Summer Reading Program, Day 3: A Galaxy Far, Far Away…

I’m a child of Star Wars. I saw the original trilogy in the theaters starting at age 7. I had all the action figures and a lot of the toys. I had shirts and pajamas and lunch boxes. Shoe boxes full of trading cards and posters and who knows what else. But what I wanted more than anything was MORE story. Before Timothy Zahn gave birth to the Star Wars Extended Universe in 1991 with his Heir To The Empire trilogy (the stories that SHOULD have been the third movie trilogy, IMO), there wasn’t much. There were some comic series but I wasn’t much of a comics kid. After watching The Empire Strikes Back half a dozen times I was hungrier than ever for more story and I got it. I discovered four books that would satiate my hunger: Splinter of The Mind’s Eye and the original Han Solo Trilogy.

I discovered all four of these books at the same and devoured them in short order. Alan Dean Foster (ghost writer of the Star Wars novelization) actually wrote Splinter to be a direct sequel to the original movie with the intention of being adapted as a low-budget movie sequel in case the original film was not successful enough to spawn the franchise it would ultimately go on to produce. It takes place two years after the original movie and gives us even more proof that George Lucas had no idea where his story was going (as he is so fond of claiming). It’s a good story, though. Not quite the sequel that Empire turned out to be but good, nonetheless.

The original Han Solo trilogy, officially titled The Han Solo Adventures, takes place in the two years leading up to the original movie. These are fantastic reads. The fact that they aren’t Star Wars canon now is criminal.

Three other books were produced in ’83, after Return of The Jedi was released. They comprise the Lando Calrissian Trilogy and tell the story of Lando’s smuggling days. I read these, as well, as fast as I could get my hands on them. They’re…not good. Not good at all and I remember it being a chore to finish all of them. Looking back, I feel like these could have been written in the heyday of the expanded universe content generator and a better job could have been done. Alas, we’ll probably never know.

Star Wars
Star Wars

So, have you read any of these books? Did you like them? Tomorrow we’ll talk about S.E. Hinton and the life of a dog…

See all the books in the Summer Reading Program

About Eric Vardeman 115 Articles
80's lover. Screenwriter. Cohost of The Greatest Lists podcast. Christmas enthusiast. Tulsa Curling Club founder. Cherokee. Guitar player. Boomer Sooner. Curator of 80's playlists (

1 Comment

  1. I had the Han Solo trilogy and loved those books (much for the same reason you stated of just wanting more stories from that galaxy far, far away). By the way, I also agree on the Timothy Zahn books from the ’90s because they just felt like a natural part of the story to me and very entertaining.

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