Here's something I promised Win Eckert I would post when I got home, following a discussion on the topic that we had at his house during our recent visit...
During the first wave of Star Wars prose fiction that began with Del Rey’s publication of Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye in 1978, L. Neil Smith’s Lando Calrissian trilogy (which takes places prior to Han Solo’s ownership of the Millennium Falcon) represented the earliest chronological adventures in the series; these were followed chronologically by Brian Daley’s original Han Solo trilogy, which had actually appeared in print several years prior to the Lando novels.
Years later, during the period when Bantam Books held the license for Star Wars novels, A.C. Crispen wrote a second Han Solo trilogy, which follows the hero’s life and adventures from his teen years up to mere minutes before his fateful meeting with Luke Skywalker and Ben Kenobi.
When the first book in Daley's trilogy - Han Solo At Star’s End - was first released in 1979, there was some question (at least in my mind) as to when the story took place in relation to the original movie. My initial belief was that this must have been an adventure that Han and Chewbacca were having at the same time as the events that Luke and Princess Leia were involved with in Splinter Of The Mind’s Eye (in which Han and Chewie do not appear). Upon reading the following books in the Daley trilogy, however, it became clear that these tales were in fact taking place prior to the events of the original film.
This was eventually verified by Crispen, who went to great lengths to show how the Smith and Daley novels and the novelization of the original Star Wars (a.k.a. A New Hope) fit into the overall story she tells in her own trilogy. As a result, I was able to determine the precise order in which all nine books should be read, should the reader wish to read with continuity in mind. (My father has done this, by the way, and said he thoroughly enjoyed it.)
That order is as follows:
1. Read The Paradise Snare in its entirety.
2. Read Chapters 1-6 and the first section of Chapter 7 (middle of P. 161 in the original paperback edition) of The Hutt Gambit.
3. Read all of Lando Calrissian And The Mindharp of Sharu.
4. Read the rest of Chapter 7 through the end of Chapter 15 of The Hutt Gambit.
5. Read all of Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon.
6. Read the rest of The Hutt Gambit.
7. Read all of Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka.
8. Read Chapters 1-6 of Rebel Dawn.
9. Read all of Han Solo At Star’s End.
10. Read Chapter 7 of Rebel Dawn.
11. Read all of Han Solo’s Revenge.
12. Read Chapter 8 of Rebel Dawn.
13. Read all of Han Solo And The Lost Legacy.
14. Read the rest of Rebel Dawn.
OR... If you’re REALLY feeling ambitious:
14. Read Chapters 9-16 of Rebel Dawn.
15. Read Prologue through the beginning of the final section of Chapter 6 of A New Hope (ending with the sentence “‘I do not like the looks of this,’ the tall ’droid murmured”).
16. Now read the Epilogue of Rebel Dawn (ignoring the fact that the first sentence begins with the phrase “The next day…”), followed by the remainder of A New Hope.
And then when you’re done, pat yourself on the back for having followed the proper continuity from start to finish... then check to make sure your wife hasn’t called for the boys in the white coats.
Posted by John Allen Small. Posted In : Pop Culture