Category Archives: Books

Kindle (e-book reader)

I guess everyone has heard of e-book readers. Amazon’s Kindle is the most popular. Therefore, I’m gonna risk invoking Amazon’s rage by referring to all e-book readers as “kindles”, so I don’t have to type “e-book reader” every bloody time.

In case you haven’t heard of Kindle, this is a Kindle 😉

Now, when listening to people talk about a kindle, I keep hearing the same bloody prejudice why traditional books are better than kindle. People keep saying how a kindle lacks that “feeling of having paper in your hands” and that a kindle lacks the “smell” of a book.  I’d like to add that the “smell” is often the stench of decaying paper, but people seem to enjoy that particular aroma… Don’t get me wrong, those are the advantages of good old books, no question about it; bet let’s set the prejudice aside for a second and look objectively at all the pros.

Mkay, so we’ve got two cons tops. Before you mention battery, I wanna mention that battery life of my Kindle is about four weeks (with wi-fi turned off, of course 🙂 ), so battery life is hardly an issue. True, battery life probably depends on the model, but I seriously doubt it can be short.

Anyway, let’s continue with all the pros:

Kindle is lighter and, depending on the screen size, it can be quite smaller than an average book (mine is). Font size can be adjusted, so tiny print needn’t worry you anymore 🙂 It can store tons of books in its internal memory (mine, a rather old model, has 2 gigabytes; a book of about 800 pages has about a megabyte in Kindle’s native format, so you do the math…) alone + some models support external storage, so there’s no more carrying a few books on vacation or whatever.

Kindle ain’t clumsy like traditional books can be. All you have to do is hold the kindle (in one hand, on your knees, on a tale, or another surface; you can even buy stands) and simply touch the screen (or press a button if you have an older model) to “turn” a page without turning the pages traditionally. Note that you don’t need any special gloves for a Kindle because the touchscreen works even when you’re wearing ordinary gloves, which makes reading in winter a blast on Kindle since turning the pages of a traditional book in gloves is really clumsy. With Kindle, you don’t have to take your gloves of in a bus. Hell, you can read in the cold while waiting for the bus! 😀
With the freezing nights we’ve had lately, I realized how convenient Kindle really is only recently. I can simply cuddle into a cover completely, lean my Kindle on a pillow and just touch it to “turn” the pages. My Kindle (Paperwhite) can illuminate the screen (without consuming the battery much), so I don’t have to worry about the surrounding light. All in all, I don’t have to worry about finding a comfortable position with plenty of light without getting frozen.

The rumours of the Earth being our only planet are true and kindle is definitely environment friendly. Just imagine “4 gigs” of paper and how many trees need to be cut down for that much paper.

Well, since people often don’t think that saving money ain’t worth a thing if there’s no planet to save the money on and, therefore, the environment friendliness ain’t important to them, at least not in favour of profit, I’d like to add that e-books are much cheaper than traditional books. Buying a kindle is just the initial investment. If you read much and don’t want to depend on libraries [depending on how many books are translated into the local language(s) and how many of those actually interest you, local libraries can really be sparse], you will profit from a kindle pretty quickly.

In conclusion, you have the feeling of paper and the smell of a book in the one hand, and all the pros I mentioned (+ possibly more I didn’t mention), so next time when comparing traditional books with kindle, look past the prejudice and be objective 🙂

Finally, kindle is the future. Sooner or later, traditional books are going to become obsolete. Actually, the process has already begun. Traditional books may still be popular in your (or mine) lifetime but, let’s face it, the age of (traditional) books is at an end. Their demise is inevitable.

P.S. To all the people praising tablets in favour of a kindle; when it comes to reading, you are wrong, plain and simple, end of discussion 🙂 You can do a lot of shit on a tablet, including reading e-books, very true, but tablets are not made for reading books. Kindle is. In addition to (way) longer battery life, the screen of a kindle is designed and meant for reading. Your eyes don’t tire more than they would if you were reading text on paper and there’s no light reflection. A Kindle series is not called Paperwhite for no reason. Just check out the image below:

popup-glare-compareThe same book on a tablet (left) and a Kindle (right). There’s no glare on Kindle.

Posted on January 22nd, 2017 at 17:23 GMT
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Splinter of the Mind’s Eye


GENRE: science fiction

Like so many fellow bloggers before me [Muda od labuda (Bosnian) and Kialtho 😀 in particular], I’m gonna blog about a book. Well, not exactly like the mentioned guys because I’m not gonna write like a real review. Hopefully this post will get one of these two, or someone else who bumps into the post, intrigued in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, make him or her want to read the book and possible write a real review.

The post isn’t solely about Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. I’ll be comparing the book with other, “more recent”, Star Wars works, especially with Shadows of the Empire. Shadows of the Empire and Splinter of the Mind’s Eye have some similarities. Both books are set in time of the original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI). Splinter of the Mind’s Eye takes place between Episodes IV and V while Shadows of the Empire takes place between Episodes V and VI. Both books had been written before the release of the prequel trilogy (Episodes I-III). However Shadows of the Empire was published in 1996, 13 years after the release of Episode VI while Splinter of the Mind’s Eye had been published two years before even Episode V. A New Hope, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and The Empire Strikes Back were indeed released in chronological order. That’s not the case with The Empire Strikes Back, Shadows of the Empire and the Return of the Jedi. Shadows of the Empire is actually a prequel of the Return of the Jedi. That is the key difference between Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and Shadows of the Empire: both were written “in the dark” of the prequel trilogy but unlike Shadows of the Empire, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye was written in the dark of Episodes V and VI, its sequels, too. Basically some parallels can be drawn between these two books. but what I (and probably other Star Wars fans too) find most interesting are the, so to say, shades of grey caused by this “darkness”.

What got me intrigued about this book is that it is the first Star Wars book, written all the way back in 1978. Well, not the first first Star Wars book. The first ever was the novelization of A New Hope (entitled at first Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker; the title was changed later to match the new title of the movie), which had actually been published before the movie was released, thus there are quite a few differences between the movie and the novelization. Nevertheless, both the novelization and the movie were based on the same script, so I can freely say that A New Hope novelization doesn’t count 😀 It is interesting, however, that, although credited to George Lucas, A New Hope novelization was ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster (i.e. Lucas and Foster colaborated, that is Lucas wrote the script and Foster turned it into a book), the same author who wrote Splinter of the Mind’s Eye.

Since very few Star Wars books had been written before the renown Thrawn Trilogy (which was written some 5 years before the Shadows of the Empire) especially this early on (actually Splinter of the Mind’s Eye is the second Star Wars work in general, the book being released two years before Episode V), the Star Wars universe was in its early stage of development, many aspects not yet being finalized, many not yet introduced, some initially differently planned. Basically, the book had been written before the Star Wars universe really began to shape (note that the book doesn’t even have Star Wars in its title). Anyway, I would like to comment on this different look on Star Wars back then from the look Star Wars got only two years later with the release of Episode V … and later still, of course. But the point is that there were a few crucial changes just in those two years.

What makes the development of the Star Wars world so interesting is Lucas’s bullshit that he’d had a clear picture of Star Wars from the start, having the whole story done. Well, works like Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, Shadows of the Empire, the Thrawn Trilogy (Lucas had a big say in the Thrawn Trilogy labelling it the official continuation of the original trilogy… until he sold his soul to Disney for “mere” $ 4.05 billion) say otherwise… and I’m pretty sure that he didn’t plan the Disney abomination called the sequel trilogy. He woke up one morning, made Star Wars up and just happened to bump into 4.05 billion bucks some 40 years later…

Before proceeding, I should write the book synopsis:

Other than taking place long ago in a galaxy far far away, of course, the book takes place shortly before the events of Episode V.

In short, Leia and Luke were on their way to a secret Rebel meeting on Circarpous IV because the Circarpousians’d been fed up with Imperial shit when suddenly Leia’s Y-wing started to malfunction and they were forced to land on the nearest planet, which was fortunately habitual. But, unfortunately, they got hit by atmospheric disturbance and crash landed.

After several days of roaming the jungle they bumped on an Imperial mining town. The mining operation was responsible for atmospheric disturbance that crash landed them. They meet a Force-sensitive woman, Halla, in the town, who agrees to help them get of world, but in return she asks them a favour. She showed them a splinter of an ancient crystal powerful in the Force. Halla wants Leia and Luke [and the droids – R2D2 😀 and C3PO 😦 (bloody hell, I hate that goldenrod 😡 )] to help her get to the crystal, which she had been trying for years, because she’s afraid of what might happen if the crystal ended up in Imperial hands (thus far the Empire hadn’t been aware of the crystal’s existence). Upon touching the splinter, Luke immediately felt the strength of the Force within it and decided to help Halla unquestionably. What, indeed, if a Force-sensitive Imperial, say Vader, finds the crystal first…

Summary on the covers of the book:

Stranded on a jungle planet, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia found themselves desperately racing Imperial Stormtroopers to claim a gem that had mysterious powers over the Force.

Luke Skywalker expected trouble when he volunteered to follow Princess Leia on her mission to Circarpous to enlist their Rebel underground in the battle against the Empire. But the farm boy from Tatooine hadn’t counted on an unscheduled landing in the swamplands of Mimban …hadn’t counted on any of the things they would find on that strange planet.

Hidden on this planet 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 this treasure 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 a confrontation deep beneath the surface of an alien world with the most fearsome villain in the galaxy!

Most of the plot occurs on a single planet. That’s because Splinter of the Mind’s Eye was actually backup for a low budget Star Wars movie. Basically, Lucas decided to film a Star Wars squeal in any case. If the incomes from A New Hope had turned out poorly, Lucas would have filmed Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. As it turned out, A New Hope made quite a profit and we saw The Empire Strikes Back on the big screen instead of the Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. That is, also, why Han and Chewie don’t appear in the book – Harrison Ford hadn’t yet signed a contract for another Star Wars movie.

Kaiburr crystal is going to be used in many later Star Wars works, including Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and Legacy of the Force book series. Actually, the crystal is one of the main cons in the continuity of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye because Luke, Leia and Halla took the crystal with them at the end of the book. The crystal was quite powerful, especially its healing properties (though the crystal needed a Force-user as a vessel of its power) yet no mention of the crystal is made in the following movies. I’m quite sure such a crystal would’ve come in handy to the Rebellion. Yet the movies didn’t give a hint about the crystal. This was rectified in later Star Wars works which explained the crystal’s power waned the further the crystal was taken from the temple, meaning the crystal would become pretty much useless when taken far from Mimban, say to Rebellion HQ. Still, what about the rebels on Circarpous IV…

Except of Luke, Leia, Vader, the book introduced other characters, not seen in the later movies. In addition to Halla, whom I mentioned already, new characters are Hin and Kee. Hin and Kee introduced a new species to Star Wars – they are Yuzzem.

Yuzzem are a species similar to Wookiees (yes, Chewbacca). I found the Yuzzem in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye interesting in two aspects:
One is speciesism. Speciesism is a Star Wars equivalent of discrimination like racism just instead of races, the targets are different species other than your own. Naturally, it is shown negatively in Star Wars. An attribute often employed by the dark side. Although the Sith usually care about power in their ranks, no matter the species (indeed, Sith were of various species); their servants often lack wits to overcome speciesism. The Empire employed the “Human High Culture“, which is speciesism centred around humans, hence very few high ranking alien Imperial personnel (none in the movies). Human High Culture accepted species who were similar, at least in appearance, to humans, especially Near-Humans, but others like Wookiees and the Yuzzem… Hin and Kee had been “voluntary labourers” in the Imperial mine Luke and Leia came to. In any case, like in many other works, I find it interesting in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, how the author discriminated himself: Although he certainly did not write from the perspective(s) of an Imp, he often referred to Hin and Kee with “it” long after establishing the “creatures” were sentient and after their sex had been determined (in Hin’s and Kee’s case, male). So I have a question for Foster, and other authors (those that discriminate in such a fashion, of course… and there are many): Why are you surprised with racism, sexism and other kinds of discrimination in the real world if you can’t distance yourself from discrimination when writing a fictitious story?!
The other would be language. Yuzzem, being similar to the Wookiees, speak a similar lingo (yes, those Chewbacca growls 😀 ). The only difference between the species is that the Yuzzem are physically able to speak Basic (the most common language in the galaxy) while the Wookiees can only understand Basic, but ain’t physically able to speak the lingo (that’s why Chewie understood everything Han and the others told him). Yet Hin and Kee wouldn’t have been able to communicate with Luke, Leia and Halla at all if Luke somehow miraculously hadn’t learned the lingo back on Tatooine to kill time. Mkay, so they can’t speak Basic. Yuzzem, being able to speak Basic probably hadn’t been introduced yet, but why couldn’t they have understood it? And about Luke… Mkay, let’s say Luke was able to learn a lingo solely from a book with no communication in the language. The problem is that the language is grunting similar to Wookieespeak. There is no way in hell he’d be able to learn to speak such a lingo. Like Wookiees ain’t physically able to speak a human lingo, humans can’t grunt like that, not without extensive prior training before at least, which he couldn’t have had on Tatooine. Besides, I do wonder why he never grunted with Chewie then. Fine, Yuzzem and Wookieespeak ain’t the same, but with proper training (I’m sure Chewie would’ve landed a hand… and there’s C3PO)… Speaking of languages in the book, Halla spoke Coway, a local lingo, which is more likely than Luke’s Yuzzem ’cause she spent so many years on Mimban (the problem is that the Coway are quite isolated). What I wanted to point out here is that authors often imply that speaking and/or understanding a foreign language is a piece of cake [hell, my characters in The Old Republic understand every bloody language in the galaxy including Rakatan, a language extinct for millennia; makes me wonder what the point of Basic is then… not to mention the use of protocol droids (droids like C3PO) 😀 ]. Well, it’s not (especially if the lingo is hissing or growling like Wookiespeak…)! And I’m pretty sure that such authors speak only their language(s) fluently themselves. By creating, for example, the Yuzzem who don’t understand Basic at all and then a human who speaks their lingo; they contradict themselves because a language such as Basic in Star Wars is much more common than Yuzzem and, although there would definitely be Yuzzem who wouldn’t speak it, it is much more likely that Hin and Kee (or at least one of them!) would understand Basic than Luke would speak Yuzzem, especially since Yuzzem who don’t understand Basic would hardly be of any interest to the Empire. Sure, a Yuzzem can lift three times as much of weight as a human can, but a Yuzzem who you can talk to is more useful than a Yuzzem you can’t talk to… Enough of Basic and Yuzzem. I’ll show you what I mean on an example from real life: Many Croatians speak, or at least understand, English, so you are likely to find a Croatian speaking English. Yet how many people from English-speaking countries have any understanding of Croatian? You would bust your ass, indeed, finding someone from an English-speaking country who speaks Croatian. After all, you’re reading a post I wrote in English. When is the last time you blogged in Croatian? Suffice it to say, “Croatian” is Yuzzem in the book and English is Basic 😉

The book described Imperial troops on Mimban as “men and women stationed too long on a backward, desolate world where discipline and training relaxed concurrently with morale”. In addition to speciesism, the High Human Culture of the Empire included male chauvinism. Basically very few Imperial troops were alien and/or women, so Imperial troops can’t really be described as “men and women“. Of course, the Human High Culture was introduced later to explain the lack of aliens and women in Imperial troops in the original trilogy. The truth is that aliens were expensive to “create” back when the original trilogy was filmed (that explains the real reason for the lack of aliens at least, as for women..). Anyway, it’s likely Foster just had no ide of Human High culture back in 1987.

Although I was planning to do it for years, I finally made myself yesterday to go through all my VHS tapes. Goddamn, I counted 51 cassettes. Suffice it to say I needed a big carton box to store them all in. As a comparison, 50 disks (CDs and/or DVDs and/or Blu/rays) fit this spindle box (meaning you could probably stuff 51 disks in such a spindle). I’m telling you this know ’cause tapes are frequently mentioned in the book as a means of storing data [e.g. Leia telling Luke Check your Imperial tapes (about Circarpous V – Mimban)]. Tapes have been removed from later Star Wars works. Actually, I’m pretty sure this is the only Star Wars work where I encountered tapes. This is interesting because it shows how people perceived technological development in the past. How can data possibly be be stored in the “mind’s eye” of 1978? On a tape, of course. Even in the eighties, the decline of the tape could be seen and now we virtually don’t use tapes! Well, I doubt that the youngest Star Wars fans know what a (magnetic) tape is or how it looks at all (here‘s a Wikipedia article about magnetic tape data storage in case I piqued an interest in a “youngest Star Wars fan”). But in 1978…

When did Lucas come up with the Sith and the Rule of Two? According to him, right away when he was writing the scenario for A New Hope. But did he really? Although the term sith was first heard from the big screen with the release of the Episode I, in 1999; Darth Vader was referred to as a Dark Lord of the Sith in the novelization of every episode of the original trilogy, including A New Hope. Likewise, he is referred to as a Sith in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. He is referred to like that in Shadows of the Empire, which was published before Episode I, too. Interestingly both he and Palpatine, the Emperor, are only said to be “dark Jedi” in the Thrawn Trilogy, which had been published before Shadows of the Empire. This would indicate that the usage of the term sith waned over time, probably because it wasn’t used on set, and then resurfaced before the release of Episode I. Indeed, some works released prior to Episode I have sith in their title (e.g. Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith). There are others from the nineties that use the term sith too (e.g. Dark Apprentice from 1994).
You might have noticed that I didn’t say Palpatine was referred to as a Sith. That’s because what ever Lucas might say, the idea of Palpatine being a Sith surfaced much later. It was clearly established that Palpatine was a master of the dark side with The Empire Strikes Back. Yet even though his mastery in the dark side (and manipulating events and people) was firmly backed in Shadows of the Empire, he was never referred to as a Sith. Splinter in the Mind’s Eye goes even further because prior to The Empire Strikes Back, the Emperor had been intended to be a weakling, a mere marionette of people like Tarkin. Actually, true power of the Empire was meant to be in the hands of such individuals. After all, in A New Hope Leia said: Governor Tarkin, I should have expected to find you holding Vader’s leash. This is further backed in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Vader being described as Tarkin’s henchmen. In addition to Tarkin being shown as a man behind the curtain, Palpatine’s Force-sensitivity wasn’t even hinted at. When saying she was afraid of Kaiburr crystal falling in Imperial hands, Halla said There are Force-sensitives in the Imperial government who might feel such a stirring, giving no hint at all that the Emperor might a Force-sensitive in the government. Actually, knowing Palpatine as we know him now, he’d probably get rid of every slightly Force-sensitive person in his government. The idea of the Rule of Two from the start is further questionable because many Star Wars works prior to Episode I include more than just two dark side villains and Lucas was mkay with that. Later works explain that by saying those were only dark Jedi not true Sith.
Talking about the Sith and dark Jedi, I think I should clarify the terms now. Dark Jedi are dark side users that are not initiated into the Sith cult, they don’t have insight in the true mysteries of the dark side. Sith, on the other hand, are the masters of the dark side, fully pledged to the dark side members of the Sith order. Since Bane instated the Rule of Two, the Sith frequently used dark Jedi as their lackeys, mostly assassins, to do their dirty work because they were limited to two and, before Palpatine revealed himself, wanted to stay hidden. Dooku and the Separatists used dark Jedi, like Ventress, to counter the Jedi of the Republic, never revealing his master is in fact the man behind the curtain. That makes Qui-Gon recognizing Maul as a Sith a bit outstreched (his only conclusion was that Maul’d been a Sith Lord simply because he was trained in the Jedi arts) – Maul could easily have been a dark Jedi.

Another interesting thing is the development of the perception of the Force in Star Wars. How poor it was in A New Hope and how powerful it turned out to be in Revenge of the Sith (frankly, as early as Return of the Jedi with Palpatine’s Force lightning)! Just compare the poor duel between Obi-Wan and Vader in A New Hope and their duel in Revenge of the Sith! Splinter of the Mind’s Eye is more like on the level with A New Hope. Halla introduced herself as a Force master. To prove her Force mastery she moved a spice shaker a few centimetres. After the feat she was all sweaty… Although Luke wasn’t impressed by her “parlour trick”. Later Halla and Luke worked together to move a tray to hit the switch to dematerialized the bars of a prison cell in a jail (yes, a pretty “modern” Star Wars prison with dematerializing bars; I can’t say I remember any such prison in other Star Wars works 😮 ). Suffice it to say, they were both totally exhausted after they’d hit the switch. At the end of the book though, there came Vader who conjured a ball of Force energy, which Luke – who barely moved a tray with Halla’s help – somehow managed to deflect. Also, in the end, Halla did admit she was a “Force charlatan”.

Now. the lightsabers. From The Empire Strikes Back, the heat of a lightsaber beam cauterizes a wound the saber inflicts immediately. In A New Hope, though, the wound wasn’t cauterized when Obi-Wan cut the arm of that fellow in the Mos Eisley Cantina. Well, in the first lightsaber fight in the book, in a brawl, when Luke cut a hand off a miner it was clearly stated that the wound was indeed cauterized (Off came a hand, cut and cauterized neatly at the wrist…), but when Luke, later, cut Vader’s arm off, he was surprised by the lack of blood. In addition to blood actually being cauterized, knowing the events of the Attack of the Clones, we can now explain this by the fact that Dooku’d cut Vader’s real arm decades before the events of Splinter in Mind’s Eye, meaning Luke merely cut a mechanical arm. The problem is that Luke did see blood, he just expected to see more.
Lightsabers are supposed to cut through anything. When touching body, they usually cut a body part off, that is it’s very hard to stop a lightsaber from cutting your limb off if you didn’t manage to deflect the blow in the first place. Yet Vader didn’t cut a single piece of Leia, but gave her a million gashes… It’s implied that Vader was only taunting her, but it’s hard to believe that one with so little patience wouldn’t slip at least once and cut a millimetre too deep, thus, severing her limb. That being said, lightsaber is a dangerous weapon and can be wielded only by professionally trained, usually Force-sensitive, people. Us “mortals” would end up cutting ourselves pretty much as soon as we would make a swing. In later Star Wars works, Jedi often comment when they return their lightsabers from thugs who’d stolen them that they actually saved the thugs’ life by stealing their weapons back. Indeed, think about it. When someone untrained in sword “play” takes a sword for the first time, he usually ends up with cuts and bruises. Now, imagine that instead of steel blade, you cut yourself with a deadly laser beam… However, both Luke and Leia, both yet untrained in the use of a lightsaber – especially Leia who would become a Jedi decades later and who showed no hint of Force-sensitivity in the book – wield the lightsaber against Vader – a true master in lightsaber combat – to deadly precision. Although Luke’s mastery in the lightsaber and Force art (him deflecting Vader’s “Force-ball”), can be attributed to Obi-Wan’s spirit taking control of him. Before the duel he said I’m Ben Kenobi. Later, in the Empire Strikes Back, Obi-Wan did tell Luke he couldn’t help him anymore. I always thought that referred to Obi-Wan’s whispering to Luke in the Death Star trench, but really like Use the Force, Luke and The Force will be with you, always were of much use, so who knows…
Not to mention that no one shows a bit of recognition about a lightsaber, a renown weapon of the Jedi. Yes, by the time of the book the Jedi had been all but exterminated, but that was some 20 years before the events of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. There’s just no way in hell nobody would remember them. Someone would likely call the authorities to “deal” with Luke and Leia. After all, some Jedi did survive the purge. This is not clearly stated in the original trilogy – even though Obi-Wan did say in A New Hope the Jedi had been all but exterminated – but it is logical. There is no way in hell you could exterminate every Jedi in the galaxy with a single blow, no matter how good (or evil in this case 😮 ) you are. That’s why the Empire would kill Luke and Leia as soon as they saw them with a lightsaber. A goal of the Empire was to exterminate all the remaining Jedi, after all.

A word or two about Lucas’s plan for the Skywalker family:
So the sibling relation between Luke and Leia is not even hinted at. Quite the contrary, there is sexual tension between them, especially regarding Luke’s feelings towards Leia. Very well, they didn’t know they were siblings. However, upon Luke telling Leia he was his brother in the Return of the Jedi, Leia told him that somehow she’d always known. That is strengthened in Shadows of the Empire when Leia was longing for Han and thought there was Luke, but that, although always having feelings for her, those feelings were different and she couldn’t quite put her finger on how different. In Splinter of Mind’s Eye, however, she shows no hint of “having a feeling” Luke is “something more”. Furthermore, her Force-sensitivity isn’t implied to at all, expect in the duel with Vader although at the time, we did not know Force-sensitivity, or just extra skill, is required to wield a lightsaber. In the Shadows of the Empire (written after the original trilogy), in addition of Leia having “different feelings” for Luke, her Force-sensitivity was implied when she called to Luke the same way Luke had called to her on Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back.
Another example of the Skywalker family tree is Vader calling Luke Skywalker showing no indication of knowing Luke was his son. I mean, Skywalker was Vader’s real surname. Luke being strong with the Force and Vader knowing Padmé‘d been pregnant with him some 20 years ago, he should have at least suspected Luke was his son, as he did in The Empire Strikes Back. Moreover, Vader wanted Luke dead in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, which is best seen in this quote: I probably won’t have the patience to let you last as long as you deserve. In The Empire Strikes Back, Shadows of the Empire and Return of the Jedi, Vader clearly wanted Luke alive. Regarding the Skywalker family tree, it’s interesting what Luke says about his parents at the beginning of the book. Lemme cite the first three paragraphs of the book:

How beautiful was the universe, Luke thought. How beautifully flowing, glorious and aglow like the robe of a queen. Ice-black clean in its emptiness and solitude, so unlike the motley collage of spinning dust motes men called their worlds, where the human bacteria throve and multiplied and slaughtered one another. All so that one might say he stood a little higher than his fellows.

In depressed moments he felt sure there was no really happy living matter on any of those worlds. Only a plethora of destructive human diseases which fought and raged constantly against one another, a sequence of cancerous civilizations which fed on its own body, never healing yet somehow not quite dying.

A particularly virulent strain of one of those cancers had killed his own mother and father, then his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen. It had also taken from him the man he had learned to respect more than any other, the elderly Jedi knight Ben Kenobi.

So, Uncle Owen told Luke a nasty cancer had killed his parents… At least, that’s how we look at the story now, but I’m pretty sure that a “particularly virulent strain of a cancer” (the strain that killed Anakin Skywalker being Darth Vader, of course) had been the true death of the old Skywalkers.

Metric system (kilogrammes, kilometres, metres etc.) is used throughout Star Wars, probably because it’s more likely that a society in a galaxy far, far away would have measures based on the number 10 than any other kind of a measuring system. Yet Leia was buried under four feet of mud, probably because the book had been written before metric system was chosen for the measuring system used in Star Wars. I remember troopers in the early episodes of that Saturday morning cartoon The Clone Wars, saying something was a few inches long. That’s probably because The Clone Wars is a Saturday morning cartoon and you can’t expect American kids to deal with international measures, but you “can” expect kids from the rest of the world to deal with measures used almost exclusively in the US… Luckily, this crap was rectified in later episodes of the Saturday morning cartoon.

Finally, let me just say that the word “droid” is always spelled ‘droid (with an apostrophe) in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye since “droid” was considered an abbreviation of “android” 😀

If you ask me whether I’d recommend you to read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye; yes, I would definitely recommend the book, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan. The book is quite thrilling. What I’ve wrote about in the post thus far is by no account a criticism towards the book (mkay except the language thing and discrimination thing, which were more like critiques of the author anyway). I only pointed the perspective of things from an old, rather ancient (1978!), Star Wars book to a “modern Star Wars fan”.

There are, however, a few critiques regarding the book I do have:

The book says Luke shot down Vader’s TIE in the Death Star trench. It was Han Solo who shot him down… Time for more citing 😀

Darth Vader addressed them in a coldly conversational tone. “You know, Skywalker, I had a difficult time finding out that it was you who shot up my TIE fighter above the Death Star station. Rebellion spies are hard and expensive to come by. I also found out it was you who released the torpedo that destroyed the station. You have a great deal to atone for to me. I’ve waited a long time.”

Mkay, let’s set aside the fact that Foster ghostwrote A New Hope novelization and should have known full well who shot Vader in the Death Star trench, because he bloody wrote it, now. Mkay, Vader couldn’t have known who actually shot him and could have been given a wrong information, but another information that had been given to him stated Luke was the one who released the torpedo that destroyed the Deth Star (the right information). Vader being shot down had taken place only a minute or so before the station was destroyed, so how the hell did Vader (and Foster apparently…) believe that the same person was responsible for such simultaneous events?! No offence, but you really have to be extra stupid to believe such shit. No matter how strong with the Force someone is, there is just no way in hell anybody could be in two places at the same time, not even in Star Wars.

Another inconsistency, although not nearly as stupid as the previous one, is Vader’s blade being described as blue. Again, set aside the fact that most dark side users used red blades (many did use other colours, most notably Exar Kun), which was, again introduced long after the release of Splinter of Mind’s Eye; Foster should have known Vader’s saber was red because he wrote so in A New Hope novelization.

R2 is referred to as a Deetoo unit, although it was clearly established he was an Artoo unit in A New Hope. Again, Foster wrote the novelization of A New Hope. I mean, I find it stupid to refer to R2’s series of astromechs wiht R2 units. After all, the only (visual) difference between R2 and Obi-Wan’s astromech was the colour (his droid was red), yet Obi-Wan’s astromech was R4-P17 (neither a bloody R nor a blood 2 in the designation). Still, Artoo has been from an R2 unit since A New Hope!

Since I’ve mentioned a lot of other Star Wars works in the post, I think it’s proper to end the post with Star Wars Legends timeline. I said Legends because most of Star Wars works, including Splinter of the Mind’s Eye ain’t canon anymore. Basically, when Lucas sold his soul to Mickey Mouse, the bloody rat decided to throw 40 years of hard work to a garbage can The rat just said Fuck the previous work. It ain’t canon anymore. I will be good enough to rebrand it to “Legends” now make room for my abominations.


Posted on April 29th, 2015 at 15:26 GMT
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