It seems that we could be inching ever closer to seeing Luke Skywalker’s wife — Star Wars Legends, or the Star Wars Expanded Universe, fan-favorite character Mara Jade — make her live-action debut in the Star Wars canon universe.
Legends lore says that she and Luke even have a son, Ben Skywalker, in the Expanded Universe.
Now, especially given that another fan-favorite Expanded Universe character — Grand Admiral Thrawn (voiced by Lars Mikkelsen in Star Wars Rebels and rumored to be portrayed by Marvel icon Robert Downey, Jr. in live-action) — is poised to appear as the villain in Mandalorian spinoff series Ahsoka (and perhaps the overarching Mandalorian saga if Corvus Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth’s (Diana Lee Inosanto) name drop in “Chapter 13: The Jedi” is any indication), it seems increasingly likely that Mara Jade also find her way into the story.
Interestingly, Mara Jade is featured in the Legends Thrawn trilogy, the novels in which Grand Admiral Thrawn was initially introduced to the Star Wars franchise at large. He then, of course, appeared in Dave Filoni’s animated series Star Wars Rebels and is now likely going to be joining other Rebels characters, including Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and, possibly Jedi Ezra Bridger (voiced by Taylor Gray) and Sabine Wren (voiced by Tiya Sircar), in Ahsoka.
All this to say, there’s no time like the present for Mara Jade to be cast and fans have a lot of opinions about who should play the wife of Grogu’s (AKA The Child AKA Baby Yoda) new Jedi Master.
In case you were in a galaxy far, far away when The Mandalorian Season 2 finale episode (“Chapter 16: The Rescue”) aired — because just about everyone on Earth already knows about this cameo — Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (CGI de-aged Mark Hamill) appeared to save Grogu, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), New Republic Marshal Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), and Nite Owl Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado/Sasha Banks) when they were stranded on Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) Imperial cruiser.
Now, the general idea is that Mara Jade could enter The Mandalorian franchise to help train Grogu or even serve as his escort around the galaxy if showrunner Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni aren’t interested in having Luke play a major role in the upcoming season.
Here’s what fans are saying about who should play the former Emperor’s Hand should she make the jump to canon.
Elizabeth Olsen as Mara Jade
With last week’s WandaVision debut, it’s no wonder Marvel actress Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch) has jumped to many fans’ minds as a possible fit for Mara Jade.
Christopher Giroux Tweeted:
Elizabeth Olsen should play MARA JADE in the Star Wars Universe
— Christoher Giroux (@A_Chris_G_Film) January 21, 2021
A Twitter user going by Outlander shared an edited photo of Olsen with a young Hamill and wrote:
Elizabeth Olsen could be a great Mara Jade, provided of course if they stick to the source material and ignore the sequels.
— 𝔒𝔲𝔱𝔩𝔞𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔯 (@EuOutlander) January 19, 2021
Some fans, however, aren’t sold on Elizabeth Olsen’s casting. Nick Ferro alluded to Mara Jade’s sarcastic nature:
Mara Jade needs to be played by someone who’s [sic: whose] resting expression looks like they are rolling their eyes at you in their head. Olsen is fantastic but I don’t see that from her.
Mara Jade needs to be played by someone who’s resting expression looks like they are rolling their eyes at you in their head. Olsen is fantastic but I don’t see that from her.
— Nick Ferro (@Jagged2319) January 19, 2021
Karen Gillan as Mara Jade
Another Marvel Cinematic Universe actress has also come up as a possible live-action Mara Jade. Redhead Karen Gillan — who recently confirmed she will reprise her role as Nebula in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) — is a shoo-in from a looks perspective. She also has plenty of sci-fi experience, previously working on Doctor Who as well.
Steve Titcomb shot down the idea of Irish professional wrestler Becky Lynch playing the well-bred character, noting:
Haha, I do love her but I don’t know if she can pull off the aristocratic voice I have in my head for someone who grew up on Coruscant under Palpatine’s tutelage.
Aloha Spud responded simply with an alternative option:
Karen Gillan = Mara Jade
Karen Gillan = Mara Jade
— Aloha Spud (@HawaiianTater) January 13, 2021
New Year, Old Oog noted:
Just saw a thing that with what happened at the end of S2 of Mando, and with who Asoka [sic: Ahsoka] is looking for, AND the fact that there’s been multiple mentions of Karen Gillan playing Mara Jade, is it possible that they are setting up an Heir to the Empire story for the Asoka [sic: Ahsoka] series.
Just saw a thing that with what happened at the end of S2 of Mando, and with who Asoka is looking for, AND the fact that there’s been multiple mentions of Karen Gillan playing Mara Jade, is it possible they are setting up an Heir to the Empire story for the Asoka series.
— New Year, Old Oog (@thebigbadboogie) January 3, 2021
Brandon simply Tweeted:
Karen Gillan as Mara Jade? I’m so in!
— Brandon (@____knock____) December 31, 2020
Brie Larson as Mara Jade
Another name familiar to Marvel fans has pandered around for Mara Jade as well. Brie Larson — Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers in the MCU — has expressed interest in joining the Star Wars franchise, so some Twitter users think she could be the choice to play Mara Jade moving forward.
SaltierThanKray polled their account’s fans:
Brie Larson as Mara Jade, Yay or Nay? Upvote to scare The Fandom Menace.
— r/SaltierThanKrayt (@SaltierThanKray) January 18, 2021
A social media user going by the name mystery thought Larson is a better fit for another role:
Naw Avar Kriss is a perfect fit for Brie Larson and Olsen as Mara Jade. Or Scarjo [Scarlett Johansson, who plays Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff in the MCU]
Naw Avar Kriss is a perfect fit for Brie Larson and Olsen as Mara Jade. Or Scarjo.
— mystery (@mrvldcmystery) January 19, 2021
For those unfamiliar with Mara Jade’s Expanded Universe backstory, Wookieepedia has shared this brief biography of her life before she married Luke Skywalker:
Mara Jade Skywalker was a Force-sensitivehumanfemale who was during different times in her life, an Emperor’s Hand, a smuggler, and later a Jedi Master who sat upon the Jedi High Council. She was raised as a servant and assassin to EmperorPalpatine and became a high-level Force-using operative. As an Emperor’s Hand, Jade carried out the Emperor’s bidding, killingRebels and corrupt Imperials alike with cold professionalism, even as a young woman. As Palpatine’s assassin, she received top-notch training from experts in a variety of fields as well as training in the Force, which was continued by Luke Skywalker years later.
Previously, model Shannon McRandle depicted Mara Jade in the Star Wars Customizable Card Game and other promotional materials in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Who do you think should play Mara Jade in live-action?