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Mara Jade Skywalker
Maralukeben.jpg

Luke Skywalker (left), Mara Jade (right), and their son, Ben Skywalker
Position Emperor's Hand, Jedi
Homeworld Coruscant
Species Human
Gender Female
Affiliation Galactic Empire, New Republic, Jedi, Galactic Alliance
Portrayed by Shannon McRandle (for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game)

Mara Jade Skywalker is a fictional character in Star Wars Expanded Universe books, comic books, and computer games. In video games, she is voiced by Heidi Shannon and Kath Soucie.

Contents

Concept and development

Mara Jade was introduced in Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire (1991). Zahn imagined Jade as a strong, complex female character, which he found was lacking in the Star Wars universe. While competent, she also is flawed.[1] When the Thrawn Trilogy ended in 1993 with The Last Command, Zahn thought it was the last book for which he would develop the character.[2] When Zahn was asked to write another novel, he established two goals: "to end the war between the New Republic and the Empire, and to get Luke Skywalker and Mara together."[2] Although Lucasfilm initially resisted the idea of Luke marrying Mara, they eventually acquiesced.[2]

Compared to Star Wars iconic female character, Princess Leia, Zahn said, "Mara has a sharper and more sarcastic manner, and of course, she had to go through the painful realization that her service had been to an evil cause. But they're both women who are strong without sacrificing their femininity, a balance which I think some authors have trouble writing. Bear in mind too, that Leia was one of the first people in the New Republic who decided Mara could be trusted, which perhaps says something about their understanding of each other."[3] When asked about the high popularity of Mara Jade, Zahn suggested it is due to women's ability to identify with her, and men's interest in having her at their side.[2]

Depiction

Mara Jade is introduced as smuggler Talon Karrde's second-in-command in Heir to the Empire. The novel establishes that she previously was an "Emperor's Hand" — a special agent — for Emperor Palpatine. Several stories depict Jade before the events in Heir to the Empire, showing her training under Palpatine and executing his orders. The Thrawn trilogy depicts Mara's confrontation with Luke Skywalker, whom she has sworn to kill in revenge for Palpatine's death. At the end of the trilogy, she resolves her anger toward Luke without killing him. He recognizes an underdeveloped affinity for the Force in her; although she initially resists Jedi training, she eventually becomes a Jedi Master.

Luke and Mara develop a strong Force bond in Zahn's The Hand of Thrawn Duology; he proposes marriage, and the two wed in Michael A. Stackpole's Union comic. She delivers a son, Ben, during The New Jedi Order series. In the Legacy of the Force series, Mara becomes suspicious of her nephew, Jacen Solo, when he sends Ben on several ethically dubious missions. Upon learning that Jacen has become a Sith apprentice, Mara vows to kill him. Jacen kills Mara in Sacrifice. She later appears as a Force ghost, first to Ben and then to Luke, in Revelation. She also appears as a Force ghost to Cade Skywalker in the Legacy comics.

Other appearances

Mara was portrayed by the model Shannon McRandle on several cards in the Star Wars Customizable Card Game. Meeting her is also a mission objective in the massively multiplayer online game Star Wars Galaxies. She is a controllable character in Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi, the Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith, Star Wars: Empire at War, and some platforms' versions of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

See also

References

  1. ^ Carter, Jeff. "Star Wars Per-Zahn-Ified". http://www.echostation.com/interview/zahn.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-18. "Mara [is] a strong female character (which were few and far between in the Star Wars movies), but she's also flawed and searching and—dare we say it?—human. At the same time, she's highly competent at her job."  
  2. ^ a b c d "Timothy Zahn". Interviews - Face To Face With The Masters. TheForce.Net. 2008-03-13. http://theforce.net/jedicouncil/interview/zahn.asp.  
  3. ^ Carter, Jeff. "Star Wars Per Zahn-Ified". http://www.echostation.com/interview/zahn2.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-18.  

External links








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