Sometime in the past couple of weeks, I received the latest Star Wars Insider. I've commented before that I think the recent issues have packed a lot of different Star Wars articles. It seems more diverse than past issues. Since that could just be me overlooking what came before, I pulled down a couple of the first issues I have...
But before I go on about that, the current issue of the Insider features the third part of the influence of the Star Wars RPG on the EU. Actually, this article focuses more on Fantasy Flight Game's Star Wars games as a whole, rather than just the RPG. With new animated series, the new movies, new fiction, articles, news, and collectables, this issue certainly reflects the busy place Star Wars has become.
So, the first issue on my shelf is Issue 17 of the Lucasfilm Fan Club, from 1992. My memory is now hazy about when I picked this up. The next issue I can find is #23, which is the premier issue of the Insider, which came from the LFL Fan Club magazine. Since it came out in 1994, I'm not sure if I got issue 17 off a news stand, or if I've got a few more LFL magazines stashed away somewhere. Anyway, I've probably got the entire run of the Insider as a subscriber....I think. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might be missing an issue or two along the way when my subscription ran out. Someday I'll take a closer look, but not today.
So, the 1992 LFL magazine has an exclusive interview with George Lucas on the Future of Star Wars. Thinking about it a bit more, it seems likely that I bought this issue off the news stand for this article. It takes up a large percentage of the magazine. The issue is a mixture of color pages and black and white pages. Being the LFL club, it covers Indiana Jones and Young Indy as well. I was surprised to see a full page spread of West End Games original Star Wars RPG products in the products section, many marked "sold out." Super Star Wars and X-Wing are featured video games. There is another interview, this time with the authors of the young readers series that is...rarely mentioned since. Cover to cover it's 14 pages.
The 1996 Insider is quite a step up in quality and quantity. It's full color, 60 pages cover to cover, and shows signs of the revolution computers had in magazine art and layout. The LFL fan club became the Official Star Wars Fan Club, taking advantage of the growing Star Wars products, and the future movies. Some features are still around, such as a focus on the latest Dark Horse comic issues (Tales of the Jedi). There is a feature on LucasArts. There is a universe timeline, interviews with Carrie Fisher and Kenny Baker, and a special article on "The Cult of Wedge." The EU is in full swing and highly visible in the large Jawa Trader section, which housed the ads for the latest Star Wars stuff. This time, there is a two page spread of West End Games Star Wars RPG and miniatures products, with a few minis on the following page as well. Things like sourcebooks from Heir to the Empire are included here. The issue also confirms the "Special Editions" to be released soon, and has Episode I in its sights...down the road. "Lucas plans to start the screen play for Episode I by the end of this year."
So, a lot in those old issues. With the advent of fiction and other regular features, 84 pages plus 17 years of experience, the new issues do have more variety, but all of the magazines reflect the status of Star Wars at during their time.