Star Wars Splinter of the Mind's Eye

Star Wars Splinter of the Mind's Eye

by Alan Dean Foster

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Overview

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 find this treasure and find it fast....

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345320230
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1986
Series: Star Wars
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 140,122
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.85(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Alan Dean Foster has written in a variety of genres, including hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: The Approaching Storm and the popular Pip & Flinx novels, as well as novelizations of several films, including Transformers, Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction, the first science fiction work ever to do so. Foster and his wife, JoAnn Oxley, live in Prescott, Arizona.

Read an Excerpt

I
 
HOW beautiful was the universe, Luke thought. How beautifully flowing, glorious and aglow like the robe of a queen. Ice-black clean in its emptiness and solitude, so unlike the motley collage of spinning dust motes men called their worlds, where the human bacteria throve and multiplied and slaughtered one another. All so that one might say he stood a little higher than his fellows.
 
In depressed moments he felt sure there was no really happy living matter on any of those worlds. Only a plethora of destructive human diseases which fought and raged constantly against one another, a sequence of cancerous civilizations which fed on its own body, never healing yet somehow not quite dying.
 
A particularly virulent strain of one of those cancers had killed his own mother and father, then his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen. It had also taken from him the man he had learned to respect more than any other, the elderly Jedi knight Ben Kenobi.
 
Although he had seen Kenobi struck by the lightsaber of Darth Vader on board the now obliterated Imperial Deathstar battle station, he could not be certain the old wizard was truly dead. Vader’s saber had left only empty air in its wake. That Ben Kenobi had departed this plane of existence was unarguable. What no one could tell was what level of existence he had passed into. Maybe death and …
 
Maybe not.
 
There were times when Luke experienced an agreeably crawly sensation, as if someone were lurking just behind him. That unseen presence occasionally seemed to move arms and legs for him, or to supply suggestions and thoughts when his own mind was helplessly blank. Blank as that of the former farm boy of Tatooine’s desert world.
 
Unseen spirits or not, Luke reflected grimly, if there was one thing he was sure of it was that the callow youth he had once been was dead and dry as dust. In the Rebel Alliance of worlds struggling against the corrupt rule of the Imperial government he held no formal title. But no one taunted him or called him farm boy—not since he had helped destroy the bloated battle station secretly built by Governor Moff Tarkin and his henchman Darth Vader.
 
Luke had no experience with titles, hence no use for them. When the Rebel leaders offered him any reward within their ability to grant, he had asked only to be permitted to continue piloting a fighter in the Alliance’s service. Some thought his request unduly modest, but one shrewd general disagreed, explaining how Luke might be more valuable to the Rebellion without a title or commission which, the veteran pointed out to his colleagues, would serve only to make the youth a prime target for Imperial assassination. So Luke remained the pilot he’d always wanted to be, perfecting his flying skills and always, unceasingly, wrestling with the Force Ben Kenobi had enabled him to begin to understand.
 
No time for meditating now, he reminded himself as he studied the instruments of his X-wing fighter. A glance forward showed the brilliant pulsing sunball of Circarpous Major, its devastating radiance stopped down to viewable intensity by the phototropic material of the transparent port itself.
 
“Everything okay back there, Artoo?” he called into his pickup. A cheerful beep from the stubby ’droid locked in position behind the cockpit assured Luke that it was.
 
Their destination was the fourth planet out from this star. Like so many others, the Circarpousians were appalled by the atrocities perpetrated by the Empire, but too paralyzed by fear to openly join the Rebel Alliance. Over the years, a burgeoning underground movement had arisen on Circarpous, an underground needing only enough aid and encouragement from the Alliance to rise and swing their world to the cause of freedom.
 
From the tiny, hidden Rebel station on the outermost planet of the system, Luke and the Princess were racing to a critically important meeting with the heads of that underground, to offer the necessary promise of support. He checked his console chronometer. They would arrive in plenty of time to reassure the highly nervous underground chiefs.
 
Leaning slightly forward and glancing to starboard, he could admire the sleek Y-wing fighter cruising alongside. Two figures sat silhouetted by instrument lights within its cockpit. One was the gleaming golden shape of See Threepio, Artoo’s ’droid companion.
 
The other … whenever he looked at her, the other caused emotions to boil within him like soup too long on the fire, no matter if she was separated from him by near vacuum as at present or by only an arm’s length in a conference room. It was for and because of that individual, Princess and Senator Leia Organa of the now-vaporized world of Alderaan, that Luke had originally become involved in the Rebellion. First her portrait and then her person had initiated the irreversible metamorphosis from farm boy to fighter pilot. Now the two of them were the official emissaries from the ruling council of the Rebel government to the vacillating underground on Circarpous.
 
Sending her on so dangerous a mission, Luke had thought from the first, was a risk. But a second system was ready to commit itself to the Alliance, if it was announced that Circarpous had also joined. At the same time, if that second system would declare its defiance of the Empire, then the Circarpousian underground would undoubtedly come over to the side of the Rebellion. So not one, but two systems waited on the outcome of this mission. And if it failed, Luke knew, both systems would probably lose heart and withhold their desperately needed aid. They had to succeed.
 
Luke had no doubts, as he silently adjusted his ship’s altitude a quarter of a degree to the plane of the solar ecliptic, about the outcome of their mission. He couldn’t imagine anyone who could not be persuaded by Princess Leia. She could convince him of anything. Luke treasured those moments when she forgot her station and titles. He dreamed of a time when she might forget them forever.
 
A beep from behind woke Luke from his day-dreaming, wiped the smile from his face. They were preparing to pass close by Circarpous V, and Artoo was reminding him of it. A vast, cloud-shrouded globe, the planet was listed in Luke’s library as being mostly unexplored, save for a single early Imperial scouting expedition. According to the computer readout, it was also known to the Circarpousians as Mimban, and … His intership communicator dinged for attention.
“I’m receiving you, Princess.”
 
Her reply was filled with irritation. “My port engine is beginning to generate unequal radiation pulses.” Even when bothered, to him that voice was as naturally sweet and pleasing as sugar-laden fruit.
 
“How bad?” he inquired, frowning worriedly.
 
“Bad enough, Luke.” The words sounded strained. “I’m losing control already, and the inequality’s getting worse. I don’t think I’m going to be able to compensate. We’ll have to stop at the first base down below on Mimban and have the problem corrected.”
 
Luke opened his mouth to reply, did so after hesitating briefly. “You can’t possibly make it safely to Circarpous IV?”
 
“I don’t think so, Luke. I might make near-orbit, but then we’d have to deal with official repair systems and couldn’t set down as planned. We’d miss the meeting, and we can’t miss it. Resistance groups from all over the Circarpous system are going to be there. If I don’t arrive, they’ll panic. We’ll have one Stang of a time getting them to surface again. And the Circarpous worlds are vital to the Rebellion, Luke.”
 
“I still don’t think …” he began.
 
“Don’t make me make it an order, Luke.”
 
Biting back his initial response, he hurriedly began a check of visual readout charts and records. “According to my information tapes, Mimban doesn’t have a repair station, Leia. In fact,” he added with a glance at the murky green-white sphere below and to one side, “Mimban might not even have an emergency standby station.”
 
“It doesn’t matter, Luke. I have to make the conference, and I’m going down while I still have some real control. Surely, in a system as populous as this one, any world with a breathable atmosphere’s going to be equipped with facilities for emergency repair. Your data must be old or else you’re searching the wrong tapes.” A pause, then, “You can prove it by shifting your communicator monitor to frequency oh-four-six-one.”
 
Luke adjusted the requisite controls. Instantly a steady whine filled the small cabin.
 
“Sound familiar?” she asked him.
 
“That’s a directional landing beacon, all right,” he replied, confused. Several further queries, however, revealed no records of a station on Mimban. “But there’s still nothing in the listings on either Imperial or Alliance tapes. If we …” He broke off as a puff of gas glowed brightly from the Princess’ Y-wing, expanded brightly and vanished. “Leia! Princess Leia!”
 
Her small ship was already curving away from him. “Lost lateral controls completely now, Luke! I’ve got to go down!”
 
Luke rushed to match her glide path. “I don’t deny the presence of the beacon. Maybe we’ll be lucky! Try to shift power to your port controls!”
 
“I’m doing the best I can.” A brief silence, followed by, “Stop moving around, Threepio, and watch your ventral manipulators!”
 
A contrite, metallic, “Sorry, Princess Leia,” sounded from her cabin companion, the bronzed human-cyborg relations ’droid See Threepio. “But what if Master Luke is correct and there is no station below? We could find ourselves marooned forever on this empty world, without companionship, without knowledge tapes, without … without lubricants!”
 

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Star Wars Splinter of the Mind's Eye 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are all about experiencing the very early years of the 'Star Wars' universe, then 'Splinter of the Minds Eye' fills that quota. Written by science fiction expert writer Alan Dean Foster, this novel was intended to be a sequel to 'A New Hope' if consumer reaction to the first film wasn't good and George Lucas wouldn't be able to make any sequels. However, obviously Lucas' first film amazed people worldwide, and he got his sequels. So where does this now place 'Splinter of the Minds Eye' in the realm of 'Star Wars' canon and continuity? On the very fringes. Among fans it is heavily debated whether this book deserves to be canon because film sequels indeed were conceived. However, despite the debates over its legitimacy in the canon, it is really interesting to read the first-ever novel, or form of media period, that expands upon the movies. Most of the story could be part of canon, but some parts near the end of the book- like where Luke cuts off Vader's right arm- are debatable since that was meant to happen in following sequels. In addition, Luke gets badly injured while fighting Vader and Leia picks up his lightsaber and actually holds her own against the Dark Lord of the Sith. Continuity problems? Probably. This was simply meant to show that Leia had abilities in the Force in a quick and physical way, as opposed to the way it was revealed in a long and drawn-out process in the original trilogy. The plot during the novel is up-and-down with regards to its pace and ability to grip the reader. But with this said, if you want to go really retro in the 'Star Wars' expanded universe, then check out this book. If you'd rather follow more established and defined continuity, then read a different 'Star Wars' novel.
sirfurboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this when it was new, after "Star Wars (A New Hope)" was released, but before "The Empire Strikes Back". Back then we thought this was the official sequel, but I am glad it wasn't. The story wasn't bad, as such - but all mystery was firmly banished, and frankly the light sabre stuff was completely overdone. Worth reading by die hard Star Wars fans, but not one to be bothered with otherwise.
jimmaclachlan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 & this book got scrapped - or so I read somewhere.I don't think it followed some of the story line that emerged later, either. I don't think Darth Vader was related to Luke in here, at least he didn't recognize Luke. Also, Vader says it was Luke who shot his ship on the last run at the Death Star when everyone knows it was Solo in the Millennium Falcon who came up behind while Vader was trying to get a shot at Luke. Major goof.Other than that, it was an OK book. It's about Luke & Leia at a mine site. I don't want to say more & ruin the story, but it was suspenseful & interesting. If you're a Star Wars buff, you should probably read it, if you can find a copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
True classic the force is strong
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have that book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Porfinicle More than 1 year ago
With this novel originally being a potential low budget sequel to Star Wars, many fans were aware that it did not take into account the lineage of Luke and Leia, among many other elements that were not developed until the actual sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. I assumed this would be an interesting look at what could have been. In reality it was not very interesting and even though it only had the original Star Wars as a guideline, all the main characters seem way off the mark. The book starts out with Luke in a very cynical state of mind, as if he has seen things, and has been from one side of the galaxy to the other. Based on the original film alone, Luke is new to the rebellion, yet the author decides to depict him as the leader, and more knowledgeable than leia on just about everything. Leia's portrayal as a strong female character in the original Star Wars does not carry over into this novel. In one scenario Leia is unable to get dirty and play the part of a miner without Luke's assistance. Leia, who was a member of the Imperial Senate, ran secret missions for the Rebellion, stood toe to toe with Darth Vader and Tarkin, but was not able to adapt to her surroundings. Around the same time, Luke was farming water and complaining about picking up power converters with his friends. One element regarding Leia I did appreciate was her coming to terms with the destruction of Alderaan, and her torture at the hands of Darth Vader. The only problem was that this experience was used to make her appear even weaker.  The true relationship between Luke and Leia was not known at this time, which makes their romantic feelings easier to swallow, but occasionally it was very uncomfortable and awkward. They give Anakin and Padme in Attack of the Clones a run for their money.  Darth Vader seems as ruthless as ever, but his dialog seems a little off. To be fair, the pace and delivery of some of his dialog in A New Hope is quite a bit different from what we see in the last two movies in the trilogy (bring me the passengers, I want them alive!). There were quite a few aspects from the novel I enjoyed due to the fact that they were how Star Wars was understood at the time, and provide a different outlook into what we actually see in the future five films. The use of the Kaiburr crystal was interesting, because for awhile we considered this to be a borrowed concept from an earlier draft of Star Wars, that no longer played a significant role in the saga. Now with the Kyber crystal becoming part of the new canon in The Clone Wars and Rebels we can look at this plot element from a another perspective.  Other interesting elements include the way in which Luke detects non force sensitives, Luke's knowledge of many foreign languages from his studies on his farm on Tatooine (hahaha), Leia's pirouette, Luke's unconscious use of the force, Luke encouraging Leia's anger, the use of a blaster power pack to charge a lightsaber, and Luke recommending Leia kill him and herself as a last resort. A couple elements in the book make you wonder if Lucas passed on information to the author in order to drop hints about things we don't learn until much later in the saga. At one point Leia confesses to Luke that she can't understand how Luke feels, because she is not force sensitive. Yet at the end of the book Leia is able to hold off Darth Vader for a short period of time. Was this a hint that George had already decided Leia had force sensitivity, but hadn't discovered it yet? During the showdown with Vader it is suggested that Ben Kenobi is working through Luke to fight Vader. In Empire it is clear that Ben Kenobi has learned this ability, but for whatever reason cannot interfere when Luke goes after Vader. Darth Vader knew the proper commands to shut down Threepio and R2. Could Lucas have already decided that Anakin was the was the creator of Threepio and previous owner of R2? I didn't have high expectations for this book, and unfortunately my expectations were still not met. There are some very strange things in this book, from Luke and Leia's mud fight, the writing, and descriptions that reference real world events (St. Elmos). If you are a fan that is interested in how the saga has evolved over time, than this is a must read. At the very least it will make you appreciate sequel we did get even more. 
Revan97 More than 1 year ago
Splinter of the Mind's Eye is the first "Legends" Star Wars novel I have read since the creation of the "Legends" books. Alan Dean Foster did a great job with the material with which he had to work. I enjoyed the story and surprised myself by reading the whole thing in two days. It was really an easy read and, although I was a bit surprised to find that Han Solo doesn't star in the book, I was intrigued by the whole idea of the Kaiburr Crystal. Having read newer material from the expanded universe, I found some of the content here to feel a bit 1970's comic bookie-especially the finale between Luke and Vader (that Force Orb is a biggie). Nevertheless, I recommend this one to the Star Wars enthusiast for two reasons: (1) The fact that it is the very first novel in the original Star Wars Expanded Universe, and (2) before it became a novel, it served as George Lucas' bale out plan for a sequel to the original Star Wars movie in the event that the movie didn't go over. I think these reasons make Splinter of the Mind's Eye a staple for every fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 15 and im not a big fan of reading but i liked this book a hole lot and i had to read cause im a huge star wars fan!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very good book 1978 a classic
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And very good i might add
Justin_Lee More than 1 year ago
I read this book years ago wen I was probably 12 or 13 and I thought it was good. Here are a few little known-but interesting- facts. Contrary to what another reviewer says about this book, they got a few of their facts wrong. First off, when george Lucas first wrote the the origional Star Wars script, this story was suposed to be the basis for the movie but as we all know, the plot eventually became the classic movie we all know and love. As to this book's place in the Star wars cannon, the story unfolds in the following order: A New Hope (EP 4) Splinter of the Mind's Eye, The Empire Strikes Back (EP 5) Shadows of the Empire, and finally Return of the Jedi (EP 6). This book was origionally released in 1986,(bettween episodes 4 & 5) so the prequils were still some 13 years away, so that (in my humble opinion) allows for a lot of wiggle room for some of the inconsistancies found in the overall story.
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Johnny3 More than 1 year ago
A great read for Original Trilogy fans!
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Summerlm99 More than 1 year ago
I have loved this book since it was first published, and when I saw it was available as an ebook I bought it immediately!
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