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I am curious about a short (maybe 16 pages) picture book that one of my friends had, around the time Return of the Jedi was released. It was a Star Wars story starring Luke Skywalker, but it clearly existed in a completely different universe. The book told a story that was vaguely similar to the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope, but without the evil empire (or any villains at all, in fact).

Luke, in this book, was a student at the space academy (on a Tatooine-like arid planet). He had an instructor who was clearly drawn to resemble Han Solo but who had a different name (although it might have sounded a little bit like "Han Solo"). There is an emergency where a out-of-control moon is going to crash into the planet, so Luke and other pilots fly out to blow it up.

There are lots of lists of Star Wars books online, but if this one was listed somewhere, I could not identify it. The issues are that many lists do not include picture books or works that are completely out of continuity.

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I believe you are referring to The Maverick Moon. The following response quotes are from Wookieepedia.

enter image description here

one of my friends had, around the time Return of the Jedi

It was published in 1979, so it would exist when Return came out.

It was a Star Wars story starring Luke Skywalker, but it clearly existed in a completely different universe. The book told a story that was vaguely similar to the destruction of the Death Star in A New Hope, but without the evil empire (or any villains at all, in fact).

The time period of this story is unspecified. No mention is made of the Rebellion or the Empire

Luke, in this book, was a student at the space academy (on a Tatooine-like arid planet).

Luke is enrolled in a new academy for space pilots on an unknown planet

enter image description here

He had an instructor who was clearly drawn to resemble Han Solo but who had a different name (although it might have sounded a little bit like "Han Solo")

Not sure about this one. Perhaps you're remembering Oleson?

There is an emergency where a out-of-control moon is going to crash into the planet, so Luke and other pilots fly out to blow it up.

For unknown reasons, a moon from a nearby system had been knocked out of orbit and was on a collision course with the planet. Luke proposes that he could destroy the moon with the Zukonium ray, and he boards his X-wing, heading into orbit. Luke hears Ben Kenobi's words of encouragement, and he feels better about the upcoming challenge. Luke flies his spacecraft right next to the moon and fires the Zukonium ray. The moon explodes, but Luke's craft is damaged, forcing an emergency landing. Luke saves the day, and Leia presents Luke with a medal of honor.

More can be read about the book and its sequel here.

  • That's it. (I recognize the other cover shown at the link.) I guess it never occurred to me that the book was consistent with the first movie, since I had seen The Empire Strikes Back before I read the book. – Buzz Feb 4 '18 at 23:22

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