Many believe Mara Jade will make her first ever big screen debut in Star Wars 9. And quite a few of those fans also believe that Keri Russell will be bring this character to life. Well, don't hold your breath. From the sounds of it, Mara Jade is definitely not going to show up in the final chapter of The Force Awakens trilogy.
It looks like those of you holding out hope to see Mara Jade make her way back to the official Star Wars canon may want to work on letting the past die, as it were. Timothy Zahn, author of the beloved Heir to the Empire trilogy, a series expanded universe novels set in a galaxy far, far away that were written in the 90s at a time when not a lot was going on with the franchise, created the fan-favorite character and hopes to bring her back into the canon at some point. But it hasn't come up yet.
Timothy Zahn just released his new book, Thrawn: Alliances, which sees his most famous creation alongside Darth Vader in a new story. During an interview on the Talking Bay 94 podcast conducted at San Diego Comic-Con, Zahn was asked about which of his characters he would like to bring back to the Star Wars canon. "I would certainly like to bring Mara Jade back into canon," Zahn Said. Speaking further, the author said he's ready and willing to pitch her return to the Lucasfilm story group, but that hasn't happened yet.
"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 then, it's their decision whether to allow it or not."
Lucasfilm decided to reset the Star Wars canon after the Disney purchase, since the stories were difficult to keep track of and were sort of all over the place at that point. But they've since brought back certain characters from what is now being referred to as Legends, with Grand Admiral Thrawn perhaps being the most famous example. Not only did he appear in a pair of new novels, but he also was a major character in the Star Wars Rebels animated series. Because Timothy Zahn created Mara Jade, Lucasfilm must consult him if they plan to bring her into the fold. He was previously consulted on bringing Thrawn back, for example.
In the podcast, Timothy Zahn makes it clear no such consulting has taken place. Granted, he would have to play it coy were Mara Jade part of the Star Wars 9 story. In case you're not familiar, Mara Jade, in the old canon, was trained by Darth Sidious and began as the Emperor's Hand. She would go on to become one of the most talented Jedi in the New Jedi Order, wife to Luke Skywalker, and mother to Ben Skywalker. Given what happened with Luke in The Last Jedi, her backstory would have to be altered significantly, though, that's not completely prohibitive.
We recently reported on a casting call for Star Wars 9 that was looking for an actress simply identified as "Mara." That got fans buzzing of her potential inclusion in the upcoming movie, which is being directed by J.J. Abrams and will begin production soon. However, it's looking less likely that name has any ties to Mara Jade and it was kind of a long shot in the first place. Still, if Timothy Zahn has his way, she'll make her way back someday. You can listen to the full interview with the author via the Talking Bay 94 podcast.