Star Wars Official Poster Monthly was a magazine published by Paradise Press in the US and Galaxy Publications in the UK beginning in October 1977. Eighteen monthly issues were produced, with issue 18 appearing in March 1979. The cover price in the United States was $1.50, with a ten-month subscription costing $10.
Its main feature was a large full-color poster (advertised as "a giant, nearly 2 foot by 3 foot poster") of a character or scene from the original Star Wars film. However, it is perhaps more notable today, especially to fans of the Expanded Universe or those with an interest in the technical aspects of filmmaking, for the short illustrated articles included. These articles included character profiles, interviews with special effects crew and artists, vignettes about the Star Wars universe, and even discussions about real-world scientific topics relating to the film. The in-universe articles are particularly interesting for identifying the Imperial stormtroopers as clones, and discussing Darth Vader's reconstruction as a cyborg after losing a duel near a volcanic pit to Obi-Wan Kenobi, long before the release of the Prequel Trilogy.
Star Wars Official Poster Monthly was followed up by five issues of The Empire Strikes Back Official Poster Monthly in 1980, and four issues of Return of the Jedi Official Poster Monthly in 1983.
Birth of a Space Legend
Recently, reports have begun to arrive of a strange and perplexing new phenomenon. Throughout the Galaxy, it appeared, millions of cases of so-called 'Star Wars Fever’ had broken out. According to our medical staff, ‘the Fever' has no known cure -only repeated doses of the film called Star Wars seemed to have any effect: and even after 40 or more repeat performances the crazed victims still came back for more. Some ‘fans', as they called themselves, camped all night outside movie theaters. Some hard-core ‘Star Wars Fiends’ even attempted to seize theater managers at the point of a blaster, threatening ‘termination’ unless they ran continuous showings. What could be done? Was this to be the end of civilisation?
Faced with this alarming epidemic, the Galaxy was scoured for a cure. Finally, after months of fruitless questing, an answer was found. Lounging against a bar at the Mos Eisely spaceport, a team of hard-bitten space publishers claimed to have come up with a product capable of calming even the worst cases of ‘the Fever’. Their answer was . . . Star Wars Monthly, the first poster book devoted exclusively to Star Wars. SWM offered well-researched stories on the making of Star Wars, in-depth features on the Star Wars universe, handsome full-color photographs on every page and a giant, lavish, wall-to-wall poster with each issue.
Seriously folks, not since Star Trek has a science fiction event gotten into the hearts and minds of so many people. In a few short months, the epic fantasy that is Star Wars has rocketed into the consciousness of the crew of Spaceship Earth. Not only has George Lucas created the space movie of our time lie’s also created a new universe. From the deserts of Tatooine to the moons of Yavin, Star Wars grabs you between the ears and doesn't let go. Strange aliens, unearthly machines, larger-than-life robots, heroes and space villains; Star Wars does it like no other movie.
Every month, SWM will be voyaging out into the Star Wars universe, into the unknown lands behind the camera lens. Written and designed by confirmed and properly certified Star Wars addicts, SWM will be answering some of those really important questions on everyone’s lips - questions like . . . how do you beat a Wookie at chess without having your arms pulled off?
We don’t want to give away all our secrets, but it’s fair to tell you that upcoming issues of SWM will be taking you into the “magic factory’’, behind whose alien doors the visual miracles of Star Wars were created. We’ll be showing you how John Dykstra and his crew put together some of the 365 separate special effects sequences that make Star Wars. We'll be touring the model shops, where miniatures of everything from tiny inch-high ; duplicates of R2-D2 and C3PO, ! space fighters and Rebel ' blockade runners and an incredible 1600 square feet of detailed Death Star surface architecture were lovingly assembled. We’ll show why George Lucas studied aerial dogfights from World War Two to make the space battle sequences more authentic and describing the effects which involved model spacecraft flying acrobatics that any stunt pilot would be proud of as squadrons of rebel space fighters take on the Empire’s Tie machines in a whirling ballet of laser bursts and exploding debris. Why ancient Vistavision cameras were resurrected and given a new lease of life, and the secrets behind the amazing Dykstraflex, the computer-controlled camera that gave birth to the composite images, those intricate illusions where a dozen different elements spaceships, laser beams, planets and stars were filmed separately and matted into the spectacular battle scenes.
We’ll explore and declassify some of the vital facts behind Death Star: the planet-smashing laser weapon and the all-powerful tractor beam. What makes Darth Vader tick? Who (or what!) lies behind that awesome breath-screen?
We'll be looking more closely at the Imperial stormtroopers, feared across the Galaxy; at their weapons, armor and communications devices. What are the secrets of the starships and the hyperdrive propulsion units? What's it like to out-maneuver one of the big Corellian-class cruisers? You can find out in Star Wars Monthly.
SWM will also be touching down planet-side, taking a breather on Tatooine and experiencing life on an alien planet. If we ever get out of the landspeeder alive, we'll be examining Mos Eisely spaceport with its resident aliens, and trekking to the backwoods to travel amongst the Jawas and desert people.
We’ll feature in-depth studies of Star Wars heroes (and heroine!) with biographies of all the main characters. Who were the Jedi Knights and how does a light saber work?
We also figure that Star Wars fans will need to know something about the galaxy and inter-galactic travel. We’ll be travelling between planets - hopefully avoiding the spice mines on Kessel to bring you the low-down on the Empire and its villainy, the galactic bureaucracy and the “good guys” of the Rebel Alliance.
Finally, SWM will be taking a long look at Star Wars’ nonhumans. Of course, the film’s real heroes are Artoo and Threepio, with Chewie a close runner-up, so be prepared for detailed and in-depth reports on robots and robotics, aliens and spacepeople. Maybe we can even persuade
Threepio to guest-edit an issue!
Last but not least, our futures department will be following the progress of the upcoming new Star Wars movie. You can bet your life that George Lucas will be pulling some fantastic tricks out of his bag - and we’ll be. there to cover it.
So, if you want to be clued up on the magical universe of Star Wars, make sure you get the next issue of Star Wars Monthly Poster Book. Join us next month. Until then, may the force be with you!
STAR WARS Copyright 1977 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved ‘STAR WARS’, produced hy Gary Kurtz and written and directed by George Lucas, stars Alec Guinness, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing. © 1977 Galaxy Publications Ltd/ Paradise Press Inc/H. Bunch Associates Ltd. Printed in the USA. World Rights reserved.
HEROES & VILLAINS
Meet the Star Warriors
The young, blond-haired Luke Skywalker has spent all his life on the barren and remote planet of Tatooine. There he lives with his Aunt and Uncle at their homestead, set in a huge hole in the desert floor. All around the sand stretches to infinity. Restless and bored, it seems to him that nothing will ever disturb his daily routine.
Then one day the strange hooded Jawas arrive with a new batch of robots to replace his defective ones, and Luke’s life takes a strange turn. One of the
message from a beautiful Princess in distress, begging him to get word to Ben Kenobi. The very name excites the young man, although he scarcely knows why.
When Artoo treks off into the desert, Luke chases him and is rescued from the sand monsters by the legendary Ben Kenobi who tells him the secret truths about what his father did in the rebellion against the evil forces of Governor Tarkin. Persuaded by Ben Kenobi to take up the cause, Luke sets off on his quest.
With the help of Han Solo and Chewbacca, the pair rocket off to a rendezvous with Death Star, the giant floating fortress where the Princess is held. Suddenly Luke finds himself in the most dangerous situation of his young life. Battling against Imperial stormtroopers, he finally finds the Princess and manages to rescue her unhurt from the enemy’s den.
With the Princess he had come so far to rescue safe at last, Luke volunteers 10 return 10 destroy Death Star and play; a hero’s part in the climactic battle of Yavin. After all the other starfighters have tried in vain to land their missiles on target, Luke comes in for the final run. Remembering Ben Kenobi’s words, he turns off the computer controls and lets the Force take command. Skilfully steering at speeds faster than light, he hits the target and has the satisfaction of watching Death Star disintegrate into a million fragments. From being a lonely farm boy he has become a space hero.
PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA
The lovely Princess Leia Organa looks very young and innocent, but her pretty face is deceptive. The Princess is in fact a senator from the Planet Alderaan and a rebel leader working secretly for freedom and justice against the oppressive, evil Galactic Empire.
When her starship is hijacked by Imperial stormtroopers and she is forcibly taken inside the Death Star, she stands firm, refusing to let her frightening predicament make her give up the information she holds. She knows that if she does, the rebellion will be crushed in an instant and end forever any hopes of a better world for her people.
When she is ushered into Governor Tarkin’s presence, the Princess is not cowed by him or his evil henchman, Darth Vader. “1 recognise your foul stench,” she cries in defiance. Tarkin, realising that he is not going to get the information he wants without a struggle, shows her that he can destroy a planet at the touch of a button. Only then does she agree to tell him where the rebel forces are.
But by this time it is too late for the evil Tarkin to win. Luke and his friends break into Death Star and rescue the Princess who, once again, demonstrates her supreme courage. When all the fighting is over we see her installed on her grand throne, where she presents medals of honour to her courageous friends.
Ben Kenobi is a name that strikes fear into the heart of every evildoer in the Galaxy. Ben Kenobi was one of the greatest warriors of the Old Republic, fighting for honour and liberty. Then, when the Republic went into decline and the “dark times" came, he went into seclusion, waiting his moment to rise again and carry on the struggle.
The last surviving member of the Jedi Knights, a brotherhood of guardians of peace and justice, Kenobi becomes a teacher and mentor to the young Luke Skywalker, telling him about the great struggle and the Force. He instructs Luke in the use of the laser sword of which he himself is a Grand Master. Then he takes the boy to the desert spaceport where they find Han Solo.
In a bar there he saves Luke’s life when he is threatened by an alien, and from then on he is always at the boy’s side, offering advice and comfort and always telling
him, “The Force will be with you.” Part Merlin, part Samurai, Ben Kenobi knows tricks and skills that have been long forgotten and it is only with his help that Luke manages to complete his quest.
Only one other being can match Ben Kenobi’s power -the evil Darth Vader, who also has memories of times long past. In an epic confrontation the two ancient adversaries do battle with laser swords to decide who will be the ultimate master. Ben Kenobi appears to die, vanishes into thin air. and leaves only his cloak behind him.
Luke and Ben Kenobi first meet Han Solo in a rough bar at the space port. Han is a mercenary, a man who works for any side as long as they pay him. His youthful looks hide the fact that he’s been around a long time.
When a deal is struck, Han takes the pair out to his starship, the Millennium Falcon, which at one time belonged to the Corellian pirates. Luke is very unimpressed by what he sees.
But Han soon shows him how wrong he is. When they leave the planet they are pursued by a couple of Imperial starships. As they weave and duck the lines of tracers, Han gradually builds up speed. Telling them all to hold fast, he pushes the lever and the ship jumps into hyperspace, leaving the Imperial troops far behind.
Although Han is courageous, he is reluctant at first to get involved in any adventure that he is not getting paid for and that might cost him his neck. But soon he puts these feelings behind him and agrees to leave his ship and enter the Death Star to rescue the Princess. It’s as well he does. His skill with the laser gun leaves many dead Imperial troops behind him, and his brilliance as a pilot manages to take the rescuers safely home.
Tough, dashing, with guns strapped to his hip and a slick line in talk,' Han Solo is the kind of guy you’d want on your side when the going gets rough.
GRAND MOFF TARKIN
With his cavernous cheeks and fierce beak nose. Grand Moff Tarkin looks to be what he is -an evil dictator. Governor of the Galactic Empire, he is a man driven by thoughts of total domination. Not satisfied with his already powerful position, he dreams of becoming Emperor of the whole Galaxy. So intense are these political ambitions that he will use any means necessary to crush the rebellion which is all that stands between him and toial control.
Resplendent in his dark green uniform. Governor Tarkin sits at the huge black table in the Death Star control room. From there he commands his fearsome Imperial stormtroopers to do his will. As he stares into the banks of scanners with eyes of steel, he contemplates the destruction of a planet with not a trace of emotion.
He seems to have no human feelings. Even the lovely Princess .cannot reach him. His lust for power is so great that even when Death Star is threatened with destruction he refuses to leave. “Abandon the station, now at the hour of my greatest triumph?” he screams.
Minutes later he suffers the consequences as the Death Star, his ultimate and invincible weapon, is destroyed.
ART00 DET00 R2-D2 AND SEETHREEPIO C-3P0
Like Laurel and Hardy of the Space Lanes, Artoo and Three-pio never leave each other’s sides and are the best of friends even though they constantly bicker at each other.
Threepio is the tall, manshaped one. a golden android with a high-pitched fussy voice, always telling Artoo off for misbehaving. Although it’s difficult to understand exactly what Artoo says, his constant chatter of burps, beeps, whistles and tones sounds just like a real human conversation. Shaped like a miniature dustbin with legs, Artoo is in fact the most important robot in the Galaxy.
When the Princess’s starship is attacked, the two robots manage to escape in a capsule which lands them on the planet Tatooine. There they are immobilised by the scavenging Jawas and sold to Luke. Only then does it become apparent that Artoo has a message of great importance which must reach the rebel leaders.
Artoo it is who saves the life of Luke, the Princess, Han and Chewbacca when they get stuck in the giant garbage machine inside Death Star and almost get crushed to death. Only his computer brain can locate the key to the machine’s controls in order to immobilise it. Later, Artoo is able to feed all his information about the construction of Death Star into the rebels’ computer, enabling them to pinpoint the exact place where the bombs must land in order to destroy the giant death machine.
Of all alien creatures Wookiees are the strangest. A Wookiee looks like a cross between a large bear, a dog and a monkey, but behind its large blue eyes is a very intelligent brain.
Chewbacca is Han Solo's copilot aboard the Millennium Falcon. He can handle the starship as well as any human, if not better. Over seven feet tall, it is rumoured that he is more than 200 years old. Han and Chewbacca look like a strange team but they work well together. Chewbacca’s language is a series of grunts and whoops which can reach a deafening crescendo
when his quick temper is aroused.
He has incredible strength. In the many fights he gets into with Imperial troops, he casually tosses around the white-armoured soldiers like flies. A fearsome enemy but a good friend, it is his strength and courage that helps our friends through when the going gets tough.
Han calls him the "walking rug".
Daith Vader is the ultimate villain of the Star Wars universe. The malevolent Dark Lord of Sitl, he is the wicked and poverful henchman of Governor Taikin. He stands at his right shoulder, his giant body shrouded in a black cloak, his fact an angular black mask. His deep, menacing voice booms out of his dark grille of a mouth. Even when he is silent, you are awire of his presence because of his heavy, rasping breath.
Darth Vader possesses, aside fron his extraordinary strength, straige extrasensory powers whch he can use to probe mirds. Only one man is his match, his dreaded enemy Ben Kenobi. The minute that Ben lands on the Death Star. Darth Vader can feel his presence. Strange sensations revive old memories in his ruthless brain of a time before Tarkin ruled.
Finally, Darth comes face to face with his old adversary. Swiftly, they both unsheath their laser swords and fight to the death. They are well1 matched but Darth finally slays Ben Kenobi - or does he? True, Kenobi’s body is no longer there, but does Darth Vader really think that he can destroy the huge power of the Force so easily?
Join the Victorious Rebels
Let the Force Be With You!
Princess Leia Organa summons you to become a charter member of the Star Warriors — the successors to the Jedi Knights.
Here's your opportunity to get
• TWELVE fabulous FULL COLOR POSTERS of your favorite STAR WARS scenes and characters!
• Exciting ORIGINAL ARTICLES, stories and information with full color photos!
• Your very own Charter Membership Card in the elite StarWarriors!
• And much, much more!
Now that the Grand Moff Tarkin and his hideous Death Star have been vaporized into a billion bits of interstellar dust, we invite all freedom-lovins Beings of the Universe to join us m the Battle against Evil!
Though the immediate danger has passed, rumors from a remote corner of the Galaxy—a place so dreadful that even the Corel lian pirates dare not venture there—tell a tale of future terrorl They say that the Dark Lord of the Sith...DARTH VADER himself...lives yet! If this is true (and our sources are extremely reliable) then without doubt, Darth will be back his black soul more twisted than before...his cunning mind filled with terrors as yet unimagmed!
YOU HOLD IN YOUR HAND WHAT IS SURE TO BECOME ONE OF THE HOTTEST COLLECTOR'S ITEMS IN BOTH THE REPUBLIC AND THE GALACTIC EMPIRE!
Now that you've started, you WON'T want to miss what's coming next... Right! So...just to give you an idea of the excitement coming your way, next month you'll receive...(hang onto your light sabres, friends...)
A GIANT, NEARLY 2 FOOT BY 3 FOOT SMASHINGLY DETAILED IN LIVING COLOR EERILY EXACT AND INCREDIBLY LIFELIKE POSTER OF...
Plus of course, loads of fascinating STAR WARS facts...inside information... secrets of the movie...
What's coming in the STAR WARS sequels...all the things you really want to know about!
Be A Charter Member—It's Like Getting 12 Posters FREE! Look at it this way. Go out and buy a great, big, stunning poster like the one in this Star Wars Poster Book, you'll spend two, maybe three bucks. Right? And what've you got? A poster.
Now! When you become a charter member of the StarWarriors, NOT ONLY do you get 12 full color posters, bigger and more beautiful than ever, you get 12 WHOLE MAGAZINES full of prized momentos and facts about THE FORCE—All this for only $10.00, that's just 83“t a month! It really is like getting the 12 posters FREE!
The facts and information you'll get are going to be the BEST yet! Find out-about the personal'battles. Creator George Lucas had to fight just to launch STAR WARS ..how the film crew almost got wiped out by a sand storm ..how those real droids were made...how the first fans reacted to the film...how the members of the cast felt about the movie and much more! THEY’RE ALL HERE!
The Jedi Knights...Luke Skywalker...
Artoo Deetoo...See Threepio...the enchanting Princess, the furry and fierce Chewbacca the Wookie...Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi, the wise (and will he return as promised?)...the devilish Grand Moff Tarkin and the dread Darth Vader they'll live for you again...m words and spectacular pictures...a full twelve months worth!
DON’T JUST SIT THERE LIKE YOU WERE HIT BY A STUN-RAY! JOIN TODAY!
Complete and mail the coupon to be sure that you'll be a CHARTER MEMBER of the elite StarWarriors!
LATE BREAKING NEWS
Every month—in addition to the giant poster and other pictures, features, and stories—you'll get special supertechmcal information on the special effects of STAR WARS! And you'll get news of how to get the latest STAR WARS merchandise... games...plans for the Death Star and other deep-space fighting craft, too.
STAR WARS, Dept. SW-1 6 Commercial Street, Hicksville, N.Y. 11801
YES! I want to become a StarWarrior. Enclosed please find check or money order for Ten 1977 U.S. Earth dollars ($10). Sign me up as a charter member for the next year, now!