Imperial Entanglements

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Title: Imperial Entanglements
Editor(s): Karen Osman
Date(s): 1982
Medium: print
Genre: gen and slash
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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front cover, artist unclear
back cover, artist unclear
a flyer printed in Twin Suns #3, note the comment about the story Notions

Imperial Entanglements is a gen and slash 215-page anthology focusing on Darth Vader and other Imperial characters.

A related zine is The Sith Yearbook (labeled "Imperial Entanglements" #2 and #3).

This zine has art by Roz Ludwig, eluki be shahar, Jeff Wilcox, Kevin Martin, J.R. Dunster, and Carol Waterman. The flyer also stated that it had "poetry, cartoons, the Imperial Rating, our unique collection of tacky stormtrooper jokes, AND a candidate for The Other we guarantee you've never seen before."

The zine's flyer noted that it "contains some material involving same-sex relationships." These two stories are is "Deep Cover" and the other one is Hoth Admiral. The latter gained MUCH exposure and attention as it was a flashpoint in the 1981 attempts by George Lucas to control fan content, specifically in regards to that which included male/male relationships and what he considered explicit male/female relationships. "Deep Cover" likely escaped the attention "Hoth Admiral" got because while both stories take place in the Star Wars universe, "Deep Cover" features two original characters and "Hoth Admiral" features Admiral Piett, a creation of Lucas.

From the Editorial

<Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...>

Actually, it was two years ago at Mos'EastlyCon in New York that I attended my first mediacon and gazed in wild surmise at the hive of scum and Dealers' Room. I noticed there were Trek zines and GALACTICA zines and SW zines; there were Luke zines and Han zines. Rebel zines and even an occasional Vader zine, but there was nary an Imperial zine to be found. Ah-ha! I said to myself; I have discovered a Crying Need: what fandom needs is a good outlet for stories from the Imperial point of view. I dropped this idea into a STAR WARS round robin of NFS and got back a ten-page rough fragment and a note from [ Barbara T. ] saying, 'My friend Sylvia has been writing some stories about Admiral Piett. Are you interested?" And with that, ImpEnt was off and running.

[snipped: many reasons this zine is late, including being mauled by a llama at the zoo...]

[Another reason the zine is late is that] Nevan DarLeras, protagonist of "Deep Cover" informed his author in the second draft that his love interest had changed from a female pilot to a male pilot (Sandemans are firm with their authors) and the artist backed out of illoing [that story] at the last minute....

ImpEnt got caught in the middle of the Great Lucasfilm Porno Flap. Maureen Garrett informed us that Lucasfilm did not want any stories in the STAR WARS universe with "homosexual expression of love," since this violated the "innocence" which "even Imperial officers must be presumed to have." "Oh really?" I said. Serzho Alyandi snickered. "Oh dear,"Admiral Piett said. "Whoever heard of an INNOCENT field agent," Nevan asked. I wrote a heated letter to Lucas protesting and presenting the idea of the entire population of San Francisco marching on Lucasfilm offices with torches and pitchforks in outrage. Maureen batted her metaphorical big blue eyes at me and said, "Who US --- bigoted?" and Lucasfilm backed down on the issue. ImpEnt went ahead and published, and here we are with #1.

I won't say much about the stories [in this zine], since I think they can stand on their own. There are three new fan universes introduced here that I think you'll see a lot of in the future. Devra Langam's Vader vignette is part of a long and interesting story I hope to pry out of her for #2. Eluki's CROWN COMMANDMENT and CANTATA introduce a fascinating new character who is unique in fan fiction as far as I Know. I'll let you meet her for yourself; all I'll say about her is that Lady Mara is NOT Eluki's alter ego...I hope... Finally, ImpEnt has the first story in the Tennison/Stevens EXECUTOR Cycle universe, which I've discussed in my afterword to "Hoth Admiral". There's nothing a reader likes less than having the editor shove her enthusiasms down the reader's throat, so I'll shut up except to say I've fallen in love with the main characters and I hope you like them too.

Then there's a subtle and realistic study of the nature of power and loyalty by Susan Matthews in ORDER, a —ahem—somewhat Strange parody of SPLINTER OF THE MIND'S EYE by resident iconoclast non-sufferer of fools, Joyce Yasner, and, to confuse the reader completely, TWO versions of the final confrontation between Luke and Vader by Anne Elizabeth Zeek.


Force willing, there will be an IMPERIAL ENTANGLEMENTS #2, so if you have a manuscript, send it along too. Our editorial policy is that we'll print anything that's well-written enough to convince the editor of its literary merits, although we WOULD like to have an Imperial in it somewhere (although we'll be glad to take pro-Rebel stories as well as pro-Imperial ones.) We do not Intend to be intimidated by Lucasfilm's "guidelines," but we don't want X-rated fiction UNLESS it has strong characters and believable plot as well.


  • Editorial by Eluki bes Shahar (1)
  • As Father and Son by Anne Elizabeth Zeek ("Luke confronts his father in the unique Zeek style.")(4)
  • Crown Commandment by eluki bes shahar ("A young Imperial pilot discovers the true nature of war...and of the Dark Lord's Lady.") (6)
  • Luke's Song, song by Sylvia Stevens (24)
  • Cartoons by Sylvia Stevens (25)
  • Fragment of the Splinter by Joyce Yasner ("Remember "REPLONZA"? Here's the absolutely final comment on SPLINTER OF THE MIND'S EYE."(26)
  • Cossen's Planet by Karen Osman (36)
  • Order by Susan Matthews ("A Veers story. What is peace worth? Is the cost too high?") (38)
  • The Neurotic Followers of the Dark Side of the Force, Inc, song by eluki bes shahar (53)
  • Another Mission by Sylvia Stevens (54)
  • Imperial Alderaani, song by eluki bes shahar (56)
  • Hoth Admiral (titled "The Executor Cycle" on the flyer) by Barbara T and Sylvia Stevens ("A different kind of love story. (It's not about a feisty female Corellian).)" (This story, one which features a sexual, same-sex relationship, was given the green light by George Lucas Himself. See Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett) (58)
  • Afterword by Karen Osman (111)
  • ...he hath no mortal avatar..., poem by eluki bes shahar (113)
  • Cantata by eluki bes shahar (114)
  • Hard Kor, song "with apologies to John Colicos," by Karen Osman (126)
  • Ripeness is All by Devra Langsam ("What is the true relationship between Vader and the Emperor?") (128)
  • Deep Cover by Ann Wilson (A Star Wars story that features two male original characters named Kim Potter and Nevan DarLeras who become lovers --"An exciting adventure story of Nevan DarLeras, Imperial Intelligence Agent.") (131)
  • Our Mascot by eluki bes shahar (210)
  • As Father and Son II by Anne Elizabeth Zeek (212)
  • Briefings (zine listings) (214)

Inside Sample

Reactions and Reviews

See reactions and reviews for Hoth Admiral.
[zine]: I enjoyed SITH YEARBOOK and IMPERIAL ENTANGLEMENTS primarily for the Piett/Serzsho stories. I just loved that little guy; the stories are spellbinding. Besides the fascinating alien culture of the telepaths, and heartwarming romance, I enjoyed the detailed portrayal of Life In The Emperor's Service. Those little touches like "clone loaf." [1]
[zine]: The stormtroopers' and Darth Vader's sartorial predilections notwithstanding, things are not purely black-and-white even in a galaxy long ago and far, far away, as Karen Osman has set out to prove. After all, there must by some good guys around in the Empire. And she has found some. For me, the most likable Imperial white-hat is Nevan DarLeras in 'Deep Cover.' The author manages to imbue even Darth Vader with honor and Obi-Wan-like foresight, without at the same time diminishing Luke's virtues. Indeed, everybody in this 70-page novella is agreeably sympathetic to some degree, even the boo-hiss villain, Veltar, who at least makes the Teibarran hospitals run on time... [This story] is half of what's worthwhile in Imperial Entanglements. The other half is the long story 'Hoth Admiral.' Cycle one of a new series, the 'Executor Universe.' it is an alternate universe to TESB involving Admiral Ossel and Captain Piett, plus an extremely engaging character named Sersho Alyandi. As in 'Deep Cover,' the love interest is a male-male one, and the characters are very well-drawn... Unfortunately, the shorter pieces don't approach the level of these two in character or situation appeal. 'As Father and Son' involves mythopoetic forces instead of real people... 'Crown Commandment' and 'Cantata' present Vader's consort, the Lady Mara (how come characters like this are always named Kara, Lara, or Mara?), who runs around in a scarlet version of his mask and robes, stirring up trouble... 'Order' offers a most complex and real view of Colonel Veers succumbing to the Dark Side by equating peace with order, but the man is so straitlaced and dry, and the situation between the warring Merrides and Jilkar so confused, it becomes impossible to care about the story... 'Fragment of a Splinter' is a windup of Splinter of the Mind's Eye that gives Darth back his arm and sets him, Luke, and the steel kitten back to taw after the events of Alan Dean Foster's crummy novel... The computer printout typeface is unusually readable, but storage must've been a problem, for there are a number of queer typos and misspellings. J.R. Dunster's illos are the most evocative in the zine, though Eluki's are exceptionally well-balanced, and Jeff Wilcox's illos for 'Deep Cover' have an amazing solidness and presence despite their Marvel-cartoon type.[2]
[zine]: This is a quality zine, not without flaws perhaps, but certainly not the usual flaws of an initial publication. Throughout the 213 pages of material, I found the stories to be both provocative and well-written, and artwork that was, if not always the most technically proficient, at least well suited to the material it accompanied. ' As regards format, I had several comments, none of them too stringent. Apparently, the typing of the zine was done on a dot matrix printer. Such a print style may be a little hard to read for some. Fortunately, none of it was reduced. Layout was largely unremarkable, but I would point out to the editor that great floating white spaces in the middle of the text of the story are disconcerting to the eye. Perhaps dingbats were intended to correct the problem, but there were no dingbats present. There was much wasted space in the layout, but I will say that on certain title pages, such white areas were rather attractive and did not detract from the general appearance. One striking thing about the cover was the omission of the name of the zine. Under the circumstances, I found this to be a definite plus as the cover art'(by Kevin Martin, otherwise known as Bernie) is a marvelous composition of blue, black and grey. Color covers are, of course, rare because of the money involved in printing them but in this case, the money was justified. Another fine use of color is the frontispiece done by J.R. Dunster. It is a remarkable montage of the saga's main characters, technically excellent, but not bound to technical proficiency alone. The artist's style gives us precise images but also insight into those images. This is truly impressive work. Now for the printed contributions. He begin with Anne Zeek's two versions of the final duel between Luke and Vader, "As Father and Son" I and II. These demonstrate the true form of a vignette, being very brief narratives written in a delicate and romantic. Roz Ludwig does the accompanying artwork, matching Anne's mood pieces. Eluki's other contributions include a wonderfully rhythmic poem, "He has no mortal avatar" and several amusing cartoons. There is also a marvelous little ditty (bet it's catchy set to music) called the "Neurotic Followers Of The Dark Side of The Force, Inc." I chortled over it several times. Eluki bes Shahar contributes the next story, "Crown Conunandment", which shares its main character with another story by the same writer, "Cantata ". Both stories present a disturbing image of Woman as Sacrifice. Lady Mara, the Sith Lord's Lady, is an intriguing character but not a particularly likeable one. Her relationship to Vader is that of a bird drawn against all resistance into the mouth of the serpent who will devour its prey in one gulp. Personally, I find such a depiction of such a relationship between man and woman to be personally repulsive, but this is what I mean when I say that the material in IE is provocative. I found much of the thematic content to be totally alien to my own beliefs but usually the stories were so well-written that it was only after finishing the stories did I reflect upon the parts that made me squeamish. I must however raise a strong objection to the glarmourizing of a woman who looks to the man she loves and whispers to him under her breath, "You must never die. That is the first and greatest commandment." While the characterization may be perfectly valid in terms of the story, I cannot say that the image of woman as Willing Victim is one that I would like to see a great deal of in fan fiction. Joyce Yasner gives us her response to the ineptitude of the pro novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Obviously objecting to the many loose ends at the conclusion of that novel. Joyce writes her own merry conclusions. She's quite pragmatic about what probably would happen, and one rather wishers that the original had had as much sense. Susan Matthews' contribution takes the form of "Order". Dealing with Colonel Veers, Susan gives us a truer portrait than is usually seen of the professional soldier and his problems. As always, Matthews' people are real, warm, multi-faceted. The frustrations and problems faced include separation from loved ones, manipulation from superior officers and political schemers who profit by the conflict the soldier is supposed to be preventing. The depth of this examination makes it worth the reader' s most careful attention. As one hopes for in good fiction, the truth illustrated transcends the story. At this point, I issue a caveat to the prospective buyer. The two major contributions that I am about to review comprise well over half of the zine's content. They deal with homosexual relationships within the Imperial forces. In absolute fairness, it must be said that none of the material is explicit; and in both cases, the sexual is subordinate to the integral point of the story. However, it is my opinion that if one is offended by such relationships, he/she is warned that buying the zine on the grounds of the other material (those stories dealing with non-homosexual relationships/problems) is not warranted. "Hoth Admiral" by Sylvia Stevens and Barbara T. is the story of a relatively rigid individual going through the process of discovering his own capacity to love. The story is adequately developed but the characters had to labor to catch my interest. Admiral Piett is perhaps the best developed of the three central characters, and consequently the one with whom the reader is best able to identify. But the "hero" and love interest in the story is the little empath, Serzhio. Frankly, he struck me as being far more obnoxious than the supposedly evil and/or warped Ozzel who rejects his feelings for the little guy. Serzhio makes Pollyanna look like a mean-spirited pessimist. He is never revulsed by what any of the humans around him are thinking although they are hardly passing pleasant thoughts on to him. He instead seeks single-mindedly to relieve all the pain and misery about him on the ship. It is my belief that such an activity would drive a normal empath mad with frustration, but I'm not as understanding as Serzhio. Actually, most offensive to me was the "Afterword" by zine editor, Karen Osman. If the editor truly respects the work as she indicates she does, why doesn't she give her readers the pleasure and the freedom to discover whatever depths exist in the work by themselves. I found Karen's comments to be totally superfluous, and I cannot imagine that many others will feel it necessary to ponder the Freudian aspects of "Hoth Admiral" as expounded by the editor. Surely an apologia is not needed if a piece of fiction is capable of standing on its own. "Ripeness is All" we are told by the editor is part of a much larger story which she is attempting to draw out of author Devra Langsam for her next issue. I hope she succeeds because there is just enough given here to whet the appetite. There is Luke, son of Vader, and Ahrimarc, his half brother, and an aging Vader. While Luke has apparently won on one war, the conflict about to begin is far more dangerous to the young knight's well-being. An intriguing prelude, and I look forward to seeing it developed in a future issue. The final third of the fanzine is taken up by a marvelous story by Ann Wilson. "Deep Cover" was so engrossing, it irritated me to be interrupted by such mundane requirements as food and sleep. Her protagonist is an intelligence operative by the name of Nevan DarLeras, a man of considerable integrity. He foreswears all other cultural bonds when he swears fealty to Darth Vader and he accepts the serious assignment of double agent. The other SW characters move in and out of the picture, but Nevan is the absolutely riveting central focus. Further, there is a treatment here of the war that is far more objective than most. Wilson never denies that there are certain aspects of the Empire that are evil but she also knows the very basic reality that it is a terrific waste to beat down a culture to such an extent that you start from scratch. Realistically, you have to use some of your former "enemies" in your new government proceedings simply to keep all the cogs moving. Jeff Wilcox's work for "Deep Cover" also impressed me. For some reason the similarities to Japanese animation in his illos made them peculiarly apt to the mood of the story. A good editor is aware of how important it is to match the moods of the writer and the artist; Karen deserves kudos for her choice of artist. I highly recommend Imperial Entanglements. I enjoyed reading it all the way through, even with the reservations noted above. This is a worthwhile purchase, even for those fans on a tight budget. I hope Karen is able to keep the high level of excellence in future issues.[3]


  1. ^ from Southern Enclave #14
  2. ^ from Warped Space #48
  3. ^ from Jundland Wastes #11