Skywalker (Star Wars zine)

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Title: Skywalker
Editor(s): Bev Clark, Maggie Nowakowska (issues #1-#5) , & Barbara Green Deer (issue #6)
Date(s): 1978-1983
Medium: print zine, fanfic
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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Skywalker is an early and prominent gen Star Wars anthology series.

It ran for six issues and was a Fan Quality Award winner.

NOTE: "Skywalker #6 was published before "Skywalker #5."

Its Place in Star Wars Zine History

The first Star Wars zines:

  • Hyper Space (fiction and non-fiction) ties with The Force (non-fiction) as the first zines with a focus of Star Wars. Both zines were published in June 1977.
  • Warped Space #26/27, a multimedia zine published in July 1977, had a Star Wars cover, the artist was Gordon Carleton.
  • Warped Space #28 published the first Star Wars story in a multimedia zine in July 1977.
  • Moonbeam #3 (focus of Star Wars fiction and art) [1][2] and the letterzine, Alderaan, a letterzine with a Star Wars focus, were both published in February 1978.
  • Against the Sith (Star Wars fiction and non-fiction) and Skywalker (Star Wars fiction) were both published in April 1978. [3]

1978 Comments by Editor Clark

The June 1978 issue of Warped Space contained a letter of comment from Bev Clark that commented on the nascent Star Wars fanwork world, as well as comparisons between Star Wars and Star Trek fiction:

I want to throw in a plug, not for my 'zine, but for my writers, aimed at the people who have not read some of the excellent SW fiction that is being produced by Maggie Nowakowska, Dyane Kirkland, and Ellen Blair, to name just the three who have appeared in SKYWALKER so far. This is not vignettes or groping attempts at development, but well-worked-out, developed, characterized fiction. Maggie's story in SKYWALKER 1, for example is 90 pages long, and in my opinion and that of several LoCers is one of the best pieces of fan fiction, ST or SW, in existence. David Lubkin [in a comment from an earlier letter in "Warped Space"] gave SW fiction two years to develop; I submit that there is already high-quality fiction being written. (MOONBEAM 3 also contains some excellent material.) SW, I think, offers fan writers an almost unlimited vista (which will of course be narrowed as succeeding sequels come out) for stories, and is also a more difficult field than Trek-fiction, because everything has to be worked out.

Of course Trek fiction has more possibilities than are currently being realized, since it is concentrating so much on one type of story (the character story); there are still open areas of Trek for fan writers, in which they can create sf stories — "The Weight", for instance, is Trek, but it is also excellent sf, and manages to convey the impression of a world beyond the immediate circle of the characters (in some recent stories, I've noticed, it's hard to tell even that there is an Enterprise beyond the characters of the stories), let alone any wider world. If some Trek writers and fans are shifting their attentions to SW (though I suspect that in most cases, it's just a matter of adding an interest), it may be because there is, at the moment, more possibility for variety in SW than in Trek.

This Zine Series Had the Attention of Mark Hamill

From a May 15, 1980 radio interview with Mark Hamill, some of his reactions to fan fiction:

unidentified fan caller: "I know you're a longtime science fiction fan. I was wondering if you had read any of the fan fiction that's been published about STAR WARS?"

Hamill: Oh, everything that they send, even if it takes six months, gets to me, and I've read fiction that has been created by people that have been moved enough by the film to... you know. George has created this history, this populated environment... One of my favorite stories is the story where I got to go to bed with the Princess, 'cause it doesn't happen in the movie. It was a real sexy story — I was really excited by that. But there was another story about how Han Solo met Chewie in flight training school. The fans themselves have enriched George's storyline, populated it with their own ideas. But any of those fan magazines they do send, I read 'em. I'm sort of backlogged on sending out the thank you notes. Actually, I'm glad you asked that because it gives me an opportunity to thank everybody for that kind of stuff. We do read all our mail."

unidentified fan caller: "Well, that's great because several of the authors are right here in this building."

Hamill: "Really? Which ones do you write for?"

unidentified fan caller: "Primarily for SKYWALKER, and GUARDIAN, and PEGASUS, etc..."

Hamill: "Oh, Pegasus I got, definitely, in fact I took a page out of Pegasus, and it was up on my mirror in my dressing room for the entire filming of the picture. So a little piece of you was over there."

unidentified fan caller: "Well, that's wonderful. I'll be sure to tell the editors." [4]

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1, Carol Walske
back cover of issue #1, Randy Ash
inside front cover, the Jedi Creed by Dyane Kirkland
inside back cover, Caroline Carrock

Skywalker 1 was published in April 1978 (second printing was May 1979) and is 121 pages long. Art by Carol Walske (cover), Gordon Carleton, Randy Ash, Amy Falkowitz, Pam Kowalski, Caroline Carrock, and Pat Munson.

From the editorial:

I am very pleased with the material I have for SKYWALKER — and absolutely astounded at the quantity of it. When I first began to toy with the idea of doing a SW zine, it was on the assumption that there wouldn't be much material at first, and therefore I planned to do fifty or so pages, if I got enough material. A couple of friends told me about people they knew who were writing SW stories and wanted a place to have them published; aha, says I, I won't have to write this myself, and I asked these people if they had anything I could use. The first story I received was 90 pages long...and that was just the beginning. I had, counting art, over 240 pages of originals before I began typing the zine, and I had visions of a 200-page, $8 zine. Thank God I underestimated the condensation of simply turning double-spaced pages into single-spaced ones; that, plus reduction, brought the zine to a reasonable size. But still, I think people must have had closetsfull of stories just waiting.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Last Sanctuary.

[Emme's Diary]:

Enme Atani appears in Kirkland's "Emme's Diary" in SKY #1 & 2, and in Nowakowska's "Nothing Left to Lose" in SKY #3. She is a Jedi by training (including fighting, though she never became a warrior) and, as Ben's niece, possibly by genetic inheritance. She joins the Alliance officially as a trainer of the New Order, but is independent and self-sufficient enough to act on her own in other areas, accepting responsibility for her own actions and learning from her mistakes. In contrast to the notion that a "strong" woman is emotionless and wither totally independent of men or always dominating them, she is capable of loving a man and admitting her own need for love/ and weeping over the loss of her friends. But she does not let grief cripple her, nor does she depend on a man for emotional sustenance. In view of her talents, background, and general take-charge attitude, her refusal in "Nothing Left ..." to accept the position of leader of the New Jedi seems out of character, but it makes good strategic sense. She is thoroughly identified with the old Jedi and their problems, including corruption. A new Order would have a better chance, psychologically and otherwise, with a totally new leader unassociated with the past. And she still thinks of her former lover Darth Vader in friendly terms even though he has been an enemy for years. Vader symbolizes the opposition facing the new Jedi, so she could not possibly head the group. Neither of these reasons is sex-linked — after all, a man could have had a close friendship with Vader that persisted in spite of events. Dorit,[5] Naom, and Emme, in my mind, provide incontrovertible evidence that women could be Jedi as effectively as men, without being superwomen or other stereotypes. They are real people, real women, real Jedi (Mr. Lucas, please note!).[6]

[Intersection]: I enjoyed "Intersection" even though I violently disagree with the premise up on which the major plot device is hung. "The Making of Star Wars" and every bit of official information I've read as well as my own conception of Han Solo resists against the concept that he could ever break his word once freely given. I do not argue the validity of the situation. Han Solo is very likely to rush off in precisely the half-cocked manner shown, ignoring the sane advice of others, but never after promising not to. Corellians are very proud and honorable people, and Han Solo has these traits in full measure.[7]

[zine]: This is one of the first of the new batch of Star Wars 'zines, and if you like the movie at all (perhaps even if you don't), this is the 'zine for you. Just for a start, the price is low, and visually the 'zine is very well laid out, especially for a first effort. It is 120 pages of reduced type, so there's plenty of wordage, most of it excellent. The opening piece, The Jedi Creed by Dyane Kirkland, deserves to be engraved and framed, it is perfect. The very best story is "Last Sanctuary" by Maggie Nowakowska. It tells the story of the fall of the Jedi, complete with a very believable young Darth Vader, and is itself only part of an epic series of stories, "The 1 ,000 Worlds" series, set within the SW universe. Several of these stories are included in this 'zine, with more being printed elsewhere, and it has been submitted to Ballantine professionally. 'Nough said. Go buy it.[8]

[zine]: This is the first "ambitious" Star Wars fanzine, and as far as I know, it is the only big genzine in circulation to date. There are a lot of newsletters and rap sheets and slim-looking first efforts out, many of which are claiming to be the very "first" SW fanzine in print, but, Skywalker, is. the first major effort to come out of fandom (well, what fandom there is at the moment). Skywalker isn't a Star Trek fanzine with Star Wars tossed in, and it isn't another semi-pro or prozine destined to cash in on the general Star Wars mania. Skywalker is a Star Wars fanzine, and a good one at that. For many people it will become a must to have. The first major story is "Intersection," by Ellen Blair and illustrated by Randy Ash. It starts in the middle of a fight between Han, Chewbacca and Luke in the Millenium Falcon against an Imperial fighter. Relying on an old trick, they flee into hyperspace and decide that the only way to avoid the Imperials is to drop out of sight for a few months on an out of the way planet. Landing on an agricultural world they set about finding work to tide them over until they can return to space. Han, however, decides that manual labor he'd rather do without so he makes a deal behind the backs of Chewie and Luke to make a little extra cash...a deal which literally turns sour. In all, the story is the best SW story that I have seen to date. The conflicts within the story are very well worked, the aliens on the planet are proud yet respectable, and relate to the protagonists in a way that is both sensible and realistic. Ellen has recaptured the fragile oil/water way in which Luke and Han relate to each other, each character a foil of the other one. The people, the events, the conflicts and the whole story is Incredibly believable considering that this is the first piece of fiction I've seen by Ellen in print. This whole story makes the zine well worth whatever price you pay for it. Following up Ellen's story Is another lengthy piece of fiction by Maggie Nowakowska: "Vintage 6080" part 1 and 2. Part one is mostly a vignette or an introductory chapter where Luke, Han and Chewie prepare to leave the moon of Yavin 4 and head back to Tatooine to pay back some of Han's old debts and to pick up Obi-Wan's trunk. This part of the story picks up with the next chapter, "Emme's Diary," by Dyane Kirkland, and finishes up again with "Vintage 6080" part two. which was written by Maggie again. The three stories are part of a series and the characters and events all fit together. "Emme's Diary" introduces Obi-Wan's niece, Emme, who is a Jedi as her uncle was, and part two of "Vintage 6080" is a reconstruction or a flash back sequence which describes the way in which Darth Vader was originally accepted into the Jedi and how he turned to the evil side of the Force. Also elsewhere in the zine is a history of the Jedi which adds supporting material to these stories which are part of a series called "Thousandworlds." I had a problem reading these few stories from the Thousandworld series though. The characters in the story are awkward—not because of the characterization, which is fine, but because of the over-emphasis on background and plot. I get the impression that the authors of Thousanoworlds have been brainstorming a complete background for the Star Wars universe, and that they wanted to get the groundwork of their universe laid out before they went further. These stories from Thousandworlds lay more background than they develop characters, and most of the time the history is detailed out to the exclusion of the characters. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of characters with interesting personalities, but most of the time they're busy acting out plot lines, reenacting history, or lecturing about that's going on. There is a lot of dialog, but not much introspection, and not much description of the settings. I got the overall feeling that the characters were being rushed through the stories in order to get the plot laid out and set up as quickly as possible, as a result, when the characters aren't explaining what's going on, they seldom have time to devote a spare moment to a contemplative thought or an idle drink of water. There was just something about the characters that did not click. I suppose it lies in the fact that we don't run around every minute of the day thinking important thoughts, doing important deeds and being actively involved with important people on important missions. To the contrary, the majority of peoples' lives are spent wasting more time than we'd all care to admit... Of course this doesn't necessarily apply to the characters from Star Wars, but the point is: part of a character can be found in the trivial, minor little things that occupy spare time. The characters from Thousandworlds are so busy acting out the plot of the story that you don't get to see them as a real character, and the dialog is so heavy at times that it reads like a tape transcript and not fiction. I hope that the authors of Thousandworlds will just take their time with the characters in the future. Include a few scenes that are totally tangent to the plot, just to develop the characters. It will break the heavy pace up a bit and give us all a few more oppotunities to see the characters as three dimensional people and not just elements of an all-important plot. To sum up, the zine is a good first effort, and well produced, but it needs refinements in some areas, especially art. I'd have to give Skywalker a thumbs-down on artwork as none of the artwork inside is more than mediocre, and none of it is really superb. There are a few fair cartoon-style illos by Pam Kowalski and some good ones by Gordon Carleton, but nothing is really great. But the zine as a whole is good, and worth having if your collection of SW zines is just beginning.[9]

[zine]: For a first effort, this zine is very, very nice (even for a 5th, or 10th, or 15th...) Moreover, I think it shows, contrary to the opinions of many SW critics in fandom, the 'cardboard' characters of the movie CAN be developed and the SW universe expanded to create very interesting stories. Ellen Blair's 'Intersection' is a fine story about Han's, Luke's, and Chewie's adventures and confrontations while hiding from the Imperial forces on a neutral planet. The rest of the fiction consists of stories from Dyane Kirkland and Maggie Nowakowska's Thousandworld series. I found all the stories interesting and plausible. Only a couple of minor criticisms -- the stories weren't in chronological order, which tended to confuse me a bit at first, and I sure could have used family tree diagrams to keep all of Luke's ancestors and Obi-Wan's relatives straight in my mind. Also, in 'Emme's Diary,' Emme (Obiwan's niece) runs around the Millennium Falcon wearing nothing more than a G-string, a cloak, and some jewelry, and the others seem to react only aesthetically. Seems to me at least Han would be getting the hots... The printing is very readable, though I do wish the reduction had been uniform throughout. The zine could also have been proofread just a little more carefully, too. (Is 'hippin' pubbles' supposed to have been 'hoppin' puddles' or was that Corellian slang?) The artwork is fair to very good. I have only one small criticism -- Luke looks like a pinhead on page 55. All in all, I highly recommend 'Skywalker' to all SW fans. Bravo, Bev! [10]

[zine]: It would seem that Bev Clark's new fanzine, Skywalker, will be one of the leading productions in Star Wars fandom if the premiere issue is an equitable example. The variety of genres represented here and specifically, the scope of the fiction, must surely enhance one's enjoyment of Volume I. Almost all of the fiction in this volume was written by two authors, Dyane Kirkland and Maggie Nowakowska, and more of their work is expect in future issues. Parallels by these two exist because Dyane and Maggie are developing the ThousandWorlds universe. Significantly however, the result of publishing parts of this universe here has not been the sense of disjointedness which might be expected, but an overall unity for this issue. "Emme's Diary" by Dyane Kirkland is a fictional tale from which emerges a history of the Jedi. More about Emme, Ben Kenobi's niece, is expected in Volume II. Nowakowska has a two-part story here, "Vintage 6080," which concerns Ben's trunk. Speculations about Its contents and development in character relationships are far more entertaining than learning the actual contents of the trunk. "Last Sanctuary," by the same author, is the final, longest, and—in this writer's opinion—most powerful of the zine's pieces of fiction. There are some problems with style such as the awkward change from first person point of view in the prologue to third person in the main sections and back to first person in the epilogue; also, some pronoun antecedents are unclear and Kenobi's finding Vader's injury just is apparently out of character. However, the internal consistency of fact and aforementioned parallels to Kirkland's works are fascinating. The power of this piece lies particularly in two areas. Part One of Chapter Four is an unusual but compelling characterization of Vader. A young man seething with power and listing to use it, he is here "seduced by the dark side of the Force" through Tarkin. Secondly, throughout this piece, with reader is presented [with] and exciting array of new characters who subtly add depth to the tale. In general, Nowakowska has carefully laid forth the development and destruction of the Jedi and the emergence of the infamous Dark Lord. Before discussing other genres, mention should be made of Ellen Blair's fiction, "Intersection." An adventure Luke and Han have with the inhabitants of a planet on which the choose to hide for awhile, this story's characterization of Luke is again, in this writer's opinion, dominant. The dialog captures especially well the mood presented for Luke in Lucas's works. The non-fiction in Skywalker Includes a Jedi Creed and an essay on Jedi history, both by Kirkland and also part of Thousandworlds.The author's style is less effective in this genre; in particular the latter piece is imaginatively done from the point of view of a teacher lecturing a class, but the ending is evasive. The speaker fails to take a position on the dilemma presented by the title ("The Jedi: Philosophy or Religion?"). It is certainly acceptable to present opposing views without resolving them, but in this format it is structurally weak to suggest two alternate possibilities while concluding that "labels are worthless." The aforementioned variety in Skywalker I includes graffiti (to which this writer cries "more"), a wide range of comments on the first movie, two pieces of poetry by newcomer Cathie Mcintosh, and several sets of SW lyrics set to hymn tunes (an interesting concept) written by the editor. Volume II is expected to contain further examples of these various genres. Lastly, one can note the graphics and artwork of Volume I. The former is generally good with few typos and attrac tively-lined margins, but one wonders at the purpose of separating the two parts of "Vintage." The artwork has some good examples (the cover which is superb and Pam Kowalski's quite humorous cartoon on certain light sabres), but generally this aspect Is not effective in contributing positively to the quality of the zine. In conclusion, this writer was aroused by the seeds of a "Star Wars Krafth" planted in Skywalker I. The excitement is increased by imagining to what stages the embryos will develop in forthcoming issues. Specifically, the premiere issue touched on all of the major characters, and now the editor plans to focus each issue. Skywalker II is expected to feature "our favorite Corellian pirate.[11]

[zine]: SKYWALKER is one of the best fanzines I've seen. I prefer full size print, but I know reduction holds down printing costs and therefore the selling

price, so I can't really complain. I have a few general comments: I'm glad the authors have included Chewbacca, I'd like to see more of the droids, and I hope you do an issue three, because I don't like to see Leia neglec ted, nor do I understand why she is... To Ellen Blair: In general, though I liked your story, I think it's a little heavy for these characters. You've made Luke and Han's relationship rather compli cated, yet somehow they're not really out of character, except in small ways: I don't see Luke making speeches, and he would give Leia more thought than just "She's quite a girl." You seem to be equating the wrongs each had done to the other, but I think Han's offense was greater. Finally, I don't see any point in Luke's look ing for Jedi. He says he only knows of two alive, and one of them is evil, so I don't understand why he is searching. If there are any Jedi left, they would be among the rebels. I think Luke could better spend his time recruiting for a reviva1 of the Jedi. To Dyane Kirkland and Maggie Nowakowska: I admire the work you've done, both singly and together. How ever, I have a problem when reading your work: I don't think there are any female Jedi. I would like it that way too, but I'm sure George Lucas doesn't think there were any. This is an old-fashioned film, and I'm sure Lucas meant knights in the historical sense. There may be women among the revived Jedi, though. About "Emme's Diary":...I don't like the idea that Luke never wondered about his mother. That's unnatural. I agree that no one would have told him much about her. That is an interesting theory you have about colors, but I didn't see any gold in Luke's saber, only white, and Obi-wan's was blue, rather than blue-white, during the duel. Quite frankly, I've always felt that Lucas wanted a contrast during the duel, and therefore either forgot or ignored the fact the color of light is re lated to the amount of heat it gives off, and all light-sabers should be blue-white. Your theory would explain the discrepancy. To Maggie Nowakowska: ...I especially liked non- human Jedi, Ben's cultivation of his crazy-man image, and Ben as Obi-wan's commonname. Now, my disagree ments: I don't think Ben is as old as you make him...

I don't like Tayai's breakdown; to me, it makes her unsuited to be Luke's mother. I agree that Luke is told very little about his mother, but that is because Owen doesn't want to talk about her or want Beru to do so, and Obi-wan didn't know her. He wouldn't have to know his lieutenant's wife, and in your story, probably wouldn't if she weren't Naom's daughter. I think Owen Lars' attitude toward Luke's father is best explained if Luke's mother was his sister, and that Luke's father was probably not from Tatooine....1 definitely got the impression that Vader and the elder Skywalker were contemporaries...! find it hard to think of Vader as ever having dreams of wanting to do good, but since he is a good man who went bad, it is possible, though he's long given up thought of anything but his own power by the time of the Death Star.[7]

[zine]: I do hope you can find something for a future issue that will show Lord Vader more sympathetically than he's usually treated. As Heinlein said, "Your enemy is never a vil lain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate -- and quickly." Vader seems to realize and accept this. He is harsh toward the enemies of the Empire, certainly, but he is not wantonly cruel or sad istic. You're quite right. Leia has been sadly neglected, which is hard to understand since she certainly isn't the type to stay in the background. Anybody with the courage to defy Tarkin the way she did, not to mention spitting on Vader, must have been actively involved in the Rebellion for some time. That would also explain Lord Vader's pleasure at catching her red-handed -- yet his attitude toward her is different...[7]

[zine]: Yours is the first fanzine I've read with a really feminist slant. By this I don't mean just preaching feminist ideology, but acting on it. That really impressed me... The women in Skywalker are REAL. They come from an honestly different, more progressive time -- so many of the women characters in other zines seem to be from the 1950's no matter how good the writing was, or how good the story, all I could think of was that af

ter 3-4 centuries of fighting for equality we were mov ing backward. You can't imagine what a relief it is not to have to cope with that sort of divided interest in your stories, later letter.This is what I like so much about the SKYWALKER women; none of the characters are talking rights and equality, they just go right out and live it. This makes it easier for me to identify with them as that is what I try to do... The main difficulty I have with characters in other zines is that they are too extreme in their masculinity and femininity. That is extreme in the highly "macho" and "good girl" role-playing way. Then I have just as hard a time identifying with the women as with the men, whose masculinity I find obscene rather than fascinat ing. Now Luke Skywalker and Han Solo I have no trouble identi fying with.

In "Emme's Diary," on page 53, Emme says in a lesson to Luke "No one ever dies and ceases to exist. Only once in all of history has that happened, and that does not concern us." The more I think about that, the more curious I get! This really has me going around in circles trying to imagine what she could be refer ring to. I mean, who died? How? When? Where? And why isn't itofconcern now? [7]

[zine]: You have got to get better artists for your nextissue. Pam Kowalski is good, but needs work. Gordon Carleton is without doubt a brilliant cartoonist. Unfortunately, he hasn't learned representational or realistic art yet. All of his figures, short of the storm- troopers, are caricatures, and that had a disastrous effect on "Last Sanctuary." ....Are you an editor professionally? That was my impression from your editorial. If so,shame on you for not looking up "millennium" in your dictionary! [7]

[zine]: Now I've got to say some not-so-nice things...The typos and corrections on almost every page were terribly unfair to your contributors...The contents page make-up is pretty choppy and static. It's a lot of little boxes and looks thrown together. The "Springtime" section was the weakest part of the zine, except for the hymns and poetry. I admit to an irrational dislike for science-fictional poetry, but I couldn't see the point in your filksongs. They just looked like filler and weren't especially clever...The artwork ranged from medium-acceptable to very good. Pam Kowalski's cartoon, "Swiss Army Model" was the best SW cartoon I've seen since Gordon Carleton's "Wretched Hive..." in Warped Space something-or-other. Her illustrations for "Emme" and "Sanctuary" made Caroline Carrock's seem rather amateurish by comparison...The only illo that bothered me as on page 100. There's something wrong with the perspective. The stormtrooper looks like a child. I think he should be placed higher in the picture to indicate he's in the background...[7]


"Intersection" was the best story. A lot of action, but the characterizations of Luke, Han & Chewie were better done than they were in the other stories. Even so, Luke was a little didactic with his long speechifying on the rebellion. The speeches seemed more like something Princess Leia would say. Unfortunately, not one story focussed on Leia.... The rest of the zine, all a part of one big universe I didn't much care for. First off, "Vintage 6080" shouldn't have been split up into two parts in the same zine.... There is a lot in this story, and the others, that I didn't understand. It seems the authors are forgetting to explain the background as fully as they should...But the real reason the story fell, flat for me was that nothing happened. The entire plot is Luke and Han digging thru an old trunk of Kenobi's. Ho hum.

"Emme's Diary" was also boring. I guess the authors of this universe want to write ahcut a different SW than I know. I also hate characters that show up the main characters, some super person. Emme was a poor substitute for Obi-wan..Luke in all these ThousandWorlds stories isn't strong enough. He is too boyish, golly- gosh-wow.[7]


Beverly Clark has come out with a real winner in the category of SW zines, SKYWALKER rates a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10 and if you like SW and you didn't get it while it was still in print, I feel sorry for you. But what makes SKYWALKER so good? I believe that it is a combination of things. First, and foremost, the fiction, SKYWALKER is blessed the best of some of the newest writers in fandom. Ellen Blair, I'm proud to say, made her Trekkish debut in SEHLAT'S ROAR with "To Entertain a Stranger" and now she's made her SW debut in SKYWALKER with a fast passed and exciting story called, "Intersection", "Intersection is only a part of an entire universe that Ellen is creating, another slice is "The Secret of Yonara" which is in this zine and other portions will appear in SIDE-TREKKED by Trinette Kern, and her own zine Falcon's Flight.

The rest of the fiction is predominately the result of a group of new writers from Seattle, and all revolves around their universes based with our favor ite SW characters, "Vintage 6080" parts I & II and "Last Sanctuary" by Maggie Nowakowska and "Emme's Diary" by Dyane Kirkland are these stories. Of them the best — and the best in "the entire zine — is "Last Sanctuary", "Last Sanctuary" deals with what happen ed before the movie and is done in flashbacks by Obi-Wan. A very profession al piece of writing and very enjoyable and easy reading, I only wished it hadn't stopped when it did. Artwork is not SKYWALKER'S strong point, but the art is exceptable and at least the front cover is outstanding. Beyond this and thirdly (the artwork is SKYWALKER'S s second point), is Bev's own style and flare for layout, from some one who has had little or no experience before this, she is exceptionally talented and it shows in the zine.

SKYWALKER is a very good investment and I hope only the beginning of a long run of SW zines from Miss Clark. [12]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, Signe Landon
back cover by Gee Moaven
flyer for issue #2
frontispiece, dedication -- The editor writes in the third issue that she's made a mistake: "... as several of you have pointed out to me, Leigh Brackett did not write the Jirel of Joiry stories; C.L. Moore did. This was a stupid mist brought about by overconfidence on my part. I was so certain that Leigh Brackett had written Jirel of Joiry that I did not bother to check whether my certainty was in fact justified."

Skywalker 2 published in 1978 (around July) and contains 168 pages. Art by Signe Landon, Gee Moaven, Caroline Carrock, Robin Hill, Pam Kowalski, Karen Walker, Beckey Aulenbach, and Cheree Cargill.

From the editorial:

Here I am again, folks, a little late this time due to xl. circumstances not entirely within my control. I discovered that I was not immune to the occupational hazards of putting to gether a fanzine: manuscripts that arrived late, typing that took a lot longer than I expected, a story that came in 55 (excellent) pages over the original estimate, and therefore a printing date that slipped from August 15th to September 15th to Octo ber 1st to November 1st...At the moment the printing date is November 15th (today is October 30th), and I hope I make this one. It will actually be either the 14th or the 16th when I take the zine to the printer, as the movie version of LORD OF THE RINGS opens November 15th...

  • Le Sabre, editorial (2)
  • Letters of Comment (4)
  • Poetry by Robyn Thompson (10)
  • Emme’s Diary- Pt 2- by Dyane Kirkland, illoed by Karen Walker and Pam Kowalski (reprinted in ThousandWorlds Collected) (13)
  • Rebel Songs- poems- Jatona Walker, illoed by Beckey Aulenbach (52)
  • Sky Lord: An Art Portfolio by Gee Moaven (59)
  • Han Solo-poem by Pat Carpenter (69)
  • Cliché- story-Marti Browne, illoed by Cheree Cargill (70)
  • The Last Flight of the Millenium Falcon- story- Maggie Nowakowska, illoed by Pam Kowalski and Karen Walker (reprinted in ThousandWorlds Collected) (75)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[zine]: When you like something, you look for flaws...Time for nitpicking. As much as I like Emme, and the old women D'Bury and the Deseratine, I doubt if the Jedi Knights included women. As wives, daughters, and friends, they may have been trained, but not completely. From what we could see the Empire was totally masculine in flavor. The Empire also grew out of the Republic and the image of the Republic as a non-sexist, non-racist ideal does not hold true. The only Jedi we saw were Ben and Darth, and we heard references to Luke's father and not his mother. In the film we saw a nice group of rebels, all white males. Admittedly the most important rebel of all was the Princess, but her position as Senator and royal blood put her there, also a strong personality. Another point: as far as I could tell the Empire's political structure is Roman Empire, not medieval or Eastern European/ Communist. The Princess was a Senator because it (the Senate seat) belonged to her family, and she was very likely an only child. The nice stories of Leia winning an election are very doubtfully based. Me like to think of the rebels as good American (or whatever) democratic types, but not likely. They have the same flaws as the Empire they are fighting and it'll be an uphill battle against their own built-in prejudices. If the Jedi and the Republic had been perfect they would have remained strong. A more humorous complaint: Leia's "experience" as greater than Luke's. In some things but not love affairs. If you're a Senator and a Rebel Leader by the age of 17 or If you don't have time for romance. Not to mention the possible lack of likely candidates. Leia has a lot more theory but no practice. In the love department she is as green as Luke.[13]

[zine]: ...I don't like having Princess Leia overshadowed. Ignored, and used only as a sex object. We don't need any more heroines — George Lucas gave us enough. And if Emme has so much more knowledge and experience in the Jed1 ways, how can she push the leadership onto Luke? Wouldn't she be the logical choice? And that would overshadow Luke! Adding more villains is fine -- creating new challenges for our heroes — but please don't add more heroes. They are not needed or wanted, by this fan, at least.[14]

[zine]: It was more than worth it just for "The Last Flight of the Millennium Falcon," That was an absolute gut-wrencher — very literally; I can't think of another word that fits its effect on me. Once I was into section 2 I had to keep reading -- It was a compulsion -- and I didn't finish until well after 1 in the morning. Then I was so tied up in knots that I couldn't get to sleep! That is one of the best pieces of fan writing I've ever seen, on any subject, and has a lot of professional stuff beat by a mile (and I don't mean Foster). Action, world-building, character development -- beautiful, fantastic, remarkable, superb!

Liked Gee's "Sky Lord" portfolio too, even if I did feel It was more medieval than Old Republic; well, more than a thousand generations does take it back a ways!

I'm afraid I'm not particularly a fan of "Emme's Diary"; there are too many elements I don't agree with, such as the handling of Han's character (not enough strength or humor, as I see it) and the vision of the Force. I simply don't believe it is as blatantly and "solidly" telepathic and teleknletlc as it is being made …most particularly I did not believe the scene in which Emme "taps in" on what happens to Vader's spy. It was too direct, too vivid over too long a distance. Even Ben wasn't sure what had happened when he felt the destruction of Alderaan, and he was much more powerful in the Force than Emme (and no getting out of it by postulating that hyperspace distorts one's perception of it; I won't believe that either). The spy's fate could have been better handled by switching to an objective view out of Ermne's "sight." and having perhaps a rumor or report of his death, coupled perhaps with Vader's subsequent actions confirm fine's judgment of Vader. I also thought that Leia was trivialized by having her immediate reaction to Emme be jealousy. Not only does this make her unfoundedly possessive of Luke, but assumes that she believes the only relationship possible between men and women is a sexual one (which she obviously suspects in that story). I don't think Leia is that stupid or petty; and without that, she wouldn't mistake self-assurance for arrogance. Despite the flaws (at least from my point of view), I did find it interesting and intend to keep up with future installments.[14]

[zine]: I can't think how long it's since I enjoyed a zine this much. I suspect the nicest thing about all the writing is that everyone is trying to tie their work in with everyone else's -- to make a whole rather than a confused mess. It speeks to great fondness for the material, on everyone's part.[14]

[zine]: Maggie's Luke and Leia are very self-centered, and they don't seem to understand very much about people or their motivations. They understand and care for the Rebellion and not much else. The people and alien beings involved aren't much more than props in a great galactic drama in which Luke and Leia are the main actors. The true richness of life comes from experiences with living beings. Maggie's Luke and Leia are too shallow to be sympathetic characters. Also, I'm not too crazy about Maggie's attempt to make Han a Jedi. Han Solo is a fascinating, complex person, and Maggie shouldn't try to shove him into the Jedi mold. In fact, Maggie's biggest problem is lack of understanding. She is so tied up in "the wonder of it all" that she doesn't try to understand her characters. She tries to shove them into a pre-conceived mold of leader, alien, Jedi, and leave it at that. With Han, I get the feeling that she really hasn't tried to -- or can't -- understand him. So, rather than attempt to unravel his complexities, she makes him a Jedi. That's a cop-out. (Incidentally, this is where I see a number-one similarity to Star Trek's KRAITH universe. Han becomes a Jedi, and Kirk becomes a pseudo-Vulcan. What a cop-out.) What I admired most about ThousandWords is Maggie's conception of the diverse cultures within it. She makes Orcans, Wookies,-and Deseratines look very natural and completely in-place. It looks like the human culture is dominant, but she does not neglect other cultures.[14]

[zine]: A few issues ago, WS (Warped Space) readers were complaining that too much SW was in their zine. Who am I to argue, it is their ST zine, but the response is there, nonetheless, and it proves that the time was right for something new to stimulate the creativity of the brightest minds in fandom. It is the beginning of a new era... in fan circles....The consistent quality show in the first two ishes is a trend-setter, to say the least, and proves to me that you'll be around for quite awhile...[14]

[art]: The layout and repro were very clear and readable throughout (something mighty important to us artists) despite the reduced print. I must admit I liked the literary contents far better than the artwork (with the exception of Pam Kowalski's stuff -- more about that later)- Sporadically, I like Landon's stuff, but her cover illo of Luke was not among my favorites, largely due to her failure to capture either the innocence of the heroic expression in the character's eyes. Gee's bacover was better -- nice composition -- and the Luke in the center comes much closer to Luke's "essence." Anyway, it's a valiant effort -- the guy is difficult to draw smiling. PAK's cartoons of Luke & Luke's birthday presents are cute.[14]

Issue 3

flyer from Pastaklan Vesla #6, differs from content, click to enlarge
front cover of issue #3, Jeff Johnston also the cover of Alderaan #7 - a fan comments in "Alderaan" #10: "...generally I think I preferred the cover by Jeff as it was printed for Skywalker #3, with darker shadows—somehow the darkness fit. The cover of Alderaan has the advantage of showing the background tapestry, which Itself shows considerable work and attention to detail (but why the halo on the figure to the right right of Leia's head???)" the editor interjects: "I cannot tell you where it is from. I found a book of tapestry in the reference library at the Toledo Museum of Art - That's as much as I can remember about it") A bit more work on the hands and better proportion of the lower body would help, but overall it's a good picture. You might consider putting in heavier shading on such portraits in the future, Jeff—it really adds to the atmosphere of this type, and might help with definition in other types."
back cover of issue #3, Dot Sasscer
inside back cover of issue #3, Stephanie Hawks

Skywalker 3 was published in 1979 and has 166 pages.

It has art by Gee Moaven, Pat Munson, Angela-marie Varesano, Dot Sasscer, Contessa, Cheree Cargill, Beckey Aulenbach, Dave McGrew, Susan Matthews & friend.

  • Le Sabre, editorial (2)
  • Letters of Comment (3)
  • The Very Last Star Trek Story of Them All by Robin Hill (10)
  • Winter Music, story by Ellen Blair, illoed by Martynn and Randy Ash (13)
  • Lines to be Disavowed the Morning After by Susan Matthews (39)
  • The Terminus Cycle by Angela-marie Varesano, art by Maresano (40)
  • Excerpts from the Complete Tapes of Satinka Istari by Dyane Kirkland (47)
  • Tribute by Angela-marie Varesano (50)
  • Les Jeux Faits by Susan Matthews (51)
  • Phoenix by Beverly Bishop, illoed by Pat Munson (52)
  • Flight Reflections of an X-Wing Pilot by Scot Noel (55)
  • Japanese Influences in Star Wars by Nikki White (56) (According to a comment by Maggie Nowakowska in Scoundrel #9, this was reprinted in an issue of Bantha Tracks -- "Believe me, it took years for people to seriously consider nonWestern influences in the Saga! Even after Lucas had an article from Skywalker 3 on Japanese movie influence reprinted in Bantha Tracks (because he said the article was correct), the subject didn't take off.")
  • Alderaan is Fallen by Susan Matthews, illoed by Beckey Aulenbach (60)
  • Jedi Nova by Scot Noel (60)
  • Nothing Left to Lose by Maggie Nowakowska, illoed by Pam Kowalski and Stephanie Hawkes (reprinted in ThousandWorlds Collected) (61)
  • Incidental Music, the Launching of the Falcon's Mate by Susan Mattews (164)
  • Support Your Local (ads) (165)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

[Nothing Left to Lose]: Bethen Avay appears in ^ggie Nowakowska's "Nothing left to lose" as a Free Agent occasionally working for the Alliance, who meets Han as a one-night stand and becoires good friends with him as well as a lover. She has enough psychological problems to keep any therapist busy for years, but at this point so does Han, and in many ways she is better able to function in spite of her problems than he is. She is determined to control her unwanted Force talent and maintain maximum independence in every aspect of her life, and even at her worst is more willing to accept responsibility for herself than Han is for himself through most of the story.[6]

[Winter Music]: A young Han has been captured by pirates and sold as a slave. The buyer is Yonara, female head of the Byaway clan, who buys him to rescue him, but insists that he work for the clan until she can verify his story that he is a freeman. When she is unable to do this, Yonara offers him the opportunity to earn his release by repairing and racing her father's old freighter in a regatta. If he wins, he is free. Han accepts the challenge but decides to add some insurence by seducing Yonara, hoping she will do anything he wants - like voiding his work contract. The seduction suceeds, but he finds himself caught in his own crossfire, finally forced to acknowledge both grief and love for a woman who knows him for what he is and loves him anyway.[15]

[zine]: Skywalker was the first big gen-zine of the new SW fandom (as far as I know), and with its third issue it shows that, so far, it is still the best. The quality of writing throughout is high, layout and graphics are impressive, and the artwork is beautiful and a great improvement over the general quality of the illustrations in Sky's first issue. Ellen Blair's "Winter Music" is a nicely-written story of how Han acquired the Millenium Falcon. Han is "picked up" in a slave auction by a young woman, Yonara, who is head of her clan on Inmorrow, a wintery planet. While Han is a servant of her household, Yonara makes use of his skills and talents in many ways. (Ahem.) One thing Han does is refurbish an old freighter that's been owned by Yonara's family for years, and pilot it in a race, which he must win in order to keep Yonara's clan from falling into financial ruin. I enjoyed the story and liked the characterization of Yonara. She was a fairly believable love interest for Han. The only thing I have a quibble with is the device Ellen used to remove her so that Han would be free to leave Inmorrow and begin his smuggling career, without making him seem callous toward her. I won't specify since it would give away the ending, but it smacked of a fanfic cliche that I've seen used much too often in Star Trek literature. Otherwise, I continue to be impressed by Ellen's skill as a writer, and recommend "Winter Music" especially to Hanatics. The accompanying illos, by Martynn and Randy Ash, were first-class and complemented the story well. I was very pleased to read Nikki White's non-fiction article, "Japanese Influence in Star Wars." I've been hearing for some time that Lucas had used Japanese culture for some of his ideas, but didn't know the details. So I welcomed Nikki's informative essay on the subject. Angela-Marie Varesano, Scot Noel and Susan Matthews have contributed SW poetry to Sky 3. I apologize to the poets for not having specific comments on the poetry; truthfully, I don't feel myself competent to judge it. All I can say is, to my unsophisticated poetic tastes, it all seemed fairly good. As in Sky 1 and 2, the bulk of this issue is given over to the Thousandworlds series; to me, a yery good thing indeed. Dyane Kirkland has contributed several essays by her Jedi historian, Satinka Istari, which serve to expand the reader's understanding of Jedi concepts and training in the SW universe. Maggie Nowakowska has another novel-length story, "Nothin' Left to Lose," which is the sequel to "The Last Flight of the Millenium Falcon" in Sky 2. Whereas "Last Flight" was both a Han and Luke story, showing Luke's growing to maturity, "Nothin' Left to Lose" is almost totally Han's. The Alliance gives Han a terrific new freighter to replace the "Falcon" and Han uses it to escape the Alliance, which he feels [is] becoming too restrictive to his Corellian Independant's spirit. Eventually he falls in love with Bethan Avay, a Frielen "free agent," only to lose her when she begins to feel that the love affair is too restrivetive to her freedom. As a result of the pain he feels, Han matures into realizing that freedom does not mean cutting off all emotional ties; he learns to give of himself. Bethan Avay herself is a fascinating individual, and very believable as someone Han would fall for. One of the most interesting aspects of her characterization is that she is Force-sensitive. Very Force-sensitive. But she is definitely no Mary Sue—her futuresense and telepathy are much more a burden to her than an asset, and the inner conflicts this and other aspects of her personality and environment create for her are absorbing to read about. Surrounding all of this character development is the conflict and excitement of the continuing battle between the Empire and [the] Alliance, more insight into the culture of the Coreilian Independants, and more looks at the galactic society and fascinating variety of humanoids and non-humanoids Maggie has created. I continue to be impressed beyond words with the totally believable Thousandworlds universe. The story is just chock-full of great illos by Pam Kowalski and Stephanie Hawkes. Rounding out the zine [is:. Bev's editorial, a LoC section, ads for other zines, and contributions by Robin Hill, Pat Munson, Beverly Bishop, Beckey Aulenbach and others. The front and back covers are very well done, by Jeff Johnston and Dot Sasscer, respectively. This zine is highly recommended, and I think all SW fans familiar with Skywalker are looking forward to future issues.[16]

[zine]: The artwork is excellent, the writing is marvelous, and you have the best layout and presentation of any fanzine I've ever seen seen. All you folks, stand up and take a bow... Since I don't have SKY 3 with me, I'll restrict my comments to the piece that sticks in my mind: Maggie Nowakowska's "Nothin' Left to Lose." With such a mammoth work, one could almost expect a few corners to be cut. But no. Maggie's work is as complete as it is powerful. I half suspect Maggie has a Psychology degree tucked away somewhere — she has drawn a perfect portrait of the conflict between the search for love and "a place" in life versus our thirst for freedom and fear of commitment (something that has mushroomed in the society of late and become the battlecry of the "liberated" woman and man). For Han to reject the Alliance, even his friend Luke (who's almost the last friend he has by the end), then to find something beautiful with Bethen and have her reject him on the same grounds...very strong stuff. I'm glad that the two of them finally realize that love and freedom are not mutually exclusive, if used properly by two people. Of course, some of us do have to learn the hard way...Chetz and Iantu are just precious, they're so earthy (pardon the pun) and unaffected by everything! And the structure of the Jedi is very good (not to mention the Tapes by Satinka). One person I hope we see more of is Stevterine; for all his trials the man is a wonderfully well-rounded character, and quite fascinating.[17]

[zine]: I haven't finished reading Skywalker 3. The ThousandWorlds series does not hold my interest in spite of all the time, effort, and planning the authors put into it. I will read it — eventually. In the meantime, Robin Hill's 2-page story was very funny. I'm not a ST fan but I've seen all the episodes at least three times, and I can just picture in my mind Kirk screaming an obscenity as he and his ship get blasted to space dust. Solo's pronouncement at the end was also right on. I loved the illustrations to "Winter Music," but the plot and the characterizations made me feel as if I were watching a made-for-TV movie: how John Saxon as an out-of-work drifter rebuilds an old Model T to win the country fair auto race for farmer's daughter Elizabeth Montgomery and her brother Denny Miller, who were about to lose their land to taxes during the Depression years in Oklahoma...The story does explain why Solo is so devoted to his ship, having paid sweat instead of money for it. I like all of Susan Matthews work, particularly "Lines to Be Disavowed." [17]

[zine]: Skywalker 3 was magnificent! "Nothin" Left to Lose" was breathtaking. When Bethen leaves Han I didn't know whether to cry with Han, cheer because he was finally growing up, or smile sadly at the irony. Han finally got what he wanted, a woman as free as he. I usually skim amateur poetry and often regret doing even that. I hunt for that written by Susan Matthews. Illustrators: Martynn can't draw feet, but she has the sense to leave them out, oh my! The young Han on 17, the face — Words fail me, but it was hard to turn the page to the rest of the story.[17]

[zine]: The ThousandWorIds series is beginning to wear rather thin. Nearly a full third of #3 of Solo running around petulantly yelling "I'm free, I don't need anyone" got to be nauseating after a time. Solo is owned by that ship of his, bound far more surely than by any personal ties. I hope he does some growing up in future installments. I find it disturbing that so many Star Wars and Star Trek stories center on a man's fixation on his ship. It may make an interesting get-em, watching the man disintegrate after losing his main love, but such stories are only chronicles of emotional cripples. Solo and Kirk deserve much better.

Doesn't anyone out there have a Solo with ambition? In the movie he is just a rocket jockey without an original idea in his head. Everyone else comes up with the plans. Solo's reaction is to blow it away or run like hell, often both at the same time. That that is usually the right reaction is no reflection of credit on Solo.

As Luke quickly realized, Solo's not going to do anyone any good if gets himself killed. (I'm not certain if the quote is exact.) [17]

[zine]: Now for a LoC, overdue and covering ThousandWorlds in general, not just the stories you've published. I've read all the ThousandWorlds stories in print, in all the zines they've been in. I've also read all or most of the LoC's about the series. It bothers me that so many people want to change the series, that they find it so depressing, so devoid of hope. The series is depressing, I feel rightly so, because the Good Guys are losing the war. That is, they have only a long-range goal that still seems feasible, but most of their short-range objectives have been lost. That's depressing. They've lost a lot of people, including Jedi — that's depressing. They've had to abandon buildings, equipment, even planets — that's depressing. But they still have their successes — the ingathering of the Jedi, the wedding between Luke and Leia, the return of Han with Falcon's Mate, etc. The story is not entirely depressing, and it would be wrong to inject humor into it like a laugh track is added on TV. In a different vein, I find the series as fascinating as Jacqueline Lichtenberg's Kraith series, because of the incredible amount of background and the fascinating tidbits.that you want to know more about. What did happen to Solo the "last" time he met Qen and Get? Tell me about "the Strip" and about the various planets we've just seen in passing, and oh please, some more stories about JetLRever — he's more interesting than Han, I think. And the Whills and the Deseratines, and for a person interested in medicine, your little throw-aways are so interesting (the cross-bracing on Corellian ribs), and your social anthropology, or whatever it's called (the rating system that makes Han a 7) and on and on and on. I keep expecting to see people wanting to write the other stories, as happened with Kraith. The artwork is unusual and very interesting. Few artists are able to use "the blacknesses" so well to suggest the horror or joy of a scene without actually trying to draw it. And the borders are a nice touch too. Is it too much to ask for a ThousandWorlds Collected? [17]

[zine]: I really enjoyed Maggie Nowakowska's "Nothin' Left to Lose" in SKYWALKBR 3, as I've enjoyed all the ThousandWorlds stories except the one in Moonbeam 3, which I can't seem to get hold of. it's an excellent story, well-written, fascinatingly real in its presentations of Nowakowska's SW universe and populated with interesting, distinctively characterized people. I especially like her (and D. Kirkland's — is D.K. a separate person or another Kowalski pseudonym?) idea of the Jedi including women and aliens, and the Jedi abilities being both innate in many people and capable of being trained and developed. Bethen, Qrtme, Dev, Rever, Ghest — they're all real people — it hurts when Rever is killed.

The biggest problem is the combination of characterization and atmosphere. Basically, Han, and to some extent Luke and Leia, don't quite seem the characters from the movie, even allowing for personality development over two years. They're interesting, likeable people (especially Han), but somehow they just aren't quite Lucas' characters. Among other things, making Han practically part of the Force doesn't fit at all — it's just too much an idealization of him, for one thing. And I can't see Han getting so thoroughly involved with a woman, letting down his emotional defenses that way. Nowakowska's Han is fascinating, an attractive character in spite of his occasional spoiled-brat performances, but he's hers, not Lucas'. Luke is closer to the original, but again he's not quite the same, even allowing for experience and maturity. I can't put my finger on it — it's part of the whole "feel" of the ThousandWorlds stories...The stories are generally too serious. They're fine stories (I'm nominating Nowakowska for fan Hugo in fact), but they're not quite in the Star Wars spirit. May I make a comparison with another writer in other zines? Judi L. Hendricks in Pegasus 3 had "Assault on Logaria" ...It's a fine story (better than the prequel, "Stowaway," in Scum and Villainy and the sequel, "A Marketable Commodity" from Pegasus 4), "Logaria" and to some extent "Stowaway" somehow seem more in the Lucas/SW spirit — characterizations of Han, Chewie. Luke, and Leia; dialog, humor — the whole "feel" is closer to SW than the ThousandWorlds stories. Nowakowska's stories (and Kirkland's) are heavily emotional in tone, with as much emphasis (if not more) on personalities and relationships as on plot. Hendricks, at least in the two stories she wrote alone, puts emphasis on plot and keeps the tone cool, touching on emotions and attitudes rather than emphasizing them. To some extent I think it's also a matter of showing (Hendricks and Lucas) versus telling (Nowakowska and Kirkland). Please don't think I'm putting Nowakowska down — I'm not. I'm Just trying to give examples of what I mean about the "feel" of the stories and why I think that while Nowakowska writes excellent stories, she's not quite following Lucas. As to the relationship between Han and Bethen, which so nearly dominates the story, it's fine in itself if Han were Nowakowska's own character, but as I said before, I can't see the movie Han getting so emotionally involved with a woman , whether because he can't or because he's afraid to, as Beth is. I like Beth very much, by the way. It's good to see a determinedly independent woman who's not about to build her life around a man. The basis for her attitude isn't very healthy, but neither is the basis of Han's, and both of them need help. They're very alike in some ways, and she's a much likelier candidate for Han's love interest than Leia!

Emme is an interesting character (she has been, all along), but I think she gets too emotional in this story and the conflict between her and Beth seems a bit overdone. I add my voice to the chorus asking why Emme is so insistent about Luke taking over the Jedi. She's older, more experienced, and trained in the Enclave — she's a much more logical person to do the job, as Luke says, why won't she take it? Does she feel too close to the old organization perhaps, too bound up with the problems that led to the earlier defeat? This could explain why she pushes Luke — he's new, untouched by old conflicts, rivalries, and perhaps corruptions and could start the Jedi over fresh and new. Just a speculation — any basis for it? I'd hate to think that Nowakowska and Kirkland are simply copping out on having a woman take such a position, after presenting basically strong, independent, women like Emme, Beth, and Naom (whose emotionality was a bit much, but she had potential for sure — she should have been Luke's mother instead of the ninny who was; I can't believe the elder Skywalker would have married someone so easily broken).

Speaking of strong, independent, talented women, what happened to Leia? She's too much in the background, too jealous of Emme (I did like the wedding ceremony — nice to have it definite, and I do think Leia in the movie ought to choose Luke, whether she actually does or not — they're closer in age, and could get along better; Leia and Han would kill each other in less than a month). As to the jealousy bit, I agree with Mary Wismer that it's unnecessary and probably uncharacteristic. Leia is a leader of the Rebellion — let's have more of that side of her!

A word of unqualified praise for Pam Kowalski — I love her illosl (Another Hugo nomination, by the way). My favorites are the foldout of the dance (there's so much life in the picture), Han and Beth making love (beautiful!), Han looking in the store window and Ghest, Luke, and Chewie at the wake. PAK's style takes some getting used to. but she puts more life, movement, and feeling into her hard-edged figures than many others get in more realistic work. Keep up the good work, Pam! [17]

[zine]: "Winter Music" was worth the wait. I loved it! My favorite Ellen Blair work so far (make that second; I Just read "Metamorpheus" in MET 2...) Also loved Martynn's Han illos. My only problem was with Yonara accepting her fate so calmly. Surely she'd bitch and rail at the unfairness of it all (in private of course) just when things were starting to shape up. And even if she was afraid of Han's leaving her she seems too much of a fighter to have given up so easily. I can see her putting up a good front to make her dying easier on Han, Dan, Heger, etc., and pernaps even herself. But the fact is that if she really loved Han I think she'd feel a bit more than mingled delight and concern and intense pity toward him, even if the drug did have a somewhat emotionally numbing effect as well as physically. What about an overpowering need to console him? He's being torn apart and she does little to leave him in peace. What cruelty, musing that she had bound him to her forever, knowing his dislike of bonds and that they can never be used to her advantage. (I also feel that this supposed hatred of bonds on Solo's part is so prevalent in fandom that it's being made entirely too much of...) Rather Yonara should have told him the price of the Falcon was his wages for restoring her and winning the race, since his share of the race winnings would never have approached that sum once divided up...

"Lines to Be Disavowed the Morning After" is in the best Matthews tradition and right on the mark. I think few others capture the inticacies of Han's character as well and consistently as she does. But I must admit that at times she comes across as a slight bit schizo on the Han thing...I like her better in her Han persona than as one of his legion of rivals or detractors. ...I think I could take the effort better if the opposing viewpoint were published in separate issues rather than appearing in the same ish. But then maybe I'm a minority of one. Don't get me wrong, I'm not on Susan's case for coming up with anti-Han viewpoint characters, for obviously Jabba, Greedo, and Vader are only a select few among a multitude waiting to deliver Solo's comeuppance — or down, if you will- It's healthy and preserves perspective, but do they have to appear in the same issue?

I think Dyane Kirkland and Maggie Nowakowska need to get together and discuss the Jedi in "Nothin' Left to Lose." To start with, although I loved "The Last Flight of the Millennium Falcon," I do have a few bitches. If taking responsibility for one's actions is a keynote to the SW universe Lucas created...then Luke is not being true to his own self or the Jedi code. For he attempts to dump the entire blame of the Lyston fiasco on Han's head (although later in "Nothin' Left to Lose" he's forced to share it by being grounded), while conveniently nealecting to mention that it was through his own lack of experience that Qen and Get become aware of Solo's presence in part. And although I agree the Jedi would have nothing against drinking provided the imbiber could handle it, Luke obviously hasn't acquired this talent as of yet. Not only hasn't Luke mastered the art of drinking and keeping his mouth shut, an invaluable asset in the dangerous games Solo plays, he seems to have lost his sensibility along with his innocence in that dark alley.. Here we seem to encounter another bit of schizophrenia on an author's part toward a character. I really liked Maggie's handling of Luke and the Force and his accept ance of his change and his viewing of Han through Jedi eyes during the torture sequence and its immediate aftermath. It's amazing how she seems to capture the essence of the character some times...But I did think the torture was a bit overdone..And I also agree with J.J. Adamson about the lack of humor in the ThousandWorlds universe. C'mon, humor was one of the great things about the film, alongside several dozen others.

[much snipped]

The period of transition from "Last Flight..." to "Nothin' Left to Lose" is akin to a descent from dizzying heights. I must admit I was somewhat disappointed with "Nothin' Left to Lose," and I'm not really sure of the reasons. Perhaps, as Shakespeare so aptly noted in "Hamlet," because Han "doth protest too much" about bonds. It takes him too long to come back to his senses. I really thought he'd return after Rever's death (I really liked that character). After all, Han isn't the loner he's cracked up to be if he confides in Nyek about his plans to build a shipping empire—And what about the recovery room scene in "Last Flight..."? This is Han the supreme loner? One does not confide one's secret trusts and dreams to just anyone, especially not a Han Solo. I was also somewhat disappointed that Maggie did not use the Drake character to greater advantage. I thought he was a character with great potential. And unless Luke can get his Jedi to straighten up and forget their mistrusts and constant bickering, who the hell is going to get them reestablished? Maybe the Republic was better off without them. Perhaps it is because Emme's so central to it all, and although I originally liked her, with each passing sentence she's becoming more and more my least favorite character. If I didn't know better, I'd swear she's still capable of helping Darth along with his plans, albeit unknowingly. The old saying about dividing and conquering still holds true.

I liked Bethen but I don't think she brings out the best in this particular Solo. To be rather blunt, I'm beginning not to care for this Solo either. Do we really have to rehash the old Kirk as alpha-male syndrome in SW by substituting Corellian 7? I'll be the first to admit that Han's the sexiest thing to hit that old silver screen in ages.

Perhaps I'm a bit out of line in my criticisms of NLTL; I really should have waited for the third part of the trilogy, as it really isn't fair to the author to judge incomplete works. But for all my bitching, please congratulate Maggie on getting the Fan Q award [in 1970] and I'm sorry she couldn't make it to pick it up.[17]

[zine]: I thoroughly enjoyed SKY 3 and count it another absolutely first-rate fan endeavor toward the preservation of truth, justice, and the Corellian way (as Paula Smith puts it). The artwork (and this is modestly spoken, ignoring my own stuff which was incomplete) is beginning to rise to the same level of excellence exhibited by the literary offerings...The cover, while not my favorite piece, was an interesting portrayal of Her Worship, with medieval French overtones. The embellishing poetry was apt, if difficult to read due to the Celtic script. The overall result is quite effective...It was nice to see some other character than Luke gracing the cover.

Robin Hill's "Last Star Trek Story" would have made O. Henry. Everyone perfectly in character, logical (naturally) plot development, and a priceless punch line made this tale a delight. After all, Vader is no penny-ante Klingon, and it's about time someone called Kirk to task for all his Prime Directive violations.

Two more really excellent additions to SKYWALKER are Susan Matthews' poetry "Lines to be Disavowed.." and "Les Jeux Sont Faits." Susan is unquestionably the master of the dramatic monologue and no slouch at metaphors either. Her speech patterns are definitely natural sounding and right for the character. The past she hints at for Han ("slave chains") invites closer inspection, and the river image is well wrought. And the versatility of Matthews is demonstrated as she shifts from down-port Corellian to royal Alderaan in the bitter sweet Lament, which has a classic beauty that transcends its space opera origins. "Les Jeux..." is a masterpiece of sarcasm with its little gems like "surly disrespectful Wookiee," "junk-worthy freighter ," and the ultimate insulting suggestion that Han "go on home...raise a family." He probably would have fried the speaker at that point, unless maybe it were Dodonna or Willard...or even Leia (?) And Beckey Aulenbach, who is improving at an incredible rate with each picture ...really did Matthews justice, especially with the wonderfully open and trusting Han for "Les Jeux..." Her Leias were a tad too hard and angular, but her foliaged landscape was quite nice for "Alderaan."

I suppose while I'm at it I should mention "Winter Music." Having illo'd it, I read it closely numerous times and therefore formed some pretty definite opinions of the story. I usually love Ellen's stuff and was prepared to revel in another of her works the caliber of "Metamorpheus.' I was also, naturally, more than receptive to another interpretation of how Han came by the Falcon. I regret to say I was a bit disappointed. I'm not sure which bothered me more: the Mary-Sue-perfect-face-with-waist-length-golden-hair heroine (justification for Han really falling in love with her was mighty slim), the rather silly idea of a space race, which seemed frivolous and out of keeping with the tone of the story, or the "love Story"/"La Boheme" ending, which not only didn't touch me but left me feeling sorry for the writer, who, I think, might have done better by her Corellian. This is not to say I abhorred the whole piece. The first half up to the bedroom scene wasn't bad at all. Han was properly surly and scheming, the slave block scene colorfully portrayed, and the fight, kiss, and ultimate seduction of Yonara possessed of that wonderful intensity Ellen excels at. But when Yonara knew from the beginning about Han's plot, I fail to find much sympathy for her. Steel and ice that melt that quickly make a sappy heroine, and Han deserves much better.

A sharp contrast is Maggie's long-awaited "Nothin' Left to Lose" offering a Skywalker-Organa bonding, purple Jedi, a tour of many of the Thousand Worlds, a lesson in Corellian anatomy, and a highly fascinating course in corelli sexuality. A veritable Pandora's Box. The few less-than-perfect parts and complaints I have are all personal opinion, and I see the logic of the disputed sections' inclusion. The Saturday Night Fever at the Lauderden, with Han doing the John Travolta bit, bothered me but I could see the purpose behind it and accept the dance as a cultural and sexual more of the corelli in Maggie's universe. Besides, I like Han in that shirt. I very resoundingly liked Bethen — no perfect Mary Sue but a real woman with full of quirks, problems, ups and downs, and that Jedi "something extra" to complicate her life. Her relationship with Han is believable not only from her paranoid point of view but his too. He has to have some attachment that makes an anchor to steady him. Leaving Chewie, the Falcon, Rever, then Beth, it was also creditable that he'd turn once again to the Aliliance. Han's gradual warming to the SX, prefacing his eventual warming to those beings who cared for him was oh-so-carefully, even cagily, developed. It was great to have the Meteor crew back, as well as uncle Dev , Ghest, and finally...the Drake (who reminds me a tad of Poul Anderson's Nicholas van Rijn). Maggie not only meticulously crafts her plot and ties up all loose ends, she pays attention to detail and intimacies too: the scene where Han mourns Rever's death is enough to really move one deeply, for JetLRever was depicted well as a strong, positive, sympathetic influence in Han's life. And the beautiful love scene with Bethen and Han captures all the brilliance and tenderness of the Corellian with a passion and gentleness that only Maggie could achieve. As for quads and all those intriguing hints at naughty bits, I say Bravo! It's about time we saw some "adult" fan fic that is not only very tastefully adult while losing none of its provocativeness but also different in exploring some truly unique possibilities for humans of a different universe "in a galaxy far, far away." I knew Han had to be a 7! Of course, as I mentioned, Pam's illos more than do justice to her magnum opus. The action shots (the lowbomb coming at Beth and Han, the Lauderden, and Han and the Whezet fighting) brim with energy and life, the backgrounds are evocative...and the close shots, particularly of Han, are wonderfully evocative. I got to the quasi-ending of the story and wished it would go on and on. Questions need to be answered, and relationships resolved. The war must go on. And you mean to say we gotta wait until SKY 5 for "The Battle for Rynan"? [17]

Issue 4

front cover of issue 4, Steve Gallaci
back cover of issue #4, Steve Gallaci
rare for zines, an ad for an official fan club

Skywalker 4 published in September 1980 and is 223 pages long. It won the 1981 MediaWest FanQ "Favorite Fanzine" award. Art by Joni Wagner, Martynn, Pam Kowalski, Gee Moaven, Dave McGrew, Dot Sasscer, L.A. Adolf, Steve Gallaci, Pam Buchanan, Sheryl Adsit, Paula Block, Jay Mullins, Marti Browne, Angela-marie Varesano.

"Special Thanks to Judy Hebner, Sharon Emily, Pam Kowalski, and [J H] and [A S] (for volunteering to answer those irate fans who wanted to know why SKY 4 was so late, as it was partly their fault)."

From the editorial:

You will notice first off that there are no ThousandWorlds stories in this issue. They be back with a vengeance in Skywalker 5: that will contain Maggie Nowakowska's novel "Battle for Rynan." (If you wonder what Maggie considers a novel, so do I -- I haven't seen it yet.) This issue instead has a chance to feature other writers, some of whom will be known to readers from appearances in other SW zines, other of whom haven't had much published until now. The variety of authors and stories will, I hope, persuade people that Skywalker isn't merely an outlet for TW stories, although at times it may have seemed so.

The other thing you will probably notice about Sky 4 is that there are no post-TESB stories, for the very good reason that everything was written before even the novelization appeared. Some of the parallels are eerie. Some of the assumptions in the stories have also been proved false by TESB, but I don't consider this a great fault. We knew all along that the fan-made universes were going to be come alternate universes as soon as TESB appeared , and TESB doesn't invalidate them as stories, though it does prohibit the authors from calling them "real" SW. But the fan stories never were "real" in that sense anyway: however much we might think we know what is going to happen in the SW universe, and however much we might like that universe to be what we think it ought to be, we are not George Lucas , and his universe will be what he thinks it ought to be and the events will be what he thinks should happen. End of soapbox. This is a long way around saying that even if the stories are not "mainstream" SW, they are no less good as stories.

And now for the good news: Skywalker is not going to end after 5. However, I am not going to be editing after that time. Beginning with Skywalker 6, Barbara Deer will be editing the zine. Barbara has not written much herself, but she has been a very perceptive critic since the beginning, and I'm delighted that she has volunteered to take over. (I hope she doesn't regret the offer when she finally does!) I don't know what her policies will be for future issues of Skywalker, but at least for now she intends to maintain the emphasis on longer stories with considerable development of characters, background, and theme, along with solid plots. I want to emphasize that when Barbara takes over , the zine will become her zine and it will reflect her personality, as I hope it has until now reflected mine.

  • La Sabre, the editorial (2)
  • Letters of Comment (3)
  • Droids and Robots, article by Margaret Purdy (9)
  • The Flight of the Shimmerbird by Tracy Duncan, illustrated by Dave McGrew (11)
  • The Flame by L.A. Adolf (31)
  • The Night Vigil Cycle, written and illustrated by Angela-marie Varesano (32)
  • The Children, Kaili, Wynn, Luke, Letters, Visions, Old Friends, Reunion are eight titled "chapters" in the Desert Seed Series by Carol Mularski, illustrated by Pam Kowalski (39)
  • In Retrospect by C.A. Bucar (79)
  • A Detailed Account of the Amazingly Uncanny Incredible Similarities Between Star Wars and Corvette Summer (article) by Paula Block, B.A., M.A. , B.NF, & B.S. (80)
  • X-Wing Autumn: A Review by Green Shallot (parody) (84)
  • What Dreams May Come by Margaret Purdy, art by Gee Moaven (86)
  • Choice by L.A. Adolf (96)
  • Kessel Run by Jackie Paciello, art by Martynn (97)
  • Treasure Geste by Barbara Wenk and Joyce Yasner (128)
  • Filksongs from Massteria by Meg Garrett and Anne Wilson (129)
  • The Garden by Dot Sasscer, art by Sasscer (134)
  • Foreshadows by Paula Block and Judi Hendricks, art by Joni Wagner - this story was the subject of a "lengthy, and testy, disagreement" in a review in issue #3 of the Star Wars letterzine Jundland Wastes, see story article for more information (140)
  • A Jedi Commander's Prayer by Angela-marie Varesano (223)
  • Support Your Local Fen (ads) (224)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for the eight chapters in the Desert Seed Series.

See reactions and reviews for Foreshadows.

See reactions and reviews for Flight of the Shimmerbird.

See reactions and reviews for The Garden.

[zine]: This by far the most ambitious SW zine that I have read. It contains six stories, three of which could anchor their own individual zines, plus numerous shorter pieces...[18]

[zine]: I'd like to enter a mildly dissenting opinion on 'Skywalker 4.' I found it somewhat disappointing. It's one of those zines you hate to criticize, because the stories are all respectable, solidly crafted with obvious care, with none of those diverting disasters of bad writing that make really bad zines fun to read and gleefully rip to shreds. But that wasn't what was wrong with Sky 4 -- it WASN'T fun. In fact, it was remarkedly emotionless altogether. The stories all seemed to be made out of plastic, and I found it almost impossible to get involved in any of them. I'd prefer to see stories with a little less technique and a little more passion. I thought 'Desert Seed' was a distinctly 'blah' story; the characters were mildly interesting, but the plot was dead and I didn't think it was worth the major place Cynthia gave it in her review. I will agree that 'Foreshadows' was a very good story... [more of her review at Foreshadows] [19]

I have one 'little complaint. Solos. Is Luke really that impossible? 'Course I realize that nine people out of ten think Han is the only thing going, but I like Luke and I'd like to see more of him looking like him, if you know what I mean. [20]

I'd like to compliment you not only on the quality of your publication but on your ability to control costs. I don't think I've ever got such a large quantity of good material in a zine for such a low cost - and I've paid more for zines that were a lot thinner and 'less well produced. [20]

I especially enjoyed "The Garden." It was a pleasure to read a Leia-oriented story that showed her positive human qualities. Though I have my own theories as to how the princess came to be involved in the rebellion, Dot Sasscer's portrayal was quite convincing. The descriptions were vivid, and Leia's thoughts further fleshed out the character. Luke's part in the story was handled well, letting his actions speak for him. But "Foreshadows," oh my, where to begin? Granted, I've limited experience to SW fan-fic, but "Foreshadows" is the best story I've ever read. [See this fan's comments about Foreshadows.][20]

"Foreshadows" was great.
 The idea for Luke's background is one I've never seen before - but it's very reasonable in context. At the beginning of the story, I was very leery of Chaylor. Luke thinks he's OK, but he tried to change Han's feelings, and I wasn't sure I was or wasn't supposed to like him. Even by the end of the story, when I did like him, I thought he had been a little "uncool" (I'm dating myself) when he first talked to Han and Luke. The artwork in the zine is up to your usual standards - except for the Tracy Duncan story. Was that a package deal? The story was interesting until the book was given back to them, no strings attached. Considering the bad guy's earlier actions, that seems a bit unbelievable. I think Tracy's writing is getting better; I'm waiting to see what she'll be able to do in 2-5 more years. [20]

SKYWALKER surprised me. I wouldn't have expected to enjoy stories written before TESB so much. "Desert Seed," "What Dreams May Come," "The Garden," and the others were all nice stories and the Star Wars-Corvette Summer parallels were weird. I'd never thought of it that way. The filks were great. I'd heard "Little Troopers" before but I didn't have the words. But the story I enjoyed most had to be Foreshadows." It was lovely. TESB dated it but it was still gorgeous. The characterizations for Han and Luke were perfect. It was a beautiful story to read. I'd heard a few Clone Wars/Luke theories before but had never thought them to be very interesting, but after "Foreshadows" I've changed my mind. [20]

Just for the sake of precision, I think we should all be grateful to Margaret Purdy for her

Droids and Robots" article, since Great God Lucas sort of managed to muck up the distinctions between the two, thereby setting back proper sci-fi terminology 20 years or so. (Oh well, nobody's perfect.)

"Treasure Geste" and "Corvette Summer" were quite painful, as were the filks. Hasn't "Little Troopers" shown up somewhere before? I noticed a previous printing wasn't credited but I could've sworn I'd already read it. Whatever. THANK you, Dot Sasscer, for a good solid Leia story - it's about time the Princess gets her share of coverage; perhaps TESB will help her along. Of the major stories, I think "Foreshadows" was my favorite, if only because it was so well written and surprising, though I should've seen the clone bit coming, I suppose). And the illos, overall, were excellent, especially Martynn's and Joni Wagner's. (Is it just me or does Kylie resemble Sigourney Weaver? ((No, it's not just you — Kylie is supposed to look like Sigourney Weaver. As for "Little Troopers" - while it has appeared in a compilation of mostly SW filksongs called MASSTERIA, it had not appeared in print at the time it was sent to me and I decided to print it. Unfortunately, I don't know whether MASSTERIA came out before or after SKY 4, nor did its authors ask for a previous printing credit. Bev)) ((The Table of Contents for SKY 4 does list "Filksongs from Massteria." Barbara))) [20]

After eons of waiting, I received SKYWALKER 4. The only times I could read it were during the squadron stand-down periods, and when I did I devoured it.

Jackie Paciello has a way of using Hebrew similar to some writers in the Star Trek "Kraith" series. Her character, "Aht Zokheret," when translated into English, means "You remember" in the singular feminine sense. The ship "Kohav" is Hebrew for "star," as up in the heavens. If Zokheret was supposed to be a male of the species' why not call him "Ata Zokher"? That is a masculine form, although the idea of a female smuggler is fine with me.

As far as "Foreshadows" goes, I dislike the notion that Luke is a clone. Up until the point that he begins to put 2 + 2 together, it was one of the best readings I've experienced in a long time (and I've read 150+ books in the last 14 months). I'm hoping that there'll be a sequel, with the clones of all six protagonists together, along with Kylie. [21]

Of course, nothing's perfect. I hate to start a story and not finish it, but Tracy Duncan's "Flight of the Shimmerbird" defeated me. I managed to actually read about two pages, skimmed a couple more, and gave up completely. The characterizations of our favorite people are unbelievable, the style is phony-heroic in too many places, the "treasure hunt" an ancient cliche, and with the entry of the Shimmerbird and crew we fall into a bad Errol Flynn movie.

Carol Mularski's "Desert Seed" is fine. The writing's occasionally a bit awkward, but generally it's never less than competent, and the idea very good. I can pretty much overlook a number of cliches and some of the platitudes - they're outweighed by fine characterization and a realistic family background for the Lars family and Luke... On page 73, Luke's ambivalence about the Force and everything else at this point is perfect. This is the first time I've seen such a statement from Luke, and it fits so well, so realistically. Finding Ben's manuals, etc., is a good idea too, giving Luke something to build on as he learns on his own. And as usual, I love Pam Kowalski's illos. She puts so much life and feeling into two dimensions! Oh, one other quibble - the meeting with Wynn on the Death Star struck me as totally gratuitous and unnecessary. Also, it doesn't fit with the movie. Luke's face on screen would have given some indication of disturbance if he'd just met a long-lost relative. Leia's remark doesn't need an explanation. It's simply a typical Leia wisecrack. And Wynn could have been saved for a meeting later on, after Luke's thoroughly involved with the Alliance. I think Mularski made an error here, throwing away a really good possibility for the future in favor of a totally unnecessary coincidence. Overall, though, a fine story, and I hope she follows up on it.

Margaret Purdy's "What Dreams May Come" left me unsure. The idea's not bad, even if not overly original But in the last paragraph on page 90, Han almost wishing for a camera is beautiful. Yes, I can see him reacting that way. He loves both of them after all. And Leia's reaction to the Tusken Raider attack on page 91 is absolutely true to form. The ending was no surprise. As for Moaven's artwork well, she really should have anatomy lessons. There's no way a human body can lie the way she has Leia on page 89, and Leia's "fighting" position on page 92 is laughable. She does a lovely job with costume but she needs to work with people. (And the helmet on page 95 is too damn medieval , even with her penchant for putting Earth medieval clothes on SW characters!)

Jackie Paciello's "Kessel Run" has a good idea but runs several pages too long in the snow.

I do like her characterizations of Han and Chewie, especially interacting. And her idea of the Kessel Run as symbolic is very interesting - let's have more social and psychological commentary from writers other than Nowakowska (but with a light hand please!) By the way, the reference to the Wookiee's family being a sore spot is intriguing. Does Paciello have any stories about the family and Chewie's background that would explain this? A couple of quibbles. First, her use of "smarm." "Smarmy" means sniggling, back-of-the-barn attitudes toward sex, which doesn't fit here. And what's this business about the Falcon not having hyper-drive? I thought it went .5 past lightspeed because it had hyperdrive. Anyway, in SW they couldn't have done that lovely hyperspace jump without it. (I assume the story was written before TESB - hyperdrive is specifically mentioned there - or is that supposedly after the new equipment's been installed?) To redeem the quibbles, a big congratulations on explaining logically what sounded like an incredible blooper in the movie. Between Pacieilo and the Adamsons in GALACTIC FLIGHT #3, Gary Kurtz can now stop fumbling for an answer to that eternal question!

Ah, now the piece de resistance. Block and Hendricks have outdone themselves with "Foreshadows." It's very well written and has a number of interesting ideas. And that one -- ghod, it's in the same class with Vader's announcement! What really got to me was that a month or so ago I'd looked at a prozine (FANTASTIC FILMS, I think) with an article postulating that Luke was a clone of Vader! I really prefer this version, folks! It does get around the problem of a total lack of mention of Luke's mother, and just the idea in itself is enough of a shocker without bringing in the possibility that Vader's telling the truth. (I think he's lying.) Luke's reaction 1s entirely credible, under the circumstances. Han's reaction to the news is also entirely in character, and I love his difficulty with the standard cuss word -- yes, that could be a problem! The flashback scenes are excellent, the final farewell between Lucas and Kylie is absolutely beautiful. So's the illo - my favorite, I think. The handling of Vader murdering Lucas is very good, a balance of the different sides of Vader. Kylie's a beautiful character, a good balance for Chaylor. I wanted to smack that smug, self-righteous little prig. Poor Han, up against that! Young Beru was well handled, and Joni Wagner did a fine job of the illo (even if my first impression was of a young, pretty Nancy Reagan as opposed to the anorexic reality). I do question the use of Obi-Wan as a title. In SW, Ben said, "That's a name..." not "That's a term," or whatever.

As for Wagner's artwork, she does have a fine TV/film portfolio. I thought Eddie Fisher as Bail Organa was a bit much, but George Lucas as Chaylor Sr. rather than Lucas was nice {his eyes should have been bigger and his eyebrows heavier, though). Sigourney Weaver as Kylie is truly lovely. Weaver's a beautiful woman in an odd way and she's a perfect model for the character.

You might be interested to know that a friend at work who borrowed this issue was about halfway through the story when I saw her in the afternoon; she finished it early that evening and called me after dinner because she just had to talk about it. She loved it! Anybody listening to us would have thought we were crazy, practically jumping up and down in enthusiasm (at least I was). The last time I reacted that way was after seeing Empire for the first time! [20]

Concerning your editorial, I don't see what is wrong with considering SKYWALKER an outlet for Thousandworlds stories; I rather like to think of it that way, and somehow it wasn't the same zine at all without at all without at least one TW story: And I am glad that SKYWALKER will not end with #5, though saddened that you won't continue as editor. I am looking forward to seeing how the zine will change under Barbara Deer's editorship.

"Droids and Robots" by Margaret Purdy was an interesting I little piece. Not to denigrate her, but I hadn't expected it to be, since I'm not enamored of reading nonfiction pieces in fanzines. I love "A Detailed Account of the Amazingly Uncanny Incredible Similarities Between STAR WARS and CORVETTE SUMMER" and pity you for having had to 1ay out the title. Po's notorious around here for her hatefully long titles, especially around layout time.

Jackie Paciello's "Kessel Run" is one of the best Han Solo stories I've read to date, and Martynn's illustrations beautifully captured the drama of the story.

"Foreshadows" by Judi L. Hendricks and Paula Block was one of the stories I'd watched progressing from conception to completion, and I'm still not tired of it. Taking up nearly half the zine, it is unarguably the dominant piece in the issue and well worth the praise it will undoubtedly garner. Undeniably "different" from any other notions spawned concerning the SW mythos, this Luke-as-clone viewpoint will probably inspire discussion for months to come, perhaps for cons to come.

On the negative side, SKYWALKER still hasn't conquered its unevenness of art problem, though some of the illustrations, particularly Martynn's and Joni Wagner's, and the covers, are fantastic. And I'm sure you already know about the typos....


Of the serious offerings, my favorite was "Foreshadows". I found it an exquisitely

crafted merging of past and future, a precarious but firm balance. I shudder to think how easily that balance could have been upset by less skillful writing. The concepts were fascinating - Luke a clone? A nasty thing to do to the kid, considering his society's ambivalence to cloning. But even before that came up, Kylie had a very interesting role. The conflict between her known age and apparent youth tied in with the "past and future" motif, and it made for strange developments in her relationship with Luke. The shades of Oedipus in the scene of Lucas and Kylie in the glen with Luke, in vision, along for the ride made it almost a relief to find out that Luke was a clone. Other, or lover? Neither, really. At the same time, these conflicts came through very muted, a refreshing change from being beaten over the head with Basic Conflict.

"Desert Seed" by Carol Mularski was also very good. The time shifts were difficult to follow, but, I will grant, necessary to the story, which came full circle to a unified whole. Luke's cousins were well-characterized, especially Wynn. Their successive, unwitting contributions to Owen's possessiveness of Luke was also handled very well, with a light hand.

Jackie Paciello's "Kessel Run" was well written, with good characterizations and a very interesting place I'd like to hear more about - "The Place" that is. However, it was marred by the deus ex machina, i.e. Chewie's suddenly discovering that they still had time to make the Run despite all that time spent in the snow and fixing up Han's improvised hot tub a serious glitch.[20]

"The Flight of the Shimmerbird" does have one major virtue - at least it's consistent. It is completely, unrelievedly wretched from beginning to end, with a unique style that reminds me (Well, I was going to say "forcibly" but I won't) of a collectlon of my fellow classmates' prose I once started in high school.

"Desert Seed" was very good. I didn't find the story gripping, but the people more than made up for it. The delineation of children at various ages was unusually good and true to life, something I find rare in fan fiction (I have a son of my own), and each member of the family was well and individually presented. I did find Owen a bit more unreasonable than I would have imagined. As always, Kowalski's rather angular and stylized illos were interesting and effective, very appropriate for life on a desert world.

I also liked "What Dreams May Come," once I got past the basic premise (which I found a bit difficult to accept - afraid I'm rather skeptical of astral planes and that sort of thing). The image of the Waste was very powerful, very folkloric. It brought back ideas from Marion Zimmer Bradley's Overworld, and some of Fritz Leiber's dark, moody early Faffhrd and Grey Mouser stories like "The Howling Tower" and "The Bleak Shore" which I also like very much. The illos did not look much like the characters they were supposed to portray, but I loved the lush, romantic style, very folkloric again. I am definitely going to look for more of this artist's work - and that's more of a compliment from me than from most people, because I very seldom notice art much. It has to be quite striking for me to look up the artist's name, as I did in this case.

"Treasure Geste" - delightful ' Both the authors have an infallible eye for the illogical and literarily slipshod. Wenk in particular has a beautifully honed, dry, witty style that is like some finely crafted piece of jewelry; she is always one of my favorites, no matter what she writes.

At this point in reading, I sighed and said to myself, 'Well, that was a very nice zine, and I enjoyed it, but isn't there going to be at;least ONE long story that's going to really grab hold of me and tel1 me something new and different about my favorite SW character?" And lo and behold' there was "Foreshadows," unquestionably my favorite of the stories in this issue. [See this fans comments about Foreshadows.] [20]

You know, there is nothing like the satisfaction of seeing your words in print. There may be other sensations equally satisfying, but not of the same quality. I sat there and reread "What Dreams May Come" and glowed inside. It's not pure ego-massage, either, I don't think. When you reread your own story, if you're lucky, you re-experience the feelings that motivated you to write it in the first place, as well as the satisfaction of the well chosen word here and the elegantly constructed sentence there.

I'm also generally pleased with the illustrations. Gee Moaven's rather shadowed, moody style fits the story well, I think. The only real quibble I have (pick, pick) is that in the scene with Luke and Leia fighting the Sandpeople, there is so little action in the picture; taken out of context, all the figures are well done, but they're all just standing there touching weapons. The final picture, on the other hand, is superb; not quite the way I had pictured Luke's father (I had seen the Jedi helmet as looking like Vader's, only without the breath mask, silver, and with the light on the brow) but when it came right down to it, that didn't matter a rap. The illustration had a certain Tolkienian flavor - I would like to see Gee's rendition of some of the characters from LotR, notably Aragorn.

Looking back on the story with post-Empire hindsight makes me realize that I pulled a prime boner in there that had nothing to do with Luke's father. When Luke goes to ignite his saber, out in the Wastes, I have him drawing on his "anger for the deaths of his family and friends, wrath kindled by his sense of helplessness and frustration." Wrongo, ace. That there's the Dark Side.

I think I may have read "The Flight of the Shimmerbird" too fast, for although I liked the plot, the style didn't impress me; I found it a bit choppy. I think there is a definite flaw, though, albeit a small one, in the speech patterns of the native captain (Scoggins); he does not ring true. Archaic or dialectal speech is very hard to do, harder than it looks, and I don't think Tracy Duncan quite has the hang of it...Luke's use of the Force to heal Han was especially well done. That was the real point of the story, wasn't it? That discovery was more important even than the book - after that, Luke didn't need the written proof he was, indeed, a Jedi.

"Desert Seed" I liked a lot. The idea that Owen and Beru might have had children of their own had never crossed my mind before, but I found the result delightful. The different paths taken by the different children, and their consequences, are depicted in such a way as to give us a feeling for each of them, and yet they clearly represent, in microcosm, the choices of action that a citizen of the Empire might have, and the results of those choices. I also like the way the story comes up with sensible explanations for certain oddities (Q. Why does no one ever mention Luke's mother? A. Well, they never met her and she died soon after Luke was born, that's why.) and I was especially pleased by the weaving in of the events of Star Wars. The use of Leia's line "Uh -- we ran into some old friends" I found inspired.

Here, I thought the illustrations were perfectly wedded to the story: simple, clean-lined, but lively and full of character. No need to complain of lack of action here; even in a relatively static scene, such as the one on page 41 where the three girls are looking at the lightsaber, there is action.

"Kessel Run" is very nice. Han and Chewie's adventures before they got involved with this cockamamie Rebellion are still relatively safe ground, even post-Empire, and this was a prime example of the species. I especially liked the relationship between Han and Chewie, a theme of necessity, but still regrettably) not explored in the films. I also rejoiced that someone has at last found a plausible explanation for the Millennium Falcon's (making) the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

"The Garden," too, was nice. It's good to see a story about Princess Leia alone. She doesn't get very much solo exposure. (This is not to be confused with Solo exposure.) I'm a little unsure about her smiling "like a Cheshire cat" (I wasn't aware that they had a Lewis Carroll in this universe). I'm also a little leery of Han's talking about "one fell swoop" in "Kessel Run," but that phrase is so common nowadays that I suspect the author may not even have known that it comes from Macbeth originally.

Lastly we come to "Foreshadows." Gods, what a story! It was very considerate of you, you know, to put this one last and give the rest of us a chance to be appreciated before the reader was totally blown away. "Foreshadows" is, of course, one of those stories that is theoretically invalidated by Empire, but in this case the writing is so good that you don't care, Even pre-Empire, I might have had reason to dislike it because of the idea of Luke's being a clone, which appeals about as much to me as it did to him: kind of steps on my toes, so to speak. However, Paula Block and Judi Hendricks can, seemingly, stomp all over your feet and make you love every minute of it. [20]

After reading the loc's in SKYWALKER #4, I thought I'd better jump in and defend myself! Dyane Kirkland, a person I know very well, is alive and well, and a completely separate entity from Maggie Nowakowska/Pam Kowalski. I can prove it to you by the fact that Pam/Maggie lives in apartment 202 and Dyane lives in 101. If Dyane and Maggie/Pam were not two separate people, they wouldn't live in two separate apartments in this town where the rents are so high.

The reason that Emme didn't come through as her usual self in "Nothin" Left to Lose" is that Dyane didn't have anything to do with the writing of the character in that story. (Contrary to popular opinion, Maggie and Dyane do not collaborate on SW stories, they work separate stories around a firm timeframe.) The only Kirkland/ Nowakowska collaboration was to have been SKY #5, "The Battle for Rynan." For reasons that bridge sublime and ridiculous, the collaboration is off and Nowakowska will do "The Battle for Rynan" solo (pardon the pun).

As for a ThousandMorlds Collected, do you suppose then we could get some of Emme's background in? For those who don't know it, editorial preference dictated that I start Emme's story in the middle, which is why a lot of people are frustrated at trying to decipher the galactic runaway/ beady dancer turned Jedi knight (sort of). The story of her flight from Halkin was where I really wanted to start, and her meeting Darth just after the Death Star Oh well. Such is a writer's life.

Before any rumors get started as to why I am not working on "The Battle for Rynan," I can only say that my interest in SW fiction is waning in favor of pro submissions (the law of averages has to catch up soon, or I'll be able to paper my bathroom, hall, and bedroom with rejection slips) and I find the infinite detail in writing such a tightly organized universe as TW quite difficult to do around my other commitments. Maggie, on the other hand, has both the tenacity and the mind for infinitesimal detail that I lack. I leave the novel in her competent hands, and will return unopened any hate mail I receive from my (untimely, too untimely, finally) exit from the TW universe. Satlnka Istari is alive and well and writing columns for ELAN VITAL. [23]

My copy of SKY 4 was lent to a mundane friend who lent it to her mother who lent it to her aunt who lent it to her sister, finally coming home to roost last week so I can finally ensconce it before my very eyes and write you a LOC — as if the fact that it has been held captive by eager mundanes for months is not proof alone of its literary merit! Much as I desperately missed the usual ThousandWorlds feature, the issue just about made up for the absence with equally fine material by the Chicago contingent of Block, Hendricks, and Paciello, with the rest of the zine adding a nice variety of lighter material. And the overall artwork was the best yet. Although Gallacci's bacover was a bit sketchy and faintly printed (and I wasn't clear on its significance: a modified X-wing facing off with a space slug?), his front cover more than compensated with SW sketchbook-like technical quality. The unidentified figure and the transport ship somehow evoke, by the figure's stance, a longing and readiness for free flight and adventure. Is this the artist who's doing the hardware illos for "Counterpoint"? If so, he seems eminently suited.

Purdy's droid article Is a well-researched bit of exploration into the artificial Intelligences that populate George Lucas's universe. Those lowly metal characters are often ignored or belittled for their roles in SW (especially 3P0} yet they perform many valuable psychological as well as mechanical functions for the SW saga was originally conceived to be seen through their photoreceptors. Indeed, they are the only SW characters, according to Anthony Daniels (as mentioned in a speech at Southern Con, July I960) who will survive through all nine SW films spanning as much as 80-100 years in the SW galaxy. According to Tony, 3P0, at the tine of TESB, is nearly 600 years old! For an interesting and contrasting view of droids, read no Androids Dream of Electric-Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, the basis of Harrison Ford's next movie, "Bladerunner."

I guess if the weakest contribution were to be cited, my mundane friends and I agreed that it would have to be "The Flight of the Shimmerbird." The non-fen were unimpressed by the weak plot line and general lack of sf/SW trappings, while 1 was disappointed in the poor characterizations, dialog, and overly simplistic art. The latter has the right idea in that scenes were recognizable, and economy of line is no sin, but the tiny figures and gaping undefined white backgrounds lend the pictures an unbalanced, rough sketch look. As for the writing, Luke, Leia and Han sound like 12 year olds; the betting scene was overdone (Dagobah? Is this before TESB? How did Luke or anyone else know about it when the planet doesn't even register on R2's sensors in TESB? If it is post-TESB, why is Han there? If it is post ROTJ, or after an unspecified rescue of Solo, I somehow doubt the princess and pirate would be at each other's throats still - unless to neck. See the plot holes in just one line?)

Leia's calling Luke and Han "you guys" is scarcely acceptable into her usual more formal speech pattern, in addition to being far too middle American slang-ish. Han clowning (which he never does in SW or TESB.) with Leia on the ship is ludicrous, as are the mostly juvenile reactions among the characters, sounding more like a Popeye cartoon or "Sesame Street" than the young-but-nearly mature, young-but-extremely-mature, and mature-but-simplistic true natures of Luke, Leia, and Han in SW and TES8. Han being struck by a blaster bolt that "nearly cut right through him," up and running shortly thereafter, cured by Luke's Jedi power is even more ridiculous.... At least the droids were portrayed well. "Shimmerbird" isn't a bad story, it just seems childish In comparison with all the other more polished contents.

As deep and finely crafted as the aforementioned is superficial, Angela-Marie Varesano's "Night Vigil Cycle" is a thoughtful selection of verses beautifully soul-searching, defining the inner doubts and strengths of Kenobi and his relationship and attitude to the Force. Angela's illustrations are equally lovely, especially the first, heavily shadowed, bowed figure against night stars. You can actually see the weight of his ponderings in his face and the burdened inclination of the head.

I don't generally subscribe to the notion of Luke living with a large family in his youth, but there is no absolute proof to the contrary in SW or TESB. Regardless, Mularski's "Desert Seed" series of stories is expertly woven enough to make the background for Luke thoroughly plausible and an interesting study of family relationships. As much care is taken with Carol's invented characters of the Lars children as with the characters of Luke, Kenobi, and the short-lived but worthy secondary SW characters Beru and Owen. The intertwining of the destinies of the different family members is meticulously and believably engineered with my personal favorite being the confrontation between Luke and Wynn aboard the Death Star. It not only highlights Luke's maturation and has the most tangibly charged atmosphere of any scene, but it puts a whole new light on the Imperials, who always tend to come off like inhuman monsters in most stories. As in any war, each soldier is a mother's son with his own honor and motivations, no matter which ideology he represents. Kowalski's accompanying art is, as usual, simple but enviably executed with a nice balance of figures and background, light and shadow (the latter being one of her fortes). Baby Luke and Kaili reaching for the lightsaber in the first illo are just adorable with their wide-eyed, innocent faces. A lot of research went into that authentic depiction of the Lars home, too; every little detail there from the ceiling murals to the computer terminals. The brooding face of Wynn in the "Old Friends" section is particularly haunting.

A couple of the digs in "X-Wing Autumn" flew right past me but it is still a very funny take-off on not only the two films in question but pretentious reviews in general. Mullins' and Browne's poster page is equally diverting and very professional looking. The souped-up X-wing is incredible! Only one thing missing - the "hot rod" in question really ought to be in color', specifically candy-apple red! ((I agree - but do you have any idea how much extra it would have cost to do that one page in color, even one color? Bev))

"What Dreams May Come" rates a 50/50 from this critic. The basic plot and initial scene are certainly suspenseful enough and the characterizations and dialog right, but a few details bothered me (like the fact that Luke would initially be surprised at Leia's unfortunate state - he who has the Force to go into her mind should have perhaps sensed her distress when her danger occurred. We know from TESB that Luke can and does sense pain of those with whom he is close) and the Tatooine sequences are, for me, rather slowing to the narrative... Han seems to be a comparatively useless window-dressing for the episode, considering the meager opportunity he is given to react in the situation. The Force-field around Luke and Leia during the trance seemed a bit extreme. If the Force generated such defenses around Jedi...then lightsabers would be rather impractical weapons, being energy beams too that would probably be stopped by such a field. I did like the way Purely voided Leia dreaming a vision identical to Luke's, Tatooine being a planet not likely to be one with which she would be intimately acquainted. Gee haven's beautifully executed drawings leave my eyes dazzled by the intricacy and detail of her style - the lovely backgrounds and the draping of the garments - although the figures and faces are a bit too stylized in their poses and bland in facial expression. The medieval, ornate helm on Luke's father bothered me, too... and the bejeweling Leia, on a mission or in sickbay, is just plain silly. So far the only fancy duds the lady trotted out were for the throne room sequence in SW. The Kenobi in the final illo is really quite fine, though.

Even if I hadn't had the distinct pleasure of illustrating it, Jackie's "Kessel Run" would still be my favorite story in this issue. I heard the germs of Jackie's imagination when she and Paula Block told me about a photo in one of their Chicago newspapers of a barge and its captain who got stuck in the ice and snow in the middle of the lake during a particularly violent winter storm. My illo of Chewie atop the Falcon de-icing the sensor dish : directly influenced by the unfortunate guy in Chicago. "Kessel" has it all: exciting, truly cliff-hanging (even literally) plot; strong characterizations, especially of Han and Chewie, each balancing the other's faults and talents...; and replete with all those little touches of sf and SW hardware, jargon, and ambience that round the story out, just as the equally fleshed out secondary characters... And as if that weren't enough, Jackie tosses in an explanation of Corellians never getting lost and how "12 parsec" line crept into SW. Notice the unintentional but uncanny foreshadowing of TESB? The ice planet, recovering a nearly frozen SW hero, a gas nebula (Atul) such as the one seen at the end of TESB, and the idea of thawing out poor Han (hope it's that easy in ROTJ!). The Fan Q nomination was richly deserved for this piece, which could easily be considered as professional constructed as Brian Daley's Han Solo series.

Dot Sasscer's "Garden" had a novel twist, for I think most of us always assumed Leia was part of the Alliance since very birth. To have the later dedicated princess arguing for love and personal relationships against Dale's commitment against the Empire is an ironic mirror reflection of Leia's future contention with Han. It also puts the princess in a very human, poignant light. The contrasting scenes of the gentle, lush garden and the foreboding confrontation with Tarkin are equally well treated with the flower and garden imagery neatly tying together the past and present and unifying the series of vignettes. Dot's opening illo perfectly sets the musing tone of the piece.

[See this fan's comments on Foreshadows.] [20]

SKY 4 is well printed, well illustrated, and well written.

I want to make my feelings clear at the onset, because -- going through my comments on the zine -- I realize that most of them are negative. This is certainly not meant to be any reflection on the quality of the zine; an index of its quality, rather, in that it provided me with so much to think about.

The art in "Flight of the Shimmerbird" is fairly primitive, though. I trust we will continue to see improvement in Dave McGrew's style. The POV seemed inconsistant and the language was sloppy; the phrase "Luke achieved the pillar" makes it sound like some esoteric yoga position or an erotic metaphor, and I don't think that was the author's intention. That was trying too hard for a mythic tone, I think. On the other hand the quest landscape is convincingly evoked, and a good portion of the manuscript is fine basic fantasy - it reminded me of the voyage/landing at Krothering Side in E. R. Eddison's The Vlorm Ouroubourous. Unfortunately, the sudden appearance of the enemy destroyed much of the magical fantasy feeling for me, and surely they would have destroyed the ship itself - not merely its captain - to prevent Luke's party from returning to civilization. For purposes of satisfying the quoted prophecy the Shimmerbird should have been destroyed - or spontaneously self-destructed? - at the end of their journey, not merely sold off. Was the escape sequence written before Mount St. Helen's had her little fit? The footnote (with asterisk) on page 35 confused me because I couldn't find any corresponding asterisk within the body of the poem. On the other hand, it was rather late at night.

"Desert Seed": I much enjoyed clear delineation of all those sibs. I also especially appreciated the characterization of Owen Lars; finally someone who will let him be more than what the adolescent Luke thinks of him'. I wish more people would realize or remember how unfairly we may judge our parents - adoptive or otherwise - before we've left the parental nest.

The illustration on page 70 was especially nice. The dispersal of the family as an illustration of how the war affects various people, for whom we come to care, is a very effective device. And the entire theme of siblings going off in their own different directions as well. Families are, after all, composed of sets of individuals. The way the story was told was a bit confusing - easily-confused roe would have also appreciated being told how many years each event was before our common point of reference, Star Wars - but it was interesting nonetheless.

"What Dreams May Come" struck me as a richly descriptive but random and apparently pointless "get" of sorts. The writing is nice, but since there's no real reason for the piece it leaves me puzzled instead of moved. All right, Leia got caught in the proverbial plot complication (or plot justification, in this case) and retreated. Luke went 'in' after her, Han was worried but couldn't intervene; they both came back out with the aid (internally or externally supplied, it isn't clear) of various parental figures. What difference does it all make?

Consciousness can be forced; electrical stimulation to the brainstem will frequently do it, for example. If the Imperial forces' mastery of torture is anything like it's cracked up to be they wouldn't have allowed Leia's 'escape' by withdrawal. I don't buy it. The set-up is superficial and incredible, and I don't see where Margaret meant to accomplish anything hut some pretty words. I'm not unromantic by nature; perhaps it's Han's interventions that prevent me from responding to her evocation of the magical quest. Breaks the mood, perhaps.

Jackie's "Kessel Run" represents an ingenious "save" for Han and George alike, and I enjoyed her solution to making the Kessel f!un. I thought that the trundling-through-the-snow section went on a bit long, but it made excellent reading for this past winter, all the same. I also question Chewie putting Han in apparently warm water. I was taught that doing so would force thawing from the outside more rapidly than advisable, and result in greater cellular damage than relying on restoration of circulation. Circulating water of the same temperature as the afflicted part works much better, as long as you monitor it to bring the water temp up as body temp rises in the damaged member. "In The Garden" brings me back to something I mentioned above as bothering me slightly in "What Dreams May Come." Leia's thought: "She could hold up under Tarkin's questioning; she wasn't worried about that," makes me think. It's something a lot of Star Wars writers have given protagonists in general and Leia in particular: relative Immunity from torture, usually ascribed to, yes, Jedi training or techniques. It's understandable that one would wish to deny a heroine's vulnerability to the torment betrayal of trust would add to agony, but I'm not sure it's such a good idea, really. Emphasis on the value of Jedi training against interrogation does several things besides protect, well, Leia, in this instance from fear of betraying secrets. It diminishes the menace of the enemy, if they can only kill her. It diminishes the value of the dead in her cause, since they die against a diminished enemy. And it diminishes her own courage, if all they can do to her is kill her. To a certain extent it disparages the courage of all those who, unprotected by Jedi training, do break under torture.

Someone mentioned in a letter to me recently the relative scarcity of evil - as opposed to mere badness - in SW fan fiction. It seems to me that to give our protagonists such an easy "out", guaranteeing them death with honor, even under the worst of all possible circumstances, denies or disregards the true evil of the Imperial enemy. "You can take my life, but not my humanity..." Isn't it a much more desperate enterprise, calling for more true heroism, if your enemy can take your humanity from you?

There's something else, too. It's a tradition that silence under torture is a mark of heroism and moral strength; who has any respect (pity or no) for the poor man/woman who ends up talking? In light of human ingenuity - to say nothing of what a more technologically advanced society might be capable of - this cliche needs revising, reassessment, surely. I remember once being told that "human intelligence" was a simple question of mind over matter "I don't mind and you don't matter." I had no reason to to doubt the sense of this assertion at the time, and it still seems fairly reasonable to me. I suggest that suicide devices, or sub-vocalized self-destruct mechanisms, are a more safe and humane solution to the problem of how to resist interrogation, though of course that means we don't get to write any more interesting scenes of people valiantly resisting dreadful (and detailed) torture. I shan't miss 'em. As to the famous Death Star torture scene, I suggest we consider that Leia knew her physical limits, and had not yet reached them. I enjoyed Dot Saccer's vignette, especially her ideas on Leia's previous acquaintance with Tarkin. The fact that Luke takes her father's place in comforting her is interesting in light of the rather fraternal gesture of affection between them that ends The Empire Strikes Back.

"Foreshadows" really irritated me right out my bedsack. It's so well written that its flaws are that much more difficult to overlook. [See more of this fan's comments about Foreshadows.] [24]

Issue 5

Skywalker 5 was published in October 1983 and has 256 pages. (NOTE: It was published AFTER "Skywalker #6.) Edited by Bev Clark with a cover by Jay Mullins. The interior art is by Steve Gallacci, Pam Kowalski, Jay Mullins, Martyann, and Nancy Stasulis.

cover of issue #5, Jay Mullins artist

It consists primarily of the "ThousandWorlds" novel "Counterpoint: The Battle for Rynan" by Maggie Nowakowska.

Issue #5 of Skywalker was reprinted as ThousandWorlds Collected Issue #3, and a sample of the interior can be seen there.

From an October 1981 zine: "Skywalker 5, as many people have probably guessed, 1s running seriously behind schedule for a variety of reasons, not least being the work schedules of Maggie Kowakowska and myself (Skywalker 5 consists entirely of a novel by Maggie, by the way) and the recent loss of a volunteer typist. I don't see any way at the moment that the zine will be ready before late winter [1981]: as of today, the first draft of the novel isn't finished. I am working on it! It will see the light eventually, however. If anyone has a soft spot in her head heart and a Selectric or Selectric-like typewriter with a Prestige Pica typeball (and Courier Italic), I would really appreciate some typing help. You will have the satisfaction of getting to read part of Maggie's novel first, not to mention of helping to get Skywalker 5 out earlier, and you'll also get a comp copy of Skywalker 5." [25]

From a July 1982 flyer: "SKYWALKER 5, though delayed by Forces beyond our control, is in progress, though there is no firm publication date yet. It will consist of Maggie Nowakowska's ThousandWorlds novel COUNTERPOINT: THE BATTLE FOR RYNAN, the sequel to "The Last Flight of the Millennium Falcon" and "Nothin' Left to Lose." Art is by Martynn, Pam Kowalski, Steve Gallacci, and Jay Mullins."

  • Le Sabre, Editorial by Bev Clark (dated October 1983) (ii)
  • Author's Note: ... and then I dropped the garbage can on my toe, by Maggie Nowakowska (dated summer 1983) (iii)
  • 13 Letters of Comment for "Skywalker" #6 (iv)
  • Corellian Rendezvous, filk to the tune of "Lannigan's Ball," by Susan Matthews (ThousandWorlds Universe) (xiii)
  • Mea Culpa (The editor: "I must admit to a mistake here; when I typed Carol's story, "Desert Seeds," for SKYWALKER 4, I inadvertently left out a couple of scenes at the end of Part II, scenes that were important for the character development of Owen Lars. Carol was understandably upset, and I told her I would insert the two missing scenes into SKYWALKER 5, along with proffering abject apologies. Following are the two scenes; they are the final scenes of Part II, just after the Lars have discovered that Kaili is gone.") (xv)
  • Counterpoint: The Battle for Rynan" by Maggie Nowakowska (the sequel to the "The Last flight of Millennium Falcon' and "Nothing Left to Lose") (From the zine: "Please. If you have never read any of the ThousandWorld Chronicles: COUNTERPOINT: The Battle for Rynan is based on the universe presented by George Lucas in star wars. Episode 4: A New Hope, and only that episode. Subsequent plot and character/relationship developments of the STAR WARS universe in Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back and Episode 6: Return of the Jedi, do not apply. No difference between the TW universe and the official SW universe is meant to be taken as critical commentary on the universe Mr. Lucas has created.") (1-255)
  • The Battle for Rynan, filk to the tune of The Baron of Brakely, Childe No 203," by Geialev (3)
  • a two-page cast of characters (4)
  • In the Name of the Profit, filk to the tune of "The Vagabond King," by Susan Matthews ("Because everyone KNOWS Han Solo and Francois Villon were second cousins once removed.") (256)
  • compiled list of the ThousandWorlds fiction in other zines (257)
  • a full-page bid for Worldcon 1989 to be in New York City (258)
  • several pages of ads for other zines

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

I've always been an admirer, rather than a fan, of Maggle Nowakowska's ThousandWorlds stories. Until COUNTERPOINT.

I trust everyone grasps the subtle difference between "admirer" and "fan". Most fans would agree that Nowakowska is a fine writer, ensconced firmly among the four or five fan writers In existence who really understand their craft. Her multi-layered, fully realized plot lines present a striking contrast to the character-in-angst vignettes that fill most fanzines. But in the past my admiration was tempered with a number of reservations. Her stories tended to bog down in their own socio-political backgrounds. The action kept grinding to a halt to allow the insertion of a lecture. And her characters seemed to me considerably less important than their Nowakowska's worlds, the people took second place to the political moral of the stories. Not everyone, perhaps, would perceive this as a fault, but to me, character should be the central point around which a story revolves. The character is the story. And it seemed to me that this is where Maggie always fell short. COUNTERPOINT laid these reservations in the grave. Nowakowska has taken a giant step forward in her craft and, in the process, has written a piece of fiction that few other SWARS writers could touch.

This is a l-ooo-nnn-ggg novel, weaving together all the threads touched upon in other ThousandWorlds stories. And it has a cast of characters that would do a Russian novel justice. Just juggling all those plotlines and characters is a task I wouldn't care even to contemplate. But Nowakowska does even better. For the first time (at least, to my mind) she doesn't just write characters, she writes people. And she lets her moral points and socio political backgrounds reveal themselves as a good fiction writer should through people you can care about. Not all those people are "main" SW characters, a fact that may subtract from the reading pleasure of those who are only interested in Han, Luke, Leia or Darth. But even those fans should give COUNTERPOINT a try. Because it's these other characters that make COUNTERPOINT a delight.

The best, to my mind, are her created characters… these came to be the people I cared about the most. The Drake, for example, is an absolute delight, as is his lady Senator Faeter. In the youth-oriented pages of fan fiction. It's nice to see one writer who doesn't believe that everyone over 35 is dead from the neck down (if you take my meaning). Fascinating in a different way is the newspeak, Iain Avairly, who first showed up in "No Guarantees". Her handling of this character shows a deep understanding of the subtle moral choices that life offers.

Nowakowska also does the minor Saga characters justice — particularly Jan Dodonna. No one has ever done quite so good a job of bringing the bearded general of ANH to sympathetic life. He's likable but fallible.. .and without doubt, a military leader. Interestingly enough, (since this series is based solely on ANH, having been begun long before TESB), she uses some of the minor characters from TESB, such as Veers, Piett, Ozzel, and Rleekan, all to good effect. Lando, however, remains in the outer darkness.

All this is not to say she neglects the main characters. Han, in particular, is well drawn. His gradual growing up process vividly demonstrated, especially In the climactic scene where he sees where the "freedom" of his life-style is heading. I've had trouble with Maggie's Han characterization (a personal preference, rather than a true quibble), but I have no problems with the COUNTERPOINT Han at all. Ironically, this welter of well-drawn characters is part and parcel of what I consider the novel1s only Important flaw: It's too diffuse. To my mind, novels should Ideally have one or two central characters which the rest of the action revolves around,..other characters are Important to a 'bin' novel, like Nowakowska's, but they should take somewhat of a back seat. Readers need that point of identification, someone to empathize with, to see the action through. It would be difficult to name one or two or even three main characters in COUNTERPOINT. An equal weight is placed on almost all the characters. In a way that's bound to reduce the emotional impact.

Another complaint I've heard about COUNTERPOINT is one I don't share, but I do feel I should point it out: This is not the final "wrap-up" of the Thousand Worlds series. It may be the last story, but there are clearly loose ends, and Nowakowska doesn't even pretend to wrap up the war. I can't say it bothers me. Lucas left a few loose ends of his own In ROTJ, and, at any rate, it would have taken something the length of the whole SW trilogy to wrap up the loose ends of the threads Nowakowska's been weaving. It does bring the major action of the novel itself to a conclusion and, for me, that's adequate.

COUNTERPOINT is a novel that's well worth reading on Its own terms, not as a SW story or even as a continuation of ThousandWorlds. It's well-written, it's engrossing, and it's written about characters that one comes to care about. To my mind, that's about all you can ask for from a novel, whether fan or pro.[26]

I have always been impressed at the strong sense of cohesion, of tight internal logic and integrity, and strong believability within the THOUSANDWORLDS series. It is a sophisticated, whole universe unto itself with its own established alien flavor and distinctive character. That is not easy to do but Maggie Nowakowska (and her former collaborator, Dyane Kirkland) have succeeded in achieving it and I can only envy their ability. They should seriously consider trying pro fiction, if they haven't already done so. But, as with many other series fanfiction, each story in the TW universe is not always a complete entity unto itself. The problems of series fanfiction are very troublesome to the reader and I wish there was some uniform way to solve them. The only- recommendations I can make to editors and writers are to try very hard to make each story intelligible unto itself, to publish stories in as few different zines as possible, and to provide adequate, concise explanations before each story. Sincere attempts at these suggestions not only benefit the reader, but also the writer in helping to broaden and maintain her audience.

SKY #5 contains a lettered, a short "Desert Seed* vignette by Carol Mularski and, principally, Maggie Nowakowska's COUNTERPOINT: THE BATTLE FOR RYNAN. It is a sprawling, expansive , close to 300 page novel that often intrigues and amuses, occasionally annoys, sometimes bores, but always exercises your brain. It's a fascinating, colorful, three-dimensional It is a difficult story to recapitulate because there is simply so much in it. Little of it is actually a battle. Rather, most of it concerns the events leading up to the battle for Rynan, a crucial, "neutral" planet with rebel sympathies which houses the all-important Academy, the galactic school that instructs pilots of all species and affiliations. The Alliance is ensconced on the planet Osia, engaged in reviving the Jedi (Luke and his Enclave), political maneuverings (Leia and other senators' negotiations with potential allies offworld), and dealings with Han Solo and his burgeoning smuggler Coalition. The Imperials, meanwhile, are busy making moves to control Rynan, and Darth Vader is preoccupied with planning an eventual overthrow of the Emperor, with him and his sithian Legions in control (as they were centuries before). He is also obsessed with learning ancient powers even the old Jedi were unaware of in his bid for mastery over the preternatural as well as the physical universe. He is no friend to either the Empire or the Alliance, despite the fact that he secretly aides the Alliance in small ways. I have to commend Maggie for her portrayal of Vader and the Sith as the real threat to either side. Vader is no submissive pawn here; he is defiant, arrogant, powerful and extremely intelligent.

What Maggie has attempted is quite impressive—the complex character of a revolution, with its intricate alliances, contradictory sympathies and conflicts, its failures and successes, its nobility and perfidy, and its complicated personal motivations, emotions and interactions between and among the people involved. A revolution is never a monolithic thing, and Maggie has done a fine job to demonstrate this. The difficulty lies in the number Of people and concerned parties she introduces into the story. I think Maggie has tried to do too much here. There are close to 100 characters, and while Maggie has an engaging ability to establish a certain character's demeanor and mind-set in a few short superficial paragraphs (much like Stephen King), they are largely superficial characterizations only. Just a few are memorable. Even a faithful .reader of the TW series may have a hard time understanding what's going on in several scenes, since Maggie often tries to explain coherently what is taking place in a particular scene with certain individuals. With this number of characters, their delineations must necessarily be incidental to the story's main thrust. Otherwise, this would be a much longer story. The basic problem here is that Maggie's writing often becomes too intricate and convoluted. There are frequently quick, broken up, clipped lines of dialogue—which sometimes appear to go into needless tangents—between 3, 4 or more characters. Sometimes it's difficult to know just who is talking. The frequent lack of lucidity in the narrative and the dialogue, coupled with unclear references to what I assume are pre-established facts in the TW universe, wears on the reader's brain in an unconstructive way that merely serves to confuse and annoy. Occasionally, too, her language becomes just too overwhelming. I offer the following example. The line appears in a scene with an alien Jedi of Luke's enclave: "The day long past unrolled for Stev-terine in detail recorded in memories beyond common access." Such phraseology exists throughout the story and the reader shouldn't make him_ or herself too crazy in trying to understand the more undecipherable of them. The best thing to do is just continue reading because, despite these problems, RYNAN is fine entertainment, and there are equally numerous examples where Maggie's language is very clear, powerful, and unpretentious. She is extremely literate. Her writing is always active, even in the quietest, expositive and introspective of scenes...

[much snipped]

Maggie's description of Leia as a hero coincides with my own feelings about the senator so I can't help but approve. There are a few paragraphs worth of excellent description of Leia's leadership abilities on p. 105 that should be engraved somewhere for all SW fen and pro writers. Leia's political acumen and activity are presented in very competent scenes, with intelligence and sensitivity. However, throughout the story there is a rather irritating condescension toward Leia. She is constantly referred to as a 'girl.' There are patronizing lines like "Mighty high temper on that one" and "Han had one special sigh for her alone* that reflect on a real problem throughout RYNAN. I was expecting somewhere the use of the word "feisty" any moment while reading. Then there's the notion of a conflict between "the woman" and "the senator" or "the rebel." Why is it that there's some sort of barrier separating "womanness" from occupation? He never hear of a conflict between "maleness* and being a politician or an executive or an astronaut. This is an outmoded notion that needs to be expunged from all our fiction. Maggie also injects Leia's supposed incapability to be a mother and a rebel at the same time into the story, which is not altogether true in reality. Children are often a part of rebellions and many women rebels do not stop having babies. Certainly there _is_ a dilemma for a woman in such a situation, but like all conflicts, it is not absolute. There's a lot of sexism in this universe, what with Corellian saloon singers leaving the political decisions to the men, and Han's incongruous use of the word "babe." The only two important Imperial woman are either stupid or totally non-distinct. Leia spends a lot of her time commiserating over the tragedy of being a rebel which the men do little of. And Chewie has two wives whom we never see anything of except in passing when it's mentioned he has to protect them. The ending of the story could have been more positive and conclusive but I should remember this is a continuing series. Still, I did so want a final scene with the Big Three.

As for the art, it is excellent. My favorites are Kowalski's illos with their strongly distinctive faces. Jim Hullins' rough and dark illos are striking in their depth and their uncommon thickness and blending of background. Many fan artists draw illos with absolutely no backgrounds or with backgrounds that don't seem to fit well with the illo's focus. Mullins has a wonderful illo of Cergaelugos the Whill (one of Maggie's finer creations) who looks suspiciously like George Lucas. Nancy Stasulis" art is very much like Kowalski's in that it captures the essence and flavor of the TW universe. The only illo of hers I question is her interpretation of the elderly female Senator, Faeter. Jim Mullins has an illo of the same character which is more convincing. And Martynn's illos are, as usual, lovely. Her best illo here is probably on p. 193, and not just because of the nude Han (although that's definitely an added plus, though I think Martynn was a little too conservative when she drew Han's butt). It is a full, complete illo, with good depth and thickness of background. All the illos are reproduced beautifully. I quarrel with the missed opportunities, however. Why not some illos of the Imperials, of Han's triumphant welcome to Rynan after the first battle, and of Luke and Leia in a warm embrace like the gorgeous one of Han and Bethen by Kowalski?

This is the last issue of SKYWALKER that Bev Clark will edit, an event all SW fans should regret. Clark is one of the best editors (as well as one of the most intelligent and sensitive writers) in fandom. I hate to see her leave any production. She's done an excellent job with SKYWALKER and #5 is her best. It is beautifully and lovingly produced. Despite my criticisms, THE BATTLE FOR RYNAN is a truly fine story, an incredible adventure tale with some very learned messages and generally powerful writing. I think every SW fan should have it in her collection.[27]

A number of authors have decided to ignore the events of Jedi and to continue their own alternate universes. Maggie Nowakowska's long-awaited novel Counterpoint: Battle for Rynan (Skywalker 5) is a complex alternate to both Empire and Jedi. Intricately plotted, the novel attempts to people the SW galaxy with believable races and politics. Nowakowska develops a coherent view of the Force with Luke Skywalker as its ever-maturing and burdened leader. What sets this novel apart from most SW stories is its fully-realized picture of galactic politics and cultures. Although many authors have taken on this theme, Nowakowska's treatment is one of the most complete. [28]

Issue 6

front cover of issue #6
back cover of issue #6
a 1982 flyer for issue #6, published in Antithesis #19 -- flyer says the zine was to have been completed and available in August 1982
a 1983 flyer for issue #6, published in Pegasus #6

Skywalker 6 published in 1983 and is 140 pages long. (NOTE: It was published BEFORE "Skywalker #5.) It was edited by Barbara Green Deer.

The art is by Wandy Lybarger (front cover), Darlene Coltrain, Anne Davenport, Mary Soderstrom (back cover), Rich Arnold, Carol Davis, Carol McPherson, Marj Ihssen, Scott Rosema, Stefanie Hawks, Jean C., Eluki bes Shahar, Pam Kowalski, Jenni Hennig, and J.R. Dunster.

The editor says: "I couldn't have done it without Wanda Lybarger (a real trooper), Jody Nye (the final proofreader, when I couldn't bear to look at it again!), [Jean C] (for leaping into the breach with marvelous art... and for Judson), Carol Mularski (for a shoulder to cry on), Kendra Hunter (for the S&H tapes which kept me sane while doing this), and Corky and Pat (for never snickering a the weird stuff I brought in to reduce)."

The editor says that LOCS for this issue were to appear in "Skywalker #5."

  • Submission Requirements by Barbara Green Deer (2)
  • No, There is Another... Editor (editorial) (4)
  • Lots of Comments, LOCs received for Skywalker #4 (6)
  • Sequence 2049-6-008, poem by Carol McPherson (17)
  • Thoughts While Dressing for Dinner, vignette by Pat Nussman (reprinted in You Could Use a Good Kiss #1) (18)
  • Meditation on a Lady, vignette, by Pat Nussman (reprinted in You Could Use a Good Kiss #1) (20)
  • Choice, fiction by Wanda Lybarger ("The Alliance security chief has been murdered. Can the rebels trust Han? After all, they've only known him for a few days.") (The sequel to this story is "Carol for a Lonely Night" in Flip of a Coin #7.) (22)
  • In The Still of the Night, poem by Linda Knights ("Even Rebellions have their quiet times. A sleepless Luke and Leia try to come to terms of what they've each found... and lost.") (48)
  • Nightmare, comix by Richard "Space" Arnold (50)
  • The Reluctant Jedi, fiction by Susan Sizemore ("The Rebellion has many enemies ... and one person fighting on it's [sic] side it doesn't even know about.") (56)
  • "A Corellian Trilogy from the ThousandWorlds Chronicles", filks by Maggie Nowkowska, musical transcription by Lee Reynolds, page design and layout by Pam Kowalski (one of them is "Another View of Life" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-11-21., the other two are "Dev's Song" and "Corellian Rendezvous") (67)
  • File No 15-760-42A, vignette by Jody Lynn Nye ("Another look at that Mos Eisley cantina, through the eyes of a researcher for The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.") (70)
  • Hellflower, fiction by eluki bes shahar (72)
  • Caveat, poem by Deborah June Laymon (86)
  • Rites, vignette by Deborah June Laymon Sizemore (88)
  • Return by Chris Callahan ("Thawing only makes it easier for Han to see he's in deep trouble back on Tatooine. He's got Jabba's goons shooting at him outside and a war of emotions going on inside. It's enough to make a boy grateful for his mother.") (91)
  • Birthright, poem by Jean C. (101)
  • Vigil, fiction by Katie Gillen (102)
  • Great Expectations, fiction by Carol Mc Pherson ("When Han takes Luke to Lacya's for a "good time," what happens isn't quite what you'd expect.") (105)
  • The Choosing, fiction by Marcia Brin (108)
  • Fantasy's End, fiction by Carol Mularski (from the "Desert Seed Series]], "The newly formed Empire has begun to purge all record of the Jed;, but Kaili Lars , refuses to forget. Will her interest endanger her baby cousin Luke?") (110)
  • Pas De Deux, fiction by Carol Hines-Strode ("A Jedi's child is no accident. When Luke delves into his past in the databanks on Lorra, he discovers that only the force can win his freedom. But can he avoid using the Dark Side?") (126)
  • Supplemental Reading (138)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

[Pas de Deux]: While many stories keep Luke in limbo over the questions of TESB, others find him taking positive action. In "Pas de Deux" by Carol Hines-Stroede (Skywalker 6) Luke sets out to find the truth of Vader's claims, but he only learns that Vader was in the right place at the right time. Captive of a rival Dark Lord, Luke uses the relationship to escape, but concludes that who he is is the important thing, not who his father was. [29]

[In the Still of the Knight]: In Linda Knights' vignette, "In the Still of the Knight" in Skywalker 6 Luke accepts Leia's feelings for Han and confronts the truth that Vader is indeed his father, but realizes he doesn't have to make any decision at that time. [30]

[zine]: The number 'six' appears prominently on the front cover, but this issue is a first for editor Barbara Green Deer. Flawed as it is, this zine is several steps ahead of most first attempts. Offset printing of clean, double-columned written material makes both for easy reading and eye-pleasing layout. In addition to the stories and illustrations, SKYWALKER 6 contains cartoons, a comic strip, four questionably free verse poems, musical transcriptions of several SW filks and eleven pages of LoCs on previous issues. The pen-and-ink artwork by artists Lybarger, Carleton, Soderstrom, MacPherson, Hawks, and Davis, ranges from good to excellent. Unfortunately, the illustrative artwork is far superior to the quality of the literary material it accompanies. With few exceptions, the stories, six vignettes and six shorts, equally divided between Han and Luke as the protagonist, contain stimulating ideas that are abandoned before they are developed to their fullest potential-a situation both disappointing to the reader and cheating him/her out of emotional satisfaction. To work properly, a story must contain all of the following elements: characterization, plot, dialogue, conflict, setting and theme. Sadly, some of the stories in this issue lack at least one of these essentials, some many more, making the contents uneven in quality. Furthermore, the one factor that would make a reader overlook the technical flaws was also missing. That component is an emotional hook, born out of creating a sympathetic protagonist.

A notable exception is Eluki bes Shahar's "Hellflower," which, after the reader adjusts to the 'Clockwork Orange-ese', is thoroughly enjoyable. Another story commended for technical execution is "Pas de Deux" by Carol Hines-Stroede, in which Luke attempts to obtain the truth of his parentage with surprising results. Another contribution well worth reading, although flawed, is Carol Mularski's "Fantasy's End." The reader is placed into the skin of Luke's cousin, nine-year-old Kaili, a 'middle' child with a passion for anything related to the Jedi during a 'holocaust' on Tatooine caused by the invasion of the Imperial Troops. Mularski's ending is a resolution of the conflict set up within the story, but she chose a small pop instead of the supernova expected. Wanda Lybarger's story, "Choice" is an example of an excellent premise imperfectly executed. Here, the problem lies within POV, which wanders aimlessly from character to character. It is a good story, as written. It would have been stronger if told from one POV(Leia's seems to be the obvious choice). Making this one change would have tightened the plot, increased the tension further, and intensified the mystery. Marcia Brin's vignette, "The Choosing" is an excellent beginning to a novel, grabbing the reader emotionally from the first word. Unfortunately, the story stops before it has really started-an enthralling idea published before fully developed.

Another story in this issue, "The Reluctant Jedi," by Susan Sizemore also suffers from this same problem although on a different slant. Here, Boba Fett takes on surprising new dimensions as a character, leading to a worthy climax. Unfortunately, the middle of the story was not fleshed out, and motivation (part of characterization) for all characters was omitted.

SKYWALKER 6 meets the standards set by George Lucas for the fanzines. He has graciously permitted to be written in his universe. It is hoped that written permission was obtained from Douglas Adams, author of A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy before the editor of SKYWALKER printed Jody Lynn Nye's "File No. 15-760-42A." If such permission was neither asked nor granted, the vignette should not have been included. In her editorial, Barbara Green Deer states, "The people mean more than the product." This is an admirable philosophy, but it limits growth for both author and editor. Constructive criticism and insistence on a high standard of quality hones the skills of all involved. To paraphrase George Scithers (former editor, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine), a rejection (or copy editing) is only a reaction to words typed on a piece of paper-not to the person submitting that paper. Fandom can provide the best creative writing course available, if utilized properly but publishers, contributors, and readers alike. SKYWALKER 6 is worth purchasing-for the artwork, as a potential collector's item, and to watch the inevitable growth of both writers and the editor. Who knows? Some of the contributors to this issue may wind up writing for Lucasfilm some day.[31]

[zine]: SKYWALKER has been in existence since 1978 and, under the editorship of Bev Clark, and has always stood as a top-of-the-line fanzine with respect to production values and story quality. This issue is the first done under the supervision of the new editor, Barbara Green Deer, whose capable ties regarding production are evident as soon as you pick up this issue. Unfortunately, I don't believe she had the high quality of submissions that one might have wished for in a first issue. By and large, SKY 6 is merely average for fannish fiction. Actually, the issue starts out well with regard to prose contributions.

Wanda Lybarger leads off with a mystery novella, "Choice." Of all the work in SKY 6, this is far and away the best crafted in a technical sense. It is post-ANH and explores how people learn to trust one another, people being Luke, Leia and Han. It's a good basis for a story since the tendency is to assume that after ANH, those three just naturally trusted each other to the ends of the earth. In reality, it can't work like that, and Wanda's story gives depth to that trio's belief in one another. Because it was a mystery of sorts, I went over it closely to make sure that clues were dropped in full view of the reader, that any red herrings were neatly tied up, and that any plot flaws were picked up. Wanda passed with flying colors. I was very impressed by this new (to me) facet of Wanda's talent as I thought of her as an artist, not a writer. Her own illos accompany the story, a luxury not available to most writers who are likely to be dependent on a stranger's interpretations of their tale. This story was interesting and well-done. I look forward to reading more of Wanda's material. One other excellent element of Wanda's story was the pacing of the action. It was tight and certainly an example of how to do it right. "In the Still of the Night" by Linda Knights is a vignette in the true sense of the form. By definitions available to me, a vignette is a brief (500 to 1000 words) literary work, characterized by precision and delicacy of composition, usually descriptive of scene, manners or character. While not ground-breaking in its evaluation of Luke's current state of mind (post-TESB), it is nicely executed. The mood is established. I liked this piece on a technical level-it just wasn't particular moving on an emotional one.

Susan Sizemore's "The Reluctant Jedi" bothered me because I could not decide what the story was supposed to be about. I didn't know as a reader whether I was supposed to focus in on the character of Han Solo as a reluctant member of the Jedi or on the mysterious character of Boba Fett. The title would lead one to decide in favor of the Han Solo element, but Boba Fett was the more interesting of the two. I suspect from the way this was written that it is the lead in for a series of stories about the two of them having adventures around the galaxy, but it still left me as a reader without a discernible climax or transcendent point to the story. I would also think that readers may have some difficulty with Susan's characterizations: Han's behavior patterns are those of an unruly 12-year-old, and Boba Fett has no visible or concrete motivation for what he does when he takes Han off to Hero School. On the positive side, I liked the interpretation of Boba Fett as far as it went. His aloofness makes for an intriguing story element, and I would like to explore further Susan's ideas about him.

"Hellflower" by Eluki bes Shahar follows in the order of things. I must commend Eluki on her attempt to do something very difficult in her writing of this tale. "Hellflower" is written in the vernacular as Eluki imagines it would be spoken in a multi-galactic underground. Such a style is conducive to the "sense of wonder" we're all so used to hearing about. It's not an easy technique to master: the mark of success, of course, is that the eader can understand the action taking place even as she interprets the language. What irritated me about "Hellflower" was that 1 was not given all the information pertinent to -- understanding the main character's actions. Niki Khimra is, I believe, a transplanted Earth person... But nobody tells me this during the course of the story. I get a few very vague passing remarks making offhand references such as "emigrate to Bolivia" (p. 82) but nothing to flesh out my suspicions. The only information I am given outside of the story is where "Hellflower" fits into Eluki's overall chronological table as published in other fanzines. It is my personal belief that a writer should not make assumptions that a fan has read all her other maaterial.... This is not a problem only in Eluki's work. Time and again, as I find stories about a continuing character in a particular fan's writing completely losing my interest as the writer and editor make the assumption that I am familiar with all that has gone before 'in stories published in fanzines which I may or may not have read. This is fallacious reasoning and poor characterization. Will editors please beat their writers/contributors to a bloody pulp accordingly to make it clear?

The same problems exist to a lesser extent in Chris Callahan's. "Return," as it is only made clear on the last page of the story that Maeve is Han's mother and hence her motivation for rescuing the dear boy. I must say that Chris writes a wonderfully clear action sequence. My only other comment is that as far as I could see, the story made no transcendental point about Han, his character, or humankind in general. Part of what makes a story so satisfying to the reader is its ability to mean more than the words actually say. The reader must find some overall truth to the entire tale which can be applied to his own existence: otherwise, it is just pulp. "Vigil" by Katie Gillen is a nice piece. It is serious in tone and reminded me forcibly of the Arthurian overtones to the SW movies. It portrays a mature Luke, that side of him so foreign to the understanding of his friend, the man dedicated to a cause beyond himself. I really liked these two scenes.

There follows here a short story depicting Han and Luke in a brothel, "Great Expectations" by Carol MacPherson, which I suppose was to add a light touch to the overall zine content. Maybe I have no sense of humor regarding such things, but I found the joke to be an old one. Further, to be technically correct, this could not even be considered a short story as it contains no plot. It is too long to be a vignette and doesn't contain the elements mentioned previously as being characteristic of the form. This is an example of a scene posing as a short story: and for this lapse, I must hold the editor responsible. I believe that she should have recognized the weaknesses inherent in the piece and worked with the writer on overcoming the problems. "The Choosing" by Marcia Brin is a melodramatic character sketch of Han Solo. I am sure that fans of Marcia's work will enjoy this addition to her massive explorations of his inner self.

"Fantasy's End" is part of Carol Mularski's Desert Seed cycle. I enjoyed this more than I usually do Carol's stories. She has captured the relationships between siblings with a reality that is funny because it is so very true to life. Kaill fights with little brothers who are brats and older sisters who have "new" interests. Her fascination with her fantasy world of Jedi and great heroic deeds reminded me strongly of the importance I attached to my imaginary world when I was that age. And Owen and Beru are treated sympathetically: in particular Owen is not an ogre but a loving and protective father in a difficult time on a harsh world.

Lastly in SKY 6, there is "Pas de Deux" by Carol Hines-Stroede. This is a passable piece. It is a short story, dealing with Luke and his very intelligent approach to the question of his parentage. Luke is not wringing his hands here: he's actually taking action in trying to find out whether or not Vader is lying. Further, the action is logical. The fact that it leads him into trouble merely thickens the plot. Carol gets brownie points for having established an unstable situation within a story and then working it out to a realistic point. She's done some homework and uses nothing that one could not get from either the movies or novelizations of them. Here again, however, although I liked what Carol portrayed in her version of Luke, I still don't know what the story had to give me as a reader. It was pleasant but no more.

Of the other material appearing within this issue of SKY 6, there are two soliloquies for Han and Leia, written by Pat Nussman, accompanied by J.R. Dunster's usual excellent artwork. Deborah Laymon has fine poetic images in both of her poems, "Caveat" and "Rites". In particular, those stood out amongst what poetry there was. A departure from the norm also was Richard "Space" Arnold's comic, entitled "A Nightmare." It offers a breather to the standard fare of fanzines, and I do want to encourage his further employment.

It really isn't that this issue of SKYWALKER was badly done. I just cannot find in it anything in particular worth burbling about. It's a good zine by comparison with the current market. Barbara Green Deer has done her job as well as any other fan editor I can name. It's just an average fanzine.[32]

[zine]: For your first time out, an editor, you have

done a wonderful job. Please do many more issues! I also want to tell you how much I like the more equal spread of stories. That was one thing I did not like about the previous issues Skywalker was its amount of Luke stories.

I know this is a Luke-based zine but I still like to read more than one or two Han or Leia stories per issue. ((Skywalker was not conrceived as a "Luke zine, and if I had perceived it that way I would not have volunteer ed to take over the editing. Bev Clark has said she simply thought "Skywalker" was a wonderful name for a zine, and did not intend the name to imply any emphasis of one character over another. BCD))

Wanda Lybarger's "Choice" was the best of the zine. Well written, excellent characterzations, and thought provoking. Who could ask for more? I had overlooked how the Rebels would take Han's reasons for returning to save them from the Death Star. They would have come to the conclusion that he was now a Rebel heart and soul. An honest mistake to make but wrong at that time. Later in TESB I think Han has become a Rebel more or less, but please no idealistic crusades. Wanda's artwork as al ways was lovely. A great job and I hope to read more of her stories.

Chris Callahan's "Return" was nice light and enjoyable reading. I always liked the idea that Han's mom would still be around. I have never accepted the idea that he grew up as a street kid. I also like the part about him asking advice about his feelings towards Leia. A nice human touch.

Pat Nussman's poetry was lovely as always, and J. R. Dunster's artwork was just right for it. I shall be looking forward to seeing more of their work in the future also. "The Reluctant Jedi" and File N°15-760-42A"

were both fun to read. Both did give me the feeling that there should be some more to them. Not really incomplete but just some questions left unanswered.

I was so glad you had a Marcia Brin story. Her stories are always interesting reading.

"Vigil" by Katie Gillen was also a nice little story.

I have yet to read "Pas de Deux" because of the piece between Leia and Luke at the beginning. I cannot buy either of them acting that way. It will more than likely go into the group of stories I never get around to fully reading. I put "Foreshadows" into that same category. Personal taste, completely.

Please keep all the following issues as nicely mixed as this one.[33]

[zine]: When I took the zine out of the envelope, I knew that it was very well

done layout wise. A quick flip through proved I was smart to invest in this one.

My favorite story was "Pas de Deux." I think I liked it because we get to see Luke go off and do something completely on his own. He makes his own mistakes and yet he manages to make his own escape too. And in so doing, he is finally using some of that information Ben and Yoda have been giving to him for three years (or the time standard that galaxy uses). The story still leaves open the question of Luke's true paternity, yet shows he has grown in the Force, regardless of who his father may be.

My second favorite was "The Choosing," a nice, tight, well-written short story. After I read it, I thought it would be quite a jolt if Han really was "the other" after all. If so, he could have mastered the ability to block off his Force aura or nearly so to prevent Luke from picking it up. Han would have put on quite a performance with all of his "force mumbo-jumbo." But like everyone else, we must wait until May to find out. ((Well, we know now, I suspect, although this was written in October 1982 and typed in February 1983. BCD))

"Vigil" was also very good. Again, I'm glad someone believes that Luke had to have more of an inkling of what was happening between Han and Leia than the movie let on. How else could he so calmly take over the role of protector and friend to Leia at the end of TESB? I'm sure it still hurts, but apparently Luke has resigned himself to it and wants to handle it his own way.

I liked "Birthright," especially the use of Judson Scott as a possible model for Luke's father.

"Caveat" is another excellent attempt to explore Luke's inner feelings at the end of TESB. Indeed, how would it feel to "hold the universe in your hands merely to toss it all away?"

"The Reluctant Jedi" is a nice handling of a possible reason for Boba Fett's existence besides being a bounty hunter. Like Vader, to me there is much more hidden behind those masks. It may be on purpose, but for whatever reason it gives fan writers something to build on when very little about a character, especially a masked one, has been revealed.

As a final note, for your first attempt at editorship you have done very well. I don't think the quality expected from Skywalker has been diminished at all, and will only hopefully become better. If you keep up your hard work, Sky will only continue to be a top-quality zine.[33]

[zine]:I enjoyed Skywalker 6 very much. I liked Carol

Mularski's "Fantasy's End" very much. The characters were real and the situation only too likely. I found it very easy to sympathise with Kaili and I particularly enjoyed the characterizations of Owen and Beru. Very nice.

I also loved Marcia Erin's "The Choosing." I doubt it happened that way, but I rather wish it had! (being a Hanatic, you see!) Thanks for Carol Mcpherson's "Great Expectations." Hilarious! And speaking of hilarious, my boss perused the zine and if it goes missing, I'm sure it will be simply for the cartoon on page 100! ((I wish I had printed the copy of that cartoon with the big "Lucasfilm: Approved" stamp across it. That would have been even better! BGD))

Being a mystery fan as well as an sf fan, I enjoyed Wanda Lybarger's "Choice" very much. The adventure was exciting and the mystery was handled very well.

I expected everything to be on Luke or revolving around Luke, but I enjoyed the balance, being a fan of everyone in the triangle. I'll be looking forward to Skywalker 7 after ROTJ. The quality of the zine was excellent. Most of the artwork was equally good, and I really enjoyed those cartoons.[33]


I think all the stories are good and make interesting reading. I especially liked "Choice" because it shows what can happen when people jump to conclusions about other people. Also it shows how much Han has become involved with the Rebellion without realizing it. Most of all it makes Luke realize how much he actually cares for Han. Otherwise he would have let him die there in the Imperial base.

Altho' it seems that Han has taken over Skywalker 6, you have to do the best you can with what you have. I know that a lot of fans have a preference for the Corellian (I know I do) and find his character easier to write. Maybe that accounts for the rash of Han stories. [33]

[zine]: I must admit to being a bit tired of material about the Han/Leia romance — not because I have

anything against the match in itself, or don't enjoy the occasional romantic story or poem, if well done. It's just that, after nearly 2 1/2 years of it in fanzines, I'm beginning to wish for more variety of theme. Nevertheless, Pat Nussman's two prose poems, one each from Han's and Leia's points of view, were enjoy able even to my jaded tastes. One point I particularly appreciated was Leia's mullings about the Alderaani Goddess of Destiny. It's always nice to know that some fan writers don't forget that Leia came from a real planet (real in SW terms, that is) with a real culture, and that her thought patterns and feelings are bound to be colored by them. She doesn't live in a vacuum, any more than Han does- -and boy, have the fans backgrounded him!

Barb, you didn't save the best for last! Wanda Lybarger's "The Choice" is my favorite of the zine. Mystery stories are among the hardest to write (so I've been told; I have neither ideas nor courage enough to try one myself), but Wanda does a more than credible job here. The mystery was well set up and car ried through, so that the reader was always asking him/herself if Han really had murdered Nils, right through to the discovery of the real murderer. Han had motivation, opportuni ty, and almost all evidence pointed to him- -as it needed to in order to support the theme of the story. The true culprit was well inte grated into the story from the very beginning, which I particularly appreciated. I can remember reading other mysteries by fan writers of lesser skill, where the villain was sudden ly pulled in "out of the blue." That is rather unfair, and very unsatisfying to the reader. I liked the implication that Luke and Leia, as well as other Alliance members who didn't know Han so well, didn't fully trust him at first, and could believe that he might be guilty of the murder. Since Han had saved their lives, they'd want to trust him, but considering his background as outlaw, they could legitimately still have their doubts. Wanda seems to realize here that in an organi zation such as the Alliance, trust must be earned, and not by just one act of heroism. All characterizations, of Wanda's invented characters as well as the Big Three, were good. I enjoyed being shown Luke's developing con trol of the Force (naturally, being a Luke fan above all), and was glad that someone gives Luke credit for enough brains to be able to learn Chewie's language! Finally, the lit tle hints of the future romance between Han and Leia was a very nice touch. And, it's al ways nice when the author of the story can also be its illustrator—the reader is able to get much better hints of how the writer visualized the characters and action that way. It comes across especially well when the author/artist is one of Wanda's skill. Back to belly-aching: Another theme I'm weary of is Luke's agonizing over the Vader dilemma. *Sigh* Yes, I know, I wrote one too. I think three out of four fan writers must have done exactly what I did after seeing TESB for the first time—rushed home and wrote out their version of Luke's reaction to the Bad News. It's a shame that I had to read Linda Knight's "In the Still of the Night" through the fog of my present ennui with the theme. It's not fair to the writer...the vignette was well done, and I understand the value of these short character studies. The piece also does a good job of showing the quiet times that are needed by the combatants, amidst the confusion of the rebellion...a time of reflec tion necessary to sanity, certainly. I liked "The Reluctant Jedi" by Susan Sizemore. It had a rather fresh viewpoint on the Force, which I enjoyed. While reading the story, I began to call Boba Fett's philosophy the "Neutral Side of the Force"—although I suppose, as Susan brought out in the story, it had more shadows in it than sun. I've read a number of stories in which Han becomes a Jedi (no, I'm not tired of this theme yet!) and this one was one of the most believable. It had a light touch, too, that I enjoyed. Han was kept well in character, I thought, which is important in this type of story since he professes not to believe in the Force. It takes some fancy verbal footwork to turn his ideas around while still keeping him recogniz able as Han Solo. The new view of Fett was also intriguing. I thought I caught an impli cation, not followed up in this story, that he might be some relation to Kenobi? That kind of dangling hint, plus the ending where Han decided to go back with Fett for more Force training, practically begs for a sequel.

Eluki's "Hellflower": Eluki, are you sure you didn't write The Moon is a Harsh Mistress? Or did you read it just before writing this piece? Whatever—I found the style very reminiscent of Heinlein, although with touches all Eluki's own. It was entertaining and delightful. Niki is a very interesting character, a Solo-type rogue but not without doubts and faults that keep her believable. I think that, with a little rewriting, mostly to amend the references to Star Wars (very minor references) this story would have a fair chance of selling pro. There are some people who obviously are ready to try the professional writing field, and I believe that Eluki is one of them.

Very seldom do I comment on fan poetry, because very seldom do I think it is more than mediocre. But I really like Deborah Laymon's "Caveat"—without excessive wordage, it shows the great temptations Luke must be facing in the wake of TESB; what he must overcome in himself to be a true hero. That's what makes him interesting, you people who think he's a twit!

I'm not sure what to say about "Return" by Chris Callahan, since this is the first Maeve Solo story I've read. I knew the series existed, but never read any zines in which they appeared. So I think my ambivalent feelings on this piece are a result of "coming in on the middle" and probably not due to any deficiency in the writing. If I had read other stories, I'd know about Rimi (co-pilot to Maeve, right?). But as it is, I wasn't sure what she looked like, what the characteristics of her species are, what her particular idiosyncracies are, and so on. Maeve didn't become totally real to me either. Perhaps one thing Chris could have done is make the story more complete in itself, integrate into the story a little more about her invented characters, so that we "first timers" wouldn't be so confused.

[Jean C's] "Birth Right"—loved the Judson Scott illo! A neat idea to use his image as a possible way the elder Skywalker looked. (I just like Judson Scott. He deserved a better TV series than "The Phoenix.")

"Vigil" by Katie Gillen was very good. In this piece, Luke reminds me of a certain kind of people I've read about, the type who are willing (reluctantly or not) to give up all "normal" pursuits in favor of idealism. I even got the feeling from this characterization that Luke's inclinations are not unlike those of medieval mystics, giving up all to be one with a higher power. Who knows, maybe service to the citizens of the galaxy, and oneness with the Force, are going to be his destiny in "canon" SW.

Carol McPherson's "Great Expectations" was very entertaining. It's about time Luke got the best of Han in that kind of situation! Marcia Brin's "The Choosing"—I got the feeling she read Daley's books about Han, took the hints he put in the books about our Corellian's background, then came up with an interpretation of those hints that Daley probably would never think of. I don't really think Han would have come in contact with any Jedi, at least not closely, before he ran into Luke and Kenobi. Alternate explorations, infinite possibilities, are fun to think about, though.

I am in complete sympathy with the sentiments expressed in the cartoon on page 125!

I also liked "Pas de Deux" by Carol Hines-Stroede. She did a good job with Luke's characterization; his thought patterns, idiosyncracies of speech, and resourcefulness seemed just right for him. The new Sith lord was interesting too. And I enjoyed Carol's ideas on the possible nature of power plays, rivalries, and politics in the Empire. I hope to see more from Carol, developing these and other of her ideas about the SW universe.

One thing, though. Since I'm a librarian myself, I wish the librarian in "Pas de Deux" had been nicer. Librarians are some of the nicest, most helpful people in the galaxy! (This is a purely personal reaction, you understand.) Well, I suppose that passive agression is pandemic; it even affects the noble profession of librarianship. ((I should point out here that Carol H-S is herself a librarian and claims to have modeled the character in her story on a co-worker. BCD))

Must say something about Maggie Nowakowska's ThousandWorlds songs. They're excellent, as I've always found all of Maggie's poetry. They rhyme in interesting ways, not only at the end of each line, but sometimes internally too. And the rhythm always feels just right. One could dance or tap her foot to them, and when the poems are set to music, as here, they always exactly match the song' s rhythm. I appreciate the care Nowakowska takes to make her pieces perfect, and that she attempts such difficult rhyming and scanning. One does tend to get tired of prose masking as poems.

I'm almost finished, but I wanted to comment on the art as best I can. I'm no artist myself, so can't get technical. All I can say is that I didn't see a single piece of artwork in the whole zine that I thought was below "fan standards" ((whatever they are...BCD)). I'm impressed with Carol McPherson's art. It's the best I've seen from her yet. And I under stand that Mary Soderstrom is fairly new to the ranks of fandom. It's always nice to welcome a newcomer of her talents.[33]

[zine]: Gee, what can I say about a zine that's partly dedicated to me? I think that, if the zine suffers at all, it's from lack of a

"big" story, but then I know how much trouble you had finding one; it seems that those who write them are either otherwise occupied or holding off, perhaps until after ROTJ. On the other hand, the stories you did get all all good in their own right, and form a pleasantly eclectic variety. I rather like the idea, for instance, behind "Choice": a SW murder mystery, that ties directly into Han's difficulty in fitting in with the rebellion. Wanda handled the idea quite nicely, too, as far as I can tell from my limited experience with the genre. By the time the identity of the murderer was clear, it was obvious who it had to be, and I could think back myself to the crucial clue. On the other hand, she also managed to mislead at least me in one other respect: until the murder, I was quite sure that the Imperial spy was going to be Colonel Nils, and that he was goading Han because Han would be able to recognize him from a past connection or some thing. I was wrong, and I enjoyed being proved wrong, because it meant that Wanda wasn't doing the obvious thing. The only thing that struck me as a bit contrived was that Leia and Luke didn't notice immediately, or while Han was attempting to explain, that the blood beneath Nils was already beginning to congeal, which would have tended to validate Han's story immediately. Without this misunderstanding, of course, Han's next actions would have been a little difficult to justify, particu larly his flight. I applaud Wanda, though, on writing a different sort of SW story, in a fairly difficult genre, and pulling it off. Besides, it's such a nice change from all the Han-and-Leia or Luke-dealing-with-his-paternity stories. I also like her art more every time I see it: she manages to combine "action" illustrations with a good deal of accuracy in portraiture and realism in expression.

"The Reluctant Jedi" had a fascinating idea, too, in supposing that Boba Fett, while not a Jedi, might be a Force-user in his own way and for his own purposes. The main effect of the story on me was to want to know more about Fett's background and motivations—he's left somewhat mysterious—and quite frankly, to know what happens next, not so much about Han's training (he's such an obvious unconscious Force user that I don't think there's much doubt about the outcome of his training) but about whether he and Fett will actually become Jedi. Personally, I hope they don't I found Han's continued insistence that who ever learned to manipulate the Force had to be a Jedi a little wearing, and after the first conversation with Fett, hard to believe even for Han, though it certainly fits with his rejection of the Jedi and the Force in SW:ANH. However, it seemed to me in that movie that Han's rejection was of the philosophy and what he saw as the religious aspects of the Force, not necessarily to the Force per se; and he certainly had evidence in Luke of how the Force could be used. I'd have expected him, once it was clear that Fett had no more love for the formal and philosophical aspects of the Jedi than he did, to jump at the chance to become a Force user and retain his independence. Being able to manipulate the Force consciously would be a tremendous help to Han, as it's undoubtedly been to Fett. So I also found his renewed insistence at the end that the Force was intimately linked to being a Jedi, and his seeming acceptance of that fate for himself and even for Fett, somewhat unlikely. I would really like to see the Force treated in a scientific way, as something that clearly exists and can be manipulated by anyone with the proper ability and training, regard less of philosophical persuasion. Being an independent Force user without the strictures of the Jedi might, in fact, be a more difficult task ethically, and I'd like to see some one deal with that idea. Susan's set up the preliminary work for a treatment of the Force rather different from that found in most fan stories, and I hope she continues.

I have mixed feelings about "Hellflower." On the one hand, I liked the Azaeli both as a character and as a "type," and I enjoyed reading an action-adventure SW story. (The action and adventure were somewhat unbelieve- able—two people outwitting all sorts of security devices and other people, even if they were mostly bureaucrats, is extremely unbelievable, but then most adventure stories, if looked at coldly and rationally, have the same problem, so we'll let that go.) On the other hand, I didn't particularly care for the main character, and I have an irrational prejudice against most first-person stories, especially those of the cynical-adventurer type. This last, of course, is not necessarily the fault of the author; it just interfered somewhat with my enjoyment of the story. I do have one comment: on the whole the story was well written, nicely structured, and had a definitely other-worldly, alien "feel" to it—but it wasn't SW. In fact, except for a couple of passing references to Han Solo, it could stand on its own as a science fictional action-adventure story of the sort that might find publication in Isaac Asimov's on occasion, were the direct references to SW deleted, and I almost wonder why Eluki didn't eliminate those references and try for a paid market.

Carol Mularski's story continued to present the "other side" of the SW saga: its human side, that of the people and their relationships that are affected by the conflict shown in SW and TESB. That's a valuable contribution, too, especially in a fantasy—to keep in mind that these great and glorious events don't just affect the galaxy as a whole, but individual people within the galaxy. The Lars family seems extremely believable within this story, and Owen in particular is more three-dimensional than he is usually portrayed. In fact, I can see the SW Owen developing from just this man, and Beru, too, strongly resembles the woman we saw in SW:ANH. The family interrelationships seemed a little too contemporary sometimes, in the sense that they were very much 20th century American fam ily relationships, but perhaps given that Tatooine is essentially a frontier planet, and our own relationships developed out of just that background, they aren't completely out of place. At first I also found it hard to believe that the Empire waited so long to get around to checking out Tatooine, but then it is a frontier planet and probably unimportant in the overall scheme of things. I do still find it hard to believe that the Imperials would so carefully check out a school individually with a fairly high-ranking officer. If they checked out every school on every planet, one would think they'd use low- ranking officers; surely there are better things for a major to do, unless there were some indication that this school—or some of the students in it?—were important enough to bring both a higher-ranking officer and an ambitious younger one out personally. I also thought that, in some indefinable way, the story was a bit too long or extended; some compaction might have helped make its point a little sharper.

The other story I'll comment on individually is the final one, "Pas de Deux." First my quibble: considering that Vader is already searching out Luke, I would expect that every computer reference to Skywalker, parents or child, is either going to be completely off limits and probably equipped with some sort of alarm notifying officials that an off-limits file is being requested, or at the least equipped with the alarm. Further, I would expect both Luke and certainly Leia to be aware of this, which would make Luke's expedition foolish in the extreme, even though it's necessary to what follows. Now given that disclaimer, I liked what follows, particularly Luke's use of the Force to distinguish truth from falsehood; that talent is shown in TESB and almost no one has picked up on it. His handling of the "lordling" (wonderfully scornful diminutive!), at first impulsive and then more rational when he discovers that his impulse works, is nicely in character for Luke. I particularly like the ending of the story; here is Luke coming to terms, somewhat, with his parentage, but not in the usual way of deciding that Vader is his father, figuring that it reflects somehow on him, and learning to deal with it, but by deciding that at the moment it doesn't really matter; what's important is what he is.

I enjoyed most of the rest of the zine also. The shorter pieces were mostly interesting, though I found Marcia Brin's unlikely in the extreme (and I do wish she had been less vague about just what it was Han had done that got him drummed out of the service—other than get framed—and offered more explanation for why. everyone he cared about should have rejected him. The cartoons were cute (I like the back cover and the delayed operations one in particular), and the poetry on the whole was good.

In the poetry, I want to particularly compliment Deborah Laymon on "Caveat" for explaining Luke's dilemma and his response to it in only a few lines. The art was fine,

on the whole, with Wanda Lybarger's illustrations for her own story standing out particularly. The layout was quite nice; the type was extremely easy to read in size, and suffered only from occasional broken letters, which I didn't notice in fact, until I was going through the zine the second time for comments. All in all, I think you have a zine to be proud of for your first effort. [33]

[zine]:I like the wrap-around binding on SKY 6. A lot of

zines seem to be using it lately, and here's one reader who hopes the trend will continue.

For a first effort, this is excellent, even allowing for the fact that you've taken over a going concern. SKY seems to be in good hands. Anne Davenport's editorial cartoon is right on the mark.

Carol McPherson's "Sequence 2049,6-0009" is very good, very much in character. But I think it would have been better a prose rather than free verse. This is a problem I find with a lot of fan- nish verse — so many things really seem to be more appropriate for prose than poetry. The language could be exactly the same, only the form should be changed.

Pat Nussman's character studies are lovely, especially "Thoughts While Dressing for Dinner." Both pieces have a tendency to shift back and forth from colloquial language to formal and poetic, which I personally find distracting, but the ideas are fine. I especially like "It's hard to get an Organa's attention." The Goddess Des tiny as described is an interesting concept. I'd like to see the idea developed further, maybe in a "study of Alderaani mythology," or something along that line. "And gifts freely given should be cradled, open-handed, rather than clutched at or hoarded" — beautiful1 Of the two illos I prefer the Han with Leia.

Wanda Lybarger does a good job of answering a couple of questions I had regarding TESB — how Luke got to be a commander in a short time and why Han is still around at the beginning of TESB with out having paid off Jabba. As for the story it self, the idea that Nils could commandeer the Falcon seems a little odd to me. If he were an Imperial officer, yes. But a rebel? His insistence that Han isn't to be trusted makes sense, though.

Obnoxious though Nils is, it's logical that some in the Alliance would be suspicious of someone like Han. Leia's dislike of forcing her authority is a fine touch and fits well with the Leia of the films as opposed to the one who appears too often in fan- fic. The illo of Luke and Leia on page 32 is fine, one of her best, I think. Overall, the character ization is good, and the story works well as an explanation of Han's continued presence.

"In the Still of the Night" — sorry, but to me it's a blah treatment of an overworked idea. Susan Sizemore's "The Reluctant Jedi" is a very interesting idea, well handled, and certainly original. I like it a lot better than the idea that Fett is actually Luke's mother.

"Hellflower" isn't up to Eluki's "Casablanca" but it's still good to meet 'Niki again. I do like the line "all sentient life and most of the bureaucrats" (I work for the federal government!). As for hellflowers being crazy, they're not half as nuts as 'Niki is, getting mixed up with this one. why did she bother?

I love the Vader with "ghetto-blaster" playing the "Imperial March"

Carol Davis' cartoon on p. 90: Poor Han! The other what, indeed. He has a lot to catch up on! Come to think of it, is he sure he wants to know the answer? ((Apologies to Chris for the placement of this cartoon. It certainly did loook like it be longed to her story, even though it was placed to make the page layout come out right. I hope no one was too confused by it. BGD))

Scott Rosema's illo on page 97 worked out especially well, considering that he was working from photos. And I like the presstype you used for the title. A change in publication schedule, made when I figured it was too late for your deadline: "'s the money!" will be in CROSSED SABERS 3 and "Family Matters will be in JEDI JOURNAL 4. (I hope!)

"Vigil" is confusing. I don't understand Luke's feeling that he's been betrayed; the time of the story; the last line.

Carol McPherson's "Great Expectations," on the other hand, is great fun. Poor Han! And I do love the notice to the replicants across the hall from Han/Harrison. Marcia Erin's "The Choosing" is an interesting interpretation of the courtmartial business, but personally I can't take the premise seriously.

It's good to see another Desert Seed story from Carol Mularski's "Fantasy's End" is good background on Kaili and how she came to be so thoroughly negative about the Force and about her dreams as an adult.

Carol McP's cartoon on p. 125 probably sums up the feelings of a lot of editors and artists. ((Well, it certain sums up Carol Mularski's and my feelings...BGD))

I'm not sure what I think of Carol Hines-Stroede's "Pas de Deux." The idea of Luke's prosthetic hand causing problems is something new, and has all kinds of possibilities. And I like her showing Luke learning a real lesson about using the Force and about himself. But her portrayal of Leia (and the relationship between Luke and Leia) doesn't sound right. Leia's dialog doesn't fit the princess of the films. As for Rownin, he may be an accomplished liar, but he seems too petty and child ish for his position. Or is that part of the reason for his "demotion"? [33]

[zine]: Beautiful zine! Clean, unfussy layout without wasted space, reasonably and unambiguously placed illos, controlled use of borders and dingbats, and restraint

in display type. Best of all, I've never seen bet ter reproduction of halftone in a zine. You held all the fine gradations of tone and the crisp individuality of Jackie's line texture she uses to build her tones, no mean feat among fanzines where the printer does an adequate job and leaves the work grayed and flat. That it wasn't printed on coated stock makes the class of reproduction more amazing. ((Thanks to Mary Soderstrom for overseeing production of the halftones. We taught the printer how to do it right! BGD))

True, there isn't a "big" story such as is usually associated with SKYWALKER, but I personally prefer a zine on time and more often to a monster. Those which drag on sometimes get away from their editors, and quantity doesn't insure quality. This issue, while lacking the character balance you already noted, is a solid product. Though I'd already read them, I particularly enjoy Pat Nussman's two vignette's, and Jackie's illos are beautiful com panions. Scott's art reminds me less of my own than a cross between Pam Kowalski's and Cathye Faraci's. [33]

[zine]: The cover sold me, but that's no secret because I'm a sucker for Lybarger artwork. Wanda is one of the few artists in

fandom who can compose and render an actual story illo,..not one of those endless portraits taken off the stills.

I found "Thoughts While Dressing for Dinner" to be vividly realistic—Leia's train of thought as she dresses was reminiscent of the way every one's thoughts wander at times, like those, albeit they were on a royalty level. They were also very, very much in character for Leia...which made the companion piece, "Meditation on a Lady," all the more disappointing. Where Pat did so well capturing Leia, she seemed to fight desperately to capture the inner workings of Solo's mind and failed. Somehow, words like "adequate," "evoked," and "perchance" don't sound like the Corellian I know. There almost seem to be two personalities fighting for Han's lexicon nad it just doesn't work. Much more successful in the same task is "Sequence 2049" by Carol McPherson. This not only sounds like Han, but it's more the way that Solo would pick to transmit his thoughts. J.R. Dunster's illos are moody and nice, although I can't wait until she starts concentrating more on her anatomy now that she's captured the faces so well.

Much as that art delighted me, "Choice" was a mediocre story. Wanda Lybarger wrote a story that contained nothing that hadn't been done a dozen times before in various zines...or nothing that shouldn't have been done, because it was just plain overdone. Hero/stranger gets falsely accused. Hero/stranger sets out to prove his innocence or escapes in a snit, making him/herself look even more guilty. Hero/stranger is vindicated, but only after hero/stranger is badly injured to make everybody feel even sorrier for him/herself. Scene closes as hero/stranger is surrounded by love and hope and is now hero/friend. Every story can be reduced to an absurd outline this way, but even a little bit of original plot twist can save the day...look at "E.T.," which is nothing more than "Shane" rewritten without the guns. One very good aspect to this story was a rare, satisfying characterization for Chewbacca, who too often gets a pat on his head and a few growls as a peripheral sidekick. Most of the characterizations were, in face, good...if only there had been an original plot!

Linda Knights gets kudos for "In the Still of the Night" (except for that title). Like "Thoughts While Dressing for Dinner," this one had a realistic ring to it. I really felt as if it were ta king place in the middle of the night, a sleepy, meaningful vignette with Luke's thoughts wander ing realistically and bringing his problems into perspective with the passing hours. This had atmosphere, a true feeling of middle-of-the-night to it, and a new angle on the issues that Luke has to face, post TESB.

"The Nightmare was very much like one. Interesting, but it made little sense. It wasn't badly drawn, but the story it told wasn't particularly satisfying, considering the potential it started out with. Why couldn't Rich Arnold have avoided the old cliche of "it was all a dream"? Why not have the hero continue his adventure in the next zine, helping the rebellion from within Vader's ranks? Rich did much better on his one-shot cartoons...they had a pleasing, unusual style and they were genuinely funny. I'd love to see more of them.

"The Reluctant Jedi" has my vote as one of the two best stories in the zine. The tableau of what Solo would do after coming out of carbon freeze on Boba Fett's ship has been done numerous times before...Here is an excellent example of how a single twist can make for an original and interesting story. For once. Solo realizes it's not the time for action without thought. For once, someone has done their homework on bounty hunters and realized that leading that kind of life with any kind of survival record requires an extremely disciplined form of existence and an ace or two up one's sleeve. In this case, the ace is the Force...but surprise! Fett is on neither side but his own. The concept that there might not be such sharply defined boundaries between dark and light in the Force, or that there might be individuals who, for their own questionable reasons, straddle both sides, is an unexplored one in fanlit. It may not serve George Lucas' purposes in the series, but Susan Sizemore is right...unless there are characters that stand between the two, there could be no Han Solo. Fett recognizes this potential, and the story takes off from there.

I'm not as fond of her theory that Fett has made a virtual career of pursuing Solo as a potential assistant, but she redeems the story with a wonderful ending. Not only is it the typical Solo solution for handling a problem, not only is it the only probably way Solo would deal with ac cepting the fact the he was going to be a Jedi, but it was pure Solo for him to turn right a- round and start "converting" Fett...

..."Hellflower" was good SF. I call it SF because, knowing absolutely nothing about the main characters or the series beyond a touch of the Azaeli, it had nothing whatever to do with the Star Wars universe. It makes some of the Earthly references that Niki makes very confusing (might I suggest a brief intro next time?). I enjoyed the story, nonetheless, except for one detail. I'm starting to get the feeling that if it weren't for air ducts, vents, and passages, none of our heroes would be alive. This was the second story in the zine wherein the hero or heroine executed a getaway due mainly to crawling through an airduct. Give us a break! I'm willing to accept the fact that the Empire hasn't figured out a more efficient form of moving air through high-security buildings, and they haven't figured out that they should put some kind of alarm system or obstruction gate into the systems. But you shouldn't have put both stories in the same issue of the zine. I kept imagining that Niki would bump into Han or Luke, coming from the other direction.

"Caveat" was very moving. Again I got the feeling of "Luke" to the way these ideas were expressed...his misery at Leia's perception of him, his unease with the hero status that hasn't changed her mental image of him as a farmboy...

all very real and sad. I hope to see more of Deborah Laymon's work soon. "Caveat" was the best poem in the zine.

—"The Choosing" has my vote for the other best story in the zine. Marcia Brin's ingenious concept of Han being a Jedi and "in the know" from the very start was a brilliant one. The only flaw in the well-told drama was one of logic...once Obi-Wan sought Han out in the Mos Eisley cantina later, there was no real reason for him to con tinue the charade of not knowing him. There was even less, once he had openly joined the rebellion- It couldn't be to protect his family...they'd know who he was once he was captured anyway, no matter what he'd changed his name to...At any rate, I enjoyed it immensely.

"Fantasy's End" was a disappointment. It started out giving some welcome additional characterization to Owen Lars and Beru, and some of the other children in the family, and it ended up reading like a story out of some teenage heartache novel. So one other member of the family dreamed of being a Jedi. So the big, bad Imperials came and Owen put his foot down and she chucked it all, and that ends that. So what? Beyond the girl's stupidity at every move (leaving a dangerous object for baby Luke, stealing supplies from the school that were easily detectable as missing, playing "Jedi" after her whole family has been threatened with destruction because of it...) she seemed to have nothing going for her as a character. There were welcome moments to this story...the glimpse of life on Tatooine as it really must be (of course glass blowing must be a major artform...with all that sand around...) and moments with baby Luke that were genuinely funny (kissing your cousin with a mouthful of sand) but otherwise, this story read on a younger level than the average Bobbsey Twins tale...

"Pas de Deux" was interesting. The idea that Luke might go after records to disprove or prove Vader's claim is a logical one, and so is the idea that there are less-trained Sith Lords about that Luke could make mincemeat out of. The mental solution Luke settles on at the end doesn't ring true, however, since his little expedition seemed to raise more questions that it answered. He shoul have been even more confused, even more upset. If Carol meant for it to seem as if Luke had decided to take the best traits of both his possible fathers, I missed getting it too clearly, especially when the "deep, soft" chuckle he hears behind him on reaching this decision might just as easily be Vader as Obi-wan.

All in all, Barbara, you did a fine job of taking command on SKYWALKER 6. [33]

[zine]: First, lovely cover by Wanda. I like her montages, particularly the one on the contents page, I got a chuckle out of

the poem opposite, too. How well we zine eds can relate to that one!

..."Choice" was, in my opinion, by far the best story in the zine, a nice tight murder mystery with Han framed — what a classic situation! Han caught with the body, holding the murder weapon, after quarreling with the victim. ((On the other hand, that sort of situation is usually a dead giveaway in a murder mystery that the potential suspect in the scene didn't do it. I've read a few more mysteries since I wrote my own LOG! bev)) Nice to see Luke maturing in the Force and being more than capable of rescuing Han by using his abilities. I was get ting awfully tired of "the Kid" stories in which Luke doesn't seem to know enough to wipe his nose. Wanda was skillful in having Leia's emotions fluttering dangerously close to loving Han, yet didn't yield to the temptation to have a full-blown love scene when their relationship hadn't progressed that far yet. ...Her illos were the frosting on the cake, of course. She does a marvelous Han.

"The Reluctant Jedi" was an interesting story, especially well received because Boba Fett didn't turn out to be Luke's father/mother/Ben Kenobi/a good guy in disguise/etc./ad infinitum. Why won't more people take Boba Fett as a separate and distinct character and stop looking for the Other behind every bush (of course, I realize that by the time this LOG sees print, we'll all know who the Other is), but still it's irritating to see such a potentially interesting character go to waste. Nice to see some music with filks for a change. Too few people do it, which leaves you wondering just what tune you're supposed to sing to.

When I first started reading "Hellflower," I thought, "Oh yuk," but the farther I got into it the more engrossing it became. Eluki is obviously a student of Heinlein...and has learned her lessons well. She's the only fan writer I've ever seen who could master his techniques. The throwaways, the sudden dog-legs in action, the quick pace are all there and superbly done. ((For a professional novel that out-Heinleins Heinlein, let me recommend David Gerrold's newest book, A MATTER FOR MEN. It may look dauntingly large, but it moves very quickly. (This is an example of Shamelessly taking advantage of Editorial Privilege to put in a good word for a book and author I like.)

...I didn't much like "The Choosing." Although I agree that Han was probably in the space service at one point in his life, I don't think he deliberately chose to have himself court-martialed. This all implies that for the past ten years or so, he has been an undercover agent for the Jedi and has more or less manipulated all that has happened. The whole concept strikes me as contrary to Han's character.

...Overall, a good, solid zine, though I did miss the usual long, meaty story to slowly wade through, (but then, I know that Maggie's getting her revenge in SKY 5 with "Battle for Rynan"). I don't think I found a single typo in the whole zine, the layout was excellent, good clear printing with solid black areas, not a fadeout in sight. [33]

[zine]:Absolutely loved Deborah Laymon's Luke poem. If I may play editor, you could have led off with it and let it

set the tone of SKY 6 since it ended up being so heavy with Han stories, Luke doesn't have to be a main focus after the poem for we know that Luke is in a philosophical limbo at the end of TESB. Good choice of poses for the illo, too.

Wanda Lybarger's "Choice" was a fine start-off for the zine, especially once it got past the exposition in the beginning. Her Han's are always believable, in print or illo, and hhe hasn't shorted Luke inthe story, either by statement or implication. The problem of Solo's integration with the alliance is, I think, an important one and will set the tone for anyone's further examine tion of his relationship with the rebels. Wanda has done a good job of presenting a possible "settling in" that jibes with the exchange we saw between Rieeken and Solo in TESB.

Susan Sizemore's Boba Fett in "The Reluctant Jedi" was very well drawn; liked him a lot as a character. I certainly hope he can maintain his independence against the conversion-enthusiasm she has Han adopt. That change of heart in Solo was my only quibble with the story, since she had done such a fine job of establishing a separate, individual experience of the Force that Solo was/is so well suited for. Rather than have think to make a Jedi out of Fett, I can see' him falling in step with Fett because the man has finally presented a method of combining his past and present life experiences that does not clash with the lifestyle Han embraced so long ago.

...One of my objections to most of the post-TESB stories has been the assumption of writers that Luke knows all about Leia and Han. Somehow I could never picture Leia being so insensitive that she blubbers the sad story all over Luke, and Lando appeared too quick on the uptake not to see this was dangerous territory and bow out quickly with a shut mouth. Chewie? Naw, especially not after Larry Kasdan has said his intentions, mostly undercut by editing, were to show a bit of jealousy on the Wookiee's part over the Han/Leia romance.

Katie Gillen's "Vigil" is the first story to give a reason for Skywalker's awareness that is neat and tidy as well as fitting in with the lessons to come from Yoda. This Luke I can easily see putting the odd word, the odder look, together and coming up with something new in the triangle. Both "Great Expectations" and "The Choosing" rubbed me wrong. Not that they weren't handled with competence. For all that Luke got the last laugh in GE, the attitude toward him was condescending and embarrassing...1'11 lay out my prejudices and say I didn't appreciate seeing it in SKYWALKER, which by name alone would seem to have a bit more going for the kid. Of course, maybe I'm just up to here with Luke-as-virgin stories. Hasn't anyone notice that extremely non-virgin people can go ape over someone, like Luke over Leia? That such behavior isn't necessarily proof of inexperience? Or maybe it was the tone that set me off. Luke sounded like a 14-year-old, not a 20-year-old (no matter how dumb that 20-year-old might be). ...My problem with "The Choosing" was an in ability, by every stretch of the imagination, to picture this Han as the SW Han (and that comes from someone who stretches Han pretty far in her own stories). Prequels are so much harder to work out because everything you have the character say and do must somehow link with what will come. Maybe if Marcia had hinted at some reason for Han's so convincing and consistent portrayal of a mercenary about to be ambushed by fate ten years later... Maybe I just don't believe that even Jedi could be such good actors; mostly, I don't think Lucas was lying so much in his presentation of Solo in SW.

...For a story that, through its tie-in with the given SW and its implications, must fit what we already )aiow about Han, its idea seemed to fall short. Carol Mularski's "Fantasy's End" tackled an interesting situation in portraying how the Empire could affect everyday life...The point of view skipped from child to adult a couple of times, and her Imperials, at least the woman, seemed a tad too nice, but the story worked for me. It boggles the mind to imagine the task facing the Empire when it wanted to eradicate all vibrant memory of Jedi from the galactic cultural conscience. Unlike in Poland, I don't imagine one can simply pull the galactic plug on the galactic comlink exchange.

"Pas de Deux" was a nice story. Absolutely loved Luke's cussing at the forcefield at the end. A lovely touch of irreverence regarding his ta lents, which are too often mystified. I question whether it was wise to go to any computer center for info on such touchy subjects as old Jedi, ex-Jedi, dead Jedi, and I rather think that such centers do have plugs accessible to Imperial plug pullers, but the rogue Dark Lord is an interesting concept, and it was so nice to find someone who can imagine Luke with whiskers.[33]

[zine]: Overall, Sky 6 certainly has kept up with the style and quality that we've

come to expect. I was really pleased with the layout, with the various types of print, with the overall look of the zine: the binding, the typing, the art work. When you lay a zine out and leaf through it, before you ever read the first story, you know a great deal about the editor and what he/she wanted from the zine. When I did that with Sky 6 I knew that you were looking for a quality work that wouldn't necessarily be the longest (largest) zine ever printed but might qualify high as one of the nicest. Every thing said quality, from the neat binding to the printing that was readable throughout. Well done.

The major thing I can say about "Sequence 2049.6-009" is that I could hear Han saying those words. Carol McPherson so completely captured the uncapturable Corellian that when I first read the piece I wouldn't have had to be told it was Han speaking. Those were his phrases, his unspoken thoughts (or the ones that this reader would have him think). A perfect blend of his humor and his unspoken emotions. "Thoughts While Dressing for Dinner," and "Meditation on a Lady" were both well-done pieces. I have read a little of Pat's work before and find that she tends to be as introspective as I am and to capture Leia better than most I have read. Of the two, I like the first piece best. I'm not sure that I can completely agree with the Han Solo of her second poem. As usual with her work, she has grasped the phraseology of the SW universe very well. "More rare than spice, more remarkable than a Sith." Using the words that we are given, the few references that GL has left us, I often find the poets and prose writers also founder for comparisons. It is so common in our world to compare something to explain it, and for a writer to do that in the SW universe can sometimes be difficult. That alone (or the lack thereof) can spoil a poem for me quicker than anything. Pat has managed well with the limited comparisons that we have and makes them seem as natural as humanly possible.

"Choice" was...interesting. I loved the artwork. Wanda has a style of her own that makes her work quite distinctive and all of the work had a flow to it that made the motion seem very realistic. There were no frozen statues in her pieces. Because this story was placed at the awkward end of the first movie and before the second, I did have some trouble with the characterizations of Han and Luke. Leia came off rather well, but I think that's because we aren't shown as much growth in her character as we have been shown in Luke and Han in the second film. Taking that into account, I have tried to see the story without the benefit of the second movie (a trick I'm probably not equal to). I can believe Han's reaction to the thought that he might be the spy. While he reacts a little childishly and without much thought, I can believe he might be this impulsive when angry. And Wanda certainly set up the perfect "frame" in the next few scenes. She handled the preshadowing well without tip ping her hand. I had to reread that section after I figured out who did it to see where I'd missed the clues the first time. I also liked the scene where Han outsmarts the locals on Daris. I think that it again shows how well Han can be handled without the flippant nonsense and joking that most writers seem to think he has to be doing all the time. Wanda here is showing a Solo who can literally think his way out of anything, with a little forethought and planning, something that we frequently don't see. Han is smart, but not smart enough to get out of everything flying by the seat of his pants. Again Wanda allows him to think first and then act well.

The rescue sequence, Han's wounding, and the flight on the Falcon are well done. In fact they were so well done that they dis tract from the rest of the story. Given what I've said before, that Wanda has laid out the mystery portion of this story well, that may sound confusing. The best way that I can ex plain it is that it was as if she was suddenly changing gears in the middle. As if she decided at this point not to tell the mystery story and to switch and tell about Luke and the Force. Yes, all of what is said in this section is important and interesting, even well written; but it broke my concentration. It was as if she'd decided the story that I thought was about Han was instead about Luke. If she'd been planning all along to use the story to show Luke's growth also then maybe if she'd foreshadowed it a little heavier before I would have seen it coming. At any rate...ever like a story and not really know why? Well in this case I really liked the story but there was still something that didn't quite work. I can't put a finger on it; I'm not that good a writer myself; except that somewhere in the middle it slipped away from the writer and although the ends were gathered together they didn't quite come together neatly.

"The Nightmare" was interesting and quite a little story. I liked the cartooning, certainly a different approach.

"The Reluctant Jedi" by Susan Sizemore:

I liked it. Simple and to tfie point. I could say the characters worked, that I could believe Boba Fett and that I can even imagine what we know of him working into that story, but those things aren't as important as the over-all; it worked. The whole thing. I like that there was provided a third alternative.

I, unlike George Lucas, don't like things being black or %;hite. I like the grays better than either of the extremes. In this story Susan has provided us with a character from the gray who was very, very believable. I also like the feeling of another story to follow. I hope it does.

"HelIflower" by Eluki bes Shahar was interesting. I haven't read any of her other stories, the ones mentioned in the footnotes, but I do like 'Niki and found that although I don't usually enjoy stories without the major SW characters in them that I had no difficulty with this one. Well written with a flare for dialect and speech that should someday make Shahar a pro SF writer of quality. The characterizations lived and I had no trouble seeing them in my mind's eye, nor any point in the story were I felt that a character couldn't have done what she said had been done. Well written and probably far above my ability to critique it. I know only that I wish more writers had this flare. "Caveat"; I loved the last paragraph (and yes, I know that isn't the correct term). I could write a whole story from "to hold the sun—" The object of a poem is to draw a picture in your mind, to write a whole novel in as few words as possible. If this is so, then "Caveat" certainly does that. A moving piece.

"Return": It was a little disconcerting to read two "thaw" pieces almost back to back but considering that I've written a couple myself I'm sure that you were bombarded with them. (("Hellflower" was purposely inserted between the two 'thaw' stories as a change of pace. And I wasn't exactly bombarded with stories...period. BCD)) After Susan's piece, this one started, and read, most predictably. Nothing against it, well written for the type of story it is. But I found few surprises and I know that I've read this story in one ver sion or another in about three places in the last couple months (to take the barb out of it...I even wrote one of them! I hate it most of all when I'm this predictable.) I do like the character of Maeve, but like the first part of the story, the second only reminded me of something else I've read. The trouble with classic stories like a "thaw Han" is that they tend to make most writers write classic characters.

"Vigil" is the kind of story you read and then re-read and then if you have the time read once more. To say that I liked it would be an understatement. I loved it. I loved the insight into Luke, the insight into the Force and the quiet understanding of Han and Leia.

A whole hell of a lot of story in three pages. "Great Expectations" was just what I suspect it was supposed to be: cute. Although i don't see Luke as that naive, not even in the beginning, I still enjoyed it. But then I usually do enjoy Carol's work so this came as no great surprise to me.

"The Choosing": Frustration, Marcia! I got to the end of page two and turned find another story! ((Not Marcia's fault, Linda. The layout was done by me and should have indicated the end of the story more emphatically. Sorry. BCD)) Well written. You did the obvious, the drumming out of Han Solo, the wounding of family and friends, and then turned it into the chosen course, the planned not the unseen happening. I liked a Han Solo with the strength to make this decision and while I'm not sure that he could quite be the same man as we were presented with in the first movie, I still like it, him, and the story.

"Fantasy's End": Again, I don't tend to like stories without the major three, but I have read enough about Kaili to know her almost as well. (I think that says a lot.) I enjoyed it. As usual, well thought out, well plotted and well done.

"Pas de Deux": I haven't read anything by Carol Hines-Stroede before but I bet I look for her work in the future. I totally enjoyed the story^ from her development of Luke and Leia to her Dark Lord Rownin. I believed it all and loved the new character. We don't have enough villains in the SW universe, not real ones at any rate.

All in all, well done. I haven't received a zine in quite some time that I so totally enjoyed. [33]

[zine]: Congratulations on making a good smooth transition between #4 and #6. I know you were disappointed in

not having a "long, meaty story," but when I'm slogging through five different textbooks, I tend to agree with Poe and go for stories I can read in one sitting. So Sky 6 was basically just what I wanted.

I want to gripe about two stories—not the stories in and of themselves, but elements in them. In Eluki's "Hellflower," she goes way overboard on the outside references. Some of us haven't read every sf book since Verne. I couldn't even figure out some of those words by context. Those that I caught were from Heinlein, Niven, "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"...and those I already knew from "Casablanca." I'm just saying that some of us have different backgrounds, and some more limited than others, and it shouldn't be assumed that we are all hard-core sf people.


Marcia Brin's "The Choosing" is a good exploration of this possibility—and a little more plausible than some of the "Han's court- martial" stories I've seen. I also enjoyed "Fantasy's End" by Carol Mularski. Somehow, those kids are all so real to me. Wynn is like my kid sister, and even baby Luke really seems like Luke.

My favorite piece in the zine, believe it or not, is a poem. (And I don't even like free verse!) "Caveat" by Deborah June Laymon expresses what I have been most concerned about in Luke's development since TESB—whether he could have, or could yet be, turned to evil. He isn't "some white-knight marble statuette," and when he gets looked at that

way it's no wonder why people don't write more stories about him. People that are pure and perfect and can't be tempted aren't very interesting to write about. But it's not that he can't be turned, it's that he wouldn't al- low it—and what a battle of will it must be still for him. So I identified strongly with "Caveat." And [Jean C's] illo for it was perfect.[33]


  1. ^ The editor of "Moonbeam" says: "I believed for almost 30 years that it was in fact the first primarily Star Wars fiction fanzine, but I recently learned that Skywalker, the exceptional Star Wars zine edited by Bev Clark, was in fact first by a couple of weeks. Ah well. I was still one of the first, and probably the first on the East Coast.."Main Moonbeam Page, Archived version
  2. ^ Actually, according to the dates on the zines themselves, "Moonbeam" was first; perhaps there was an understood wiggle-room with the distribution?
  3. ^ From Nancy Duncan in "Against the Sith's" editorial: "We know of two other SW zines so far, Hyperspace .... and Skywalker." This statement is contradicted in December 1985 by the editor of "Skywalker," Bev Clark, in comments to Southern Enclave #10: "AGAINST THE SITH came out a few weeks before SKYWALKER, no more than six. Neither was the first SW fanzine, exactly. The very first fanzine was a small, poorly produced effort out of Long Beach, called THE FORCE; it was more like a traditional SF fanzine in that it didn't have much fiction. It was also what is bluntly called in SF fandom, a crudzine. The first fanzine to print all SW fiction, though admittedly as a single issue of a fanzine that was not devoted to SW to the exclusion of all else, was MOONBEAM 3, which came out in the late fall of 1977 or the early spring of 1978 before either AGAINST THE SITH or SKYWALKER, at any rate. SKYWALKER was certainly in preparation by then, however, it began in September, 1977." It appears that either Bev Clark is mis-remembering the date of her own fanzine's publication, or there is a difference of opinion about what constitutes the "beginning" of a zine, and that perhaps Clark is referring to when she first started collecting material, rather to when the zine was available to fans.
  4. ^ transcript of a May 15, 1980 radio interview from a station (KTR) in Kirkland, Washington for the show "Turn It Up."
  5. ^ Carol Mularski's Dorit Suhal in "True to the Blood" in the zine Guardian #3
  6. ^ a b from the 1982 essay Visible Women
  7. ^ a b c d e f g from a LoC in Skywalker #1
  8. ^ In 1978, the first issue of the zine was reviewed by the editor of Paradise
  9. ^ from Alderaan #3
  10. ^ from Scuttlebutt #8
  11. ^ from Alderaan #4
  12. ^ from Randy Ash in Falcon's Flight
  13. ^ from a LoC in Skywalker #3
  14. ^ a b c d e f from a LoC in Skywalker #3
  15. ^ from Han Solo: Lady's Man for All Seasons in Empire Star #4
  16. ^ from Alderaan #7
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h from an LoC in Skywalker #4
  18. ^ From Jundland Wastes #1
  19. ^ From Jundland Wastes #2
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k from an LoC in "Skywalker #6"
  21. ^ from an LoC by a member of the US military in "Skywalker #6"
  22. ^ from an LoC by Lori Chapek-Carleton in "Skywalker #6"
  23. ^ from an LoC by Dyane Kirkland in "Skywalker #6"
  24. ^ from an LoC by Susan Matthews in "Skywalker #6"
  25. ^ from Bev Clark in Comlink #3
  26. ^ from Jundland, Too #2
  27. ^ from Southern Enclave #8
  28. ^ from From Star Wars to Jedi: The Fanzine Way (1985)
  29. ^ from From Star Wars to Jedi: The Fanzine Way (1985)
  30. ^ from From Star Wars to Jedi: The Fanzine Way (1985)
  31. ^ by Leslye Lilker from Jundland Wastes #13
  32. ^ from Jundland Wastes #13
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m from a letter of comment in "Skywalker #5