Before Star Wars opened in 1977, some had worries regarding the film's success. Were people ready for such a bombastic piece of cinema? Of course we all know the outcome now but back before the film's release, George Lucas wasn't so sure. Apparently the director was so unsure of Star Wars' success that he commissioned Alan Dean Foster to write a sequel of sorts which could have been filmed for a tighter budget.
Foster had been charged with penning the novelization of A New Hope- where he fleshed out the timelines and perhaps gave birth to the expanded Universe- but Lucas also directed him to write a second, smaller scale story titled "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" which he could direct for little money if Star Wars did indeed fail. Screencrush have been getting to the bottom of it, here's the synopsis as they see it:
The plot of ‘Splinter’ is fairly simple. Taking place after the events of ‘Star Wars,’ Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa – along with C-3P0 and R2-D2 – are on their way to an important meeting with representatives of a system that might join the Rebellion. On the way, the two crash-land on a swamp planet called Mimban (Lucas asked Foster to scrap a space battle that originally led to the crash because it would be too expensive to film), where they soon discover that the Empire has a secret mining colony in operation in an effort to find something called a Kaiburr crystal. Eventually the two are discovered, ending with a showdown between Luke and Leia against Darth Vader.
What no Han? Well Foster had that one covered too:
I couldn’t use the characters of Han Solo and Chewbacca, Chewbacca because he’s Han Solo’s buddy and Han Solo because Harrison Ford hadn’t yet signed on to do anything related to future developments of ‘Star Wars.
What a world it might have been...
Would you have liked to see this story on the screen? Let us know below.
Some other Star Wars sequel opens December 18th next year.