"Today it is an amazing, if unexpected, legacy of Star Wars that so many gifted writers are contributing new stories to the Saga. This legacy began with Splinter of the Mind's Eye, published less than a year after the release of Star Wars."
―George Lucas[src]

Splinter of the Mind's Eye, formerly subtitled From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, is a Star Wars Legends novel written by Alan Dean Foster. It acts as a sequel to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which Foster wrote the novelization of, and it was the first installment of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The novel was first published by Del Rey on February 12, 1978.

Set in 2 ABY, Splinter of the Mind's Eye follows Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa to the planet Mimban, where they seek out the powerful Kaiburr crystal and encounter Darth Vader.

Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]

As a young but already seasoned fighter pilot, Luke Skywalker expected trouble when he volunteered to accompany Princess Leia on a diplomatic mission to Circarpous to enlist their Rebel Underground in the battle against the Empire. But the former farm boy from Tatooine hadn't counted on an unscheduled crash-landing in the swamplands of Mimban…a landing that destroyed their ships. Nor had he counted on any of the things they would find on that strange planet.

First, unknown to anyone, a secret base of Imperial Stormtroopers was thriving on Mimban. As if that weren't trouble enough, there 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 the Kaiburr crystal, and find it fast.

Accompanied by Artoo Detoo and See Threepio—his two faithful 'droids—Luke and the Princess set out for the Temple of Pomojema and for a desperate confrontation deep beneath the surface of an alien world with the most fearsome villain in the galaxy!

Plot summary[edit | edit source]

Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, accompanied by R2-D2 and C-3PO, are traveling to Circarpous IV for a Rebel Underground meeting. Their ships encounter an energy storm that forces them to crash-land on Mimban, a swamp planet. The group searches for a way to get off the planet. They find a mining town, and Leia discovers that the Empire has a secret energy mine there. Luke and Leia find disguises and enter the facility. A suspicious Imperial begins to question them, so Luke slaps Leia, claiming that she is his servant girl. An old woman named Halla comes over and quietly talks to Luke and Leia. Halla identifies Luke as one who is strong with the Force. She reveals a splinter, a shard of the Kaiburr crystal, which magnifies Force powers. Halla is in search of the entire crystal, and she enlists Luke and Leia's help, agreeing to get them off-world when they find it. They all exit together.

Outside the facility, Leia admonishes Luke for slapping her and calling her his servant girl. Luke falls off the walkway and into the mud, and he pulls Leia down with him. They begin playfully fighting as some miners emerge from the building. They claim that fighting in public is against Imperial law, and they all get into a brawl. Imperial stormtroopers take everyone, except for Halla, C-3PO, and R2-D2, who all hid in the shadows, to the local jail. They are questioned by Captain-Supervisor Grammel, who discovers and confiscates Luke's lightsaber and the crystal shard. Luke and Leia are placed in a cell with two drunken Yuzzem, Hin and Kee, while Grammel reports the incident to Governor Essada.

Halla shows up in the jail cell's window, and she uses the Force to open the cell. The two Yuzzem go on a rampage against the Imperials and reclaim the confiscated weapons. The four prisoners escape. They meet up with Halla, who steals a vehicle, and begin making their way to where Halla believes the Kaiburr crystal to be, the Temple of Pomojema. As they drive through the swamplands, they encounter a wandrella, a monstrous worm. It begins chasing them, and Luke and Leia are forced to split from the rest of their group. Luke and Leia climb into a deep well and hide on a ledge. They escape the creature but are unable to climb back to the surface, so they enter a cavernous passage.

Luke and Leia eventually find an abandoned, underground city, where they are stalked and attacked by Coway natives. Luke and Leia follow the Coway to the rest of the tribe. There, Luke and Leia are reunited with Halla's group, who have been tied up by the Coway. To save his friends, Luke fights and defeats the Coway's champion fighter. The Coway share a feast with Luke, Leia, Halla, Hin, and Kee. However, Luke senses the presence of Darth Vader through the Force. Coway patrols confirm Luke's feeling: Imperials, led by Darth Vader and Captain-Supervisor Grammel, are attacking. The Imperials arrive, but are pushed back by the Coway. Darth Vader and Captain-Supervisor Grammel retreat with the few surviving stormtroopers. Darth Vader kills Grammel and leaves in search of the Temple of Pomojema, while Luke and company steal an Imperial transport and race to the temple.

Luke, Leia, Halla, Hin, and Kee beat Darth Vader to the temple and begin searching for the Kaiburr crystal. As they search, the encounter a creature and defeat it by collapsing a pillar, crushing it. As they continue to search, the two Yuzzem go missing. Darth Vader arrives and drops rubble onto Luke, who becomes pinned, and he states that he killed the Yuzzem. Leia takes up Luke's lightsaber and begins fighting Darth Vader. She is badly injured in the duel. Hin, mortally wounded, shows up and lifts the rubble off of Luke's leg before dying. Luke continues the fight against Darth Vader. Guided by the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi and empowered by the Kaiburr crystal, Luke strikes and severs Darth Vader's arm. Undaunted, Darth Vader pursues the exhausted Luke. As Darth Vader approaches Luke to make the killing blow, he falls into a pit. Sometime later, Luke, Leia, R2-D2, and C-3PO set out with Halla into the mists of Mimban, ready to continue their adventures.

Development[edit | edit source]

"I incorporated the crystal from the story to provide a focal point for the cover. You'll see that in the finished painting Leia is reaching for Luke's lightsaber."
―Ralph McQuarrie, on painting the novel's cover[src]

Splinter of the Mind's Eye was written by author Alan Dean Foster, who had previously ghostwritten Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, the novelization of the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. It was based on story discussions with George Lucas, and it was written while Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope was still in production. According to Starlog magazine, Foster's Star Wars contract allowed for Splinter of the Mind's Eye to be filmed. The character Han Solo is notably absent from the novel; unlike actors Mark Hamill (Luke) and Carrie Fisher (Leia), actor Harrison Ford had not yet been contracted for film sequels.[3]

Continuity[edit | edit source]

Splinter of the Mind's Eye was the first Expanded Universe novel.[1]

The Kaiburr crystal that appears in Splinter of the Mind's Eye was based on the "Kyber crystal," a Force-focusing artifact mentioned in early drafts of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.[4] In the current Star Wars canon, kyber crystals are the power source for lightsabers.[5]

The planet Mimban, which was created for Splinter of the Mind's Eye, appears in the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story.[6] In the 2020 comic book The Rise of Kylo Ren 4, by Charles Soule, an artifact called the "Mindsplinter" is mentioned as being from the Minemoon of Mimban.[7]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

A four-issue Splinter of the Mind's Eye comic-book adaptation was published by Dark Horse Comics in 1995.[8]

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