MOVIE NEWS – The Mandalorian movie looks set to be based on Legends’ Heir of the Realm. This could mean it’s time for Star Wars to decide on Mara Jade.
Star Wars’ upcoming film set in The Mandalorian era is almost certainly an adaptation of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. All of this means that it’s finally time to decide whether Mara Jade, one of the essential characters in the Legends continuum, can be part of the canon.
When Disney bought Star Wars in 2012, the old Expanded Universe products (novels, comics, etc.) were declared non-canon (or “Legends”).
Since then, however, Lucasfilm has merged the best elements of the EU into the new canon. For example, Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy is a clear inspiration for Dave Filoni’s designs in The Mandalorian era. Many of the critical elements are already canon, ahead of the much-anticipated film Heir of the Empire.
The animated series Star Wars: Bad Batch and Rebels made elements such as Mount Tantiss and the Noghri race canon. Mount Tantiss served as Thrawn’s home base during the Thrawn trilogy, and the Noghri are the race of Thrawn’s personal bodyguard assistant, Rukh. Despite this, a key element is still missing from the Star Wars canon.
The heroine who is still missing from the Star Wars canon
The element in question is Mara Jade. Mara Jade, who appeared in Heirs of the Empire, made her Star Wars debut as the former assassin of Emperor Palpatine. At the time of the story, Jade was working as part of a smuggling team. The book reveals that she was Palpatine’s assassin during the Galactic Civil War, trained to kill Luke Skywalker. This was the Emperor’s dying wish for him. After they meet Luke, they rely on each other to survive. Jade quickly develops a respect for the Jedi Master and, as a result, does not kill him. Mara has become one of the most popular and prominent characters in Legends over the years.
Eventually, Jade is trained by Luke as a Jedi, and they fall in love. Their marriage gives birth to Ben Skywalker, who would later play a significant role in the Legends’ second galactic civil war. Regardless, Jade’s introduction in the Thrawn trilogy, and other elements that have since been canonized, make Mara one of the few concepts from Zahn’s original story that has not yet been canonized.
Should Mara Jade be in the Disney Star Wars universe?
This begs the question, will Jade become canon in Filoni’s film? Or, if so, whether she would fit into Disney’s already established canon. Since Star Wars often introduces elements into the canon that existed before, it is not impossible that Mara Jade will appear. Since she was Palpatine’s secret assassin, Mara’s hidden existence in the original trilogy could undoubtedly be explained by her particular situation.
However, her relationship with Luke Skywalker raises questions about whether Jade could become canon.
For it seems that Filoni’s film will reposition the main characters of Rebels, The Mandalorian and Ahsoka to play the roles of Luke, Leia and Han in the original Thrawn trilogy. Luke’s role, reportedly due to Kathleen Kennedy’s dislike of the character, will be kept to a minimum in the canon. Thus, Jade’s relationship with Skywalker seems impossible. Luke could undoubtedly have a cameo in the film. However, the Star Wars canon’s different structure from the Legends and the intricacies of CGI make Luke unlikely to have a major role. This means that Mara Jade may be difficult to fit into the modern Star Wars. But it probably never will if it doesn’t happen in the Heir of the Empire adaptation.