While the release of The Last Jedi novelization is still a few weeks away, one lucky fan got their hands on an advanced copy. We already knew that Rian Johnson helped Jason Fry with some elements that were not in the theatrical release of the movie. We already know that we'll get to read about Han Solo's funeral, Rose and Paige Tico together, and more about some of the backstory to Canto Bight. However, The Last Jedi novel begins in a curious way that features Luke Skywalker on Tatooine along with his wife. Does this mean Mara Jade is officially canon?
The first line in the novelization of The Last Jedi reads, "Luke Skywalker stood in the cooling sands of Tatooine, his wife by his side." Was Luke Skywalker really married between the events at the end of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens? We know he was in the non-canon Star Wars Legends books. So, did she help Luke start his Jedi Order? If this is the case, did Kylo and the Knights of Ren kill her when they destroyed Luke's Jedi Temple? One question that puts an end to the speculation is: What was Luke Skywalker doing back on Tatooine?
While the thought of Luke Skywalker settled down and married is an interesting story arc, it doesn't fit in The Last Jedi. Luke is "married" to the Force and this is likely a vision that Luke sees while meditating. Luke gave up everything to bring the Jedi Order to power again and was betrayed by his nephew (depending on the way you look at it), and lost everything, leading to his self-imposed exile on Ahch-To. This would have been a very cool way to open The Last Jedi on the big screen to really pinpoint why Luke is as jaded as he is. Luke is able to see what could have been if he would have abandoned the Force.
Luke Skywalker had a wife, Mara Jade, in the early Star Wars novels, non of which are now considered canon, and many fans were interested to see if her story was going to be told in The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi, but that was not to be. Disney started to incorporate some key Star Wars Legends into the official cinematic canon and Mara Jade didn't make the cut, though she could've brought some extra emotional depth to Luke's exile on Ahch-To in The Last Jedi. Plus a nod to her character, even if it was only through a meditation scene would have gone a long way in pleasing hardcore Star Wars fans.
There were many gripes about The Last Jedi by hardcore Star Wars fans, with Rian Johnson's dark portrayal of Luke Skywalker being one of the main complaints. There's always too much story to fit into a movie, but this scene could have gone a long way in helping fans understand why Luke is the way he is in the movie. Johnson always knew this and so did Mark Hamill, but they had to keep it under wraps for the release of the novelization.
Normally, Star Wars fans are able to read the novel of the movie right after the midnight premiere, but Lucasfilm and Rian Johnson decided to do something different this time around, tying the release to the digital and Blu-ray release instead. Luke's personal story seems to be more depressing than once thought, so cut Rian Johnson some slack (or not). More nuggets of information are expected to be in the book that help flesh out the story of The Last Jedi, which hits bookstores on March 6th. This report originated from Dork Side of the Force.