A Look Back At ‘Splinter of the Mind’s Eye’ – The First Star Wars Book

Splinter of the Mind's Eye is a classic Star Wars novel written by Alan Dean Foster. Foster has written several Star Wars books, including The Approaching Storm and the novelization of The Force Awakens, as well as several Star Trek stories.

Splinter of the Mind's Eye takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. In effect, it was the first original full-length expanded universe work and was published shortly after the release of the original movie.

The plot features only Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader as they jostle on the planet Mimban to find the Kaiburr crystal, a device that allows the user to greatly increase their Force powers.

Splinter of the Minds Eye book cover
Image Courtesy of Del Rey Books

The book was commissioned by George Lucas as a being the basis for a potential sequel to Star Wars. Alan Dean Foster was writing the novelization of Star Wars and also Splinter of the Mind's Eye as a second book. He was simply instructed by Lucas to write the book based on some ideas that George threw at him at the time.

In light of this novel being intended as serving as the basis for a movie sequel to Star Wars, Foster made the decision to place his story on a misty jungle planet – this was intended to reduce set and background costs for a film adaptation.

Is a misty jungle planet familiar to anyone?

According to Foster, Lucas's only request upon inspecting the first draft was the deletion of a space dogfight featuring Luke and Leia before they crash-landed on Mimban, which would have been effects-heavy and thus expensive to put to film.

The reality is that when Star Wars ‘went global' Lucas changed story direction and the film sequel script was first drafted by Leigh Bracket, which after her death from cancer, Lucas refined further with help from Lawrence Kasdan.

In terms of the old canon timeline, The Empire Strikes Back made no reference to the book's plot. Technically, it can serve as canon and perhaps more so than recent efforts in the expanded Star Wars universe. That said, the ending features Luke cutting off Vader's arm and this is repeated in The Empire Strikes Back. With that in mind, it's probably best just to count this story as a good yarn about Star Wars and leave the real canon to the movies and the novels that came much later that attempted to do real justice to the lore that developed.

In the new Star Wars canon which rebooted somewhat with The Force Awakens, the planet Mimban is featured in Solo: A Star Wars Story where we see Han hanging out dressed as a Mud Stormtrooper.

Edit: There are new rules about canon and this book no longer counts.

Splinter of the Mind's Eye is regarded by many Star Wars fans as a classic story in the franchise and it's still a popular read today.

Buy Splinter of the Mind’s Eye from Amazon.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.