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Splinter of the Mind's Eye

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Splinter of
the Mind's Eye
Splinter of the Minds Eye.jpg
Author Alan Dean Foster
Country United States
Language English
Series Star Wars
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Del Rey Books
Publication date
March 1978[1]
April 1, 1978
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages Hardcover: 216
Paperback: 199
ISBN 0-345-27566-7
Preceded by From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker (1976)
Followed by Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Splinter of the Mind's Eye is a 1978 science fiction novel written by Alan Dean Foster. It takes place between A New Hope and its sequel The Empire Strikes Back. Originally published in 1978 by Del Rey, a division of Ballantine Books, it was the first original full-length Star Wars novel to be published after the release of the original Star Wars film.

The novel's principal characters are Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Darth Vader. The characters of Han Solo and Chewbacca do not appear, and Solo is only referred to by Luke Skywalker as "a pirate and a smuggler" whom he knows at the end of the book. The book was originally written to be filmed as a low-budget sequel to Star Wars if the original film was not a success.[2]


Leia and Luke are assigned to a mission but are shot down and crash on the the swampy planet Mimban. They then get caught up in a quest for the Kaiburr Crystal, a Force-enhancing artifact, assisted by Halla, an old Force-sensitive woman. Giant Annelid creature and "hairy aboriginal creatures" are also involved in the adventure.[3]


In 1976, Alan Dean Foster was contracted to ghostwrite a novelization for Star Wars.[2] Foster was given some drafts of the script, rough footage and production paintings for use as source material in fleshing out the novel.[3]

Foster's contract also required a second novel, to be used as a basis for a low-budget sequel to Star Wars in case the film was not successful. Though Foster was granted a great deal of leeway in developing the story, a key requirement was that many of the props from the previous production could be reused when shooting the new film. Foster's decision to place his story on a misty jungle planet was also intended to reduce set and background costs for a film adaptation. Han Solo and Chewbacca were also left out as Harrison Ford had not signed a contract to film any of the sequels at the time of the novel contract.[2] Lucas's only request upon inspecting the manuscript was the removal of a space dogfight undertaken by Luke and Leia before crash-landing on Mimban, which would have been effects-heavy and expensive to film.[3]

By the time the novel was published, Star Wars had broken records in box office receipts, and the film adaptation of Splinter of the Mind's Eye was abandoned in favor of Lucas' vision of a big budget sequel.[3]

The AP listed Splinter of the Mind's Eye as one of the most essential works of the Star Wars expanded universe.[4]


The book was later adapted as a graphic novel by Terry Austin and Chris Sprouse and published by Dark Horse Comics in 1996. It incorporated characters from The Empire Strikes Back who did not appear in the original novel.


  1. ^ "'Star Wars' Author Alan Dean Foster on 'Splinter of the Mind's Eye,' the Sequel That Might Have Been". Oath. March 16, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c Wenz, John (January 1, 2018). "The First Star Wars sequel: Inside the writing of Splinter of the Mind's Eye". Syfy. SyFy Channel. Retrieved July 19, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d Armitage, Hugh (August 21, 2016). "Star Wars has a lost sequel you've never heard of". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 19, 2018. 
  4. ^ Patrick Kevin Day; Geoff Boucher (2008). "Star Wars' expanded universe". Los Angeles Times. AP. p. 9 of 10. Retrieved May 7, 2008. 

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