Top Ten Mara Jade Moments
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Jul. 18th, 2011 | 07:02 pm
Choices of One by Timothy Zahn is released tomorrow, July 19. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than by posting a list of my top ten Expanded Universe moments featuring my favorite Emperor's Hand-turned smuggler-turned Jedi, Mara Jade!
1. Sacrificing the Jade’s Fire – Vision of the Future by Timothy Zahn
For the better part of ten years, Mara Jade spent her time working as a smuggler and running away from her potential as a Jedi Knight. Finally, after realizing that a resurgent Empire could once again take over the galaxy, Mara decides to make the final sacrifice on her road to becoming a Jedi Knight—her beloved ship, the Jade’s Fire, the only thing she has ever truly owned in her life. Her sorrow, resolve, and willingness to accept comfort demonstrate her immense growth of character.
2. Learning about Luke’s parentage – The Last Command by Timothy Zahn
The turning point in the relationship between Mara and the man she wanted to kill for five long years, as she realizes that everything her master ever told her was a lie.
"Who is this son of Vader you're expecting to show up and help us?"
There was a brief silence. "The son of Vader is already with you," the Noghri said, sounding puzzled. "You serve him, as do we."
Mara stared at him through the darkness...and suddenly her heart seemed to freeze in her chest. "You mean...Skywalker?"
"You did not know?"
Mara turned away from him, staring down at the sleeping form no more than a meter away from her feet, a horrible numbness flooding through her. Suddenly, finally, after all these years, the last elusive piece had fallen into place. The Emperor didn't want her to kill Skywalker for his own sake. It was, instead, one final act of vengeance against his father.
YOU WILL KILL LUKE SKYWALKER.
And in the space of a few heartbeats everything Mara had believed about herself—her hatred, her mission, her entire life—had turned from certainty to confusion.
After shooting down her prey over the Myrkr forest, Mara is forced to rely on Luke for survival as they travel toward Hyllyard City. He questions what happened to her, and she gives him her answer.
"I was his hand, Skywalker. That's how I was known to his inner court: as the Emperor's Hand. I served him all over the galaxy, doing odd jobs the Imperial Fleet and stormtroopers couldn't handle. That was my one great talent, you see—I could hear his call from anywhere in the Empire, and report back to him the same way. I exposed traitors for him, brought down his enemies, helped him keep the kind of control over the mindless bureaucracies that he needed. I had prestige, and power, and respect."
Slowly, her eyes came back from the past. "And you took it all away from me. If only for that, you deserve to die."
4. Becoming the Emperor’s Hand – Mara Jade: By the Emperor’s Hand by Mike Stackpole and Timothy Zahn
A moment of pure badassery as Mara breaks into Grand Moff Tarkin’s quarters as a mere teenager. Afterward, the Emperor introduces her to Darth Vader and proclaims her for the first time as the Emperor’s Hand.
Mara is thrown into a sticky situation involving kidnappers and pirates, but it all ends well when she is gifted her own ship and decides to try her hand at running an independent business.
It was the showdown many people had been waiting for: before the series even began, Nom Anor poisoned Mara Jade with coomb spores. After curing the disease and fighting for the New Republic and later Galactic Alliance, Mara participates in the battle to win back Yuuzhan’tar. There she confronts Nom Anor, beats him senseless, but lets him live in order to find Luke, Jacen, and Jaina. It’s a moment of treachery, of course, but Nom Anor later gets his.
This is for Monor Two ... and this is for the trouble you stirred up at Rhommamool. ... This is for founding the Peace Brigade; for your part in sending Elan to assassinate the Jedi with bo'tous; for your double dealings with the Hutts and Viqi Shesh; and for sabotaging the refugee settlements on Duro. ...This is for the false appeals you made to Leia and Han at Bilgringi; for your disdainful appearance before the Senate; for whatever role you played in the deaths of Chewbacca and Anakin; for your attempt to deliver Jacen into the hands of Tsavong Lah; for your sabotage at Zonama Sekot . . .
Mara is only a minor character in this novel, but it contains one of her best moments. After learning from Han and Leia that an Emperor’s Hand was on Belsavis when there was no way she could have been on-planet, Mara realizes that Grand Admiral Thrawn was correct, and that she hadn't been the only Emperor’s Hand. The anger, hurt, and indignation that follows are pure Mara Jade.
"He told me I was the only one…the only Hand of the Emperor. His weapon of choice when he needed a scalpel rather than a sword…that lying, drooling, scum-swallowing, superannuated under-handed festering filth-sucking parasite!"
Loyalty was always one of Mara’s strong points, and in this novel it is no different, as she returns to Yavin IV and rescues her friend Corran Horn from the Sith spirit Exar Kun, with the help of some very Mara-esque taunting.
I tried to pick only non-Luke/Mara moments for this list, but I had to include this one. On her deathbed, Mara withdraws into herself to protect her unborn child, and when the time is right she calls on Luke for help. She tells him what needs to be done, and, joining together, they eradicate the disease and pave the way for the birth of a healthy baby boy, Ben Skywalker. A great example of mother—and Mara—knowing best.
Hi there, Luke. Glad to have you back, Mara seemed to say. And then they were expanding, extending outward in every direction, like a galaxy being born. Like anything being born. Like life itself.
Again demonstrating the true extent of her loyalty, Mara is distraught to find out that she was played by Grand Admiral Thrawn, who went back on their agreement and kidnapped her boss, Talon Karrde. Even though she has only worked for Karrde for several months, Mara feels obligated to rescue him. Putting aside her pride, she turns to the only man who can help her—Luke Skywalker—and, after escaping Joruus C’baoth on Jomark, they travel to the Chimaera and successfully rescue Karrde, once again showing just how well they work together.
Now, like a twisted repeat of history, she once again found herself chasing after Luke Skywalker.
Only this time, she wasn't trying to kill or capture him. This time, she was going to plead for his help.