Polish Bootleg ESB Novel

Now here is something that the average collector doesn't come across everyday. What we have here are two versions of how the ESB novel was released in Poland. Oddy enough the one on the right appears to be a bootleg of the one on the left. The one on the left, which also bears the same horse logo as the Star Wars novel, has a much thicker cardstock cover while the other only has a printed paper cover much like the rest of the pages. It's also pretty obvious that the text on the front cover and on the spine has been inked over rather sloppily. The bootlegs were printed in the early 1980's while a licensed one didn't get it's first printing until 1990. Communism was present in Poland at the time and private companies, as well as individuals, were not allowed to print anything in editions larger than 100. There were almost no Science Fiction books by American authors in bookstores, so Polish fans of Science Fiction went to what they called "the clubs" or fan clubs. Fan clubs printed some books in editions of 100 "for internal use only". These bootleg novels were translated by amateurs, and typed on typewriters. Then the novels were copied on duplicators. ESB is one of the books that was made. It is considered to be a piece of Polish history.

The next image is a side by side comparison of the title pages in both novels. The two are pretty much identical but as you can see the one that I feel is bootlegged has a much more washed out look. It almost looks as if it's a copy of copy.

This next image helps back up my theory even more as this page came out with some really bad artifacts showing up. Most of the pages in this novel have lines running top to bottom.

The final shot is of what is thought to be a complete set of Polish novels. Star Wars novels that were bootlegged are Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Han Solo Adventures, and Splinter of the Minds Eye. There are even dates in some of the books. "Splinter..." is dated 1985 and one of Han Solo books is dated 1986. This bootleg novel is not dated.

Description by: John J. Alvarez
Photo: John J. Alvarez
From the collection of: Joseph Yglesias, John J. Alvarez
Film:Empire Strikes Back
Category:Books / Novels


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