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Mara Jade(-Skywalker)

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Neither a Dark Horse nor a Lucas creation, Mara Jade sprung instead from the mind of Timothy Zahn and has (arguably) since made an appearance in film, a host of additional novels, and a significant number of appearances in mid-late 90's Dark Horse continuity.

Prior to the arrival of the prequel trilogy she was inarguably the most popular Expanded Universe character ever created. Since then, she's appeared less frequently, and when she's appeared, many have suggested that she seems a diluted version of her former self. As an early, popular figure in the Expanded Universe, her importance to the overall STAR WARS franchise is perhaps equally important as her contributions to story continuity. Considering that she's the wife of Luke Skywalker and the mother of his children--not to mention one of the only characters to have a major role in the Empire, Rebellion, New Republic and New Jedi Order--that's saying quite a lot.

But in truth she was one of the earliest characters to demonstrate how closely Random House (publishers of the novels) and Dark Horse could work with LucasBooks to form a more-or-less coherent narrative across the two media. That model of co-operation is now firm part of LucasLicensing's overall strategy with their property's off-screen life, to the point that it's practically impossible to give a biography of a major character in the Expanded Universe using material from only one of the two major publishing companies.

She entered the STAR WARS universe as a clear agent of the Emperor. Indeed her starting "title" was that of "the Emperor's Hand"--a sort of "backup" apprentice, should Vader falter. Her initial mission was to kill Luke Skywalker, because the Emperor feared that Vader was wavering in the face of his son's exodus from Tatooine. She failed in her mission to kill Skywalker when she had her chance at Jabba's Palace in the scene portrayed at the beginning of Return of the Jedi. (As an aside, because this scene is so vividly described by Zahn, and because the Special Edition of the movie involved an extensive overhaul of that scene, many fans swear that she is now in the movie. LucasFilm officially denies it, however.)

Having failed to kill Skywalker, she vows to attempt again, but the Emperor is slain before it is possible to do so. Through the Force, she sees that Vader and Skywalker are responsible, and in her aimless wanderings after losing her power base, she grows to see killing Skywalker as an act of justified revenge.

Eventually the two do meet again, but only after finding themselves alone against a hostile wilderness on the planet Myrkr. Over the course of their ordeals there, Vader's complicity in the death of Palpatine is made more clear and the two form an uneasy truce, based largely on her recognition that Skywalker's Force abilities were among the strongest she'd ever seen. Ever looking for the good in people, Skywalker offers her his lightsaber, long before it's clear that she will not use it to strike him down, and invites her to join him on his crusade to reboot the Jedi Order.

She refuses, largely because she believes her own skills, while obviously inferior to his, too great to begin anew as a mere student.

After leaving Merkyr, she encounters Kyle Katarn, another self-trained Jedi, who partially convinces her of the virtues of a more formalized education in the ways of the Force. She still harbors a resistance to giving up her independence for the full-time life of a student, however. Despite occasional visits to the new Jedi Academy, she falls in to a life on the fringe of society, associating herself with the new Smugglers' Alliance. In this gray circle of friends, she slowly makes her transition from her Dark past to her Light future. Along the way she is frequently seen alongside Lando Calrissian, who is completely unable to win her romantic affections.

Like Han Solo, she slowly comes to see the benefits of a life dedicated to others. This is finally cemented when Luke and she are thrown together on another mission almost exactly a decade after their first encounter on Myrkr. While investigating--for their own separate purposes--the Hand of Thrawn, a frontier fortification on Nirauan, the two realize that their varying approaches to problem solving are a perfect match. Understanding that they'd both be dead without the other, they then quickly fall in love and are married. Chief-of-State Leia Organa-Solo semi-successfully spins the wedding as a politically symbolic act of reuniting the people of the New Republic who were on opposite sides of the Galactic Civil War. Now a father for around a decade, Han Solo, perhaps seeing a lot of himself in Mara, sees the event more personally when he simply states, "About time. It will be good for both of them."


First Appearance: Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (1995) #1

Favorite Characters:
Mara Jade(-Skywalker) is a favorite character of 7 users

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
Star Wars Tales (1999)
Star Wars: Dark Force Rising (1997)
Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (1995)
Star Wars: Invasion (2009)
Star Wars: Legacy (2006)
Star Wars: Mara Jade (1998)
Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy (2009)
Star Wars: Union (1999)

Group Affiliation(s):
Emperor's Hands
Galactic Empire (First)
Galactic Republic (New)
Jedi Order (New)
Rebel Alliance

Famous Quotes: - Add a Famous Quote
""Yeah, it's true. Now tell me who blabbed so I can go cut his head off." ―Mara's response to a couple of Jedi trainees questioning her past as an Emperor's Hand"

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