|The book cover|
It takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. In effect the first original full-length expanded universe works and was published shortly after the release of the original movie.
The plot features only Luke, Leia and Vader as they jostle on the planet Mimban to find the Kaiburr crystal, a device which allowed the user to greatly increase their Force powers.
The book was commissioned by George Lucas as a being the basis for a potential sequel to Star Wars. Alan Dean Foster was writing the novelisation of Star Wars and also SOTME as second book. He was as simply instructed by Lucas to write the book based off some ideas and film treatments that George threw at him.
In light of this novel being intended as serving as the basis for a film sequel to Star Wars, Foster made the decision to place his story on a misty jungle planet - this was intended to reduce set and background costs for a film adaptation. Is a misty jungle planet familiar to any one? ...
According to Foster, Lucas's only request upon inspecting the first draft was the deletion of a space dogfight featuring Luke and Leia before they crash-landed on Mimban, which would have been effects-heavy and thus expensive to put to film.
The reality is that when Star Wars 'went global' Lucas changed story direction and the film sequel script was first drafted by Leigh Bracket, which after her death from cancer, Lucas refined further with help from Lawrence Kasdan.
SOTME is regarded by many Star Wars fans as a classic Star Wars story and it is still a popular read.
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