Lucasfilm have been reproduced here in full. I would like to ask however, that these letters don't go beyond Star Wars fandom. The letters from Ms. Garrett state that Lucasfilm will go to court if necessary to protect their copyrighted characters and image. It's impossible to tell what the outcome of a court case between fandom and Lucasfilm would be. It's probable, however, that if things became serious enough to go to court over the issue, it would permanently cool the relationship that fandom has with Lucasfilm, and perhaps even end it. It is true that fandom could go underground quite easily, and that Lucasfilm could not police fandom unless we allow it. The benefits of working with Lucasfilm are far greater than working against them. The outcome of this situation will affect the future of Star Wars fandom so it is important that fans get together to present their opinions. Please write to Ms. Garrett with yours. [See Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett for more]

  • a fan writes:
    Lucas hasn't let me down yet, and I trust him.


  1. ^ Source: Letter of comment by Melanie Guttierrez in Southern Enclave #22, page 47
  2. ^ Duncan refers to Against the Sith as though it is still being published, though its last issue was printed eight months ago; even taking into account the lag in LoCs and the Postal Service, this is puzzling.
  3. ^ Well, how about Slow Boat to Bespin, and its fallout?
  4. ^ Source: Letter of comment by Melanie Guttierrez in Southern Enclave #22, page 47
  5. ^ by Vel, from private correspondence with Mrs. Potato Head, quoted with permission]]
  6. ^ Actually, the "important notice," the letters themselves appear at the end of issue #15.
  7. ^ Johnston ends up running the art he'd done for the original flyer, an illustration of Chewbacca.
  8. ^ Source: Letter of comment by Melanie Guttierrez in Southern Enclave #22, page 47