Galactic Flight

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You may be looking for the Star Wars zine Galactic Falcon.

Zine
Title: Galactic Flight
Publisher: Caliburn Press (first two issues) then Phantom Press (last two issues issue)
Editor(s): Christine Jeffords and Mark Walton
Date(s): 1979-1980
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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Galactic Flight is a gen anthology.

From the second issue: "GALACTIC FLIGHT is published approximately quarterly (if the Force is with us)." The series ended up running for four issues and morphed into the zine Hydrospanner Zero.

Two Editors Part Ways

I [Christine Jeffords] hereby give notice that I am no longer associated with Caliburn Press or with its originators, Mark Walton or [C A B]. Any debts and/or enmities incurred by Caliburn Press or its predecessor, Galactic Flight, should not be directed against me; and no zine henceforth published by either parther, should be presumed to include me on its staff. [1]

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1
back cover of issue #1

Galactic Flight 1 was published in 1979 (third printing: August 1980) and has 78 pages. The art is by Andre Henley.

The editor thanks four bookstores for stocking and selling their fanzine, and two people at a bank for "so patiently helping us wade through the paperwork required by the Imperial Bureaucracy of the State of New Jersey."

The editor writes: "As of this writing I've seen SW 14 times, and Mark's score is 10—but just wait till they re-release it!"

[from the editorial]:

Like all zines, this one is a love child.

It realty started one afternoon in August, 1977, when I first met my partner, Mark Walton (who makes his debut as an author with this issue 'A The Destruction of the Jedi" and "Portrait of a Bureaucrat"), at the bookstore where I work. What inspired our friendship was, of course, our discovery of a mutual love for STAR WARS.

It developed when we began kicking ideas around. "Wouldn't it be interesting to know what really happened to the Jedi!! "Wouldn't you like to know how Han and Chewie met?"

It took off at last in March. Mark came around to the store for his regular weekly visit — and before we knew it we were telling each other STAR WARS stories. Destruction and my own "Smuggler's Passage" were outlined that day, and I think we knew, from that moment, that we could do what we're doing now.

Result: one zine.

It's been work. It's also been fun. We've discovered a lot about the film, the characters, and our own ability to work together. (Although Destruction and Passage both bear single-person bylines — this because the actual physical writing was done separately — the plotlines end incidental characters were actually co-operative efforts; by this time even we don't know which of us thought up what.)

We see STAR WARS as a road — a segment of straightaway, there are many lesser, parallel roads leading into it, each as potentially "right" as the rest, and as many again leading out. Each individual ziner — probably even some of you, dear readers — travels one such road; his or her version of the roots and results of STAR WARS. The zine you've bought is our road. It's what we think happened before that fateful day over Tatooine...

GALACTIC FLIGHT is, in short, our vision of the STAR WARS Universe. We hope you'll like it.

Our aims are these: we want to tell new STAR WARS stories with the same equal measure of action, humor, and characterization as made the movie what it was, and, in doing so, we want to remain true to the premises and implications set forth in the film, the novel, and other official publications. We want to explore, through articles and interviews like Destruction and Portrait. the political, social, technical, economic, and historical background of the STAR WARS Universe. Most of all, we want to entertain ourselves ...and you. (We're already noticed that the sequel stories we're working on for our future issues are intensely visual and dialoguistic — if that's a word: they could almost be filmed.)

We think we have enough ideas in our heads to keep GALACTIC FLIGHT on course far another three years at least. We hope you'll help.

We welcome your comments and your suggestions. In the way contributors, we're looking far art, cartoons, and humor, poetry, faction, and short fiction. Artists, please let us knew whether you prefer to work by commission (that is, from our description of what we'd like you to draw) or from a typescript; writers, send your work — but please type, and use a good black ribbon. Be advised that we MUST ask you to include RETURN POSTAGE!
  • Flightpath: an editorial by Christine Jeffords (3)
  • The Destruction of the Jedi and the Origin of the Rebel Alliance by Mark Walton (a Vader-centric story, Vader is motivated by an unjustified jealousy of Skywalker Senior, who replaces him in Kenobi's affections, and steals his girl, lures the Jedi in to a trap and tries to blow him up) (5)
  • Smuggler's Passage by Christine Jeffords (34)
  • Portrait of a Bureaucrat: An Interview with Gov. Moff Tarkin, edited by Mark Walton (72)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

[Destruction of the Jedi]: Two authors have said that Luke's mother was a Jedi, who died fighting shortly after making sure Luke was safely away. In Mark Walton's "Destruction of the Jedi" (GF #1) she is Lyann Skywalker, sexpot and superwoman, who sends her newborn son off with a younger female subordinate before deliberately drawing the stormtroopers down on herself to distract them from Luke's escape. ... The subordinate who took Luke in "Destruction of the Jedi" turns out to be Taze Ernesto of Christine Jeffords' "The Jedi's Journey" in Galactic Flight #3. In this story she has come out of hiding twenty years after "DJ" (daughter of Jedi parents, she was fifteen when given her rescue mission, and had gone underground immediately afterwards) . She rescues Han from storm-troopers, and is at least a good a pilot as he is. It is made clear that she and Han will be an "item," but I personally have seen nothing else in print to indicate whether she will justify her own existence as a character or if she will end up as a appendage to Han. [2]
[zine]:

A long time ago. in a galaxy far, far away there was a literary quagmire ruled over by the sinister Emperor Tedium. But some of his subjects were not content to read dull and boring fanflc, and so the lovely Princess set on her way to find the one person that could help. She recorded a message for him that read: "Oh, save us Obi-Wan, from the evil banality of Emperor Tedium. Only you can bring back new and vital fanfic with believable characters, realistic plots and action that really makes sense." And so Obi-Wan created "Galactic Flight" to save the alliance of fans. And that's the name of that tune. As you might tell I found Galactic Flight to be a wonderful new SW zine. This publication is edited and written by Mark Walton and Christina Jeffords. The editors/authors go far beyond most of the other publications so far in the complexity of their stories. I find this surprising because if you write and publish your own work you will have a tendancy to be less critical of it than you would of someone else's story. You have much less objectivity when judging your own work. The pair of editors for GF, however, seem to write and edit beautifully as a team. I consider the quality of the fiction to be above anything else I have read in SW fandom so far. The lead story in this issue is called "The Destruction of the Jedi," by Mark Walton. This is a history of the events leading up to the overthrow of the old Republic and the events leading up to Obi-Wan's banishment to Tatooine. Mark shows that he actually has some knowledge of the way that real governments work, but is wise not to fully turn the opening of his history into a poli-sci lecture. Nice to see that someone else besides the authors of Thousandworlds go to the trouble of examining to macrostructure of the SW universe as well as dealing with individual episodes. Walton, however, does a more credible job of it, in my opinion. He goes on to describe the meeting of Kenobi with Val Skywalker and young Vader's training. The trouble with this kind of story is that you already know the outcome, so its merits are in how you get there. The way in which Vader disposes of the Jedi is a bit...schmaltzy, I thought, but the author didn't have much choice since we know, according to the scenario established for Vader, that he fell into a volcanic fumarole (whoever came up with that deserves to be spaced). Walton didn't have much control over the setting, altho I wouldn't have minded a little artistic license there.

"Smuggler's Passage," by Christine, is a long Han-meets-Chewie story. As with Mark's history, you already know the outcome to this story. The only way to turn this into worthwhile reading is the depth to which the author has perceived how everything takes place, and Christine does a masterful job. She leads you through Han's past, showing you—not telling you— the circumstances that made Han and Chewie what they are. And when she's done it makes sense. She uses a minimum of dialog and has a great sense of timing. I hope more authors follow Walton's and Jeffords' lead. Visually, the zine isn't up to par with the writing. All of the illustration is by Andre Henley. My art training has been in the fine arts, and Henley's seems to be more comic-oriented so perhaps I have no basis for criticism. I did sense his characters as cold and stark. A minor quibble, I suppose. Otherwise the zine is superb. Highly recommended! [3]
[zine]:

I enjoy your zine. It follows the movie well and captures the precepts of the STAR WARS Universe — not too didactic or slow, but with action and humor.

...I'm glad Darth Vader wasn't given a lot of excuses for his actions...I really liked his youth—good idea that he desired the woman Val loved—makes him nastier and more desirous of revenge, rather than just destroying the Jedi for "the new way of life"...

I love the interview with Tarkin (and its ending) and I applaud your decision to do "faction"...[4]
[zine]:

...I Just want to say how much I liked GALACTIC FLIGHT...Thank you for putting out a nice friendly zine with good solid SW stories. I hope GF will go on.

The "Han Meets Chewie" was of particular interest to me...The characterization was perfect.. .The interview with Tarkin was both amusing and quite realistic...

The "Emplre" story [Destruction of the Jedi] was a bit short and swift for such a broad scope of history, but as an outline, everything fits. It was so fascinating to see how all the pieces fell into place. Luke's mother as a Jedi didn't seem too farfetched either. I loved the idea of Jedi weddings. I would like their story to be expanded...It's potential is great![5]
[zine]: ...I first thought it was going to be another of those cheap rip-offs of the movie, but when I started to read it, I found it one of the most fascinating magazines of any kind that was written about the film. I felt that the stories were the most original and believable that I've read...It makes really enjoyable reading.[6]
[zine]:

... I can't agree more with the avowed purpose in your Editorial... to keep an even balance in GF of adventure, characterisation and development, and humor. Hooray, I say. Especially the humor. I have had quite enough of pain-death-and-torture SW stories lately...of course, there is a lot of grief part of daily life in SW; but it was always expressed as a part of life, not to be dwelt upon, and never obscuring the humor...

The account of the fall of the Jedi Order seemed reasonable, though I wondered why Luke's mother had to be such a sexpot.. but that's a minor quibble. The interview with the Grand Moff Tarkin was an interesting format and nicely realized,..As for "Smuggler's Passage"... I found that very nicely done, too, with some very ingenious touches — the "real" reason for Han's apparent facility for languages; the housekeeping details of domestic arrangements aboard the Falcon. All in all it's a nice zine, and I'm looking forward to #2... [7]
[zine]:

...I was intrigued by the art; the comic-book style is very unusual for a fanzine, but seems fitting for SW—after all, there is a whole SW comic book...the other thing that particularly intrigued me, because it was different, was the "interview" with Moff Tarkin; not only is this sort of thing different for a fanzine, it was very well done. Someone has been listening carefully to politicians!...

On the longer stuff: the article (or was it a story? I couldn't quite decide) worked quite well, though it read a little academically at first. .. The analysis... was well done, and took into account the sorts of political and social elements that most people don't seem to be aware even exist. It all sounded so realistic; something about the tone and the material made it seem that one was reading a popular analysis of something like the fall of the just-fallen Iranian government. Is someone out your way interested in politics and that sort of thing?

"Smuggler's Passage" was very good indeed. You have done a nice job on capturing Han's character, his language, and his general attitude, and again, there are the little touches of realism; having to cope with port authorities, the take-your-choice registrations, the way Han handles the discovery that whatever was in that compartment is gone...I was disappointed that we didn't get to see what happened when Han went back to Elbonal...I was also expecting to see the resolution of the subplot with the stranded Wookies [sic] ... as far as I know, they are still stranded... [8]
[zine]:

...Good show, folks! GF is a simple, straightforward zine and that's how I like 'em. Bravo for tackling a whole universe, too...For me, a story is much more enjoyable when I know the author has considered more than just what action the hero gets involved in...

The zine looks nice and is clean...I enjoyed the illos muchly. Got a charge out of Luke's sexy mom, and the lean yet muscular Han. Some may fault the comicbook style, but I found it a gas.

Of the three pieces, "Smuggler's Passage" was my favorite, though I hesitate to compare it with the Tarkin interview. So I won't. Loved the Tarkin piece...

...Han comes across as a believable bounder, and a baggie of spice to the person who decided Chewie would be autonomous rather than Han Solo's pet. I rather enjoyed the long passages on ship operation...I'm looking forward to seeing how your readers react to Han's, not to mention Chewie's, bloody behavior...Personally, I don't see how a person can be a smuggler and a fast gun and still find time to perch up there in golden glory... Unfortunately for my appreciation of the Jedi story, I had a hard time getting past "You, too, can be a Jedi...". Somehow that sentence represents a narrative tenor that itched at me as I read. I wanted to know what relation the narrator had to the characters to explain the condescension I seemed to pick up...Are you patterning your Jedi after the Samurai?

...Keep up the good work.. .You've put a lot of work into figuring possible lines of history and that's how to come up with good stories...[9]
[zine]:

...I liked "Smuggler's Passage" - the story hung together well, and two or three of the suggestions it made were very interesting. The idea that Han has a surgical implant which lets him speak so many different languages...the idea that he won the Falcon... the impression of Corel as a heavily industrialized world...and I liked the family background you gave him...The b.g....is pretty valid, actually, and would explain a lot of his capabilities. Characterisation was pretty good, too.

..."The Destruction of the Jedi" was good too—solid and valid, made sense...The idea of a traditional Jedi wedding was something else too! Also the treatment of Luke S's beginnings.

..."Portrait of a Bureaucrat" was interesting — lines were most Peter Cushingish! The philosophies extrapolated were nothing short of fascinating. Listening to dictators rationalizing and justifying their doings is an experience.

...I look forward to "The Tatooine Connection" and "Rebellion Plus Forty"...anything with Hanno and Chew in it —a nd especially if it's funnyl...Luck with GALACTIC FLIGHT... [10]
[zine]:

...All in the zine was immensely enjoyable...Andre Henley's art was not the usual run-of-the-mill zine stuff, but instead fresh and a pleasant change. Andre's style seemed influenced by comicbook art...but this was in no way a detriment. Instead of being lethargic and static as a great many illos in zines are..., Andre's work reflected GF's written material, vibrant and action filled...

Mark's "Destruction of the Jedi" was well written and a very viable explanation of the fall of the Jedi. I enjoyed seeing Luke's mother getting some coverage for a change, in some zines she seems almost to be a nonentity and more's the pity. Lyan Skywalker certainly had style in this story, and it would have been interesting to know much more about her....

"Smuggler's Passage" was extremely well done, among the better done Han-meets-Chewie stories. The pace was always brisk, the settings imaginative and the way in which the two met was very plausible. Christine has a wonderful way with words and combined with the carefully thought out backgrounds present all the way through, her style made for exciting reading. Both stories moved...dialogue...furthered the plot and our basic understanding of the characters—exactly what dialogue should do.

"Portrait of a Bureaucrat" was a very entertaining piece and a nice break from straight fiction. I hope you will continue to do more in this vein. I am looking forward to GF#2 and your novel length sequel — it should be good if your work in GF#1 is any indication.[11]
[zine]:

..."The Destruction of the Jedi..." was a well thought out article... I agree about the probable cloning of the Empire's needed Stormtroopers (and, at the same time, can feel sorry for the clones, too. They may not have been born the same way we were, but they are people. All they know is what they are trained to do. That's pretty pitiful, when you think about it). The history of Val Skywalker, Lyan Nightstar, Darth Vader and Obi-wan Kenobi deserves to be written out as a full-length story, not just part of an article. There's enough in the story about Val and Lyan fighting the pirates and Darth's jealousy of their growing relationship and Darth's eventual downfall for an entire novel, in fact ...I can't see all the Jedi getting together in one place to speak with their enemies.. ."(Let me rephrase (that) to "All the important Jedi," I also can't see them leaving all their bases so defenseless that the Imperials could just walk in and wipe them all out.)

Despite all the gripes, I really did like the article, and would like to see more material written by Mark.

("Smuggler's Passage"), I love. You have Han's speech pattern down so perfectly, that it's beautiful...your Han sounds like himself. Also, the background you give him sounds very reasonable. His background on Corell (and, I cheer your decision to call the planet by that name. I've seen others call it anything from Corelli to Corellia) gives him enough time to go through an entire public school education (which would probably be much more advanced than anything we have currently on this planet). It always struck me from the way he spoke and acted in the movie that Solo was not an uneducated man...Also, you tied your story and Mark's article together very nicely with the mentioning of the pirates and the destruction of the Jedi and Lac. There was plenty of action, and I liked the way you developed the relationship between Han and Chewie, too... [12]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, not credited
back cover of issue #2, Teanna Byerts: "HELLUVA DAGGITT YOU GOT THERE MISTER..."

Galactic Flight 2 was published in 1979 (second printing August 1980) and has 120 pages.

The art is by Teanna Byerts and Carrie Bowles.

From the zine, a statement of timely compliance: "Galactic Flight is in the collections of Gary Kurtz, George Lucas, Lucasfilms Inc., and Twentieth-Century Fox." See The Star Wars Letters for more on this topic.

[from the editorial]: First, we apologize for being a lot more than slightly late with our issue #2 of GF. The stories were written and set up months ago, but the art was still missing. The artist, who shall remain nameless, accepted our commission to do the artwork for "Venture to Hamlor." Unfortunately, only four drawings appeared, and several months late. This, incidentally, is the reason for the full- and half-page blanks spaced throughout the story, these being the places in which the art would have appeared if we had gotten it. We felt you would prefer to read the zine, art or no art, than wait an indefinite period longer to have it with illo's.

Chris and I would also like to extend grateful thanks to Carrie Rowles, our Canadian artist, who came to our rescue with art for the second major story, "Kinmeet." Carrie is an excellent artist who does great work on short notice, and we hope to feature more of it In future issues.

Enough of our tale of woe. We are here and that's all that counts. This issue contains two major stories, as well as two faction articles, "A Visit to Corell" and "Where the Wookies [sic] Are," both unabashedly written in the Poul Anderson style. (Contributor Helen Montgomery is a great admirer of this fine author.) After all, surely all of the SW fan-world would like to know more about the home planets of our favorite smuggler and his big, hairy partner.

Next on the agenda for this issue is "Kinmeet," written by Susan Matthews. Now I have to warn you that this story does not fit into cur version of the GH Universe, but we felt it was so good that it deserved to be published. Susan, who is one of the most prolific, as well as one of the best, fan writers, graces our zine for the first, but not for the last time.

Our main story in this issue, "Venture to Hamlor," was written jointly by Chris and myself. The idea for this story came about in a very unusual way. Both of us have become avid collectors of SW figures and vehicles. One evening, I was posing some of mine, on my coffee table, when just for the fun of it, I tried to have the Chewbacca figure carry Her Highness. Finally I managed to balance them just right. The thought of that scene just kept rattling around inside my head.

A few days later Chris and I were having our usual twice-weekly phone conversation. At a quarter to ten P.M, I suddenly started talking and just kept it up for an hour and a half. The story just kept pouring out. of my mouth. Chris fleshed out quite a few areas of the story on her own; so we're sharing credit.

More important than the genesis of the story idea is what it represents. "Venture to Hamlor" is the official beginning of GF's STAR WARS Cycle. Chris and I have worked out a series of stories which show how events occurred in the STAR WARS Universe -- or at least our version of it — after the destruction of the Death Star. Implicit in this Universe is the special relationship which will develop between Han Solo and Princess Leia. On my Corellian word of honor, the last word to describe it would be romantic!

A special note to prospective contributors. If you have a story which you want to submit to us, but it doesn't fit into our Cycle, don't worry about it. If we like it, we will certainly publish it anyway.

[snipped]

One final note. Chris and I promise that the third issue will definitely be available within two months. We have our own Gestetner and are printing our own zine now. Also all of the art has been commissioned long ago, and is expected to arrive momentarily. May the Force be with us and you.
  • Flightpath: Editorial by Mark Walton (3)
  • Ion Trails: Letters from Our Readers (5)
  • Venture to Hamlor by Mark Walton and Christine Jeffords, art by Teanna Byerts (10)
  • A Visit to Corell, edited by Helen Montgomery, "adapted from "Spacer's Guide to the Civilised Worlds," compiled under the direction of Prof. Marisela Hahl and Dr. Damon Sarhad, 18th edition revised, Emperor Palpatine University Press, 22 Imperial Standard, Reel III, Frame 28 ff.") (includes map) (85)
  • Where the Wookies [sic] Are, edited by Helen Montgomery ("Adapted from "Wooka: A Speculation Upon a World," the graduate thesis in xenobiology of Lyeia Cinadon, Class of 5905 (Old Republic Calendar), University of Alderaan.")(89)
  • Kinmeet by Susan Matthews, art by Carrie Rowles (94)
  • The Adventures of Teanna, or Whaddaya Get When You Cross Eight Rabid Star Trek Fans with a Beetlebug, cartoon by Teanna Byerts which portrays many Star Wars fans crowded into a VW Beetle to drive a long ways from their "hick town" to see the Star Wars movie (120)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for Kinmeet.

Issue 3

Galactic Flight 3 was published in May 1980 and is 142 pages long.

It was edited by Mark Walton and Christine Jeffords. It was published by Phantom Press.

front cover of issue #3
  • Flightpath, editorial by Christine Jeffords (3)
  • Ion Trails, Letters from Our Readers (6)
  • Boredom by Mark Walton, art by Lin Stack (11)
  • Old Corellian Proverb (29)
  • Inside The Millennium Falcon by J.J. and C.W.M. Adamson (30)
  • The Birthday Present by Mark Walton, art by Lin Stack (38)
  • A Short History of the Lightsaber edited by Charles Garofalo (47)
  • Jedi’s Journey by Christin Jeffords, art by Carrie Rowles, Epilogue: Postscript to a Journey (93)
  • The Devil and Deep Space by Christine Jeffords and Susan Matthews, art by Pam Kowalski, Beckey Aulenback, Martynn Walther (99)
    • Epilogue by Christine Jeffords (The Soliloquy of Han Solo to His Partner) Ragnarok series, sequel in the next issue. [13] (137)
    • Afterward: A Disclaimer from the Author by Susan Matthews (140)
  • A Calendar of the Galactic Cycle, compiled by Christine Jeffords (141)
  • Courtesy Corner, ads (143)

Issue 4

Galactic Flight 4 was published in September 1980 and contains 102 pages.

front cover of issue #4, Lin Stack

It was edited by Mark Walton and Christine Jeffords. Associate editors were Cary Bucar and Don Emerson. It was published by Phantom Press.

From the table of contents page: "GALACTIC FLIGHT is in the collections of Gary Kurtz, George Lucas, Lucasfilms, Inc., and Twentieth Century Fox." This statement, while reflecting Open Letters to Star Wars Zine Publishers (1981), oddly precedes that controversy by an entire year.

From the editorial:

As this is an even-numbered issue, it falls to my "humble" self to Introduce GALACTIC FLIGHT #4. Actually I'm really pleased that it's me who gets the pleasure of of writing the Editorial this time, and for more reasons than one.

TESB has been released and being true SW fans we have already seen it, probably more than once. The three-year wait may have been long and hard, but it was well worth it. How can I start explaining to you why I think TESB is so great, when I can't even really explain it myself? Well here goes. I loved it from the first moment it het the screen. The special effects were even more impressive than in SW, if that's possible. As for the characters, they were stupendous. Luke's maturity was really genuine, a far cry from the farm boy who left Tatooine. Princes Leia definitely grew up. She is plainly shown as an adult and able to command without resort[ing] to lung power or caustic statements. Solo has probably developed most of all. He still retains his style and wit, but there is a greater depth to him. He won't let Chewie be hurt in a hopeless cause to save him from the carbonate, but instead tells him to take care of Leia.

Han and Leia's relationship could take up an Editorial all by itself. They have both behaved in classic movieland tradition. From the moment they met they were at each other's throats. Now their tongues may lack the same edge as in SW, but they still have at it now and again. Yet from the moment the audience first sees them together, it's quite apparent they're in love.

With the new characters Lucas brings us both good and bad news. The good news of course is a certain eitheen-inch-inch green creature named Yoda, who has already developed a following of his own. He deserves it. The little Jedi Master is absolutely perfect. He talks and acts as if he really has been teaching Jedi for eight hundred years.

Then, of course, there is the bad news, Lando Calrissian. The ambitious attempts to promote this character have become literally nauseating and it's only the beginning. Look at the issue of People which was supposedly about the TESB stars. Have you checked the now set of Burger King glasses? There's one for Lando, but not for Han Solo! The character is a rat. He sells out a man he has known for some time, and it doesn't bother him one bit, except when Vader starts to change the deal. To all intents and purposes Lucas has been forced to bow to pressure. Complaints had been made that he hadn't shown any blacks in the SW Universe. Now suddenly here is one being elevated to starring status in the sequel. Maybe Calrissian will get properly accounted for in REVENGE OF THE JEDI.
  • Flightpath, editorial by Mark Walton (3)
  • Ion Trails, Letters from Our Readers (6)
  • What Star Wars Does to Me by c.a. bucar (9)
  • Tarleen Vahylon by c.a bucar, art by Beckey Aulenbach (11)
  • A Matter of Importance by Mark Walton, art by Carrie Rowles (41)
  • The Abduction of Princess Leia by Mark Walton, art by Lin Stack (50)
  • Torben, Pyand's Other Son by c.a. bucar, art by Carrie Rowles (75)
  • Trom the Desert, poem by c.a. bucar, art by Teanna (87)
  • Second Round by Christine Jeffords and Susan Matthews, a Ragnarok sequel to a story in the previous issue, art by Pam Kowlaski and Martynn (89)
  • Nightsong by Maggie Nowakowska (144)
  • Lament of Princess Leia by Terri Black (146)
  • Courtesy Corner, ads (147)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

This zine suffers from a variety of common problems, including the fact that a large part of the contents was produced by one or the other of the editors. A bit more rigorous editing by an outside source would have improved it considerably... 'Tarleen Vahylon': This confusing story by c.a.b. buscar seems to have been written by a charter member of the 'Han Solo Action Without Thought League.' The author is in such a hurry to get from one place to another that she makes no real effort to explore any of the characters, including the one the story is intended to introduce. We have an ex-Alderaani noblewoman who is left alone on another planet, where she adapts with suspicious facility to life in the slums, aided by an old woman who resembles a cross between the beggar in Heinlein's 'Citizen of the Galaxy' and the feisty old lady from 'Splinter of the Minds's Eye.' From there, the action moves along rapidly, but not fast enough to conceal several large holes in the logic of the plot. Tarleen's reactions to crisis vacillate confusingly among resolution, apathy and hysteria. The Big Three (Luke, Leia and Han) turn up just in time to get her involved in an unexplained rebel plot, then disappear, leaving her to be captured by Darth Vader. Vader then takes her back to live in his apartments (!) as part of his 'collection,' although no other members of this collection are ever mentioned and the author neglects to explain whether the arrangement is platonic or not, or exactly what its purpose is. Tarleen eventually ends up as bait for an Imperial trap and, as we might expect, is rescued at the end. This story does have its possibilities, and might have been convincing if the author had taken the time and effort to think through her plot and explain it to the audience, but as it stands, it is sorely lacking in conviction. 'A Matter of Importance' by Mark Walton is a short character study of Leia. The basic explanation offered for her behavior is reasonable and perceptive: Leia was trained from the start as a political figure and never had a true childhood with real social interaction. However, the conclusions Walton draws from this, and the shrill, childish, heartless and neurotic princess he draws do not seem to be justified by the Leia we have seen on the screen. Walton's other story in this issue, 'The Abduction of Princess Leia,' is an interesting idea hampered, again, by problems with plot and characterization. Han Solo's method of discovering a spy in the rebel ranks and his solution to the problem are intriguing, if a bit too easy, and this story is punctuated by some gratuitous roughing-up of Princess Leia which I found unconvincing in spite of the facile explanation. Again, with better editing, this could have been an excellent action story, and it remains entertaining in spite of its flaws. 'Torben, Pyand's Other Son,' the second story by c.a. buscar, is a great improvement over the first. It is a brief description of Kenobi's training and debut as a Jedi knight, and has some interesting speculations on the old Order which are worth reading. The author also has two poems; the second one, 'From the Desert,' is a nice piece on Luke's problems of visualizing the universe beyond his homeland. 'Second Round' by Susan Matthews and Christine Jeffords is a sequel to 'The Devil and Deep Space' in issue #3. As an enthusiastic of Matthews in particular, I must admit that I was glad to see more of the Ragnarok. In addition to a Han Solo attractively in character, Matthews provides us with her plausible, well-rounded, and fascinating original characters and an easy, literate style that is a pleasure in itself. Jeffords contributes her flamboyant Sevenstars and her crew. Once the reader accepts the mild improbability of a starcruiser going pirate and its crew scattering to hide, the plot moves along with style and confident skill, and holds you interest throughout, although it is less original than the characters. Altogether, this is a very satisfying story which would be a credit to any zine. There is some very nice art in this zine, including a delightfully witty illo by Kowalski for 'Second Round' showing the Ragnarok crew at a meal and a beautiful Martynn of Andrej and Han. Carrie Rowle's cartoon-type illos are pleasant, and most of the rest of the art is adequate to good. Buy this zine for 'Second Round.' Overall grade: C-. [14]

References

  1. a personal statement in Jundland Wastes #2
  2. from the 1982 essay Visible Women
  3. from Alderaan #5
  4. from an LoC by Tracy Duncan in "Galactic Flight" #2
  5. from an LoC by Nancy Duncan in "Galactic Flight" #2
  6. from an LoC by Scott D. Ryerson in "Galactic Flight" #2
  7. from an LoC by Susan Matthews in "Galactic Flight" #2
  8. from an LoC by Bev Clark in "Galactic Flight" #2
  9. from an LoC by Maggie Nowakowska in "Galactic Flight" #2
  10. from an LoC by J.J. Adamson in "Galactic Flight" #2
  11. from an LoC by Lisa Adolf in "Galactic Flight" #2
  12. from an LoC by Michelle Malkin in "Galactic Flight" #2
  13. see A Personal Statement from Susan Matthews.
  14. from Jundland Wastes