Empire Review

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Title: Empire Review
Publisher: Solo Ventures out of San Diego, California
the first four issues were reprinted for a time by De-Van Press
Editor(s): Shirley Barrett (Shirley "Ty" Barrett)
Date(s): 1980-1982
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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Empire Review is a gen Star Wars anthology of art and fiction. It ran for five issues. There was also a "Pre-Issue."

Pre-Issue 1

Empire Review Pre-Issue 1 contains 8 pages later incorporated into issue #1.

  • unknown content

Pre-Issue 2

Empire Review Pre-Issue 2 contains 8 pages later incorporated into issue #1.

  • unknown content

Issue 1

Empire Review 1 was published in 1980 and contains 32 pages.

It is a combination of printed and photocopied pages, typeset and contains letters, two reports, poetry, art, and cartoons.

This first issue contains the contents of the two pre-issues.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Aargh! Just when I thought I had finally come down out of orbit and had gotten my feet planted firmly on Terra Firma—I get Empire Review #1. Suddenly all of the questions, theories, arguments, and everything I love about Lucas' Saga has come back in full "Force" and my head is spinning! So what can I (we) do? Rehash old ideas, come up with some new and be thankful for friends who

will listen to the thoughts of others without thinking me (them) crazy! [1]

Issue 2

front cover of issue 2 by Chris Scott. From the zine itself: "I got the insane notion that I should attempt something that I could contribute as a cover for Empire Review. After two and one half hours of fevered scribbling, I came up with the picture you are holding in your hands. In case you're wondering...! put Luke back in his farmboy clothes because he just doesn't look like a son of a jumpin' Jedi in his Rebel uniform. Also, they're easier to draw...."
back cover of issue #2, Lenny "Leo" Bruce

Empire Review 2 was published in January 1981 and contains 50 pages.

"EMPIRE REVIEW is a non-profit fanzine published every three months. (The Force willing). Editor, typist, & layout — Shirley "Ty" Barrett (No wonder I'm insane!)"

Excerpt from the editorial:
About the Emperor... I think something is fishy about that guy, and I don't think he's as powerful, or as smart, as everyone gives him credit for. All of us only assume he's so infinitely powerful, but we haven't seen anything to back that up. Sure Vader bowed down to him, but that only really shows that Vader respects him at the least. There are two bits of evidence I refer you to: 1) If you remember in SW Vader had to explain to Grand Moff Tarkin why he should spare Leia's life, when Tarkin was ready to terminate her, thus showing Vader's superiority to Tarkin, in that Tarkin was acting on emotion—Leia had lied to him and he fell for her lie. Now in TESB, Vader had to explain to the great, wise Emperor why they should not destroy Luke, "If he could be turned, he would become a powerful ally." Here again Vader is superior. 2) If the Emperor is so powerful, why then did he need Vader to kill Luke? If he is so awesomely mighty that Vader trembles in fear of him, wouldn't he be able to cause Luke's death through the Force? (Wouldn't he also be able to do the same to the nest of Rebels?) I don't think the Emperor is all that he's been made to seem.
Another excerpt from the editorial:

This first one has nothing to do with SW or TESB, but I thought it might be of interest to you. On November 22, 1980, the Comic Kingdom here in San Diego was host to Mr. Paul Sammon, who presented us with a slide show about an upcoming movie based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The film is due out in 1982 with a budget of $15 million. The working title at last word is Bladerunner. It will be directed by Ridley Scott of Alien fame, special fx by none other than Douglas Trumbull, and design and concept art by Syd Mead. Word is that they (Filmways) are considering Harrison Ford for the lead role. (Please let it be!)

After the slides for Bladerunner were shown we were treated to slides of/from TESB, some of which I have never seen and that weren't shown at the Comic Convention in July-August 1980. All in all it was an interesting day.
The editor and some songs on the radio:

Since I listen to the radio whenever possible, I've compiled a list of songs in which either the entire song or portions of it, can apply to the SW characters.

The listing goes like this:

Songs about Luke: "Fooling Yourself" by Styx; "Good-bye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John; "Slip Kid" by The Who; "Lucky Man" by Emerson, Lake, & Palmer; "Dreamer" by Supertramp; "Father & Son" by Cat Stevensj "The Wall" by Kansas.

Songs about Han: "Outlaw Man" by the Eagles; "Renegade" by Styx; "Bad Company" by Bad Company (this song can also apply very aptly to another role Harrison Ford played in a movie titled "Journey to Shiloh"); "We Live For Love" by the Pretenders (?) , from Leia's point of view: "Space Cowboy" by Steve Millerj "Son of a Sailor" by Jimmy Buffett(?)

Songs about Leia: "Lisa, Lisa" by Cat Stevens, from Luke's point of view; "Angry Eyes" by Loggins & Messina, from either Solo's or Vader's point of view; "Lady" by Kenny Rogers, from Luke's point of viewj "Ah, Lea" (sp.?) by Donny Iris.

Songs about Vader: "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who.
  • Captain's Log (editorial) (4)
  • Priority One (LoCs) by Janice L. Anderson, Dona Armstrong, Lyle Rutschman, George R. Eddy, Rebecca Ann Brothers, Devlin Alann Scott, Elizabeth Hoolahan, Alesh Holubec, Susan Crites, Rebecca Ann Brothers, Lois Bennington (7)
  • Rebel Report ("The Quirks Strike Back" by Devlin Alann Scott (continuity, scientific, and filming errors) (20)
  • Cosmic Capers (poems) (24)
    • The First Mate by Janice L. Anderson (25)
    • Conversation At Mos Eisley by Janice L. Anderson (Art by Cathy Romero) (26)
    • Searching by Janice L. Anderson (28)
    • Oda To Yoda by George R. Eddy (Art by Donna Banzhof) (29)
    • Luke's Adventures In Limericks by Devlin Alann Scott (30)
    • To A Pirate Gone by Dona Armstrong (Art by Cathy Romero) (32)
    • Final Thoughts by Devlin Alann Scott (34)
    • As Silent Tears Fall by Devlin Alann Scott (Art by Chris Scott) (37)
    • To A Person Not Understood by Dona Armstrong (38)
    • Fallen Angel by Devlin Alann Scott (39)
    • Conference On Dagobah by Karl a Taylor (41)
    • What If... by P.D. Fay (43)
  • Assorted cartoons by Lenny "Leo" Bruce, Philip Chrusch, Lyle Rutschman, Chris Scott, and Devlin Alann Scott
  • Astral Ads (50)
  • In Closing (An Open Letter from the Editor) courtesy of Chris Scott
One fan's letter:

Congratulations on Empire Review! I wish you much luck with it and I am very anxious to see the first issue. As you can see, I live in NY State. I found out about Empire Review through my friend, [Arlene B] who wrote away to people involved with Star Wars and Empire to see if there was a fanzine that published fiction having to do with the Star Wars Saga. You see, we're both pretty crazy (of course!) about Star Wars, etc. and got inspired by it to write and draw.

I've enclosed Arlene's story and hope it is acceptable. It is a little over 15 pages, but It's a good story and I hope you can use it. I have done a pen and ink drawing of Yoda which I hope you will consider for use on your cover. However, I have taken a certain liberty. My Yoda is over the size-- but there is a reason for it. I hope you will not be offended, but I also enclosed a layout of mine for your cover. I didn't really change much--! just tightened it up and did away with one "cut" corner which was featured on your pre-issue, but which I felt was unnecessary. I know it is kind of presumptuous of me to go about changing something which isn't mine, but I hope you will under stand the impulse. I think those changes give the design a bit more simplicity and unity; and then of course, my drawing fits into the space!

It is, of course, up to you to do what you want with my things. Feel free to use them if you choose. If not, please send them back to me. In either case, I would love to hear from you! I am very interested in Empire Review and hope it is a successful venture. I think fans have taken the Star Wars Saga very much to heart and we all need an outlet to express our imaginations and fantasies about it. I feel kind of "culty" about it myself.

To tell you the truth, I'm writing practically a full-length novel sequel to TESB because I CAN'T STAND having to wait three years for Revenge to come out. It's kind of a waste of energy because the only people who are ever going to read it are my SW freaky friends. I could get sued if t ever tried to publish itl— but for now, it keeps me sane. Besides being good exercise. And yes, I admit it, fun.

Doesn't that line "There is another..." just about kill you???

Well, never mind the chit-chat! I hope you like my things, and I know you'll like Arlene's story because it's good, and I hope you don't mind that it's over the 15 page limit.

Good luck! and MTFBWY!
From an LoC:
An intriguing idea was given to me by a friend in Indiana. Any feminist out there may enjoy it! Forget for a moment that we know Boba Fett was played by an actor named Jeremy Bulloch. Wouldn't it add an interesting twist to the story if Boba Fett turned out to be a woman? Her voice could be distorted to conceal her identity. A gilted lover from Han Solo's past perhaps! Love it! One thing for certain, male or female, Boba Fett is a terrific character. (I'm saying this even though I am a devout Han Solo fan.)
The editor responds to the above comment:
About Boba fett being female, I like it from the point of view that there aren't enough major female characters. How about this idea--Fett is Luke's mother. Who says the name Boba has to be a male name? If this is true, why doesn't Vader, if he's Luke's leather, know this when she is standing next to him? She too could have been a Jedi, and standing next to Vader she has put up a mind block.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

I was VERY happy to get ER. You should have seen me when I saw that manllla envelope perched over my mallbo^c. Thank God no one was home and all the neighbors were indoors. I get really juvenile about these things. I think I screamed and jumped up a little as I sprang for the mailbox, Itching to get my hot little hands on it. It was great! Plenty of good stuff in It. Only I didn't realize you were going to print my letter! I've never been printed before—barring a few stints in my grammar school paper. Not that I mind...! Anyway, it made my day. [2]
Don't think the Emperor knows that Vader is Luke's father. (Like in the story "Fallen Angel" by Devlin Alann Scott in EMPIRE REVIEW #2.) Still, the Emperor might be testing Vader's loyality to the throne by asking that Vader give up his only son and heir. (Sinister biblical overtones at this idea.) Really loved "What If..." by P.O. Fay (ER #2). Would have made a great "up" ending for TES3 without giving away any possible future plot developements for the third movie. Wish the Emperor did more than sit like a log and smile evilly. (Thought it was sit like a log and grin evilly.) Thought it was heavy-handed of our Dark Lord to stand and yell at people to "Praise your Emperor!" But what do you expect from Darth--subtle. Vader? The story "Fallen Angel" was my favorite. It's the best I've seen of the after-the-Kenobi/Vader-lightsaber-duel series. Sometimes the most simple answer is the most likely. [3]
Please allow me to compliment you on two of your pieces about Darth Vader, "Fallen Angel" and "Thoughts of a Dark Lord"; both of which I thought were tremendously powerful and moving. As a fellow fan of the Dark Lord, I especially appreciated how well you expressed Vader's thoughts—totally in keeping with his character, which, as I'm sure you're aware, can be a damnably difficult thing to achieve at times. [4]

Issue 3

front cover of issue 3, Cathy Romero. The artist said: ""George Lucas -- Master Toymaker. In an interview, George Lucas said, '...a director sounds like somebody who runs a business. I'd rather be a toymaker'."
back cover of issue #3

Empire Review 3 was published in May 1981 and contains 86 pages.

Excerpts from the editorial:
Comments on the radio program: I just can't get used to Ann Sachs as Leia or Brock Peters as Vader. In episode 8 (and somewhat in the other episodes involving Leia) I felt that Brian Daley did a good job as far as making Leia more human than in the movie. She pleads, cries out in pain, expresses deep sadness and hurt when Alderaan is destroyed — not at all the stone Goddess of In vincibility as portrayed in the film. I like that.
Some more excerpts from the editorial:

The general feeling I get from fanfic is that most of you out there feel that "the other" will be a female.

Just an observation I have concerning Luke's feelings about Han: Luke takes to Solo because he reminds him of Biggs (or vice versa). In the novel of SW Biggs calls Luke "Kid", he doesn't talk down to Luke for 'daydreaming', both Biggs and Solo are free spirit types, adventurers, fun-loving. The two of them seem to be alike, except Solo gets into more trouble and is more reckless.
  • Captain's Log (editorial) (4)
  • Priority One, LoCs (by Lois Bennington, Janice Anderson, Mary Urhausen, Lyle Rutschman, Susan Kandt, Christine Jeffords, Anonymous, Nelson Tatham, Tony Varlcelll, Cathy Romero, George R. Eddy, Sean Bernard, Pat Grant, Cyndi Hartman, Maureen Bulman, Devlin Alann Scott, Dona Armstrong, Karla Taylor, Betsy Peed, Barbara Hall, Elizabeth Hoolahan, Nola Frame, Ed.) (8)
  • Rebel Report
    • "A While Ago, In An Observatory Not So Far Away.... by Shirley "Ty" Barrett (36)
    • Fan's Notebook: Empire Withdrawl by Betsy Peed (38)
    • An Open Letter To George Lucas by Moff Zarod Nikonas.") (40)
  • Opinion Poll: fans' responses to the question "If you were allowed two minutes in which to talk to George Lucas, what would you say to him?" -- comments by Janice Anderson, Dona Armstrong, Shirley "Ty" Barrett, Lois Bennington, Sean Bernard, Rebecca Ann Brothers, Leonard Bruce, Maureen Bulman, Joann Burk, Lorraine Caruccio, Susan Crites, Gerald Crotty, George R. Eddy,

Sharon Emily, P.D. Fay, Jani Hicks, Alesh Holubec, Pamela K. Kinney, Joyce Quan, Chris Scott, Devlin Alann Scott, Dorothy Skinner, Jonas Soderblad, Nelson Tatham, Karla Taylor, Mary Urhausen (41)

  • Cosmic Capers (50)
    • Luke's Lament by Dona Armstrong (50)
    • All My Sins Remembered by Chris Scott (51)
    • Tatooine Gothic by Karla Taylor (Art by Shirley "Ty" Barrett) (53)
    • The Way I Feel by Dona Armstrong (4)
    • To My Favorite Meteor by Janice L. Anderson (Art by Shari Kay) (55)
    • Luke's Further Adventures In Limericks by Devlin Alann Scott (56)
    • The Stars by Tony Varicelli (57)
    • There Is Another... by Arlene Bahrenburg (Art by Elizabeth Hoolahan) (58)
    • Why Me? by P.D. Fay (73)
    • Hell To Fay by Karla Taylor (74)
    • The Calculated Empire Trivia Challenge by Shirley "Ty" Barrett (81)
  • additional art by Lenny "Leo" Bruce, Chris Scott, Lyle Rutchsman, Vernon Ballesteros, Tony Varicelli, Betsy Peed, Karla Taylor, Alesh Holubec, Philip Chrusch, and Brian Fulfrost.
  • Margie Abadie, P.D. Fay, T.R. de Maiffe, Ed. Borrowed Laughs courtesy of the local newspaper (85)
  • Astral Ads (87)
In excerpt from one of the many letters, a fan says that Yoda is a dreadful teacher:

...I am going to get into trouble for this one. I think Yoda is a terrible teacher. Cute, yes...powerful, yes...Oscar material, yes...wise, yes...but a teacher? No. Think about it; given a choice to whom would you be loyal? Friends who risked their life for you sour old teacher who didn't want to teach you in the first place? Notice, he never gives Luke any encouragement. Luke tries to move his ship out of the swamp. He does but it a little. Yoda chides him for not getting it right the first time. (I can imagine what kind of piano teacher he'd be; you'd be expected to play Clair de Lune on the first try.) Not once does Yoda tell Luke that

he's improving and that he will succeed. It's always, "You klutz..." Ben was different. At least he showed Luke that he had hope for him. I got the impression that Yoda only worked with Luke out of niceness to Ben. Maybe Luke felt that way too. I am sorry if I have offended anyone out there, but I have gotten to the point of wanting to stand up in the theatre and yelling, At least smile at him!!!" Love is the most important ingredient in teaching. Love is what Luke needed. He went where he knew he could feel love, even though he knew there was a chance of meeting Vader. I can't blame Luke for leaving to help his friends. I would have done the same thing. Whew! Now I'll take a rest. I'll just sit back here and wait for my letter from Lucasfilm... MTFBWY.

Fan speculate, speculate, speculate about Boba Fett, The Other, is Darth Vader really Luke's father, is Luke a clone, and much more. Some excerpts from letters:

Being an incurable Solo junkie I naturally tend to look at these movies with the view that he is a very Important character, and not just a romantic hero for Leia. After seeing this movie for the 11th time I began to get the feeling that there was more to the Han/Luke relationship than meets the eye, I went to the movie several more times and the feeling got stronger. I suspect Han and Luke are brothers.
Luke will not get back together with Leia once Han Is recovered. I believe he will find someone younger and a bit more foolish and helpless than the ole Princess.
Given that Lucas likes directors that are organized and bring In projects on time and on budget, I think Clint Eastwood fills that bill. Besides also being a good action storyteller. Wouldn't it be a trip if he directs Revenge?

Issue 4

Empire Review 4 was published in February 1982 and contains 88 pages.

cover of issue #4
  • Once, During a Snow Storm on Hoth..., story by Kathleen B. Retz (A certain Corellian tries to come to terms with an uncooperative beastie.)
  • The Awakening by Lois Bennington (Han is revived from carbon freeze, but will Lando survive it?)
  • Surprise, Surprise by T.R. de Maiffe (What really went on when the dining hall doors closed on Cloud City?)
  • Aurora by Janice Anderson (When Han runs into an old friend on Tatooine, the reception is as cold as Hoth.)
  • The Rebel Ultimatum and the Imperial Solution, an article by S-S A. Kaiafan, PhD
  • The Stars in His Eyes, an article by Dorothy Skinner
  • A Date with Chewie, an article by Chris Scott
  • Possible Hidden Meeting, an article by Karla Taylor
  • answers to trivia from the last issue
  • poetry, art, cartoons by Hoolahan, Bodnar, Hahn, Varicelli, Leo and a Martynn portfolio

Issue 5

Empire Review 5 was published in 1982.


  1. from an LoC in "Empire Review" #2
  2. from a fan's letter in "Empire Review" #3
  3. from a fan's letter in "Empire Review" #3
  4. from a fan's letter in "Empire Review" #3