One of the Star Wars Legends continuity’s most iconic Jedi is brought to life by a talented cosplayer. Mara Jade, who is introduced to the Star Wars mythos in 1991’s Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, plays a pivotal role in the now-bygone Expanded Universe, which was initially part of the officially-recognized Star Wars canon until its rebranding as the alternate Legends timeline in April 2014. Initially the Emperor’s Hand, Mara ultimately became Luke Skywalker’s wife in Legends.
Mara Jade has been recreated in a stunning cosplay by Kate Gray. The cosplay depicts Mara Jade in her signature smuggler’s outfit, armed with the purple-bladed lightsaber she constructed sometime between the events of Timothy Zahn’s The Last Command and Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith.
Mara Jade has a storied history in the Legends continuity, and she is considered by many to be among the timeline’s most important non-movie characters, with crucial character arcs and close ties with beloved Star Wars movie characters like Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian as well as fellow Legends-exclusive characters like Kyle Katarn. Mara Jade does not exist in the current canon continuity, but this is, ultimately, for the best.
Who Is Mara Jade?
Raised as Palpatine’s adopted daughter and an Emperor’s Hand, Mara Jade was a Sith in all but name, but Mara was forced to become a smuggler after the Emperor’s first death, with Coruscant’s Imperial faction and Lumiya’s fledgling Sith Order turning on her. Unfortunately, Mara struggled with a subconscious suggestion from Palpatine to kill Luke Skywalker, a final command she exploited via a loophole in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy. Having become disillusioned with Palpatine and now an ally of Luke Skywalker and the New Republic, Mara killed a clone of Skywalker, freeing her mind but leaving the original Luke alive.
Despite her past, Mara Jade became a prominent member of Luke’s New Jedi Order and even remained a Jedi when Palpatine returned from the dead, fighting against his Dark Empire forces on Altyr V and Katraasii, as shown in Mysteries of the Sith. Mara Jade gradually fell in love with Luke Skywalker in Timothy Zahn’s Hand of Thrawn duology, and the two Jedi finally marry in Michael A. Stackpole’s Star Wars Union comics. Tragically, Mara Jade’s story came to an end in Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice, by Karen Traviss, in which Darth Caedus kills Mara Jade (despite being unable to overpower her) to keep his Sith Lordship secret.
Mara Jade is one of the most popular characters in Star Wars Legends, and while the current canon often creates new versions of Legends characters and lore, she is best left in the old timeline. The new canon’s iterations of the post-Endor Imperial factions, Emperor Palpatine, and the next generation of Jedi all prevent a new version of Mara Jade from matching the characterization of her Legends counterpart. The new canon is better off creating its own lore and not repurposing Legends material into in-name-only versions of their original incarnations. Star Wars Legends remains a beloved aspect of the franchise, however, as shown by this excellent cosplay of Mara Jade.
More: All 7 Star Wars Characters Who’ve Used Anakin’s Lightsaber (In Canon & Legends)
Source: Kate Gray