The Star Wars Fan Club
IntroductionI consider myself a long time fan. Yet, for some unknown reason, I never joined the official fan club. Then, one day, I picked up Issue #29 of Star Wars Insider and really enjoyed it. Inspired by the magazine, I decided to act.
This past fall, I joined.
It was 19 years after the fact and I felt like some goof who was joining just to do it, what with all the hype over the upcoming Special Editions. When I found out that my subscription would start with Issue #31, I also managed to find Issue #30 at the bookstore.
Finally, back in the first weeks of December, I received my first issue of Star Wars Insider Magazine. It was something of a letdown. I was expecting more. I thought membership in the fan club would be more than just a magazine subscription. I remembered all of the cool things that the fan club offered during the first year, and I wanted some of those things to be in this membership.
If you joined the first year this is what you received:
Here's a picture of the poster. The image is from The Art of Star Wars, page 151.
The art is by Ralph McQuarrie. It shows Luke piloting his X-Wing down the Death Star Trench. A cousin of mine had the original poster years ago. Last fall, over at Wal-Mart, I found it. While it's not an original, it's the closest I can find. If you can't find it at a store, here's the address of the company who printed it:
Western Graphics Corp.
The Club during EmpireWhen The Empire Strikes Back came out, the fan club offered the same sort of items but all were for second film. I remember another cool offer that was featured in Issue #35 of Starlog magazine. It was for the patch worn by the film crew while in Norway.
This design was similar to a decal you could receive if you joined the fan club after Empire was released.
It seems that I am trying to recapture all that I missed by never joining. I'd love to know what was in all of the issues of Bantha Tracks. What all did I miss? If anyone knows of a site that has this information, please let me know and I'll put it in as a link. Even better, if anyone has been a member since the start, please make a list of all that you received and share it with the rest of us. If you don't have a website, maybe you can put it here.
The fan club now just seems to commercial. There is too much merchandising ... more than half of Insider is a catalog.
Update(Monday 3 February 1997)
Issue #32 of Insider arrived in the mail on Saturday the 25th of January. The issue was bagged and was enclosed with a white 8 x 10 envelope labeled Supplement to the Star Wars Insider. Inside was a membership kit! It had the following:
I was very moved when I saw the Membership Card. This was the gizmo, the "secret decoder ring" that I had yearned for all these years.
It seems as if some of my lamenting was for not. I just didn't get a membership kit in the first place.
Much, much more on this as it develops . . . .
Copyright © 1997, Michael A. & Tammy G. Hendershot