With legends characters slowly making their way into canon, Mara Jade could be another that gets her place in the Star Wars saga.
Star Wars fans and Disney have had a complicated relationship. While having regular films has been a nice experience, the way the storyline has been handled has been a sticking point for some. But some creative minds have given some gifts back to the fans in the form of returning Legends characters.
One of these Star Wars fan favorites was Grand Admiral Thrawn, who was originally created by author Timothy Zahn for the Thrawn trilogy novels in the 1990s, and came back in Star Wars Rebels and new Zahn novels. But could another Zahn character be returning to canon?
The news that actress Keri Russell had been cast in an unnamed role had generated a great deal of speculation. Is she playing a First Order villain? Is she Rey’s mother?
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The hope, which had been fed by Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill, is that we’re building towards the return of Mara Jade Skywalker.
Could it happen?
In the Legends storyline, Mara Jade was originally a dark-side user who was known as the Emperor’s Hand. She was a secret agent of Emperor Palpatine and after his death made it her mission to kill Luke Skywalker. Eventually, however, she would switch to the light side and marry Luke
This connects to the present point in canon because of how she died.
In the Legends continuity, Han and Leia had twin children named Jacen and Jaina Solo. Jacen had become corrupted and would turn to the dark side, much like Kylo Ren had in the Sequel Trilogy. Jade was killed by Jacen as he turned to the dark side and took the name Darth Caedus.
As we know in the Sequel Trilogy, Kylo Ren slaughtered Luke’s Jedi students and turned to the dark side. Could Mara Jade had been among those lost to the Knights of Ren on Ahch-To?
If J.J. Abrams is interested in drawing from the Legends continuity the same way Dave Filoni and others have in the Disney era, this is an excellent opportunity. It wouldn’t be difficult to modify her story to make it fit while maintaining the essence of her character, like what was done with Thrawn.
In fact, it would make for an incredible twist for hardcore Star Wars fans in Episode IX. In fact, fans had speculated Luke stood over a headstone at the end of The Force Awakens.
Maybe that was the final resting place of Mara Jade Skywalker.
It’s obviously a stretch and there’s a chance we may never see Mara Jade. But the creative forces behind the new Star Wars continuity have been generous in their references to the former Expanded Universe. Let’s not forget how Grand Admiral Thrawn was incorporated.
While author Timothy Zahn himself isn’t aware of plans for her return, there’s a real chance for Mara Jade Skywalker. Hopefully those at the Story Group are considering the opportunity.
Star Wars Episode IX is scheduled to come out December 2019.