By AngelaJade | March 10, 2009
A long time ago in a galaxy not so very far, far away ...
... actually, it was the late seventies, era of Charlie’s Angels, Abba, and ‘pocket’ calculators the size of house-bricks. I saw Star Wars in 1978 (it came to the UK a year later than in the US; and there was no ‘A New Hope’ tag back then) and was completely and utterly amazed. The special effects! The music! The story! The princess who wasn’t blonde and didn’t scream and/or wait for a man to save her!!
Yes, Star Wars made a big impression on this wee brunette from Scotland.
I would have given all my pocket money, my little brother, and possibly a limb or two to be able to watch it every day afterwards ... but unfortunately videos had yet to be invented. My parents wouldn’t let me spend my entire waking hours at the cinema, and all too soon the movie’s run finished. I was left with a gaping hole in my life (priorities of an eleven-year-old, remember) that not even Dr Who and Battlestar Galactica could fill.
A few months later, with rumours of a sequel still very much in development hell, I found a slightly dog-eared paperback copy of a book in my local library that ended up helping me through those long years between ANH and Empire. “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” by Alan Dean Foster was commissioned by George Lucas, king of movie merchandising, in case the movie flopped (allegedly). It’s a Luke-n-Leia adventure that, with hindsight and the nit-pickiness of an obsessive-compulsive, has several inconsistencies (Vader’s lightsaber is blue and there is a somewhat disturbing amount of sexual tension between the oblivious siblings), but I read it with unrestrained glee and a new sense of Hope. I bought my own copy which eventually fell to bits through over-reading (the dog attack didn’t help; labradors are apparently not Foster fans).
So, that was my first foray into the Expanded Universe, and even after we acquired a video player, I still read novelisations and any other SW books I could lay my hands on. In 1993-ish I discovered Tim Zahn’s “Heir to the Empire”, and thought all my Christmases had come at once; I’m currently reading the Legacy of the Force series.
So, dear SWChicks, enlighten me, please. What was the first Star Wars book you read?