Kessel Run

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Title: Kessel Run
Publisher: Horta Press
De-Van Press did the reprints
Editor(s): Michelle Malkin
Date(s): 1981 - 1984
Series?: Yes
Medium: print fanzine
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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Kessel Run is a Star Wars gen fanzine.

from issue #3, "Ye Editor," (Michelle Malkin) as drawn by Eluki bes Shahar

There were four issues, each one containing fiction, poetry, articles, and a massive amount of art.

Issue 1

front cover of issue 1, Dot Sasscer
back cover, Linda Yamashiro
inside back cover, Cathye Faraci
submission request/announcement printed in Alderaan #9, click to enlarge

Kessel Run 1 was published in 1981 and contains 165 pages.

Dedication: "This first issue of Kessel Run is dedicated to the end of hypocrisy, backstabbing and censorship in the world of fannish publishing in general and to the Princess Leia Organa in specific."

From the editorial:

You are now holding in your hot little hands, claws, tentacles, pseudopodia issue one, volume one, number one, Obi-Wan (sorry, I have a tendency to get carried away) of Kessel Run, a Star Wars fanzine scheduled to debut at MediaWestCon, May, 1981 (did we make it, huh? Did we?!) Henceforth, Kessel Run is sceduled to appear on a regular schedule of your guess is as good as mine....

Kessel Run is an all Star Wars fanzine (you mean, you couldn't tell?!) that will not center around any one character or type of writing. I'd like for this zine to be as diverse as possible. I am looking for material of all lengths from one page vignettes to 100 page long stories (double-spaced, please. Pretty please. My eyes have a tendency to fall out at the sight of a long single-spaced story. ) I am especially seeking stories and series with fully developed cultural, political and philosophical back grounds with fully developed characters. Articles dealing with any aspect of the SW universe will also be welcome, as will humorous pieces and poetry, There will be a letter column in Kessel Run #2, so please write and let me know your opinions on this first issue both pro and con. (Any typos in this issue are my fault and not to be blamed on my proofreader. As far as I'm concerned, Bev deserves a medal for staying up until 4 a.m. to proofread most of the zine.)

Here's Kessel Run #1. I hope that you enjoy it.

  • editorial
  • Old Comrade's Children by Christine Jeffords, art by Dot Sasscer (3)
  • The Question, poem by Marcia Brin, art by Bev Swan (4)
  • To Kill a Corellian by Kay Crist, art by Cathye Faraci (16)
  • Classified by Debbie Alexander and Wendy Heilweil, art by Kyle Baker (31)
  • It Can't Stay Winter Forever, poem by Irene Shafer, art by Dot Sasscer (33)
  • The Last Dream by M.H. Loughlin, art by Dale Holman (35)
  • Corellian Haze by Samantha Blackley, art by Cathye Faraci (discussed in Han and Leia in Fanfiction) (41)
  • Circle, poem by Marica Brin, art by Gee Moaven (47)
  • A Personal Statement from Susan Matthews (48)
  • Delayed Reaction, satire by Irene Shafer, art by Cathye Faraci (49)
  • Toward a Corellian Conquest by Pat Nussman, art by Gee Moaven (how good a team are Han and Leia on Ord Mantell?) (discussed in Han and Leia in Fanfiction) (reprinted in Alliance and Empire #1) (57)
  • cartoon by Kay Cris (75)
  • Past Tense, poem by Karen Miller, art by Gee Moaven (77)
  • New Beginnings by Lynne Terry, art by MRO Ludwig (78)
  • A Friend's Hymn, poem by Beverly Lorenstein, art by Yvonne Zan (79)
  • Soliloquy on a String of Beads by Wanda Lybarger, art by Lybarger (87) (reprinted in Kessel Run #2)
  • Report to the War Council: The Battle for Bespin by Susan Matthews, art by Matthews and Yvonne Zan (89)
  • Interpretations, article by Michelle Malkin and Beverly Lorenstein (93)
  • Pro-Leia responses by various and sundry fen (94)
  • Departures by Christine Jeffords, art by Linda Yamashiro (part of the Brightstar Universe) (99)
  • Martyrs to the Cause, poem by Peggy Barilla, art by Yvonne Zan (115)
  • "The Start of Something Big". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10. Marcia Brin, art by Carol McPherson (An alternate universe version of Han and Leia's first meeting.) (discussed in Han and Leia in Fanfiction) (116)
  • Wanderer, poem by Lynne Terry, art by Gee Moaven (133)
  • Dust in the Wind by Michelle Malkin, art by Stefanie Hawks (young Han Solo comes up again Imperial treachary) (134)
  • this issue has a number of lengthy letters written in response to the Leia-bashing in Against the Sith #9, see that zine
  • art by Gee Moaven, Dot Sasscer (front cover), Cathye Faraci, Wanda Lybarger, Susan Matthews, MRO Ludwig, Bev Swan, Dale Holman, Kyle Baker, Linda Yamashiro (back cover), Carol McPherson, Stefanie Hawks

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

From LoCs in "Kessel Run" #2

Note: there are a lot of misspellings in the letters below, the ones printed in Kessel Run #2, and are by way of the authors or the editor.

The editor also notes in the zine that she received many letters of comment that she did not print due to lack of space.

For my part, as an artist, I was very pleased. The print was clear, neat and the reduction careful. Hats off to your printer for a job well done. I don't believe I have any comments on "Old Comrade's Children." The only note that I do have to make concerns the changes Christine did make. Some of them were description changes, and the illos weren't- correct anymore.

Overall, I mist say, as I move on to "The Question," that I found rest of the Leia material to be quite on the note and full of insight. It's quite a surprise to see all the Leia material after all the stuff you see on Han and Luke. I really like the illo that g>es with it.

Skipping merrily along, I think I'm going to comment on the story I enjoyed most in the zine - "Toward A Corellian Conquest." It was fantastic!!! I loved it!! Of all the things I've read, this seems to be the one that has their characters right on the nose!!! I'm so impressed!! The banter, cynicism and attitudes that exist between Han and Leia are recreated beautifully and in character. The way the writer raised Rieekan from a one dimesional general to a three dimensional human being was great. I could even see him getting a bit of amusement out of baiting the Princess. His whole set of thoughts had me laughing. Hers concerning Han had me laughing even harder. It just seems to me to be the right mixture of authority, confusion and sarcasm. Bravo, Pat! Gee's illos are amazing. I am constantly flabergasted by the amount of detail she manages to pack into one picture. Astounding! Her collage for "Past Tense" is fantastic. There is something that's changed in her style since the last set of pictures I saw her do. There seems to be something much softer to the work, both in ink and pencil. It's beautiful...

"Soliloquy On A String Of Beads" is quite a little thought to go with. They're quite bitter, those thoughts, but very appropriate.

I really don't know quite what to say about Marcia Brin's "Start Of Something Big." For quite a while, I was confused as to where it fit in the SW universe, and it took me quite awhile to realize that she was just using SW as a basis. I think the next time Marcia might consider a preface to the story to explain this to the readers who may not be acquainted with her universe. I enjoyed "Dust In The Wind" a lot. Many people seem to have latched onto the idea of Han Solo being an Imp originally, and your story coherently puts some reasons behind it. What it doesn't show entirely is his development into such a biting sarcastic character. I hope we can look forward to seeing more of his development. Also hope to see more of Stefanie Hawks' works, too!! [1]

Congradulations on a very fine zine! Kessel Run I is a child to be proud of. "Corellian Haze" is the best of the 'after the Rebellion is over' Han stories. I'm glad Samantha doesn't have the Corellian totally monogamous with Leia. I don't think he is a 'one woman' man. although it's a nice thought, Leia running with Han after the war, I'm' afraid it will never happen. More than likely., Han will leave and she will stay. Also, I don't think Chewbacca will ever be seperated from Han,' no matter what.

"Delayed Reaction"... what can I say? Irene Shafer's story was incredibly funny, especially the part with Luke spreading jelly all over himself. This should be ranked with "Imperial Soliloquy." (Warped Space #44)

"Toward A Corellian Conquest" was a well-done story of the Ord Mantell tale. I like the way Pat has Han and Leia slowly gravitating toward each other or, rather, Leia gravitating toward Han, since he's been pretty much willing all along. TESB never shows us the growth of their relationship, only the final outcome. Something had to have been happening all those months prior to the attack on Hoth.

G. Moaven's illos are gorgeous.

"Past Tense" almost made me cry. I enjoy pieces that have other characters 'thinking' about Han, and this one puts into words all of our Corellian's memorable and much missed qualities. Again, G. Moaven's illo is simply luscious. It has to be. my favorite Han illo of the year.

"Soliloquy On A String Of Beads" by Wanda Lybarger again has one character, Leia, reflecting on Han's loss. How could I help but enjoy a story like that? I imagine Princess Leia would be thinking those very thoughts about now.

The thing I like about "Battle For Bespin" by Susan Matthews was Han's intervention with Veers, giving his old Imperial commander an honorable way out. I also liked Lando's reaction - kicking Han off Bespin. The poem was a bit long, but it was intrcately woven and leads up to the final action well. "Wanderer" is the first poem I've seen about Han's military past. My only criticism is the use of 'Corelli' instead of 'Corell,' but since Lucas has never specified the spelling of Han's home planet, I guess it's up to the individual author. (Ed's note: I vote for Corell. Reader opinions welcome.)

Finally, "Dust In The Wind" is an extremely plausible story about Han's court-martial. You've taken all those little clues Daley's thrown out and woven them into a highly believeable tale. (Ed's note: I hope to interrupt letters as little as possible,since this is really the readers' page, but I do have to make one comment on this particular story. There has been a rumor floating around parts of fandom about George Lucas having seperate outlines about the backgrounds of the important characters in the SW saga. One of the rumors about Han's past is that he was court-martialed from the service. No reason, as far as I know, was ever given for this court-martial. The fact that Brian Daley's novel used this idea only strengthened my own determination to write my own version of this court-martial.) It was so entertaining and stands alone so well, I hate to interject comments... Oh well, you've forced me... Daley's books, to me, seem to indicate that Han didn't become a smuggler until after the court-martial. In "Han Solo's Revenge," it says, "It had been Roa who had taken Han on his first, exhilerating Kessel Run -- very nearly his last." Earlier it says, "...Seeing them brought back a surge of memory of the fast, furious time he had spent working for Roa, when he had tired of trying to be just one more honest, unassuming spacer a few credits away from poverty, like uncounted others wandering the stars, having abandoned a planet and a life." Obviously, Han became 'dishonest' after the court-martial, after he'd left Corell. There are references in "Stars' End" to Han being a fighter pilot, and "Lost Legacy" talks about the Academy. Personally, I get the feeling that Han was at the Academy for two years, then in the military for several more years after ward, perhaps six or seven years in all. However, I don't mean to nitpick. That's one problem with the SW universe"- we're fed details so slowly. Fan writers set up their own universes, then are thrown some new info that changes everything. The "Aerie Cycle" stories are wonderful; I'm not suggesting that you change a thing. You've really captured the feeling of Chewbacca's love for Han and how Han would turn to Chewie in times of extreme distress as the only one who would truly care for him.

There are a lot of stories I haven't commented on, not because they were'nt well done, but they just didn't come off as favorites. All-in-all, Kessel Run I is a fine zine, and I'm looking forward to #2. [1]

Well, your Kessel Run #1 was great. I hope KR#2 will be out soon, this fall or winter.

Loved "To Kill a Corellian" -- a nice how done it. "Toward A Corellian Conquest," "Soliloquy on A String Of Beads" and "The Start Of Something Big" were all very nice, but then I am a Han/Leia fan, and I like to see them together. Just hope that GL will not break them up in ROTJ.

Thank you for "Interpretations." I get so tired of people being out for Leia's blood all the time. They are getting as bad as the Han haters. I think some of it may stem from Han and Leia becoming closer (lovers?) I read the same reviews in Against The Sith #9 and could not believe someone could have so much dislike for a character they had only a few months before thought of as near angelic. If it is the Han problem, boy, can he ruin your rep, but, man, is he worth it! If it had gone the other way, Leia and Luke, I would have put it down to 'no accounting for poor taste,' and left it at that.

"Dust In The Wind" was the best in your zine. I always felt Han had to have some formal training some where, and that most likely would have been with the Empire. Being put out that way would tie in with his actions very well. But, I feel he was a fighter pilot. Why else would he know the real side of war? [1]

What can I say except... there was a suitably stunned silence. Congradulations on a fine zine. I'm sure you're very proud and, if you're not, you should be. It's hard to know where to begin, but I'll try. Cover art is excellent, especially inside back.., chuckle, chuckle. Good dedication....hear, hear. Living away from concentrated SW fandom,[2] I don't come into contact with the problem. But, I am in other organizations, and why people can't be nice to one another and put personal differences aside and agree to disagree is totally beyond me. I thought that fandom was supposed to promote friendship. How about we cut out all the bitching wherever we are and concentrate on being nice?

The art in this zine is terrific. I would like to give Gee Moaven a big hug and kiss for the illo she did for my poem... but I can't, so I hope you'll settle for eternal and undying gratitude. All of Gee's work is wonderful, and I think fandom is priviledged to have her working within it. Dot Sasscer's work is also very pleasing, as is Cathye Faraci's — love the illos for "Delayed Reaction"— and I'm also fond of Wanda Lybarger's illo for her extremely involving piece. All the art is of a very high standard.

The fiction is also very good. There wasn't one piece I didn't like, although some is better than others. Chris Jefford's work continues to improve and improve. I rank her as one of the top three writers in fandom. Being primarily a Hanatic, I wasn't all that interested in early Luke stories, but now I am, thanks to Chris' skill. Bravo. Irene Shafer's satire "Delayed Reaction" is wonderful. Very funny. "Toward A Corellian Conquest" is the first piece by Pat Nussman that I've read, and I'm impressed. (Ed; It's her first SW story, and I'm very impressed.) I think she shows a lot of promise. "The Last Dream" I found very disconcerting, since the first narrator who is talking in the past tense is killed and the story is taken up by another. I didn't like that. Kay Crist's "To Kill A Corellian" was pleasant, but too contrived, and the storyline is one that is too familiar for my liking. I don't like "Corellian Haze" very much. I think that Samantha Blackley could be very good, but it was all a bit rushed and a bit jumpy for me. And i don't think that would have been Han's reaction, either — lying around in bed, indeed! I'm very fond of Marcia Brin's work — the more I see it, the more I like it — and "The Start Of Something Big" I liked a lot. Marcia has a good imagination and command of the language, as well as the necessary feel for the characters. Michelle Malkin's "Dust In The Wind" created a mixed reaction. I like the ideas very much and I like the characterizations very much, but I think that the mechanics could have been handled better. I thought that there wasn't enough concentration on Han's reactions to his brother and girlfriend deserting him, and I'm a little skeptical of the drummed up charges. If so many people knew that it was a false trial, etc., I think someone would have said something, instead of being quiet. Still, the story reads well and there are some scenes that are very nice.

The poetry is good. I especially like Shafer's "It Can't Stay Winter Forever." Very touching piece of work. [1]

As a whole, I think the money I spent on Kessel Run well worth it. (I'm the one who bought the torn-cover copy, rather than wait. I'm glad I didn't wait.)

What I liked, to begin with: there was only one piece of fluff in the zine; everything else was well- written, coherent and well-plotted. Overall, the artwork was good — I am delighted to see that you have Gee Moaven artwork! I have missed her art very much. I used to buy zines solely because they had her art in them. "Toward A Corellian Conquest" was very well-written fill-in. Nice to see people who have Leia doing something other than sitting around looking ornamental. For the same reason, I enjoyed the "Interpretations" section and the letters in defense of Leia. After all, if Leia was sweet-tempered, super- intelligent and consistently right, we'd all be complaining that she was only a Mary Sue (forgive me, but I loathe that term. It makes me nauseated.)

Christine Jeffords seems to be improving as she writes, getting more technically proficient in her fiction.

"Battle For Bespin" — Susan hasn't written anything yet that I don't like, and everything she writes I love, so what else can I say?

"Dust In The Wind" — you did a nice job on the idea of Han having been kicked out of Fleet. I've read a couple interpretations of that, so far — they all seem to be similar in plot, but you handle character and the technical points with — well, ingenuity and competence.

The second category shouldn't be things I didn't like but things that didn't connect with me: Except for Susan's long poem, most of the poetry left me cold. It simply didn't make me feel anything — which is not necessarily the fault of the poet, only of my not liking that particular style. The artwork with the poems was universally good.

"The Start Of Something Big" was well-written, but something in the beginning of it did not get past my suspension of disbelief. I think it was Leia's simply wandering off like that.

"Corellian Haze" failed — for me — for that same reason. I don't think it's any denigration of Leia to let her be a Princess. There are a lot of men out there who feel their jobs are the most important things in their lives, and there are a lot of women now who feel the same way. I don't think Leia would give up her position for Han. Love and sex is nice, but the job's not going to get done that easily, and love and sex ain't gonna finish it. So shoot me.

"To Kill A Corellian" was, again, well-written as a murder mystery, except that I would have preferred a little more characterization on the murderer and an ending that was a little less easy and quick.

It read fine up until you got to the 'and then he turned himself off — and I felt like I had come in on the end of a joke.

The only thing I really did not like — again, this has nothing to do with the author's ability, only my tastes and reactions — was "Delayed Reaction." I don't like parody. I don't like Mary Sue parody. I don't expect everything written about the SW universe to be heavy-handed and solemn, but I prefer gentle nudges to outright slapstick. Uncomfortable as they make me, I prefer Paula Smith's sharp satires (not the burlesque ones, but the rather rapierlike ones she turns out) to parody. I don't have a sense of humor. I keep telling people this. (What does Lando Calrissian tell you when you tell him there's been an earthquake in California? "It's not my fault!" See? No sense of humor.)

The last thing, and this is neither pro or con: as mood piece, Wanda Lybarger's "Soliloquy" was superb. It also made me annoyed, vaguely angry on some grounds. I tried to draft a LOC about it. The enclosed four pages is the LOC that came out. (Ed: See "Superscription" by Deborah in this issue.) [1]

ongradulations on a fine first issue. You've set a high standard for Kessel Run. Good-luck on maintaining that standard. A minor complaint: the staples were set too close to the inside margins (which did seem a bit narrow) and it was difficult to hold the zine open comfortably for reading. I took it apart, punched holes closer to the edge and put it back together with paper fasteners — much easier to handle now.

On to the contents: I've never been a fan of Gee Moaven's — her usual style has been too ornate for my taste. But, this issue has turned me around. The illos in usual style are simple and lovely, and the Lando and Han pictures in a new style — WOW! Absolutely the best Lando I've seen anywhere, and the Han is nothing short of superb.

Cathye Faraci's inside back cover is delightful. I have to admit I missed Vader's fingers on flipping through the zine when it first arrived, and the second, closer look gave me a pleasant surprise. I also like her Yoda-biting-Vader cartoon on page 30.

Wanda Lybarger's Leia on page 86 is by far the best I've seen by her. Leia's expression is well-done— even without the text opposite, the feeling comes through.

Chris Jefford's "Old Comrade's Children" is a good leadoff story. I especially like her descriptive passages and the filling in of the characters' backgrounds.

Kay Crist's "To Kill A Corellian" is a good story with a good basic idea, but I can't accept her characterizations of Han, Luke and Leia. I especially can't imagine Leia turning to jello at the mere sight of Han or his manhandling her a la Rhett and Scarlett (or her putting up with it for more than a milisecond!) M.H. Loughlin's "The Last Dream" is interesting in both idea and treatment. Samantha Blackley's "Corellian Haze" is, in my opinion, the weakest fiction in the issue. The idea is good, but I think it's poorly handled, and the Rhett-Scarlett ending is totally unbelievable.

"Toward A Corellian Conquest" by Pat Nussman, on the other hand, is excellent. I especially like her characterization of Leia (though I think there's too much repetition of how much alike she and Han are — a stylistic matter.) The description of Ord Mantell is interesting — not the sort of place I'd care to live! And I do like the idea of definitely less-than desirable types as allies in the Rebellion. Nussman shows a better grasp of political realities than most fan writers touching on this particular aspect (the various members of the Alliance.)

Lynne Terry's "New Beginnings" is just so-so.

Wanda Lybarger's "Soliloquy On A String Of Beads" is an interesting and sympathetic study.

Marcia Brin's "The Start Of Something Big" is most impressive! I like her matriarchalist switch on the patriarchal Lucas universe, and the explanation of Bail Organa's title. Her characterizations are fine and the writing excellent. After this and her "The Other Woman" in Hydrospanner Zero, I'm really looking forward to seeing more of her work. And, I do think this particular story is the best 'alternate universe' story yet. Hope she can keep up the high quality she's shown so far.

On to "Interpretations" and the rebuttals to the Against The Sith anti-Leia-ism. Rebuttals first. Thank you very much, all of you who contributed! I loved Leia from thefirst time I saw SW — my ghod, a strong, active (and still attractive!) female who doesn't go all Total Woman at the end! My reaction to anti-Leia comments (a reaction printed in Alderaan) was and is basically the same as Marcia Brin's - if it were Prince Leo, no one would have blinked. She is a very complicated character, as Pat Nussman brings out and as Wanda Lybarger showed so well in her vignette, and is well worth the attention of fan writers who can appreciate a woman who is her own person, independent, intelligent, talented, and not inclined to swoon at the flicker of a male eyelash. I was sure she and Luke would be paired — she and Han would surely kill each other in a week! — but after TESB, I can see her and Han getting along — especially since he toned down a bit from the arrogant SOB of SW. Both of them changed and grew from the first movie to the second, and all for the better. Thanks for providing a multiple antidote to the poison of the Schlaflys and Marabel Morgans of fandom. I hope this section represents an ongoing editorial attitude (Ed: It definitely does!)~it's long overdue and desperately needed!

As for the interpretations of the three main characters' actions and words— all the variations are interesting, and I personally tend toward the last listed for each. The famous (or infamous) "I know" is really only open to one interpretation, if you are able to pay attention to his face and voice in spite of the usual audience reaction of giggles and loud laughter — he's acknowleging her feelings and letting her know that he feels the same way. But, he can't express himself anymore explicitely under the circumstances, with Vader, Fett, troopers, ex-friend Lando standing around, himself facing possible death, and fear for Leia and Chewie's safety (not to mention Luke, who's headed straight for trouble.) He's already shown himself capable of strong feelings of affection for a selected few, but he won't parade his feelings, especially in front of the enemy. Leia would understand what he was saying, even if the viewers think he's being snooty. And, that simple "I know" in that tone of voice and with that expression is so much more effective and in character than the original lines that Harrison Ford jettisoned.

This is a very interesting feature. Are you planning to continue it, possibly including reader feed back? Here's one reader who'd like very much to see it continued, and I'll try to contribute if that will encourage you.[1]

I loved Irene Shafer's "It Can't Stay Winter Forever" - lovely, lovely. A nice approach - it removes some of the horror of carbon freeze - it really can't stay winter forever.

"Circle" by Marcia Brin: I loved it. Very logical and, I think, in character. Lando deserves more exposure and understanding than he's gotten so far. The Gee Moaven illo is breathtaking - the illo and poem together make a formidable combination!

"Delayed Reaction" was precious! The accompanying illos were perfect!

I'm a big fan of Pat Nussman's writing. Her handling of Han and Leia and the events of Ord Mantell was beautiful. Perfectly in character and the dialogue is right on the mark! I admire Pat's ability to handle Leia so well and to play the two of them off each other. I liked the use of Boba Fett in the story - another character deserving of attention!) Logically crafted, the story progresses to a solid conclusion. I'm looking forward to more of her series. Again, Gee's artwork Is the crowning touch - Gee has to be the best artist in fandom.

Karen Miller's "Past Tense" captures the poignancy, the pain that Leia must feel extremely well. Again, a Moaven illo graces the poem beautifully. "A Friend's Hymn": Bev Lorenstein, as Karen captured Leia's pain, illustrates Chewbacca's grief. There's a sense of 'quiet violence' lurking in the background that captures Chewbacca's essence quite well. Yvonne Zan's illo illuminates the poem nicely.

Bless you for "Interpretations" (Ed: The original idea was Bev Lorenstein's.), a laudable exploration of motivations behind some of TESB's more controversial scenes and situations. You both did an excellent job of stating possibilities without trying to give the 'last word' on any of them. Too often, only the extremes are given attention in this sort of forum, and I'm tired of both impassioned defense and derisive dissection. How rare for the reader to be prompted to his or her own decision and how long overdue! More!

Likewise, thank you for giving Leia equal time in your zine. About time someone tried to balance AtS's fanaticism.

"The Start Of Something Big" - it certainly is Alterniverse. Interesting...Marcia never fails to give her readers fresh and innovative approaches. It's nice to see!

I think I could die for the Moaven illo on page 133! "Wanderer" does a nice job of exploring the Daley version of Han's past.[1]

I just got finished reading Kessel Run, and it was really excellent. I have a lot to say.... I do have some comments on "Interpretation." In regards to Luke taking the plunge to escape Vader, I agree with his decision 100%. It would have been so easy for him to just give in, to have his problems solved for him. I don't notice that Vader has to devote any of his precious time to resisting the lighter side of the Force. It required great courage for Luke to be willing to give up his life in order to deny Vader his victory. That Luke was able to make such a decision, even in his extremity, is evidence of tremendous bravery and moral courage. As to Han's "I know," since you were kind enough to number the possible answers, //3 is the one that fits my own feelings. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that he is deeply in love with her and she with him. Often such feelings don't have to be literally expressed to be evident. One can tell just by the way he says these words and the expression on his face that he is completely serious. Han would not make light of Leia's feelings at such a time, knowing the courage it took for her to make such a declaration. Lastly, on the subject of Leia, I'm a great fan of hers, and always have been. Those who point at her as being cold and unfeeling are being totally unfair. I think they are lovers (Leia and Han) by the time they reach Bespin, but you can see evidence of her softening attitude toward Han as they are preparing to drift off the back of the Imperial cruiser - lines that before might have been sharp are much softer, having lost their sting. I interpret Leia's looks at Han in the control room on the rebel base differently. I think I see fear there, fear for him, because she knows he is heading into danger, and fear for herself because she doesn't want to lose him. I must mention here that too much has been made of Leia's position as a princess. Of what? I just don't see her as a person who stands on ceremony or rank.

On the sickbay scene, Leia's kiss always elicits a lot of laughter from audiences here. I think she did it out of desperation, because Han had her dead to rights and she knew it. This was a defensive move, and she did succeed in leaving Han Solo speechless, which is no small thing! Yes, I do believe that Leia does truly love Han, and her telling him right in front of Vader and the rest is proof of this. I would not exactly call her tone of voice 'a monotone.' Again, since you were kind enough to number the alternatives, I go with #6. She does not stand there like a bump on a log; neither does she go completely to pieces, neither of which would have been appropriate at that time. It's obvious that Leia is on the verge of breaking down, but she knows that this will do neither Han nor herself any good. If she wants to get off Bespin in one piece, she must keep her wits about her. There will be time for tears later - maybe too much time. I agree with Lisa, Han has excellent taste. He has most certainly been around and has known a lot of women in his time. If he did not consider her worth the effort, he wouldn't bother. The love and courage that both Han and Leia show in TESB is one of the brightest aspects of the film. The poetry was lovely. "The Question" was beautiful and very touching. Let us hope that something beautiful will come out of Leia's present despair. "It Can't Stay Winter Forever" - I know that Han isn't going to take this whole thing.lying down,if you'll pardon the pun. He's too much of a fighter for that. I also think that he'll be much calmer than I've seen in some other pieces. I particularly like the line about having friends you can 'trust' - I can't imagine to whom he's referring! Also the line "We could make everything happen" - absolutely, they are magic, both of them. "Circle" - I've always liked Marcia Brin's writings, and this was an excellent example. It actually made me feel sorry for Lando, which is no mean feat. I generally think of him as a hole in the ground that should be filled in and paved over. This poem does express my thoughts as to Lando's true motivations in doing what he did and how he must be feeling right now. I see him as being burdened with guilt, and if he does not do something to expiate it, it will certainly destroy him. At first, I thought that Han might never forgive him, but who knows? In any case,the question is can he forgive himself? "Past Tense" was also lovely. Karen Miller is another excellent writer. I know what she means about 'bursting with pride' in Han. I was, too. I should be so "brave.

All of the fiction was enjoyable, but I particularly enjoyed "To Kill A Corellian," "Soliloquy On A String Of Beads (this was a heart-tugger, and it had me in tears.) "The Start Of Something Big" (this is a very good alternative story, and I hope there will be more.) Last but not least, "Dust In The Wind" - all I can say is (expletive deleted (by Barbara)) those dirty names! It's a tribute to Han that he turned out to be a fine, decent human being in spite of everything; he managed to retain a core of idealism and a strong sense of right and wrong. More power to him. It was a good thing, too, that he had such good friends as Chewie and Vecra to turn to.

The artwork was great! I particularly like the cover, Han on pages 32, 76 (a special favorite - just beautiful) and 133; Lando on page 47 and Leia on page 86; as well as Gee Moaven's beautiful illos for "Toward A Corellian Conquest." There were two cartoons I got real kicks out of - Yoda biting Vader or page 30 and Harrison being dragged across the table (with Carrie in tow) because he forgot to let go of his blaster. Marvelous! [1]

I'm not one for LoC's, even if I enjoy work, which is unfortunate, and I'm trying to change that, as I feel that good writing and art should be appreciated vocably. We all need to know that our work is enjoyed. If people ask my comments, I do tend to give them (it's the editor in me) and I do try to make suggestions for improvements. So, here goes.

The cover is lovely.

Christine Jefford's story "Old Comrades' Children" was excellent. I presume she'll do more.

Marcia Brin's work: "The Question" was superb, as was "Circle." "The Start Of Something Big" is also very well done, and I hope that she has another chapter in the cycle ready.

Kay Crist - "To Kill A Corellian" - concepts fine, but there are a few inconsistencies that bother me, minor ones, though - like calling pants 'Jeans' - she'd do better to stay away from terms that so specifically connotate modern America. I realize that we need to couch things in terms we relate to, but jeans bothers me because the referent is so specific. Also, I cringe when people, especially other women, call Leia a girl - she is not a girl, despite age. Given the way of her life, I think that she is more than qualified to be called a woman. The use of the tern 'girl' in referring to women is_ something we women have to stop. It's a very subtle form of discrimination. This may be out of line, but it's a point that concerns me.

Irene Shafer's work - very nice, though I liked the poem better. Loughlin's "The Last Dream" was quite interesting. Nicely done.

Blackley's "Corellian Haze" - this story is okay, but it contains a pet peeve of mine in regard to SVi stuff. I read some early zines and abandoned them because writers, in an attempt to make Han seem like a lowlife, gave him terrible speech habits. There is an art to it, if people insist on putting slangy words in his mouth, I wish they'd read "Huckleberry Finn" to see how a master does it without making the character seem totally stupid. There is a difference between using coarse language because it is part of a role and using slang. If anything, Han would seem to be into coarse and not slangy teen-age type speech. Again, I may be going overboard, but it bothers me to see Han portrayed as if he was stupid and unable to form intelligible sentences. Pat Nussman's "Toward A Corellian Conquest" - excellent, one of the best pieces in the zine. Bev Lorenstein's poem was quite nice. Lovely sentiment. Wanda Lybarger's art and story - "Soliloquy On A String Of Beads - were superb. The story was probably my favorite, because it packed so much into such a short piece. I find the characterization of Leia to be one I'm quite in agreement with. Very nice. Hope she does more.

Your story - "Dust In The Wind" was really quite good, also. You accomplish the task of making Han young, inexperienced, etc., without resorting to every other word being "ain't" or some other form of slang. I felt quite comfortable with the blend of the youthful ignore-advice-because-you-have-to- try-it-on-your-own and the worldly Han who knew how things really worked and was wise enough to avoid trouble. He was a well-drawn character, I felt, as.-were most of the characters. I was a bit uncomfortable with Tarlo, because I am not sure that I understand his motivations for taking a liking to Han. I might add, though, that I am currently trying figure out for myself what makes people adopt others as proteges, and so I would be quite interested in seeing more of the why of this process. I guess what this all boils down to is that you did such a lovely job drawing the character of Han, I'd have liked to have seen more about what moved Tarlo to like Han. In the future I hope we see more of the things that led to the Chewie-Han relationship. Since we are all builders of our own universes, I think it's fun to create the -reasons why beings are drawn to each other. Plot-wise, I liked "Dust" and, of course, expect in the future to learn why the other two - Dav and Deryn - weren't around. I think it's important to add that as a reader your visual/word images of people and places were well-drawn and easy to see in the mind's eye - something I think is vital in a good story. Keep up the work on it. (Ed: At first I was going to leave comments on any of my own stories that I printed in KR out of the letter pages. Then I thought, why should I? I'm just as entitled to pro and con criticism as any other fan writer. Besides, if I didn't print these comments, people might stop commenting on my stuff altogether! Can't let that happen.)

Art - most of it nice, though I'm very choosey about art. I liked Dot Sasscer's, Wanda Lybarger's and of course, Gee Moaven's work best. I also like the small print, because it allows so much more to go[1]

I can truthfully say that Kessel Run is one of the best zines I have ever seen. I didn't like all of the stories, but none of them are glaringly bad. Favorite of the zine this time goes to Irene Shafer's "Delayed Reaction." I'm a sucker for any good comedy (technically, it isn't a satire, as you list it - not according to my anyway. Not that it matters.) (Ed: Terri is right. "Delayed Reaction" is a parody, not a satire.) And I love the "Frog Prince" twist at the end. I think Anthony Daniels would like it, too!

My two serious favorites are "Soliloquy On A String Of Beads" by Wanda Lybarger and your "Dust In The Wind." Somehow "Soliloquy" seems to capture the essence of Princess Leia, the human being. It can be very difficult to look behind the celluloid facade sometimes. Even more difficult is to portray clearly what is there, and Wanda did it.

I think what I liked best about "Dust in the Wind" is the feeling that you really thought about the plot and setting. Oftentimes a long explanation in a story is the author trying to explain to herself what she's doing. There's none of that sort of thing here. Enough details are dropped here and there about Imperial military life that I feel like I know what it's like.

Oops - forgot "Battle For Bespin." It's a marvelous piece.The language is casual but elegant, like the contrast between Han and General Veers. I liked all the poems, as a matter of fact. Usually I don't care for free verse - too many use it as the easiest way to write poetry. But all the poets here seem to know what they're doing. Now, I want to move on to "Interpretations." I tend to believe that Luke was not suiciding at all when he jumped from Vader. I base my belief on the look on Luke's face just before he jumped and the way he looked around himself. Even that could be interpreted in two ways, so let's look at both.

First, maybe he was suiciding. He looked about, saw certain death on all sides save one, where Darth Vader held out a hand to him. He knew what he had to do. His triumphant glance at Vader says that even here, where Vader thinks that Luke has only one way to go, Luke knows the right thing to do, even if it's dying for the sake of the Galaxy. Luke's jump is, therefore, a noble sacrifice. (And since, like Abraham, he was willing to make the sacrifice, he is spared the necessity of going through with it.)

Yes, that makes sense. But, let's try the other view. It seemed to me that Luke looked down - and saw a possible exit. That he felt he could control his fall sufficiently to survive. The Luke of "A New Hope" and TESB is, however, reckless - as Yoda will tell you with great feeling. He always seems to take the most daring route - straight into the detention area, across a chasm on a quarter-inch rope, into the trench full-throttle, up under the belly of a Walker - well, you know what I mean. I think he would have the derring-do to try a jump to freedom. When he looks up at Vader, it is as if to say, "Thanks for the vote of confidence. Pop (remember Vader saying, "You can destroy the Emperor. He has forseen this. It is your destfny.") — I'll be going now. And, I will destroy the Emperor, but not your way." The choice you see him making is still there - whether to keep his promise and somehow escape to get back to Dagobah, or to "choose the quick and easy path" by taking the black-gloved hand extended to him.

"I know" - My reaction to this line, the first time I saw Empire, was not anger. As I fought back tears at Han's fate, I thought, "You poor sap, you still can't express your feelings in words?" It is. hard, when all your life you've had to hide your feelings. Actually, one look into Han's eyes gives the answer, especially since the line was Harrison Ford's idea - he was, therefore, acting in synch with it, expressing what he meant the line to express. He loves her. The only way he doesn't express it is in words.

I don't feel quite prepared to deal with the question of Leia. I've read far too many negative opinions, and I feel tainted. I'm only just beginning to see beyond that - your zine has helped me immensely in that area. Please don't stop running positive opinions. I'm tired of being on the defensive. Besides, negative opinions are more illogical, I've found. If you're writing in fanzines, be a fan, not a critic (in the derogatory sense of the word.) Well, enough of that. Thank you, thank you again for the good words.[1]

I have so much to write about that I divided the list into categories. That way I'll be able to cover everything. Okay, onward. I have truly enjoyed Kessel Run. For a premier issue, it is fantastic, in fact. The only complaint I have is that, somehow, I ended up with two copies of page 22. At least the picture is interesting!

First Category: Stories - All were written with good plot, good character development and interesting ideas. I've seen SW and TESB enough times to have the character development down pat. When I read a fan-written story and I actually hear the characters saying the words in my mind as I read, I know the story to have good development and I enjoy it all the more. Among my favorites, "Toward A Corellian Conquest" ranks first. Pat certainly gives a plausible reason for Leia's glare at Han when he informs the General that he is leaving in TESB. "Old Comrade's Children" and "Departures" were both nice, plausible pre-SW stories. I enjoy reading fan fie dealing with Obi-wan. So much has already been written about the Kenobi-Vader confrontation that it is refreshing to read of what Obi-wan did afterward. He had to have visited Luke or seen him at least a few times before the fateful encounter.

Second Category: Artwork - Where have you found all of these talented and creative people? Don't lose them! Give them all my highest praise. I just love all the cartoons, too. The want-ad page was a scream. But my favorite cartoon was "Judge me by my size, will you?" Hilarious!

Third Category: The 'let's all stand up and be counted for Leia column.' A good idea and desperately needed. I love the SW saga; everything about it pleases me. I couldn't believe that Leia has been so maligned by some parts of fandom. I suppose everyone has their own opinions, but there is a right way and a wrong way to say them. What is so devastating about having a strong, heroine? Leia is greatly underestimated. She puts more work into the Rebellion than any of the others. It is her life now. And if she seems standoffish or cold, it's because she was raised that way. Persons of royal birth are taught from earliest age to be leaders and how to lead. To be effective, one's emotions have to take a backseat. Leia must make quick decisions, and taking time to question her emotions would be disastrous. Leia is highly intelligent. During the two SW movies, we've seen her program droids, fire blasters with the best of them, work at various stations in the Rebel Command Center, work on and even fly the Falcon. What else can she do? Everything, I'm beginning to think. So, let's hear it for Leia. Give her some credit for being an equal among the heroes. End of statement.

Fourth Category: The Interpretations column. It gave me some new ideas and food for thought. I admit that I actually never thought about the three topics chosen to the extent that you and Beverly did. I admit that I did think a lot about Luke and what he did. If I may offer a few words: I personally feel that Luke jumped to escape Vader, whether he intended to do it permanantly or temporarily. Either way, Vader embodies everything that Luke detests. Luke would never, ever let himself be taken by the Dark Side. If death was the only way out, Luke would take it. Even Vader's claim of fatherhood (which I personally do not believe) could not draw Luke to the Dark Side. I like the idea of the self-sacrifice, which Luke was doing anyway. Didn't Luke go to Cloud City with that idea in mind? He knew it was a trap, but he wanted to save Han and Leia. Well, at least that's how I feel about this topic. Fifth Category: Poetry - Of all the poems, "Circle" touched me the deepest. I believe that it clearly stated Lando's inner feelings and thoughts. Granted, Lando was an ass for not warning Han of the surprise awaiting him. And yet, he should have known better than to trust Vader, of all people. But, regardless of how people react his evident betrayal, I feel he truly regrets having done it. I don't think he'll betray the Rebellion; certainly not with Chewie constantly watching him. I feel that Lando won't dare rest until he has found Han alive and safely returns him to Leia. In fact, he may even want Han to beat the shit out of him! He knows he deserves it! Whether or not their friendship will be restored is another story. But after Lando's blatant betrayal of Vader, his life is forfeit. Lando has nowhere to go except the Rebellion, even if his being there is cooly received, and Lando knows his position. I doubt that he'll endanger if further. By the way, what was Lando doing to those controls that he didn't want Vader to see? (Ed: starting the thaw cycle? Maybe Boba Fett will be in for a big surprise.) He definitely had a sneaky look on his face while doing it.

Speaking of inner thoughts, "Soliloquy On A String Of Beads" was terrific. I've read it over and over. It helps me to understand Leia's complex personality, the one she keeps hidden. She is suffering, too, perhaps more than the other characters.

Well, I could go on and on heaping praise here and there. Kessel Run is just all around fantastic. And thanks for letting my ramble on and on like this. Frankly, I think GL knew exactly what he was doing when he gave us Empire full of questions and controversies. We have to have something to do until Revenge, don't we?[1]

Thanks for getting Kessel Run to me so quickly. I was really pleased, and I am glad to say that it was every bit as good as I had been led to believe. The simple quality of the zine strikes me first. I always notice that before I notice anything else, and I admit that it is hard for me to like a zine that is put together poorly and is quite apparently second rate material. I never found a flaw that got in the way of the reading and enjoyment of this zine.

"Old Comrades' Children" is well done. The only problem I had with the story is that the description and the technological information got in the way of the story at times. The description of the scene in the second paragraph of the first page being a prime example. Well done, yes, but you lose track of what she is talking about. I had to read the paragraph twice to get all the detail, and then realized that I didn't know what the story was doing. A little less of this might ha.ve_still accomplished her purpose and wouldn't have gotten in the way of the plot.

"To Kill A Corellian" - a story I thought a bit cliche'd at first. It was - or looked - so predictable. The Leia/Han scenes were extremely well vwritten, and I felt that Kay had captured the essence of that relationship better than anyone else I had been reading lately. The end, of course, makes the story, and while some may be tempted to cry 'Deus es machina' (no pun intended), I still liked it... primarily because she didn't allow herself to fall into the predictable ending.

"It Can't Stay Winter Forever" - Great! I have read the poem a dozen times and like it better each time.

The Last Dream" is a very well handled prequel. If a little predictable, it is still well handled, and I did find myself wondering who the character was in the first page. I know that was part of the mystery of the story, trying to figure out whose head you were in, and it was well done.

I didn't like "Corellian Haze" ... personal, I suppose. The story was well written and the scene where Leia discovers Han is injured is well handled; I could literally hear Leia saying those words. However, I just didn't buy the ending. I couldn't imagine Leia like that. And, while Han is the type to pick up and carry off what he wants, I just couldn't force myself to believe this one.

Pat Nussman's "Toward A Corellian Conquest" was fun. I enjoyed the action of the story and, again, liked the Leia/Han interplay. Basically enjoying action stories more than really deep thoughtful stories, I enjoyed this one a lot.

"Soliloquy On A String Of Beads" - Wanda has done something that no one else has ever done before; she has made me feel something for Leia. I have never been able to 'get into' the character before, as I had nothing to compare it to. I had no one in my life even slightly like Leia and couldn't understand her. This story gave me that understanding. Such emotion and such understanding in one simple page of print ... very, very well done.

"The Start Of Something Big" - I have not read any of Marcia's work before and, perhaps if I had, I would have liked the story better. I did enjoy the places where she worked our favorite lines into new scenes and how she clearly was relating the two universes. Not my favorite of the stories in the zine, but good reading at any rate.

"Dust In The Wind" - I enjoyed the relationship between Han and Chewbacca, feeling that it was the way the Wookiee would have started, and also enjoyed the fact that it inferred a life for Chewie before he met up with Han and became his partner. I know that Chewbacca is hard to write about and that there isn't a great deal of call for those stories, but I enjoyed the 'history' hinted at in the story.

I read the zine very slowly, it was the only one I had -- and would be -- the only one for a long time. I avoided the urge to sit down and read it all in one afternoon, as I am in the habit of doing.

This way, the zine lasted me a long time, and I believe that I enjoyed the stories more. But, Kessel Run isn't the type of zine that you can read in one afternoon. It isn't the action-based, thoughtless stories I have seen in most of the zines I have read. Instead, most of the stories left me with the feeling that I would have liked to know these people, and it also left me feeling that I wanted to know more about them, about their lives, about what lay ahead of them.

I think that is what I liked about SW when I finally became a fan. You almost KNOW what Kirk/Spock/McCoy will do after the stories all run out. There isn't a lot of doubt in anyone's mind what will happen in the end, and an alternate universe is nice, but it isn't Trek. In SW we don't have that problem. Yes, it is hard to imagine our heroes in some situations and, as I have pointed out, there are times when I can't see Han or Leia or Luke in a particular circumstance. But there are thousands of situations we can see them in and, especially after TESB, any number of ways that the main characters could go. We have the freedom to develop new characters, new lives without having to tie them to a Starship. Kessel Run points out all the best in the new SW universe and the diversity of its potential. [1]

From Other Zines

I could tell I had a good zine in my hands when I pulled Kessel Run out of the envelope. It has a crisp, professional appearance, generally good artwork, a compact layout, and no typos! At least none that I noticed, and that's the real trick. Most of the stories and poems in KR fall under two categories -- pre-Star Wars, and Han/Leia relationship... The Han/Leia stories and poems are all very good. My favorites were 'Soliloquy on a String of Beads' and 'The Start of Something Big,' with 'Toward a Corellian Conquest' running a close third. 'Soliloquy,' a one-page vignette with a lovely illustration by the author, is a poignant view of Leia examining herself as she tries to 'grow up.' The style and the mood of this piece are exquisite. 'Something Big' is an Alterniverse tale which goes into how Han and Leia meet in that universe, where the Republic escaped becoming the Empire and Leia is engaged in trying to thwart those who still want to overthrow the Republic. Its only real fault is that Han and Leia seem to fall in love too quickly. Otherwise the action is believable and exciting, and the background is described well enough to explain what's going on without getting boring. 'Toward a Corellian Conquest' deals with Han and Leia's developing relationship in the context of their Rebel activities on Ord Mantell. The politics are difficult to understand, but the characterization of Han and Leia are careful and excellent. Pat extrapolates their relationship backwards from the beginning of Empire and shows it developing in a credible way. The three Han/Leia poems, two by Marcia Brin and one by Karen Miller, are touching and lyrical, two from Leia's point of view and one from Lando's at the end of Empire. The story 'Corellian Haze' is a nice story with nothing wrong with it, but I didn't particularly enjoy it -- except for the end. Next came the pre-SW stories. 'Old Comrad's Children' has Ben Kenobi just after the fall of the Republic meeting young Luke, Han, and Leia. This story doesn't have much too it. 'The Last Dream' starts off with a long first-person soliloquy so that it takes a page and a half to find out the protagonist is Luke's father. It deals with his death, somewhat unconvincingly. 'New Beginnings' is a pleasant piece about Luke's first few moths before leaving Tatooine. It's nicely written, but one thing jangles -- [the author] gives him a lover on a nearby homestead and one wonders how he could just forget her such a a short time later to go off with Ben. The last two stories are decidedly better. 'Departures' is the story of a final expedition on Tatooine for Luke and his friends before Biggs' and Tanks' departure for the Academy. It has a good mixture of humor, adventure, and sadness and has good characterizations, especially of Biggs and teenage Luke. 'Dust in the Wind' is about Han's military service and the reason he left it to become a smuggler. The military background is sketched in well, and the characterizations are very good, especially Han, Chewie, and Han's turncoat superior officer. Immediately before this story is a poem called 'Wanderer' -- it seems to go hand-in-hand with this story. There are two stories and several poems that fall under neither category. First is 'To Kill a Corellian,' a somewhat boring murder mystery with sloppy characterizations and an unconvincing baddie. The zine's one comedy piece (besides the cartoons and the terrific inside back cover) is 'Delayed Reaction,' a hilarious parody of MarySues, the situation at the end of Empire, and -- believe it -- 'The Frog Prince.' 'The Battle for Bespin' with an illustration by the author, is an epic-style poem about the honor of an Imperial. It's short but also [the author] doesn't waste a line, so the characters and the central idea come across clearly and flawlessly. We even have some non-fiction in this zine. 'Interpretations' is a set of very well-thought-out questions in which the editor postulates some possible answers and calls for readers' responses on three of the burning questions in Empire -- why Luke jumped, why Han said 'I know,' and whether Leia is a 'bitch' or a 'feeling human being.' These issues are stated in a positive manner, quite the opposite from the attacks I've seen on the movie in some areas. Along the same positive vein are the pro-Leia responses, letters from assorted fen in response to Leia as a character and a person. I was very glad to see these -- I was beginning to think no one liked Leia, but it seems that this is because her attackers have been so loud and raucous... The artwork, as I have said, is mostly very good and it's reproduced nicely. The most significant contributions are Dot Sasscer's cover and Gee Moaven's several illustrations. The best thing about Kessel Run is its variety. The editor has made the most of her resources, and I think her zine has an illustrious future ahead. [3]

Kessel Run is a first effort disguised as a third or even fourth time around! There are enough stories of differing subjects to keep most fans happy and, although the zine is dedicated to Leia, it doesn't leave out the other major characters.

"To Kill a Corelllan," by Kay Crist, is a murder mystery set on the rebel base. It seems someone has been murdering male Corelllans, aged 25-43. Sound familiar? Hell, Han Solo Is a prime candidate for extermination and It's up to Lela, Luke and a rebel general to protect him. I liked this story, not so much for the plot, but because Han and Leia are well along In their relationship and are able to admit their feelings for each other. The murder mystery offers no real surprise or twist, but it's enough of a plot to show off the new loving relationship.

Samantha Blackley's "Corelllan Haze" has the Empire just being overthrown, and briefly focuses on the adjustments that must be made by Han, Lela and Luke. It's an Interesting subject that could be explored more extensively but this story does give us a brief look at Han's feelings at suddenly being out of place among the ex-rebels.

Pat Nussman's "Toward a Corelllan Conquest" Is a solid action-adventure yarn that has escapes, good character treatment, and a bit of romance. It deals with that fabled trip to Ord Mantell. I liked it In spite of the fact that I'm a Luke fan primarily and young Skywalker contributes little to the story. It was engrossing enough to make me forget this fact.

"New Beginnings" by Lynne Terry is a young Luke (age 19) story that deals with an entity rarely treated in fandom — Luke's girlfriend on Tatooine. I liked the romance here. Luke is mature and seems older than 19 when he's with Jessie and she's a nice match for him — loving, understanding and appreciative of his attributes.

Marcia Brin's "The Start of Something Big" Is an "Alterniverse Cycle" story, which means it offers us a different version of how Han and Leia met. This meeting takes place on a seedy planet; Leia is trying to hide from enemies. She runs into a cantina, sees a secluded corner table and slides in across form a certain Corelllan. What follows is an action filled story that pits Han and Leia against an evil Guild. There are escapes, bickering, romance ... well, you get the idea, something for everyone.

"Delayed Reaction" by Irene Shafer Is a spoof of a laughable entity — the Mary Sue disease — and the lampoon arrow hits the mark. It's quite hilarious.

"Dust In the Wind" by Michelle Malkin is a Han Solo court-martial story. I liked the story mainly because it presented a 21-year-old Solo and it was interesting to see what events shaped his personality into the Solo we meet in Star Wars, ten years later. These are most of the major stories, and the others are equal to the quality of the ones I've mentioned.

Graphics are fine and the artwork is much more than fine. Artists like Gee Moaven, Dot Sasscer, M.R.O. Ludwig, Stephanie Hawks and others have made this zine a rare item — good stories and good art. The cartoonies (their word, folks) by Cathye Faraci are absolute gems.

I recommend Kessel Run wholeheartedly, be you a Luke fan, Leia fan, or Han fan but especially if you're just a fan of a good zine. [4]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, Wanda Lybarger
back cover of issue #2, Cathye Faraci
inside back cover, Yvonne Zan

Kessel Run 2 was published in 1981 and is 215 pages long. Art by Wanda Lybarger, Yvonne Zan, Cathye Faraci, Kim Reis, June M. Edwards, Debra R. Drake, Anne Davenport, Sergio Iaconianni, Bev Swan, Carol McPherson, Judith Low, Dot Sasser, J.R. Dunster, Deborah Kogan, MRO Ludwig, Stephanie Hawks, and Karen River.

Dedication: "This issue of Kessel Run is dedicated to the people who helped make it possible when my typewriter died four times in eight months - Joan Shumsky, Pat Nussman, Barabara Green Deer and Judith Gran, trufen every one. It's also dedicated to Han Solo for the simple fact of his existence."

  • The Readers Blast Off! (LoCs) (4)
  • Quisling, story by Deborah June Laymon and Deborah K. Goldstein, art by June E. Edwards (13)
  • Eternal Heart, poem by Beverly Lorenstein, art by Debra R. Drake (33)
  • So Much for Reality, Right?, story by Jane S. Sibley, art by Anne Davenport (34)
  • A Consumer’s Guide to Star Wars Pro-Fic, article by Eluki bes Shahar (47)
  • Tete-a-Tete, dialogue by Karen Miller, art by Sergio Iaconianni (49)
  • The Life Day Peril, story by Chris Jeffords, art by Cathye Faraci (part of the Brightstar Universe) (52)
  • Oh, You're Quite Welcome, Sir, poem by Jacqueline Taero (74)
  • "Sweet Revenge". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10., vignette by Pat Nussman (75)
  • Visitor's Day, vignette by Wanda Lybarger art by Bev Swan (77)
  • Mission to Garin, story by Sheila Paulson, art by Carol McPherson (Han and Chewie encounter trouble on a cargo run.) (80)
  • In Joke, cartoon by Pam Kowalski (88)
  • Fugitive Devotions by Susan Matthews, art by Judith Low (89)
  • Close Encounters of the First Kind, story by Marcia Brin, art by Dot Sasscer (90)
  • Blind Man's Bluff, story by Kay Crist, art by J.R. Dunster (99)
  • Perchance, vignette by Sharon F, art by Cathye Faraci (111)
  • Choices, poem by Jane E. Sibley, art by June E. Edwards (112)
  • The Albatross' Blood, story by L.A. Adolf, art by Sergio Iaconianni (How does Chewbacca's son Lumpy react to Lando after learning what has happened to Han on Cloud City?) (115)
  • Rogues’ Gallery, art folio by June M. Edwards, title art by Deborah Kogan (123)
  • The Odd (or even?) Extra Page (128)
  • The Rest is History, story by Irene Shafer, art by Wanda Lybarger (SW meets the Frisco Kid.) (129)
  • After Dinner Conversation, poem by Pat Nussman, art by Dot Sasscer (153)
  • Sun-Grazer, story by Anne Elizabeth Zeek and Barbara Wenk, art by MRO Ludwig (155)
  • A Lover's Embrace, poem by Sharon F, art by Bev Swan (159)
  • Solo, poem by Ann Colford, art by Wanda Lybarger (161)
  • Still a Chance, dialogue by Cynthia Shannon, art by Stefanie Hawks (163)
  • In Whose Back Yard?, article by Judith Gran (165)
  • Together We'll Rule the Galaxy -- Father and Son, poem by Michelle Malkin, art by Debra R. Drake (177)
  • Soliloquy on a String of Pearls, vignette by Wanda Lybarger, art by Lybarger (discussed in Han and Leia in Fanfiction) (178) (reprinted from issue #1)
  • Superscription, vignette by Deborah J. Laymon, art by Debra R. Drake (180)
  • Spoken Words, Hidden Meanings, poem by Sharon F. art by Karen River (183)
  • Reflections in Starlight, story by Sharon F, art by Stefanie Hawks (184)
  • New Kid on the Block, story by Marcia Brin, art by Dot Sasscer (190)
  • Love's Mysteries, story by Pat Nussman, art by Wanda Lybarger (Han and Leia realize their feelings for each other on the ill-fated trip to Bespin. A definitive Han and Leia story and a classic of Star Wars fanzine fandom. PG13, contains some adult situations. Reprinted in Alliance & Empire #2) (194)
  • The Huckster Room, ads (79, 216)

There is a massive amount of art in this issue, a sample is below.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

From LoCs in "Kessel Run" #3

I received KR2 in the mail yesterday, with many thanks. Just when I was getting bored with SW fandom and the repetition that was stultifying the art, your zine gave me hope. Maybe it's just because we're so far away, but a lot of the Aussie fans are getting tired of fandom for that reason -- I'm so pleased to see that there is still originality left. A lot of people may get mad with me for saying that, but it is the truth as I see it and I believe in being honest. Specifically, since this is an LoC and not a soapbox, if possible I think you've improved on KRl. Your contents are of a high standard again, although again I feel that there are some pieces better than others. I found nothing unacceptable I'll deal with the artwork first. All beautifully presented and finished, even though some styles are looser than others. They are all pleasing to the eye. I was disappointed by Sasscer's work for "Close Encounters of the First Kind, though. I think she is a highly skilled artist, but her proportions were terrible. Lybarger's work continues to improve; her bold brush strokes are very refreshing after all the countless niggly bits. And, before you scream, I will continue by saying that the painstaking artwork is also a pleasure -- congradulations to Low whose art for "Fugitive Devotions" at last showcases her great potential - but a fresh style is welcome, and of course, the individuality of it precludes a reader wondering whether it is Wagner or whoever. Individuality is the key to recognition. I am not familiar with Dunster's work, but her Han illo on 103 is wonderful. All in all, a great standard of art.

The shorter work and poetry I enjoyed very much, although I don't think there was any thing particularly outstanding this issue. I'm pleased to see that you give as much space and consideration to the short pieces as you do to the stories.

Speaking of which, I enjoyed every bit of fiction in the zine. I am absolutely enchanted with Pat Nussman and I look for ward eagerly to more of her work. Chris Jeffords has whetted my appetite for more young Han stuff -- she just keeps getting better and better. Marcia Erin's work is also improving and I look forward to more.

I don't think Kay Crist's piece was up to her usual standards. "Blind Man's Bluff" is not one of her better pieces. Jane Sibley's piece was very amusing and an unashamed wish fulfillment story -- I have absolutely nothing against these types of stories, except when the author attempts to pass them off as otherwise. That's when the dreaded Mary Sue comes along, and no one likes a Mary Sue unless it is open about it.

My overall opinion is again 5 star - your experience is showing, and new zineds who moan 'why can't my first efforts be like this' should take a close analytical look at what you've done with your zine. My heartiest congradulations. [5]

I am glad to see that you're using rubdown for storyheads and page numbers; it gives the zine a much more professional look. You might profit by a bit closer proofreading-- I found rather a lot of typos--but then, so might most zines. The reduced print is a good idea, though I feel that it should be coupled with double-columning. It's...the only word I can think of is awkward ... to have to follow a whole line of reduction across the page.

Contents: "Quisling" is a fine story, reminiscent of Nowakowska's "Last Sanctuary" (SKYWALKER I) in its political vision, racial complexities and concentration on Jedi ways. I especially enjoyed the throwaway about the Order's customs and training methods. I feel that there should have been more focus on the Clone Wars, since we know that Luke's father fought in them, and I would like to see a sequel telling more about Lucas, since it seems fairly obvious that the authors share my own opinion that Vader and Luke's father were two different men. Did Lucas, like Kenobi, become a fugitive? Will Jeheyn be Luke's mother? I also quibble with the use of the word 'abbey'--too Terran--but that's minor.

The portrait of young Darth is excellent; his doubts and inner conflicts beautifully portrayed. You know that he's going to Turn in the end, but you feel sad and sympathetic when he does. More of this, please! June Edwards is a good artist. Hang onto her.

"So Much For Reality, Right?" has got to be a spoof of Mary Sue stories, I think. "Sweet Revenge" is funny, and "Visitor's Day" chilling. "Mission To Garin" might have profited by a bit more background, but the interaction between Han and Chewie is well done, especially the dialogue. Intriguing to find a big strong being like Chewie dubious about making landfall for fear of enemies. Both of Marcia Brin's stories are full of the kind of gentle humor that I love. I'd like to see Marcia address the ques tion of what Han did in the Corps (since she'd persuaded him to enter it at the end of her contribution to KR1) and I'll be interested the Alterniverse Han and Leia meet the Luke of their Universe, who--since there was never an Empire--has probably grown up a Jedi and known who his father was.

"Blind Man's Bluff" is especially notable for the Han/Lando interactionj it all falls into place perfectly. I think Kay might have clarified whether Han knows he's ESPering or not, and I'd be interested in seeing a story in which--now that he knows he can do it--he uses it even after his eyesight is back. I didn't care for Perchance," but the accompanying illo is great: erotic, yet perfectly tasteful.

Lisa Adolf appears all too infrequently in zines, but perhaps that helps to give her time to perfect her stories. "The Albatross" Blood" is both a good story on its own and a logical tie-in/sequel to "Little One."

Lumpy's reactions are particularly well done. I didn't know quite what to think of "The Rest Is History" -- a spoof, I think, but then again... Avram was transposed nicely into the SW universe (though I disagree with the suicide aspect,) and Han-as-Tommy combines the attitudes of both his 'selves' to bridge the gap perfectly.

"Reflections In Starlight" I didn't like. It seemed rather improbable--except for Han's unconscious use of the Force with which I agree completely--and I think, too, that Sharon should have clarified how it was that Luke and Leia could understand the tape. Had Chewie run it through comp for translation or have they come to comprehend Wookiee since TESB?

"Love's Mysteries" I comment upon from the vantage point of a quirk of mine: I don't believe that Han is in love with Leia, and I don't see them as a steady item. Even if they were, I'm inclined to doubt that they've made love yet. If they had, I think Leia would never have had to say "I love you" in the freeze chamber. On the other hand, the story is well done in and of itself. I especially liked the whole portrait of Han--his reactions, thoughts and dialogue--and the charac terization of Leia as a person sick to death of being a figurehead. And it's nice to see something of Rieekan. The art is splendid, as Wanda's art always is. My favorite is the dance-piece on page 208.

Poetry: my favorite piece is "After-Dinner Conversation." I think that Lando deserves more attention from fandom, much of which seems to dislike him as cordially as they do Fett. Pat ho,£ painted a skilled and understanding picture of his roots, which make his actions in TESB thoroughly comprehensible. Runner-up to this piece is Susan Matthews' "Fugitive Devotions"-- a real gut-wrencher. I enjoyed "In-Joke" too, though I didn't understand it.[5]

KESSEL RUN II was one of the brightest spots in the pile of zines I ordered in conjunction with MediaWest. It has definitely reached the 'state-of-the-art' and, Michelle, congradulations ! You have added immeasurably to my enjoyment of fandom! The artwork was particularly beautiful. Wanda Lybarger eloquently caught Leia's pain as she watches the SLAVE I blast off from Bespin. Also, Cathye Faraci's beautiful portrait of Han and Leia facing page 111 was a loving gift to their fans. I also noted that June Edward's art accompanying "Quisling" bore a striking resem blance to David Prowse. All in all, the artwork was superb!

The cartoons were highly enjoyable, especially Y. Zan's on the inside bacover. Wouldn't you just love to see that happen? Also like the other Vader 'toons. Han's solution to the Asteroids video game on Page 193 was something I've felt like doing for a long time! After all, he can't very well fly the Falcon through that particular asteroid field, now, can he??? I especially liked Karen Miller's "Tete-A-Tete." I think most of us have wondered about the trip to Bespin and much has been written about it, but this dialogue works very well. At this point, I think that Leia doesn't want to admit her feelings because she's still an innocent where male/female relationships are concerned. I think she's taken aback when Han admits his love, but she still can't bring herself to be as open. However, as much as she pretends to hold back, the Leia before this would never have asked him to stay the night. It is a crack in the wall and it's only a matter of time--even though that time took place in the carbon freeze chamber. Lovely words . "Fugitive Devotions" by Susan Matthews was spellbinding! Too few stories and/or poems have been written about Leia's guilt re Alderaan, the people she's had to send to their deaths, etc., not to mention Han's life. I guess we've taken it pretty much for granted how she feels. Susan shows us her pain and it is the most honest rendering of Leia's guilt I have read. Excellent! "After-Dinner Conversation" by Pat Nussman was a very good Lando vehicle. I think many people have given Lando a bum rap. After all, how many of us would dare go up against the guy in the black suit? I don't think there was a choice. I particularly enjoyed Lando's thoughts on Han and their friendship. It will be interesting to see what happens to their friendship in RotJ--when the smoke clears.

Now, on to the stories. Marcia Brin's Alterniverse Cycle stories were such fun. Putting Han in charge of the money was a brilliant stroke. We all know he's not going to let anyone or anything cheat Leia, and his handling of the 'old thief' was a joy to read. I particularly liked her characterization of Bail Organa. Not too many stories have been written about Leia's father in which he has a sense of humor and actually likes his new Corellian son-in- law. It was a revelation. Marcia's sense of humor and writing style, as always, areajoytoread.

On to more serious matters - Lisa Adolf's "The Albatross' Blood" was so believably and cleverly done. Lando's character has been villified ad nauseum and it isn't very fair to him. I don't think there was very much he could do under the circumstances, and Vader is a frightening adversary. I think we lose sight of the fact that Lando had a great responsibility to the citizens of Bespin and he surely can't be faulted for wanting to protect them. Lisa's story portrayed his guilt feelings over the whole matter in the best way I've read to date. As much as we don't like the idea of his betraying Han, I really don't think he had much of a choice. I especially like the way in which Lumpy came to accept him. Chewie, as usual, is wise in the ways of the humans he deals with. All in all, an excellent characterization of Lando.

"Quisling" by Laymon and Goldstein was one of the most interesting portrayals of young Darth Vader I've read. What, however, was most fascinating was how the authors dealt with the Dark Side, particularly the personalities of the 'villains' - the Maelwis, Lord Urhari and General Movisch. Yoda was right - the Dark Side is easier, more seductive.

Christine Jefford's "Life Day Peril" was particularly timely. Sad to see, however, that even advanced societiei have drug problems Kay Grist's "Blind Man's Bluff" was also very good. At first I didn't agree that Han would react with such self-pity about his blindness but, on reflection, I believe he'd do exactly that. Being such an alive and vital person, losing his sight would be a terribly traumatic blow, especially where his relationship with Leia is con cerned. Also, as in the story, he is man enough to overcome this handicap with his outstanding courage and the love of friends. "Reflections In Starlight" by Sharon F brought to light a theory of mine that Chewie and Kenobi were acquainted. It was too coincidental that Ben picked that particular cantina and that particular pilot. So many questions to be answered. The thing I found most interesting in "Sun-Grazer" by A. Zeek and B. Wenk was the 'voice' speaking to Luke. I would like to think it is Luke's real father, the "...elder Skywalker..." people keep alluding to. This man gets more fascinating with each hint we receive.

Without a doubt, Pat Nussman's story, "Love's Mysteries," from the continuing 'Lady of the Rebellion' series, was my favorite. As in the first story, I love her characterization of General Rieekan. He has warmth, humor and a genuine father-like affection for Leia. The whole story was a wonderful behind-the-scenes tale of the events in TESB. That Rieekan likes Han is obvious, as he keeps throwing him and Leia together. I also liked Luke's character when he 'sees' Han and Leia's relationship before Han does -- its ultimate conclusion, that is. His line "...Well I haven't been asleep these past three years and I haven't been blind..." was excellent. As I mentioned before, the beauty and sensitivity that Pat showed in the inevitable joining of Han and Leia was a joy to read. We are given a glimpse without intruding on their privacy. My favorite part of the story, however, was the progression of Han's thoughts and his realization of his love for Leia while in the detention cell while she is asleep. Beginning with the sentence "And then you're as good as gone, aren't you?" to his final "No, guess not, Leia. ..for the first time. ..I'm not as good as gone..." Sigh! Thanks, Pat, for a beautiful story. Again, congradulations, Michelle, on a fantas tic zineI (Editor's note; Purrrr.)[5]

Many thanks for producing Kessel Run II. I have found it to be a most enjoyable zine. I do like the inclusion of a LoC column. Such things help to aid the communication of ideas between people, and that communication is a major part of what I like about fandom. As to Han Solo - Remember he is a trained star pilot His engineering skills also seem sufficient to make even Scotty jealous. Pilots do need the ability to navigate a ship. Han shows considerable skill in this area as well. Han may say he has no need of 'hokey religions, ' but he does have knowledge of such things, as well. His is not an ignorance of such things, but rather a shying away, as of one once burned who would not wish the pain to repeat itself. There is a distinct difference in not knowing and avoiding. No contact- no hurt. It does make one wonder at the underlying scar tissue which he is so insistent upon keeping covered.

The next area of speculation is whether or not the carbon freeze scene had the necessary force to make all this avoidance impossible, so that matters will have to be confronted and the running and hiding from himself stopped. "Quisling" was a good story. Indeed, evil is fallen good. It is tempting because it knows the way of the other and is but a mirror reflection. The test of good is that it needs to learn and know evil, but not fall into its abyss. Hmmm - could it be that this is the lesson cycle which Han Solo is now engaged in learning?

"So Much For Reality, Right?" - Liked the idea of the 'heroine' contemplating using Mary Sue for a name. Indeed, a Mary Sue that had me chuckling.

"The Albatross' Blood" was a good exploration of Lando's feelings. I'm happy to see something of this type included in the zine.

Judith Gran's article was most intriguing. One could question in this line if Christopher Reeve's appearance in "Death Trap" might not adversely affect the Superman product line. After all, the character played in that production was not in the Superman image. A mention in Twilight Zone magazine did say something about "crestfallen children who came out saying Superman was a fag, " and that was why the production was R-rated. To carry the universe closer, at the showing of "Bladerunner" some friends and I attended, a few people walked out because of some of the violence. Again, this was a reason that the R rating was affixed to the film. Buyer Beware. I doubt that either of these examples will affect box office or spin-off sales of Jedi or Superman and, if such commercial productions don't affect the saleability of the product, then fan fiction could certainly not be said to fall under that spectre.

May I say that "New Kid On The Block" gave me great delight. The 'it takes one to know one' theme acting itself out in this story made it a most enjoyable reading experience!

"Love's Mysteries' was one of my favorite stories in the zine. It progressed beautifully, and it is a compliment to say one could envision events taking place as they were chronicled. [5]

Where to start? Why not the front cover and Wanda Lybarger? Beautiful . Not just her front cover, either. All of her artwork is excellent My personal favorite was her illo for "Solo" on page 160. I like - no, make that love her artwork so much, I'm having trouble expressing it. I mean, I could get sickening in my blathering about it. I just like her style. Somehow, she managed to instill her artwork with a depth of passion and strength of character that actually made me see the person she was illoing and not just a one-demensional illo of that person. Then, while I'm still reeling in awe over her art, I read "Soliloquy On A String Of Beads." She writes as good as she draws. My eyes were once brown - Wanda Lybarger just turned them green. I will happily make them bloodshot by seeing more of her art and writing.

I don't want to write a 50 page LoC, but I do want to name my favorites, such as: June Edward's illo of Vader in flames one page 31, and, of course, her Rogue's Gallery, Debra Drake's Luke for "Eternal Heart," Judy Low's sensitive and beautiful work on page 88, Jackie Munster's rendering of Han of for "Blind Man's Bluff" on page 103, Cathye Faraci's elegant bedroom scene on page 110, Dot Sasscer's lovely Lando on page 152, and her illo for "New Kind on the Block" on page 192 (what won me over on this illo, besides Han's terrific profile, was a familiar looking bookend,) and Stefanie Hawks' pensive sketchings of Luke and Han on page 162 and the trio of Jedi (Darth <was one once, don't forget) on page 186.

Now for the literary works. Once again, I enjoyed most everything, my favorites being Pat Nussman's and Marcia Brin's works . It's nice to see more people beginning to write about Lando, delving into the reasons behind his betrayal of a friend. Lando was, after all, only doing what Leia has been doing for quite awhile-sacrificing a few for many - and not without feeling the consequences of his actions as L.A.Adolf so touchingly shows in "The Albatross' Blood."

Susan Matthews' "Fugitive Devotions" is, as usual, up to the high standards I have come to respect in her work. Everything was well written, even the one story I found myself in partial disagreement with, Christine Jefford's "The Life Day Peril." And, even here, the disagreement came from personal opinions of characterization. My complaint here seems to be my main complaint with a lot of fan-fic. True, Han Solo has his good side, but I feel too many fans want to add their own moral codes onto his. Sorry if I offend, but remember, this is my opinion and I'in voicing it, just as many other fans voice theirs in their stories and LoCs.

Let's not forget what Solo is - a smuggler and a pirate. Let's not forget where Luke and Kenobi found him - Mos Eisley ("You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." Doesn't that tell you something about Han Solo?

Therefore, I found I could not truly believe in Christine Jefford's Han Solo. His feelings at the thought of trafficking UD (top of page 55) and his feelings about associating with Korda's type (top of page 56) seem a bit self-righteous to me. Seems to me, most people would deal with would be on Korda's level or pretty damn close to it. If Korda made Solo feel dirty, then he would always be feeling dirty. Like that saying: If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas." I also couldn't believe that after two years Han wouldn't know that Chewie had a son and that he wouldn't have given Chewie some idea about his own childhood. The dangers they face in their chosen life style would create a bond that would exceed those of an average friendship. Listen to men talk of their military buddies, the guys they fought beside - there is usually a closeness there far in advance of their civilian friendships. Even I have found out more in less than two years about people who aren't nearly as close to mo as Chewie is to Han. These two live together. Think about how much you'd know about a roommate aftrr two years. On page 58, Christine has Solo say he will never accept hard drugs, war supplies or slaves aboard his shpp. I can agree about slaves, knowing Han's sense of personal freedom, but not drugs and war supplies. His choices are getting pretty narrow - what does he smuggle? If his ethics are that high, I don't believe he'd be smuggling period. (Editor's note: What does he smuggle? How about medicinal or non-addic tive drugs, stolen goods of all kinds, products and materials with such taxes that their cost would be out of reach for most buyers, books, tapes and films proscribed by the Empire and, I am sure, much more? While I do agree with Chris about Han's refusing to run slaves and hard drugs, I disagree with her about the war supplies. But, I also disagree with Tia about Han being a pirate. The Falcon may be described as a pirate ship, but nowhere is Han ever seriously called a pirate.) I am of the opinion that, although Han is extremely popular and well-liked by fans, if they came face to face with his earthly equivalent, they wouldn't like him and they just might run for cover. Think about his earthly equivalents - criminals, thieves, drug dealers. Think about their moral codes and ethics. I don't mean to sound self-righteous in my own opinions, but I know people who wouldn't deal with the Han Solo in "The Life Day Peril" and who would react (to a lesser degree) the same as Korda. If Han does have such high values, I hope he would have enough sense to keep them to himself. By no means should you let these people know your contempt!When your lifestyle (not to mention your life) depends on dealing with people on the level Han does, you had better not act like you're above that level. If their hands are dirty, you'd better at least have some dirt under your nails. [5]

Much For Reality, Right" I enjoyed very much. I was afraid it would turn out to be a real Mary Sue when l realized the direction of the plot, but was pleasantly surprised to find that if it was a Mary Sue at times, it was nevertheless delightful. I was actually vious of the character and her adventures with Captain Solo. My only quibble is the end. Why do they all end up in bed with him? (Editor's note: Any reply I could give to this question would be interpreted as having absolutely no socially redeeming qualities, so I'd better just let it go.)

"A Consumer's Guide To SW Fro-Fic" by Eluki bes Shahar was a welcome article. I've often wondered what other fans thoughts of obscure little items like "The Wookiee Storybook, " and now I know. In general, her comments expressed ray feelings, although I rather like the idea of Han rescuing Chewie from slavery and Eluki doesn't think this storyline too sophisticated. And I also think that all the pro-fic can be woven together more or less - the Daley stuff and the storybook can be compatible if one stretches the imagination far enough. "Tete-A-Tete" by Karen Miller was another inte restingly insightful piece that shows what our favorite characters 'could' have been thinking and saying offscreen. I'm afraid I'm getting a bit jaded on the Han/Leia romance, though. I'll be glad when RotJ comes out and offers new material for writing about. "The Life Day Peril" I would have liked two years ago. Now, however, it seems rather repetitive. I kept feeling that I'd read it before. Also, Christine, while a very fine writer, occasionally lapses into wordiness. Everything was described in such minute detail that it got a bit boring toward the end. Also, I'm afraid the action lagged with too much tun ing around and explaining being done. The art work was quite well done and showed excellent movement. "Sweet Revenge" by Pat Nussman again seemed to fall into my 'typical' category, ly was enjoyable reading, but didn't stay with me. As a specualtive story it was satisfactory, even though Han won't have a beard in RotJ.

"Mission To Garin" by Sheila Paulson was a good Han/Chewbacca story showing the great affection the two have built up for each other over the years. However, it seems like I've seen an awful lot of Han/Chewbacca prequels lately. Marcia Erin's two stories were absolutely delightful. This is what I mean by a 'fresh' idea, and written with humor no less! "The Rest Is History" by Irene Shafer looks as if it started out as a cute idea that grew and eventually erupted into a story. For light reading, and taken with a grain of salt, it was okay. She wove the FRISCO KID plot into the SW universe quite expertly. I'm glad to see an article like "In Whose Back Yard" by Judith Gran included in KR2. Although I didn't read all of it, it wouId be very valuable to those writers worried about infringement.

"Love's Mysteries" by Pat Nussman was just a bit too much like "Slow Boat To Bespin" (either version) for my total liking, although I always enjoy reading stories where Han and Leia confront each other. Like I said before, I do become rather tired of the woman always ending up in Solo's bed, no matter who the woman is. Wanda Lybarger's art was, as usual, excellent I liked all the poetry in KR, and that's as simply as I can put it, not being a great critic of the rhyming line. Overall, the graphics in KR2 were good, although I ' m afraid I do not like the reduced type format at all. It's really hard on the eyes, especially if your eyes are itchy and red from hay fever. Also, I found a few too many typos for my liking. Ordinarily, I don't mind typing errors and can usually read right over them without blinking. However, in KR2 I seemed to notice an unusually high number. That really interrupts the flow of thought when reading. All in all, and excellent effort and a very good finished product. I do hope to see a few more original storylines in KR3, but by then the plot of KR3 should be known and who knows what vistas will open up before us fan fiction writers! [5]

KR2 was a zine I had really been waiting for and it didn't disappoint me.

As a dedicated Han/Leia fan, I had to favor "Love's Mysteries" by Pat Nussman. The characterizations were excellent with just the right touch of tenderness underlying the thoughts and actions. I liked the Bespin cell scene, the first I've read in fan fiction, but I can't see Han taking that long to find out that he loves Leia. I've always figured Han knew that he cared for Leia; he just hadn't (being Han) considered what it could mean for the future if Leia would finally admit she cared for him. I sure want to read more of Pat ' s work, though not necessarily of the "Sweet Revenge" variety. Lybarger ' s illos, as always, are great.

I think my second favorite was "The Rest Is History" by Irene Shafer. No Leia here, but the Frisco Kid, Avram, is a good sub, and it was fun to read. Again, loved the Lybarger illos. "In Whose Back Yard" was a clear, interstinf and detailed exposition of the fair use doctrine, and it made even me enjoy law. Jury duty is the closest I ever get. Hmmra, has Eluki bes Shahar ever read "The Maverick Moon, " another kids' SW book? I have. A SW fan can get pretty desperate before discovering fan fiction!

The rest of the stories and poetry entertained me in varying degrees. Oh, yes, "Soliloquy On A String Of Beads" was all I had expected after hearing about it from several sources.

Two stories that did not entertain me were "Quisling," which I just could not get into at all (brothels for abbeys'?) and "So Much for Reality, Right." I did like the young Darth illos (or should I say young Prowse) and don't disagree with the premise of such a formalized training for Jedi as much as with the jumpiness of the story.

Not to get too serious, but couldn't another time in Han's existence have been chosen for "So Much for Reality..." Right after the rescue from Jabba and carbon freeze? No, No! Having just read another fan/time-displacement and gets to go to bad with Han story, I've decided that two is enough no matter when the story is set. But, I would have liked "So Much..." a lot more if that one thing had been different. [5]

I just finished reading KR2 and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I can't find major flaws or dislikes to comment on, which shows what a truly fine zine it is.

Because I can't say that I dislike any of the contents, I'll just comment on a few of my favorites. Stories: I always enjoy Marcia Brin's work and her two stories are no exception. I've wondered myself, sometimes, what Leia's father would think of Han Solo. "So Much For Reality, Right?" is probably going to be classed a "typical Mary Sue story" by a lot of others, but I liked it anyway - maybe because I've had a lot of nightmares... er... dreams on the same subject. "Blind Man's Bluff" is devastating and really draws a reader into the story. I'm glad it ended on a happy note the way it did, instead of the opposite effect. "Reflections In Starlight" brings up many new ideas and questions. The ending is a real surprise, too. At least, it was for me. "Love's Mysteries" is beautifully done and well-handled. It gives such a true picture of Han and Leia's inner thoughts and feelings I can actually see it happening that way. It's a good fill-in for the parts that TESB didn't show on the screen.

Vignettes: "Soliloguy..." and "Superscription" capture the essence of Leia, her pain and Luke's reaction. Best of all, they show Leia as a human being. Sometimes I think we forget Leia is a human under the facade of princess, senator, rebel leader, etc. "Sweet Revenge" is hilarious. It has to be read to be believed. Poetry: I liked all the poetry and can't pick out a favorite.

Art: The artwork throughout the zine is consistently gorgeous. I was particularly impressed with Cathye Faraci and Stefanie Hawks' 1116s; it was the first time I'd seen their work. I also (surprisingly) enjoyed the two articles. I almost passed up "In Whose Back Yard?" thinking it would be full of legal jargon, but after the first few pages, I was so caught up in it, I couldn't have put it down if I'd wanted to. I tend to agree with Judith's side of the problem. "A Consumer's Guide..." shows how little is available on the market pertaining to SW.

In conclusion, Kessel Run really brings out the best in the SW universe with something for everyone. [5]

Overall, KR2 does a good job of holding to the high standards you set with #1. There are a few clinkers, but who's perfect?

"Quisling" by Laymon and Goldstein is an interesting concept, well-handled. The idea that the Sith are the opposite of the Jedi is especially intriguing, though I question labeling the Dark Side "the emotional side." Pure intellect can be as evil in its abuse and consequences as pure emotion of any kind. As for Obi-wan telling Darth that "The Dark Side is more uncontrollable, easier to warp to evil ends" -- both Kenobi and Yoda say specifically that the Dark Side is evil, not simply that it can be used for evil. And I question Lucas' ordering Jeheyn to do anything, including go to her room and wait for him to come there. He's certainly in no position legally, socially or morally to do this! On the positive side, Darth ' s path from disallusionment to treason is well developed, and his fanaticism is believable in its growth and results. The brief description of Senate proceedings sounds as if the authors have been reading the Congressional Record!

Eluki's "Consumer's Guide" is intersting and much too short. Wish she'd go into more depth on most items.

Karen Miller's "Tete-A-Tete" is believable and true to the characters.

A Chris Jeffords story is always a good read and "The Life Day Peril" is no exception. The fight and escape scene is filmworthy, as usual. "A Corellian gentleman adventurer" -- ri-i-ght!!!

"Sweet Revenge" by Pat Nussman -- heh heh! Serves him right!

Wanda Lybarger's "Visitor's Day" i good -- would have been better if been more background. It's a worthy and different explanation of how Luke came to live with Beru and Owen, and explains their attitudes in ANH. Luke seems a bit mature for barely two - closer to three, I think.

Sheila Paulson's "Mission To Garin" isn't bad, but it is a bit overwritten with too many trite expressions -- that sort of thing can be overcome with practice and lots of reading (not just SW!) And, a blaster wound would be cauterized, so there wouldn't be much blood loss.

I love Pam Kowalski's cartoon on page 87 (personal comment, I wonder?) (Editor's note: Yup!) Judith Low's illo on page 88 is beautiful, one of the best pieces of her work I've seen yet .

Marcia Brin's "Close Encounters" and "New Kid On The Block" are fun. More, more! Doe s she work for government at any level, perchance?

Kay Crist's "Blind Man's Bluff" is a good read, but I think she could have done wore with Han's apparently latent Force talent. Question: Could a bloodclot cause blindness and then be cleared away by 'extreme stress, high blood pressure and adrenalin flow?'

"The Albatross' Blood" by L.A. Adolf is a bit verbose but otherwise well done. I like the relationship between Lumpy and Lando.

Irene Shafer's "The Rest Is History is totally ridiculous and it works! I'm usually leery of cross-universe stories, but this one is worth reading, even if Han sometimes is Tommy rather than himself. And it's nice to see someone showing Han appreciating good food as well as alcohol!

Sharon F's "A Lover's Embrace" is lovely. I like the idea, but I think it could fit only after TESB and Han's return.

Judith Gran may be right about the legality of fanfic's copyright status ("In Whose Back Yard") but I still think Lucasfilm has the moral right to at least ask that pornography be left out. Legal and moral rights are two very different things. (Editor's note: And whose 'morality' is to decide what is or isn't pornography?)

Deb Lymon's "Superscription" is a fine companion piece to "String Of Beads." Overall, I like Pat Nussman's "Love's Mysteries, but the crimson sheets sound more like a brothel than the Falcon, and Rieekan seems a bit too patronizing of Leia at times. Generally, the story is fine. Oh, how I'd love to hear Han and Leia's discussions of events and people! Jane Sibley's "So Much For Reality, Right?" left me totally cold. Guess I can't relate to that variety of Mary Sue story. Sharon F's "Perchance" suffers from a bad case of purple prose. Her "Reflections In Starlight" struck me as being overwritten and full of overworked ideas. The only original concept is Chewie as Jedi-protoctor and watcher over Han. Usually I enjoy Zeek and Wenk's Circle of Fire stories, but "Sun-Grazer" didn't make it somehow. I'm not sure why -- maybe the mysticism is too heavy for such a short vignette . Except for the cited Low and Kowalski pieces and most of Lybarger's, most of the artwork didn't impress me overmuch. June Edwards portfolio is okay. Others I think it best not to cite at all. So, basically a good issue with just a few duds as far as I'm concerned. With a track record like this so far, #3 should be fine. [5]

Sonia Mendez "Quisling" by Deborah Laymon and Deborah Goldstein is one of two stories that I enjoyed reading. Darth Vader acts as I think Han Solo would have acted had he met Luke Skywalker in more peaceful times - as a guardian and friend. The politics were refreshing and pointed out that the Republic might not have been as 'pure' as some people would like to think.

I didn't like "So Much For Reality, Right?" I _ had no sympathy for the character - she was as selfish as Scarlet O'Hara without the grace of her courage. "A Consumer's Guide To SW Profic" by Eluki bes Shahar was informative, especially for new fans of SW. "Tete-A-Tete" by Karen Miller was very inter esting - a meeting of the minds between Han and Leia "The Life Day Peril" by Christine Jeffords is a tight, fast-paced story that makes Chewbacca's family and world seem real and syrapathet ic . I enjoyed "Sweet Revenge" by Pat Nussman. That is thewayIseeLeia-con fident and able to stand up to Han. "Fugitive Devotions" by Susan Matthews is a poem that I heartily disagree with. I don't think Leia would let herself feel that guilty. She wasn't responsible for Alderaan's destruction. Tarkin would have destroyed her planet no matter what she did. "Blind Man's Bluff" by Kay Crist showed a Lando which I believe is a worthy portrait of him. I don't like weak, simpering Landos. "Perchance" by Sharon F I did not enjoy. Her Leia sounds like a gothic heroine. "Choices" by Jane Sibley shows a dangerous and unrepentant Darth Vader. Wow! "The Albatross' Blood" I did not like. It shows a Lando who is weak and spineless. "Rogue's Gallery" I liked except for Vader - he is out of proportion. "Sun-Grazer" by Zeek and Wenk was a nice story and broke up the Han/Leia focus of the zine. "Lover's Embrace" by Fetter I liked. It is sentimental but has twinges of humor. "In Whose Back Yard" by Judith Gran was hard to follow, but when I got to the end of it, I had a better understanding of the law. It puts those so-called 'fans' who will try to censor any story not to their liking in their place. I really enjoyed "Spoken Words-Hidden Mean ings." I could almost hear Han saying those w o r d s . "Reflections In Starlight" is confusing. I'm not sure from whose viewpoint the story was to be told. Luke is telling the story from the future, but the viewpoint in the story switches from Chewbacca to Leia. "Love's Mysteries" by Pat Nussman was the best of the lot. I'm glad that you saved it for last. [5]

I do want to put my two cents in on the two ques tions you brought up. First, Luke as a mature young man - definitely a yes in this. He has grown to a position of responsibility in the Alliance. He is obviously an able and resource ful fighter able to keep his head even in the heat of battle (witness his reaction when he loses his gunner. He does not panic, but keeps on going. Luke shows his maturity in his acceptance of Han and Leia's relationship. He puts their welfare ahead of his own when he decides to go to Bespin. This decision isn't made impulsively, but with full knowledge of the danger it poses for him, and is selfless in every sense of the word.

On the question of Han as a deeply caring person, there has never been any doubt in my mind. His actions in SW bear this out. In the trash masher, he shows his concern for Luke, and when the walls are closing in, he tries to help Leia and not himself.He tries to distract the stormtroopers on the Death Star so the others can make a break for it. And, of course he comes back to help Luke during the battle, despite his earlier scoffing at the whole thing as 'suicide.' In TESB, Han's concern for the others is even more evident. He is still providing his services to the Alliance, and I never once heard money mentioned- perhaps he is being paid, but I'm sure he's places where the author seemed determined to tell us something rather than show it. There were places where the mental solioquy of a character worked very well and others where it seemed out of place. "Sweet Revenge" - This was an amusing little piece, although under the circumstances I found Han's preoccupation with his facial hair a little bizzare. I should think he'd be more concerned with other portions of his anatomy.

"Blind Man's Bluff" - The characterizations in this seemed a little 'raw' in that every one seemed to be alittle emotional. Han seemed to wallow in self-pity for an overlong period and Lando trotted out all the 'giving comfort and encouragement to the handicapped' cliches which, of course, immediately snapped him out of it. I did find the intimations of Han's mental powers interesting and well done. Chewie seemed to be given a dramatic backseat so focus could be trained on the Han-Lando relationship. Jabba was very well done, although I wish more had been said about why he wanted Han in the first place and why he felt impelled to torture him to death. I did like the scene where Han gets his vision back, although I thought Lando became a tad hyster ical. Maybe it was just a reaction to all the shocks he'd suffered. Re the artwork - it was in a different style than I've seen and the illos were very appropriate in capturing the moods of the scenes illustrated. "After Dinner Conversation" - I liked this a great deal; it gave excellent insights into LAndo's character and sound motivations for his behavior on Bespin. Best of all, it 'sounded' like Lando. There was an erudite and smooth tone to it that I enjoyed.[5]

First of all, Lisa Adolf ought to be cheered, I think, for coming up with a story in which Lando was a believeable character, not some poor schuck moping around crucifying himself at every opportunity. Much as we all may have been p.o.'d at him at the time for depositing Our Hero into the hands of the enemy, let's remember that the guy was trying to save his city from being wasted by Vader's Raiders. Sure, he was interested in his own skin, too, but certain Corellian smugglers have been known to look out for their own interests as well occasionally. As Lando goes searching for his old friend, knowing how he was responsible for said friend's predicament, doesn't it make it worse if he knows that he really was trying to do the right thing for Bespin, but that he didn't figure out that nothing would've been any good against Vader? — that he was trying to be so heroic saving hundreds of lives by sacrificing Solo that he didn't read Vader right and lost everything instead? Lando, in "The Albatross' Blood" was tortured by guilt, but certainly not wimpy about it -- he remained pitiable, but not pitiful, and I think that was the strong point of the story."Love's Mysteries" - Disregarding the episodic nature of the story--which is hard to escape, considering that Pat was trying to fill in the blanks between scenes in TESB--I really think this was one of the best Han/Leia stories I've read. Thank goodness someone out there takes those two seriously. And characterizes them well to boot! There were points I would quibble with--the largest one, I guess, being that I don't think Han and Leia were lovers by the time they got to Bespin (but in all fairness I have to admit that Pat almost brings me around to her point of view) (aImost)--but overall I think it fit quite neatly into the movie's framework. Much as I like Pat's Rieekan, however, he's a little off in the big "General, I gotta leave" scene--in the film, he sounded like he was taking himself a little more seriously than Pat depicts him; after all, the blunt, soldierly approach was a great deal of his charm, as far as I was concerned. And I would also take issue with the scene in the cell on Bespin. I mean, let's face it. Solo's been on Vader's rack for God knows how long and he's been clubbed by Lando's guards; if anyone's going to be asleep, he is. It seems to me that this is the time for Leia to be strong, to sit with him and brood, to work herself into that haggard, hollow-eyed look that she gets by the time of the carbon freeze. But I can understand why the scene was written the way it was simply in terms of balance, and the progression to where Han finally figures out not only that he's screwed him self, but that he's glad he did it, was very smooth. In any case, I liked it a lot— I'm looking forward to reading more of Pat's work .[5]

Having been introduced to fan fiction shortly before I began publishing my zine in '81, I was delighted to discover that people actually wrote stories about the SW characters and shocked to learn the ways in which some fans interpret the characters. I really had no idea that there was such an active SW fandom with so many situations being created in fan fiction. Having nothing else to feed my habit, I thus became familiar with the exclusive LucasfiIm-sanctioned SW lit. I suppose this gave me a certain advan tage over more active fans--namely, I did not get locked into any collection of wild, misguided ideas about the main characters that the story would take. Not that there's any thing intrinsically wrong with this, but some fen, unlike the characters themselves, seem unable to move beyond the nice, comfy little conceptions that they came up with after ANH and before TESB. Cases in point: they portrayals of Han and Luke that you mentioned.

It's always been obvious to me that Han was considerably well educated, as well as having a good deal of self-discipline (go figure that one!) Flying a ship of the size and complexity of the Falcon takes a lot more than just luck and good reflexes! In fact, the only way Han could be as technically proficient as he is is through having, somewhere in his back ground, a great deal of advanced training in any number of scientific disciplines. (I won't go into a discussion of any effect the Force might have on his ability--gawd, I'll be here all night!) This in itself would take a lot of dedication — it's not the kind of thing someone would go into with just a half- assed idea that "well, it'd be real neat to fly a spaceship." At least, one couldn't do it and hope for the degree of success that Han seems to have attained. I don't think thatenough people are really aware of the kind of hard work and sacrifice that are part and parcel of a career such as this- they just get too wrapped up in the romance of the thing. (As a very small example, while the Falcon is en route to.Alderaan, Han spends practically the entire time checking the instruments, making sure all the systems are working properly. The Han of a good part of fanfic would spend the trip getting friend. I rest my case.)

Secondly, I would like to address what I consider to be one of the most patently fallacious ideas ever introduced into fandom - namely, that Han stayed with the Alliance because he was being paid. The Alliance is not exactly a government-funded operation-it keeps going on a lot of faith and very little money. The SW radio show made it pretty clear that just paying Solo for the original run nearly broke them. The Alliance obviously cannot afford to hire help, no matter how good that help is. Even if they could pay Han some small amount, what about the costs to him? Every Imperial in the Fleet must know his name and his ship by now. He could make a hell of a lot more money, and in great er comparitive safety, if he returned to commercial runs. So, why is he still with the Alliance? You tell me. (Another note: accord ing to the SW comic books and daily strips, which are LFL-commissioned , Han is not being paid. He's commented in both of these that he was going to submit a very long bill to the Alliance accountants 'one of these days. Tends to indicate that he hasn't done it. Again, I rest my case. Another point of irritation: the (completely foundationless) idea that Han is 'polygamous by nature' (read 'an indiscriminate sex monster.') Whaaaat!?? Not the Han I read! Where did this idea come from? Surely not from the films themselves. Granted, Han doubt less has a certain amount of experience with women, but that doesn't mean that he's ready to lunge at anything in a skirt. Which leads to yet another point: why are so many fan authors convinced that Han really doesn't give a tinker's damn for Leia? By their own definition, he's willing to sleep with anything that regsiters a pulse; why should he be so indifferent to the Princess? It would be very easy to chalk this up to some warped species of jealousy, but I believe that it's lack of male perspective more than anything else. (My two older bro thers, borderline fans of SW, think that Leia is utterly spectacular, to put it mildly. Hence, it has never occurred to me that men are incapable of being attracted to a strong, intelligent woman who is more than just some sort of inflatable doll.) Most fen seem to agree that Han has seen his share of action in the romance department. Why, then, would he invest so much time and interest in a sexually naive girl 14 years his junior? Like most extravagantly hand some men, I imagine that Han has had enough of women throwing themselves at him to be tired of it. Could it be that he finds Leia's shyness, her steadfast refusal to be swept off her feet, attractive or even charming? God knows he's tried hard enough to get her interest- if she's worth so much trouble to get, I'd say offhand that he'd consider her worth keeping, too. And about Luke - all I can say is that anyone who sticks to the ignorant hick school of thought is just missing the point entirely. The depiction of our younger Jedi as having at least four terminal neurotic complexes is a development that doesn't sit too well with me. It consti tutes a total denial of everything he's experienced since meeting Ben Kenobi. For better or worse, I believe that Luke is past letting false pride or petty jealousies obscure his larger goals.

There's just one more brief beef - specu lation on who will 'get' Leia. As if she were some sort of game-show prize! If, after TESB, fen still find such speculation valid, I suggest you wonder about whom Leia loves. That is all.

Well, I guess I'll get on with my actual comments, seeing as how I've just blown off enough wind for the Goodyear blimp. My favorite piece in KR2 is "Love's Mysteries" by Pat Nussman. So many fan authors have treated this subject, but precious few have done it as well as she has. This story could have been dismissable as "Princess Leia Loses Her Virginity Volume 273" - but the characterizations of Han and Leia were so beautifully, thought fully, and yes, lovingly drawn that the story rests effortlessly on it literary merit. Wanda Lybarger is one of my all- time favorite illustrators, and her draw ings for this piece are so fine. The combination of story and art is perfect. "The Life Day Peril" was a very good piece of business. I was glad to see the estimable Saun Dann making an appearance; he's an excellent character. Cathye Farad's illos were very complimentary to Chris Jefford's style and setting - her calcula ting Korda on page 53 is perfect! I loved Lisa Adolf's "The Albatross' Blood.' She is one of the best authors around. Her characterizations of Lando and Lumpy and the interplay between them were very sensitive, very much on the mark. A moving piece, and one that should help spread a little Lando-understanding among the uncon verted. Once again, you picked the perfect illustrator for the occasion- Sergio laconionni's delicate, impressionistic drawings were quite lovely and blended well with the feel of the piece. The over all impression is memorable.

I got a real kick out of Irene Shafer's "The Rest Is History," but then I loved "The Frisco Kid," and it's fun to see Tommy Lillard's distant cousin Han mixing it up with Avram Belinsky's alien alter-ego. Wanda Lybarger was a natural as illustrator. This was a great humorous piece. About the fourth paragraph of Sharon F's "Perchance," I was muttering to myself, "Now come on, for chyssake!" However, finding out that this is all a dream of Leia's makes the fluorescent-purple prose easier to take, and the last line is enough to justify the entire vignette. Cathye Farad's illo - well, all I can say is that I was shocked. Just totally shocked. I stared at it for five hours, I was so shocked... [5]

There are three stories and one article that I think of when I remember KR2 .

The article is Judith Gran's on copyright. I found it not only enjoyable on first reading but also helpful in my mundane life. I was using the citations in her article to help me practice research in our law library. It was interesting in contrast to Melinda Snodgrass' copyright article in Pegasus V. They both came to opposite conclusions.

The stories are "The Life Day Peril" by Chris Jeffords, "The Albatross' Blood" by Lisa Adolf and "Love's Mysteries" by Pat Nussman. I don't enjoy all of Chris Jeffords' work, but every time she writes about Kookiees, I enjoy it. She is one of the few who have a feel for the Wookiee characters and her stories are well-done. The art in general for the story is a little cartoony, but the first picture of Korda really fit the character well.

The second story is also set on the Wookiee planet. I really liked "The Albatross' Blood." It's one of the few stories that shows Lando as a real person, not as a cold callous brute who'd sell his mother to the Imps for a credit and send a lovable, bedroom-eyed pirate to a cold bath for spite! Bah! Lando is as interesting a character as Han. He tried to do what was best for his colony and its people and its people. And how was Lando supposed to get rid of Vader? The trapdoor in the cloud city routine? This story was one of the few that treated Lando well, and it was well written. The third story was Pat Nussman's "Love's Mysteries." It was a very smoothly written story and the seduction scene was well- handled.The only problem I had with the entire story was that it trailed off incon clusively. I understand why--who knows what will come up in RotJ--but I was looking forward to meeting Rieekan again, because I'm growing fond of that character and Pat handles him well. She does characterization very well.[5]

When I ordered KR2, I told myself I wouldn't like the Alteriverse Cycle stories. Boy, was I surprised! "Close Encounters Of The First Kind" offered interesting insight into Bail Organa. His reaction to his wife's death also helped explain some of Leia's hard outer shell. "Blind Man's Bluff" was beautiful. I can't help but wonder if Kay Crist personally knows a certain Corellian. She has his character down pat. He more likely than not would have reacted exactly as he did under those circumstances. His fears of non-acceptance and lack of man hood are realistic, but his confidence and quick learning once he accepted his blindness were also exactly Solo. Need less to say, this was one of ray favorite stories .

"Refections In Starlight" gave me interesting answers to questions I didn't know I had. The suggestion that Han might be 'the other' really hadn't seemed logical to me. Solo doesn't have the patience or will to train for the Jedi. Another answer was about Wookiees' involve ment in the Force. It made me wonder as to how many 'others' there are out there that need to be protected. Pat Nussman's writing is great! "Sweet Revenge" was hysterical, if a little tacky. But my favorite was "Love's Mysteries." I hope she write more Lady of the Rebellion stories, they're superb. I'm dying to read something, anything, about what happened on Ord Mantell. Gen. Rieekan is becoming a very interesting person, what with people giving him a personality besides that of a general. It's also interesting how Luke is being developed, if not in the movies, in the zines as a boy quickly developing into a man with great responsibilities. I didn't like him in "A New Hope," but he certainly has grown up a lot in the past few years.[5]

From Other Zines

This issue of Kessel Run is probably one of the better of this year's Media West Con crop. I have some nitpicking to do with many of the stories, mostly dealing with my own opinion and tastes, rather than anything objectively wrong with the writing. I recommend that everyone buy this zine and make his/her own judgments. First, though, let's touch upon artwork and layout. I often regret that I don't say more in my reviews about art; I have no training whatever in this area, I only know what I like and dislike. And I do l ike nearly every bit of art in KR 2 -- front cover by Wanda Lybarger, back cover by Cathye Faraci, story illos, portraits and cartoons by June Edwards, Anne Davenport, Carol McPherson, J.R. Dunster, MRO Ludwig, Stephanie Hawks, Judith Low, Dot Sasscer, and other good SW artists too numerous to name here, unfortunately.

As for layout, it's clean and readable -- the variations in typeface don't bother me, though it will bother perfectionists. I simply wish that all editors who reduce print in an 8 X 11" zine would make products even more readable by using a double column format. Admittedly, this does take more time to lay-out.

After the LoC column, the first story is "Quisling" by Deborah Laymon and Deborah Goldstein, another version of how Darth Vader was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. It' s a well-done version, and there are some interesting speculations here about what the political situation in the Republic was, what the Sith were, how the Jedi were organized, and so on. Darth is portrayed as an idealist who became more and more disgusted by the corruption he saw in the Republic and among the Jedi, and was seduced by the Dark Side because it could heal his mortal injuries. This doesn't seem consistent, to me, with the real SW Vader -- an evil scion of an even more corrupt Empire.

The first few pages of Jane Sibley's "So Much For Reality, Right?" made me think that someone had finally written SW fanfic's answer to One Way Mirror. A SW fan is transported onto the Millenium Falcon, and is subject to all the fears, insecurities and bumbling mistakes anyone suffering culture shock would have. It's written humorously, and I was enjoying it and then all of a sudden, she's in bed with Han and the story ends. I guess I'm odd, but to me this is, uh, anticlimatic -- I wanted more of the girl's adventures in accustoming herself to her new world. (Sigh. No One Way Mirror.) "The Life Day Peril" by Chris Jeffords is a story which takes the reader back to Kazhyyyk Chewbacca's home planet. I enjoy Chris's depiction of the jungle planet and the Wookiee cultureand the stories she sets against this backdrop. This one shows Han and Chewie going to Kazhyyyk to avoid a ruthless smuggler boss whom Han has offended, only to end up needing to prevent several Wookiee cubs from being taken as slaves by this same smuggler. My only criticism of this story concerns writing style. Chris has Han going through long monologues, and Chewie doing a lot of mental soliloquy, to explain plot rationalizations which I'd already assumed or figured out for myself from what had come before in the story. Over-explanation is something I've noted in other of Chris's otherwise-fine stories; I wish she'd give her readers a little more credit for intelligence.

I have no nits to pick with Wanda Lybarger's "Visitor's Day," a short-short which is an interesting variation on the "Owen and Beru adopt Baby Luke" theme. Now I'd just like to see Wanda do another one, showing how young Luke was taken by slavers in the first place! Sheila Paulson's "Mission to Garin" concerns Han's and Chewie's early partnership. Han saves Chewie from a dangerous situation, and comes to realize how much his new co-pilot means to him. This type of story has been done before, of course, and isn't all that memorable ... but it's done well enough and should be enjoyable to those interested in character and relationship development.

Next comes Marcia Brin's "Close Encounters of the First Kind," one of her "Alterniverse Cycle" stories. The main story is a flashback, set within the framework of Lei a bring Han home to Alderaan, so that she can introduce him to The Folks and make him her Prince Consort. The flashback concerns the first time Bail Organa dealt with Han, as Space Corps Officer vs. Crafty Young Smuggler. Both aspects of this story strained my sense of credibility. (1) I can't see Alderaan's government allowing its Prince Regent (which Bail is for young Leia) to run away from his duties to become an intergalactic policeman. No matter how distraught said Regent is over his wife's death. (2) I tend to doubt that Alderaan's government would allow Leia to take a common smuggler as her Prince Consort. Seems to me she'd be forced to step down from her throne instead, similar to what happened in Britain earlier this century. Same inability to suspend disbelief extends to Marcia' s other story in KR2, "New Kid on the Block, where Han, now Prince Consort, runs rings around experienced politicians during a Battle of the Budget. In both of these stories, Han seems to be portrayed as too competent. He's very smart, yes-- but he's not perfect.

Kay Crist's "Blind Man's Bluff" gets my applause mainly for being a story in which Lando Calrissian has dignity, instead of continually cringing and apologizing to Rebels who consider him the scum of the earth, so to speak. The story shows Lando and Chewbacca releasing Han from carbon freeze, and Han' s (understandable) trauma at finding that he' s lost his eyesight. Naturally, he tries to blame Lando, but Calrissian stands up for himself and, through a few well-aimed caustic remarks, breaks Han out of his self-pity. There is also an action-adventure element in this story. A problem with the plot resolution, which is perhaps a little too convenient, is minor compared to the interesting interplay of personalities in this story. "The Albatross' Blood" by L.A. Adolf concerns a Lando who is trying to cope with his guilt feelings over his mistake on Bespin. He does a lot of apologizing in this story, but it's mostly to Chewie's son Lumpy, who loves Han and at first hates Lando for his role in Han's capture. They eventually learn to understand each other -- it's a personality growth for both -- and the emotional tone feels deep and real, rather than being maudlin sentimentality. If you like cross-universe stories, you'll probably love "The Rest Is History" by Irene Shafer. It's "The Frisco Kid" translated into SW terms, with Han Solo and Avram Bulin instead of Tommy Lillard and Avram Belinsky. Although I found this mildly amusing in spots, I don't really have too much to say about it -- uniess extremely well-done, cross-universe isn't my bag. Sorry. "Reflections In Starlight" by Sharon F starts out with an "epic" feel -- it purports to be from The History of the Rebellion by Luke Skywalker. It ends up being one long, static scene, in which Luke and Leia sit and listen to a tape from Chewbacca, after Chewie and Lando have left to look for Han. The idea -- that Chewie has a more significant role in The Scheme Of Things than we think -- is interesting, but I would have rather been shown it in a story. I also probably would not have felt disappointment with this piece if it hadn't been given such a huge build up in the introduction.

The last major story of the zine, Pat Mussman's "Love's Mysteries" ... uh, perhaps I'm not the right person to review this one, not being a fan of blatant romanticism. The story is sort of a retelling of TESB, filling in scenes we didn't see on-screen concerning Han's and Leia's budding love affair. My main problem with this one is that the author hits the reader over the head with the Great Love between the Smuggler and the Princess, instead of showing it mainly through dialog, character development, and the course of their lives. Their mutual affection seems to be the only thing they can think about, even after Han's torture by Vader -- when I, for one, would have been contemplating possible means of escape, ways of heading Luke off, punching out Lando, and other such mundane things. In general, I think this story would have been much better if it had been considerably tightened cut to half its length (at least).

There are many other pieces which make this zine a good one, by Bev Lorenstein, Eluki bes Shahar, Judith Gran, Susan Matthews, Cynthia Shannon, Anne Zeek and Barbara Wenk, which and space does not permit me to here. Despite my criticisms which, again, are mostly personal opinion, I think KESSEL RUN 2 is a fine zine, and it should be part of every SW fan's zine library. [6]

This STAR WARS zine has improved in design and graphics since the last issue. The titles are presstyped, the contents page is more informative, and the typeface is clearer and handsomer than last issue, giving the zine a more professional look. The poetry is good; a few pieces are exceptional — the poetry by Susan Matthews and Pat Nussman is so exceptional that it could easily be published professionally. The artwork that accompanies these two poems is the finest in the zine. Susan's poem is accompanied by a brooding portrait by Judith Low. The design is beautifully executed. Pat's poem has a Lando art piece that is absolutely gorgeous, by Dot Sasscer.

The opening and closing stories are the power- packed highlights of the zine.

The opener is "Quisling," by Deborah Layman and Deborah Goldstein. I thoroughly agreed with the authors' interpretation of the Dark Side. "Quisling" introduces the Etmani Sith, sorters of the Dark, who take what is known as the "emotional route." It sug gests a path which utilizes the Force to its fullest extent, in its natural state. Wild, carefree, un disciplined and yielding easily to emotion, the ego flourishes. The Jedi are explained as an outgrowth: a sect that further develops self-control so as not to be totally submerged, creating the Light Side. Their goal is to obtain inner peace, order and discipline in oneself so that one can maintain peace and good will in the galaxy. All this revolves around a young Darth Vader; bom Etmani but a Jedi in thought and practice. Upset with the corruption which is on the rise in government, he finds the Jedi role of supporter, representing nothing more than a figurehead with little influence, totally unacceptable. This leads to his choice to succumb to the Dark Side. The ending is a powerful, gut-wrenching scene. In fact, this whole tale is one hell of a not-merely-believable-but-also-probable story. It shouldn't be missed. The art which accompanies "Quisling is exquisitely done by June Edwards. David Prowse's muscles are just. . .mmm. . .delightful!

The closer of KESSEL RUN 2 is Pat Nussman's "Love's Mysteries." It certainly exemplifies what issue #1 was famous for: the Han and Leia slant. The story takes place during TESB and we find the scenes we wish had been included and the words never spoken out loud but guessed at. Nussman has an uncanny ability to bring Han and Leia to life in her stories with all the zest and spontaneity Lucas intended. The insight into Han's and Leia's feelings and thoughts, combined with this liveliness (well interwoven and in character), almost sweeps the reader away with its depth and vitality. The ending, when Han is lowered into the deadly chamber and we share Leia's heart-torn grief, is the fitting clincher for a zine which prides itself on being pro-Leia and an advocate of the love between Leia and Han. Wanda Lybarger's illustrations display the spontaneity Nussman projects and blend in beautifully with the scheme of the story.

There are two fine articles. "A Consumer's Guide to Star Wars Pro-Fic" By Eluki bes Shahar, is a short rundown with a touch of humor, on all the currently available STAR WARS literature. It provides an anthology of the differences between the literature and the films. It is enjoyable and informative. "In Whose Back Yard?" by Judith Gran is an analysis of a serious and important subject: the legality of fanzines (copyright, law, the fair use doctrine, trademarks, and so forth). With the STAR WARS "Moral Majority" hot-on-the-heels and on the lookout for "adult" fan fiction, this article is a prime subject for their recriminations. After all, it provides useful, factual information which discusses what one can and cannot do in the realm of fan fiction, realistically rather than in wishful thinking. And when all the evidence is in, it seems to be in ORGANIA's favor. Yet, after reading this article, I think that the conclusion is not so much for or against the legality of fanzines, but rather for facts vs. fancy. It is also not based on morality. And though some moral issues are raised and some questions asked, Judith does not attempt any sure-fire answers. She gives examples of reactions to some of the legal questions which arise in fan fiction, and provides well-rounded perspectives on these issues, leaving the readers to decide for themselves which way they wish to go, for or against.

I found a parallelism between Bev Zuk's novel and this article. For example, the facts vs. fancy theme — the misconstrued, narrow-minded opinion of the Kendaris; the role of the courtroom in discovering truth, weighing the evidence, and handing down a ver dict. The courtroom, after all, is — or ought to be — above all the place where justice presides rather than opinion. Isn't this what this article and Bev's novel are both really about? And so, reader, please voice your opinions in an unbiased, logical, manner and, after reading this article, choose your verdict; Guilty, Not Guilty, or Not Proven. [7]

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3, Stefanie Hawks
back cover of issue #3, Cathye Faraci
1983 flyer for issue #3
1984 flyer for issue #3

Kessel Run 3 was published in 1983 and contains 295 pages.

The art is by Wanda Lybarger, J.R. Dunster, Carol Walske, Eluki bes Shahar, Cathye Faraci (interior and back cover), Shirley Palmer, Yvonne Zan (interior and inside back cover), Stefanie Hawks (front cover and interior), Anne Davenport, Mary Stacy-McDonald, MRO Ludwig, Wendy Ikeguchi, Bev Swan, Nancy Stasulis, June Edwards, Judith Low, Dale Holman, Debra Drake, Kathey Spivey, and Cheree Cargill.

"This issue of Kessel Run is dedicated to my father, Harold Malkin, who drove me and my typewriter on repeated trips to and from the typewriter repair shop. Without his help this zine would not exist. Thank you. Dad. It is also dedicated to Luke Skywalker and the formation of a new order of Jedi."

  • The Readers Blast Off! (letters of comment) (5)
  • Beloved Enemy, story by Deborah Laymon and Deborah Goldstein ("The final conflict between Vader, the Jedi and Luke's father.")(17)
  • That's Your Uncle Speaking, poem by Janet McClellen (41)
  • "Act III , Scene1". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10., story by Chris Callahan ("A half-trained Leia Organa is called on to save Luke Skywalker when he is ambushed by Darth Vader. Written after The Empire Strikes Back, before Return of the Jedi." Includes [Maeve Solo]].) (42)
  • Speculation, poem by Jaqueline Taero (51)
  • Reassessment by Rieekan, poem by Jacqueline Taero (51)
  • Han Solo and the Amazing Technicolor Lightsaber, play in rhyme-form by Carol Walske ("Who has fallen to the Dark Side -- Han or Luke? A fully illoed play...") (69)
  • Dialogue on a Starry Night, dialogue by Joan Shumsky ("Han and Leia discuss their true feelings.") (73)
  • "R&R". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10., story by Martie Benedict ("Set before Star Wars: A New Hope. While taking a much-needed vacation, Han meets the mysterious Oracle of Keth and discovers she needs some help only he can provide.") (80)
  • Thoughts in an an Asteroid Cave (Hers, His), two poems (92)
  • The Ultimate Right, story by Patricia D'Orazio ("How does Leia choose between military expediency and the lives of millions of innocent civilians?") (94)
  • Next Time, vignette by Linda Knights ("Given the chance, will Luke kill Darth Vader?") (119)
  • "At First Sight". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10., story by Pat Nussman ("Han and Leia have an encounter long before the Death Star is built. What do child slavers and militant pacifists want with 6-year old Leia Organa and how did 18-year old Han Solo get involved?") ("What do child slavers and militant pacifists want with 6 year Leia Drgana? And how did 18 year old Han Solo get involved?") (reprinted in Who's Scruffy-Lookin'?) (123)
  • What's in a Rose?, article by Jean Stevenson ("A short history of names in the SW universe.") (137)
  • Listener in Hell, vignette by Pat Nissan ("Senator Leia Organa defies death to learn a fatal accident.") (141)
  • Witness for the Defense, story by Carol Hines-Strode ("When Darth Vader is framed for incompetency of his own Dark Lords will he choose to face death or dishonor?") (143)
  • The Solo-Wise Woman, poem by Debra Drake (169)
  • Free Advice, poem by Marge E. Longhurst (171)
  • We Need -- What About You Need?, poem by Lonna Poland (173)
  • Pavane, vignette by Pat Nissan (175)
  • Decision, poem by Jeanine Hennig (177)
  • A Search for Truth, story by Pat Nolan ("When Luke returns to Dagobah to complete his training will he learn the truth about his past?") (178)
  • Questions in the Dark, vignette by Christine Jeffords ("Who does Leia really love?") (193)
  • Protector, vignette by Jean Stevenson ("Who can Leia turn to now that Han is gone?") (195)
  • Dichotomy, poem by Marcia Brin (199)
  • Apology, story by Jeanine Hennig ("How does Lando manage to save Luke's life after his rescue?") (also in Catalyst! Collected) (201)
  • High Stakes, story by Patricia D'Orazio ("How does a smuggler win 11-year old Han in a card game?") (205)
  • To Conquer Death, vignette by Linda Knights (215)
  • Moonflower Secrets, story by Sharon F ("Are Han and Leia really who they seem to be.") (218)
  • Wintersoul, poem by Pat Nussman (227)
  • Hyperspace Interlude, vignette by Joan Shumsky (229)
  • Run That By Me One More Time, story by Marcia Brin ("A school day 500 years after the events in Star Wars.") (231)
  • Song for the an Uncommon Man, song by Jean Stevenson (234)
  • Prelude:The Falconer, Archived version, story by Pat Nussman (A prequel looking at the childhood of one of the rebels. Part of The Lady of the Rebellion series. "A reason for Han's cynicism about the Jedi.") (236)
  • Han's Con, story by Sharon F ("How does Han outwit Darth Vader and survive?") (240)
  • And You Knew, poem by Irene Shafer (250)
  • Hindsight, poem by Nancy Baker (251)
  • Skyfall, story by Anne Elizabeth Zeek ("Will Luke fall to the Dark Side? Will the Vader defeat the Emperor? What is the secret of Han's past? Is Leia the Dark Lady?") (reprinted in The Compleat Zeek) (252)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

From LoCs in "Kessel Run" 4

This review is basically to "review" or comment on the artwork. As an artist myself, I feel most eloquent on this subject at times.

What amazes me most about KR3 is that almost everything was marvelous! Those pieces that fell short always had some strong point to redeem them. Cathye Faraci's illos for "Beloved Enemy" were elegant, wonderfully posed and the ink work was clean and impeccable. Lukas' face on page 39 looked a bit odd, but drawing that angle of face is difficult, I know.

I love MRO Ludwig's artwork. Though she doesn't try for exact likenesses, the structure of the faces and their overall look "feels" right. Her inkwork is also excellent.

Carol Walske's work for "Han Solo and the Amazing Technicolor Lightsaber" is amazing! Her lights and darks are placed well. They tell so much without using any detail. For those of you unfamiliar with the ways and techniques of artists, it is very difficult to imply an image only using strong blacks and whites. Carol has mastered this technique. Her Han on page 58 is especially powerful.

I love Mary Stacy-McDonald's illo on page 71 for the mood it creates, but I feel she over works the ink technique. (I've noticed this in other illos she does - pity - I really like the way she draws faces.)

Ah yes - good ol' Ikeguchi! Forgive me - Wendy and I go back a few years and I like to razz her a bit. The illos she did for KR3 were done whilst at work at Universal Studios. She and I help each other out on our art, and I remember her showing me the illos for "Dialogue On A Starry Night," "The Solo-Wise Woman," and "Decision." The thing I like most about Wendy's work is that she pretty much makes everything up. Those Hans she draws are purely Ikeguchi, no photographs were relied on. (This is bloody hard to do!)

And now we come to Wanda. I am one of her biggest fans. Her composition is wonderful, as are her placement of lights and darks. But, best of all is her feeling and knowledge of the human figure. No, she doesn't always get every muscle correct, but it always feels right...the gesture, expression of the subject she is drawing is always on the money. This talent isn't something you learn by studying muscles and anatomy (not to cut down learning anatomy - I feel it is an integral part to understanding the figure.) To draw people the way Wanda does takes a special magic that comes with time and sensitivity. (I'm still waiting for it to come to me!)

Bev Swan's illos for "Thoughts In An Asteroid Cave" were anatomically incorrect, and did not capture the likeness of Han and Leia. You'd think with these negative remarks to make that I did not like her art. Emphatically not so! They are beautiful. The inkwork is so sensitive and graceful that they far outshadow the flaws. I look forward to seeing more of her work.

I have never heard of Nancy Stasulis, but I'm mighty impressed. Her composition and inkwork are great. Is this lady a pro?

Stafanie Hawk's illo on page 129 is very dramatic and I like it very much. The only complaint I have about her style is that I think her technique (especially her inkwork) is a little sloppy. However, I think this is just me. She certainly draws well.

Joni Wagner's Leia on page 140 is beautiful. The only problem I see is in the areas where she crosshatches. This technique is not one of her strengths. However, this flaw is not any big deal and would only be noticed by a fuss-budget like me.

Cheree Cargill's Han on page 171 is drawn well and retains the likeness, but the ink- work is purely overkill. The hair is very good, though. (This sounds like a an odd compliment, but many otherwise good artists do dreadful hair!)

Love Judith Low's stuff. She has great concepts and I like her ise of pattern. She draws good heads, also.

Kathi Spivey, however, does not do so well on faces, but I like her concepts and com position and think her illos are basically successful because of this. Debra Drake. I am really crazy for her art. I love the way she draws faces. I think she truly understands portraiture. She captures the soul behind the person. Ink- work and understanding of lights and darks are good, too.

The next artist in line is me. I generally liked my illos for "Skyfall," but I tend to get paranoid about my own work. I didn't rely on photos so much on these illos, so the faces turned out to be more "JR Luke" than "Hamill Luke." I worried that people would not like this, but those I talked to did, which warms my little artist-heart.

I left out a few artists in this LoC. Please forgive me for this. It's just that this LoC is getting too long. Those name I omitted also did fine work.

Well, to wrap it up, Great Job, folks! Congrats especially to Mickey who had to put everything together, and also deal with us flakey artists (I put myself at the top of the "flakey artist" list!) [8]

I just finished Kessel Run #3 and "Skyfall" really has me excited! It was wonder ful! And so was JR's work, as usual. She's one artist who knows how to capture people and keep them in proportion - something I know is difficult.

Laymon can sure write, and Callahan, too. I liked "Beloved Enemy." In "Act III, Scene One," I didn't like how Luke was so weak, but at the same time I did like how human he was. I'm a Luke fan, but I do appreciate Han, and I really got a kick out of Fern Marder's "Han Solo and the Amazing Technicolor Lightsaber." Though I'm happy with ROTJ, I had sort of hoped Han would have the Force. I really liked Wendy Ikeguchi's Han on page 74 and her illos on 68 and 77. I enjoyed "R & R." "The Ultimate Right" was well written. "Witness For the Defense" was good and I'm not particularly a Vader fan. "A Search For Truth was interest ing and I liked the illos of Luke's parents. I liked the ideas about Han's past, but I'm curious to see what stories will be written after everyone reads Skywalkinq. "Moonflower Secrets" had a neat twist. I don't believe it for a second, but it's fun to see the diffi- rent possibilities. I loved Debra Drake's illo on 226.From here on gets into the interesting agreement on Han's past. First, I want to admit I may be prejudiced because Luke's my first love. Even so, I had hoped for more about Han in TESB, but he did do a lot of growing. I also tried to remember that I had already seen TESB several times before I read any of KR3. But, I just couldn't swallow any of "Luke's Prologue." I've never seen Luke worship Han - he argued with him right away in ANH. I see a true friendship with mutual respect and it bugs me when some play Luke down so much. If you don't want him, have a reason for him to be gone. I love that scoundrel Han, too, but the SW saga is from "the adventures of Luke Skywalker." Now that I got my pet peeve out of the way, I did like "Han's Con" and Drake's illos for it were wonderful, as was the end of the story. I personally don't believe Han would be quite so powerful, but it's a credit to Zeek's wonderful writing that I loved every bit of "Skyfall." There's a lot of good stories and artwork in KR3, but you certainly saved the best for last. And if Zeek isn't writing original and getting paid big bucks for it, then I'm surprised. I loved the visual images of the Force, the threads and birds. Her use of words is what some do for music. [8]

Well! Kessel Run #3 was a giant book to be savored, its stories to be read one by one and thought about. It had a nice mixture of art, poems, stories and an outstanding example of writing I'll come to later; no actual stinkers, though there were some less favored pieces. The first story, "Beloved Enemy," has an interesting cast of well-drawn characters surrounding Vader, especially d'Loren and Ashtarre. Their devotion to the Dark Lord was well-portrayed and their personalities more vivid than the two lovers, Lukas and Jeheyn, with their atmosphere of "doomed love." It may be because I am unfamiliar with the "Black Saber" background that this story impressed me less than the simple mood piece "That's Your Uncle Speaking" which evoked sympathy for Owen Lars' love of the land's endurance. "Act III, Scene One" offered a Luke and Leia story showing them as friends and partners, something nice to see in place of romantic interest. Their contrast came with Leia being very much the wiser, older sister which is natural given her greater wordly experience. (Maybe that should be 'wordsly' in view of the number of planets she's undoubtedly been on.) "Speculation" and "Reassessment" rhymed just fine and Cathye Faraci's illos gave a good hint as to the two gentlemen's characters.

"R & R" seemed to be a funny droid story that was welcome as a change of pace from heavily dramatic pieces; of course Wanda Lybarger's artwork was pleasing in its strong, sure strokes. Eluki's art, too, has a fine, clean style and the funny storm-lawyers are a standout. Linda Knight's "Next Time" showed Luke's torn-in-two feelings and also his growing awareness that the Force isn't so simple to understand as he thought, and that shades of gray exist along with black and white. Pat Nussman's little spitfire Leia showed just how early that character's bravery and intelligence showed itself. Little Leia's thoughts sound ed just like any six-year-old's, while the "Mourners For Peace" idea was food for thought and grimly prophetic. The young woman of Pat's "Listener In Hell" showed the same courage and this short piece was graced by a lovely illustration by Joni V.'agner whose Leia looked like a determined idealistic 16 year old. "Witness For The Defense" did have an arrogant Vader matched by a woman who was fascinated by him but managed to handle their situation without getting burned. Courts-martial are something of marginal interest though, and I found myself wondering about the results of a Yoda-Vader confrontation after seeing Yoda use the Force for attack in the Faraci cartoon on page on page 167. "The Solo-Wise Woman" showed Debra Drake's grasp of worldly wisdom with a lilting poem. Pat Nussman's "Pavane" again displays her ways with a phrase, especially the image of a butterfly soaring free after its release from a cocoon. Like I said, KR3 is a longie, so I'll skip comment on the rest of the issue's offerings except to say that I was entertained. The one outstanding piece of work was Patricai D'Orazio's "The Ultimate Right." A thought-provoking theme, recurring motifs of Corellian princes and "never enough time," not to mention the emphasis on the Daughter of the Royal House's creed made this an undeniable delight to read. The character's reacted as if their creator himself pulled their 'strings,' but the logically developed, engrossing plot was all Patricia's. Clans seem to fit right in with the Star Wars galaxy. The Solos are a right handy bunch of people to have on your side in a fight, yesiree. Nancy Stasulis' symbolism and clean style fitted well in this exceptional story. [8]

Just finished reading KR3 and now I know why Kessel Run is my favorite zine. Everything in #3 was excellently written, but three stories were exceptional. excellently written, but three stories were exceptional.

"Skyfall" by Anne Elizabeth Zeek (the author of my all-time favorite story "Honor Binds Me") was phenomenal. I have always felt that since Lucas created Dark Lords, there must be Light (or Bright) Lords, too. It was great to read that someone else also had that idea. Too bad that Lucas is into simple stories, because "Skyfall" would have made a fantastic end to the triloqy.

"Witness For The Defense" showed me that some one else out there does not believe that Vader is a machine. I was fascinated by the depth of characterization that Carol Hines-Stroede gave the Dark Lord. Bravo} hope that she continues writing stories about him.

Again, too bad that Lucas opts for simple stories because "Moonflower Secrets" would have added an excellent twist to TESB, espe cially done as a flashback. [8]

This was a real big zine, so I will just go over what I liked best. Far and away my favorite was "The Ultimate Right." I really like Pat's style and her characterizations. The only thing I dis agree with in this story was the fact that I think Leia, in all likelihood, would have learned this lesson a long time ago. After all, assassination goes against the basic principles the Alliance is fighting for. I can't imagine Leia compromising herself in this way. I know she was fighting an inner battle all the way up till the assassination attempt, but that only makes her look wishy-washy. Without it, though, you wouldn't have a story. And, other than that, I loved it. If she could indeed have that sort of a dilemma, she couldn't have handled it any other way. The other part of the story, the smaller part, outlines her changing feelings for Han Solo and shows the beginnings of her affection. That was handled exceedingly well. Another item I really loved was "Han Solo and the Amazing..." You will probably think that I live in a closet, but what play was that based upon? (Ed's note: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat") The play by Fern Marder was excellent. It was funny all the way through. I can almost picture the droids singing! It made me want to hunt up a soundtrack, so that I could put the worlds to their music. "High Stakes," too, was very good. Again, Pat's background on Han Solo is very good. I would rather read about Sybelle than that other mother. (What's her name?) If I seem rather vague, it's due to sensory overload from all the zines I bought a MediaWest. I do wonder, though, if Pat ever wrote a story which explained the reasons why Clan Solo hates Wookiees? Or a story telling how Han met Chewie and how the Solos reacted. I would like to read them!

Now, "Moonflower Secrets" was a great farce. I can't say honestly that I liked the idea of Leia not being Leia or that her relation ship with Han was a purposely arranged facade, but MS did have a real nice sex scene. I get a rush just remembering it. Thanks, Sharon.

"Apology" and "Han's Con" were both enjoyable, also. I like the way Jeanine comes right out with what she wants to say. You know, Jeanine, you don't hold back. Poor Lando!

I hope that you get a chance to read the novel "Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu." The book really appealed to me. It makes Lando out to be quite a card! His struggle to overcome his inadequate pilot ing skills and his sarcastic cheerfulness endeared him to me. (Ed's note: PLease excuse the change of typeface. My typewriter is in the repair shop and I'm working with a loner with a tendency toward tangled keys.) After what Han had been through on Bespin, I couldn't believe that Lando would've acted that way in "Han's Con." I wish that Sharon had gone on to resolve matters between Han and Lando.

And "Skyfall" - that was wonderful!!! It looks like Anne couldn't make up her mind who the Other was. What a nice story, though! Everything fell into place nicely. I guess from this story that you could be a Dark Lord and still not be evil, right?

"R&R" was also enjoyable. Everything that I've read by Martie Benedict has such light-hearted tones to it. I wonder if she ever considered writing Conan stories. She seems to like to get Han into 'pulp' type crises and then get him out again. Han rescuing a 'temple priestess' really sounds like something Conan would do.

If I went on and told you what else I liked in the zine, I might as well send you a copy of the Cargo Manifest, as you so cunningly call your Table of Contents. I do have to mention one other piece, though. "Wintersoul" - that was truly a wonderful poem. I especially loved the way Han recognized his own ice in the reserve of the Princess. That was touching. [8]

KR3 is a terrific zine and contains something for everyone. I think my favorite is "The Ultimate Right." At last a story that shows what being with the Rebellion is not all pomp and medals and heroics. There is a lot of hard work involved and some things are done that are not quite likable. Patricia D'Orazio has given us a Princess Leia who is more than just someone for Han to argue with or Luke to moon over. Patricia's princess is a real human being with feelings and emotions that some other writers would deny her. I thought 1 the story was well written, the situations and characters quite believable. Leia went through all the mental gymnastics anyone else in such a situation would have, trying to justify murder with a variety of excuses and finally facing the harsh reality of that act. I also liked Patricia's background for Han Solo. Starsword, huh? Corellian prince, perhaps? I'd like to see more of her work concerning Han's past. Perhaps my only complaint is that "High Stakes" should have preceded "Ultimate Right," as it explained some of his references to his mother.

As for "High Stakes," I enjoyed it immensely. If Sybelle is any example, those Solos must be quite a clan. I'd sure hate to tangle with one of them in a dark alley. No wonder Han's managed to stay alive in a very high risk business.

I thought all the poetry was quite good, though I'm not much for it myself. I also liked the artwork, especially Wanda Lybar- ger's. Cathye Faraci's cartoons are always funny, especially her Vader ones - even an old groaner like the one about fall.

I was surprised about the several different ideas about the Other. Most of them favored Han to varying degrees (he was my choice, too) They were all logical, too, well thought out and put forward a good case for every one's favorite Corellian to be a potential Jedi.

Having seen the movie now at least half a dozen times, I can't say I'm disappointed, although making Luke and Leia twins was kind of a cop-out. We'll never know now if the Princess might have chosen Luke over Han - although any princess who turned Han down would have to be out of her mind! ROTJ is sure to provide a wealth of material for further fannish excursions into Lucas' universe. It will be interesting to see what comes of it all. I'm sure that the stories will be as excellent as they always have been.[8]

My goodness, KR is getting as big as Pegasus, and good withal. I'm so glad you printed LOC•s in #2 and #3, which are illuminating. Having received both those issues, I'll be including comments on both, since I don't think I ever LoCed #2. The layout in general is clear, and the only criticism I might give is that the gothic- style lettering in a few of the titles is horrible to read. Somehow SW accords poorly with medieval overdecorated script, even when when the setting is quasi-medieval in spirit.

"Beloved Enemy" by Laymon and Goldstein, shows definite improvement over "Quisling" in #2. The latter had Theme but was incurably episodic. I admit this was unavoidable, given the period of time covered.) The appearance of Sheresca D'Loren brings out the strong characterization and firm writing which are Laymon & Goldstein's recognizable style. The time sequence was still a bit shakey in "Beloved Enemy," but there was a good coherent story, with the author's usual unflinching acceptance of the universe's less pleasant aspects.

"Act III,Scene One" by Chris Callahan is nice, and unusually perceptive in assigning Leia's role, though for me it lacks the extra spark — humor? depravity? — that makes a story truly memorable. "R&R" by Martie Benedict, on the other hand, has the humor and depravity down pat, but is otherwise a trifle overwritten and definite ly overestimates either Han's charms (diffi cult as that may be) or Liramin's talent for idiocy. Not that I don't love Patannng's contribution to galactic religion, you under stand... and in Callahan's piece, I can really appreciate the picture of Leia acting both directly and sensibly for once in fanlit, I didn't really like "Moonflower Secrets" by [Sharon F], mainly for the overtalky style which kept the characters from sounding like themselves. The interesting premise of Leia being a substitute for for the younger Organa princess never quite developed, either. "Han's Con" shares the talkiness, though it does illustrate why Han had to stay with the Rebels, and I'm glad to see some atten tion on Chewie's feelings as an intelligent, aware being. [Sharon F]'s piece from mostly Chewbacca's point of view in #2 underlined this, too, and the Wookiee-as-Force-guardian theme, which is often neglected. Marcia Brin's "Run That By Me One More Time" is delicious, if a little stiff — but the image of a far-away galaxy's Professor Indiana Jones is simply irresistible! Her Alterniverse stories in KR#1 and #2 were good, too, and seemed part of the SW uni verse without forcing despite the altered history. I liked Cathye Faraci's de ightful Vader cartoons in both issues and the hotcha pic ture on page 110 of #2 - now why couldn't that have illo'd Nussman's "Sweet Revenge"I "Tete-a- tete" Karen Miller in KR#2, one of the most delightful pieces in that issue, manages to outshine any of its sequels in #3. Now that I stop to survey the issue as a whole, nearly every story in #3 that includes Han at all, seems to assume that he's (a) the 'other' or (b) of a strongly Force-talented clan or line, i.e., a very obvious candidate for the 'other.' A few stories, such as Anne Zeek's "Skyfall" are so definite about incorporating this premise that it works in terms of the story even if Lucas has shot the possibility out from under us in ROTJ. Many stories, however, seem to have stuck it in as a side issue to show how all-around important and great Han Solo is. Now, I have no objections to Han being shown as trusty, lusty, steel-sinewed, great in bed, and fond of Wookiee cubs, but unless it's integral to the writer's vision of How The SW Universe Is, Han as extravagantly Force-talented isn't really justified, even from ANH and TESB. Suggesting him as the 'other' just because he's there has all the conviction of suggesting that Sith are Wookiees in dis guise because both Chewbacca and Vader are tall. I know this is now a moot point (and I'm sorry it has to sound like hindsight wisdom applied to honest efforts at foresight, which is why I didn't mention it in connection with individual stories), but that was an unnecessarily overloaded bandwagon. Per haps the group mind had worked through the more likely possibilities and was playing with this one in a last gasp of creativity during the wait for Revenge oops. Return.

"Skyfall" with its dreams-within-dreams is hard to read as a linear story, but is more symbolically-presented new myth based on SW's background. Its accomplishment is in being so complete, both more and less than a story. I can no longer call Zeek unparalleled in her ability to write good prose and complete stories, but this is the good fortune of SW fandom and its newer writers, and no diminution of Zeek's talents.

KR is a really lovely zine (I like the back covers on both #2 and #3, too) with some of the best stories in fanlit. Good luck for next year.[8]

Kessel Run 3 is a delight and a treasure. My very favorites were Patricia D'Orazio's twin stories, "The Ultimate Right" and "High Stakes." And I consider it extremely clever of you to have put "Ultimate Right" first, simply for the puzzle of Han's mother that the story presents to the reader as an added bonus. Then after the reader has enjoyed D'Orazio's skillful treatment of a very serious subject, and the reader has had a chance to decide for herself exactly what all the contradictory comment about Han's mother really mean, you give the reader the second story to either confirm or deny those conclusions. I especially like Sybelle Solo. She is truly a 'feisty Corellian' with more than enough redeeming faults to make her interesting. I particularly like the one about frequenting cantinas to pick up young cadets... This woman is exactly the kind of woman to have raised up the kind of son our Han has turned out to be. Great Lady!

"Run That By Me One More Time" by Marci Brin is also a treat. I have long wondered about exactly the thing she brings out so enter tainingly. What do you suppose future research- ersof our own universe are going to think of all the tiny fetish figures, oh, about four inches or so, to be found in so many of the dwelling ruins of that (this?) ancient time? Especially the ominous one masked and dressed in black... At any rate, the canonizing of our heroes was great fun.

Pat Nussjnan's "Pavane" was one of the saddest most touching things I have ever read, as lovely a gem as the little holo in the story.

My favorite poem was Debra R. Drake's "The Solo-Wise Woman." Smart lady, one with whom I agree entirely. As for the artwork, I especially liked Nancy Stasulis' illos for "High Stakes, though I do have to admit an especial prejudice for the subject of said illos. And Debra Drake's picture for Pat Nussman's "Winter- soul" is beautiful, to say the least. Eluki's cartoons of the Legal Eagles From- LucasFilms are hysterical! The only two stories I had any trouble with were "Act III, Scene One" by Chris Callahan and "Hyperspace Interlude" by Joan Shumsky, ROTJ notwithstanding. Especially the latter. I just can't see Han as a Force-sensitive Jedi. Never could, even before ol' George told us that he wasn't the Other. Perhaps, I will admit, it is merely wishful thinking on my part. I think something of what makes Han the delight he is would be irrevocably lost if he were 'goodied up' in the Force.

I like scoundrels! The former story is less difficult to deal with, since Leia does, indeed, turn out to be Yoda's Other. But even if Yoda had not died in ROTJ, I think Leia would be more involved, more interested in, the political development of the situation than in settling down to a concentrated and deliberate study of the Force. She will, I suspect, leave that bit of Family Business to her brother.

It's a good zine, Michelle. Easily and quickly one of the best there is. I am proud that my name has, and will, appear in it. [8]

Kessel Run #3 was excellent! I especially liked Carol Hines-Stroede's story, as she captures Vader's personality with an insight no other fan writer has accomplished. Also, her style carries one along, continually interested in the tale she is weaving. It seems to me she could/should go pro.

Anne Elizabeth Zeek also weaves an excellent medieval sword & sorcery type tale of the SW sage which I very much enjoy. I do hope she has a submission for KR4.

[Sharon F]'s portrayal of Han and Leia's relationship in "Moonflower Secrets" was enjoyable and realistic. I think Han is more 'romantic' and caring than he likes to let on - and this story shows that part of him. Pat Nussman's "Wintersoul" finally let's us see a bit of Han's history and background. She also writes an excellent short story.

Laymon and Goldstein present a bittersweet tale which, in the end, captures one's heart - and the stylized art by Faraci definitely enhances this.

As far as art, Wendy Ikeguchi definitely has Han down pat and I enjoyed Stefanie Hawk's illo of Vader/ Luke in "Next Time." And Joni Wagner - what can one say?

Actually, I enjoyed all the art in KR3 with the exception of Wanda Lybarger's illo for "The Falconer." The composition is good, but the head is too large, You claim that KR4 will not be as thick as #3. I hope you are wrong. It was delightful to be presented with such a wealth of "Star Wars", as I, for one, cannot get enough of it! [8]

Well, having plowed my way through KR3, it's time for a LoC -- my last for a while, thank goodness. This is like reviewing "War and Peace" in 25 words or less, but I'll do my best. Allow me to comment on the binding: did you consider doing it another way? The two outside staples are tending to pop out. Also, there is only one holding together the inside and if it goes, it could literally come apart. (Ed's note: A look at this issue's binding should give you an idea of what I think of last issue's binding. Plus, a number of copies got stuck together during last summer's heatwave, so no more shiney cover, either.) Fiction: "The Ultimate Right" - I liked the way the author handled Leia's feelings on Alderaan, the whole question of the one or the few versus the many is such a sticky thing: it's a difficult decision to make. Still, you have to draw the line somewhere as to what you are or are not willing to do. I liked the glimpses into Han's past, his concern for Leia and his final decision not to stoop to any level to achieve her ends. One little thing I thought was amusing - Leia throwing the sword at Dorisoma's palace because "when Corellians were angry, they threw things."

Just when I was starting to wonder about the glimpses of Han's past, along came "High Stakes." Still can't figure out why Solo's don't like Wookiees so much. Maybe they have a complex because they're so short? Anyway, no one seems to remember what started it, as with all such feuds.Again, the little things impressed me - Han hitting it off right away with the Wookiees - the way Sybelle wears her hair - the idea of the starswords - and Han's translation of the Wookiee's remark on page 212: that Sybelle was the person who was going to save the person (Han) who was going to save the person (Luke) who was going to save everyone."

"At First Sight" was quite amusing. The relationship between Rieekan and Leia was sweet; he seemed like more of a father than her real one. Also worthy of note: Leia seeing through Han's bluff after they are captured - the way he comforts her when she cries, telling her it's all right to do so - their touching parting - the 'revelation' at the end and Leia's reaction - and I was so surprised to see that homely adolescent surface at the end. It took a minute for that to register. "Moonflower Secrets" - Interesting back grounds for Han and Leia. However, I don't see Han as one of those people who feel that the end justifies the means. I almost expected him to say, "It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it." Personally, I feel he has a rather high moral code and that he does draw the line, as in "The Ultimate Right." You have to ask yourself whether any ends are worth any means to achieve them.

"Han's Con" - well, I'm sure Han has moments of self-doubt just like everyone else, but this story carried this too far. There is no reason why he should feel like a failure after Bespin; he is resistent enough to bounce back without sinking into such depression. Also, while Lando is a charmer, I don't think he would go so low as to try to steal Leia. Where does the idea come from that Han is or has been a heavy drinker?

Poetry: "Han Solo and the Amazing Technicolor Lightsaber" - this was a lot of fun; I only wish that I knew more about the original play. I liked the humor - "We don't need a captain wearing day-glo," "Obi-wan had very few cares - That's because his body wasn't there - So to make an entrance with a flare- He forced it." The last verse was actually quite lovely. I liked the illustrations, especially the black and white contrast, and Han and Leia's outfits with the final verse - very Indian-like.

"Rieekan: Reborn" was beautiful, with some very lovely images. I think it was my favo rite poem. The last stanza was worth the whole poem. "Free Advice" - Han isn't getting any younger, maybe that's an impetus to settle down. And maybe he's found one of the dreams he lost along the way as well. Both of Pat Nussman's poems (or stories) "Pavane" and Wintersoul" were excellent. Maybe Leia was not the only one whose walls were being breeched, maybe she saw through someone's defenses as well. They both asked where spring was; as it turns out, it was just around the corner.

Artwork - Wanda Lybarger's work was great, as usual. I am also partial to Mary Stacy- McDonald's illustrations. Maybe they aren't quite accurate as to resemblance, but they have a lot of vitality and brightness, the people in them look alive. My other favorites: Joni Wagner's Leia on page 140 (how she has changed since SW!) Cheree Cargill's Han on page 170, Debra Drake's Leia and Han on page 247. The illustrations for "Skyfall" were also quite good, particularly the opening one. Speaking of "Skyfall," I don't know how I could have forgotten it, because it's close to being my favorite story. I got so caught up in it, the Lords and Ladies, trying to figure out what was going to happen next, what Han was up to, when people were dreaming and when they were not. I could even live with the notion of Luke's jealousy, because everything turned out so well in the end. It would have been nice to see more of Kiara. Anyway, a nicely done, suspenseful story, and very elegant in its way.

Guess that about covers it (gasp, gasp!) This zine just keeps getting better and better.[8]

It's rather hard to comment on Kessel Run 3 - there's so much of it. First off, the front cover is marvelous. Sure wish I could see the orig inal. And I just flipped over the little cartoon of Odie-wan Kenobi on page 13 - what a riot! Even my mundane friends found that one funny. The cartoons on pages 139 and 167 were a scream, too. You really had some lovely artwork for this issue. I could rave all day about said art, so I'll just mention my favo rites - Stefanie Hawks' drawing on page 120 and Eluki's drawing on page 91. Debra Drake's illo accompanying "Wintersoul" was especially moving (as was Pat Nussman's poem) and Mary Stacy-McDonald's Han and Leia on page 71 was just lovely.

Which brings me to the poetry in KR3. I don't usually comment on poetry unless it's really memorable. There were a number of memorable poems in KR3. [Sharon F]'s "Rieekan: Reborn" is a good example. I found it touching an very memorable. Marcia Brin's "Dichotomy" is another poem I really, really liked. It was certainly right on the mark in following Luke's possible thoughts. I also enjoyed "Free Advice" and "We Need!...What About You Need?" I liked "Questions In The Dark"- but I'm afraid my perceptions have already become clouded by ROTJ - Luke is Leia's brother, after all! But, ah, the stories of KR3 - what wonderful flights of fancy! Chris Callahan's "Act III, Scene One" was an inter esting premise considering what has come to light in ROTJ. The story seemed a bit rushed, though. "Han Solo and the Amazing Technicolor Lightsaber" was a little, uh, bizarre - but different (to say the least.) Joan Shumsky has writ ten a beautiful conversation in "Dialogue On A Starry Night," and Wendy Ikeguchi's artwork was nice, too. I've read this dialogue over and over and I still enjoy reading it.

It really rings true. "R&R" by Martie Benedict was a lot of fun to read and I always enjoy seeing Wanda Lybarger's bold art. Her art fits Martie's style of writing - bold and clear! "The Ultimate Right" ranks as one of my very favorite Han stories, and I liked "High Stakes" too. I sure hope Patricia writes more of these Han stories - they're great fun to read. And marvelously well- written, too.

I sure was glad to see another of Pat Nussman's Rieekan and Leia stories - "At First Sight." I especially liked her ending to this tale.. Her characterization of Rieekan was just brilliant. On the other hand, I found "Listener In Hell" a bit difficult to grasp. It just didn't sweep me up like most of Pat's writing does. "Pavane" is a good example of what I mean; it sort of reaches out and makes you 'feel' for the characters.

Speaking of feeling for the characters, "Witness For The Defense" is one of the best Vader character studies I've seen. Not to mention being one of the best dramatic pieces of fan fiction to come along. And I am not a Vader fan! Congradulations [sic] to Carol Hines- Stroede.

I found "Moonflower Secrets" very enjoyable up until the part where Han and Leia reveal their secrets - they are just too implausible to be believed. The ending also seemed rushed. I had the same problem reading "Han's Con" - I liked the story, but the ending was too rushed! (I really like the picture on 247, incidentally.)

Well, after you've waded through this 'short' letter, I bet you can't guess which story was my absolute favorite!

"Skyfall"! I love Anne Elizabeth Zeek's writing! I believed every word of this story - and I'd already seen ROTJ before I read it. The characters seemed real and alive and the action kept me on the edge of my seat. A lovely story to end a lovely zine. Congradulations on your continued success with Kessel Run. Sorry I forced you to read my messy writing just so you could know my likes and dislikes - just be glad I printed.[8]

When I pulled KR3 from the envelope and got my first look at the marvelous cover, I knew the contents would be just as marvelous. KR3 is just jam- packed full of goodies.

I enjoy reading most of Deborah Laymon's Empire stories. She always comes up with the most interesting, just slightly evil new characters. But, "Beloved Enemy" showed she could see the other side (i.e., the Alliance) as well. I think she carefully crafted Darth's doubts and hidden unwillingness to find Lukas. Lukas, on the other hand, showed his courage and love for Darth in a quiet but commanding way. In the end, all of these traits came to the surface. I was deeply moved. And how Cathye Faraci could make Vader's mask appear to show sorrow and grief over Lukas' body is amazing to me.

"Thoughts In An Asteroid Cave" is one of the best Han-Leia introspectives I've read yet. But the kicker is that after all their deep soul-searching, which I'm sure was a first for each of them, they came up with the wrong conclusions! A nice twist.

The two short stories by Patricia D'Orazio I'd say are two of my favorite stories in the zine. I liked "The Ultimate Right" be cause it is a very, very good Leia dominated story. Patricia has captured Leia at her diplomatic best, as well as showing her self- determination and how her upbringing on Alderaan affects how she behaves as a woman.

If this isn't enough, she nicely works in how deeply scarred she is by Alderaan's destruction and her role in it. It was a let down knowing as I read that Leia would never assassinate Barragas. In fact, I would have been totally flabbergasted if she had killed him. However, Ermoan's explanation of 'human mating habits' just blew me away! I roared with laughter. Mating habits indeed!

"High Stakes" introduces us to one Sybelle Solo, Corellian and free captain. What a character! I'd hate to get on her bad side. Obviously, Han has picked up habits from his adopted mom.

"Next Time" is an excellent conversation between Luke and his father. Luke's uncertainty about how to deal with his father is still very evident, and remained so into ROTJ. I wondered how Luke was supposed to kill Vader without falling to the Dark Side in the process. Yoda and Obi-wan kept hinting at this confrontation. But isn't vengeance a part of the Dark Side? Compare Luke's uncertainty to Vader's certainty about the outcome is nicely woven into the conversation. And, as ROTJ proved, Vader was right. Stefanie Hawks' beautiful picture on page 120 nicely compliments the story.

"At First Sight" by Pat Nussman lives up to her usual good standards. I have yet to read a story of Pat's that I didn't like. The basic idea for the story just tickled my fancy. Leia as a six year old was believable. So was a teenage Han who, with one look, could just melt a female heart. Even back then they made a good pair. Pat just loves Rieekan and gives his character further development in this story. I'm beginning to like him, too. What a pity he didn't appear in ROTJ. I suppose how Leia eventu ally 'fixed' Han is better left to our own imaginings. "Dichotomy" - I'm so glad that Marcia wrote this showing a very matured, wise young Luke finally getting a grasp on his life, the events that had led up to that point and the realities of life. Dreams are wonderful to have, but eventually they must be re placed by reality. Well done, Marcia.

"Hyperspace Interlude" - just from this brief short, I know that Han was a difficult stu dent for Yoda. And Yoda thought that Luke was difficult to teach! Anyway, I still feel there is something about Han we don't know about. After all, his background is less explored than Luke and Leia's. Back to the story, I think that Joan got Yoda's irritation with his former student down just right.

"Run That By Me One More Time" I just chuckled through. It was such a pleasant little story with just the right touch of humor. The funniest line was that stating that Leia Organa was a very tall woman. Tall in power, maybe. Anyway, I just plain enjoyed the story. And Yvonne's picture on page 233 is just full of little goodies (the staff of Ra symbol and all the interesting artifacts in the case.)

"Skyfall" by Anne Elizabeth Zeek is a real juicy story. Anne always comes up with such interesting mystic ideas. Opposites attract, and four components are needed to complete the whole, and this nicely uses Luke, Leia and Han as the fulcrum of the new order. The idea appealed to me. Once again Luke is the one who must overcome the most obstacles to achieve his goals. The The conflict between Vader and Han was well done, mostly with the help of Vader's insecurity. Finally, at the end, Luke gets the girl. It's about time! Good story.

Cathye Faraci's back cover was interesting, as was the one she did for KR2. Also, I have to add that Yvonne Zan's cartoon on the inside back cover was great. All those little Yoda's look so cute (Ed's note: and they all have their mother's nose, too.)

Once again, I know I haven't covered everything in KR3. If I did, I'd be writing till next week! Good luck on KR4.[8]

From Other Zines

[Witness for the Defense]: Vader has had his ups and downs in fan fiction. Before Jedi he was most often depicted as a black-hearted villain with no redeeming qualities. But before TESB he had a more ambivalent treatment.... Carol Hines-Stroede is another author whose work concentrates on Darth Vader. In "Anatomy" in Pegasus 6 she recounts his medical experiences after the duel with Obi-Wan and the reasons he must wear the life-support system and mask. In "Witness for the Defense" (Kessel Run 3) she develops a galaxy power structure where no one trusts anyone, and even the all-powerful Dark Lord can be endangered by his enemies. Hines-Stroede's Vader is capable of loyalty, honor, humor, even charm, a more human Vader who is just as compelling as the one on the screen. [9]

[High Stakes]:

One of the advantages Han Solo presents to writers is his lack of a past. Except for the information in Dale Pollock's biography of George Lucas, Skywalking, there are precious few keys to Han Solo. Even his alleged heritage as a Corellian is nowhere verified in the movies. He can be anyone. What more could a fan writer want? Fans have hardly left their hero in limbo.... "High Stakes" by Patricia D'Orazio shows Sybelle Solo adopting Elhandrian after she wins him in a: card game and fights off three bounty hunters and a pack of Wookiees. Sybelle is certain he is one of the legendary Starswords and bound to be trouble, but she keeps him anyway—"A Solo never backed down." [10]


Personal growth and commitment are the themes of many of the stories concerning Han, Luke, and Leia. Han's inability to make a commitment, his emphasis on being free of all ties, recurs again and again, while Leia's commitment to the Alliance at the cost of her emotions is a familiar motif in stories. Over eight years of fanzines, Han has learned to make a commitment while Leia has grown up enough to love even a scoundrel.

The most common theme concerning Luke Skywalker deals with his growth, both emotionally and as a Jedi. Anne Elizabeth Zeek in her story "Skyfall" (Kessel Run 3) examines these themes of commitment and growth. In her sequel to TESB she offers a plot which has more mythological tone than most while also providing a first-class psychological examination of Luke. Luke is heir to the Dark Lord while Han is the surviving Bright Lord of the Force. Both Leia and Luke are tested by Han. Luke comes to grips with his Dark heritage, his jealousy of Han because of Leia, and his potential to use the Force to get what he wants. All three recognize the roles they must play, and Zeek's final confrontation between Vader and Luke is masterfully portrayed. [11]

[Sword of Darkness, Sword of Light]:

Patricia D'Orazio's story "Sword of Darkness, Sword of Light" in Kessel Run 4 also continues the story after Jedi. Set immediately after the victory celebration on Endor, the story explains the protective attitude that Han has always taken with Luke. Tying both past and future together, D'Orazio cre- ates Force-users whose main function is to protect their Jedi companions.

Called Starswords, the emperor uses his to return from the dead. He prepares a trap for his unsuspecting enemies and attacks Luke Skywalker. Luke's powers are too weak against the emperor's Starsword-augmented skills, and he is help less until unexpected aid appears. Han Solo is his Starsword, and his memory of his mother's training returns when he needs it to defend Luke. This intriguing idea explains Han's closeness to Luke as well as his need to protect him. It answers many questions about Han's actions in the three films without changing the basic thrust of Lucas' plot. [12]

[zine]: All in all, I find Kessel Run #3 one of the best SW fanzines I have ever seen. Period. To me, it is basically a model of what zines should look like, of the variety a zine should contain, and of the tolerance for all sides which a zine should demonstrate. Bravo.,, its a real pleasure to read and reread this zine, and Kessel #3 is a must for any fan reader's collection. Listen--even if you don't generally get many zines, get this one.

Let's see--first, how it looks. A very striking Stefanle Hawks shadow composition on the cover—very handsome and gritty, A complete, concise and straightforward ToC (don't laugh -- ever noticed how sadly many zines leave out this consideration?) Very simple and eminently readable double-column reduced type. Saddle stapled spine. A dearth of borders (a sigh of relief here). Illos few and to the point, and always handsome with particularly nice work from Cathye Faraci, Wanda Lybarger, Nancy Stasulis, Judith Low and J.R. Dunster.

The most immediately surprising and delightful piece is by Fern Marder: "Han Solo and The Amazing Technicolor Lightsaber", a musical play pastiched from you-know-what. "How he loved his sword of many colors:/ In a class above the rest/It even went well with his vest." An absolute delight; one aches to see a full big-time production of this. Particularly Yoda singing the "Jedi Calypso" with a full steel-drum band back there. A sprightly rendering of a fun musical into SW usage—AND IT SCANS. Such lyrics, and all of them scan beautifully and singably. A real classic.

Pat Nussman has a couple of pieces in the zine which are also worth particular attention. "At First Sight" is about Leia as a small Princess on Alderaan who gets kidnapped by some vicious nasties due to internecine madness. Leia is very small, but is soon the terror of her abductors due to her sharp wit and mean bite. During the abduction, she happens to meet up with this really nifty Corellian boy... The characterizations are a delight; Nussman is particularly adept a deft point-of-viewing; she gets into the thoughts of Leia, Han, Rieekan et al, with great dexterity. In fact, I've decided to hate Nussman; she's one of those writers who make me wonder why I'm alive and making a pretense of scribbling. She has a aood future; if she doesn't go on soon to pro-writing, I'll really hate her. The Nussman piece herein which really makes me jealous is the vignette "Pavane", which follows somewhat upon "love's Mysteries' Exquisite. It has sentiment, but it is not sentimental slosh; it presents Han's and Eela's love as something truly believable—the love of a real woman for a real man—and yet has a real enchantment to it; all of which is handled with great restraint.

Pat Nolan presents a very wise and gentle story, "A Search for Truth", which deals with Luke's (pre-ROTJ) training by Obi-Wan and Yoda, where Luke eventually learns of the truth—and necessity—of his own darkness, which Is his triumph. Good work; this is one of the best handled Lukes I've yet seen.

Speaking of "wiser" Lukes, I was pleased with-Marcia Brin's poem "Dichotomy", with Luke's thoughts on dreams that Inspire vs. reality; a small war between optimism and pessimism. It's a pleasure to see Luke grow up in fan fiction. It affords many of us to mature with him.

I have a quibble or two with Jean Stevenson's vignette, "Protector". Jean's technical ability is excellent; she has great flair with imagery. She needs a slightly tighter hand on the editing. At times, passages which could have been strikingly effective with sparer treatment are a little too melodramatic. Also, I think It would make part of a marvelous alternate-universe scenario; however eloquently Leia is presented, I have never felt that Leia was a woman who needed any protection.

Patricia D'Orazio has a pair of stories in the zine, and both are excellent. My favorite of the two was "High Stakes", dealing with tough dame Sybelle Solo rescuing this little orphan punk from a tight situation...and ending up having to adopt him. A charming and tightly crafted piece; yet not so tight that Patricia doesn't have fun with the characters. Sybelle, in particular, is a plum character. The story has some of the happy-go-lucky feel of ANH. "The Ultimate Right" suffers a bit from too much tightness; also, Leia always seems to be a bit tight-lipped and nattery, and then steps In Han Solo who is always right, always wise and common senslcal. Why must Leia suffer in character whenever Han Solo steps in? She always, in the films, seemed to have eminent wisdom and sense. Still, Patricia worked very hard on the story, and it shows. Her ambition, her care for story structure and for stylistic spareness shows, and care always tells. She has a terrific future, I think.

There are several fan writers whose stories eventually develop greater thematic depth and richness of treatment than the films upon which their work is based. Anne Elizabeth Zeek certainly does this with "Skyfall". Some fan readers won't like it; it is ambitious and symbolically complex. However, Zeek can be especially proud of this effort. It works in legend, mythology, and symbolism in an almost Tolkienesque vein. It is simply a slam-bang story. It has a few flaws, which may be due to Its ambitious scope: the final battle of psyches either goes on too long, or else needs some sort of break in POV to provide relief and pacing: and Luke's soul-mate the Lady Kiara is only sketchily dealt with. However, while reading this story, I was filled with jealousy and went into a two-day sulk, which seems to be my ultimate sign of approval.

In fact, if that is my ultimate sign of approval, then there's much for me to be irritated with and jealous over in Kessel Run #3. Fine, fine writers, excellent artwork, judicious editing, design with an extremely steady hand, handsome yet not ostentatious or pretentious...God, I'm furious. This is worth a really good sulk.

All I ask is that Michelle hurry up and infuriate me some more with Kessel Run #4; such delight I've rarely known. [13]

Issue 4

back cover of issue #4, Debra R. Drake
front cover of issue #4, Debra R. Drake
inside back cover of issue #4, Yvonne Zan
flyer for issue #4

Kessel Run 4 was published in 1984 and is 337 pages long.

From the frontispiece: "This last issue of Kessel Run is, like the first issue dedicated to the end of hypocrisy, backstabbing, and censorship in the world of fannish publishing. It is also dedicated to the hope that fewer fen will allow their dreamworld to become their only reality."

  • The Readers Blast Off (LoCs) (4)
  • The Legend of the Starbird, vignette by Kathryn Agel, art by Debra R. Drake (pre SW vignette: "Why are some Corellian pilots better than others?") (part of Starbird's Children Universe.) (12)
  • The Dark Path, story by Pat Molitar, art by Carol Selemi (pre SW story: "Anakin Skywalker's fall from Ben Kenobi's point of view.") (15)
  • There Have Always Been Leias in the House of Organa by Martie Benedict, art by Judith Low (pre SW vignette: "How did Leia come to be Bail Organa's daughter?") (28)
  • "Warlord". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10., story by Martie Bendict, art by Wanda Lybarger (Pre SW story: "Han and Cheuie must rescue a 'little bird' in order to defeat an evil warlord bent on conquest.") (30)
  • Free Flight, filk by Martie Benedict, art by Wanda Lybarger (54)
  • Life-Line, story by Anne Zeek, art by Martynn (pre and post ANH story: "Han and Leia must rescue Luke from the Imps with the help of Han's old friend Alain, also known as Dracula") (56) (reprinted from Dracula)
  • Blood-Line, story by Anne Zeek (post ANH story: "Alain's revenge on Leia and Darth Vader for Han's death.") (88)
  • Born to the Breed, story (a Black Sabre story) by Deborah Laymon and Deborah Goldstein, art by MRO Ludwig (pre SW story: "What kind of training did Leia go through to make her able to withstand being tortured on the Death Star?") (93)
  • "Run Before the Storm". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10., pre-SW vignette by Marcia Brin, art by Wanda Lybarger (Han is troubled by dreams. "Han Solo must learn to accept his post before he can face the future.") (part of the "Storm Cycle" --Other parts are "Reap the Whirlwind" in The Wookiee Commode #4 and "First Lesson" in Flip of a Coin #11. It is a a darker universe based in part on Lucas' thumbnail bio of Han in SKYWALKING, which also tells us that Wookiees have the Force. From this bio, we know that Han, for example, spent half his childhood with the Wookiees and, therefore, at the least, was exposed to the Force at an early age. Meaning, of course, that his comments to Luke in A NEW HOPE were deliberately misleading. Even with this brief bio, Han's origins remain completely mysterious.) (reprinted in Who's Scruffy-Lookin'?) (137)
  • Best Laid Plans, story by Janice Bratton, art by Kathi Spivey (post TESB story: "Leia's plan to keep Han with the Alliance goes awry.") (141)
  • Resolutions of a Star Wars Mary Sue, humor by Janet MacLellan, art by Anne Davenport ("The ultimate fannish character speaks her piece," reprinted from the third issue) (154)
  • Star Wars Art Portfolio: Scenes We'd Liked to Have Seen in the Star Wars Saga -- Suzy Sansom, Martynn, Angela Varesano, Vicki Brinkmeier, Dani, Yvonne Zan, Wanda Lybarger, Stefanie Hawks, Cathye Faraci, Leah Rosenthal, Nancy Stasulis, Kathi Spivey and June Edwards (155)
  • Old Friends and Acquaintances by Carol Hines-Stroede, art by Nancy Stasulis post TESB story: "(Lando and Vader must work together to save a space station") (170)
  • Shelter Talk, dialogue by D.J. Driscoll, art by Yvonne Zan (TESB dialogue: "a weird conversation between two friends") (185)
  • Novitiate by Jeanine Hennig, art by Jenni (post TESB: "Luke returns to Tatooine to train and do some heavy soul-searching.") (187)
  • Aspects of Evil in the Star Wars Saga, article by Liz S. (209)
  • And Now Luke's Side, LoCs (214)
  • Star Wars Quiz by Barbara T(216)
  • Evolution of a Jedi, article by Angela-Marie Versano, art by June Edwards (218)
  • Climbing the Tree 0f Life: From The Star Wars Saga Point of View, article by Rebecca Kaplowitz (221)
  • Buddhism in Star Wars, article by Beverly Lorenstein, art by Nancy Stasulis (232)
  • What Meaning Victory?, vignette by Linda Knights, art by Vicki Brinkmeier ( post ROTJ vignette: "Luke's thoughts about his future.") (238)
  • The Star Dreams, poem by M.H. Loughlin, art by L.C. Wells (240)
  • Midnight Reflections, poem by Pat Nussman, art by J.R. Dunster (242)
  • Vader's Nightmare, vignette by Angela-Maria Versano, art by June Edwards (244)
  • Point of View, short story by June Edwards, art by Edwards (post ROTJ story: "If Anakin Skywalker had lived how would he have fit in the New Republic?") (246)
  • Journey's End..., Archived version by Pat Nussman, art by Suzy Sansome (post TESB story: A rather dark Princess Leia story set directly after The Empire Strikes Back. "What terrible price must Leia pay to forget the grief of Han's death?") (250)
  • ...In Lover's Meetings, story by Pat Nussman, art by Suzy Sansome (A sequel to "Journey's End...") (post TESB story: "Luke risks his life to save Leia from her decision in this sequel to "Journey's End."") (254)
  • The Ultimate Alternative, vignette by Ann E. Huizenga, art by J.R. Dunster (258)
  • Ewok Meets Stormtrooper, Death Star Conversation, poem by Jacqueline Taero (261)
  • Truths, poem by Cary A. Bucar, art by Angela M. Varesano (262)
  • Web, vignette by Marcia Brin, art by Bev Peterson (post ROTJ vignette: " What is Mon Botha's secret and when will she reveal it?") 264)
  • A Flip of the Coin, vignette by Nancy Cole, art by Angela Varesano (ROTJ vignette: "A truly nasty alternate.") (267)
  • Farewell, My Lady, poem by Marcia Brin, art by Wanda Lybarger (268)
  • And Now I See, vignette by Lonna Poland, art by Mary Stacy-McDonald (post TESB: "Han's reasons for deciding to stay with the Alliance.") (270)
  • Mistress Chance, poem by Madge Longhurst, art by Cheree Cargill (273)
  • Answers at Midnight, poem by Angela-Marie Varseno, art by Angela-Marie Varseno (274)
  • Retaliation, poem by Kathryn Agel, art by Cheree Cargill (276)
  • Vader's Lamet: Truth, poem by June Edwards, art by Edwards (278)
  • Mea Maxima Culpa, vignette by L.A. Adolf and Jacqueline Taero, art by Stefanie Hawks (post ROTJ: "One of our heroes falls and it is up to the other and his daughter to save him.") (280)
  • The Gallant Thing, poem by Kathryn Agel, art by Debra R. Drake (283)
  • Alpha in Omega, poem by Nancy Stasulis, art by Bev Peterson (284)
  • La Madre de los Delores, poem by Deborah Laymon, art by Judith Low (286)
  • The ManyWorlds Interpretation of Quantum Physics, or Heeeeeeeere's Biggs! by Susan Matthews, Bev Clark and Pam Kowalski (post ROTJ vignette: "Luke discovers that everything is not what it seems to be.") (288)
  • Aftermath and Beginning, story by Becky Cope, art by Mary Stacy-McDonald (290)
  • Valedictory, poem by Jenni (294)
  • Meditation at a Pyre, poem by Terri Black, art by Jenni (296)
  • Patterns of Darkness, Patterns of Light, poem by Denise Habel, art by Wanda Lybarger (298)
  • Dialogue by Sharon F, art by J.R. Dunster (302)
  • Tainted Bloodlines, vignette by Kathi Spivey, art by Spivey (304)
  • Reflections on a Wedding Day, poem by Karen Zygowitz, art by L.C. Wells (306)
  • Sword of Darkness, Sword of Light by Patricia D'Orazio, art by Nancy Stasulis (post ROTJ story, "The Emperor still lives and chaos reigns.") (308)
  • The Circle of Love, vignettes by Ann Wortham, art by J.R. Dunster (330)

This issue contains a massive amount of art. A sample is included below.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

[Life-Line and Blood-Line]:

Leia Organa is the one character who has had more than her share of detractors. In some fanzines she is pictured as cold, manipulative, and heartless. Leia in reality is a very complicated character who changes throughout the

saga while staying essentially the same. She is loyal, dedicated, understanding, committed, and intelligent, but she is often depicted as one-dimensional and selfish. Even in the best of stories, "Life-Line" by Anne Elizabeth Zeek (Kessel Run 4) for example, Leia emerges as the most dangerous of the series' stars. In this story she would slag the Rurlizar Prison where Luke is held in order to prevent his revealing Alliance secrets to Vader. Later, only Han prevents her from murdering eight unconscious prison guards. Leia's pragma tism and relentless loyalty to the Rebellion earn her an eternal revenge in Zeek's sequel, "Blood-Line" (Kessel Run 4). [14]

Speaking as as a delighted reader of KR4, Mickey, I'd say that you should clear off a place on your wall for another Fan Q award. This is simply far and away the absolute best SW zine this year! After reading it, I was reminded of the year Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes.... 36 lengths ahead of the pack. KR4 is in a class all by itself! [15]

How can you review coherently, and thoroughly, a 336 page zine with 15 vignettes, 9 long stories, 7 short ones, 4 articles, 18 poems, other assorted items of humor and filk, plus 116 pages of art excluding the covers? You can't, period.

Past issues of KR have been dominated by Han, or Han and Leia, and while they are certainly well represented in this last issue, there is greater variety of canon and fan characters. The level of quality among the longer stories is remarkably high with only one being comparably clumsy and lacking in coherence and characters "The Dark Path" by Pat Molitar). And, this issue has a story by Martie Benedict where I FINALLY see Han Solo swear a real, live, human curse word (not some fan-invented Corellian curse)! On to the major pieces. "Born to the Breed" by Deborahs Laymon and Goldstein is yet another installment in their "Black Sabre" series, set before ANH. The focus is Leia's education in interrogation endurance. Her teacher is a former Imperial interrogator named Rennie. There are other overlapping storylines running thru the piece which concentrates on the series' main character, a "Sanestrii" gypsy woman and former operative of Vader's called Perja. The story starts slowly, is definitely not self-contained (a common feature in SW fan series) and virtually plotless. Never mind. It's well worth the effort of staying on. The story is mainly about powerful, distinctive, intricate, beautiful relationships. There is the budding and poignant relationship between Perja and her underworld errant father, the sisterly love between Perja and Leia (who is 16 here, and sensitively portrayed), the powerful teacher-pupil experience between Rennie and Leia, the free, buoying intimacy between Perja and her Corellian co-pilot Jesren, and the rediscovered, unrestricting, equal love between Perja and Rennie. Plus there's the fact that Rennie is based on the wonderful and entrancing actor, Michael Rennie. MRO Ludwig's illos to this blend in strongly with the story and the scenes ate well-chosen, if sparsely.

"Novitiate" by Jeanine Hennig is very refreshing, in that it is purely a Luke story, and a damned good one. Set a month before ROTJ, and written in remarkably convincing first person, it takes place on Tatooine with Luke taking a soul-searching desert retreat before he rescues Han, knowing that his emotionally and mentally crippled self needs to learn a few things before facing Jabba as a Jedi. He is taken by Tusken Raiders and befriended by their female leader, a strong if undeveloped character. Later, he departs to live for a few weeks in Ben's abandoned stone hit ("Kenobi's adobe" as Luke calls it) where he learns to cope with his parentage, his mentor's deceit, and his love for Leia. Hennig confronts the latter very movingly, and Luke's pain comes fully alive in her memorable words. She doesn't cop-out by describing his love for Leia as "sisterly." The only complaint I have is the portrayal of Leia. While I feel that both she and Han were insensitive to Luke in TESB, Leia's reaction to Luke as he returns to the Falcon—chiding him for "wasting time" out on the desert—is too extreme and too cruel, and not at all a fair depiction of a character who has often shown deep understanding towards others in times of pain and stress (the predominating prejudices about her notwithstanding). Jenni's illos capture the story's brooding, solitary mood. Her illo of Luke and Leia on p. 206 is painful for any Luke fan to look at."Sword of Darkness, Sword of Light" by Patricia D'Orazio is set just after ROTJ, with the rebels still celebrating on Endor and the Emperor still very much alive. D'Orazio's Corellian "starswords" (Force-talented protectors of the Jedi) are probably one of the most fascinating fannish creations, and is the one presentation of Han-as-powerful-Force-wielder I can believe in. He is a Force protector of Luke, possessing a powerful bond with the young Jedi, and works with Luke. He is not a Jedi himself, weaker in Force-talent, yet extremely crucial to his Jedi's well-being. The bond between them is even stronger than brother-to-brother, and this compelling link is borne out by D'Orazio's hearkening to instances in the canon when Han risked his neck to save Luke. A rather contrived and hurried wedding between Han and Leia takes place on Endor, followed by a surprise Imperial attack. But the main action centers on the battle between the Emperor and Luke, with their respective starswords at their side. The scenes of this battle are richly described, particularly the animal and sword manifestations which the two starswords transform into. Nancy Stasulis' illos could have been chosen better. The Force battle noted above is not illoed. But what Stasulis does illo is strong, bold, and highly expressive. And her Ewoks are charming. "Life-Line" by Anne E. Zeek is a reprint from the first issue of T'Kuhtian Press DRACULA zine, presenting us with a Langella-esque vampire character called Alain Durlac who forms a strong bond of friendship with Han. "Blood-Line" is a short sequel to this and immediately follows. Finely written and engrossing, the two pieces are, however, unfair to Leia. She is an obsessed, devourer of lives for her "lover Revolution". She doesn't do anything except gripe, and Han only bosses her around, refusing to take her on a mission because she might get raped. And Leia agrees! A trained woman rebel can't function if she backs away from every mission that might incur that risk. Han, however, is portrayed without the common gushiness found in so much of Hanfic. Martynn's illos to this are rich in expressions and attitude, though I wish they had more background. "Old Friends and Acquaintances" by Carol Hines-Stroede offers an unlikely yet engrossing tale about a temporary truce between Lando and Vader at a neutral space station which has been captured by a group of "terrorists." Lando and Vader work together to destroy them and regain the station. It's unlikely that the Empire would ever tolerate a "neutral zone" since they have the power to just take it over. And the use of the popular cliche "terrorists" as glassy-eyed, frothing-at-the-mouth lunatics, along with Vader's line about "both sides frown upon the killing of innocent civilians' makes the story politically naive. I don't think Vader would ever say this. Still, the scenes with Lando and Vader make for excellent reading, although Lando is too wimpy in his attitude toward Vader, The writing is enviable on all counts. "Best Laid Plans" by Janice Bratton is yet another atory where Han is right about everything and Leia gets put in her place. Her very sensitive line in ANH about Han having to find his own way in life is reduced to a mere diplomatic ploy to get Luke to battle the Death Star with a clear mind and purpose. Immediately following this is Janet MacLellan's "Resolutions of a STAR Wars Mary Sue" which should be framed and put on every SW fan writer's wall. After the preceding story, I especially appreciated her "I will refrain from describing Princess Leia as being 'jealous,' 'cold,' or "hiding her feelings."

Four very complex articles are included, all finely written. "Aspects of Evil in the STAR WARS Saga" by [Liz S.] is a thoughtful, comprehensive analysis of the various characters and their place in the good-vs.-evil conflict. "Climbing the Tree of Life From a STAR WARS Point of View" by Rebecca Kaplowitz makes some fine observations, but generally fails because the author doesn't define her terms and concepts. Nor does she provide enough background information. If you know zilch about Kabbalistic mysticism, you'll be lost. "Evolution of a Jedi" by Angela M. varesano is a wonderful, all too short analysis of Luke's complex development, his emotional dilemma, and Anakin's own Force conflicts. Bev Lorenstein's "Buddhism in STAR WARS' weaves historical background and application to SW quite convincingly. It presents an intelligent, sensitive, and probable view of the Force, which is strongly borne out in SOU with Ana-kin/Vader's conflict. The Force is a balance between the Dark and the Light, and the cause of the galaxy's evil is an imbalance of those two impulses. Yet Lorenstein makes a slight contradiction when she suggests that the Dark and the Light are two separate practices, prefer to view them as two sides of the same coin.

"Scenes We'd Like to Have Seen in the STAR WARS Saga" is a stunning and desperately needed portfolio that could have taken up the entire zine! Fourteen of fandom's best have presented us with a truly memorable and lovely compilation of well chosen scenes that GL was too short-sighted to dramatize. Someone should compile one thick zine with more of these, including prose/poetry interpretations. The most complete and most striking are Martynn's Han and Leia embracing on the sail barge; Yvonne Zan's Boba Fett in front of his ship, ready to do battle; Wanda Lybarger's Han and Leia embracing with the Ewoks watching; Leia'; Force sense aboard the rebel ship in ANH by Stephanie Hawks; Cathye Faraci's insane view of Vader, the Emperor and Luke aboard the Death Star; and June Edwards' triad view of Anakin/Vader.

Among the vignettes, the most memorable are Jane Sibley's "There Have Always Been Leias in the House of Organa" written in the point of view of Leia's foster mother, Bail's wife (with an incredible life-like illo by Judith Low); Ann Huizenga's "The Ultimate Alternate" which uses an old science fiction cliche quite successfully; "Mea Culpa" by Lisa Adolf and Jacqueline Taero where the elder Luke counsels the daughter of Han and Leia in a dilemma that is painfully like his own at her age; and "The Many Worlds Interpretation" of Quantum Physics, or Heeeeeere's Biggs!" by Susan Matthews, Bev Clark, and Pam Kowalski, a bizarre but very likely view of ROTJ's last scene.

A wonderful inclusion herein is a group of LoCs collectively titled "And Now Luke's Side" that replies to the virulent attacks against Luke, and finally Leah Rosenthal's cartoon on p. 301 is a delicious jibe on Han fanfic.

Typos abound here. The articles, particularly, have a plethora of confusing parentheses. As for the covers, I nominate Deborah Drake's front cover as the year's best in capturing the essence of the SW characters: quadrangle of love.

I do wish the editor had found a cheaper printer because $18 for any zine, no matter how good, is just too much for many fans. It's a zine that everyone will want in their collection and deservedly so. I leave it to the (potential) buyer. [15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l from an LoC in issue #2
  2. ^ fan is from Australia
  3. ^ from Jundland Wastes #4
  4. ^ from Comlink #3 (1981)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o from an LoC in "Kessel Run" #3
  6. ^ from Jundland Wastes #11
  7. ^ from Organia
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l from a LoC in issue #4
  9. ^ from From Star Wars to Jedi: The Fanzine Way (1985)
  10. ^ from From Star Wars to Jedi: The Fanzine Way (1985)
  11. ^ from From Star Wars to Jedi: The Fanzine Way (1985)
  12. ^ from From Star Wars to Jedi: The Fanzine Way (1985)
  13. ^ from Jundland, Too #1
  14. ^ from From Star Wars to Jedi: The Fanzine Way (1985)
  15. ^ a b from Southern Enclave #6