Will We See Legends Characters Like Thrawn and Mara Jade In the Mandalorian?

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BY October 3, 2019

Could we see Star Wars Legends like Mara Jade in The Mandalorian? Fans have been clamoring to see Mara Jade onscreen for years. Now we might be a step closer to seeing her come to life.

Entertainment Weekly recently asked director Jon Favreau if fan favorites like Mara Jade or Grand Admiral Thrawn could appear in his new Disney+ series: The Mandalorian. Favreau teased the possibility with the following statement.

He said:

“I don’t want to talk about anything that might be fun for people to discover. We do have conversations. Part of what’s fun to see if we could merge the worlds of the original trilogy, the prequels, the sequels, The Clones Wars, and what’s been considered canon up to this point and what’s been considered part of Legends. I think this show offers an opportunity to bring in all those elements so no matter what your flavor of Star Wars ice cream you like there will be something to enjoy.”

The Extended Universe Built Upon The Original Trilogy

The Star Wars Extended Universe was the only ‘sequel’ that fans had for years after the original trilogy. These novels fleshed out backstories for characters, gave them new adventures to embark upon, and tried to answer some of the lingering questions the original trilogy left us with. It was a playground where various authors could peek inside the heads of characters like Han, Luke, and Leia. However, some of the most beloved characters of the EU were wholly original characters. Two of these were born from the mind of author Timothy Zahn. Grand Admiral Thrawn is a blue-skinned alien (one of the Chiss), who is a brilliant tactician and strategist. He is the primary villain in Zahn’s trilogy: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. The other notable Zahn character is Mara Jade.

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

A generation of Star Wars fans grew up on the Extended Universe before the prequels were even a glimmer in George Lucas’s eye. But when Disney rebranded the Extended Universe as Legends in 2014, fans learned that many of their favorites were no longer considered canon. This included Mara Jade and Grand Admiral Thrawn. However, Thrawn has since been reintroduced into the Star Wars canon through his appearance in Star Wars Rebels. Now it seems that Favreau might be toying with the idea of introducing Mara Jade in The Mandalorian.

Who Is Mara Jade?

Mara Jade is a force-sensitive spy and assassin who once worked as The Emperor’s Hand. A nuanced character with a complicated history, Mara was a different kind of Force user. She never easily fit into the Jedi/Sith or Light/Dark binary. Although she was originally trying to kill him, Luke and Mara eventually became a romantic item in the EU. But Mara was always much more than a simple love interest. She is smart and capable, with devastatingly sarcastic sense of humor. Fans had never seen a female character in Star Wars like Mara Jade before Heir to the Empire was released.

Will We See Mara Jade in The Mandalorian? Mara Jade | Lucasfilm

The Mandalorian is chronologically set five years after the end of Return of the Jedi. This makes for an ideal entry point for Mara Jade, as this would be around the time that she would be working with smuggler Talon Karrde (another character I would love to see onscreen). Agents of Shield actress Ming-Na Wen has been cast in an unknown role for a single episode of The Mandalorian. EW speculate that she could be playing Mara Jade. When asked directly, Favreau simply said of Wen: “We take full advantage of her acting and her action ability.”

Answers will come soon enough. The Mandalorian premieres November 12 on Disney+ starring Pedro Pascal. For more Star Wars news and analysis, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured image via Lucasfilm

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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.

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