|Very cool early layout concept from Ralph McQuarrie, for what eventually became the dramatic cover of Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Love that prototype logo idea!|
It was the book that showed Princess Leia piloting a Y-wing fighter, introduced the swamp world of Mimban (mentioned in The Clone Wars animated series and now about to be given reality in Solo- A Star Wars Story) plus the notion of 'Kiburr/Kiber' crystals (later seen for real with Rogue One), provided an excellent and quirky support character in Halla (who should come back one day!), and unleashed the Yuzzum beasts before they became a singular shrunken Muppet-like creation officially seen in Return of the Jedi. Additionally, we were witness to Luke getting early hots for Leia (before the bad news came along!), and saw the young duo partake in an epic finale lightsaber duel against a genuinely merciless Darth Vader- a conflict which would see the dark lord lose his arm. Plus the glorious image of Leia taking the saber against her former torturous captor: the kind of cool action moment/idea for our heroine we'll now be cruelly denied from ever seeing onscreen, what with the truly sad passing of Carrie Fisher.
|Leia takes on Vader. A classic scene from Splinter made reality by Adam Hughes.|
All that exciting material was in Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye- the first officially sanctioned adventure set after and beyond the original 1977 film, once planned as a cheap-to-make sequel by Lucasfilm should the first movie only be a moderate box office success. It was the beginning of a legend in science fiction/fantasy tie-in book publishing.
If you haven't already read this terrific adventure (originally published on this date (1978) in the US by Del Rey, and later in the UK by Sphere), or the 1995 four-part DARK HORSE comic adaptation, showing us a time before the STAR WARS universe/franchise was cemented, altered, then re-cemented, then go out and do so now!
Check out our original PDF archive on the story:
Happy Fortieth Anniversary!