Hoping to see Mara Jade in a new Star Wars movie or TV show? Well, don't get your hopes up. It looks like this is one Star Wars Legends character that won't be making the transition to the new Star Wars cinematic canon. At least, not for the time being.
When Disney purchased LucasFilm way back in 2012, many assumed that the existing lore and characters that had never been seen in a movie or TV show would finally make that transition to the screen, either big or small. But Disney quickly swooped in and separated a big chunk of the Star Wars universe, pushing it into a corner and declaring it part of the Star Wars Legends canon. This included all the previous Star Wars books, comics, short films and even some of the TV shows like Ewoks, Droids and the TV movies set on Endor.
Mara Jade, beloved wife of Luke Skywalker and a former Imperial assassin, was nixed from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As it currently appears, Luke Skywalker is a hermit bachelor living on the planet Ahch-To in exile, much like Obi-Wan Kenobi had hidden himself away on the desert planet of Tattooine. Most fans didn't ever expect to see her once the new Star Wars cinematic universe was explained and set up.
But then that idea changed as Disney started to incorporate some key Star Wars Legends characters into the cinematic canon. Most notably, Grand Admiral Thrawn in the Star Wars Rebels animated series. Then came news that Legends character Garris Shrike is being dusted off and made part of the official canon in the Star Wars standalone movie Han Solo. Now, fans are eager to learn if Mara Jade will be the next Star Wars Legends player to make the transition into the cinematic landscape.
Don't count on it. Many of the team associated with continuing the Star Wars franchise have said she's not coming back, now matter how badly some fans seem to want that to happen. The latest to confirm that Mara is just a 'legend' is Timothy Zahn, who wrote the recent novel Thrawn, which further establishes that once discarded villain into the 'official' canon.
Timothy Zahn actually created Mara Jade. And he purposely left her out of the Star Wars book, and he implies that he plans to leave her out of the canon forever. Earlier this month, Zahn appeared at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. Per Inverse, he explained how he was able to re-incorporate several of his Heir to the Empire characters back into the official canon. But he made it clear that Mara Jade wasn't one of them, stating not 'that one you're thinking of."
Mara Jade worked secretly as the Emperor's Hand in that earlier novel. She was on a secret mission to kill Luke Skywalker. The pair ended up getting married in subsequent comics and novels. Though that apparently goes against the Jedi code. And might be the reason why new audiences won't see her return.
Zahn isn't the first person to put the kibosh on Mara Jade's resurrection. When Thrawn was announced as part of Star Wars Rebels, producer of the show Dave Filoni had to tell fans to 'chill out'. He knew they'd want Mara next. But in 2016, he boldly stated this.
"No, not likely. You got Thrawn!"
Zahn did managed to keep Thrawn's return in the official Star Wars Canon a secret for a full year. There is a slim chance the same thing is happening with Mara Jade. But it's unlikely. Some fans continue to speculate and insist that the small grave seen at the end of Star Wars The Force Awakens was for Luke's wife, Mara. Some even think that Kylo Ren is the person responsible for killing her. If this does turn out to be true, it would fall in line with the scrapped stories in Star Wars Legends. In the old books Han and Leia's son Jacen Solo was responsible for Mara's death once he fell to the dark side of the force. More will be revealed when Timothy Zahn's new book Thrawn hits bookstores on April 11. So expect to learn more about the ever expanding Star Wars cinematic canon, and the Villains that inhabit it, at that time.