Will Lucasfilm Ever Recanonize Mara Jade?
Posted on Oct. 8, 2018, 8:28 p.m. by DemonDragonJ
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm, many fans (including myself) were very displeased when the executives decided to discard the entire expanded universe and start anew, a displeasure that I feel was completely justified, because the EU had been around for twenty, nearly thirty, years, and the fans had become fond of the stories that it contained, cherishing them almost as much as the movies themselves.
Thankfully, however, Lucasfilm has gradually been re-canonizing various elements from the expanded universe, such as the TIE defender, grand admiral Thrawn, Han and Leia having a son who turns to the dark side, and so forth, but one element that many people have been hoping to see recanonized is Mara Jade, one of the most popular characters in the EU. Mara Jade is very popular, not merely because she was Luke’s romantic interest (although that was indeed a major reason), but also because she was a very well-written and well-developed character who was featured in many stories and showed great depth and complexity.
Therefore, I find it to be very odd that she has not been recanonized, since she is very popular, and any media featuring her would be almost guaranteed to sell well. Even worse, there is no indication that Luke ever had any romantic interest in the new trilogy, which I think is terrible and ridiculous, because he definitely deserves it, with all the tragedy that he has experienced in his life.
What does everyone else say about this? Why has Lucasfilm not recanonized Mara Jade, and will they ever?
In the main films, I think it’s pretty clear they will not. This new trilogy is not Luke’s journey - where his story intersects, the purpose is furthering the new heroes, not flushing out Luke’s history.
It’s entierly possible she could show up in some other canonised form, such as the animated television shows. However, I doubt it. Her inclusion would detract from Luke’s attempt to rebuild the celibate Jedi order - an attempt which spectacularly failed.
As for him deserving romance, I would argue he equally deserves the right to choose how to live his life, and a life of celibacy is quite understandable given the Order he sought to recreate, and the folly romance brought to his father.
October 9, 2018 1:02 a.m.
So my gut reaction is that you'll never see Mara Jade unless she is a throw in character from her more nefarious days in one of the animated series as a shout out to the fans that recognize who she is.
However, in my hopeful heart, I can always wish for a movie that shows the time after Jedi but before Force Awakens that follows Luke and his budding relationship with Mara. She can be the one who helps direct him to rebuild the Jedi order, but his focus being pulled in two directions can be what leads to its eventual downfall and the creation of Kylo. At that point she can either go into hiding or have perished further driving the wedge between Luke and young Ben. This movie can be stand alone, and would obviously need to re-cast Luke but I would still watch it.
October 9, 2018 11 a.m.
cdkime, in the original expanded universe, Luke's new Jedi order was deliberately very different from the original Jedi order by not being nearly as strict or restricting, so there is no reason to believe that he would want his new Jedi order to be too similar to the original order in the new films, either.
Also, if a roguish scoundrel such as Han can find romance, a clean-cut, straight-laced hero such as Luke should be able to do so, as well.
October 9, 2018 9:56 p.m.
The flashbacks in Episode VIII show the new Jedi Order as a fairly bleak, austere organisation. What happened in the old extended universe is irrelevant - your question is predicated on the canon as things currently stand.
Related, I did not say Luke could not find romance - rather that it wouldn’t make sense within his character arc for him to seek it out.
Frankly, the fact that the Jedi Order failed is one of the more interesting stories in the prequels, though I think they wasted the potential. That Luke tried to rebuild the old Order and it failed yet again was, perhaps, the only thing in the new movie that bordered on intelligence. It touches on some interesting commentary on the inevitability of failure when seeking to suppress human nature. Unfortunately, like the prequels, the new film did not explore this very well.