Jade Solitaire was a short story written by Timothy Zahn which appeared in the Tales from the New Republic anthology which was published by Bantam Spectra in December 1999. It takes place sometime before 18 ABY and is essentially the tale of how Mara Jade acquires her formidable starship, the Jade's Fire, which is seen in The Corellian Trilogy and The Hand of Thrawn Duology. It also describes how the Togorian female H'sishi came to join the crew of Talon Karrde.
Jade Solitaire was originally scheduled to be published in Star Wars Adventure Journal 17, but the Adventure Journal ceased publication before it could be featured.
When wealthy industrialist Ja Bardrin's daughter is captured by the Drach'nam pirate Chay Praysh, Bardrin comes to Mara seeking aid. To back up his demand, he takes the crew of Mara's ship hostage, warning that they will be killed unless Mara rescues his daughter. He also instructs Mara that, if at all possible, Mara must also retrieve the luxury yacht his daughter was traveling in when she was captured.
Mara allows herself to be captured by Praysh's pirate gang and feigns timidity to get herself thrown in with their pack of female slaves, in the pirates' secret compound on Makksre. After a few days of menial laboring, she finds and befriends Bardrin's daughter, Sansia, as well as a Togrian female named H'sishi. The three women develop a plan to escape and fight their way to the pirates' hangar, escaping in Sansia's captured ship, the Winning Gamble.
Just outside the system, the Gamble rendezvous with Bardrin's ship, which, to Mara's surprise, is now under the command of her employer, Talon Karrde. He explains that he became worried when Mara and her crew went missing, and quickly tracked them down and overpowered Bardrin and his thugs.
Sansia berates her father for not coming to her rescue sooner, when Mara interjects that it's worse than that: Bardrin deliberately sent her to be captured by the pirates, since the Gamble has a highly advanced hidden sensor package, which recorded loads of valuable data about Praysh's base and various business dealings, which Bardrin expected to retrieve when the ship and Sansia were returned to him.
Furious, Sansia decides to make a gift of the Gamble to Mara. Bardrin is in no position to object, since otherwise Karrde is not in a mood to let him off the hook for threatening Mara and his crew.
Alone with Karrde later, Mara announces that she wants to take a leave of absence from the organization and get some experience running her own business. Excited at the idea of having her own ship, free and clear, for the first time in her life, she re-christens it the Jade's Fire.
Mara's independent corporation has folded by the time of the events of Specter of the Past. Some characters describe it as having failed, while Karrde says that it was simply an experiment for Mara, and he always expected her to rejoin the organization.
Parts of the story seems to parody a scene from Mel Brooks' 1987 film Spaceballs, itself a parody of the Star Wars franchise. When King Roland's daughter, Vespa, is kidnapped by the Spaceballs, he describes the Mercedes-style spacecraft she is flying, makes an impassioned plea for her safe return, then adds, "and if at all possible, try to save the car."
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