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Startoons is a book that was released in 1979 by Playboy Press Paperbacks that included cartoons from many science fiction fanzines that were originally published during the 1970s. It was edited by Joan Winston and was 192 pages long.

Content covered all kinds of science fiction entities, including many elements from Star Wars.

Content, general/real lifeEdit

Startoons
The majority of cartoons in the book consisted of only one panel, although there were many that took up several. A few were made into a brief series, such as The Trek Primer, being several pages long and introducing several elements and races found in the original Star Trek television show. Another series was loosely based on a real life sci-fi convention, confirming (and satirizing) events that led to a fire department shutting down a local hotel due to it being overbooked with guests and comically depicted how Trek actor William Shatner got hit in the face with a pie (which also reportedly happened in real life).

Some cartoons were not geared towards any kind of specific sci-fi entity in the television, print or movie mediums, however, such as one that showed an alien on a television set wishing to cancel their threat that Earth would be destroyed within an hour, as they had “the wrong number”. Another cartoon showed an alien in a psychiatrist’s office telling of horrors of planet Earth, whereas another cartoon covered cloning, among other non-specifically related sci-fi content from the entertainment world.

Other cartoons, however, skewed various real life businesses and government entities, such as one being a spoof on the International House of Pancakes, showing a business known as the “Intergalactic House of Pancakes” on an asteroid with several spaceships parked by it or were in the process of blasting off. Another cartoon showed a generic alien posing with an American Express card, while another one showed several aliens entering a post office, following a sign that says “aliens register address”. Another cartoon depicted a human couple being chased by giant angry snacks emerging from a nearby saucer, which the female says “I was afraid of this. It’s the Giant Twinkees from outer space.”

Content, sci-fi pop cultureEdit

Fun was poked at many science fiction movies, tv shows and real life sci-fi authors and books, some of which included:

  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Dune
  • Forbidden Planet
  • Harlan Ellison
  • Logan’s Run
  • Space: 1999
  • Star Trek
  • Starship Troopers
  • The Blob

Content, Star WarsEdit

Many cartoons are set in the Episode 4 universe, as the cover of the book alone had a drawing of Han Solo eating a bowl of food while asking “Hey, this is great stuff – whataya’ call it?” Chewbacca behind him has a scoop in one hand while the other is holding onto a bag titled “Burina Humanoid Chow”. Another cartoon mocked the scene in the movie where Luke Skywalker was attacked by a Sandperson; here they are just engaged in a conversation, with the Sandperson saying “Whaddya mean, why do we wear these masks? Have you ever smelled a bantha?!”

One cartoon is a homage to an old joke where the Lone Ranger is lamenting that he was surrounded by hostile indians and is out of ammunition. He asks what he should so, which his indian sidekick Tonto replied with “What do you mean we, paleface?” In the Startoons remake of the joke, Solo states that his blaster was empty and they were surrounded by “thousands of hostile Zookies” (rather than Wookies) and asks what he should do. Chewbacca replies with the same punchline of “What do you mean we, paleface?” Other Chewbacca cartoons include him with his hair in curlers, stating the Princess Leia line from the movie of “No reward is worth THIS!”, along with Leia comforting Solo at a funeral procession of Chewbacca in another cartoon, asking “Imperial Stormtroopers?” in regards to Chewie’s cause of death. Solo replied, “No. Hair balls.”

Some cartoons are complete with puns, such as the one that opened the book, showing Darth Vader (who has several pieces of food speared onto his light saber) sitting with a Stormtrooper. He tells the Stormtrooper “It’s a Sith-kabob. Any other questions?” Another one depicts Skywalker eating at a table with food falling off his knife, which what is assumed to be the disembodied voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi says “No, no, Luke! Use the forks, boy–use the forks!”

There is also a brief series in regards to the monster that was briefly seen in the garbage chute in the movie known as “The Scrod”, giving an introduction to it, followed by various cartoons, depicting what The Scrod would look like if made into Darth Vader and Kenobi, along with being crossed with Dracula and Sherlock Holmes (the latter of which was entitled “Sherlock Scrod”).

A few cartoons also mingled with various other unrelated sci-fi elements, such as spoofing the Cantina Bar scene from the movie, which showed Kenobi telling Skywalker that “...you’ll find some of the best star pilots in the galaxy here”, which Flash Gordon, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock from Star Trek, an astronaut from the 2001: A Space Odyssey movie, Colonel Steve Austin from The Six Million Dollar Man tv show, and Klaatu and Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still movie can be seen in the cantina. Another cartoon showed two T. I. E. Fighters and Vader’s T. I. E. in hot pursuit of the Star Trek Enterprise in the Death Star trench. Another Trek crossover cartoon showed Vader hurrying away from Enterprise helmsmen Hikaru Sulu, spoofing a Trek episode where Sulu challenged someone to a fencing contest; here Sulu is holding onto a light saber (rather than a foil) while yelling “Coward!” at Vader. And another crossover cartoon shows the robot/dog Muffet from Battlestar Galactica relieving itself on R2-D2 while R2 says the Galactica curse of “Felgercarb”.

NoteEdit

All Star Wars cartoons were from the Episode IV universe, as it was the only Star Wars movie out at the time of publication.

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