I have a passion for collecting vintage Star Wars merchandise from the late 70's. Action figures, comics, trading cards etc - anything related to the first Star Wars movie. But why only until 1980? It's not that I don't love The Empire Strikes Back and beyond (I really do), but there is something about that first wave of Star Wars mania that really grips me, back when it was all fresh and exciting...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Official Poster Monthly #2

First item for this blog is a little gem I picked up relatively cheaply on Ebay about a year ago. The 'Official Poster Monthly' was a magazine begun by Paradise Press in the US in late '77. Basically it's one gigantic poster (2ft by 3ft) with newspaper style articles on the reverse depicting little snippets of info on the making of the film and bios on characters and vehicles etc.

In issue 2 (released Nov '77) we have one of those great little bits of 'pre-Empire Strikes Back' lore on Darth Vader which, needless to say, gets it totally wrong. As with the writers of the Marvel comics (some of those later), publishers were really sailing without a compass when it came to the histories of the characters. Let me quote;

"Those who learn about the Force must be on their guard, however. As on earth where we have White and Black Magic, so the Force has its dark side and Vader, for reasons that are unclear, became consumed by it. It led him to that fateful day when, in a fierce battle, he killed Luke Skywalker's father.
What is less well-known, is that Vader was then almost killed by Ben Kenobi, who was understandably enraged at his disciple's fall from grace. Vader's life might have ended then and there with a quick stab from a light saber; instead, during the fight, Vader stumbled backwards and fell into a volcanic pit where he was nearly fried alive."

An interesting little piece of early Star Wars merchandise, and probably one of the first mentions as to why Vader wore that black suit and mask in the first place. On the reverse of the magazine is an advertisement for some vintage memorabilia like the '78 Calendar, t-shirt transfers, key chains and 'Authentic Darth Vader Communicator' which I have no idea about, although it humorously states that its mirror can be 'used to see your own reflection'! Wow, that space-age technology...

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