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Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind's Eye (Star Wars Universe)

3.24  ·  Rating Details ·  7,562 Ratings  ·  372 Reviews
Luke Skywalker expected trouble when he volunteered to follow Princess Leia on her mission to the planet Circarpous. But he discovered that hidden on the planet was the Kaiburr crystal, a mysterious gem that would give the one who possessed it such powers over the Force that he would be all but invincible. In the wrong hands, the crystal could be deadly. So Luke had to fin ...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published (first published 1978)
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Jun 28, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book is very basic, by-the-numbers sf--but with the added thrill of being written right after A New Hope came out. Thus, the entire story is about Luke and Leia's sexual tension. Sure you always intended them to be siblings, Lucas. Sure.
Travis McClain
In 1976, a little paperback book called Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker appeared on the mass market. A little blurb notified the readers that it was soon to be a motion picture from its author, George Lucas. You probably know the cinematic story from there, but the literary world of Star Wars is often overlooked. To begin, Lucas did not pen that first novel; it was ghostwritten by noted science-fiction author Alan Dean Foster. No one knew whether the film would make any money, b ...more
In some ways I feel a little bit like poor Alan Dean Foster got shafted here. The idea behind this book was to write a sequel to Star Wars that could be turned into a movie on a low budget and presuming that Harrison Ford wouldn't return as Han Solo. When in hindsight we look at how the Star Wars saga turned out, with Empire Strikes Back being not just the high point of the series, but of sci-fi/fantasy movies in general, this "what-if" looks tragically unambitious and rather stupid. It's clear ...more
Gary Foss
Apr 28, 2014 Gary Foss rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boofshelf
OK, I admit it: I read this.

I was young and foolish and more than a little drunk on blue milk and whatever that squeaky little guy ordered in the cantina. Plus, I had a lightsaber (a white plastic tube from a golf bag that I MacGyver'd into an ersatz Star Wars toy) and not enough plot to fill out my own pubescent Expanded Universe, so I was a-Jonesin' for plot hooks and adventure ideas. Episode V was years away! YEARS, people! Heck, in my house, we were so desperate for more Star Wars we had...
Sep 19, 2008 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 2fiction, 1paper
I don't know what the story is behind this book. I read it well before the second Star Wars movie was released, thinking it would be it. But it wasn't. In fact, it's not part of the Star Wars story that I know of. That alone makes it kind of interesting.

Foster had to write this book as part of his contract for the novelization of Star Wars. Originally, this was supposed to be the basis for a low budget sequel, but then Star Wars hit it big & it was decided there would be a big budget sequel
Mike (the Paladin)
I read this when it came out. it was riding the "wave" of the early Star wars mania. I remember it being a mildly interesting science fantasy read. the funny part is that for me the memory that stands out is a scene in the book where Luke is fighting and throwing things around with the force...which it was established later would put him firmly on the dark side of "THE FORCE". Got to be careful when you write those early novels. It was like a James Blish Star trek novel written back in the early ...more
May 12, 2009 Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
In it's day, this book would have gotten a higher rating from me--I was a big Alan Dean Foster fan. However, since it was published prior to the release of The Empire Strikes Back, it does suffer plot- and characer-wise now. But if you're a fan, it's worth a read for old time's sake.

Although I must say that even back then, it made NO sense that Luke (from a desert planet) would know how to swim while Leia would not. That still baffles me.
Mar 25, 2008 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I wonder why i didn't read this as a kid? I remember seeing this and the Han Solo books, but didn't read them.

The data above says this was published in 1986, but the copy i have says "copyright 1978 by The Star Wars Corporation." That puts it right after "Star Wars".

Luke is a lot smarter here than he is in the movies. At times i wondered if this story wasn't intended for Han Solo at some point in its development. He not only seems more streetwise than his character on screen, but more than any
Scott Rhee
Years ago, I read this novel, "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" (the title alone is pretty kick-ass) by Alan Dean Foster, which I think was one of the first Star Wars novels published that wasn't a novelization of one of the Lucas films. I recall very little of the plot, but I remember enjoying it. I'm pretty sure, though, that Foster's novel doesn't quite follow the continuity of the other Expanded Universe novels, which is why it kind of exists in a literary limbo of "alternate universe "Star Wars" ...more
May 15, 2012 Phil rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Splinter of the Mind's Eye was the first ever Star Wars Expanded Universe novel, published the year after the blockbuster release of Star Wars (A New Hope) in 1978. It follows the story of the marooned Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia on an alien world as they become ensnared in the search for a priceless artifact that resonates with the power of the Force.

All in all, the novel is horrible. Stilted dialogue, improbable action and plot points, not to mention several literal rabbit trails and unne
May 14, 2016 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining read. Basically a lightweight thriller with Star Wars characters, it's definitely a product of the time-between-the-movies when no one had any idea what was to come. It doesn't work in a post-Empire Strikes Back universe, but that doesn't make it a bad story. If you grew up on Marvel Star Wars comics and never read this you should.
Jake La
Jan 29, 2016 Jake La rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Who would have ever thought that Star Wars would turn out a failure? Trick question! For starters, anyone who’s lived through the prequels. There are few things that generally can enrage people to the point where their blood pressure is higher than that of a decapitated Anime character. One of these things is mentioning the terms “Republican” or “Democrat” in the presence of the opposite. Otherwise, it’s just the Star Wars prequels. So try to understand when I say I love the prequels almost as m ...more
There are a couple reasons to read SOTME and there are a couple reason not to. If you're into Star Wars (and I don't refer here to anything that developed after the theatrical release of Jedi except, perhaps, the Zahn trilogy or Dark Empire), you will probably find interest and entertainment in it. Don't expect anything similar to those stories, however. This is no tale of the wars among the stars. The details here are mainly concerned with the landscapes of an alien world and its main protagoni ...more
John Daily
Jan 08, 2016 John Daily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Great visualizations and the battle scenes are very well drawn, but the characters just aren't themselves in this, the very first "Star Wars" expanded universe novel.

At the end of the movie "Star Wars" in 1978, all people knew was that a certain TIE fighter was sent spinning off into space, and that was it. There was no other information, no fan sites on the Web, no other films, television specials or radio shows to turn to. And no other books. People were starved for information; anything new a
May 22, 2014 Harry007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I don't know whether it's truth or fiction that this book was going to be the basis for 'The Empire Strikes Back' once upon a time. But that notion made it enticing to delve into the book, to see what could've been. What I found is everything about this book is lacklustre. Pretty quickly it became apparent that this wouldn't be a very exciting or compelling story. By page 50, nothing had really happened, nothing interesting had been described, but I continued on, only to get more and more disapp ...more
Mark Musante
Jan 24, 2012 Mark Musante rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Noel Thingvall
Pros: Halla, Hin, and Kee are fun characters. Some exciting setpieces, good stretches of prose. Grammel is a great villain when we first meet him. Final duel is sharply done. Having read through the early drafts of the first film, was neat to see discarded elements recycled here (beyond the crystal, you have the crash on the swamp planet and much of the third act), as well as a few more nods to Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress.

Cons: The tone is way off, dark and dour, grim and gross, complete with bru
Jose Galvan
Mar 15, 2016 Jose Galvan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Revisited this book after a few years and had a blast! I remember as a young man hearing rumors on the elementary playground of a book that was going to tell us what happened AFTER Star Wars, and the kids were somewhat right, as this book was commissioned by George Lucas as a fail-safe in case (LOL) Star Wars was a failure. You can get summaries of this all over the place, here are my impressions on the book revisiting it as a grown man vs a boy.
- There are so many parallels with ROTJ and ESB th
Nov 21, 2012 Aaron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this book back in my youth. It was a time where there was only one Star Wars movie and we were all hankering for a little more Star Wars in our diet. Back then, I thought the book was okay, but a little weird.

Now, I think the book is sort of okay and a lot of weird.

I enjoy most of Alan Dean Foster’s work, but this book does make me ponder why I like his work. The plot is simple: Luke and Leia crash on an Imperial occupied planet, get caught, escape, find the McGuffin and beat
Mar 04, 2016 Mason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Before the massive expanded universe of Star Wars, and even before The Empire Strikes Back, this novel was published. This was before major revelations such as Darth Vader being Luke and Leia's father. The author not knowing of these future reveals, and ignorant of Star Wars lore as it would continue, Splinter of the Mind's Eye comes off as anachronistic at best, and paint-by-numbers at worst. Odd things such as Luke being able to only extend his lightsaber a few inches by nudging the button obv ...more
Sep 24, 2012 TBV rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Star Wars novel is the first in the Expanded Universe of Star Wars novels. Written by Alan Dean Foster and published by Del Rey in 1978, the novel features Luke and Leia. Both are stranded on a jungle planet—Mimban—where the mysterious Kaiburr crystal is hidden. This crystal contains a large amount of The Force and is able to channel The Force. The reader finds this out when Luke uses it against Darth Vader in a duel at the end of the story.

After being captured by Imperial forces on the pla
Dec 10, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book in a used book store. I had seen it around for many years and had never read it. With the forthcoming new Star Wars movie coming out next week I decided to read it. Alan Dean Foster wrote this book shortly after the first Star Wars movie,"A New Hope", came out. At that time it was rumored to be the sequel but we all know that it wasn't. I have read many Star Wars novels by many different authors over the years, but this one is different. It is much darker and more violent t ...more
Brenda Ayala
I was a bit confused by this after reading it, because it seemed so inconsistent with the Star Wars movies. I can't imagine Vader would try this hard to torture his own daughter (although to be fair, I don't remember when he realized who she was). The sexual tension Luke had for Leia was just plain icky, because we already know they're siblings. It's weird, and gross, and I didn't like reading about those bits.

The other thing was that there was just very little to do with Jedis in this. Most of
James Elkins
Oct 10, 2016 James Elkins rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
It's funny how our minds play tricks on us. I first read this book when it came out in Paperback in 1978, and if you were to ask me last week I would have sworn, on a stack of Action Comics, that Luke and Leia were...intimate in a way that would make Return of the Jedi REALLY awkward. I was wrong about that recollection, as I was about how good this book was.

The voices that Foster gives to Luke, Leia, C3PO, and Vader don't match up with the characters I came to know and love after multiple re-wa
Grahm Eberhardt
Ah, the legendary Star Wars sequel that coulda been. The story was basic pulp; the characters were wildly different from their silver screen counterparts; the MacGuffin was an entirely transparent deus ex machina that makes no attempt to be interesting; and, of course, the various revelations about Luke's family hadn't been revealed yet so the buckets of sexual tension between Luke & Leia is hilariously gross.
Of course, when this book was written Star Wars wasn't a thing yet. It was a weird
B.  Barron
Feb 23, 2011 B. Barron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the reason I tend to avoid books by Mr. Foster, and I know it’s a bit unfair. I read this book not long after watching Star Wars and I was excited. Here was a book, a continuation of the story. I was enthralled; ecstatic… and then I actually read it.
It’s not really Mr. Fosters fault, it was an authorized Star Wars Story, and subsequent movies have rendered it irrelevant (stuff in the book turned out to be wrong according to the next movies). But this book is the r
Wow, I had totally forgotten this one until I saw it mentioned in the recent reviews. It came out before "The Empire Strikes Back" movie. Naturally Luke and Leia would be the star-crossed lovers(no pun intended, of course). I remember the bit about the lake as being really creepy. The old lady (can't remember her name) and the fuzzy things . . .Yuzzums or something? At the time it seemed like it would be the plot of the next movie. Guess we guessed wrong on that one!
Very exciting when I was a ki
Vincent Stoessel
Hard to rate this fairly after reading it so long ago. This was written by Foster years before Empire was released, so he only had the first movie's (New Hope) story to work from. The tale itself wasn't epic but it did fill the painful gap between New Hope and Empire Strikes Back for those that were around to see the originals in theaters. It was during that time that I read it. Read this as "Alternative History" version of the Star Wars mythos.
Side note: I have never read an Alan Dean Foster b
Heidi Ward
Wow! I remember reading this one in about 6th or 7th grade. Loved it at the time, but I devoured anything to do with Star Wars. As I recall, it was a swashbuckling adventure with a lot of swampy goo and Luke/Leia UST. One reviewer below noted that maybe this should have been a Han Solo story (rather than Luke), and in hindsight, too true. But as a relic of the time when the Star Wars universe was still an open, undetermined world it's pretty cool to have a one-off "what if" like SotME.
Read years ago. Disappointed. Because of this work, I did not read any more Star Wars spin-off books until 2008.

2009: Tried to read it again. Got only to page 34. If this book started the Star Wars "expanded universe", it's wonder it didn't implode. Pretty standard space opera stuff, but if--and it's the big "if" of the series--if we didn't already care about Luke, Leia, et al., there's nothing in this story which would compel your attention. Bland.
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Bestselling science fiction writer Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in 1946, but raised mainly in California. He received a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 1968, and a M.F.A. in 1969. Foster lives in Arizona with his wife, but he enjoys traveling because it gives him opportunities to meet new people and explore new places and cultures. This interest is carried over to his writing, ...more
More about Alan Dean Foster...

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