RUMOR: Could STAR WARS EPISODE IX Feature A Major Expanded Universe Character?
Yesterday, ThatHashtagShow dropped a rumor so large that it was worth posting about on a Saturday.
After Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars universe continued in novels, comic books, and video games. It was a large, complicated, and contradicting universe that was a bit hard to follow sometimes.
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm and Star Wars in 2012, they wiped the slate known as the “Expanded Universe” clean. That way, new story tellers weren’t beholden to things that already happened. Things from that Expanded Universe weren’t completely ignored though, the creative forces behind the new Star Wars Empire were able to pick and choose things from the Expanded Universe, and bring them into the “new Disney canon”.
For example, it happened with Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn was a very popular character from the Expanded Universe, when that was wiped clean, he technically didn’t exist in the universe. But then Dave Filoni and Co introduced him in Star Wars: Rebels, and now he exists again.
Which brings us to the new rumor. This could potentially be considered a MAJOR SPOILER for Episode IX so do not continue reading if you don’t want to know.
Our friends over at ThatHashtagShow got a hold of a casting call that is searching for “a female lead, 40-50 years old, to play the role of “MARA.”
In the Expanded Universe, Mara Jade was initially a pawn of Emperor Palpatine, until Luke Skywalker rescued her – and then married her.
Here is a quick bio about her from Wikipedia.
Mara Jade is introduced as smuggler Talon Karrde’s second-in-command in Heir to the Empire. The novel establishes that she was previously an “Emperor’s Hand”—a special agent—for Emperor Palpatine. Several stories depict Jade before the events in Heir to the Empire, showing her training under Palpatine and executing his orders. The Thrawn trilogy depicts Mara’s first confrontation with Luke Skywalker, whom she has sworn to kill to avenge Palpatine’s death. This was reinforced by the Emperor’s final telepathic command to assassinate Luke, which had plagued her thoughts since his death; upon learning this situation, Luke vowed to help Mara break Palpatine’s hold on her, regardless of the danger she posed to him. Towards the end of the trilogy, she turns against the Empire and resolves her anger toward Luke and silences the command without killing him, instead killing Luke’s clone—Luuke Skywalker—who had been made by the Dark Jedi Joruus C’baoth to challenge Luke. In doing so, she took Anakin Skywalker’s blue lightsaber (which Luuke was using), and used it instead of Luke’s green lightsaber to defeat C’baoth. At the close of The Last Command, Luke gives her Anakin’s lightsaber not only because she had earned it, but because he truly wanted her to have it. Over the course of the series, Luke recognizes in Mara an underdeveloped affinity for the Force; and although she initially resists Jedi training, she eventually becomes a Jedi Master.
Luke and Mara develop a strong bond in Zahn’s The Hand of Thrawn Duology; he proposes marriage, and the two wed in Michael A. Stackpole’s graphic novel Union. She delivers a son, Ben, during The New Jedi Order series. In the Legacy of the Force series, Mara becomes suspicious of her nephew, Jacen Solo, when he sends Ben on several ethically dubious missions. Upon learning that Jacen has become a Sith apprentice, Mara vows to kill him, but Jacen ultimately kills her in Sacrifice. She later appears as a Force ghost, first to Ben and then to Luke, in Revelation. She also appears as a Force ghost to Cade Skywalker in the Legacy comics, set more than a century after the Star Wars films.
Some of the things in here are ridiculous, like Luke’s evil clone “Luuke”. But the benefit of none of this actually happening is that they can cherry pick the best bits to use for the character.
Now let’s play devil’s advocate here. Most of the time, especially with big properties like Episode IX, the name’s in the casting call are not real. They use a false name in order to conceal the identity of the character. For them to call the character “Mara” makes me think that won’t be this character’s name in Episode IX. It doesn’t mean it can be a version of this character with a different name though. After all, Ben Solo AKA Kylo Ren, is very similar to Jacen Solo AKA Darth Caedus.
It is an intriguing notion. She could be used as anything from someone Leia has up her sleeve to help the Resistance, to someone from Rey’s past. We, of course, won’t find out what J.J. Abrams has up his sleeve until the end of next year, when Star Wars: Episode IX is released.
What do you make of the casting call? Are you excited for a potential live action appearance of Mara Jade? Who would you cast?
[Editor’s Note From MFR: “Calling it now: She’s Rey’s mother and Luke is Rey’s father. BAM! Thank you, J.J.!“]
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