Splinter of the Mind's Eye Original Art
The unprecedented success of Star Wars spawned a new allegiance of loyal fans who clamored for more adventures of Luke Skywalker.

In February 1978, less than a year after the release of Star Wars, Alan Dean Foster's "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" was released to the public. Foster had experience with the Star Wars universe as the ghost writer for the original Star Wars novel. Del Rey Books once again enlisted Ralph McQuarrie to illustrate the cover since he was the conceptual artist for the films.

During the production of "The Empire Strikes Back," McQuarrie started to create an image that would forever impress the young minds of the late 1970s. McQuarrie created the actual preliminary painting (left) to establish the design, layout and lighting of the final rendering. McQuarrie's type design on the preliminary, although striking, appears to have lost out in favor of the already established movie typeface.

The final painting (right) is a brilliantly rendered, picturesque classic. McQuarrie says that he would typically spend more time painting book covers because of their anticipated widespread use. In contrast, a less detailed style was applied to the early Star Wars production paintings. McQuarrie never imagined that his paintings would find new venues and become part of portfolios for mass market consumption.

In my opinion, these earlier paintings are some of the strongest, most memorable works he ever created for the films. They are much looser in nature, and radiate an energy unduplicated in his later works. McQuarrie admits that as the Star Wars productions progressed, he devoted more time and attention to the paintings, for he was now aware of their destination.

The Splinter of the Mind's Eye cover art stands as a timeless icon of science fiction literature. Del Rey/Lucas Books still uses McQuarrie's cover art on the book in print today.

(Note: Images shown in the photo are not proportionate.)

Description by: Wade Lageose
Photo: Wade Lageose
From the collection of: Wade Lageose
Country:United States
Film:A New Hope
Licensee:Del Rey/Ballantine
Category:Art / Original Artwork


Checklist by Duncan Jenkins, Gus Lopez, and the Star Wars collecting community
Software by Chris Nichols

All information © 2014 Star Wars Collectors Archive