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Credit: Disney/Star Wars

It's time to bring Mara Jade back to Star Wars

Contributed by
Dec 28, 2019, 6:41 PM EST (Updated)

After Disney purchased Star Wars back in 2012, most of the novels, games, comics, and other supplemental material that existed pre-purchased were deemed "non-canon" and cast aside. Logically, this made sense; there was so much material that it would have been difficult to find pockets of free space to write a brand-new epic trilogy.

Emotionally, it gutted me.

Sure, the canon, previously known as the Star Wars Extended Universe, was a bit of a mess, with a reputation for ridiculous plot threads and completely unnecessary stories. I mean, Luke Skywalker fell in love with a computer, Jaxxon the Space Rabbit popped up here and there, and the Ewoks had to deal with a crying mountain. Oh, and Han Solo once fought a giant, talking otter. Yeah.

Despite the missteps, overall the old Star Wars Legends canon had its fair share of fantastic storylines, fun adventures, and compelling characters. Some elements from Legends have been re-introduced to the official canon along the way: Thrawn appearing in Star Wars: Rebels, various planets across the system re-appeared in all types of media, and even Malla, Chewie's wife from the travesty that was The Star Wars Holiday Special, showed up in a YA retelling of Star Wars: A New Hope.

But the one thing from Legends that I've been longing to see re-introduced is Mara Jade, the former Emperor's Hand turned Jedi. Oh, and we can't forget that she was also Luke's wife and baby mama.

Credit: Disney/Star Wars

When Mara Jade was first introduced in Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire in 1991, she had already ditched her role as Emperor's Hand and was currently operating as second-in-command of Talon Karrde's smuggling organization. As she grew closer to Luke Skywalker, despite initially being compelled to try and kill him, she slowly earned her place as a main character in the Legends run. In fact, Mara was the only non-movie character to make the list of favorite characters when Star Wars Insider magazine ran a poll back in 1997. An impressive feat, given that she'd only been around for 6 years at that point.

Mara was a compelling character from the very beginning. She brought multiple shades of gray to the previously black and white Star Wars universe, as she wasn't exactly evil, but she wasn't completely good either. She brought out elements of our favorite characters that we hadn't seen before, adding richness and depth to their stories. All the Legends writers loved her as she showed up in book after book, sometimes popping up to help the good guys, sometimes showing up to make things slightly more difficult for them. But no matter how she showed up, she was always welcomed by the readers, and it was a crushing blow to lose her from the canon.

However, with the death of Luke Skywalker (and The Rise of Skywalker bringing that family saga to a close), I know that it's just not feasible for Mara Jade to appear exactly as she was in Legends. But at the same time, it's not a stretch to speculate that we'll still see Mara pop up in the Star Wars universe sooner rather than later. After all, Zahn has stated on more than one occasion, "If there was a generic, or organic, spot for her to fit into a story … I promise people I will pitch it to the Lucasfilm story group."

And even if we won't see her appear alongside Luke, they can still keep the core of her character alive. A fiery, Force-sensitive redhead who served as the Emperor's Hand and now works alongside a notorious smuggler? Who wouldn't love to see that in a Disney+ show?

(In fact, as long as we're bringing Mara back, let's go ahead and pull in Talon Karrde, one of the top smugglers in the galaxy despite being an honest man.)

If we keep her backstory of being the Emperor's Hand, it would track that she'd be someone he'd trust to handle critical yet secretive matters. She'd certainly be the one he'd trust to send out into the galaxy after the fall of the Old Republic to track down and kill any remaining Jedi. Which means it would be easy for her to show up in the upcoming Obi-Wan series.

Credit: Lucasfilm

There's a lot of time to play with there, and it's unlikely Obi-Wan hunkered down on Tatooine and never left. Let's up the stakes for him a bit and bring in a character determined to take him out, only for her to have the same (eventual) change of heart she did in Legends. And of course, while working and bickering with him to complete their mission, they'll fall for each other. Who doesn't love a good enemies-to-lovers trope?

It would be a similar story to the one she and Luke had. Still, unfortunately, there's no happy ending with a wedding and a kid in the cards for Mara and Obi-Wan. So after they've gotten a little frisky in the desert, they'll eventually have to go their separate ways. He'll stay on Tatooine, robes billowing in the sand, and she can join up with Karrde and his crew, setting off for regions unknown.

We all know how Obi-Wan's story ends, but this would leave it open for Mara's adventures to continue on her own in TV, book, or comic form. And since she's a strong independent woman who don't need no man, she'll use his show as a springboard to launch her own story — and, knowing her, she'll do it with style.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBCUniversal.

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