Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lustful Luke Leers at Leia

While tidying up a pile of unshelved books (we are building more shelves to cope with the increasing mass of paperbacks -- no Kindles for us) I chanced upon my copy of Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster.

The book is a Star Wars novelization set between the first and second movies (the original movies that is). I remember avidly reading it before Empire came out, and then I never gave it another thought.

Most online reviews of the book praise it, and try to overlook the incestuous lust that Luke displays towards Leia throughout the book. Apparently the book was written as a possible sequel movie plot if the first Star Wars movie flopped. A low-budget follow-up film was to be made, with fewer actors (only Luke, Leia, the Droids and Darth Vader return) and reused props. A space battle scene was cut from the novel, to save money if the movie adaptation went ahead.

The novel has some unintentionally funny lines and some horribly over-written clunkers.

Leia: her confidence was seeping away like snow on a stove.

See Threepio: But what if Master Luke is correct and there is no station below, We could find ourselves marooned forever on this empty world, without companionship, without the knowledge tapes, without ... without lubricants!

Luke looking at Leia: Moistly parted in sleep, her lips seemed to beckon him. He leaned closer, seeking refuge from the damp green and brown of the swamp in that hypnotic redness.
But it's the undisguised lust that Luke has toward Leia that throws you. He's just a horny lil' teenager hoping to get some Princess booty.

There's also a sort of Jar-Jar Binks precursor race in the novel. The natives to the planet Luke and Leia find themselves marooned on are human-sized, skinny and green-furred, talk in mewing, begging, high-pitched voices, and have similar phrases to the most hated of prequel characters;
'Vease, sir,' it begged, 'smav drink?'
Overall, it's a serviceable plot, and would have made a decent movie if the franchise had tanked. There's a graphic novel adaptation out there as well with pretty pictures.

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