Splinter of the Mind's Eye
by Alan Dean Foster
Published by Ballantine / Del Rey
Darin's Rating: 3 out of 4
This, the first STAR WARS extension novel, is written by none other than Alan Dean Foster (who ghostwrote the novelization of STAR WARS for George Lucas, and later authored ALIENS). Luke must find the Kaibur Crystal--a legendary crimson crystal that enhances Force powers--before Darth Vader does, or suffer the fate of Anakin Skywalker the galaxy will (in good Yoda English). This is probably the basis for a lot of the ideas in "The Fall of the Republic," a piece of fan fiction that went around for years with George Lucas' name on it, proclaiming to the the rough draft of the script for Star Wars: Episode III. It has since been discredited. SPLINTER OF THE MIND'S EYE holds a particulaly interesting status: I have it from a good source that SOTME may have been a "secondary" sequal to STAR WARS (i.e., if SW didn't do that hot in theaters, do a made-for-TV sequel based on this storyline). Anyway, things progress--Luke and Leia have to avoid the Imps along the way of course--to a confrontation between Luke and Vader (remember, this is before Empire).
It's fun to read SOTME now, knowing all we do about Luke and Leia. This story is set between SW:ANH and SW:TESB, but doesn't have Han in it (maybe he's off at Ord Mantell). The book is obviously aimed toward the younger reader, and is filled with "warm, fuzzy feelings for Leia" by Luke (which of us male SW fans didn't have warm, fuzzy feelings for Leia while we were growing up? She and Olivia Newton-John were going to have to fight over me-- in my dreams).
Luke protects the crystal, but dies doing it. But the Force (aided by the crystal) resurrects him. This is the first time that happens to Luke-- read THE COURTSHIP OF PRINCESS LEIA for another circumstance similar to this.
Darin forgot to say what was ugly!