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Splinter Of The Mind's Eye - review and thoughts.

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As promised, my review of Splinter Of The Mind's Eye, read while I was on vacation.

I liked it. It’s certainly from the original Star Wars universe. It feels like Star Wars. By that I mean it feels in line with Star Wars. The characters we already knew from the movie are directly continued in the book. No surprises, and some of their dialogue and responses are comfortably familiar. It differs, however, in that it’s not a deep, vast, outer space adventure. It’s a smaller, more intimate story and it takes place in one location. I can see where fans of Star Wars EU wouldn’t dig it if they were expecting an action-based, space battle adventure. It’s not like that at all. In fact, there’s almost no space travel. Just enough to start the story.

It was published in early 78, written in 77, before Star Wars became a summer blockbuster. Because it was written as the sequel to Star Wars, it should hold a position of importance in the Star Wars entity for at least one very important fact - it is proof there was never any grand vision or story beyond Star Wars. If Lucas really had 12\9\6 stories in the form of 1\2\3\4 trilogies, he would have certainly used one of them as the sequel and not commissioned someone else to come up with a story. He wrote A script and made a movie out of it. Period. No grand vision, no starting in the middle of the second trilogy, no saga, no 12 movie quadruple trilogy, nothing.

Splinter works because it’s written by someone other than Lucas – someone with imagination and the ability to move a story along without having to needlessly and poorly explain the back-story of every character involved just to come up with some sort of substance. It’s a second story about the characters we already knew – a farm boy who has matured somewhat, a beautiful princess he’s smitten with, and a bad guy that ranks fairly high in the military. They aren’t related to each other, nor were they ever (only when Lucas had writer’s block, did he sink to that level). If they had been, Lucas wouldn’t have Ok’d the story. Foster didn’t need that sort of cheesiness to create tension or suspense. He used story instead. I’m sorry it wasn’t used as the second film. It could have been done really well.

Anyway, it’s a good story, albeit a small one, and it’s worth reading if you dig Star Wars of the 70s and are interested in seeing what it could have been before Lucas started trying to get creative. There’s some interesting twists, tense moments, and a little expanding on the characters we already knew. It’s a Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia story only. You get a deeper look into her character too. I particularly liked the Temple of Pomojema portion of the book. It would have made for great stuff in a movie. I’ll read it again. Probably wait until my vacation next year – make it my annual summer adventure novel.

*Spoilers below*

I found it very interesting how many things from Splinter made it into future Lucas films. Some vague and some blatant.

The crash landing onto the swamp planet of Mimban was almost completely duplicated as the crash landing onto the swamp planet of Degobah in Empire.

The Wandrella, a giant worm with several rows of teeth all around its circular mouth, makes an appearance in Return.

Vader falling backwards, out of sight, in a light-saber battle – Empire.

Luke in a jail cell with giant aliens – Return.

The princess as a servant girl – used as a cover in Splinter, becomes reality in Return.

The primitive Coway tribe surprising\ambushing the Imperial stormtroopers with crude weapons and nets is very similar to the Ewoks doing the same in Return.

The overall story of the book – good guys (man and woman with sexual tension) racing to get thing with special power before bad guys get it and use the power for evil – is Raiders Of The Lost Ark. The ark taking the place of the crystal, the Nazis taking the place of the Empire, and Indy & Marion taking the place of Luke and Leia.

I’m sure there are others I may have missed. These are not criticisms, by the way. I just found it interesting that Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye ended up scattered all over Lucas’ world for years afterward.

Anyway, like I said before, I enjoyed it and will read it again.

Next up – my review of the Star Wars radio drama. I’m one chapter into it and really liking it so far. Maybe a week from now.


originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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I didn't read the spoiler section, but reading the opening really makes me want to read this book. According to your previous thread, this book is no longer in current publication, right? (probably because, like you said, it devalues all of Lucas's comments now, therefore he has no desire to see its existence) That means I'll have to go to somewhere like eBay to track it down, like you did. But it might be worth looking into.

There is no lingerie in space...

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don't exist... then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks... and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming... Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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No. It's still available. I have an old, old hardbound (lost somewhere in time), but recently bought it in paperback.
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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Yeah, it sure does contain elements from previous and future scripts. Also, the section where Luke recruits the alien natives by defeating one in a fight is taken from the 1974 rough draft, and the plot-propeller of the Kaiburr crustal is from the early drafts as well. Aside from that, Lucas basically just used the plot base of Raiders of the Lost Ark for the story, as you mentioned.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Originally posted by: Gaffer Tape
I didn't read the spoiler section, but reading the opening really makes me want to read this book. According to your previous thread, this book is no longer in current publication, right? (probably because, like you said, it devalues all of Lucas's comments now, therefore he has no desire to see its existence) That means I'll have to go to somewhere like eBay to track it down, like you did. But it might be worth looking into.


I'm not sure when it went out of print originally, but I have seen some newer copies. It has a slightly different cover and says Star Wars now, but I think it's back in print.

I got my copy, in good condition, on ebay for 2.50 + 2.00 shipping. Very cheap.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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The Kaiburr crystal turns up in a second season Ewoks episode, being sought on Endor by an Imperial general. Halla could almost be a prototype for Yoda. The Dark Horse comics adaptation of Splinter is very good too.
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Actually, George Lucas wrote a NEW introduction to it when it was reprinted in the 90s. It'll be back in print with a fancy new cover this year I bet.
It would be interesting if Foster wrote a retro-style sequel about what Han and Chewie were up to at the same time.
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Originally posted by: SilverWook
The Dark Horse comics adaptation of Splinter is very good too.


I've not read or even seen them, but I do like the covers of two of them as visual references of the story. Might have to start looking for those also.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/stonetriple/swsme1.jpg

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f20/stonetriple/swsme2.jpg

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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Originally posted by: Guy Caballero
Actually, George Lucas wrote a NEW introduction to it when it was reprinted in the 90s. It'll be back in print with a fancy new cover this year I bet.
It would be interesting if Foster wrote a retro-style sequel about what Han and Chewie were up to at the same time.


Yeah thats the one i read, its from 1994. And he says that the star wars series is nine films long!! Oops George! Bet this won't be included in a new edition.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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I just got done reading its wikipedia page, and there is a bit of trivia that says that Threepio has a line in the book where he states that Darth Vader knows all the code words and commands to shut him down. Of course, the trivia hints to the later revelation that Anakin Skywalker built 3PO, and I have to admit that makes sense. But obviously that plot point did not exist in any way at the time this book was written, so how exactly would Darth Vader be so intimately aware with 3PO's programming? Is it explained at all?

There is no lingerie in space...

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don't exist... then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks... and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming... Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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It could simply be a matter of not changing those code words and commands. Leia was being interrogated aboard the Death Star while the search was on for the droids. And they probably didn't know Artoo was the one who actually had the DS plans.
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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"there is a bit of trivia that says that Threepio has a line in the book where he states that Darth Vader knows all the code words and commands to shut him down."

I'll have to reread that to get more information, but keep in mind that he is just a protocal droid. After all, Leia knew exactly where his shut-off switch was in ESB. This does not mean she built him.
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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Originally posted by: Gaffer Tape
But obviously that plot point did not exist in any way at the time this book was written, so how exactly would Darth Vader be so intimately aware with 3PO's programming?
3PO mentions it in passing, but it's never used. It's just his usual blathering on while people are trying to have a conversation.

The book was written 21 years before TPM, by someone other than Lucas. It's a coincidence, nothing more.

Is it explained at all?

No. It's not even bothered with in the book. In fact, when Vader shuts both droids down, he simply tells them to shut down. Since they're programmed to follow orders, they just shut down. No code words are needed or used and the command is just the phrase...shut down.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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I'm sure you all know me well enough to know I'm not at all trying to rationalize with prequel knowledge. I just thought it was interesting enough to point out. I especially find it interesting in the wording itself. As MeBe pointed out, Leia was able to shut him down, so I find it interesting he specifically said that Darth Vader could shut him down rather than just any old shmuck who knows the first thing about technology. Interesting aspect, though, that anybody can simply say, "Shut down," to a droid. One, I would think that a droid would only obey his master's directive to do that. Two, it renders 3PO's quote as something of an exaggeration. But thanks for the clarification.

There is no lingerie in space...

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don't exist... then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks... and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming... Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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Originally posted by: Gaffer Tape
Interesting aspect, though, that anybody can simply say, "Shut down," to a droid. One, I would think that a droid would only obey his master's directive to do that.


In fact, Vader tells Luke that's why they obeyed him, because he had just become their new owner.



Funny, when I first read it, I thought to myself - that's where Lucas probably came up with the idea to further shrink the universe in TPM. Honestly, he doesn't seem to ever have an original thought in his head. Everything he's ever "created" has really just been borrowed and tweaked from someone else's work - Star Wars Origins
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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Originally posted by: Anchorhead
Originally posted by: Gaffer Tape
Interesting aspect, though, that anybody can simply say, "Shut down," to a droid. One, I would think that a droid would only obey his master's directive to do that.


In fact, Vader tells Luke that's why they obeyed him, because he had just become their new owner.



Funny, when I first read it, I thought to myself - that's where Lucas probably came up with the idea to further shrink the universe in TPM. Honestly, he doesn't seem to ever have an original thought in his head. Everything he's ever "created" has really just been borrowed and tweaked from someone else's work - Star Wars Origins


In Lucas' notes from the mid-70's C3P0 is destroyed but then re-assembled by a little boy working in a factory. So it was an idea that he had always been partial to.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Interesting.

As to the Star Wars origins website....

http://www.spookybug.com/origins/pix2/maul.jpg

In Lucas' defense (can ya believe it, Cass?), I was under the impression that Lucas asked an artist to come up with the most nightmarish face imaginable. When that turned out to be too scary, there was a second draft, which later became Maul. It's probably in the Making Of book, but I'm too lazy to walk to my office and look it up.

Nonetheless, that's an awesome saying.
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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I have an old paperback copy of this book. I read it many years ago when I was in my early teens and I do remember liking it, but I don't remember a lot about the plot. I think I'd like to re-read it now and see if I still enjoy it as an adult.

I was originally intrigued with the book because it fell between SW and ESB (and I liked the cover illustration of Luke and Leia looking up at Vader), and I definitely think that most non-EU fans would enjoy it. I'm not an EU person myself- the only other EU book I've ever read is The Truce At Bakura (which I bought it because it was on sale and I liked the cover) and I didn't care for it that much.

*****SPOILERS******
Two things from SOTME that stand out in my mind is the sexual tension between Luke and Leia (har!), in particular a scene where Luke is trying to decide if he should kiss Leia on the lips while she's sleeping, and if I remember correctly, there's one scene when Luke slaps Leia in the face to make it appear that he is angry with her (for the benefit of some stormtroopers, I believe) except that Leia is totally taken by surprise and isn't too pleased with Luke afterwards.


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LOL...I have to say that, when I tried re-reading SOTME about a year ago, I was getting a bit nauseated with the "Luke thinking about Leia" stuff. This isn't to say I'm a queasy person...I just found that I couldn't just "read" the book in spite of those things, and I've no doubt it would get worse. After the slapping scene and Luke and Leia meet the old woman, I just put the book down and haven't picked it back up. Maybe someday.
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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Oh, come on, MeBe! Aren't we all self-perceived old school enough around here that we can think of Star Wars as extrapolated from the rest of the trilogy?

There is no lingerie in space...

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don't exist... then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks... and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming... Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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Anchorhead - seeing as you liked SOTME and are enjoying the Radio Drama, you should probably give the original "Han Solo" trilogy a shot. It only features Han and Chewie from the "known" characters, all three books came out before ESB hit theaters and, like the Radio Drama, was written by Brian Daley. I think he really captures Han's voice and the feel of the "Big Galaxy" era that ended with Vader's revelation at the end of ESB.
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Thinking about it just now, it's rather interesting that you have Splinter of the Mind's Eye, which is Luke and Leia and the droids. And then, at around the same time, almost to make up for it, you have prequels featuring Han and Chewie, really the only main characters not to be featured in Splinter.

There is no lingerie in space...

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don't exist... then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks... and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming... Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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Yeah, here I was a few weeks ago - saying I had no interest in reading EU - and now it turns out there's a fair amount of work that takes place in the Big Galaxy (great term, by the way). I need to take a look at everything pre-Empire and give it a look. So far, I'm really digging Daley's work.
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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I think those four are the only pre-ESB novels right? Yeah, I like that term "Big Galaxy", it is a great way to reference pre-Empire Strikes Back stuff. We could call it the BU (Big Universe). OT, SE, PT, EU and BU.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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I'd prefer the term 'Big Galaxy' of all of those. I've never liked the oxymoronic term 'Expanded Universe'. I didn't mind the Lando Calrissian books either even though they were written after Empire. They took place before the Han Solo trilogy. There isn't much Star Wars in there at all, aside from a main character named Lando Calrissian and his ship the Millenium Falcon. Everything else in there is standard sci-fi stuff.

Don't forget about Han Solo's quote out of Star's End where he mentions that he prefers to shoot first.