The Dark Lord (Star Wars Swedish zine)

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Zine
Title: The Dark Lord
Publisher: out of Nybro, Sweden
Editor(s): Jonas Soderblad
Date(s): 1979-1981
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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Dark Lord is a Swedish Star Wars gen anthology published in Sweden. It is in English and ran for six issues.

A sister zine is Voice of the Emperor.

Major Controversy!

Not only is it one of the zines that received letters from Lucasfilm (see: Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett), rumor has it that it was one of the stories in issue #3/4 ("The True Force") that caught Lucas' interest and began the controversy.

... Lucasfilms' lawyers sent fan editors a letter that threatens legal action against any zine editor who publishes SW-related material that could be considered obscene or pornographic. The letter is definitely not written in a user-friendly tone. Two stories in particular are said — in the fannish grapevine — to have inspired this action: a story from the Swedish fanzine, DARK LORD, in which Vader captures and sexually tortures Han Solo [The True Force], and "A Slow Boat to Bespin," (Guardian #3), as story that explores the personal relationship between Han and Leia as it might have developed while on their way to the Cloud City. Through the grapevine, it is also learned that an unpublished story outlining the adventures of Han Solo and a highly paid courtesan has been sent to Lucasfilms with less than positive results. [1]

This rumor appears to be confirmed with a phone call between Linda Deneroff, editor of Guardian, and Maureen Garrett as reported by Deneroff in a letter to Jundland Wastes:

... regarding this matter, Maureen called me some time toward the end of September. I don't remember the date, but it was before the guidelines were sent out, and we had a very interesting conversation. Basically, Maureen apologized about 'Slow Boat', saying, in effect, that she had spoken to my friend and realized that there had been a lack of communication between them regarding "Slow Boat", and that certainly in relation to the story for which the original two form letters were intended, "Slow Boat" was small potatoes. Incidentally, as I pointed out to Maureen, for a story that was printed in a foreign country and which very, few fans in this country are ever going to see, they indeed had overreacted and I was glad to see a more level-headed policy emerging. [2]
Issue #5 of "The Dark Lord" appears to have been published right around the time of the first of these Lucasfilm letters. This issue has this statement:

Detta ar ett meddelande till att engelska och engelsksprdkiga läsare: Olyckligt- vis for er sa forstqr ingen av er det har, men det ar ju inte sa viktigt, det som ar viktigt att meddelandet kommit fram. Meddelandet da? Jo, fran och med detta nummer skickas varken THE DARK LORD eller VOICE OF THE EMPEROR till Lucasfilm, pa grund av deras skandliga tilltag mot alia SW fans genom att vilja ta till lagliga medel mot oskyldiga fans.

The message in Swedish above is of great importance to Lucasfilm, and we hope that they will try to translate it... Fans in general probably, understand what it says without having it translated.
Google translate:
This is a message to English and English-speaking readers: Unfortunately for you, none of you understand it, but it is not so important, what is important is that the message came out. The message then? Well, as of this issue, neither THE DARK LORD nor VOICE OF THE EMPEROR is being sent to Lucasfilm, because of their disgraceful actions towards all SW fans by wanting to raise legal funds against innocent fans.

Genre

While one story in this zine, "The True Force," includes sex between two men, the zine editor and the story's author would not have used slash to describe it. This is due to several reasons.

One: Not only were only a tiny handful of "slash" zines published by this time, the term "slash" itself was not in use in the 1970s or early 1980s. The virgule was.

Two: Zines published then simply didn't categorize themselves as anything. Labels and Warnings are a much more modern activity.

Three: The sex act depicted was not one of of desire (at least on Han's part) but an act of non-consensual violence. Fans today would probably categorize it differently, probably "Han/Vader noncon slash."

Mentioned in 1992

Told as a false story of fannish horror!
There were six issues and they had to discontinue because of LucasFilm... had to quit producing because they were told they were doing a 'no-no.'... In the very beginning of Star Wars fandom, George Lucas did not understand fandom and there was one group in Florida... That [LucasFilm] sent the FBI into these people' houses, the FBI confiscated all of their materials, all of their punching machines, everything, for copyright infringement laws. That was before they got more specific in the laws and what was allowable and what was not. And Lucas took them to court and sued them. [3]

Mentioned in 1999

Twenty years ago a strongly pornographic Star Wars fanzine was published in Sweden, and George Lucas's lawyers issued a cease and desist order. The publisher simply refused to cooperate ... and the matter was taken no further. [4]

Issue 1

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

The Dark Lord 1 was published in 1979 and contains 19 pages. The front and back covers are by Jonas Soderblad.

From the editorial:

My god! It Is true? Is this DARK LORD?? Yes, it is true. I did it! I'm so happy about It... I have been waiting for this moment since February 1978. It was in this mouth I first saw STAR WARS, for the first time (and it doesn't make any difference how much I'm thinking about it, I can't remember the day).

STAR WARS was released in Sweden in late November or in early December 1977 but the main reason I didn't see before February was that I not were interested in SF-films just in books. But, then the MAKING OF STAR WARS was shown at TV. and I decided to try to see the film (SW) immediately it would come to my town. But, one day in February I saw an add for STAR WARS in a newspaper, I went to the near town Kalmar, and watched the movie.,

All since that I have bean thinking of doing STAR WARS fanzine. Well, first I didn't think of it as a fanzine, see I did not know there was anything called fanzine, but I tried to make a schoolpaper just about SW and STAR TREK, but it did not work very well...

It was not until I first read STARLOG issue 12, I really tried to make something. I wrote two spirit duplication stencils and printed them. But, I read the material I had written, and I can't say I liked it... That was in September 1978. Then, I read in STARLOG about MOS EISLEY TRIBUNE, and I wrote to Janice. She wrote back and told me about MET. I decided to buy MET as soon as I would get money.

MOS EISLEY TRIBUNE 1 was the first fanzine I ever seen. I tried to read, but I can't say I succeeded very well. It was much easier to read STARLOG, it was (and is) so many pictures and that helps when you reading a foreign language. But I buyed issue 2, and began to learn learned more English. And then I came in contact with the Swedish fandom.

Now, I immediately decided to make a fanzine on Swedish that would be printed in offset and be on 100 pages, but when I asked for the printing costs, I almost died shock. And then I realized that I never would be able to do a fanzine on 100 pages myself, so I began to think of doing a little SW-fanzine. It would be called LUKE SKYWALKER'S AVENTYR. But it didn't work either.

And, it was now I began to think of a Darth Vadar zine. This was in July, this year. I decided to make it in English because my other zines (I am doing many other zines, but they are in Swedish and they are not devotee to STAR WARS) didn't make people interested, and of course, there is not many outside Sweden that can Swedish.

Well, now I will not write more about the "history" of THE DARK LORD, it's better I tell you more important things like this: (important?) I am not to good in the English language. but I hope you'll understand what I mean, that is the most important.

I want to thanks all people who have helped me in doing this zine, especially Anders Bellis, for his articel and Lisa Kenuiff for her two novels. And Amy Cheatham for her art of Lord Vader and a Stormtrooper.

The next issue will be printed on mimeograph, and I hope it will be on many more pages. The contents is not sure yet, but I hope of novels, articels and arts. And perhaps some news.

An articel about Sverifandoms English-languate fanzines and some other things, by Anders Bellis. He promised that.

Everyone who send contributions will get it published, I promise, well it has to be on more than 1/4 A4 paper, and not to crude. As contributors I count: novels, filk-songs, poems, arts, articels, and LoCs. Of course all contributions must be written in English, I'm not going to translate anything, I'm to bad in English for that.
  • Table of Contents (2)
  • Editorial (3)
  • The Dream Within by Lisa A Kenniff (5)
  • Lord Vader & Stormtrooper by Amy Cheatham (9)
  • What Did We Leave Behind for You, "An anti-Star Wars column composed directly on stencil," by Anders Bellis (some topics: he doesn't like Star Wars, thinks media fans are dumb, talks about how there are only about two Star Wars fans in Sweden, about how he is a "member of One Tru Fandom, that is, the fannish part of science fiction fandom. This kind of fandom is a a lot more variated and funny, it deals with all aspects of stf [5] and fandom itself." He writes about "The Day the Mundane Stood Still," which was a fannish party held in Sverifandom to celebrate fandom. Also some info on a purposely terrible filksong called "The Filksong The Filksong." (10)
  • A Column for The Dark Lord, article by Anders Bellis about Worldcon and hopes it would be in either Copenhagen or Stockholm (one reason: "For the male fans, there is however one small disadvantage [to having Worldcon in Denmark] - Swedish girls are MUCH prettier than Danish!!"), some Swedish science fiction zines, and happenings in Swedish fandom, by Anders Bellis
  • The Warrior by Lisa A Kenniff (17)
  • advertisement (12)
  • Last Words by Jonas Soderblad (Soderblad talks about plans for his next issue: "Next issue will be printed on Mimeograph, and will be on 30 pages, maybe more if I received material. Also I promise to try to have more illos... About arts: All arts will be electrostencilated. So you can draw on white papers, and you don't have to buy stencils for your contributions." Also, "There is one thing that I have to say about Anders articel. He said that Swedish girls are much prettier than Danish. But, he is really wrong in that. Danish girls are much more prettier!!! I know one Danish girl that is much more prettier than anyone of all girls in Sweden I ever seen.") (18)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Number 1 looks bad, but that's only to he expected with a hektograph duplication. I agree with-Roger Sjolander (and you) in No. 2; Amy's art would have made a hotter front cover. You ask for novels; it might he hotter to ask for stories since in English, "novel" means something running from 40,000 word's up! I enjoyed both of Lisa's stories, though I think both would have been better if she'd expanded them. Kind of got a laugh out of your "hoax" page; I've never seen anything like it. Anders Bellis' column was very informative, and I wish Herman (?!) luck in getting the con for Copenhagen. [6]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

The Dark Lord 2 was published in May 1980 and contains 50 pages. The front cover artist is Anita.

In the editorial, Soderblad apologizes for the issue being late. The reason is he didn't have the money to get it printed. He also writes about content:
I'd like to tell you this: if you want to get your story published in TDL, you must observe these rules: stories must be as near to the original setup as possible, since it otherwise turns out to be rather strange when it appearing a book or another publication by George or other SW-authors. The story isn't good if it's too silly, and it's surely bad if there isn't any jokes (or equal things) and if there is too much sex in it. Star Wars and The Empire is a Space Opera, and the story must be like that too, to be published.
  • Editorial (3)
  • A letter from Black Falcon Ltd (4)
  • SW cartoon by Samantha Blackley (6)
  • Garbage from Space, or The Noble Art of How to Gnugga, sin Kacka Rokokorumpa i Morgongroten by Arvid Engholm (7)
  • Words of Appreciation by Eva Albertsson (9)
  • Shadow of Time-Master of Forever by Lisa Kenniff, art by Samantha Blackley (10)
  • advertising column (18)
  • Cosmic Zoom, letter column (19)
  • SW cartoon by Samantha Blackley (21)
  • Grim Design by Eva Albertson, art by Sally Ann Cortina (22)
  • SW cartoon by Samantha Blackley (44)
  • Star Wars, comics by Jonas Soderblad (45)
  • Phoenix, a zine advertisement (47)
  • SW cartoon by Samantha Blackley (48)
  • Advertising SW and TESB (49)
  • What Did We Leave Behind for You? by Anders (5)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

I was really impressed with all the work you put into TDL 2, I don't exactly know where to start... Well, "Anitas" cover was nice and I did like the idea of having coloured paper, too. It was a great idea to print the letter from Blak Falcon Ltd,, as well-—I'm sure a lot of fen will find the information in it very useful. And the Empire plot-line was another good idea, too.

I must say, I really enjoyed Eva Albertsson's "Words of Appreciation". That poem was not only beautifully written—but it also just about sums up what a lot of us feel. I hope Eva has more like that up her sleeve.

I've already mentioned how much I liked "Shadow of Time-Master of Forever." It was a very rich, interesting story that provided a really solid basis for the development of the characters we all grew to love (or hate) in Star Wars. I hope Lisa has more plans as well, because I'd be fascinated to read her version of the Clone Wars, the Downfall of the Jedi etc,. After all, she's already laid down such a sound motivational basis for Darth's behavior! The story was great!

"The 'Adverts' section will be useful and I'm sure it will become more of a feature in future issues. Same with the "Cosmic Zoom" section. I hope you get a bigger response in the way of LoCs in the future because communication like that is a big part of fandom.

"Now 'Grim Design'... I've read it twice already and I still get more out of each time I read it. Probably no one except Eva will understand what I mean when I say that she has Susan Mathews' gift for making the Corellian come swaggering right of the paper. And the other characters too, for that matte. The line about what Vlyn's...er, methods had done to Vader with his vulnerable sense of dignity was totally without price -- implications and all, it was just priceless. And, the reasons such techniques fail on Corellians...Stroke of genius. But "Grim Design" is just crying out for a sequel, I mean, we can't leave Luke and Leia in the hands of Darth Vader like that. Or our carefree Corellian hating himself. So, see if there's any way you can beg, borrow, or steal a sequel out of Eva, alright, Jonas?

Both of the columns were interesting, Mr. Bellis must be expecting some controversy by writing an "anti-Star Wars" column in a SW-fanzine, however. No SW,( and presumably they will be the ones reading a SW fanzine) is going to agree that the story-line is plain shit. And I quite enjoy Flash Gordon, Both of your columnists seemed to have the same questions why do people confine themselves to SW fandom? For a start, as you said, Jonas, most Star Wars fans are interested in general sf as well. And then there are those who were introduced to sf via SW and are how just discovering a whole new world (or worlds) opening up because of the movie. And at the risk of generalizing I would say that people who enjoyed the escapism of SW are also those who read a great deal, probably more than average. So, Mr. Engholm, we do know what "books" are; we haven't spent all our free time in the last three years seeing the movie. But I would also like to defend the right of anyone at all to have one particular interest in fandom be it SW, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings or anything else. Or Flash Gordon. Isn't everyone entitled to a favourite something? If you can get pleasure and satisfaction from involving yourself in one particular branch of fandom I don't think anyone has the right to dismiss it as "childish". As far as I can see there aren't as many sequels to The Lord of the Rings as there are to SW because LOTR had a happy and conclusive ending. When you've just seen a fantastic movie and you have three years to wait to find out "what happened next" you're bound to start speculating and writing some of their own ideas down it makes it a whole lot easier to wait. When you were told a fairy-tale (and I defy anyone to tell me SW isn't the ultimate fairy-tale) didn't you ever want to know what happened after? Especially if the Princess' affections are yet to be won, the Black Knight is on the loose, and the heroes still haven't overthrown the evil Emperor. [7]

Thanks, for TDL' 2, You told me to LoC it, and I will, "Well, let's start with the beginning. The front cover is pretty good, hut not so very well done. As a matter of fact the gun is not properly drawn.

By the way, who is "Anita"? Is it a pseudonym to yourself or doesn't she want criticism, (it's a pseudonym all right, but to who is secret. Editors Remark.)

The rest of the zine is a lot worse. The two short stories seemed so boring that I did not even read them. The best in the fanzine was the article by Ahrvid Engholm. And, of course, the letters. [8]

Number 2 is much better all around [than issue 1]. The mimeograph, I think, made the biggest difference (single difference, that is), being considerably easier to read than pale purple hektograph.

I must disagree with Mr. Engholm about sub-fandoms. I've been an SF fan since I was ten years old (no, I will not tell you how old that makes me), but didn't really realize "fandom" existed until I got involved in SW fandom. How I'm involved in a general-SF club and fanzine, and will shortly be starting my own fanzine in the States. And most of the fans I know are general-SW fans, they simply have specialized interests too!

"'Shadow of Time, Master of Forever' was good. Again, as with her stories in No. 1, it could have been longer — but in this case, I say that because I like detail, not because the story needed it.

"'Grim Design' was a "get Han Solo" story with a difference, and I enjoyed it — though I wasn't too wild about the idea of Darth being what he is because he was brainwashed. The bit about Lady Vlyn's robots being programmed to respond to courtesy was great. So was that last paragraph — in a grim sort of way. No, he didn't really escape did he?

"Loved Sam's cartoons, especially the one about the clones. Chaps, Han Solo Stormtroopers!?

"Did not like Anders Bellis' column in this issue. Not at all. It was nothing but a diatribe against SW and S¥ fandom — see my comments above concerning specialized fandoms. [9]

Before I change my opinions, congratulations to, what I may call, the best fanzine of yours ever. I think, I haven't read all of them, but I dare say that I don't think you have done better. Isn't it like that, Jonas?

I can feeeeeeeeeel when a fanzine is g ood, or bad. I didn't feel anything when I felt at THE DARK LORD...explanation? Don't know really. Perhaps it is you layout? Or...I've got it! It is BELLIS!!!!

[snipped]

"'Shadow of Time-master..,yawn...don't like that sort of stories. [10]

Issue 3/4

cover of issue #3/4

The Dark Lord 3/4 contains 126 pages and was published in Spring 1981. The front cover is by Amy Cheatham. The interior art is by Sam Blackley, Dot Sasscer, Tania Sinclair, Sally Ann Cortina, Ahrvid Engholm (Kraket Fran Ovan), Bettina Jonas Soderblad and Leif.

From the editorial (Eva Andersson (writer, co-editor, and translator of Swedish material into English is "T.R."):

We had some difficulties getting enough material, a problem no other STAR WARS-zine editor seems to have encountered so far, so we guess it's just us, maybe because our residences are not a little off the beaten track. So we are hereby asking all of you who feel like writing, drawing, or contributions in any other way. PLEASE do so! (Turn your drawers upside down, look under the typewriter - or under the fifth sandwich from the bottom behind the two weeks old coffee-cup you're bound to have something. Have you checked the walls? Sure there isn't a half-finished story underneath the TESB poster?

There are certain limitations concerning what can be considered an acceptable submission; not too much of the sexy stuff, that is, gay stories or too explicitly heterosexual stories. This is because Lucasfilm Ltd apparently disapproves, and threats have been issued that all SW-zines would be banned, if that sort of thing went to extremes. (I could go on [for]ever about the non-existent wisdom of such a reaction, but having already done so at some length in a letter to Mr Lucas personally, I'll do my best to refrain since The Honored Editor will probably hit me if this extends beyond the two pages he sent me for translation. However, if anybody should feel inclined to discuss the subject, I'm sure we can find some column space for that— T.R.) These limitations concern STAR WARS material only. Non-SW material is gratefully accepted! Such material may contain X-rated things, but we would rather to avoid it. (WE??? T.R.) Those are the only limitations on submissions for TDL.
  • Editorial (5)
  • SW cartoon by Samantha Blackley (7)
  • Glossary (8)
  • Questions by Doris Telford (9)
  • Kessel Run by Eva Albertsson (10)
  • Garbage from Space, or The Noble Art of How to Gnugga, sin Kacka Rokokorumpa i Morgongroten by Arvid Engholm (17)
  • The Gift from Space, or How to Easiest Defend Yourself Agasinst Stormtrupper i Sangen (19)
  • Our Fandom by Eva Albertsson (20)
  • Mercy Mission by Ann Wilson, art by Dot Sasscer (Darth Vader boards Leia's cruiser in a quest for information.) (21)
  • Empire, A Success Among Swedish Film Critics (30)
  • Time Twist by Samantha Blackle (31)
  • Come Watch Me... ! by Oscar Treptic (49)
  • The Approach of the Death Star, filk to the tune of "Tonight" from West Side Story by Pammi Bowen (51)
  • Darth Vader by Dot Sasscer (53)
  • The True Force by Eva Albertsson, art by Tania Sinclair ("In which Vader tortures Han Solo in a very special way." This is one of the stories that generated the Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett.) (54)
  • If This is Han Solo, Where's the Corellian? by Eva Albertsson (58)
  • Oh, For the Touch of a Loving Hand by HannaSue McIntosh (61)
  • The Final Solution by Lisa A. Kenniff, art by Bettina (The Emperor attempts to crush the growing rebellion.) (62)
  • SW cartoon by Samantha Blackley (66)
  • Letters of Comment (67)
  • SF-Istic Information by Sune Odla (69)
  • Boba Fett by Dot Sasscer (71)
  • advertisements (72)
  • When Loyalties Conflict by Ann Wilson (74)
  • The Empire Strikes Back, press cutting part 1 (75)
  • What Did We Leave Behind for You? by Anders Bellis (79)
  • Dreams in a Mudhole, poem by Eva Albertsson, art by Bettina (83)
  • Missing: One Falcon by Eva Albertsson (84)
  • After the Golden Age by Jean Milton (96)
  • Darth Vader by Dot Sasscer (100)
  • Mission on Tattoine, story by Eva Albertsson and Jonas Soderblad (101)
  • Last Words (126)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3/4

See reactions and reviews for The True Force.
[zine]: Well, the story that got Lucas all up in arms was just a bit more than graphic--the author did several other things that never got into general zine distribution. In general, the endings all seem weak and the main theme is voyeurism, which is not exactly my cup of drinking material. [11]
[zine]:

You know it's going to be a bad day when you realize the only reason you are still reading a story is because you have to say something about it when you're finished. 'Dark Lord' 3/4 is that kind of zine. I like to say something positive about any zine, since even the worst of them is a labor of love for someone, but in this case it is more difficult than usual.

First, the reproduction on this issue is truly abominable: not just less-than-good, not just poor, but positively wretched. There are titles written in by hand, blurry print, strikeovers on the stencil left uncorrected, and a number of pages that seem to be in the last stages of some obscure fungoid disease which afflicts them with creeping dark patches. Dot Sasscer, who bravely contributed several major illos, is an excellent artist, but now one would ever guess it from the butchering her work gets here. Several of her pieces which show signs of having been very good in their original state have been reduced to blotchy black-and-white patches.

A large part of my lack of enthusiasm for 'The Dark Lord,' though, is the result of one story. 'The True Force' by Eva Albertsson is a get-Han, a genuinely pornographic bit of trash that no editor with minimal standards of taste would have printed. It is certainly not erotic; if it was intended to be funny, it fails miserably. In fact, the only reaction I can imagine it evoking is revulsion.

In addition to thoroughly offensive item, quite a lot of 'The Dark Lord' is simply a waste of space. There is a glossary of basic terms which anyone reading a fanzine probably knows already, and a boring four-cornered exchange occupying several pages on the question of whether a SWARS fan can also be a 'fannish fan.' And a five-page reprint of the final credits from TESB. *Sigh* All this might be redeemed if there was at least one piece of really good fiction, but all the stories in this issue are eminently forgettable, so much that when I began writing this review, I had to reread the zine to remember what any of them were about.... 'Kessel Run' is an overkill get story involving Chewbacca with hallucinations, Luke with a concussion from smashing his head on a bulkhead, and a generally mangled Han, all on a pointless flight from here to there aboard the Falcon. 'Missing One Falcon' is yet another variation on the theme with Han caught in a crashed ship, deserted by retreating rebels (including Leia and Luke) and saved by the combination of an Imperial doctor and Chewbacca. This story sounds as if if were written before TESB: the fanatical, anti-Han Leia, while barely possible based on Episode IV, is unconvincing after the second movie... 'Mission on Tatooine' is part one of a competent action story involving a sabotage mission by Luke and the Rebels against an Imperial mine. ' Mercy Mission,' as the title suggest is the author's explanation of Vader's line to Leia in Episode IV and presents the theory that Leia was on espionage mission under cover of carrying serum for an imaginary out break of disease. Vader's motivation here is based on the author's uniquely romantic and chivalrous concept of his character... I found this an attractive and pleasant story, if not completely persuasive. 'Time Twist' is one of those intensely irritating tales which escapes the need to justify its plot logically by ending with 'the entire epic adventure... was a dream.' Frankly, I find this a form of cheating... The last item, 'The Final Solution' is no more than a brief fragment setting up the beginning of a story, and cannot really stand on its own.

Borrow this one if you are desperate for something to read, but I can't really justify paying hard-earned credits for it. [12]
[zine]: I can assure you that the print in almost every copy of THE DARK LORD is excellent. Have you ever tried to print a fanzine with a mimeograph? Then you know that it is somewhat difficult to get everything in perfect condition. I think you will have to learn that there are other things than just the appearance!... You are right in your complaint on the two continuing stories "The Final Solution" should have been a bit longer than it actually was. With the next issue we will end both of those stories. From then on we will have no continuating stories. "Mission on Tatooine" was written by Eva Albertsson and me, just to correct things. The idea of a fanzine is to publish stories for other fans (this goes for SW fanzines and ST and most other media fanzines too, of course, but not for general science fiction fanzines), and to give the authors the opportunity to have their work reviewed and commented upon. I think a good zine should contain stories written by authors that not necessarily are the very best... Appalling art? Now I cannot possibly agree with you on this matter. What do you want? A Rembrandt? If you have not yet realized that the idea of the art in a story is give the reader an idea of how the author thinks the universe he (or she) has created locks like, then I think you should take the time you need to realize this and sit down and take a closer look at some other zines. [13]
[zine]: As for the purpose of fanzines, we all have our own ideas about that. However, I agree that part of the fun is to exchange ideas and stories about favorite characters and that a writer need not be thoroughly polished before being published in a fanzine. My criticism of each writer in your fanzine was both positive and negative. I believe that anyone who is telling a story should be able to tell it well; and I was offering suggestions to those writers as to how they might improve. Upon reviewing my work, the only reproach I feel was merited is my own carelessness in not giving you equal credit for writing "Mission on Tatooine", and I do apologize to you for that oversight. Obviously, my reference to artwork as "appalling" upset you. My art background tends to make me feel about bad art the way I feel about bad fish. Both ought to be wrapped up and disposed of so as not to offend those around you. For specific technical errors, I call your attention to pages 26, 28, and 66 for problems with human anatomy, perspective, and composition. May I also say that if you would like me to review further issues of TDL, I will be happy to do so. I have to axes to grind in that particular sense. [14]
[zine]:

For the most part, I found TDL 3/4 to be a very readable, exciting zine. This is the 1st issue I have read — and, therefore, I cannot compare back issues — but the story material included (most of it) was colorful, thought- provoking, poignant + humorous (oftentimes all in one story).

I agree with Eva concerning "Kessel Run" — its plot-line was very bland and nothing really happened from beginning to end. As usual, though, her characterization were right on target. If nothing else, the. story was reminiscent of a cosy fireside encounter with our favorite rebels + "free traders.

I enjoyed "Mercy Mission" and "Time Twist" very much. Both were stimulating + contained interesting hypotheses concerning Vader's possible parenthood. I also appreciate the way in which both authors handled Vader's personal reasons of motivation and sense of honor. I have always felt that Vader, is a multi faceted, complex personality — to label him the original one dimensional completely evil prototype does the character a great injustice I feel. Well, as you can see, I am fascinated with the character of Darth Vader.

"Mission of Tatooine" really has my interest — but don't you feel ashamed of yourself making me wait 3-4 months to reveal the final outcome?

Some of the full-page pictures are quite well executed. I also enjoyed perusing some of the international press cuttings—quite a few were new to me.

If the quality of TDL is a reliable indication to go by, Swedish S.W, fandom appears alive + thriving. I look forward to issue #5.

"May the Force Be With You!" [15]
[zine]:

Many thanks for TDL; good move making Eva your co-ed, you'll never lack for material! She's certainly prolific isn't she, I wish I could produce as she has! 'Missing — One Falcon' was my favourite piece of fiction by her, and 'If This Is Han Solo — Where's The Corellian?' my favourite article — keep her around OK. One question, will Eva have her own col. as well as writing articles etc.?

"Speaking of cols, Mr Ahrvid Bngholm has started to annoy me, so the, f.o.ll- owing is a short note to him:

Dear Ahrvid, "There are 3 categories of personal irritants egotism, pretentiousness (especially that resulting from pseudointellectuals) and ignorance. You are doing well...

'Mercy Mission' gave us some interesting insights to both Leia and Vader, two characters who are often shown as being two-diamensional especially Leia. Now this has always seemed strange to me, surely the only heroine in the film should be given some sort of character; fan writers have given us insight so why not Lucasfilms? Ah well, maybe in ROTJ. Vader on the other hand has been finely drawn in the films, but comes off badly in fan fiction at times. He might be a villian, but he's a nobel villian. This was shown well in 'Time Twist', which must take no. one place in my list of favourite stories this issue.

The cover was really good, likewise the poems that were sprinkled through out the zine. Wouldn't it be interesting if someone wrote a poem and illustrated it like a comic strip — how about it all you artists out there?

Loved the cartoons! Also the art pieces — do you know TDL 3/4 is one of the best SW/ESB zines I've seen so far — keep it up.

May the Force Be With You! [16]
[zine]:

I received my copy of The Dark Lord 3/4 yesterday and devoured it that very night as a night nurse in a psychiatric hospital. My patients love it when I wear my Darth Vader T-shirt. Do I like like TDL? Well, judge that partly by the fact that I'm sending you an IMO for Xeroxes of #1 + #2.

Re your editorial TDL about the numerous little specialized cliques of fandom, very thoughtful. I just had the unpleasant experience of working for a convention dominated by a group called The William Shatner Fan Fellowship. They managed to half ruin the con while snubbing anyone not of their number. Need I say more? On the other hand, I've found many more wonderful friends in fandom than I have found turkeys.

As to the comments on TBL 3/4. why I give them a hearty "9" on a scale of 1—10 (nothing is perfect). Ann Wilson of 'Mercy Mission' is my No. 1 favourite SW fan fiction writer (ever read "Storm"?) Her development of Darth Vader's character and his reasons for turning away from the Jedi is so beautifully constructed that every time I read one of her stories, I wish I had written it myself. Fine characterization. Another reason for me to love TBL. "Time Twist" I enjoyed, except I can't believe, first, that Han wouldn't have told, them of being a Jedi (and Ben knew all the time!) and number two, that Luke and Vader would not have sensed the Force in him. Yes, I know, quibble, quibble. But it is little, things like that that make a terrific story into a merely good one.

As for 'The True Force' (this to Eva A, really) gee, folks, I'm no prude or scared of sex, but I thought the story content was tacky. Well writ, but tacky.

Well, I enjoyed all the stories. I'll be waiting for TBL 5.

"May the Dark Side Seduce You!" [17]
[zine]:

This is the first SW fanzine I've ever read and quite frankly the British zines for STAR TREK could learn a thing or two. To begin with I particularly enjoyed the wide variety of stories, poems, and articles.:you include. I can not comment on your previous issues, but am very much looking forward to seeing the next issue which I hope will resolve some of the queries I have.

I found Eva Albertsson's comments on Han Solo somewhat confusing. A man like Han Solo cannot remain static, that would give Harrison Ford little to do. In short anyone can play a swaggering (if there is no such word, blame me, the editor, but I could only guess what Sara had written, it was a bit unclear), confident space pirate. However, being confronted with a considerable dilemma (once again, blame the editor) means that he would display a certain amount of confusion. Wouldn't you? After years of living according to the lifestyle of a Corellian pirate he suddenly has to think about what he's doing and why. Question: after paying back Jabba would he return to the Alliance? I think he would. I believe that although he likes the freedom of space travel, he has finally found something else in his life. Yet he is uncertain, I find it difficult to accept that he would not change in such a situation.

[snipped]

Please don't misunderstand me, I did enjoy Eva's review a lot. I just thought that she didn't think deeply enough about all the why's and wherefore's. I'm sure my own opinion could do with some constructive criticism, so how about it. If the two sides could get together maybe a consensus could be reached.

Now to the stories. My very favourite was 'Time Twist' by Sam Blackley. I found it very plausible indeed, and has given, me much food for thought. A Corellian Jedi is not a contradiction in terms and to save his life Han would have to lie. Ben Kenobi did, but only to safeguard his mission, A sound and very creditable performance. I do have one criticism -- why wouldn't Vader have been able to sense Solo's special qualities. He could feel the Force in Luke, and such a powerful influence could not have been entirely missing from Solo however long the passage of time.

As a rule I don't like poetry but I found Hanna Sue Mcintosh's poem beautiful. Not being able to write something like that myself, I admire this article very much. There are two sides to every argument and I'm glad someone has put Vader's. Not that it changes more, but it does help.

I think that Jonas and Eva were mean to leave the 'Mission on Tatooine' story where they did. I shall now have to wait for part two. I would have preferred a more fully developed beginning, but George Lucas isn't giving much away about that. Their explanation is a sound one, hut I'm sure Vader would have been there waiting in person.

"I really didn't find anything I disliked at all in the zine, I found the stories, especially Eva's, Samantha's and Ann's very enjoyable. More please.

Also I was very moved by much of the poetry such as Karen Millers and Pammi Bowen's.

I hope a little of this is some use. I would like to have a go at discussing Han Solo' s character in greater depth, and also exploring character inter-relationship. Is anyone willing to start the ball rolling?

To conclude: well done to all concerned. I hope issue five is just as good. [18]
[zine]:

I normally feel that the fact that I continue to buy new issues of a zine should be comment enough about my feelings on a zine. However, several things in TDL roused me out of lethargy.

First, if an outsider may comment on what is essentially a family matter, I think the disagreement (is that too strong a word?) between yourself and Engholm/Bellis over "fannish fandom" is a waste of all your time. Unless Sverifandom is determined to reinvent the wheel, it should examine the experience of English language fandom which trashed out this whole argument in 40's and 50's. Mr. Bellis seems familiar with the names of and, presumably, the writings of American BNF's from that period and so ought to be aware of this. A reading of Warner's "All Our Yesterdays" and "A Wealth of Fable" would make it clear that there's nothing new under the fannish sun. This dispute is just another fossil bleaching under, the fannish sun.

Several pieces of fiction are also worth a comment. Ms. Albertsson, who I first encountered in Twin Suns II, has written in "The True Force" something to offend everyone. After I recovered from the state of shocked disbelief that it brought on initially, I plowed through it because I believed her to be too good a writer to perpetrate so perverse a vignette without good reason.

I was right and wrong. Her point was certainly not the feeble "joke" which climaxed the story. Rather I think she intended it as a satire on the many SW stories which have as their raison d'etre inflicting pain and suffering on Han Solo. Additionally, some devilish desire to raise the blood pressure of any Vader's Raiders among her readers must have caused her to portray Vader in this way, (I would, after this, be very suspicious of any packages, ticking or not, arriving from Karen Osman. But, Sasscer's "Mercy Mission" ought to get the editor, at least, off the hook.)

Albertsson may have intended to write a satire but I fear that what she got was' pornography. As a 19th century critic might describe it, this story must incite such feelings of revulsion and disgust in its readers by its gross depiction of scenes of such.depravity and sadism as to bring down upon itself the just condemnations of all persons of taste and sensitivity. Etc, etc. Or, in other words, it didn't work as satire for me.

I liked her "Missing - One Falcon" much better. The principals are handled well and the Doctor is an interesting addition. From all "the cryptic references dropped, I assume that we shall meet her again. Her comment on the "The Yellow Horde" was perfect.

I wish you had prefaced the Blackley story with some indication on when it was written. Is it a case of clairvoyance or was it written after Empire appeared? Dream or no dream, I don't believe for a moment that Han Solo could be a Jedi, nor do I see Vader undergoing so profound a change of heart no matter that both possibilities have their partisans in fandom.

"Mission on Tatooine" was a disappointment. This installment contained much running about by the characters but no character development that I can find, None of the supporting characters show any life of their own and Luke and Vader depend on the reader supplying any emotional resonances the characters have.

The authors have dashed off an action piece which only coincidentally takes place in the SW universe. It might have happened in any scientifictional universe with its hero and villain interchangeable with an unlimited number of pulp characters. Perhaps, it will improve when they make their break from Tatooine.

Jonas, I had great fun with your zine and look forward to seeing more. [19]
[zine]:

All our protestations and promises aside to never publish anything of the 
sort again, I see I shall have to defend "The True Force". In proclaiming himself both right and wrong, Mr Walker could not be more correct. In fact,
 the only instance in which he is completely wrong is in the supposition
 that his own reaction of shocked disbelief is necessarily shared by the rest 
of the world. Although the story is very likely, not to say certain to offend
 some, many more have so far chosen to treat it with indifference or even 
appreciation.

I also believe that what I got was pornography - with the small distinction that I do not fear it. I have written, almost as many stories of that genre as I have the regular kind, and as far as quality is concerned, with considerably more justification. As a rule, however, I prefer to classify them as 'erotica' since a certain playfulness of style is an essential part of then, in a way that is not often the case with straight pornography. I would be the first to agree that "The True Force" does not entirely meet these requirements, but first, let me explain a little about the reasons why I - and many other Hanatics with me - persist in writing erotic tales.

One very special quality that we all admired in the character of Han Solo was his great potential of giving and taking love and warmth with an unparallelled generosity - only very thinly disguised by his affected cynicism. This generosity - of such dimensions as to often cause Han as much harm as pleasure - was soon established as a typically Corellian trait. It far surpasses the often praised common 'tolerance' in that it is an active, outgoing quality which enables him not just to bear with other beings, but also to give of himself without restriction in a relationship with anybody willing to share in like measure - regardless of race, creed, colour, species, looks — and yes, even sex sometimes, for it would not be logical for such generosity to limit itself to just one sex of all dozens imaginable to the creative mind.

Personally, I have one other reason which may and may not be shared by the rest of the erotica-writers. You see, Mr Walker, what sends me into a state of shocked disbelief, where films like SW and TESB are concerned, is the amount of casual, offhanded violence with which the heroes go about their ambition to drum their way of life home to all the galaxy, regardless of the 'civil population', and possibly at their expense. This violence is usually shrugged off as 'something necessary', and is not often opposed! As long as it is not too gory (= realistic). What are we to learn from this?

1. That it is all right for heroes to debase themselves to the level of their enemies, and still make a pretense to setting a good example.

2) that intelligence and imagination enough to come up with peaceful solutions rather than wasting more lives than any computer estimations of the war would ever allow, are unnecessary - perhaps even unwanted qualities in heroes.

3) that realistic insight into what death really entails is more harmful to the growing generation than casual acceptance of it.

Now, in my opinion, a culture that can feed violence in glamorous packages to kids but frown on anything to do with the peaceful techniques of love, is a very sick culture. I mean, all right, overpopulation is a problem, but when the amount of people you kill is used as a measure of what a swell guy you are, and not to determine the extent of your murderous insanity and the possible reparability of your brain damage, something is very wrong with the times.

Therefore, I would much prefer to witness the Corellian's romps in bed, to seeing him blast his fellow-beings to smithereens. Hence the Corellian erotica as one of the major topics of my stories.

Now, to specifics. "The True Force" was not intended primarily as a satire although parts of it may give that impression as a side-effect. I can see where it may be interpreted as a comment on sadistic fanwriting and the "feeble joke," as Mr Walker puts it, is, admittedly, the manifestation of a deplorable inability on my part to take Darth Vader seriously (sorry, Editor, but you would agree he is melodramatic. If he were less dignified, I would not laugh at him). But, the story is mainly about another Corellian trait - a will to live so strong as to render Han virtually invincible, even with the odds against him. Perhaps this can be best illustrated, if I am allowed to disclose the first idea I had of a story like this. That idea was never put on paper, nor had it anything to do with the SW universe at first, but here is how.it went: The past days had been full of reports of people dying painfully at the perverted hands of official torturers in prisons all over the world, and this gave me the idea that it would serve those torturers rights if one day they happened to capture something they had not bargained for. I saw the prisoner as an alien being, something like a fiercely glowing sphere, or whatever -- that they. I did not understand and consequently - in the usual smart manner of such people - proceeded to treat in the same way as the rest of their victims. Only, this being would have a life-force so intense as to start searing the walls, when tampered with, ultimately burning the whole prison down. Now, I never wrote that story, but later on it occurred to me that the basic idea would fit a Han-story very well. The alien with the belatedly recognized potential was replaced by him and the invincible life-force which ultimately defeats Vader and his henchmen, is contained in the Corellian's vigorous sexuality - not a farfetched association to make. If tthis did not come through, it must be either because of the author's unclarity and general inability to express herself or the blind prejudice and deficient imagination of the reader - the choice is yours.

May I as a conclusion seize this opportunity to express my thanks to artist
 Tania Sinclair, who I think did a competent job, especially with regard
 to the difficult subject. -- Eva Albertsson [20]
[zine]:

Since this is the first English language SW zine I read, I can't really try to 'compare' it with other zines in this language. So, I'll have to stick to the one in hand, which I think is what you want, anyway, right?

I liked the cover very much although I'm not exactly one of Vader's biggest fans. Your glossary was interesting, but I guess most of the words I could have figured out without it (except maybe LoC). I thought "Questions" was very good, and I even liked Eva's "Kessel Run." And Sally Cortina's drawing is kind of funny. What I don't understand, though, is why you elaborate on "subfandom" to such a great extent? I think everybody has got his/her own opinion being a "fan." And I think most of the people don't really think about it that much. I agree with Eva though, when pointing out that you don't necessarily have to feel the same way about certain ideological views your "hero" does. I like watching Han Solo in action (shooting, running and stuff like that), but I wouldn't try to imitate him in certain respects.

"'Mercy Mission' could have really been in the movie, I think. It's 
plausible.

"'Time Twist' really was something else. Han - a Jedi?I I mean, how could a Jedi live with the knowledge of his real identity and not showing it to the 
others that are with him? Wouldn't that be some kind of 'denial' of the thing s
he believes in? I would think, as the last of the race, he would try to cherish
 his beliefs in order to preserve them... Reading about Vader's accident (the
 volcano) was very interesting, though.

"Although "Come - watch me die!" is not exactly SW, I liked the idea. Also,
I'm not very much into poetry but I liked 'The Approach of the Death Star! Being
 the lyrics to a song makes the difference .

'The True Force' — I sure wouldn't like to see this one on film!. What's 
become of your 'restriction* concerning X-rated stories?! It kind of didn't fit
 in' with the usual kind of SW story...

Who said herself she was a 'Hanatic'? After reading the most of "If this is Han Solo - Where's the Corellian?', I was inclined to believe she'd never said it! True, Han is different in EMPIRE but, doesn't a man have the right to "mature", if only in certain respects? And, his "one of ours" doesn't necessarily imply he feels like one of 'them.' Most people refer to their place of work as "our firm" (or whatever it is), but that does not mean they feel at home there.

"Part Two of 'The Final Solution' is worth waiting for.

Your Swedish ad posters and so on are very interesting, even though I don't speak a word of Swedish... Did anybody outside Sweden know that Empire was restricted to under-l5-year-olds?

"I liked 'Dreams in a Mudhole', especially the way Karen Miller adopted 
Yoda's way of talking.

'Missing - One Falcon' was very good, especially the end when Han said 'The Empire saved me.'

The idea behind 'After the Golden Age' is not so far-fetched, I think.

I liked the first installment of 'Mission on Tatooine', although I didn't like the short way of dealing with Han's 'reappearance'. Writing a bit more about that wouldn't have hurt, would it? May I hope to see more of Han in Part Two...? Apart from that? I think the story is pretty good.

On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your zine and I wish you the
 best for future issues! [21]

Issue 5

cover of issue #5

The Dark Jedi 5 was published in 1981 (late summer, early autumn? right around the time of the George Lucas Letters) and contains 112 pages. The front and back covers are by Bernie Davenport. The interior illos are by Goran Berselius and Bettina.

Most of the editorial addresses the story The True Force, explicit fan writing, and complaints from George Lucas' camp:
[Note: "T.R." is Eva Andersson, who is also the English translator, as well as co-editor of this zine]:

The last ish you had the opportunity to read... a slightly pornographic story (cough, cough -- T.R.) titled "The True Force" by Eva (What suddenly happened to my last name? -- T.R.) Reactions to this story has been overwhelming, that much we can assure you. They have also been widely spread; some have considered the story excellent, a true masterpiece, whereas others have expressed their disgust. (I'm taking bows, while simultaneously dodging the flying tomatoes -- T.R.) Unfortunately, some people did not want their opinions printed, but the prevailing reaction seems to be that the story was kind of average.... However, this story has elicited such strong emotions that we have decided not to print stories of this nature in the future ishs of "TDL." (Somebody's being sanctimonious; to all literate members of the audience it ought to be quite clear by now that this decision was taken shortly after "The True Force" had been accepted for #3, as a last lingering example of its kind. Our Dark Editor has been bending over backwards denouncing all contributions of this nature for months already. For information on why I keep committing outrages like these in the face of bigot opinion and common taste, I beg to refer interesting readers to my reply to Gary Walker's LoC in this issue -- T.R.). We do find it very interesting to note all the different views on what's being printed.... and in this case it's perfectly clear which policy will be TDL's in the future.

Lucasfilm Ltds have been more than adequately fuzzy on this point, but are mumbling something about not exactly approving. (They "feel very strongly about 'X-rated material,' because it is so wholly at odds with the nature of the characters and the films." Let us all hope this is not so; up to this point I had concluded Han, Leia and the rest were all supposed to be of the human persuasion, but I see I might have been mistaken. True, they have been frequently accused of two-dimensionalism' but this is ridiculous -- T.R.)

A word from the Co-ed at this point: First, we would not have you believe that we - cowering in our tracks - denounce all material with any reference to sexuality, at the drop of a vague frown from Lucasfilm. This is entirely our own choice, and one of some standing at that; partly because it was never our intention that TDL should develop into an erotica-zine, partly because special circumstances concerning Mr. Lucas' policy regrading 'X-rated material' have been brought to the Co-ed's attention. Circumstances which she feels merit some consideration.

Second, you may have heard that the official objection to undesirable stories is one of infringement on copyright. This is true, but are you also aware that in the eyes of Lucasfilm, "-- the Star Wars themes and characters are the copyright property of Twentieth Century-Fox and Lucasfilm (and) no one may publish any stories, books, or other material using the characters without the permission of those companies." This is not pointed out to discourage any of you from writing the fanstories which we all love, for, as Mr. Roffman at Lucasfilm so kindly puts it "-- it is not always feasible for Lucasfilm to attempt to stop publication of infringing story material which does not received any significant commercial distribution." But in the event any of you have in mind the great hearts of the recent past who started out with the explicit intention of "contacting intelligent life form on the other side of the tube," and build something great inspired by and in collaboration with this multiple life form, let me advise you to throw all such parallels to the winds, before you are disappointed. Mr. Lucas is telling a story entirely his own, and though he may be flattered by your efforts, he has not need of them, and does not even want them. So, everything we do, we do for ourselves, and the intoxicating worldwide contact and friendship resulting from this mode of communication is strictly a thing from fan to fan. Most of you will naturally have accepted this for a fact, and an exciting one at that, but for the occasional younger fan who may still be confused as to the nature of SW-fandom in relation to some others, I only wish to make this clear.
This issue has this statement:

Detta ar ett meddelande till att engelska och engelsksprdkiga läsare: Olyckligt- vis for er sa forstqr ingen av er det har, men det ar ju inte sa viktigt, det som ar viktigt att meddelandet kommit fram. Meddelandet da? Jo, fran och med detta nummer skickas varken THE DARK LORD eller VOICE OF THE EMPEROR till Lucasfilm, pa grund av deras skandliga tilltag mot alia SW fans genom att vilja ta till lagliga medel mot oskyldiga fans.

The message in Swedish above is of great importance to Lucasfilm, and we hope that they will try to translate it... Fans in general probably, understand what it says without having it translated.
Google translate:
This is a message to English and English-speaking readers: Unfortunately for you, none of you understand it, but it is not so important, what is important is that the message came out. The message then? Well, as of this issue, neither THE DARK LORD nor VOICE OF THE EMPEROR is being sent to Lucasfilm, because of their disgraceful actions towards all SW fans by wanting to raise legal funds against innocent fans.
  • Editorial (5)
  • The Final Solution by Lisa Kenniff (9)
  • What Did We Leave Behind for You? by Anders Bellis (11)
  • In the Forest of the Night by Alma Hedrick, art by Goran Berselius (13)
  • Dark-Dreams by Sarah James (32)
  • Milly by Yvonne Harrison (34)
  • Letters of Comments (49)
  • Archetype of the Lost Marauders by Eva Albertsson (56)
  • Garbage from Space, or The Noble Art of How to Gnugga, sin Kacka Rokokorumpa i Morgongroten, pt. 2 by Arvid Engholm (59)
  • Excalibur, Movie Reviews (60)
  • Mission on Tatooine by Eva Albertsson and Jonas Soderblad, art by Bettina (61)
  • It's a Monster of a Hit, repring form Daily Express, May 21, 1980 (81)
  • The Great Little Talkparty, an interview with Sam J. Lundwall made by Anders Bellis and Ahrvid Engholm (82)
  • Important Message (84)
  • Sune's Informatin Corner by Sune Odla (85)
  • A reprint from an unknown newspaper (87)
  • Ode to Star Wars, filk by Andrea, to the tune of "Hershey Candy Bar Song" (89)
  • Forcezines (90)
  • Join the Official Star Wars Fan Club (93)
  • fanzines (95)
  • The Price of Error by Alma Hedrick, art by Goran Bereslius (96)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

The grapevine was right, folks. If you are pick about buying fanzines unless they are outstanding in terms of writing, artwork and production values, you will not want to add ‘Dark Lord’ to your collection. If, on the other hand, you are interesting in finding unknown writers who may eventually develop into very good storytellers, you would do well to thumb through ‘Dark Lord’ #5.

Let’s get the negative out of the way first. Technically, this is a dreadful example of fan work. The writing is mediocre, the artwork appalling, and the production values are some of the worst I have ever seen. Mimeo is muddy-looking under the best of circumstances, but the poor quality of this job plus the typos and handwritten titles give this a terrible sloppy appearance.

The positive aspects are as follows: (1) the story concepts are good if poorly executed and (2) there is a real exchange of ideas between the readers as evidenced in the LoC column. The people involved in this are intelligent, but the expression of their ideas (which could be the translator’s fault) leaves something to be desired. One complaint is that two of the stories in this issue are continuations in a series, and it is difficult to judge a story on partial evidence. The first story in the zine is ‘The Final Solution, part two’ and it suffers from being chopped up between issues. Two pages is not enough of the story to catch a reader and maintain his interest over a period of six months between issues. The second partial contribution is ‘Mission to Tatooine.’ I have not seen the first part of this story, but enough background was given in this issue to catch my interest and pick up in the middle. While not impressed by the writing of the action sequences, I was interesting in the ideas envisioned coming up between Darth, Vader and Luke. Unfortunately, Luke always won the confrontations far too easily by simply remembering not to lose his temper. While that may be the correct method to use in dealing with Vader, I didn’t feel that the Luke she showed was strong enough to actually do this, and it did seem like an awfully simplistic way of getting around Vader. If anything was really wrong with this story, it was the author’s complete failure to depict the other characters around Luke. Leia is without compassion. Han is an ignorant lout and Lando, a greasy sycophant. However, to this writer’s credit, she does have a rudimentary grasp of how to build a complex storyline and take it forward over a great many pages. The most potential in this fanzine was shown by Alma Hedrick who mainly suffers from a lack of technical craft. Both of her contributions deal with how members of the Rebellian are drawn into the Alliance. She recognizes that not all of these people join from choice, and the protagonists in ‘In the Forest of the Night’ and ‘The Price of Error’ are interesting people. Luke is the main character in the SW universe ot appear in both, and his reactions are indicative that this has been a learning experience. Had I been Ms. Hendrick’s editor, I think I would have suggested that she combine the two stories with Luke as the focus in order to achieve a more exciting and complex story. Also, the long paragraphs of plot exposition are simply dull. It seems to me that the editor could have taken a little more responsibility in tightening these stories up. Nothing in this fanzine is without flaws on a technical basis. However, there is something to be said for the idea that writing well is a skill to be learning, and I do think that the potential for that is here.

The artists are appalling, but the fanzine editors of my acquaintance are always telling me how hard good artists are to find, so perhaps that would account for it. [22]

Issue 6

The Dark Lord 6

There were two different submission deadlines for this issue in the previous one. One date was November 1981 and the other was February 1982. It is possible that this last issue of "The Dark Lord" was never published.

References

  1. The Incomparable Jundland Wastes
  2. from Jundland Wastes #7
  3. from Unifying Star Wars Fandom -- A Panel Discussion
  4. Nut Hatch Press, July-September 1999 Editorial
  5. "Stf" is defined by this fan as "Stockholm fandom."
  6. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #3/4
  7. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #3/4
  8. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #3/4
  9. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #3/4
  10. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #3/4
  11. from Southern Enclave #20
  12. From Jundland Wastes #3
  13. from the editor in a letter printed in Jundland Wastes #9
  14. from the fan who reviewed this zine in "Jundland Wastes" #3, this partial reply to the editor's rebuttal was printed in "Jundland Wastes" #9
  15. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #5
  16. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #5
  17. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #5
  18. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #5
  19. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #5
  20. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #5
  21. an LoC in "The Dark Lord" #5
  22. from Jundland Wastes #7; Jundland Wastes printed a letter by The Dark Lord's editor complaining about this review, as well as a letter from the original reviewer defending her opinions