Friday, July 4, 2014

Splinter of the Mind's Eye

When was the last time a Star Wars novel was $1.95 retail? Yeah... a LONG time ago... 1978 actually. Splinter of the Mind's Eyes was the very first Expanded Universe Novel with the events taking place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back and actually written before The Empire Strikes Back was released.

My copy, took this in the
car after buying it along
with a copy of Survivor's Quest.
  This book surprised me! I was really expecting a more B-movie quality to it since it was released after just the first move. I was quite wrong! This is a hidden gem! I came across a copy at a local flee market. Not sure if it is still published, mine is an original copy. They either were read a lot or were made of bad quality materials cause pretty much every copy I have seen in paperback are in rough condition. Hardbacks were made but they were published by The Science Fiction Book Club which I call for a boycott on.

  Reading on Wookiepedia I discovered that this book was a back up plan. Written by the same author as A New Hope... wait... who wrote A New Hope?!?! George Lucas? Well, sort of...  First off I would like to note that I think some people are too hard on George Lucas. (Don't get me started..) But there are a number of people to thank for this ongoing space opera. While the original novel of Star Wars was credited by George Lucas he in fact did not write the novel version. That task was given too Alan Dean Foster. I have not read the A New Hope novel but I need to look for a copy to see what he did with that one. By what I am reading online it sounds like Foster made his own major impacts to the Universe.

  So, according to Wookiepedia, Splinter of the Mind's eye was a back up plan should they need a lower budget sequel to A New Hope... I have never heard this little tidbit before! There are a lot of stories out there so I don't know if this truly was so but it's a very interesting story if in fact it is true! But I am seeing this info in various places. Interesting to think had A New Hope not have been a hit this would have been it's sequel...

  The story only features Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia (Why were they always this close to cutting Han out...) on a mission to a planet to persuade them to ally with the Rebellion but instead find themselves stuck on an Imperial outpost mining community. In the end Luke and Leia both have to confront and fight Vader.

  I thought that this book would be wildly ridiculous. At this point it is not known Darth Vader is Luke's father nor that Leia was his sister. But in my opinion it worked much better then I thought it would. It left me wondering if there wasn't a question in the writers minds to have them as siblings even then. While Luke is pinning and crushing over the Princess most of the time she really does not seem to feel the same. She has a bond with him but never goes over to far as to being attracted to him. If you remember Luke finally figures it out in Return of the Jedi on his own after being given quite a few hints. Leia when told, remarks that she sort of always knew...

  This is where I get annoyed at people. So, is it impossible to be attracted to your sibling? Um, not
really. I have heard of siblings (adopted out as children) actually marrying not knowing only to figure it out later after a few kids... so yeah, this CAN happen. People seem to write off that a writer would not go there out of some moral issue! It is made clear Luke does not know Leia is his sister but Leia does since in some way her love for him was different and this book does reflect that.

 And then there is the kiss on Hoth... has it never dawned on anyone that Leia did that not to lead Luke on but to make Han jealous and it had nothing to do with Luke and didn't feel funny kissing him cause she didn't feel that way about him. (just so you know some girls like to make a guy they like a little jealous, just saying, and as an actor I can tell you it's easier to act affectionate with a guy you don't like then with one you do.) A clever little trick between siblings on the unknowing Han who is totally clueless till Return of the Jedi when Leia had to spell it out.

  So above is my reasoning on the sibling thing, but now after saying that I need to show you a little clip that never made it to The Empire Strikes Back...

  Um, yeah. Maybe you should disregard my previous statement... hmmm, LOL... what I said makes since and then you see this....! Let's just be thankful THAT did not make the final cut. Awkward...

Luke crashes on Circarpous IV
  Anyway, there are other interesting moments such as...

  • When Luke cuts off Vader's hand. This idea being used in the next 2 movies to both Luke and Vader.
  • It seams that Obi Wan "Ben" is almost a part of Luke helping him. Again brings us to when Ben tells him he can not go with him to Cloud City.
  • How traumatized Leia was from her torcher under the hands of Darth Vader. I wish this would have made it farther then just this book cause it gives her more emotional depth that I feel Leia lacks.
  • There is one scene where Luke and Leia are sitting at a table and to throw some people who came into the room Luke ups and without warning slaps Leia treating her as if she was a slave. It was a bit of a shocking moment...
  • In the stand off with Vader Luke sees no way out of the situation. He tells Leia who is now fighting Vader with his Lightsaber, to kill him. When hearing this Vader states he will not let her kill Luke because he wants to deal with Luke himself and is consistent with the fact Vader can not really kill Luke nor let him die at another's hand.
  • After crashing in the jungle, Luke and Leia are getting some rest, as Leia falls asleep first Luke vows to protect her even if it's from himself. This scene is reused in Spector of the Past between him and Mara.

 There's more interesting moments but really, just find a copy and read it!

Now it is time for me to return to the New Jedi Order...

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