Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
The door to the bridge of the armed yacht The Jade Shadow opens and lets me in. The single occupant at the helm is a beautiful and fit redheaded woman, wearing a black sleeveless tee-shirt, black leather pants and a dark gray cape. She looks at me with shinning emerald green eyes and gives me a cautious smile. She is Mara Jade the most famous Star Wars character the rest of the world hasn’t heard of. “Thanks for doing this in flight, we have a little…Crisis at Narr Shadaa…Blasted Hutts, anyways shouldn’t take too long and we can chat on the way.”
I mumble something in that guttural almost English language I fall into whenever I am talking to a hot woman. All the time trying to remember that she is married. “So you have been The Emperor’s Hand, a smuggler, an assassin, a spy, a Jedi Knight and you are married to THE Jedi Knight.” She nods realizing it is not a question. “With the exception of maybe General Thawn you are the most famous and beloved EU character. But for those that don’t know your back story who are you?”
She gives me a demur giggle. “Oh blast this may take the whole flight. Well I was raised as a child by Emperor Palpatine, to be his special agent. I fought evil corruption in the Empire. Well I found out later that I was only fighting the evil and corruption Palpatine didn’t create. After his death, I joined a team of smugglers. The Emperor had left in me a dark force compulsion to kill Luke Skywalker. I began to learn the evil that the Emperor left behind and respect but couldn’t disobey this order. Until I destroyed a dark force clone of Luke. That was close enough for me to go on, and leave the command behind. Eventually Luke and I married and we had a son named after Obi Won Kenobi, or as we call him Ben.”
“Now like many good authors Timothy Zahn used symbolism in your name. Can you tell us about that?” I asked.
She leans in a bit. “Well Mara is a Hebrew ward for bitter. Zahn found a dictionary that listed one of the definition of Jade as a discard woman. This is reflective of me being discard and incensed with the Emperor’s death.”
“My name means Beloved.” I gush in a sophomoric subconscious attempt to flirt with her. She just rolls those deep green eyes at me. “So tell me about Luke.”
“He is the love of my life. My destiny, I guess you would say.” She says with a sincere smile. “See originally I wasn’t intend to be Luke’s love interest by the writers. At the time the writers of the EU were angling for Castillia Ming, a Jedi, to be his soulmate. But they got so much positive feedback and fan mail about the two of us getting together that they really had no choice but have us fall in love.”
“Star Wars is booming right now. My most read and liked blog is about Disney’s decision to take the Star wars License form Dark Horse Comics. The most read of my Interviewing the Factious series is Lando Calrissian…”
“You haven’t posted my interview yet.” She said with a sly mischievous smile.
“…True, but why is Star Wars such a hot property now a days?” I ask.
She thinks it over. “Well I don’t think that it really got cold.” She explains. “But with all the free publicity form the Disney buy out. Dark Horse wanting to go out on a high note and the quality work that went into the Clone war series, there is a lot of buzz going on now. You can’t swing a bantha on the internet and not hit an Episode VII rumor.”
“When I talk to Lando he was pretty optimistic on the Disney take over.” I tell her.
Mara frowns. “No disrespect to Lando but he is a cannon character. Being in the movies at least means they won’t ret-con him away. I don’t have that promise. It is very likely, come the new movies I won’t exist anymore. Everything is a rumor right now. No one knows for sure. The rumor that Timothy Zahn and JJ Abrams were talking together to add me to the movies have been disavowed by Zahn. We do know that Disney has asked that the 501st be no non-cannon characters including me in the in park parades. The most credible rumor was that Luke would have a red headed wife based on me, but not me nor be called Mara Jade.”
I grumble something. I really don’t like the idea of such a well-established, deep and not to mention attractive character just disappearing. “But you do have at least one big name support on your side.” I do mention.
“Yes.” She says picking up a bit. “Mark Hamill has said he likes me as a character and that he likes the general way that his Skywalker has been treated and progressed in the EU.”
“Tell me what your impression of George Lucas are?” I ask.
“Well other than of course he created the Star Wars universe Lucas had no direct input into my creation. Though he did have veto power, so I guess that is tacit approval that he allowed me to be created at all. But I do understand why he has left Star Wars behind. I understand the fans disappointment with some of the more resent aspect of the franchise, but they have been rather brutal. I mean I could never see Trekkies saying the things about gene Rodenberry that the Star War’s fans have said about George calling him Darth Lucas and such.”
“Now I know that you are not in any of the movies. Yet there is a rumor you make a cameo in Return of Jedi, what is that all about?” I ask.
“Well Timothy Zahn wrote a short story where I was in Jabba’s palace when Luke arrived….I know I was trying to kill him again…Fortunately I never meet Luke, well there was talk of having an actress playing me sliced into the Return of the Jedi Special Edition at the palace scene, like they did with the female Rodian and that blue skinned Twi’lek dancer, but nothing ever came out of it. There is however spot in the Return of the Jedi radio play where I talk to C3P0.”
“Obviously certain characters are associated with certain actors. Luke, of course Mark Hamil. Lando Billy Dee Williams. Though you have never been in any of the movies, you are often represented by Shannon McRandle, who is she any what does she have with to do with you?”
“She is a model who likeness has been use to represent me in several card games, book covers, action figures and also some magazine articles. She is now one of my biggest fans and has appeared in several conventions. Kind of my alter ego on earth.”
“If you are not Star Wars cannon, what exactly is cannon in the Star wars universe?” I ask.
“Well until this whole Disney thing there was “G” canon, “George canon” or “gospel canon.” Which meant if George Lucas said it then it is true. Now that didn’t stop the EU writers. Lucas said Boba Fett died in the sar’lac pit, but all the novelist and comic book writers pretty much write from the point that he lived. After that comes what is in the movies, and below that is what is in the TV shows, which until now was mainly The Clone Wars. The EU and books come next and the games video, RPG and card are on the bottom. It doesn’t matter which one was written first, it matters what its source was. Now I suppose “G” canon will be replaced with “D” canon for Disney canon.
“When I spoke with Lando he talked about the mythic aspects of Star wars do you have any comments on that?”
Again she takes a moment to think about her answer. “Well if the original movies and the prequels are the story of the rise, fall and redemption of Anikin Skywalker, than my personal story can be seen in the same light. The books can give more of a back story to the history and the nature of the Jedi and the sith. But the mythic aspect of Star Wars has more to do with archetypes, Yoda the wise man dismissed as a fool. Papletine the savior who real is a corrupter. Luke the rural boy who embarks on a hero’s quest. I for one hope that Disney doesn’t give up that core connection to mythic stories that have gone on before.”
“In the beginning you are basically a good person serving a bad cause, how is that possible?” I ask.
Mara shrugs. “How does that happen in real life? Propaganda. I believed the lies that the Emperor told me. That what we were doing was right, it was for the greater good. Slowly but surely I begin to see the evil around me for what it is. Especially when I find the truth about the destruction of Alderaan. All of a sudden I had to that not only what I believed in was wrong. What I did was wrong. Rather dramatic stuff.”
So eventually we get to what I talk about with all hot redheads I engage in discussion with weapons. “You don’t just use a light saber like most Jedi, do you?” I ask.
“No.” She replies. “I use blasters, as well as non-light saber melee weapons. I am more a pragmatic when it comes to combat. I use what works. Though a light saber defiantly has advantages at times. But even my light saber is different. Unlike most dark siders my original light saber was not red but magenta. Made by a unique crystal I obtained from the Emperor. It was symbolic I was not a Jedi at first but neither was I a Sith.’
“Now I guess this is kind of…awkward but you are killed by your nephew in the novel Sacrifices…. Sorry that has to be kind of harsh.” I stammer.
She freezes up a moment then continues. “No…I mean if you have to die in a series might as well be Star Wars. It is one of the few franchises that has the promise of an afterlife. We see this when Old Ben returns to Luke as a force ghost. And though many people were shocked by my death it defiantly wasn’t as shocking as when Chewbacca was killed.’
Since we are speaking of awkward subjects. “Also…I mean they have never shied away from writing you as sexy. Not just your appearance and your flirting with Luke but also things like the time you distracted the palace guard by undoing the buttons of your top or your sexy pose in the Alliance recruiting poster….”I blush as I bring this up.
She seems non-paused by this line of questioning. “There has always been an undercurrent of sexiness, with Star wars, weather it was Twi’lek dancing girls, the Luke-Leia-Han triangle or Padame’s shirt being ripped out exposing Portman’s abs. As a character I am a human, and I have a sexual side that all humans have. Writers are allowed to explore this more with me as a non-canon character.”
“Are you a good role model for young woman?” I ask.
Again she smiles. “I think I am a great role model for young women. Unlike Leia I don’t turn to mush and become a less complex character when I fall in love. I am kick but, I save Luke as many times as he saves me. I am a mom and an adventure…I admit that what I did with the empire was wrong…” The warning bell rings and the ship drops out of Hyperspace. We are above the Hutt’s moon she swivels around to the view screen and explains. “Sorry but it is time to save the universe again.”