When I heard back in April that the entirety of the Star Wars Expanded Universe had essentially been retconned in order to make way for the new movies, I can honestly say I was devastated. In losing stories such as Legacy of the Force, Rogue Squadron and perhaps more importantly Heir to the Empire, I had also lost several of my favourite Star Wars heroes.
Of course, after a while I began to realise the stories themselves weren't actually going anywhere and were still always there to read despite no longer being part of the official continuity. From there my thoughts began to wander, until I began to view the whole thing as a step forward rather than a step back. I realised that instead of limiting themselves to stories that already exist, Disney have instead just given themselves a huge archive of source material from which they can pick and choose what they like. In the same way Marvel Studios take inspiration from past comics without sticking to the stories exactly, Disney and Lucasfilm can now sift through some of the lesser content of the EU and incorporate some of the better stuff into [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158), and the other new movies.
Which brings me on to Mara Jade.
Now, when it comes to strong, female role models, the Star Wars franchise is somewhat lacking. Sure, you've got Leia, but apart from her, can you name anyone else? Last time I checked there were zero female fighter pilots in the original trilogy and other than that librarian in Attack of the Clones there are no speaking female Jedi at all!
Timothy Zahn, author of the Thrawn Trilogy, realised this and in 1991 introduced Mara Jade as the Hand of Emperor Palpatine. She was an instant hit, becoming the most popular Star Wars character to never be featured in the films and has appeared almost ten books, several comics and a handful of video games.
Needless to say I was heartbroken when it was revealed she was no longer part of the official Star Wars canon, but recently it got me thinking...
Current rumours state that the main villains in Star Wars Episode 7 - The Force Awakens will be the elusive Inquisitors. A bit of research into their activity revealed their main purpose was the hunting of Jedi and performing covert operations. To me, this sounded awfully similar to Mara Jade's role as Hand of the Emperor, which consisted of secret missions and, get this, take out unwanted Jedi.
Now, this could just be me thinking about this too much, but surely, bearing in mind Disney's new tactic of using the EU as source material, Mara Jade could be easily incorporated into the story as one of these Inquisitors. Sure, the timeline will certainly be out of whack (Episode 7 is set thirty years after ROTJ, while in the EU Luke and Mara were married after just fifteen), but the idea of seeing Mara Jade portrayed on screen has to be enough to allow that one little detail to slide.
(Check out my follow up post regarding spin-off movies here.)