Let’s start with the actual news here, and then get into what it could really mean. According to ‘That Hashtag Show,’ a recent casting notice for ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ reveals the producers are looking to cast “….a female lead, 40-50 years old, to play the role of “MARA.” ” Now, to be fair, Hollywood, and Disney in particular (especially with the ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Marvel’ brands), are big on their secrets and for using code-words to conceal those secrets, and I have a hard time believing that they would so blatantly throw out that they are looking to cast “Mara,” especially when they know that ‘Star Wars’ fans will instantly recognize that name and go NUTS over the implications. So take this news with a grain of salt.
Still… well, for anyone who does not know who Mara is, Mara Jade first entered the ‘Star Wars’ EU Legends Canon in 1991 as a character in Timothy Zahn’s ‘Heir to the Empire’ novel, and really struck a chord with fans. Her in-universe story includes the fact that she was once a powerful, Force-using “Hand” of the Emperor sent to kill Luke Skywalker in Jabba’s palace and who places the blame for her mentor’s death on her own head for failing to act in time on Tatooine. Years later she has an adventure with Luke while he is being held by her new smuggling boss. From there, he converts her to the light side and a relationship forms. Friendship at first, then mentor as he teaches her to be a Jedi, but after many, many years, it eventually becomes romantic and they marry and have their own son, Ben Skywalker (whose name was taken for Ben Solo in ‘The Force Awakens’). Eventually she dies at the hands of her nephew, Jacen Solo, after the man fell to the dark side (just like Ben Solo in the movies), but her story umbrellas over many decades, and she was so popular she could be found in dozens of books, comic books, reference guides, games, and video games during the height of the original ‘Star Wars’ Expanded Universe (now the Legacy timeline).
So yes, bringing her to the movies would be a huge deal, and would help fill the void of all the original characters that have passed on, both being of their generation (and relative age) but also being a new character for many moviegoers. And with the knowledge that she and Luke had a romantic relationship, they could use her to retcon all kinds of things, or could use her to give Luke long-lost children, or could make her the mother of Rey, whatever they wanted for ‘Episode IX’ and beyond.
What are your thoughts on the possibility of Mara coming to ‘Episode IX?’ Do you think it could really happen? Share your opinions in the comments below!