Rumor That Karen Gillan Will Play Mara Jade In Star Wars Show
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The Rumor Mill Is Rife With Speculation That Karen Gillan Will Play Mara Jade In An Upcoming Star Wars Show

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BY May 12, 2021

Here is some potential news that certain Star Wars Legends fans are tentatively excited for. Although we must also take it with a huge grain of salt, like any unofficial rumor. Star Wars might finally be reaching into the long abandoned Legends stories of the original EU. And from that pool of characters and storylines there is one name that stands above the rest. Someone that fans have wanted to see on-screen for years. That character is Mara Jade, a character an earlier rumor said might pop up in The Mandalorian, the former Emperor’s Hand turned smuggler who went on to become a Jedi, and wife to Luke Skywalker. There are reports that famous redhead Karen Gillan of Doctor Who and Avengers fame is being considered to play the role of Mara Jade in an upcoming Star Wars project.

There Is Precedent For Bringing In EU Characters

Mara Jade in the Mandalorian Grand Admiral Thrawn Karen Gillan Grand Admiral Thrawn | Lucasfilm

These rumors are credible enough, if we look at how the new Star Wars canon has included other EU characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn. That character was originally created by author Timothy Zahn in his excellent Heir to the Empire trilogy. This was also the series that introduced the character of Mara Jade. Despite the fact that these books are no longer part of the official Star Wars universe, Dave Filoni brought Thrawn into The Clone Wars. And it seems inevitable that Thrawn will also make an appearance in upcoming seasons of The Mandalorian or Ahsoka after being referenced in by Ahsoka directly in The Mandalorian.

So if Thrawn can be brought out of obscurity into the new Star Wars canon, that opens the door for other EU characters to appear as well. And Mara Jade has been a fan-favorite for years. She is a complex character who started off as an adversary to Luke. Kidnapped by the Empire as a young child, she was hand-picked by the Emperor and trained to use the Force.

Karen Gillan Mara Jade Image via Lucasfilm Publishing

After the death of the Emperor, one final command haunted Mara. She had to kill Luke Skywalker. This led to several dramatic confrontations between the two. Eventually Mara managed to get around the command by killing a clone of Luke, and technically fulfilling the oath. Free from the grip of the dark side of the Force, Mara began a redemption arc that saw her becoming a powerful Jedi under Luke’s tutelage. After many years of friendship, the two eventually fell in love and married. They had one child that they named Ben (which made way more sense for Luke to name a child than Han and Leia).

Will Star Wars Finally Adapt Heir to the Empire?

Mara Jade Karen Gillan Thrawn Trilogy Image via Lucasfilm Publishing

It is unlikely that an upcoming Star Wars show would directly follow the events of Heir to the Empire. However, there are many elements that could be drawn upon for a Mara Jade storyline. Her backstory doesn’t need to change too much, and it is important to keep her Force sensitivity intact since it is such an integral part of her characterization. It would also be very cool to bring in her smuggler buddy Talon Karrde who not only has a great name, but is also another well-drawn character just ready to come to life on-screen.

The big question is whether or not Star Wars is ready to re-cast a young Luke Skywalker. Given the CGI Luke that we saw at the end of The Mandalorian, it doesn’t seem like something Lucasfilm is ready for. And the relationship between Luke and Mara is incredibly important, and compelling. However, at this point I would accept Mara as a standalone character if it means we get to finally see her come to life on-screen. She is a great character outside of her relationship with Luke, and she doesn’t need him to define her.

Karen Gillan Would Make A Great Mara Jade

Karen Gillan Mara Jade Image via Sony Pictures

If the rumors are true, then Karen Gillan is an excellent choice to portray the fiery Jedi. Gillan has plenty of genre credentials under her belt at this point. She has shown her acting chops in roles like Amy Pond in Doctor Who, and as Nebula in the MCU. She can be fierce and formidable, like Mara needs to be. But she can also demonstrate vulnerability and tenderness, which is essential for Mara’s redemption arc. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she already looks the part.

However, right now all we have is rumors and speculation. But as long-time fans of the character, you can be sure that we’ll be keeping an eye on this news. To stay up to date on all things Star Wars, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today!

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

Ahsokadisney+Karen GillanLegendsLuke SkywalkerMara JadeRumorsSpeculationStar WarsThe MandalorianThrawnTimothy Zahn

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