The influential author spoke at length about all things Star Wars, including Padmé Amidala, Mara Jade and more.
Timothy Zahn is having a moment. He has a new book – Thrawn: Alliances – out featuring some of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars cannon, a promotion tour under way, and the adulation of fans far and wide. In a brief but wide-ranging interview with Super Kaiju, the author holds forth on myriad of topics in the Star Wars universe – including his ideas for Mara Jade, writing for Padmé Amidala, and the appreciation he feels for the fans.
On his character of Mara Jade, and whether he’d like to see her brought back into cannon, Zahn had the following to say:
"Well of my characters, I would certainly like to bring Mara Jade back into cannon. If there was a spot for her – an organic spot. I don’t want to just shoehorn somebody in – or have them walk in the background or something.…if there’s an organic thing that she would really fit into a story, I promise people I will pitch it to Story Group, and then it’s their decision whether to allow it or not."
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This is an interesting quote for fans to dig into. It would seem to suggdest that, at least as far as Zahn knows, Mara Jade has not been included in any of the upcoming cannon material. There was recently fervent speculation that Keri Russel might be playing the Dark Jedi for her as-yet-unknown character in Star Wars Episode IX. We might be able to firmly put that speculation to rest.
The Prequel Era
On the character of Padmé Amidala, and how he plans to write her in his book:
"…I’ve always thought Padme didn’t get a lot to do in the Prequels. But the Clone Wars really gave her a lot more action, a lot more depth, and this is the Padme I’m writing. This is the woman who can fire blasters, who can do physical stuff when necessary, but can also be diplomatic and talk people into things when she needs to. So she was very interesting to add into this whole mix."
The inclusion of Padmé Amidala into the Thrawn novel was met with great enthusiasm by most – if not all – fans of the Prequel Trilogy and ensuing Clone Wars animated series. I have to admit that I was thrilled to see her poised and ready to take action in the promotional poster. Her inclusion, and the resurrection of the Clone Wars, may seem to signal a more open attitude by Disney to engage with the Prequels – something barely mentioned when they first acquired Lucasfilm.
On the Star Wars Fandom
In addition to being a top-notch writer, Zahn is a fan of Star Wars, and of the fandom. When asked how he feels about seeing his characters come to life in cosplay, and the interactions he was with people at conventions he stated:
"It’s always humbling, exhilarating, because you know, down deep, I’m just me… I’m just a normal human being. It’s great to meet the fans. A longsession can be tiring but, you know, the look in peoples eyes. Every convention I have at least one of the ‘This book helped me through a really rough patch in my life’ or ‘This book helped me through my deployment.’ … I’m just so very pleased that something I did had that much impact."