Been To A Wonderful Party: The Life and Times of Mara Jade
Part 1: The Past, The Empire &
The Order to Kill Luke Skywalker,
by Chris Russell
Mara is a woman who's had her share of misfortune. Her past is steeped
true age and homeworld are unknown, and all records of her past have
been destroyed. The only memory to ever surface of those early years
was one of terror, as Mara seems to recall the Emperor personally
killing her parents and taking her to be his pupil. But while Palpatine's
apprentice, Vader, was trained to be a Sith Lord, the Emperor had
a more unique approach to Mara Jade. She became nothing more then
a tool to Palpatine's will, a weapon which he aimed.
Trained to fight with a lightsaber and the abillity to use her basic
Force abilities, Mara Jade took the name of the 'Emperor's Hand',
and is the only person known to have that title, though Grand Admiral
Thrawn hinted that there were more then one. Mara was trained to be
Palpatine's subtle assassin... to do the jobs that no Stormtrooper
or even Darth Vader himself could accomplish without the usual crash
in and wreck everything approach.
Jade was used to plant evidence, discredit enemies of the Empire,
and in the end, attempt to kill the greatest threat to Palpatine's
power... young Luke Skywalker.
Hiding out on Tatooine upon the arrival of Han Solo's frozen body,
she took the name Arica, and became one of Jabba's dancing girls.
However, the day she was hired was the day Luke unceremoniously killed
the Rancor, and Jabba declared the sentence of Sarlacc upon him and
attempted to board the Sailbarge in pursuit of Skywalker, but Jabba
resisted her Mind Tricks and would not allow her aboard. Jabba fired
her, and she only avoided death by eliminating the Gamorreans sent
to kill her.
Distraught after Luke's escape from the planet, the Emperor contacted
her by means of their unique connection through the Force and berated
her for her failure. Instead of hunting Skywalker again, she was sent
on another mission.
Mara was returning to Coruscant, the second Death Star was under attack.
Palpatine contacted Mara frantically, and, in the last contact she
ever had from him, showed her his death. In her vision, Luke was brought
before the Emperor by Vader and offered a chance to join them... to
make peace between the Empire and the Rebels. Luke and Vader turned
on the Emperor and, as Palpatine attempted to defend himself, they
moved in and cut him down together. Palaptine's last message to Mara
was imprinted into her mind from that day forward... "You Will
Kill Luke Skywalker."
backlash of the Emperor's death threw Mara into a coma and, while
unconcious, she was captured by the self-proclaimed ruler of Coruscant,
Ysanne Isard. Isard, also known as Iceheart, interogated Mara and
learned for a fact that the Emperor was dead, killed by Luke and the
traitorous Darth Vader. Isard, seeing Mara as a liability to her own
power, ordered her executed. Instead, Mara managed to break out of
confinement and escaped offworld to begin her exile.
the Emperor's death, her force abilities slowly began to fade... to
survive, Mara took new names and identities, going by names such as
Karrinna Janisih, Marelis, and Celina Marniss as she worked odd jobs
in the outer rim. Whenever someone came to close to the truth, she
simply packed up and made a new name for herself on another world.
Finally, while working as a hyperdrive mechanic on the sport-hunting
world of Tropis-On-Varont, she ran into two spacers named Syndic Hart
and Captain Seoul.
she had been tracked down once again, Mara stalked after Hart and
Seoul to find out who they were. As the two began snooping in areas
they shouldn't have been looking, Gamgalon, the local crime boss,
placed orders for their deaths. Captain Seoul was killed, and Syndic
Hart barely escaped with Mara's help. She soon discovered that Hart
was actually legendary smuggler Talon Karrde. He gave Mara a job in
repayment for saving him. Mara quickly moved up the ranks in Karrde's
organization, quickly becoming the second in command of the entire
operation. Five months later, both the Empire and Luke Skywalker would
reenter her life and drastically change her beliefs.
click HERE for Part 2
a personalized autograph
shot the Mara Jade photos with people from Decipher in Norfolk,