|Publisher:||Horta Press |
De-Van Press did the reprints
|Date(s):||1981 - 1984|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
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.
- 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) (57) (reprinted in Alliance and Empire #1)
- 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 (99)
- Martyrs to the Cause, poem by Peggy Barilla, art by Yvonne Zan (115)
- The Start of Something Big 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
There is a massive amount of art in this issue, a sample is below.
inside page from issue #1, Gee Moaven, portrait of Lando Calrissian, for "Circle"
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!! 
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. 
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? 
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 , 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. 
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.) 
Congradulations 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.
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.
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! 
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
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.
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?
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. 
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. 
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. 
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 (52)
- Oh, You're Quite Welcome, Sir, poem by Jacqueline Taero (74)
- Sweet Revenge, 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) (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
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, portra1ts 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. 
Kessel Run 3 was published in 1983 and contains 295 pages.
- R&R --story-- Martie Benedict ---10 pgs (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.)
- Run That By Me One More Time--story--Marcia Brin--4 pgs
- Act III , Scene1--story--Chris Callahan--9 pgs (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)
- High Stakes---story--Patricia D'Orazio--11 pgs
- The Ultimate Right--story--Patricia D'Orazio-- 25 pgs
- Moonflower Secrets--story--Sharon F--8 pgs
- Luke's Prologue to Han's Con--vignette--Sharon F--2 pgs
- Han's Con--story--Sharon F---10 pgs
- Witness for the Defense--story--Carol Hines-Strode---26 pgs
- Apology--story--Jeanine Hennig--4 pgs (also in Catalyst! Collected)
- Questions in the Dark--story--Christine Jeffords--3 pgs
- To Conquer Death--vignette--Linda Knights--2 pgs
- Next Time---story---Linda Knights---4 pgs
- Beloved Enemy---story---Laymon & Goldstein---24pgs
- Han Solo & The Amazing Technicolor Lightsaber--story--Fern Marder--17pgs
- A Search for Truth--story--Pat Nolan---14 pgs
- Prelude:The Falconer, also here ---story---Pat Nussman--4 pgs (A prequel looking at the childhood of one of the rebels. Part of The Lady of the Rebellion series.)
- At First Sight ---story---Pat Nussman---15 pgs (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?) (reprinted in Who's Scruffy-Lookin'?)
- Listener in Hell---vignette--Pat Nussman-- 1 pg
- Pavane--vignette--Pat Nussman--1 pg
- Hyperspace Interlude--story--Joan Shumsky---2 pgs
- Dialogue on a Starry Night---story---Joan Shumsky--4 pgs
- Protector---Joan Shumsky---story---4 pgs
- Skyfall---story--Anne Zeek---44 pgs (Will Luke fall to the Dark Side? Will the Vader defeat the Emperor? What is the secret of Han's past?)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3
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. 
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 sensi tive 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!) 
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 toadmit 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. T loved the visual images of the Force, the threads and birds. Her use of words is what some do for music. 
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 madethis 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. 
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. 
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. 
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.
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 forKR 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.
Revengeoops. 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.
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. 
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! 
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.
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.
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 Al- deraan 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 several...er... 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.
Kessel Run 4 was published in 1984 and is 337 pages long. Wide black plastic comb (spiral binding).
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?") (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, 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, 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.") (137) (reprinted in Who's Scruffy-Lookin'?)
- 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..., also here 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
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! 
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. 
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