Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review - Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster

Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind's Eye, Alan Dean Foster, 01.03.2011, * *

I love Star Wars.  I have loved Star Wars ever since my older sister secretly arranged for me to babysit at a house that owned A New Hope on a VHS video tape that I watched after the kids went to sleep so that my Mom wouldn't find out.  It blew my mind, and started a lifelong love affair with Sci-Fi and Fantasy stories.  It was so completely unlike anything that I had ever seen, heard, or conceived, and it was magical!

I read many of the excellent and wonderful novels that take place after the events in Return of the Jedi, although I have not kept up with them in the last 5 or 6 years and find myself sadly far behind.  But I somehow never got around to reading "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" which takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

So when a used copy showed up in a bag of books that was given to me recently, I decided that it was time to remedy that situation.  Now that I've finished the book, I greatly wish I had remained blissfully ignorant.  Quite simply put, this book is the red-headed step-child that was locked in the cupboard under the stairs but somehow escaped and needs to be put back quickly before the neighbors find out about it's existence!

The story starts with Luke and R2 in his X-Wing, and Leia and 3PO in her Y-Wing, flying through a star system to a secret meeting where she hopes to gains support for the Rebel Alliance.  As they pass one of the outer planets in the system something mysteriously goes wrong with her ship and she decides to set down on the planet below, even though it is listed as uninhabited.  Luke objects, but when your love interest is a spoiled princess, you have no choice but to follow her.  They both crash after encountering a wild energy storm that wrecks both of their ships, leaving them stranded on a world that is actually inhabited by forces from the empire who are mining some exotic mineral or gas or something, I was too bored by then to care.  Native populations are being abused, there's a crystal that magnifies the Force, and everyone wants it, and giant worms try to eat them.  Whatever.

See, Leia isn't supposed to be spoiled, and she's not supposed to be dumb, or brawl with Luke in the mud in the street in the middle of the enemy base, or any of the other stupid things she does.  And I constantly wanted to slap Luke upside the head - stop making mooney eyes at your sister!  It's tacky!!

Of course then Darth Vader shows up, beats the crap out of Luke, and then Luke pushes him into a hole in the ground and he falls to his supposed death. Or something.  But we already know he survived, so, meh.

The nice thing was, it was short, and so it didn't take a lot of time to read.  I have read somewhere that Splinter was written before they knew that the series would become a huge hit, so some of the sideways plots are almost forgivable.  Almost.  But not really, when you consider that the author is capable of soooooo much better than what he provides here.

So, skip this one, and go see The Tourist with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie - It's a great movie, and she looked fabulous in every scene, even if she is a home-wrecker.

Leave a comment - or whatever...

(Geez, someone turn my snark setting down for me, will ya'? I can't quite reach it).


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