joysweeper: Grand Admiral Thrawn steeples his hands in front of his face. (Thrawn Must Consider This Carefully)
[personal profile] joysweeper posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Splinter of the Mind's Eye was written in 1978, after Star Wars/A New Hope and before The Empire Strikes Back. Rumor has it that when Allen Dean Foster wrote it, it was as a sequel to Star Wars, and would be filmed as such if the movie didn't do well. With a limited budget in mind, it was set entirely on one very foggy planet, and wouldn't include much in the way of space battles or anything at all involving Han Solo. Of course, in the days before Lucas decided that Luke and Leia were siblings, taking out that part of the love triangle leads to an amazing degree of UST which neither party acts much on - in fact, both of them are certain that they shouldn't act on it. Luke provides a reason - he's a farm boy, she's a princess - and Leia doesn't.

The comic came out in 1995. I scanned it from Star Wars Omnibus: Early Victories. This is 20 pages out of 96, chosen rather shamelessly more for shots of Luke in his absurd "miner's uniform" than anything else.



The first chunk of it I didn't scan any of. On their way to a conference, Luke in his X-Wing and Leia with Threepio in a two-seater Y-Wing are forced to make an emergency landing on swampy Mimban. They traipse through the swamp, camp out for the night - and there is that infamous scene where Luke sees a sleeping Leia, wants to kiss her, and instead vows to protect her from everything, including himself - and in the morning come across a town. An Imperial mining town, in fact. The pair steals some uniforms and go to the tavern.

In the book, Luke ruffles Leia's hair and ruins her 'do.


That guy in the center panel has his outfit stretch perfectly over his gut, and characters with definition have it lovingly displayed. What are those things even made of? How do nipple rings with belts help you in mining?

They order the day's special. Luke is indignant at the treatment the miners give the mohawked, debased natives. Leia has him stand down so he doesn't blow their cover. In the book, he wonders how she can be so unmoved.

"I saw my whole world, several million people, destroyed," she responded with chilling matter-of-factness. "Nothing mankind does surprises me anymore. [...] We have our devils and our angels, Luke. You have to be ready to handle both."

In much of the book she's like that - the pragmatic, cynical one with a lot of trauma in her past.

She also gets nervous about the looks people are giving them, and wants to leave. Luke says that at the moment this will just attract more attention, and when this doesn't work he slaps her and loudly says "No favors for you until I'm done eating!" and then, when someone comes up to ask if he's having trouble and comments that Leia's got fine, soft hands, says that she's his new servant and not used to manual labor. That might be the oddest part of this book - Luke is a natural liar, with a conman's ability to come up with and alter stories on the fly. He can even cry on cue.

Anyway, the lie works, and people stop paying attention to them. Leia's rightfully angry, though given the situation and Luke trying to explain, she stays put. An old woman named Halla comes up to them and claims to be a Jedi Knight. She also demonstrates her Force-Sensitivity by making a salt shaker move, and she wants to recruit the two to help her find something called the Kaiburr Crystal. In return for their help, she will get them off this planet.

She has a splinter of the crystal, which she lets Luke touch. He's astonished.

Kids.

As Halla was saying, they've attracted unwanted attention, a gang of toughs who are alarmingly interested in Leia. Luke first just protests, then karate-chops one of them. The lead tough responds by activating his imitation Wolverine claws.



Stormtroopers show up to drag everyone into custody, while Halla and the droids slink off. The local major Imperial, Grammel, jams a recording unit into the lead tough's eye and sends the toughs away. Leia and Luke claim to be local miners, so Grammel hits Leia, and Luke uses his lying talent and claims that they're thieves from offplanet and begs him not to send them back. They get sent to a cell with a pair of hulking Yuzzem in it. Grammel then contacts his own superiors, and soon Darth Vader finds out.


In the book, there's mention of an Imperial interrogation, which triggers Leia. She's been through one or something like one already, and she tells Luke that she would rather that he killed her than let her go through another.

When Grammel leaves, Halla shows up and helps them escape, recovering their weapons and getting into a speeder. There's a cut, and we see that they've traveled for seven days and should be coming close now. Suddenly, a giant worm creature called a wandrella shows up, eats the speeder, and splits the party.




They manage to gain a little ground, enough to climb down into a stone well. Unfortunately, the wandrella sees them.

Halla and co show up at the mouth of the well, but now that the wandrella took out the ladder, they can't reunite. They are told that this is a Coway well, and there should be tunnels leading to another exit a day or so away, and they'll meet each other there.

Fortunately the tunnels have glowing lichen. Unfortunately, they open on an underground lake with giant lillypads. Luke wades out after one.

On the surface, Halla's party notices Vader's shuttle overhead.

A blob monster attacks underground, pulling Luke off the lillypad and into the water. He comes back up soon, saying that it retreated. When they reach shore, Leia reveals that she can't swim. Somehow.

While walking, Luke gets suspicious of sounds. Leia brushes this off, saying that they're in a cave and stalactites fall constant-

As you can see, Leia has remembered that she is badass.

They fight for a while and their enemies retreat. Leia picks up an axe and hurls it so that it slashes the shoulder of one of them. But he keeps running, leading them to here.

These are the Coway. They've captured Halla, the Yuzzem, and the droids. The Coway are uncertain about them; they're cousins to the debased natives and don't like humans in general, but Halla can speak enough of the language to set Luke up for trial by combat, until death or surrender. If he beats their champion while unarmed, they won't kill the group. Halla tells Luke that the word for quit is "saen".



The scanner cut it off, but Threepio's going "Saen, everybody!"

Luke thinks it's funny; death by drowning wasn't considered an option on Tatooine. He spots a big rock, too big to lift from there. In the book he hears a voice telling him to relax...

His opponent lived. A ways into the feast, though, there's word of stormtroopers advancing on the cavern. In the novel, Leia makes Luke promise to kill her if it looks like she'll be captured. Our party and the Coway set up to attack them, finding that Vader's in the back watching. Leia almost snipes him, but only gets part of his cape. The Imperials pull back.

In the book, idealistic Luke is absolutely horrified to see the Coway killing the wounded Imperials who'd been left behind. He tries to stop them, to no avail. Leia tells him to let it go.

"You approve?" he said accusingly. She didn't reply, merely staring at him until he sagged, utterly worn out and saddened.
"I'm sorry, Luke," she told him gently, "but there's very little in this universe that rises above the mean and petty. Maybe the stars themselves. Come, let's find Hin and Kee and Halla and the 'droids and celebrate."
"You go," he told her, pulling his arm free authoritatively but without rancor. "There's nothing here I want to celebrate."

The Imperials left some transport, so our party leaves the Coway and heads to the temple. They get attacked by a giant lizard which is later retconned into being a Hssiss. Luke tells the Yuzzem to get their heavy weapons.





That big panel is an homage to the novel's cover.



In the book, Luke tells Leia that it's hopeless - she should kill him, then herself. She does not. Instead she picks up his lightsaber and fights Darth Vader, because she is a badass. And she marks him with it, though she can't keep the upper hand. During this, a mortally wounded Hin creeps up to try to get the rock off Luke, and Halla nabs the Kaiburr Crystal off of a statue of the minor god of healing that this temple was built for, Pomojema, and runs.


....Huh.

Luke says that he's going to kill Vader. Vader mocks him for his confidence, says that he's no one, and Luke says "I'm... I'm Ben Kenobi" in an odd way. Part of fandom says that Obi-Wan was, if not possessing him here, then certainly guiding him a bit more directly than usual. They fight for a while. Vader generates a ball of energy and sends it at Luke.

Luke just cut off Vader's arm, but now he's too drained to stand. Vader gets up, picks up his lightsaber with his remaining hand, and... in the comic, he trips over his own arm, falling into a convenient deep pit. Nicely done. In the novel he still falls into the pit, but doesn't trip. Luke knows he survived, though.

Also in the novel, Halla starts to leave, then swears at herself and comes back.

In the novel he's disoriented after healing, and then says he remembers - then he says "Halla, I died." When he goes to heal Leia, there's this bit.

"I understand," came a voice out of Luke's body that might or might not have been Luke's.

On the last page, they bury Hin and Kee, give the crystal to Halla, hint that they'll try to recruit her into the Rebellion, and drive off.
 
I enjoyed both the book and the comic. There are brow-raising parts in both, and it's not worldshaking, but I don't regret reading either. If you liked this, try taking a look!

Date: 2011-03-13 09:53 pm (UTC)
shanejayell: (Question)
From: [personal profile] shanejayell
That art looks DAMN familiar. Chris Spouce? I think that's the spelling....

Date: 2011-03-13 09:54 pm (UTC)
shanejayell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shanejayell
Whoops, Chris Sprouse. Knew it was something like that.

Date: 2011-03-13 10:01 pm (UTC)
zechs80: (Mayuri)
From: [personal profile] zechs80
Aw you cut out the best part. Vader Dickery and him doing away with with the Imperial Officer in this story. I really love the art in this adaptation.

Date: 2011-03-14 05:50 pm (UTC)
hero_of_lallor: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hero_of_lallor
If there is badass Vader to be had Zechs better come through ;)

Date: 2011-03-13 10:02 pm (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
And in supplementary material, it turns out that the Kaiburr Crystal gets weaker and weaker once it leaves the temple, ending up as either a useless crystal, or a piece of Luke's lightsaber.

Date: 2011-03-13 10:05 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Strange the splinter had any effect at all then.

Date: 2011-03-13 10:05 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Pretty Luke is very, very pretty.

Also, even the casual characterisations here make me weep for the complete inability for Lucas to do the same; Leia actually being traumatised by the loss of her world, Luke being more naive about politics, the military and the like, but showing that he's more practical in the real world (even the seamier sides like how to treat a slave) because he'd had to live there for his entire life ("Moisture farmer" never struck me as a role that gave you much respect on Tattooine), also things like him finding drowning being an ironic way to die, and speaking Yuzzem because it was something to do on Tattooine.

The chest straps on the miners outfits would make sense if they ever have to use slings or pulleys as they would serve as a securing harness.

I'd forgotten the video crystal in the eye, which made me wince when I read it.

Also in the book, and nowhere else that I know of, was the notion that lightsabre's had variable settings, the sabre length was the standard, but it could focus down to a needle long point for delicate work.

Thanks for posting this, do you know who did the art?

Date: 2011-03-14 01:12 am (UTC)
shanejayell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shanejayell
Chris Sprouse. He also did Tom Strong....

Date: 2011-03-14 04:18 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
And some of Alan Moore's Supreme.

Date: 2011-03-14 04:52 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] keeva
And Legionnaires (the second Legion of Super-Heroes book at the time that they were running two of them at once).

Date: 2011-03-14 08:07 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (TheBlackCat Happy Terry)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
THAT'S where I was recognising the style from, thank you!

Date: 2011-03-14 02:41 am (UTC)
tsunamiwombat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tsunamiwombat
Well all the official lightsaber images seem to have a setting knob somewhere, ostensibly for length. I assume it could just as easily be for focus.

Anyone else thing Vaders comment about "An interesting use for lightsabers...if you promise not to pass out" is just a litttlle bit dirty?

Date: 2011-03-14 06:34 pm (UTC)
cainofdreaming: b/w (Default)
From: [personal profile] cainofdreaming
Isn't making you go "eww" like the force-ordained purpose of the Skywalker line anyway?

And on that note, maybe the knob is for vibration?

Date: 2011-03-14 04:14 am (UTC)
heckfire: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heckfire
There's a reason Alan Dean FOster was/is the go-to guy for 70s and 80s sci-fi, especially movie adaptions and expansions. He's a decent writer on his own, too, but his ability to take a minimal world and expand it into a universe is usually pretty impressive.

Date: 2011-03-14 03:09 am (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
I got the novel when it came out, and liked it quite a lot, although I think that I knew even then that the crystal would be too much of a deus ex machina to show up again. (Imagine Palpatine with it...) And I like most of Sprouse's art here, although his Luke tends to look a bit poleaxed in most shots.

Date: 2011-03-14 06:34 am (UTC)
proteus_lives: (Default)
From: [personal profile] proteus_lives
Whoa, nasty Vader.

Man, if Luke and Leia ever....you know....it was on this mission.

Date: 2011-03-14 09:50 pm (UTC)
valtyr: (Iron Pants)
From: [personal profile] valtyr
I recall in the novel Luke spends a while dwelling on the hypnotic redness of Leia's lips while she sleeps, but decides not to mack on her.

Date: 2011-03-14 08:13 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
It IS badass (though she does have a truly remarkably large head in that image)

Date: 2011-03-14 05:55 pm (UTC)
recognitions: (Default)
From: [personal profile] recognitions
God, Lucas wrote himself into such a corner with the Skywalkers. Not that he cares. But obviously Vader has to be aware of Luke's true identity by now. Was any explanation ever given why he wants to kill Luke now, whereas every appearance after this he wanted him to join the dark side?

Date: 2011-03-14 08:19 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Officially, probably not, but at this point Luke Skywalker would have been known as the guy who blew up the Death Star and that's bad PR. Also his latent Jedi-ness would also be a concern. If, y'know, Lucas gave a crap about things like coherent plotting.

Date: 2011-03-14 08:37 pm (UTC)
recognitions: (Default)
From: [personal profile] recognitions
Yeahbut I mean, Skywalker. You'd think Vader would be saying something like, "Where have I heard that name before?"

Date: 2011-03-14 08:51 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Pshawwww! Now that's just CRAZY talk!

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