Friday, 20 May 2016


From 1995: the third issue of the British STAR WARS fanzine HOLOCRON.

STAR WARS never struck me as having an active fandom back-in-the-day in the same way that STAR TREK or some of the other TV shows engaged fans to create their own 'tribute'. Maybe I just wasn't as aware of what was being created. Or maybe the sheer amount of official merchandise negated much need for anything fan-made. Or maybe SW appealed to a younger fandom who lacked the will and ability to publish in the same way that Trek fans had already been doing for a decade.

The 1990s resurgence did start to change that. Fans were obviously older and, for a while, ill-served by a mainstream media that had moved on from the saga far, far away. So titles like HOLOCRON, DARK TIMES and STAR WARS OUTSIDER appeared alongside STAR WARS MAGAZINE, GALAXY, INSIDER etc.

I would argue that the Expanded Universe was a repository for all the fan fiction that the saga had previously failed to spawn. Writers were finally let loose to nose around the universe and devote many pages to the smallest and most throwaway aspects of the movie series. And all with the endorsement of Lucasfilm.

Holocron was an A5 zine with colour stock cover (this issue being a dull shade of grey) and the standard black & white interiors. The articles ran the gauntlet of the films themselves through to the then current publishing boom. Articles of interest included a detailed looked back at the MARVEL UK original strips from EMPIRE STRIKES BACK MONTHLY from a period when no one was writing about them.


  1. I believe I wrote that "Marvel UK ESB strips" article. I did a few pieces for Holocron, including a short story.

    Funny enough, I ended up writing Star Wars comics some years later, when the UK (this time through Titan Magazines) finally commissioned original material again.

  2. Krusty, would that be for the uk star wars mag which began in 1996 ?

    I don't suppose you could tell us your real name, then I could look for you in the mag.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Ed,

      I don't usually promote myself in comments, but since you asked ...

      I'm Rik Hoskin. I was one of several writers on Titan's Star Wars Comic from Vol 6 #1 in 2009, which I think was the first time Titan commissioned original Star Wars stories:
      Inside Job

      I also originated the short-lived humour strips therein.

      As a child of the Star Age, I was especially pleased to get the chance to write a two part Han Solo & Chewbacca story ...
      Part 1 <Repairs
      Part 2 My Spaceship, My Enemy

      (Now with working links, I hope!)

    3. thanks rik, oops I was a bit off target in my guess as your work was more recent.

      I have all of those issues so I really must have a good look for your strips.

    4. Thanks Ed.

      I wrote around 20 or so stories for the magazine before Titan lost the license, and they're still being reprinted in the current Egmont magazine. One of my stories, "Suited", was reprinted as a promotion with the Sun which meant it reached an especially large audience.

    5. I found the issues from 2014 , one of them had an ad for HAYNES who published manuals on star wars. The company has recently announced they are downsizing.

      Not sure if I have that story from The Sun.

      So the strips in STAR WARS ADVENTURES are re-prints ?

      I'll check for the vol.6 strips later.

    6. Ed,

      The strips in Star Wars Adventures were reprints when I last looked about a month ago. Egmont were in a holding pattern in light of the new films.

      Egmont's other SW titles--Rebels and Lego--feature new strips (or at least they are new to the UK, I'd guess they may be enjoying a broadly concurrent printing in Europe).

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. The HOLOCRON articles looking nvm at the Marvel UK strips were a great read. They are the main reason I kept my copies all this time. Good job.

    I also had no idea that Titan had originated any STAR WARS strips in the UK. Was there a shortage of US strips appropriate for the audience? Or did they just fancy making their own contribution to the saga?

    1. Hi Slow,

      Thanks for the kind words, hopefully I'm not misappropriating the Marvel UK articles.

      I don't have any great insights into why Titan began to commission original material. I'd speculate, and this is only speculation, that they were pushing for more self-contained material* rather than serializing the Dark Horse reprints (*ironically, I think I was the only writer who started doing linked two-part stories in the format). Titan also repackaged the material in the US as well as selling it to Europe--I picked up a French reprint of one of my stories while honeymooning in Paris!--so I'd imagine there was some financial gain in originating the material, too.

    2. slow, any chance of scanning those articles ?

    3. it did strike me as unusual at the time that those strips were not usa re-prints.

      and yet in a kind of reversal , they were re-printed in the usa.


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