- "I'm a fighter. I've always been a fighter. The few times when I have been at leisure, I've been miserable. I want challenges, I crave them."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker
Mara Jade Skywalker 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 Emperor Palpatine and became a high-level Force-using operative. As an Emperor's Hand, Jade carried out the Emperor's bidding, killing Rebels 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. After Palpatine's death, she received his last command, which was to kill Luke Skywalker; however, the death of her Master caused her to go rogue. Eventually she joined smuggler chief Talon Karrde, becoming one of his best smugglers and his second-in-command. During the predations of Grand Admiral Thrawn, she was forced to work with Skywalker, and developed a grudging respect for him. During the Galactic Civil War, Mara Jade proved herself skilled in a variety of fields; she was a good pilot and mechanic and trained in the use of both a blaster and hand-to-hand combat even without relying on the Force.
Over the years, she continued to work for Karrde and interact with Skywalker intermittently, training at his Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4 for a short period of time. She was groomed by Karrde to take over the Smugglers' Alliance and had a brief relationship with Lando Calrissian as part of that role, although she later admitted it was a charade. She also continued to grow closer to Skywalker and worked alongside him on numerous occasions, including the Almanian Uprising and the Corellian Crisis. The two finally realized in 19 ABY while on a mission to Nirauan that they were in love, and wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.
After marrying Skywalker, Mara Jade took the surname Skywalker and devoted her life to the New Jedi Order, becoming a Master in her own right. Shortly before the Yuuzhan Vong War, she fell ill due to deadly coomb spores that she'd been infected with by a Yuuzhan Vong agent. She used the Force to slow their progress even as she continued to fight against the alien invaders on numerous battlefields including Dantooine and Ithor, but the disease was only purged from her system after the birth of her son Ben in 26 ABY. After becoming a Master, Jade Skywalker took her niece Jaina Solo as an apprentice until she reached Knighthood. During that time, she participated in Jedi offensives against the Yuuzhan Vong, aiding in the war effort. After the fall of Coruscant, she helped Cal Omas become elected as the Chief of State as the New Republic reorganized itself into the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. Jade Skywalker ultimately saw her efforts against the Yuuzhan Vong rewarded in the war's final battle on Coruscant with the death of Supreme Overlord Shimrra Jamaane.
In the following years, Jade Skywalker was active during the Dark Nest Crisis and the subsequent Swarm War, wherein she helped to thwart the expansionist plans of Raynar Thul and the insectoid Killiks who were spreading into Chiss space and subverting many other people into becoming Joiners under the influence of several Dark Jedi. Jade Skywalker was insistent that the Jedi who had joined Killik communities would be withdrawn, as they were using their skills in combat against the Chiss, provoking them. She continued to serve by the side of her husband as a Jedi Master during the Second Galactic Civil War, first serving alongside the Galactic Alliance against the rebellious Confederation. The re-emergence of the Sith Lady Lumiya was another threat that Jade Skywalker had to confront, but though she and her husband skirmished with both Lumiya and the fallen Jedi Alema Rar on multiple occasions, the darksiders escaped. As the war escalated, Jade Skywalker was killed by her nephew, Jacen Solo, whom she had learned was a Sith and therefore saw as a threat to her family personally, to the Jedi Order, and to the galaxy at large.
Early life (17 BBY–4 ABY)
- "Yeah, it's true. Now tell me who blabbed so I can go cut his head off."
- ―Mara Jade's response to a couple of Jedi trainees questioning her past as an Emperor's Hand
Mara Jade was born in 17 BBY during a time of great instability as Emperor Palpatine, alias the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, and his apprentice Darth Vader were eliminating the remnants of the Jedi Order. The Emperor took Jade from her parents and brought her to the planet Coruscant at a very young age, where he began to train her in the Force, although officially she was one of the Imperial Palace's dancers. Years later, Jade remembered little about her early life besides her parents' reluctance to let her go and her own certainty that she was going to leave with the Emperor. She did recall at one point that she had had a falling-star globe as a child and had gotten in trouble after breaking it to see how it worked. Her master trained her in the ways of the Force and she was made into an agent of the Empire. Some of the Imperial court assumed her to simply be a dancer or one of Palpatine's concubines.
- "She is, shall we say, an experiment."
Throughout Jade's youth, she was pushed through an intensive training regimen—which involved training alongside the Imperial Royal Guard and learning covert espionage and assassination skills, at which she was adept by the age of fourteen—and became an "Emperor's Hand," one of Palpatine's personal assassins, after a final test in which she successfully broke into Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin's private quarters. In order to accomplish her mission, Jade, posing as a guest at a formal event at Tarkin's residence, feigned illness in order to get away from the other guests. She then retrieved a sack of equipment and descended down the side of the building to the room containing Tarkin's private safe. While she was breaking in, a group of guards came in—actually droids—and she engaged them with her blaster and lightsaber. However, upon sensing that one of the guards was living, she knocked him out rather than kill a soldier willing to give his life in a training exercise. Vader and Sidious were pleased with her skills and she was pronounced the Emperor's Hand.
Despite there being several Emperor's Hands, she, like the others, was unaware of the existence of any other Hands. Due to her deep connection with the Force, she could hear Palpatine's voice anywhere in the galaxy via a telepathic link. Jade carried out Palpatine's will on numerous worlds, eliminating corrupt Imperial officials, traitors, and others who he deemed deserving of death or judgment. His esteem for her was such that he actually allowed her time for relaxation, atypical of Palpatine's usual style. In addition to a personal starship and a protocol droid named K3 to aid her in her duties as Hand, she also received a private quarters on Coruscant, where she kept her lightsaber and a lanvarok for left-handers—although Jade herself was right-handed—among the items in her personal weapon collection.
Before the Battle of Yavin, the destruction of an Imperial superweapon called the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, she was tasked with gathering intelligence in order to help hunt down any Jedi she found that had survived Order 66—one such Jedi was An'ya Kuro. Jade had come across a man trying to escape Imperial custody on Kuat and he yielded information to her obtained from a Sacorrian smuggler. The smuggler told her that Kuro was on fifth planet of the Cophrigin system. Jade lobbied the Emperor unsuccessfully to be allowed to be the one to end Kuro, but instead Vader was sent. During the years following the Battle of Yavin and preceding the Battle of Hoth, Jade spied on Darth Vader and delivered reports on his actions to the Emperor, even going so far as watching, from afar, his assault on the Massassi Temples, some six months after the loss of the Death Star over Yavin Prime, which resulted in the capture of Rebel Commander Jan Dodonna. In later missions where she was assigned to discreetly observe him, Jade soon became envious of Vader and sensed a division in him, specifically because she didn't understand the basis of his obsession concerning a young Jedi named Luke Skywalker. Jade began to hope that Vader would betray the Emperor so that she could kill him and take his place as the Emperor's apprentice.
Despite these spy activities, she still performed tasks for Vader himself. Around 1.5 ABY, Jade was responsible for uncovering information about Rebel Alliance droids, C-3PO and R2-D2, for Vader, though Vader was either unwilling or unable to collect the information from her himself. Instead, he sent a spacer who had been doing work for the Empire to pick up the information from Jade on Naboo before returning it to him for a reward of 2,100. Later that year, she participated in the celebration of Empire Day and during the festivities, she tasked an Imperial operative to rescue six Imperial officers from a prison facility inside the hidden Rebel base on the planet Corellia. Around the time of the Battle of Hoth she visited Belsavis.
Jade had also investigated Moff Glovstoak, posing as "Countess Claria" and discovered that he had been skimming the top off tax returns to the Imperial Center. Faking intoxication, she retired to a private room during a formal party Glovstoak was throwing, only to leave an inflatable dummy behind and, having exchanged her formal wear for a combat suit, quickly infiltrated his office and found six stolen paintings worth millions of credits in his palace. Jade returned to Imperial Center and reported her findings to Palpatine, but also saved General Deerian, whom she believed to be honest, from the fallout of Glovstoak's destruction.
Upon Glovstoak's arrest, Jade also took the job of discovering who had delivered the paintings, as well as those who had aided the Moff. First, she went to the auction house where the paintings had been sold, but gleaned little information. Next, she investigated secure storage sites and found a good match in the Birtraub Brothers Storage and Reclamation Center, within which she sensed criminal connections. Observing the facility from a nearby tapcafe, the owners of the storage facility attempted to drug her, but her Force-senses alerted her to the attempt. She confronted the owner, Pirtonna Birtraub, who attempted to kill her. She easily subdued him and he admitted the involvement of a pirate group identified as the BloodScars, a ruthless gang that wanted to combine several gangs to dominate the Shelsha sector.
Jade stowed away on one of the pirate ships that she had been pointed to, choosing a HT-2200 medium freighter that was being sent to attack a transport carrying Imperial military equipment. About the time the craft launched an attack on the Happer's Way, Jade was also discovered and attacked by a group of pirates. Undaunted, she quickly took over the ship, captured Tannis, and signaled the Reprisal via the Happer's Way's communications relay to assist her and the freighter.
Boarding the Reprisal, Jade was coldly greeted by Captain Kendal Ozzel, who believed she was onto him for five stormtroopers that had deserted earlier after killing Major Drelfin over Daric LaRone's refusal to kill civilians on Teardrop. Jade requested a pair of crewers for the ship, and Colonel Vak Somoril gave her a pair of ISB men to accompany her. Taking the two ISB men and Tannis with her on the Happer's Way, she went to infiltrate the pirate base at Gepparin, pretending to be an independent ship thief who wanted to join the BloodScars.
Jade arrived on Gepparin and was brought to meet the Commodore, who was suspicious of her. That evening, Jade was attacked by the two ISB men, who had been ordered to eliminate her, and their attack attracted the pirates' attention. She attempted to deal with the commodore, who ignored her and had his pirate accomplice Caaldra kill her. His attempt was unsuccessful, but she was interrupted before she could stop him and the commodore. Aboard the Reprisal, Ozzel and Somoril, wanting to be sure she was slain, arrived over Gepparin and launched TIE fighters and an orbital bombardment to kill Mara and the pirates. Jade quickly raced to the command center and found the commodore's body next to a HoloNet message he was about to send to Shelkonwa. She shot down the TIE fighters, and the Reprisal left in pursuit of the Millennium Falcon and their rogue stormtroopers who had appeared in-system, allowing her to escape in a Z-10 Seeker. Journeying to Shelkonwa, she found Vader and the Executor already there in search of Rebel leader Leia Organa. Jade believed that Governor Barshnis Choard was a traitor, and informed Vader of her findings. The Dark Lord of the Sith brooked no interference in his search, but he did allow Jade to investigate and deal with Choard. Upon landing, Caaldra attacked her with a purloined All Terrain Scout Transport, but she was aided by the group of rogue stormtroopers, dubbed the Hand of Judgment and led by Daric LaRone. Taking them under her command, she defeated the AT-ST, unknowingly with the help of Chewbacca in a freighter, but Caaldra had escaped. With her newly drafted stormtroopers, she advanced on the governor's palace, where once again Caaldra tried to kill her. She put an end to him when he tried to shoot her and she redirected the bolt into him with her lightsaber. In the mean time, the Hand of Judgment had penetrated the governor's security. Linking back up with the Hand of Judgment, Jade arrested Governor Choard and vouched for the rogue stormtroopers, even in front of Vader. Later, she learned their true story. She let them go, but warned them to lie low and lose their Hand of Judgment name, saying she was the only Hand in the Empire.
Subsequently, Jade was tasked with eliminating a corrupt judge, Lamos Chatoor. Upon confronting the official, she was ambushed by a pair of armed guards, but handily defeated both. Ignoring Chatoor's excuses and pleas, she executed him in the name of Imperial justice. Following her successful mission, she was contacted mentally by Palpatine after she returned to her private Lambda-class shuttle. Palpatine had another assignment for her, sending her to investigate allegations of treason against Governor Bidor Ferrouz of the Candoras sector. Ferrouz had been reported to be collaborating with the Rebel Alliance and Palpatine tasked her with ascertaining the voracity of the accusations and executing Ferrouz if they were substantiated.
To reach the sector capital of Poln Major, Jade decided she would need a different, less conspicuous ship than her own shuttle. She also decided that having willing stormtrooper accomplices would be useful. Having monitored the continued altruistic vigilantism of the Hand of Judgment despite her earlier warning to them, Jade decided to use them again. Jade tracked them to Elegasso based on her knowledge of their activities and her own intuition and soon found them on a nearby world where a corrupt local official named Bok Yost had captured them before they could interfere with the election he had rigged to secure his position. Jade burst into the holding area, killing the mercenaries hired by Yost. Confronted with imminent death, Yost had no choice but to surrender his prisoners and resign his position in favor of holding new, fair elections, or else be slain. Jade released LaRone and his men and then recruited them to assist her infiltration of Poln Major. Knowing full well the leverage she had over them, LaRone agreed to her terms reluctantly.
Using the Hand of Judgment's modified Suwantek TL-1800, Jade and the Hand of Judgment flew to Poln Major. Upon arrival, Jade tasked them with surveying the stormtrooper security at the spaceport and obtaining ship logs while she sought to stakeout security at the governor's palace. Her initial observations showed it was heavily fortified from all angles. To test security at the gate, she used the Force to manipulate the steering controls on a passing landspeeder, causing it to nearly crash into the gate. The response by the gates told her it would be possible to arrange a similar, more severe accident to have herself detained and brought into the palace, where she planned to escape. To aid in her plan, she purchased a remote-controlled toy airspeeder and modified it.
Having obtained the report from the Hand of Judgment on spaceport security and ship logs, Jade learned that a fair number of suspected Rebel Alliance ships were insystem, which she considered corroboration of the accusations against Ferrouz. She ordered the Hand of Judgment to meet her at the palace gates after helping them steal some stormtrooper armor with identification markings that would allow them to get close to the palace and had them assist in her entry. Having stolen a civilian landspeeder, Jade again faked a crash into the palace gates with the airspeeder toy in the vehicle as well. She was held up at the gate by suspicious guards when Hand of Judgment stormtroopers LaRone and Saberan Marcross arrived, accusing her of shoplifting from an electronics store. That charge, combined with a ruse where Jade faked that the airspeeder toy was rigged to sabotage speeder controls, earned her a trip to the detention area, precisely what she wanted.
Jade quickly escaped while being taken for interrogation and met up with LaRone after knocking out her captors. Jade then carved a hole into the ceiling and escaped into an abandoned wing of the palace, seeking a way to approach Ferrouz. Having confirmed her suspicions of his treason, she managed to sneak into his office, following a Rebel Alliance ambassador named Vestin Axlon. Ferrouz confessed his treason, but informed Jade that he'd only done so on instructions from the people who had kidnapped his wife and young daughter under the instructions of a powerful local warlord, Nuso Esva. Feeling some sympathy for the man, Jade forestalled his execution to help retrieve his family and deal with Esva first.
Before she could learn too much more, the governor's office was attacked by infiltrators in the employ of Esva while his other henchmen stirred up a riot at the gate to distract the guards. Jade held them off as best as she could, finally dealing with the attackers when LaRone and Marcross ambushed them from behind. Jade then pulled Axlon and Ferrouz into the governor's private exit along with LaRone and Marcross, escaping the palace through the exit and storm drains. Calling in the rest of the Hand of Judgment, they secured a tapcafe as a hideout until Jade could rescue Ferrouz's family. Jade revealed that the governor had been under duress to Axlon, who had been hoping to broken an alliance between the Rebellion and the Candoras Sector. She also told Axlon that in exchange for a truce while they fought off Esva's forces, she would give the Rebel forces in the Poln system two days to leave. Based on information given to her by Ferrouz, Jade then deduced that a security officer named Pakrie, one of her captors from earlier, was in the employ of Esva. She also learned that Esva had a significant space force, armed partially with weapons stolen from the Empire by Pakrie.
Jade then returned to the palace to find Pakrie. While she was gone, LaRone and the Hand of Judgment were attacked by Axlon, who had also been courting Esva's favor and hoped that arranging the governor's death would ingratiate the warlord to the Rebellion. The Hand of Judgment eliminated Axlon and informed her of his treason. Jade suspected that the kidnappers had used the safe room built into the governor's private exit and investigated it. She had one of the governor's security officers bait Pakrie into the safe room by claiming the governor was there. She kidnapped him, but was attacked by eight alien assassins before she could extract information from him. Jade slew them all but Pakrie escaped in the confusion. However, LaRone had a contact who provided her with intelligence of the location where the family was held. Jade located a secret passageway that led there and followed it to an underground area that was heavily guarded. Having learned this, Ferrouz then called Pakrie and informed the duplicitous officer of his location to draw off some of the guards. The ruse was successful, giving Jade an opening.
Noting the passageway was mined with explosives, Jade used an alien corpse to set off the explosives as a distraction while she worked her way along an overhead crane arm. Meanwhile, LaRone's contact, actually Rebel pilot Luke Skywalker, made his own attempt to free the governor's family. He came under fire after subduing some of the guards with his lightsaber and Jade tossed him her weapon. She then drew fire, deflecting it with her lightsaber as she closed on the cabin where the governor's family was being held. Skywalker helped fight off the guards while Jade freed Ferrouz's wife and daughter. As Esva's forces closed in, Jade ordered Skywalker to shoot a pool of flammable liquid she had spilled to cover their escape. The resulting explosion and Jade's skills dealt with the rest of the guards. Meanwhile, the Hand of Judgment fended off Esva's forces and an Imperial fleet destroyed the warlord's navy.
Jade then allowed Ferrouz to live after returning his family, considering that his treason had been imposed under extenuating circumstances. Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance managed to escape, though the Empire had arranged that they would obtain supplies that would lead them to choose a remote, cold location for their next base. Jade later searched for the Hand of Judgment to see what had happened to them, but they had disappeared and she was unable to find them.
- "I hope your salary is more generous than your costume, Miss uh…"
"You… can call me Arica."
- ―C-3PO and Mara Jade
A few months prior to the Battle of Endor, Jade was in Palpatine's chamber when Darth Vader brought the Force-sensitive cyborg Lumiya to Palpatine to serve as another Emperor's Hand. Jade was dismissed from Palpatine's presence before he accepted Lumiya's service, maintaining her illusion that she was the only Hand, but Jade nevertheless sensed immediate hostility from Lumiya. Following the Battle of Hoth, Jade became aware of Palpatine's worries about Luke Skywalker; she was sent to infiltrate Jabba Desilijic Tiure's Palace on Tatooine, disguised as the dancing girl Arica, in order to await Skywalker. While waiting for Luke Skywalker, Jade witnessed C-3PO and R2-D2's arrival at the palace. Later, after the droid was forced into the Hutt's service, C-3PO met Jade. After a brief conversation, in which she questioned 3PO regarding Skywalker and introduced herself as Arica, Jade disappeared as C-3PO witnessed the dancing girl Oola's execution.
However, Melina Carniss, a member of Jabba's secret security detail, suspected her of being out to assassinate the Hutt, and attempted to arrest her. Jade turned the tables on Carniss, however, taking her into custody and then using the Force to cause Melina to shoot one of Jabba's Gamorrean guards. Jade fled down a tunnel and came to a ventilation shaft of the rancor pit. After fighting through three rows of guards, she was able to watch Skywalker kill the rancor. She then entered the ventilation shaft of the rancor pit using a vibro-ax, and used the Force to open the trapdoor and follow the crowd out to the sail barge. Though she begged Jabba to let her join him and others at the Dune Sea, a suspicious Jabba instead provided her with a landspeeder and told her to leave and never come back after she tried to use the Force on him. Thus stymied in the attempt to fulfill her mission, she made her way back to Imperial Center—and a displeased Palpatine. Years later, a Force vision revealed to Skywalker that, had she been present at the Great Pit of Carkoon, Jade would have succeeded in preventing his escape.
The search for Black Nebula
- "Victims run off and hide. Prey runs off and hides. But I'm not a victim. And I'm not prey. I'm the Emperor's Hand. I am the ultimate predator. And it's time for Dequc and Black Nebula to die."
- ―Mara Jade during her hunt for Dequc
Following her mission on Tatooine, Jade was given another task by the Emperor—to kill Dequc, a Jeodu who sought to revive Black Sun by incorporating its remnants into his own empire, that of the Black Nebula.
Jade arrived on the planet Svivren where she began laying the ground work for her new mission. She reconnoitered the crime lord's base, but realized that she would need a distraction to allow her to sneak in unnoticed. She went to the local Imperial garrison commander, General Touno, and requested two squads of stormtroopers and an officer. The officer assigned to her was Captain Strok, and together, he and Jade planned a raid on the building next to Dequc's, but Strok was unaware that the raid was a distraction planned by Jade. The following day, however, saw the raid utterly fail and the majority of the Imperials killed. Jade, though, was still able to use the distraction provided by the firefight to sneak in and assassinate a Jeodu she believed to be Dequc.
After the assassination, Jade reported to the Emperor that the mission had been successful. Palpatine, as a reward for her efficiency, provided her with a vacation. She did her best to enjoy the time that was provided to her, but she found herself mulling over the events which had transpired on Svivren. She came to the conclusion that the assassination was too easy and that any number of the guards present during her attack should have easily been able to stop her. Jade decided to test her theory by setting up a simulation of the assassination. Only two out of five times was she able to successfully kill "Dequc" and withdraw unharmed. She concluded that the person she killed was not the real Dequc, but a cleverly placed decoy. Jade resolved that it was still her duty to hunt down and assassinate the real leader of Black Nebula.
Jade used her Force link with Palpatine to advise him of her findings, but before she could, he allowed her to witness his destruction by both Vader and Luke Skywalker. His last command reverberated through the Force to her: YOU WILL KILL LUKE SKYWALKER. She was overcome by his death agonies and rendered unconscious. She remained in a dream-like state for several days, until she was apprehended by two of Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard's henchmen.
They took Jade to Isard, who imprisoned her and used intelligence tactics to try and force Jade to aid her in her bid for power. Jade, though, was able to escape from captivity and find passage to the backwater world of Phorliss. Jade intended to lay low for the time being until she could raise enough funds to relocate. To better blend into her temporary surroundings, she found work as a waitress at a local cantina owned by Gorb Drig. For several weeks she worked for Drig under the alias Chiara Lorn, until members of Black Nebula arrived to collect a debt owed by Drig. Jade could not believe her luck in discovering that Black Nebula had a presence on Phorliss—not wanting Drig to be harmed, Jade did her best to fight the more numerous gang members. She managed to obtain her lightsaber and quickly kill the remaining Nebula members, though not before they killed Drig and Jorshmin, a patron whom Jade had befriended.
Jade set out to find the Black Nebula base on Phorliss, and discovered that the real Dequc was based on Qiaxx. She infiltrated a casino owned by Dequc and administered by a lieutenant in Black Nebula. She disguised herself as Baroness Paltonae and claimed to represent a mysterious corporate interest that had developed reliable and undetectable ways to cheat at gambling and detect lock combinations—Jade, however, simply used the Force to create both illusions in an effort to be brought before Dequc. She managed to succeed and was taken to Black Nebula's hidden base in the Bubble Cliffs of Nezmi, where Dequc was waiting for her to discuss the corporate interest she "represented." However, once inside the Nebula's base, Jade unknowingly ran into Strok, the Imperial officer she had worked with on Svivren.
She learned that he was actually a Black Nebula agent who had been inserted into the Imperial officer corps to feed Dequc information. Jade was furious about the discovery of an Imperial traitor, but decided to deal with him later. However, she again ran into him in the base's barracks, and when he realized who she was, Jade was forced to kill him to keep her secret safe. His death, though, was soon discovered by Black Nebula and she was forced onto the offensive. Jade eventually managed to make her way to Dequc's safe house, deep within the Bubble Cliffs. Once there, she used her lightsaber and a small explosive to kill Dequc and his guards; she was then able to escape through one of Dequc's secret passageways. Once she had successfully withdrawn, Jade stole a private yacht of Dequc's, one which was filled with all of his private information regarding the inner workings of Black Nebula, and left it at an Imperial spaceport where it could be discovered by the authorities.
On the run (4 ABY–6 ABY)
Her hatred of Skywalker for destroying her master burned deep within her and she vowed to kill the Jedi Knight. She was unaware that the Emperor's telepathic command lay at the core of her rage, making it stronger than any normal wish for vengeance would be. Meanwhile, her life was in shambles: the resources she had once had access to were all dependent on the Emperor, and her life of luxury, privilege and purpose was over. Still hunted by Isard, she made her way through the galaxy, doing odd jobs and manual labor to make ends meet. Her Force abilities faded, returning in ill-timed bursts. All the while, she was still haunted by the Emperor's last command: "You will kill Luke Skywalker."
During her travels, she landed on Kintoni, where she spotted the Rebel general Crix Madine. Jade followed him and infiltrated the building to see Madine interrogating former Imperial Governor Barkale. Jade made her way towards the imprisoned governor and found a datapad showing the Executor along the way. However, she was stopped in Madine's quarters by the general, who pulled a blaster on her and called for reinforcements. Jade shot his weapon and used the datapad to display the image of the Executor on the sensor screens, tricking the Rebels into thinking the ship was after them. She stunned the guards and made a deal with Madine to let her and Barkale escape.
Barkale took her back to his home, but Jade noticed a sculpture that he had reported stolen or destroyed years ago, along with many other pieces of artwork. When she accused him of treasonous embezzlement, Barkale threw a vase at her. Jade, undaunted, executed him, and then informed Madine of her discovery while she got off the planet, figuring that the Rebels would have found the artwork anyway and executing Barkale was worth it.
Smuggler (6 ABY–9 ABY)
- "If only for that, you deserve to die."
- ―Mara Jade, to Luke Skywalker
Jade was on Chibias to see the Coruscant Full Symphony when she encountered a young slicer named Zakarisz Ghent, who had just had a datacard planted on him without his knowledge. Jade took interest in the man and, posing as a member of the concert hall staff, helped him escape from Raines, a member of Governor Egron's staff, who was trying to capture Ghent. Jade took the startled Ghent back to her hotel room, informing him that his trip to the hall had been a set-up. When she failed to slice into records to find out why Ghent was being pursued, Ghent took over and easily sliced through it, revealing the motive behind the attempted kidnapping.
Jade then went to the governor's palace, where she confronted Raines about the absence of any record of him in the governor's personnel files. Raines told her that he was a special aide to the governor and his name was Markko. She also was able to reveal that he had been hired by the governor for computer work, rather than that the governor needed Ghent's services, which was what Markko had originally told her. Jade, acting as Ghent's broker, agreed to bring him to the palace to slice the computer, which Markko had informed her was captured from the Rebel Alliance, after charging him an exorbitant fee.
However, she was followed on her way back to the hotel. Deciding to turn the tables, she lost her pursuit and followed them back to their hideout. Markko confronted her, and then led her at blasterpoint to the rest of the group, revealing that they were actually part of the Rebel Alliance. Jade agreed to bring Ghent to the palace as planned, seeing an opportunity to sell out Markko and earn some credits. Upon arriving at the palace, Ghent learned that the captured computer was not a Rebel machine, but actually a Star Destroyer's control node—Jade quickly ascertained that Egron was planning on selling the information. She stalled for time while using her lightsaber to cut an exit out of the wall with a Paparak cross-cut that would only be revealed when she kicked the wall in. After creating a diversion, she kicked the wall in and escaped with Ghent. However, Egron and Markko managed to intercept her before she could escape the palace. While she executed Egron, Markko took Ghent hostage. However, the two agreed to part ways, despite their ideological differences, with Markko returning Ghent. Outside, Jade told Ghent to go back to his home of Sibisime, while she went to find work on a freighter. Little did she know that Ghent was hired by the smuggler Talon Karrde shortly after she and Ghent parted ways.
For the next few years, Jade drifted from one odd job to another under a variety of aliases. Under the alias Merellis, she was a come-up flector for a Caprioril swoop gang. It was during that occupation that she lost the violet-colored lightsaber she had been given by Palpatine in an encounter with Lumiya. Lumiya, sent by Ysanne Isard, found her and tried to bring her back to Isard, but Jade refused. The two dueled and Jade escaped, though she lost her lightsaber in the process. After her run-in with Lumiya, she later worked as a hyperdrive mechanic on Varonat under the name Celina Marniss.
Fortune finally struck when Jade managed to save the smuggler baron Talon Karrde from an ambush on Varonat that took the life of Karrde's second-in-command, Quelev Tapper, and almost killed Karrde as well. Jade had originally been working as a hyperdrive mechanic at the spaceport, and her efficiency and striking appearance impressed Karrde, who was operating under the alias of Hart while Tapper was known as Seoul. While out on a safari for Morodins, Karrde discovered both that the Morodins were sentient and that the safari leader, Gamgalon, was responsible for smuggling a catalyst for Tibanna gas grown in the jungle. Gamgalon found out what Karrde knew though and planned on executing him, having already killed Tapper when he tried to resist. Fortunately for them, Jade remembered hearing about a smuggler who enjoyed wordplay such as "Hart and Seoul" in his aliases and ships, and decided to help them out in hopes of finding a position with them. She followed them out to the jungle, killed Gamgalon and his guard and rescued Karrde. Karrde was so impressed with Jade that he offered her a job on the spot.
The two of them are said to have been already working together as early as 6 ABY, when Jade sold a Rodian statuette to New Republic Senator Baron Jonas Stern on Sluis Van. She and Karrde were later on Nkllon, with Jade again operating under the pseudonym Celina Marniss.
- "Mara once told this one that all it took to lift the Emperor'z veil from her eyes was a long walk in the forest with this man. That after she had come to know Luke Skywalker, it was easy to step into the light."
- ―Saba Sebatyne
Jade entered Karrde's organization around 8.5 ABY. During her first six months of working with Karrde, Jade swiftly rose through the ranks of his smuggling organization. Her Force-sensitivity, lying largely dormant since the death of Palpatine, reasserted itself when she brought Karrde's freighter, the Wild Karrde, out of hyperspace for a routine check right where Luke Skywalker's damaged X-wing was floating in space. Grand Admiral Thrawn, the leader of the resurgent Empire, had posted a significant bounty on Skywalker and Karrde considered the possibility of selling him to Thrawn for the bounty or extorting money from the New Republic to ensure his return.
Karrde pulled the stranded Jedi aboard and took him back to his base on Myrkr, where the planet's ysalamiri creatures blocked Skywalker's Force abilities. Jade was at first intent on killing Skywalker, but Karrde would not have it. However, Karrde did keep Skywalker and R2-D2 locked up and hid them from view when Thrawn arrived to collect ysalamiri. Skywalker, though, managed to escape in a Skipray blastboat. Jade gave chase, but both vehicles ended up crashing in the vornskr-infested forest. To complicate matters, Thrawn himself arrived on Myrkr to harvest ysalamiri, preventing the two from making contact with Karrde, for Thrawn would know that Karrde had been with-holding Skywalker from him. Jade was forced to work with Skywalker to survive, and she clearly stated her intention to kill him. The two made their way to Hyllyard City after fending off several vornskr attacks, but were caught in a stormtrooper ambush. Thanks to the timely intervention of Skywalker's recently-arrived friends Lando Calrissian, Han Solo, and some of Karrde's men, they defeated the stormtroopers and Solo, Calrissian, and Skywalker left Myrkr. Karrde and his organization also fled Myrkr soon after due to a massive Imperial bounty placed upon them.
As the last members of the organization fled Myrkr, Jade remained with Karrde, who decided to surreptitiously observe the Imperial arrival on Myrkr from the Wild Karrde. As expected, Grand Admiral Thrawn arrived in the Star Destroyer Chimaera and quickly took over the abandoned base. However, what Karrde did not anticipate was Thrawn deducing that the Wild Karrde had remained in the system and had called for an Interdictor cruiser, the Constrainer, to trap the smuggler's ship in place. However, Jade received a Force-related warning of the Imperial's arrival and activated the Wild Karrde's engines, preparing them for flight, much to the surprise of her fellow crew members and Karrde. However, as the Constrainer reverted into the system, Jade piloted the ship out of its range and made the jump into hyperspace, her seemingly premature activation of the ship's engines having saved them from an Imperial trap.
While setting up a new base for Karrde's group on Rishi, Jade was accosted by a bounty hunter, Gunner Groth. She killed him, but Karrde's organization was put to flight yet again. Sent to Abregado-rae to retrieve a ship of Karrde's, the Etherway, that had been impounded, her departure from the system was interrupted by the arrival of the Victory-class Star Destroyer Adamant. Jade realized that Thrawn would not stop hunting them, so she turned herself over to Thrawn, reclaiming her role as the Emperor's Hand and offering him the location of the Katana fleet in exchange for amnesty for Karrde and his men. Thrawn agreed, albeit not without suspicion, but double-crossed Jade by placing a tracking device on her ship. Once she arrived at Karrde's next hideout, Imperial stormtroopers followed shortly afterward and captured Karrde.
Jade, disgusted by Thrawn's actions and now feeling more loyalty to Karrde than ever, decided to break Karrde out of the Imperial brig in which he now found himself, but knew she couldn't do it alone. Instead, she journeyed to Jomark with a ysalamir, where Luke Skywalker was training under Joruus C'baoth. C'baoth attempted to knock her out of the sky with a hail of rocks as she landed, but she was able to set her ship down and make her way towards his residence, where Skywalker was located. As she was climbing down a cliff, she was nearly blasted by R2-D2, controlling Skywalker's X-wing. She managed to convince the droid that C'baoth was working for the Empire and that Skywalker owed Karrde, and was ferried down to Skywalker's location hanging from the starfighter's landing skid. After a short confrontation with C'baoth had resulted in him stunned from a near-miss from a laser cannon fired by R2-D2, Jade had wanted to finish off the insane Jedi Master, but Skywalker persuaded her not to. Despite her misgivings, she convinced Skywalker to go with her to rescue Karrde from Thrawn's ship, the Chimaera, in the Skipray blastboat that she had used to reach Jomark. Using her passwords to slice into the computer, she and Skywalker reached the detention block and freed Karrde. Thrawn shut down the ship's computer, but the trio was able to make good their escape in the Millennium Falcon, which the Empire had retrieved from Endor after it had been deserted there.
Jade and Karrde's group later returned to aid the New Republic in the Battle for the Katana fleet. Jade flew a Z-95 Headhunter in the battle, but an ion cannon blast left her drifting in space. Fortunately for her, Luke Skywalker was able to rescue her before she died of exposure.
Taken to Coruscant for a month of nerve-regeneration therapy, Jade found herself almost completely alone in the Imperial Palace. She wanted to leave the planet, but before she could, she detected an Imperial intrusion team headed for the Solo family's quarters. Jade, accompanied by Lando Calrissian and Garm Bel Iblis, chased down the intruders. They were pinned down, but Jade used her knowledge of the Palace's secret passages to get behind the Imperial commando team. Using the Force to relay a plan to Leia Organa Solo, she successfully gunned down the entire Imperial squad. However, Major Molo Himron, the team leader, survived and implicated her in the attack, which led to her imprisonment by the order of Colonel Jak Bremen.
- "For I have foreseen that Mara Jade will bow before me. One Mara Jade, or another."
- ―Joruus C'baoth to Mara Jade on Wayland
Jade later found out about Thrawn's use of clones while imprisoned, via Organa Solo, and remembered the location of the Emperor's cloning center. Realizing that they might be compromised if they went through normal channels, Skywalker, Solo, Calrissian, and Chewbacca broke Jade out of prison and took her with them on the Falcon. She gave them the location of Wayland and the cloning center, and the group successfully landed in the forest, along with R2-D2 and C-3PO. Jade was once again forced to work with Skywalker, who encouraged her to develop her Force skills. Skywalker gradually realized that Jade was acting not so much of her own volition as she was following Palpatine's telepathic command. Jade also came to gradually realize that, that she was being used to inflict a last bit of revenge upon the dead Darth Vader. Skywalker promised to help her remove the command, even though being near her obviously jeopardized his life. They both had premonitions of encountering the insane C'baoth on the planet, which, upon reaching the Mount Tantiss stronghold after an arduous journey through the forest, turned out to be true. Jade asked Skywalker to kill her rather than let C'baoth take over her mind, but the Jedi promised that whatever she would face in the stronghold, she wouldn't face it alone.
While looking for a remote destruct for the facility, Skywalker and Jade found the crazed Jedi Master, who hit them with Force lightning and pitted Skywalker against a clone of himself, armed with his father's lightsaber. Despite the aid of the Solos and Karrde, they were unable to defeat the Jedi Master until Jade retrieved Leia Organa Solo's lightsaber and charged C'baoth. Skywalker injured his clone and strengthened Jade with the Force, and she fulfilled the Emperor's command, slaying the clone. Enraged, C'baoth attacked them with a Force scream, Force lightning and rocks, but Jade, fulfilling C'baoth's visions of bowing before him by kneeling to avoid his attacks, stabbed him with the lightsaber. Skywalker's Force powers kept her from being injured by the dark side energy released upon C'baoth's death, and they escaped in the Wild Karrde as Calrissian and Chewbacca blew up the facility. As a token of friendship, Skywalker gave her his father's lightsaber, and she would continue to use it in the years ahead.
Jade was later sent out by Karrde to aid the New Republic after the loss of Coruscant to the Empire. The New Republic had sent couriers out to various parts of the fleet to inform them of their retreat, as their communications had been cut off. One part of the fleet had changed location, so the New Republic paid Jade to meet with the courier ship Messenger to update the crew. As it turned out, the same Colonel Bremen whom she had been detained by on Coruscant was on the ship and Jade enjoyed his discomfort. However, a homing beacon in the Messenger lured a Carrack-class cruiser and Jade shot off some of its TIEs to allow the courier to escape.
Jedi Knight (9 ABY–19 ABY)
After fully renouncing the dark side of the Force, Jade sought out Kyle Katarn to train her in the ways of the Jedi. In 10 ABY, she was with Katarn on the battlefront of Altyr V aiding the New Republic base there, which was being bombarded from two artificial asteroids and attacked by the Dark Empire. Katarn managed to repel the attack, and destroyed both asteroids. While there, he got a lead about the planet Dromund Kaas having some importance to the Empire and went to investigate.
Jade, however, was on her own—her first mission for the Republic was to negotiate with Ka'Pa the Hutt concerning the New Republic's supplies. In order for Ka'Pa to comply, Jade was forced to steal Takara's GCT device for him. While looking for Takara's lieutenant, Abron Mar, in the Katraasii Spaceport, Jade was trapped by Takara. She managed to escape the stronghold by killing a rancor and stole the device. Ka'Pa was pleased and agreed to help the Republic.
Jade's second mission was on a Republic Corellian Corvette guarding a Jedi holocron, when they again came under attack from Kaerobani's pirates. Jade repelled the attackers, but the holocron was stolen. To retrieve the holocron, she decided to "board" a cargo crate that was headed for Rathalay, the pirates' base. Using her training, Jade reclaimed the holocron and escaped. There she encountered the severed head of droid 8t88, Katarn's old adversary, and noted that the droid was planning vengeance on whomever had decapitated it.
After that, Jade finally arrived on Dromund Kaas in search of Katarn. While traveling through the planet's swamps, she encountered and defeated many native creatures, including her own doppelgänger. After crossing the swamp, she reached the Dark Force Temple. Finally she found Katarn totally immersed in the dark side. Master and apprentice fought, but Jade managed to fend him off each time, while Katarn retreated deeper and deeper into the catacombs. On the final encounter, Jade voluntarily turned off her lightsaber and surrendered. Katarn realized that he could not follow that path and was able to turn back to the light side. The two later participated in the ancient Jedi tradition of the Concordance of Fealty, a mutual apprenticeship.
When Palpatine returned in his new cloned body, Jade didn't believe it was really him, spurning any thought of returning to his service. Instead, she aided the New Republic in evacuating Coruscant and ferrying cargo for the government. For his part, Darth Sidious supplanted her and the other Hands with new Dark Side Adepts, including Sedriss QL.
However, Sidious was also not content with merely replacing Jade; to punish her for her treachery, he sent several of his servants to intercept her in route to a Smugglers' Alliance meeting in the Senex sector, including the mysterious Blackhole. She was captured, though Katarn and some of his associates later freed her.
- "When I entered the atmosphere I could feel you and Kun tangling. The Force was boiling."
- ―Mara Jade, to Corran Horn
After Katarn forsook the Jedi and the Force and returned to his military career, Jade also participated in a mission from Karrde to track down Jorj Car'das, where she pretended to be involved with Lando Calrissian as a cover for the mission. Their quest would at one point take them to the Kathol Rift, where she and Calrissian encountered Crev Bombaasa and helped him out of a tight spot. Karrde would later use that association and owed favor to his advantage.
In 11 ABY, Jade returned to the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4 to learn the ways of the Jedi, arriving during the tumultuous time right after Gantoris's death and Kyp Durron's first act of rebellion, both events caused by the spirit of the ancient Sith Lord Exar Kun. At first Jade and Corran Horn, himself a student under the assumed name of Keiran Halcyon, did not co-exist well, but they soon settled their differences and got along quite well. She even allowed Horn to use her Headhunter, though Durron later stole it in his bid to seize the Sun Crusher superweapon. Under Kam Solusar's tutelage, Horn and Mara Jade trained together, enjoying physical exercise such as running expeditions through the jungle, and learned to appreciate their differences—that proved to be a wise choice, as it was not long until the spirit of Exar Kun took control of Durron and wreaked havoc on the Jedi. She left the academy not long after, but later returned after she heard Kun had put Skywalker in a coma. While there, she helped Horn defeat Kun's spirit, as the Corellian had attempted to distract Kun by invading his temple. She arrived just in time, as Kun was nearing success with turning Horn's fears against him, and had also severely injured him. She helped Horn trick Kun into returning to the Praxeum to use fellow apprentice Streen against Skywalker, leading to the Sith Lord's destruction from the combined Force power of the students there. With Kun defeated, Jade helped the injured Horn back to the Great Temple. However, she again left the Praxeum after the incident.
During that time, she also became one of the leaders of the Smugglers' Alliance. Lando Calrissian, flush with cash from a recent string of successes, wanted to make a profit from mining glitterstim on Kessel. Jade led a group of Smuggler's Alliance vessels to Kessel to help him chase the present administrator, Moruth Doole, off the planet. However, Jade was not entirely thrilled with Calrissian, as she was not fond of his constant flirting with her, though she was impressed by him giving the Falcon to Han Solo as a gift even after winning it back in a game of sabacc. Not long after they took the planet, Jade, Solo, and Calrissian were confronted by a prototype Death Star, which destroyed Kessel's moon. Jade and all her Smugglers' Alliance ships took off and attacked the prototype, but it fled. Jade and the Falcon pursued the craft into the heart of The Maw, unwilling to let the superweapon escape. In an effort to knock out its superlaser, she and Calrissian made their way to the core of the prototype in environment suits, planning to plant thermal detonators along the reactor core, but they were attacked by a group of spacetroopers. The two saboteurs escaped, but a spacetrooper was able to remove all but one of their charges, causing less damage than the duo had hoped. Fortunately, Durron, freed of Kun's influence, managed to lead the prototype into a gravitational well, crushing it and ridding the galaxy of its use forever.
Some time later, while the Solos were on Belsavis, they contacted Mara Jade to see if she had information on the planet. Jade did know about the planet—she had broken into its secure file when she was working for the Empire. She told the Solos about a secret mission to attack one of the rifts and how Palpatine and Vader used a combination of drugs and the dark side to create crazed, mindless guards, such as the ones that the Solos had found in the smugglers' tunnels in the valley.
Later, she called the Solos after they learned of the presence of the Emperor's Hand on the planet and assumed it was her. All she had were some coordinates from a landing pad that Han Solo had asked for, but she was quickly informed of Leia Solo's disappearance and that an Emperor's Hand had been on on Belsavis years before, when she had never been on that mission. It was at that moment that Jade realized that the Emperor had lied to her—there were many Emperor's Hands, she had not been alone. Outraged, she grew angry when Han Solo told her the name of the other Hand: Roganda Ismaren. Jade was outraged to learn that Palpatine had been lying to her when he said that she was his only Hand, and later deduced that Lumiya was also a member of the Emperor's Hands. Jade immediately headed for Belsavis and en route, encountered Skywalker and a group of brainwashed crewers from the recently destroyed Eye of Palpatine. She brought them with her to Belsavis for treatment, after noting the serious injury to Skywalker's leg. She also pulled in an escape pod from the Dreadnaught, opening it to reveal Callista Ming, a Jedi who had escaped the Eye of Palpatine after helping destroy it, and who had fallen in love with Skywalker. On Belsavis, Jade helped round up the last of the insane guards, many of whom she had once known, though Roganda Ismaren and her son Irek escaped.
Some time after taking a large role in the Smuggler's Alliance with Lando Calrissian, Jade's contacts passed on word of a Hutt plot related to Orko SkyMine. Jade journeyed to the Yavin 4 Jedi Praxeum to warn Skywalker. Taking him on a ride in her ship, she relayed the information to him and told him that she occasionally enjoyed seeing him. He asked her to stay for dinner, where she met Callista Ming and asked her if she was Skywalker's new lady. Ming affirmed her statement, and asked if Jade was once interested in Skywalker. Jade replied that she had once wanted nothing more than to kill him, though the incident apparently didn't seem to cause much consternation between the women.
Jade continued her on-and-off association with Calrissian during that period. She was recently away from him and aboard the Wild Karrde with Karrde after they had spent a week together on Mon Calamari when he called for information and she told him about the bombing of the Senate Hall. She would also help Karrde deliver a pair of ysalamiri to Han Solo over Almania when he went in search of Kueller, the mastermind behind the bombing who was attempting to kill Skywalker. She even accompanied him to the planet's surface, partially out of her concern for Skywalker and partially because she feared what Kueller could do to the galaxy. Helping the Falcon blast its way to the surface through Kueller's forces, Jade accompanied Solo and Chewbacca and they brought the Force-empty bubble of the ysalamir to where Skywalker and his sister were confronting Kueller just in time to save Skywalker from certain death.
On one occasion, while commanding on the Wild Karrde in Karrde's temporary absence, Jade and the rest of the crew were captured by Ja Bardrin, a wealthy industrialist whose daughter Sansia had been captured by the slaver Chay Praysh. At gunpoint, Bardrin forced Jade to go to Torpris to rescue Sansia, who had, like all female Human prisoners of Praysh's, been forced to work in the slime pits. Jade had no choice but to comply, as she had no way of contacting Karrde and Bardrin threatened to execute the rest of the crew if she didn't do as he wished.
Jade entered the palace under the pretext of bringing a gift to Praysh, supposedly unaware that she was the gift. However, her lightsaber was discovered at the entrance and was thrown to the nearby scavengers, where it was caught by a Togorian named H'sishi. Upon seeing Jade, Praysh had his guards lash her with neuronic whips and throw her into the slime pits, unaware of her identity or intent. Jade made contact with Sansia, though Sansia told her that her father only wanted an experimental, heavily upgraded SoroSuub 3000 luxury yacht that had also been stolen. Jade then inflicted an injury on herself and was taken to the slave infirmary, where she used the Force to muddy the camera and steal some of the drugs and chemicals stored there. Once she was returned to the slave barracks, Jade used her skills as a saboteur to mix the chemicals into weapons. One combination created a fire that allowed her and Sansia to escape in the confusion. Other guards were dispatched with the acid she had created, but they were overpowered and forced to surrender. Dragged before Praysh to be interrogated, Jade was at a loss for what to do. However, the scavenger H'sishi entered with her lightsaber—actually Skywalker's—claiming that it bore the corporate signature of another weapons syndicate. H'sishi then stunned Praysh and threw the lightsaber to Jade, who easily defeated the guards. Jade and H'sishi then fled to the yacht, which Sansia had recovered after she had made her own escape during the fight.
Returning to Bardrin's mansion, Jade was surprised to find that Karrde, with the aid of some Noghri, had already taken the place and was preparing a mission to rescue her. Jade also got Bardrin to reveal that the entire abduction was a set-up, designed to help him take out Praysh and capture some stolen prototypes. Sansia, outraged, gave Jade the upgraded SoroSuub yacht, which she re-named the Jade's Fire. Around that time, Karrde started helping her set up her own small trading company.
- "I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd be just as happy if this stayed nice and simple."
- ―Mara Jade on Selonia
By 18 ABY Jade was temporarily out of Karrde's organization and running a legitimate trading company—which was meant to prepare her to take over Karrde's organization. While in the Talfaglio system, the Jade's Fire intercepted a drone with a message cube bearing an Imperial code and addressed to Leia Organa Solo. Curious, she departed for the Corellian system, discerning that the message was most likely urgent. Arriving over Corellia, she attended the trade summit being held in Coronet City, where she encountered Leia and Han Solo. Jade informed them of the message cube, and Leia Solo escorted Jade to her personal apartment, along with Han Solo, to unlock the message cube, which was coded to Leia Solo's fingerprints. The cube revealed the insurrection plans of the Sacorrian Triad and the Human League, headed by Han Solo's cousin Thrackan Sal-Solo, to blackmail the New Republic by destroying a number of stars using a superweapon. Shortly afterwards, the Human League caused riots and began their insurrection, and Jade, having left the Solos' apartment, disappeared.
Jade was eventually captured by the Human League and imprisoned with Leia on Corellia as the Corellian Crisis sparked across the Corellian system. That, and the fact that her crew was missing, was incentive for her to fight against the Human League. Though neither woman trusted the other, the two decided to work together and escaped out of their cells and rappelled down into Solo's former quarters, where they retrieved Solo's lightsaber and blaster. Jade and Leia Solo then departed the planet on Jade's ship, the Jade's Fire, after Jade called it to her with a beckon call. Both injured, they were pleased with just escaping Human League captivity, and eventually decided to head to Selonia. Approaching the world, they detected the Bakuran fleet and a coneship that was carrying Han Solo and a Selonian, both also escaped from the Human League on Corellia. Jade brought the Jade's Fire to dock with the coneship and Solo was reunited with her husband.
Both craft then continued towards Selonia, but were intercepted by hostile fighters before they could land and the Jade's Fire flew cover for the utterly defenseless coneship until Jade and Leia Solo shot off the rest of the fighters. On Selonia, the Solos and Jade attempted to convince the Selonians to change their mind about turning over a planetary repulsor and aiding them—and they too were imprisoned for a short time. They were freed following Luke Skywalker's arrival, and Jade helped persuade the Selonians to at least sell the operating instructions for the planetary repulsor that was needed to stop the Starbuster weapon on Centerpoint Station from destroying an inhabited system. She took part in the final battle at Centerpoint Station in Jade's Fire, fighting with the Falcon and Calrissian's ship, the Lady Luck, against the Sacorrian Triad fleet, who had been behind the Starbuster plot the entire time. The Solo children, with the aid of the instructions Jade had helped acquire and Bakuran technicians, also successfully averted Centerpoint from destroying its next target, diffusing its weapon with a burst from the planetary repulsor on Drall.
Caamas document crisis
- "You didn't know, but after that pirate base thing, Faughn told me you and I made a good team. She was right. We really did."
- ―Mara Jade, to Luke Skywalker
Shortly afterwards, Jade became absorbed into the events surrounding the Caamas Document crisis in 19 ABY when she and Karrde arrived on Wayland to hire some Noghri to work for his organization. Upon receiving a call from Cakhmaim, the Wild Karrde forced down the ship of Lak Jit, a Devaronian who had found information that the Bothans had helped Palpatine destroy Caamas.
Later, after sensing a disturbance in the Force, Jade rescued Skywalker from the Cavrilhu Pirates while on a mission from Talon Karrde to look up pirate groups who might have been using clones. Skywalker had been infiltrating the group when he was discovered, and Karrde had sent Jade in the Starry Ice to check on him and the pirates. Only her timely arrival allowed him to survive the pirate base's self-destruct sequence by floating a short distance across vacuum to her ship in a Jedi hibernation trance. As they left the pirate base, a small Chiss ship flew by, investigating them before jumping to hyperspace. It would not be the last time Jade encountered these types of ships, however. After meeting Karrde on the Errant Venture, the Star Destroyer received a fly-by another one of the ships. After the fighter went to hyperspace, Karrde and Jade were able to plot the destination of the ships: the planet Nirauan. She then decided to investigate the world in the Starry Ice.
- "Stupid, stupid. A big fat diversion—the oldest trick on the list. And I fell for it like some dumb farm kid."
"Watch your language."
- ―Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker
Jade journeyed to the Hand of Thrawn complex on Nirauan, losing contact with Karrde and his organization after setting down on the planet in a Defender starfighter. While exploring the area near the fortress, she fell and knocked herself out on a rock. Her absence and failure to report in caused the second-in-command, Faughn, to head out on the Starry Ice to seek help, leaving her stranded there. Faughn reported to Karrde, who was with Luke Skywalker at the time. Skywalker had been investigating a vision the Force had given him of Jade lying face-down in water when he met Karrde, and the vision had disturbed both of them. The Jedi agreed to go to Nirauan to rescue her, bringing her Jade's Fire and his X-wing to the remote planet.
Fifteen days after she had been stranded on Nirauan, Skywalker finally reached the cave she had been hiding in, surrounded by the local Qom Jha who had carried her there when she had fallen unconscious. The Qom Jha had taken her weapons and hadn't let her go too far, but other than that had left her unharmed. They also took her starfighter and placed it inside the cave, as she was being hunted by the Chiss who occupied the fortress. While Jade couldn't understand their Force-based communication, Skywalker was able to, and he showed her how to understand the aliens. The two were able to convince the aliens to help them get into the fortress, via a series of underground passages. While they were traveling through the caves, they spent their time together settling some of their differences. Jade informed Skywalker that she had hoped for some attention while at the Jedi academy, but since it had never happened, she stopped attending. She also told him that he should stop trying to do everything himself, as he hadn't fully gotten over his experience serving the reborn Emperor. The layered cortosis in the walls near the tunnel entrance, along with semi-sentient predators and fire creepers, slowed them down, but they were able to penetrate the fortress.
Along with their native guides and R2-D2, they explored the lower levels, but stopped after a pair of Chiss gunmen opened fire on them with charrics, injuring Jade in the shoulder. Skywalker helped her out back into the caves, where he put her into a Jedi healing trance. By that point, Skywalker had come to realize that he loved Jade, expressing his feeling by kissing her while she was asleep. However, when they awoke, Skywalker confronted her about her past and her refusal to give herself to service to others, but the conversation degenerated into an argument, with Skywalker inquiring about her relationship with Calrissian while she referred to his experiences with Gaeriel Captison and Callista Ming. Jade calmed down some, and revealed to Skywalker that she and Calrissian were never really in a relationship; it had been a cover story for Karrde's mission. Their discussion led to a lowering of the barrier between them, to the point where they were in close mental contact. The two entered the fortress again, only that time they found the existence of the Empire of the Hand and their plans to turn its considerable territory and resources over to the Imperial Remnant.
Realizing that they needed more information, Jade went down to talk to the inhabitants of the fortress, where she encountered a group of ysalamiri and the leaders of the fortress, Voss Parck and Soontir Fel. Parck gave her the true story of Thrawn's mission and history, while trying to recruit her into the Empire of the Hand. He also informed her of numerous threats in the Unknown Regions, which the Empire of the Hand was supposed to guard against. When she refused and they became aware of Skywalker's presence, they decided to keep the two Jedi prisoner by forcing them into hibernation trances, namely by inflicting non-lethal wounds on Jade. She attempted to avert being shot, but Parck was unconvinced. Fortunately, Skywalker intervened by cutting through the wall. Parck ordered his troops to stand down to prevent unnecessary slaughter, and the two escaped, pursued by Chiss troops once they were clear of the officers. Arriving in the fortress hangar, they disabled the clawcraft there, taking one for their escape.
Outside the fortress, the two realized that they needed to return to the fortress, to obtain data on the threats Parck was referring to earlier. While Skywalker rested in a hibernation trance, Jade made her sacrifice. Using a beckon call for her ship, she crashed the Jade's Fire into the hangar, preventing Parck from making contact with and turning over his resources to the Remnant, which would use them against the New Republic. Sneaking in through a second passageway shown to them by their alien guides, Skywalker and Jade entered a different part of the fortress, that time encountering an unripe clone of Thrawn. However, two guard droids, layered with cortosis armor, attacked them on a floor laced with rope snares. Fighting back to back, the two joined minds to battle the droids in perfect coordination, though they had little chance of defeating the two droids. However, R2-D2 distracted one of the droids long enough for the two to cut through the wall, letting water from a lake on the other side of the wall into the room, and in the confusion from the flood, Skywalker destroyed the two droids. Realizing that the water had trapped them inside, Skywalker told Jade of a vision he had of her lying face-down in water and also confessed his love to Jade, which she had completely realized when they had joined minds. As the water rose, Luke Skywalker asked her to marry him. She accepted.
Skywalker then realized that letting water into the fusion generator into the cloning chamber would create a blast big enough to blow through the wall. Jade, however, actually made the cut, as she had more experience with the type of technique needed, a Paparak cross-cut. As the water roared through the newly created outlet, Skywalker put her in a hibernation trance and they both flew through the water unconscious. The Jedi awoke first and pulled Jade from where she had been lying face-down in the water, waking her with the phrase "I love you, Mara." With the aid of the Qom Jha and Qom Qae natives one final time, they boarded their ships, with both of them in the clawcraft they had taken, and left the planet for the New Republic. As an added bonus, R2-D2 had picked up Thrawn's copy of the Caamas Document while in the fortress, which they took back to resolve the conflict that had broken out over Bothawui.
Marriage to Luke Skywalker
- Luke: "Mara… will you marry me?"
- Mara: "You mean if we get out of here alive?"
- Luke: "I mean regardless."
- ―Luke proposing to Mara[src]
As part of the preparations, Jade had to deal with a number of dress designers competing for the design of her wedding dress, ranging from a masked dress to a black dress reminiscent of Imperial agents' attire to a minimalist dress that Jade refused to step out of the dressing room in. She grew frustrated and left Solo's apartment, where the designers had been coming, to go on a walk. On the streets, she met a despondent Twi'lek female dress designer named Jari'kyn who had been seeking to bring her design before Jade, but had been fired by her employer instead. Jade revealed her identity to the designer and was quite impressed with her designs.
Shortly after she commissioned her dressmaker, Skywalker and Jade had a private, less formal Jedi wedding ceremony at the Jedi training area that had been established on Coruscant. Joining two halves of a crystal together in a symbol of their union, they were married by Kam Solusar. However, Jade was later displeased to find out that Skywalker got into a bar fight during his bachelor party. She was also disturbed by a nightmare of Palpatine having won, and she was marrying a Skywalker corrupted by the dark side.
While Skywalker and his male friends recuperated from their previous night's altercation, Jade and her bridesmaids—Leia Solo, Mirax Terrik Horn, Iella Wessiri Antilles, Winter Celchu, and Tionne Solusar—went to a spa to relax. While there, they grew bored and worked off the stress on the slingball court, handily defeating a group of pilots from Champion Squadron. However, all the women made sure not to tell their husbands of that event, as they had already taken them to task for the bar fight.
Leaving the spa, Jade went to get her gown from Jari'kyn and was impressed by its appearance. However, they were attacked by a former Imperial Royal Guardsman seeking to derail the wedding. Still wearing her lightsaber, Jade handily defeated him. On the day of her formal wedding, despite an Imperial plot to ruin the wedding and a former Moff appearing at the climax of the ceremony threatening to shut down all communications, Skywalker and his friends were able to prevent any serious altercations, with the Jedi calming down the Moff while the Rogues, Chewbacca, and Solusar dealt with the Imperials. The two exchanged vows and rings, and were introduced to the galaxy for the first time as the Skywalkers. After their reception, Han Solo flew the couple to their honeymoon site.
A year after they married, Jade Skywalker grew frustrated with Skywalker's time constantly being taken by other people as he arbitrated a number of disputes on a planet that revered Jedi wisdom. Her husband, however, had made special arrangements for a special second honeymoon for her, which pleased her to no end, although she did playfully warn Skywalker not to imitate their native host by calling her a "blushing bride."
For the next few years, Skywalker spent most of his time at the Jedi Academy instructing his Jedi candidates in the ways of the Force. Jade Skywalker, retaining some of her wanderlust, sojourned far afield with smuggler Mirax Terrik Horn and assisted the fledgling Jedi Knights in leaving Yavin IV. During that time, she and Mirax were brought up on charges, but were exonerated.
The rediscovery of Outbound Flight
- "Doesn't look promising, does it?"
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker during the search for Outbound Flight
In 22 ABY, Mara Jade Skywalker ended her alliance with Karrde in order to commit herself to her marriage and Jedi knighthood, after one final mission to smuggler Jerf Huxley to inform him that Karrde's group was releasing him from employment. The angered smuggler tried to intimidate her with a patched together droideka, but the Skywalkers easily cowed the smugglers and destroyed the droid. Immediately afterwards, they were invited by the Chiss, via a message from Karrde, to act as representatives of the Jedi in the return of the ruins of the Outbound Flight Project, which had been revealed to have been destroyed by Thrawn and whose remains were located in a Chiss stronghold known as The Redoubt. However, Karrde also warned them that the original message had been stolen by a man formerly in his employ named Dean Jinzler. The Skywalkers traveled as honorary guests aboard the Chaf Envoy. However, upon arrival to the Chaf Envoy, a cable detached from the ceiling and nearly hit Jade Skywalker, who deftly avoided it. Though the incident remained suspicious, the two Jedi were unhurt, though Jade Skywalker decided to investigate the fixture later. While she was examining the cable, she encountered Chak Fel, accompanied by four stormtroopers from the Empire of the Hand. Thankfully, the stormtroopers did not appear unfriendly, and neither did Fel, as they were also interested in the remains of Outbound Flight.
Before they had a chance to depart, the Chaf Envoy was approached by an outdated vessel bearing a people calling themselves the Geroons, who had allegedly been saved from slavery years ago by the Jedi aboard Outbound Flight. The Chiss let some of the Geroons board the Chaf Envoy as representatives, and the impoverished people were overawed by the two Jedi. Eventually, the collected party made their way towards the Redoubt on the Chaf Envoy, along with Geroon representatives, Dean Jinzler, who was posing as a New Republic representative, Chak Fel and four stormtroopers from the Empire of the Hand, with none of the disparate groups of guests trusting any of the others or their Chiss hosts. During the expedition, the Skywalkers grew increasingly suspicious after several attempts to sabotage the mission, including someone setting an area near the fuel tanks on fire and the discovery of a group of destructive line creepers running through the ship. In the former instance, the two Jedi, along with the four stormtroopers, were on hand to provide assistance. Charging into the burning compartment where the stormtroopers were already battling the blaze, Skywalker levitated his wife up into a position where she could use her lightsaber to slice through a coolant line. The result of her actions quickly doused the fire, and Chiss begrudgingly thanked them for their assistance. In another incident, one of the Geroons was shot by a mysterious assailant, and the Jedi, though responding quickly with lightsabers ready, were unable to determine the attacker and were reprimanded by the ship's captain for waving weapons around unnecessarily, to Jade Skywalker's annoyance. As they continued to their destination, Jade Skywalker began having doubts about her time as an Emperor's Hand though her husband managed to coax her out of it.
Once they arrived on Outbound Flight, the various parts of the diplomatic party were separated by the Survivors, the last remnant of the crew of Outbound Flight and their children, in repulsor cars. The Skywalkers ended up in a gimmicked repulsor car, but they managed to escape and make their way back up to the entry point. However, the Geroons revealed themselves to actually be the tyrannical Vagaari and to be in much greater numbers than first thought. The aliens had already seized control of the Chaf Envoy and were making their way around the derelict. As such, they were attacked by a party of Vagaari and their wolvkils while making their way back through the Dreadnoughts. The Skywalkers handily defeated them, as the Vagaari had been kept deliberately ignorant by the Chiss as to the capabilities of Jedi and their lightsabers. Making contact with Fel and the stormtroopers, they headed back to rescue the Chiss diplomatic party, engaging numerous Vagaari. Eventually, they were able to rescue the Chiss and unite with the stormtroopers and Fel, who had also battled their way through Vagaari patrols. After brief negotiations with the Survivors, the Skywalkers were able to persuade them to aid them in fighting the Vagaari. Her visit and acts of kindness left an impression on many of the younger members of the Outbound Flight survivors, including a young man named Khedryn Faal.
Soon, with the aid of the Imperials, the Chiss party, and the Survivors, the Skywalkers had the Vagaari in full retreat and forced them to activate their contingency plan. After the Vagaari re-activated, separated, and took one of the six Dreadnaughts that comprised Outbound Flight back to rendezvous with their main ship, the Skywalkers chased it down in a Delta-12 Skysprite and intercepted the ship. On board the ship, they fought their way through heavy defenses, including a fully programmed and activated droideka, and defeated the Vagaari leader. As it turned out, their entire visit had been orchestrated by the Chiss in order to lure the Vagaari into attacking them, thus allowing them to launch a full-fledged war against them. At the end of the mission, Jade Skywalker told her husband that she felt that being at his side in the New Republic was where she felt she should be, despite its shortcomings and the attractiveness of the Empire of the Hand.
In that time period, Jade Skywalker also took her niece Jaina Solo as an apprentice, bequeathing a modified Z-95 Headhunter to her. Jade Skywalker told Jaina that her first lesson was a flying one, and that she was to fly the ship to meet her family on Mon Calamari. Jade Skywalker was not feeling well, though, as a mysterious illness had begun affecting her.
Yuuzhan Vong War (25 ABY–29 ABY)
- "As long as I'm fighting, I'm not dying. And I'm not done fighting just yet."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker
During a diplomatic ceremony on Monor II to witness the accession of the Sunesi tenth priest-prince, Agapos the Tenth, Jade Skywalker served as a bodyguard for one of the attending minor diplomats. Nom Anor, a Yuuzhan Vong agent masquerading as a head of state, was also in attendance, and secretly infected all those present with coomb spores, a deadly Yuuzhan Vong bio-agent which killed everyone infected, except for Jade Skywalker. She was able to resist the disease through use of the Force, although no permanent cure could be found.
Before the beginning of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, she accompanied Ambassador Leia Organa Solo and Jaina Solo on their diplomatic mission to the planet of Rhommamool, which at the time was waging a civil war with its sister planet, Osarian. The meeting ended in a failure when Rhommamool's leader, actually Nom Anor in disguise, lectured Organa Solo and sent them off, as his sole purpose in requesting the meeting was gathering information, especially on Jade Skywalker's condition. The three women returned to Coruscant, with Jade Skywalker again experiencing an attack of the disease, now in her womb. Her husband, meanwhile, had just returned from a meeting with the New Republic Advisory Council, and Jade Skywalker advised him about the rash actions of Jedi Knight Wurth Skidder in destabilizing the situation over Rhommamool. Back on Rhommamool, Anor would later use a missile strike to hit the Mediator and destroy Osa-Prime, causing the political conflict to escalate into a full blown war.
Both frustrated by Coruscant's government, the Skywalkers and Solos, visited Calrissian's outpost on Dubrillion to obtain information about Jedi activity in the Outer Rim. Jade Skywalker also took the opportunity to test her apprentice's training by having Artoo drop her out of hyperspace in a different location from her calculated destination. As expected, Jaina Solo was up to the challenge and plotted her course back to the rest of the family. When a distress call came from the ExGal-4 outpost on Belkadan, the Skywalkers decided to investigate together. On Belkadan they discovered that the planet suffered from an ecological disaster, a result of Yuuzhan Vong terraforming. Jade Skywalker then sensed that her disease was somehow related to the planet's devastation. She was the first Jedi to engage a Yuuzhan Vong when Yomin Carr, who had instigated the world's destruction, attacked her. She was barely able to defeat the infiltrator.
Acting on information they had gleaned from ExGal-4's databanks, they went to the Helska system, where Skywalker was attacked by hostile coralskippers when he began to take his X-wing down to the surface of Helska IV. Jade Skywalker came to his aid and they fled the system for Dubrillion. Skywalker realized that he had to return to investigate, and planned to use one of Calrissian's iceborers to sneak through the icy crust of the planet; Jade Skywalker would pilot the carry-ship for the trip. However, she was weakened from her disease, and the Solo twins took the craft instead. When a New Republic fleet led by the Rejuvenator arrived, the Skywalkers followed the fleet to the Helska system, where they flew cover for Solo's iceborer while the New Republic fleet was badly mauled by the Yuuzhan Vong. After Jaina Solo recovered her brother, who had gone into the Yuuzhan Vong stronghold and rescued Danni Quee, the Skywalkers took the Jade Sabre to a nearby system, where they transferred Quee from the extremely cramped iceborer into the Jade Sabre.
After discussing the invaders with the young scientist and Jacen Solo, they prepared to return to Helska, accompanied by shieldships and starfighters from Dubrillion in an effort to use the shieldships to melt the planet. Jade Skywalker flew in the Jade Sabre again, knowing that the planet had to be destroyed to kill the Vong inside, and that every craft was needed to cover the shieldships, despite her worsening condition. However, in the thick of battle, she collapsed, and Jaina Solo's attempts to take over the controls were in vain; her lapse had already allowed significant damage to the Jade Sabre. Only a last-minute maneuver by Skywalker saved her life when he used his repulsor coils to push the Jade Sabre away from the melting ice planet. Still, the shieldships were able to melt the planet and the Praetorite Vong were defeated. Following the battle, Jade Skywalker experienced a gradual return to health as she battled the disease inside her.
- "The key thing is to find out for certain if my illness is connected to the Yuuzhan Vong. If it is, when I get healthy, the Yuuzhan Vong will pay."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker
Following the Battle of Helska IV, Jade Skywalker returned to Yavin IV, where Luke Skywalker had called a meeting of all the Jedi. The meeting resulted in Skywalker assigning different members of the Order to various missions, and Jade Skywalker was sent with her nephew Anakin Solo to Dantooine, both as a chance for her to recover and fight her disease and as a small scouting probe to see if Dantooine was on the Yuuzhan Vong invasion corridor.
On Dantooine, Jade Skywalker tried to recover and also taught her nephew Anakin Solo a lesson about not trivializing the Force on small things, such as in his bartering with the native Dantari. They had been on the planet for a few weeks when they discovered the Yuuzhan Vong had landed on the planet. Anakin had to fend off hunting parties of Yuuzhan Vong warriors until they were rescued by Skywalker and Jacen Solo, as the Jade Sabre had been destroyed by the Yuuzhan Vong. They then participated in the Battle of Dantooine, though Skywalker asked his wife to stay with Leia and the noncombatants. For once, Jade Skywalker agreed without argument, but even the middle of the refugee camp was not safe for her as she sensed and engaged three Yuuzhan Vong infiltrators in ooglith masquers with the aid of Leia and her Noghri bodyguard Bolpuhr. Killing the warriors quickly, Jade Skywalker then sent Leia off to find Danni Quee, who was Force-sensitive and could detect Yuuzhan Vong, to hunt for more similarly clad infiltrators. Meanwhile, Jade Skywalker checked other parts of the camp, killing one more warrior. The defenders were able to hold off the Yuuzhan Vong advance, though at heavy cost. Once the battle was over and the refugees had been evacuated, the Solos and Skywalkers, including Jade Skywalker, returned to Coruscant with their grave report of the battle, their retreat covered by Bothan Admiral Traest Kre'fey.
On Coruscant, she, Corran Horn, Skywalker, and Kyp Durron along with many other Jedi had another meeting on the role of the Order in the war. The Skywalkers and Horn sought to ease the aggressive nature of Durron and his sizable faction and they were somewhat successful. Jade Skywalker did not contribute much to the meeting, preferring to sit and observe, quietly supporting her husband from the sidelines. Later, though, she and Anakin Solo discovered that someone had been accessing files on old Imperial superweapons. The Skywalkers and Anakin quickly determined that their suspect was Jedi Knight Daeshara'cor and Skywalker recruited a fringe information broker named Chalco to help them, as Han was still too overcome with grief from Chewbacca's death to assist. Skywalker realized that Daeshara'cor was going to Vortex to talk with former superweapon designer Qwi Xux and the trio journeyed to Vortex with Mirax Terrik Horn on the Pulsar Skate to intercept the rogue Jedi Knight.
On Vortex, the Skywalkers met up with Xux, who told them that she had told Daeshara'cor nothing. In the course of the discussion, Jade Skywalker said that under the right circumstances she would use a superweapon, but Xux maintained her belief in pacifism. The Skywalkers left Xux at the Cathedral of Winds, continuing their search on Garos IV, a world famed for its university and large database of old Imperial files. They were disturbed to learn that Daeshara'cor had kidnapped Anakin after the Twi'lek Jedi called them offering a trade: Anakin for information on Imperial superweapons. However, Anakin proved to be a hard catch and, with Chalco's help, subdued the renegade.
The Skywalkers then journeyed to Ithor, soon to be a key battleground in the war. Jade Skywalker did not participate in the releasing ceremony to commune with the jungle that the other Jedi did, but did get a chance to spend some time with her husband. Jade Skywalker told her husband that she was ready to face the uncertainty of the future and that she had long wanted to carry his child, though she wanted to beat her illness first. However, their pleasant time on Ithor was interrupted when Yuuzhan Vong commander Shedao Shai arrived with a large force of ships and warriors, launching a combined air and ground assault on the world. Jade Skywalker fought against his troops on Ithor's surface, acquitting herself well despite her relative weakness. In the process, she saved Anakin from the Yuuzhan Vong, and the invaders were temporarily beaten off. The contest for Ithor ended when Corran Horn challenged and killed Shai in single combat, but his subordinate brutally destroyed Ithor anyway. Horn was left to shoulder the blame, and Jade Skywalker supported him in his decision to abandon both the Jedi Order and the New Republic temporarily, over her husband's protestations.
A gathering darkness
- "Your sister might be Han's soul mate, but Chewbacca was his first mate. It's going to take time."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker commenting on Han Solo's grief following Chewbacca's death
On Kashyyyk, during a brief respite from the war, a memorial service was held for Chewbacca. In attendance were Luke Skywalker, Han and Leia Solo, and their three children—Jade Skywalker was unable to attend Chewbacca's funeral due to the severity of her illness during that time. The memorial was a somber affair and during it Han was given one of Chewbacca's bowcasters. Much to Han's surprise two of Chewbacca's relatives chose to take over his life debt to the smuggler and his family, but Han declined saying he was not yet ready for something of that nature. Following the funeral Skywalker returned back to Coruscant to Jade Skywalker. She confided to him that her spirits were dwindling as the war continued—Jade Skywalker had hoped that things would have improved in the galaxy after the treaty with the Empire. While Skywalker had been on Kashyyyk, Jade Skywalker had visited a resident doctor on Coruscant who had advised her of the same thing regarding her illness that she already knew: that it was a foreign and unknown composite; that there were no known cures and/or treatments; and that the Belkadan beetle, which Skywalker had recovered, was also of an unknown species. However, the discussion was quickly deflected by Jade Skywalker onto the recent memorial for Chewbacca. Skywalker described to her the ceremony and his worries about Han and how he was dealing with Chewbacca's death. Jade Skywalker reminded her husband of the reasons Han was acting the way he was and that with space and time, Han's wounds would eventually heal.
Meanwhile, the priestess Elan, a Yuuzhan Vong spy, defected to the New Republic along with her familiar Vergere in the hopes of being able to get close to the gathered Jedi leadership where a deadly virus could then be unleashed, essentially wiping out the only real threat to the Yuuzhan Vong continued success. Once the spy and Vergere had defected, they provided valuable information on a number of things—most notably intelligence pertaining to an upcoming attack on Ord Mantell, and also information which revealed that that Yuuzhan Vong had released a deadly virus into the galaxy long before their invasion. For the Jedi, especially Skywalker, that was the only available piece of information found thus far which could help Jade Skywalker fight her illness. However, Elan notified New Republic intelligence that all future information would only be provided on the condition that she was allowed to meet with the gathered leaders of the Jedi to personally provide more information on the mysterious virus they had introduced. Skywalker and the Jedi realized that the meeting could be a trap—but they also recognized that that information may be the only way to cure Jade Skywalker.
However, the tide of the war managed to overtake the plans for a meeting between the Jedi and Elan. The Queen of Empire, a luxury liner turned refugee transport, had come under attack by the Peace Brigade in an effort to capture Elan to return her to the Yuuzhan Vong—Elan's assassination mission was unknown to the Peace Brigade. In the ensuing fight Han Solo, who was aboard the Queen of Empire, went after Elan and was nearly killed when she tried to exhale some of the deadly virus on him. Elan was eventually killed by her own designs, and Vergere escaped via an escape pod—however, not before she provided Han with a vial of tears which she stated must "reach the Jedi."
Though Han was worried that the tears may be a veiled weapon, he nonetheless provided them to the Jedi who proceeded to perform experiments on them—what they found initially shocked, and then gave hope to the Jedi. The tears contained tremendous healing properties found within. Convinced that the tears were an antidote for her illness, Jade Skywalker snatched the vial away from her husband and squeezed its contents into her mouth. Immediately Jade Skywalker began to feel something different throughout her body—she could feel as the tears were counteracting the illness within her. However, even though her illness appeared to be in remission the Jedi were unsure if the tears were something which would prove permanent relief.
- "Of course I'm up to it. I haven't felt so obnoxiously healthy since…Well, in a while."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker after taking on an assignment following the remission of her disease.
As the Yuuzhan Vong continued their conquest of the galaxy, the planet of Kalarba and its moon Hosk Station eventually came under attack. The Yuuzhan Vong planned to recreate the horror of Sernpidal by pulling the moon onto a collision course with its chief planet. In response, the New Republic dispatched Rogue Squadron to help stem the enemy assault. During the battle, however, Jaina's fighter was destroyed and she was forced to eject from the doomed fighter. Around the galaxy, many Jedi felt through the Force that something terrible had happened to Jaina. On Duro, Jacen collapsed due to his and Jaina's twin-bond; Leia, who was also on Duro felt the same pain which Jacen felt; and on Coruscant, both Skywalkers were aware that something had gone wrong with Jaina, but knew that the situation would be taken care of.
Meanwhile, the Skywalkers had decided to call a meeting of several Jedi, which included Anakin Solo and Kenth Hamner, on Coruscant to discuss the current state of the war. Jedi Master Cilghal reported how the war was taking a tremendous toll on life, and that the days were continuously growing longer for the Jedi healers. As the meeting progressed, Jade Skywalker began to reflect on the war thus far: how she was forced to abandon Jade Sabre; the fact that the mysterious disease was now in remission after the gift of Vergere's tears; and how Anakin had almost single-handedly saved her life during the Battle of Dantooine. As the meeting progressed, the Skywalkers listened as various reports from Jedi regarding missions were brought forth. During the meeting Jedi apprentice Tekli informed the Skywalkers that she had overheard some talk in a local tapcafe, the Leafy Green, which could have suggested the presence of Yuuzhan Vong infiltrators wearing ooglith masquers. Tekli believed that it should be investigated by a Jedi who had more experience with that type of thing. It was eventually decided that Anakin would investigate the claims while under the watchful eye of Jade Skywalker.
Shortly thereafter, Jade Skywalker and Anakin departed for the Leafy Green, and along the way she continued her previous lessons on spying and infiltration with Anakin. The two arrived at the tapcafe and found a table which allowed them to survey the establishment while still allowing them a quick avenue of escape. It did not take long for them to find a being whose presence and composure seemed out of place. Using the Force to probe their quarry, they quickly learned that the being gave off no signature in the Living Force. Not wanting to apprehend the Yuuzhan Vong spy in the midst of a large crowd, Jade Skywalker and Anakin finished their meals and followed the spy as he left the tapcafe. They tailed the spy and eventually cornered the Yuuzhan Vong in an alleyway. What ensued was a fierce, but brief, fight which saw the spy attack using a hidden amphistaff. Jade Skywalker managed to knock the spy to the ground after discovering that she could kill the amphistaff with a blow to the center of its head, but after realizing that the Yuuzhan Vong were almost immune to the effects of a blaster set on stun, she decided to end the fight with a quick jab to the spy's temple. With the Yuuzhan Vong now unconscious, Jade Skywalker and Anakin took the captured spy back for interrogation and study.
Jade Skywalker delivered the Yuuzhan Vong over to Cilghal and the exobiologist Dr. Joi Eicroth who proceeded to tie the captured spy down to a table for further examination. During that time, the spy recovered from the blow Jade Skywalker had inflicted, and managed to use a hidden claw in its hand to slice some of the table restraints. Though Anakin was prepared to defend those present by killing the spy with his lightsaber, Jade Skywalker yelled at Anakin to stop—the Yuuzhan Vong chose to slit its own throat with its claw, rather than be a prisoner of the Jedi. She and Anakin were disappointed that their prisoner was now dead, and it was commented that the whole operation had been for nothing. Skywalker, however, reflected on the fact that they had managed to take a Yuuzhan Vong infiltrator out of the war, and they had also discovered a way to kill amphistaffs, by aiming directly into the snake head's crest.
Eventually, the Skywalkers were asked to meet with various leaders of the New Republic's military. At the meeting, the two Jedi were briefed by Ayddar Nylykerka, the chief of Fleet Intelligence, on the recent losses to the Yuuzhan Vong—most notably the planets Kalarba, Druckenwell, and Falleen. He continued by stating that even if the New Republic were able to defend and hold the planet Rodia, that the Corellian Run would still be cut off. The war, it seemed, was only going to get worse for the New Republic and the Jedi. During the meeting, they were informed that, after the debacle with Centerpoint Station during the Battle of Fondor, the immense weapon was now out of commission—and that was being kept a closely guarded secret. Following that, the meeting soon devolved into an anti-Jedi debate. Eventually, while under harsh scrutiny and with blame for the war being poured on the Jedi, the Skywalkers chose to leave the meeting rather than allow it to continue.
Following the disastrous meeting with the military leaders, the Skywalkers retired to their home where they were met by Jedi Master Tresina Lobi. They were soon told that Master Lobi feared that her apprentice, Thrynni Vae, was in trouble and that she had not been heard from for sometime following her insertion onto the planet Duro. The Skywalkers were also worried by the news and decided that they, along with Anakin, would travel to Duro to investigate the situation. After Master Lobi left their home, Jade Skywalker began to suddenly feel an unsettling difference in her body chemistry—she feared that her illness was now making a concerted effort at resurgence. However, through probing with the Force, she was able to touch a small piece of life inside her, one which carried Skywalker's essence—Jade Skywalker was shocked to discover that she was pregnant.
The Skywalkers and Anakin used the Jade Shadow to travel to Duro, deciding to make port at one of Duro's many orbital cities. During that time, the Skywalkers heard a man speaking out against the Republic and the Jedi. Something, managed to catch their attention—the speaker used the same speeches and mannerisms of Nom Anor, who they believed had died on Rhommamool. They decided that the man could not have been Nom Anor, and decided to continue finish their journey to the planet's surface. Once there, the Skywalkers and Anakin met up with Leia who was now responsible for handling the growing refugee problem on Duro. Leaving the others to go about her mission, Jade Skywalker used a disguise to blend into the refugee surroundings of Duro, and was able to make her way to a computer terminal which was hardwired into the various control and information systems of the planet. Using her talents, Jade Skywalker was able to slice into the computer terminal to search for any information related to the disappearance of Thrynni Vae. However, Jade Skywalker soon stumbled across a familiar, but old, military code; one which she had only seen used by one other person on one other planet—Nom Anor on Rhommamool.
That discovery caused Jade Skywalker to worry even more, and she disconnected herself from the computer terminal, rushing to tell Leia and Jaina what she had found. Upon hearing her theory that Nom Anor was actually alive, and also operating on Duro, Leia shared her own theories with her sister-in-law. Leia believed that a local doctor by the name of Dassid Cree'Ar was actually in league with the Yuuzhan Vong, and that maybe he had ties with Anor as well. Jade Skywalker decided to investigate the "doctor," and with Jaina, left for the Cree'Ar's laboratory. Jade Skywalker, under the guise of Baroness Muehling, and Jaina, disguised as Muehling's servant, traveled to Cree'Ar's lab to talk to him about his work on Duro. During their "meeting" Jade Skywalker kept Cree'Ar occupied with questions while Jaina felt the doctor through the Force—Jaina could not feel the doctor there. Convinced that he was a Yuuzhan Vong spy, Jaina used the Force to push on various points of the ooglith masquer. Eventually, she hit the right spot and unmasked Nom Anor, who had been using his disguise as Dassid Cree'Ar to secretly sabotage the New Republic efforts on Duro. Following his unmasking, Anor taunted Jade Skywalker by telling her that he was the one responsible for infecting her with the deadly coomb spore. Though Jade Skywalker tried to provoke Anor into an open fight, the Yuuzhan Vong chose to flee from the two Jedi. Jade Skywalker and Jaina hesitantly gave pursuit to Anor, but while they were chasing him, Anor set off various bombs in the underground tunnels, essentially trapping the Jedi. Jade Skywalker and Jaina, however, used the Force to project a bubble around them which allowed them to escape the dangerous tunnels relatively unharmed.
Jade Skywalker and Jaina made their way back to their family, and Jade Skywalker informed her husband of her discoveries relating to Nom Anor, Duro, and the illness which had infected her. However, the planet of Duro was soon engulfed in conflict as it became the next target of the Yuuzhan Vong. During the ensuing fight, Tsavong Lah, Warmaster of the Yuuzhan Vong, warned the New Republic that any ships caught fleeing the system would not be tolerated. Jade Skywalker and the others, however, advised the other refugee ships that it was now left to their own personal discretion whether they decided to stay and surrender, or fight and flee. The ensuing fight turned into a rout for the New Republic: The Skywalkers used the Jade Shadow to transport a number of refugees away from the planet, numerous ships unsuccessfully tried defending the retreating Duro orbital stations during their own withdrawal, and the planet of Duro eventually fell to the advancing Yuuzhan Vong.
During their final withdrawal from the Duro system, Jade Skywalker received a vision through the Force telling her that her baby was a boy. Together, the Skywalkers traveled back to Coruscant to tell the New Republic leaders of the loss of Duro.
- "Darling, I love you, you are my life and my light. If you ever do this to me again, I will vape you where you stand."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker jesting with her husband about pregnancy
When Leia returned from Duro to Coruscant for medical treatment for the injuries to her legs inflicted by Tsavong Lah during her brief captivity, the Skywalkers and the Solo children were there to meet her and keep an eye on her as she recovered. While on Coruscant, Skywalker saw the anti-Jedi Appeasement Vote fail by a two-to-one margin, but was still concerned that a third of the Senate voted against the Jedi. She was also with Leia and Skywalker when her husband conceptualized the Great River network, which the Solos would later help the Skywalker create as a secret pipeline to safely transport the Jedi around.
After the humiliation he had suffered at the hands of Jacen Solo when Jacen had freed Leia and injured him, Tsavong Lah put out a call for the heads of all the Jedi, and many were turned over to the Yuuzhan Vong by Peace Brigade collaborators. Jade Skywalker was experiencing some of the more unpleasant side effects of pregnancy, including morning sickness and mood swings. After the Jedi Academy on Yavin came under attack, with Anakin Solo there trying to protect it, the Skywalkers, Jacen, and Jaina had an interview with Borsk Fey'lya to request New Republic assistance. They were flatly denied by the self-serving Bothan, who also declared Yavin off-limits to the Jedi. To help Karrde in his attempts to get all the Jedi off the planet, the Skywalkers sent Jacen and Jaina in the Jade Shadow to find Booster Terrik and the Errant Venture' and request their aid. Jade Skywalker wanted to undertake the mission herself, but Skywalker decided against it, as Fey'lya was sure to be watching their movements and would know if they had defied his orders. Instead, Anakin Solo sneaked off the planet and Jade Skywalker recruited Karrde's help to get the trainees away from the beleaguered academy.
During Jade Skywalker's eighth month of pregnancy, while they were still on Coruscant, her husband took the opportunity to take her to an artificial beach that Lando Calrissian owned and had offered to them for use. They discussed what they were going to name their child, though the Skywalker agreed to not discuss the war, the Jedi, politics, or the Yuuzhan Vong. However, their pleasant leisure time was interrupted by the visit of Jedi Knight Kenth Hamner.
Hamner informed them that Fey'lya had just put out a warrant for their arrest. Hamner explained that Fey'lya had evidence of their involvement in the Yavin system after being forbidden to interfere there. However, he also noted that Fey'lya had no intention of actually placing them on trial, just sending them into exile where he would not be responsible for their unsanctioned actions. Needless to say, Jade Skywalker was incensed. Further outrage from her was forestalled when she collapsed. According to the MD-10 droid that examined her, the artificial tears that she had been using after exhausting the supply Vergere had provided were causing placental toxic shock, endangering her unborn son. Jade Skywalker refused to be admitted to a medical center, noting that that was their only chance to escape arrest.
The Skywalkers and Hamner returned to their apartments, where they met with the healer Cilghal and noted physician Ism Oolos. They both determined that the synthesized tears were a danger to her child, but that for now, it was healthy. Jade Skywalker decided not to induce labor at that time and she also determined to not take any more tears for the final month of her pregnancy. Cilghal asked to accompany them off Coruscant and Jade Skywalker accepted the healer's request gratefully. With a few mind tricks and blanked memories, the Jedi boarded the Jade Shadow and lifted off, meeting with Jaina, who was flying her X-wing on a joyride, on their way to orbit. They quickly beat off a group of interceptors, and though Rogue Squadron offered to escort them, the Skywalkers declined, fearing that having the military aid them would result in a coup and total instability in the New Republic. Instead, they escaped to the Errant Venture, where Jade Skywalker was basically bedridden. Her physical discomfort had returned, as had her illness.
Moreover, Cilghal learned that Jade Skywalker's disease was spreading five times as fast as it had before. With Jade Skywalker throwing all of her Force effort and energy to keeping the disease from her son, the rest of her body was deteriorating rapidly. As she lay dying on the Errant Venture, she, Skywalker, and their unborn son joined minds and purged the disease from her body together, once and for all. Shortly after that, their child was born, and the Skywalkers named him Ben. Also, Fey'lya called to let them know that the warrant for their arrest had been canceled, while Kam Solusar and Tionne told them they had found a safe world in the Deep Core to use as a Jedi refuge: Eclipse.
Throughout the war, two Twi'lek Jedi Knights had managed to lead a vicious resistance on the planet New Plympto. However, the sisters Alema and Numa Rar were forced to withdraw from the planet when the Yuuzhan Vong decided to deal with the resistance by simply destroying the entire planet. The two Twi'leks escaped on board the ship Nebula Chaser, but were eventually discovered by a Yuuzhan Vong search party using newly-created voxyn creatures that hunted Jedi. Numa was killed by one of the beasts, while Alema managed to escape aboard an escape pod. Meanwhile, Jade Skywalker and Jaina Solo, aboard the Jade Shadow, managed to rescue Alema Rar and bring her back to Skywalker and the other Jedi for a full debrief about what had happened.
Eventually, following the rescue of Rar, the New Republic launched a rescue operation aimed at the planet of Talfaglio. There, the Yuuzhan Vong were holding prisoners captive and were threatening to execute them all if the Jedi did not divulge the location of Eclipse Station. The New Republic proceeded with planning the massive rescue, while the Skywalkers and a number of other Jedi developed a secondary plan to capture a Yuuzhan Vong war coordinator. Operation Safe Passage was launched, and during the space battle, Jade Skywalker devised a plan which called for the Republic forces to fire at the lead Yuuzhan Vong cruiser, while the Jedi starfighters shut off their sublight engines and fired shadow bombs at a skip carrier, which was continuously launching enemy fighters—the tactic worked, and the two Yuuzhan Vong ships were destroyed. During the battle, the Jedi instituted their secondary plan and were able to eventually capture the Yuuzhan Vong yammosk war coordinator which was present during the battle.
Meanwhile, Anakin Solo led his Jedi strike team in their assault on Myrkr's voxyn-cloning facility, and though they were ultimately successful in their mission, it came with a very high price—several Jedi Knights, including Anakin, were killed during the fierce fighting. Halfway across the galaxy, Anakin's death was felt by his mother, Leia, as well as the Skywalkers.
The Yuuzhan Vong soon began their invasion of Coruscant, and despite joining forces with General Wedge Antilles's Fleet Group Three, the Jedi were still hopelessly outnumbered by Tsavong Lah's invasion fleet. While the Jedi destroyed several enemy yammosks and Lah's flagship, the Sunulok, the Jedi starfighter wing paid a heavy price with many casualties. During the titanic battle, the Skywalkers learned that Viqi Shesh had kidnapped their infant son. The Skywalkers immediately pulled away from the space battle and moved to rescue their kidnapped son. However, on her way to try and rescue her son, Jade Skywalker was shot down and her fighter crashed into the cityscape of Coruscant, though she was not injured in the crash. Meanwhile, Lando Calrissian, YVH 1-1A, and C-3PO managed to recover Ben and take him off Coruscant, where he was eventually reunited with his parents. Once the Skywalkers received word that Ben was safe, they found Leia and Han and set about defending Coruscant with a surface turbolaser battery. The Yuuzhan Vong invasion, however, soon became too intense and overwhelmed the Republic defenders. Along with Han and Leia, the Skywalkers boarded the Falcon, and escaped the planet as the Yuuzhan Vong fleet continued their conquest.
In the wake of Coruscant's fall, the Skywalkers reunited with the rest of the Solo and Skywalker family on Hapes as they gathered to pay their last respects to the late Anakin. Jade Skywalker became estranged from Jaina as she succumbed to her grief at the loss of her brother, taking on the mantle of the Yuuzhan Vong trickster goddess. They ended their master/apprentice relationship on a good note and while Jaina apprenticed herself to Kyp Durron, Jade Skywalker tended to her motherly duties.
Taking a stand
- "Luke, I don't want to discourage your curiosity, but I have to remind you, if something goes wrong, this is an exceptionally embarrassing way to die."
"I'll trust you to improve the story. Luke Skywalker goes out in a blaze of glory in battle with a red devourer."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker and Luke Skywalker on occupied Coruscant
Shortly after the capture of Coruscant by the Yuuzhan Vong, Jade Skywalker made her way to Borleias along with her husband and a handful of other Jedi in the hopes of securing a staging point for refugees, but she tried to minimize her role in the war to be with and protect her son. While on Borleias, General Wedge Antilles appointed her as Head of Intelligence for all in-system forces with command of the Borleias ground base personnel. She held the position until New Republic Intelligence agent Iella Wessiri arrived planetside. Around that point, Jade Skywalker reluctantly left her son Ben in order to scout the Vong terraforming activities on Coruscant with Skywalker, Jedi apprentice Tahiri Veila, Danni Quee and Wraith Squadron. The group explored the shattered capital, evading Yuuzhan Vong patrols and making contact with the survivors. After Skywalker got them past a red devourer tank into a secret chamber, Jade Skywalker's knowledge of old Imperial codes allowed them access to a secret laboratory where Irek Ismaren had been turned into a mutant cyborg Dark Jedi. Haunted by the mental commands of Irek, now known as Lord Nyax, the three Jedi pursued the deranged Dark Jedi in the hope of stopping him. Jade Skywalker nearly abandoned the pursuit upon seeing the traitorous senator Viqi Shesh with a group of Yuuzhan Vong, but Skywalker convinced her to stick with him. Together, Skywalker, Veila, and Jade Skywalker snuffed out the rising menace of Lord Nyax before he could become a true threat to the Jedi Order and by extension the Republic.
Returning to Borleias, Jade Skywalker became the second-in-command of Blackmoon Squadron under her husband. Together, the two flew cover for the Lusankya as it executed Operation Emperor's Spear in the final stages of the battle for Borleias, which resulted in a Pyrrhic victory for the Yuuzhan Vong and another New Republic retreat.
Husband and wife then journeyed to the provisional capital of Mon Calamari, where Jade Skywalker and Councilor Triebakk convinced Alderaanian senator Cal Omas to run for the position of Chief of State. Throughout his campaign, Jade Skywalker assisted Omas as a private citizen, working to get the pro-Jedi candidate into office. She also helped Skywalker and Omas work out a new plan for the High Council, an advisory council for the Jedi comprising six Jedi and six non-Jedi. Later, she was with Skywalker when Jacen arrived in-system with Vergere after escaping Yuuzhan Vong captivity. Her duties shifted though, when Calrissian and Karrde agreed to help out with Omas's campaign and she began using YVH-M droids to detect Yuuzhan Vong infiltrators who had bribed some people for information, finding pleasure in her work.
While following a pair of disguised Yuuzhan Vong, she noticed them taking a submersible. Renting another underwater craft, she followed them and stopped them from assassinating Omas and Triebakk with a pair of torpedoes by nearly ramming their craft and tricking their own torpedo to come back and hit the Yuuzhan Vong-piloted craft. Omas would later go on to win the election, becoming the new Chief of State.
With his election, the High Council was established, with Jade Skywalker as one of the founding members. Shortly afterwards, she learned of the genocidal bioweapon Alpha Red created to destroy the Yuuzhan Vong. The Skywalkers both opposed using the weapon, as it would represent the slaughter of an entire culture and escalate the war into a further bloodbath. Vergere overheard them talking about it, though, and used her tears to neutralize the weapon, ending the specter of Alpha Red temporarily. In the three months delay of Alpha Red's development that Vergere had created, the New Republic decided to implement the aging and retired Ackbar's plan for a series of limited engagements followed by a trap at Ebaq 9. Working with New Republic Intelligence on Mon Calamari while Skywalker went to recruit the aid of Garm Bel Iblis and his fleet, Jade Skywalker helped carefully leak information to Yuuzhan Vong spies, giving them knowledge of the bait—Jedi Knights and government officials—that were alleged to be in the isolated Deep Core system. The result was the decisive Battle of Ebaq, which Jade Skywalker, Winter Celchu, and Ackbar viewed from Fleet Command back on Mon Calamari.
Into the unknown
- "So at last I meet the legendary Skywalkers. I've certainly heard a lot about you."
"All untrue, I'm sure."
- ―Captain Yage and Mara Jade Skywalker in the Imperial Remnant
Following the victory at Ebaq Nine, Cal Omas called a meeting of several prominent Jedi and government officials, including Jade Skywalker. Omas wanted to launch missions to reconnect the administration with parts of the galaxy that had been cut off, and Skywalker proposed diplomatic missions to the Chiss and the Imperial Remnant in an effort to bring them into the Galactic Alliance fold, though his real purpose in journeying so close to the Unknown Regions was to search for the living planet Zonama Sekot. Jade Skywalker agreed to go with her husband in the Jade Shadow, along with Danni Quee, Saba Sebatyne, Tekli, R2-D2, and Jacen Solo. Before they left, the Skywalkers checked up on Tahiri Veila, who had injured herself and was suffering from conflicting personalities resulting from Yuuzhan Vong captivity earlier in the war. While the Skywalkers wanted to stay and aid Tahiri, their mission was due to depart the next day, and they had numerous preparations to make, including consulting Jagged Fel for advice on protocol with the Chiss.
Dropping out of hyperspace near the Imperial capital of Bastion, they arrived in the middle of the Battle of Bastion. After performing a microjump towards the retreating Imperial fleet, Jade Skywalker informed Imperial admiral Gilad Pellaeon of the location of a yammosk carrier, and then, per Pellaeon's request, withdrew the Jade Shadow back to Yaga Minor with most of the Imperial fleet. Despite a sticky and officious greeting from Commander Keten and Moff Kurlen Flennic, they managed to meet with Pellaeon's protégé, Captain Arien Yage, who was more welcoming than the Moff and Keten had been. Pellaeon had arrived back at Yaga Minor, but barely alive, and his absence from command meant that the Remnant was less welcoming than they had been previously, so Jade Skywalker withdrew Jade Shadow while Jacen attempted to negotiate with the hard-liners. Thankfully, Pellaeon recovered enough to resume command and with the aid of the Jedi, planned the Battle of Borosk. Jade Skywalker flew in the battle in her beloved Jade Shadow, accompanied by Danni Quee, and became part of Saba Sebatyne's plan to free Imperial prisoners from a slave-carrier vessel in the back of the Yuuzhan Vong fleet that attacked Borosk. She docked the Jade Shadow in the docking bay of an old Imperial Dreadnaught that was heavily automated and modified to be sacrificial while flown near the slave-carrier. Once Quee and Sebatyne disabled the ship and released the prisoners, Jade Skywalker brought them into the Dreadnaught's hangar bay with the Shadow's tractor beam and retrieved the two females. Their damaged Dreadnaught then jumped to hyperspace, its mission successful, until the conclusion of the battle and the withdrawal of Yuuzhan Vong forces. Before they left the Remnant, Jade Skywalker and some of the other Jedi attended a meeting with Pellaeon and the Moff Council, and she saved Pellaeon's life from Flennic's assassination attempt. They then left Imperial space for Chiss territory, accompanied by an Imperial frigate, the Widowmaker, under the command of Captain Yage, to support and escort them.
As the expedition moved towards Chiss space, they were eventually contacted by a group of the enigmatic blue aliens over Munlali Mafir. The Chiss party requested that they visit Csilla for authorization to travel through Chiss space and Jade Skywalker agreed that it was the most prudent course of action. Arriving at icy Csilla, the Jade Shadow landed on the planet and Jade Skywalker, along with the other crew of the Shadow met with Commander Irolia and Chief Navigator Aabe, as well as members of the Chiss ruling families. The Chiss leadership denied them access to Chiss space, but did allow them to peruse the Expansionary Fleet library on Csilla for information. The Skywalkers were escorted to the library by Soontir Fel and they began their research through the large repository of knowledge.
After hours of searching, the Skywalkers, Sebatyne, and Quee decided to return to the Jade Shadow with the Fels on an ice barge for a rest. En route back to the spaceport, they were attacked by rivals of the Fels in airspeeders. They pretended to surrender; the airspeeders landed, and their assailants announced their intentions of killing them. At that point, the group broke into action, and Jade Skywalker helped take down two of the Chiss before commandeering an airspeeder to fly cover for the ice barge. Continuing to the spaceport, Jade Skywalker then brought the Jade Shadow closer to the library. Not long afterward, Quee and Jacen had a flash of insight and refined their search to include captured moons instead of just planets and found mention of the living planet.
Jacen surmised that Zonama Sekot was hiding in the Klasse Ephemora system and Jade Skywalker led the Jade Shadow and the Widowmaker to the system, but hyperspace disturbances prevented them from jumping into the system, frustrating Jade Skywalker, who wanted to find Zonama Sekot and return home to Ben. Shortly after Jacen found that their communications to Mon Calamari had been cut off, the crew of the Jade Shadow sensed a disturbance in the Force from Zonama Sekot. Quee, Jacen, Skywalker, Sebatyne, Tekli, and Jade Skywalker joined their minds in a Force Meld to help Jade Skywalker trace the disturbance as she flew the Shadow towards its source, the Widowmaker following behind. On their third jump towards the system, they were able to reach a clear path through hyperspace and they arrived to find Zonama Sekot orbiting a gas giant and in the final stages of repelling a small Yuuzhan Vong war fleet.
Just as they arrived, a wave of psychic energy hit the craft, knocking the crew unconscious. After Jade Skywalker awoke, she flew the ship to the landing coordinates that the planet had provided to Jacen. The Skywalkers disembarked on the planet and met with Jabitha, the planet's Magister. The native Ferroans let them know that they were not welcome, but Jabitha bade them to come and explain their journey at the village. However, Jade Skywalker was displeased when Sekot's native plants rapidly grew over the Shadow, trapping it beneath coils of foliage. After a long march to the Ferroan village, the crew of the Jade Shadow were offered a dwelling and an opportunity to address Jabitha and the Ferroan elders.
During their address, Jade Skywalker warned the planet that the Yuuzhan Vong had found it and would descend on it en masse, overwhelming its admittedly powerful defenses with sheer numbers. After hearing her, Skywalker, and Jacen, Jabitha agreed to discuss their request for Zonama Sekot's aid in the war with the Ferroan elders, reconvening the next day. However, their party was attacked during the night by Ferroans, who collapsed their dwelling and kidnapped Quee. Jade Skywalker was more than mildly displeased, but Jacen and Sebatyne pursued the kidnappers, leaving the Skywalkers to deal with the other Ferroan villagers. Jade Skywalker informed the Ferroans that they should explain the dissidents who had launched the attack and was met with denials and excuses. Moreover, Jabitha had also been taken by the assailants, so they could not even talk with her. Jade Skywalker also was disturbed by reports of gravitic waves coming from a nearby moon, possibly indicating a Yuuzhan Vong starship. However, the whole kidnapping and Yuuzhan Vong coralskipper that launched from the moon turned out to be a test from Zonama Sekot to see what type of people the visitors were. The Jedi passed the test by refusing to condone aggressive action, as Skywalker did not allow Widowmaker to destroy the ship they had detected and thought was a coralskipper, nor did Jacen kill the kidnappers when given a chance to. Sekot then agreed to help them in the war, preparing itself for a return to known space. The planet also revealed that a Yuuzhan Vong ship had survived the attack they had witnessed upon arriving in-system, escaping the defenses.
- "You promised me on Zonama Sekot that both of us have a lot more living to do."
"You think I'd drop you into the midst of all this to make you a widow—or me a widower?"
"That's not your style."
- ―Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker on Coruscant
While the Skywalkers' party was on Zonama Sekot, the Yuuzhan Vong priest Harrar, Nom Anor, now disguised as the Shamed One leader Yu'shaa, Tahiri Veila, shaper Nen Yim, and Corran Horn landed on a different part of the planet. After Nom Anor betrayed his erstwhile companions by killing Nen Yim, wounding Harrar, and sabotaging the planetary hyperdrives of Sekot, he called in a landing craft of Yuuzhan Vong warriors to pick him up and flee the planet. However, the Skywalkers and Jacen arrived in the Jade Shadow, fending off the warriors and nearly killing Anor, though the treacherous intendant escaped. After they picked up Veila and Horn, they fled the area. Sekot then activated its hyperdrives while trying to contain and repair the damage wrought by Nom Anor.
Jade Skywalker remained on Sekot as it plunged through hyperspace, attempting to re-assert control over its hyperdrive mechanisms. The planet sustained moderate surface damage and the Jedi mostly remained in the shelters rather than experience the traumatic atmospheric and seismic disturbances the planet experienced. The Skywalkers also learned from Danni Quee that the priest Harrar, believed slain by Nom Anor, was still alive.
She and the other Jedi went to visit the priest, who was being healed by Veila and Tekli from the injuries he had received. Harrar revealed to them that Zonama Sekot had many similarities to the Yuuzhan'tar, the ancestral home of the Yuuzhan Vong and that Yuuzhan Vong Supreme Overlord Shimrra feared the planet. Harrar also told them that he wanted to try and reconcile the Yuuzhan Vong and the rest of the galaxy, working to end the war, though he confessed that Shimrra would not listen to reason. The group then traveled to a Force nexus in a lava tube, where Sekot deduced that the Yuuzhan Vong of antiquity had been stripped of the Force. Meanwhile, the other Jedi on Mon Calamari were growing concerned for their out-of-contact members on Zonama Sekot. As they remained on Sekot, unaware of their location or their estimated time of arrival, Jade Skywalker began worrying about her son, wishing to be with him. Moreover, Skywalker's visions of the future didn't necessarily show her in the future. In response, she had him promise to take care of Ben if anything should happen to her.
Soon enough, Zonama Sekot dropped out of hyperspace in orbit near Coruscant. Jade Skywalker experienced a happy reunion with family and loved ones when Han and Leia, along with a full crew of Jedi, arrived aboard the Falcon, along with Mirax Horn from the Errant Venture. The Skywalkers then returned to Contruum in the Jade Shadow, accompanied by the Errant Venture, to meet with Galactic Alliance officials. The various brass and politicians informed them that they were planning a decisive strike at Coruscant and Skywalker promised the aid of the Jedi, though many of them had remained on Zonama Sekot to bond with the new Sekotan craft that were being grown for them.
As the Recapture of Coruscant raged overhead, with some Yuuzhan Vong forces engaging the Galactic Alliance fleets and others striking for Zonama Sekot, Jade Skywalker accompanied a strike team on the Millennium Falcon down to Coruscant's surface. The group, comprising the Solos, Skywalkers, Tahiri Veila, and Kenth Hamner, planned on stopping the World Brain from devastating the planet and neutralizing Shimrra. The group slowly advanced on his citadel, though Hamner and Veila detached from the group to assist the Shamed Ones, a pariah caste of Yuuzhan Vong who believed redemption had arrived for them and were revolting in a desperate struggle against the warriors.
However, before they breached the citadel, Skywalker asked his wife to go with Veila and Hamner to aid the Shamed Ones. She reluctantly agreed to do it, saying that she trusted his judgment. Fighting their way through swarms of warriors, the three Jedi and Galactic troops reached a group of embattled Shamed Ones, including Nom Anor. In the heat of combat, Jade Skywalker and Veila found themselves near Nom Anor and Veila seized him. Jade Skywalker had not forgotten who had first infected her with coomb spores and neither had Anor. In a desperate attempt, he slashed at Veila with his coufee and escaped temporarily. Jade Skywalker pursued the former executor through the ruins of Imperial City relentlessly. Once she cornered him, she deactivated her weapon and beat him down with punishing unarmed combat. As she stood over him with her lightsaber ready to deliver the death-blow, Anor begged for mercy. Jade Skywalker allowed him to live, but she forced him to show her an entrance to Shimrra's citadel.
Leading a small group of Shamed Ones, Anor escorted her, Veila, and Hamner inside the fortress, where they battled against numerous Yuuzhan Vong warriors and saved Han, Leia, R2-D2, C-3PO, and the Noghri from Yuuzhan Vong capture. Jade Skywalker's group penetrated into the sanctum of the World Brain and prepared to use explosives to destroy it if necessary. However, Jacen communicated with the brain via his Vongsense, convincing it to ignore Shimrra's commands. As the Shamed Ones and Galactic Alliance forces secured the lower levels of the citadel, Jade Skywalker had Nom Anor conduct them to the coffer at the top, where Skywalker, Jacen, and Jaina had been battling the Supreme Overlord and his slayer bodyguards.
Arriving near the top, Jade Skywalker found her husband envenomed by Shimrra's amphistaff's venom after he had beheaded Shimrra in the same manner as his father had killed Count Dooku years earlier. Jade Skywalker immediately attended to her weakening husband. While Han, Leia, and Nom Anor went in search of Jacen and Jaina, who had themselves gone after Shimrra's familiar Onimi, Jade Skywalker and Veila brought Skywalker back down to the lower levels and out from the citadel. On the way, a Shamed One who had once been a shaper offered to help prolong Skywalker's rapidly diminishing life and Jade Skywalker allowed the Yuuzhan Vong to do what he could. At that point, Shimrra's escape vessel, with Onimi, Jacen, Jaina, Han, and Leia still aboard, detached and launched. Jade Skywalker loaded Skywalker onto the Falcon and took off in pursuit, with Harrar, Veila, and Hamner accompanying her on the ship and Jagged Fel flying escort. After Jacen defeated Onimi, the Solos fled the now-dying escape vessel in a Yuuzhan Vong landing craft. Skywalker picked them up and Jacen used his tears to heal Skywalker, much as Vergere had done for his wife earlier.
The Skywalkers then returned to Zonama Sekot as the battle ended in Galactic Alliance victory and a Yuuzhan Vong withdrawal. While he recovered, she retrieved her precious Jade Shadow and spent the next few weeks on the planet, repairing her ship and just resting. With the death of Shimrra, Warmaster Nas Choka's surrender had ended the war, so the fighting had virtually ended. Skywalker called a meeting of the Jedi on Zonama Sekot and announced the construction of a new academy on Ossus, where the Skywalkers planned to move. However, first, they went on a vacation with Han and Leia, finally free from the specter of galactic war.
Dark Nest Crisis (35 ABY–36 ABY)
In the post-war years, Jade Skywalker committed herself strongly to the Jedi Order, dividing her time between the Jedi Academy on Ossus and the new Jedi Temple on Coruscant. She became a prominent voice in support of the idea that the Jedi were not automatically bound to the Galactic Alliance. Ironically, she now found herself siding with Kyp Durron, and in disagreement with others, including Kenth Hamner and her old friend Corran Horn.
The main focus in Jade Skywalker's life at that time was her family: her husband, and perhaps even more importantly, her young son Ben. She was determined to be a loving mother, and to protect her son's childhood innocence. Her sense of protectiveness was heightened by the fact that Ben had cut himself off from the Force, apparently in response to trauma during his infancy, when he had been unable to shield himself from the pain and suffering of the war-torn galaxy. However, Ben's continuing withdrawal also caused Jade Skywalker some pain, as she felt that his failure to develop Jedi talents made him a disappointment to her husband.
A cry for help
In 35 ABY, the Order learned from Chiss envoys that a group of rogue Jedi, including Jade Skywalker's former apprentice Jaina Solo, had allied themselves with the hive-minded Killiks in a border dispute with the Chiss. The three Skywalkers set out for the Unknown Regions to investigate. They discovered that the rogue Jedi had been responding to the former Jedi Raynar Thul, who had been assimilated by the Killiks, and was now UnuThul, the all-powerful "king bee" of their hegemony, the Colony. The mission was a partial success: although the rogue Jedi had all been partially assimilated by the Taat nest, most of them were persuaded to return to Alliance space. However, on Yoggoy, the Skywalkers were attacked by mysterious blue-black Killiks, which UnuThul seemed to know nothing about. These were in fact Gorog Killiks, part of the so-called Dark Nest, a shadowy influence which was able to hide its presence and its malignant influence from the rest of the Colony.
Moreover, as the Jedi returned to Alliance space, a Gorog assassin stowed away aboard the Jade Shadow. The creature befriended Ben, who came to think of it as his pet. Secretly, the Gorog insect began to brainwash the child, with the aim of turning him against Jade Skywalker and making him a joiner, a Human drone of the Dark Nest. Back on Ossus, the plot was uncovered by Jade Skywalker, but Gorog was able to escape, along with the Twi'lek Jedi Alema Rar, who had been thoroughly assimilated by the Gorog hive.
Challenged by the Gorog assassin over her own past as an Imperial assassin, Jade Skywalker also found herself caught between her desire to preserve her son's innocence, and her determination to protect him from harm; however, it was the latter option that coincided with her duty as a Jedi to protect the galaxy. Returning to the Unknown Regions as part of a Jedi strike team, she fought in the Battle of Kr, where she found herself in single combat with the Gorog assassin. Knowing that the creature was threatening to share its experience of the battle with Ben, she decided that he would simply have to learn to deal with the realities of conflict, and quickly killed the creature. In the closing stages of the battle, however, she was gored in the guts by a Gorog larva, and she received treatment from Killik healers before being put in bacta aboard one of the Hapan warships that had intervened in hopes of creating a peaceful settlement.
Mara Jade Skywalker also allowed her nephew Jacen Solo to become Ben's mentor, recognizing that her husband's nephew was able to encourage Ben into a closer relationship with the Force. With the Dark Nest apparently destroyed, Jade Skywalker and her family once again knew peace.
The Unseen Queen
Eventually, however, the Skywalkers were called back to Killik space by UnuThul, who offered an explanation for why the Skywalkers and Solos were attacked during their first trip to the colony. According to UnuThul, Gorog had been specifically targeting Jade Skywalker since the first attack on Yoggoy, because it had been founded by the wife and daughter of a man named Daxar Ies. Picking up his cue, Jade Skywalker explained that Daxar Ies had been one of her early targets as Emperor's Hand: when his wife and daughter disturbed her at the murder scene, she had told them to flee. UnuThul claimed that they then became Gorog Joiners, shaping the Dark Nest around their determination to hide from Jade Skywalker, and perhaps a desire for revenge against her.
It was clear that UnuThul had acquired knowledge of the Ies family from somewhere, and Alema Rar, now the Gorog Night Herald, would later claim that the memories of Daxar Ies's daughter Eremay were the source for Gorog's overrides for R2-series astromech droids, which enabled her to taunt Skywalker with more of R2-D2's recordings of his parents. Playing off the suggestion that the Dark Nest was ultimately a legacy of Jade Skywalker's own past actions, Rar took the opportunity to further divide the Skywalkers, by suggesting that Jade Skywalker, in her role as Palpatine's assassin, might also have been responsible for killing Skywalker's mother.
However, later events showed the Jedi's earlier suspicions were largely correct: the Dark Nest had been created in its present form by Lomi Plo, a former Nightsister and a Dark Jedi of the Second Imperium. While Skywalker and Han Solo were held captive by the Killiks on Woteba, Jade Skywalker returned to Ossus with Leia and the rest of the group. Subsequently, she adopted a militant stance, urging without hesitation UnuThul's assassination, and leading a StealthX flight into the Utegetu Nebula, in an attempt to sneak through the blockade imposed by the Galactic Alliance. Although Skywalker was subsequently rescued, the Colony broke the blockade and went on the offensive against both the Alliance and the Chiss. The Swarm War had begun.
The Swarm War
- "The Masters are pulling the order in ten different directions. You have to do this, or they'll tear it apart."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker to Luke Skywalker
Jade Skywalker immediately returned to the Jedi Academy on Ossus with her husband, where he sent a powerful Force-call to the entire Jedi Order. Though she was concerned for her husband's health after his intense meditation, she gave her full support to his decision to grant himself the title of Jedi Grand Master and assume full control of the Jedi Order. She alone was privy to his plans going into the meeting.
Soon after that announcement, the Skywalkers were the guest of UnuThul's mother Aryn Thul, head of the powerful Bornaryn Trading empire, who attempted to negotiate for the safety of her son. She also gifted the Skywalkers with the droid R2-0, the prototype for the R2 series astromech droid, which would later allow slicer Zakarisz Ghent to access the hidden files in R2-D2's memory, including a recording of the young Darth Vader's strangulation of his wife. When Skywalker, his wife, and Jacen viewed the holograms, conflicts became apparent in the way each interpreted the scenes. Jade Skywalker was disturbed by Anakin Skywalker's anger and threatening behavior, while Jacen saw no problem with the way his grandfatehr had acted. Furthermore, Skywalker was forced to confront his doubts that his father Anakin might have been involved in the death of his mother Padmé. Adding to the tensions brewing between the trio, Jade Skywalker would also confront Jacen about performing a memory wipe on Ben, but ultimately accepted his false explanation that he did it for Ben's own protection: in reality, he had done so to conceal the fact that he had fathered a daughter with Tenel Ka Djo.
During the Battle of Sarm, Jade Skywalker was a member of the Jedi force leading an attack on a Killik nest ship. She was the first to reach an injured Jacen Solo and made a heroic effort to rescue him from the tangled wreckage of his StealthX. When Jacen came to, he joined Jade Skywalker in protecting Skywalker's flanks as he battled the deformed Dark Jedi Lomi Plo. Jade Skywalker sustained a serious injury when a shatter gun pellet ripped through her vac suit and destroyed one of her kidneys. The month-long recuperation period for her wounds meant that she would not see any more action during the Swarm War. When Jade Skywalker learned that her husband planned to face Lomi Plo and Raynar Thul alone, she became fearful for his fate. Jacen then used mirror illusion Fallanassi technique to disturbingly fake Jade Skywalker's death, in order to demonstrate to Skywalker his own vulnerability to fear. Soon thereafter, the three viewed the hologram of Padmé's final moments, which steeled Skywalker for battle and influenced him to reject Vergere's teachings. Skywalker's confidence and trust in his wife were also confirmed by the revelation that she had no role in Padmé's death.
Skywalker ultimately killed Lomi Plo and brought Thul back to the Galactic Alliance, albeit under heavy sedation. Jade Skywalker was still in rehabilitation at the conclusion of the Swarm War.
Second Galactic Civil War (40 ABY–41 ABY)
- "There is a lot of unrest in life. The Force is created by life, so it has unrest in it. If you open yourself to the Force, how can you not open yourself to a certain amount of unrest?"
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker at the beginning of the Second Galactic Civil War
In 40 ABY, a civil war broke out between the Galactic Alliance and Corellia. Jade Skywalker's son and nephew were sent to Adumar, where they discovered a secret missile factory. Missions such as that, undertaken as the crisis continued to escalate, only heightened her fears for the safety of her family, especially for Ben, her only son. When the Galactic Alliance decided to have peace talks with Corellia in the Kuat system, Jade Skywalker accompanied her family to Toryaz Station. Shortly afterwards, the group was attacked by drugged Corellian commandos. Though the attack was stopped, Corellian Prime Minister Aidel Saxan was assassinated. Her death angered Corellia and all attempts at peace talks were ceased.
Eventually Jade Skywalker went on a mission with her husband to kidnap Thrackan Sal-Solo, Head of State of Corellia. After making it through the planet's security, Jade Skywalker ventured off to Sal-Solo's mansion where she rescued Jedi Knight Tiu Zax who had previously infiltrated the structure and did more recon work with her inside the mansion. Meanwhile, Skywalker went to see Corran Horn and the newly built Jedi facility on Corellia that housed new Jedi initiates. They were able to save Jaina's and Veila's team and escort them to safety. After the mission, they returned to Coruscant. While there, Jade Skywalker battled a twisted Force ghost of her son, Ben. Not realizing that it was in fact a physically-real Force projection of Ben, Jade Skywalker caught him off guard with a kick to his midsection.
As the Second Galactic Civil War swelled, Jade Skywalker was asked by Cal Omas to head up a new paramilitary organization designed to crack down on Corellian insurgents and terrorists operating on Coruscant. When she declined, the command was given to Jacen Solo instead. She and her husband, along with the other Jedi Masters, were shocked to see Ben and Jacen participate in GAG raids and didn't approve of it.
Despite Skywalker's deep misgivings concerning Jacen Solo and his relationship with their son Ben, Jade Skywalker was the only family member—besides Ben—that trusted Jacen, correctly ascertaining that her nephew was secretly torn over someone that he loved. However, despite that insight being correct, she wrongly attributed it as the cause of Jacen's questionable behavior when in truth he was turning to the dark side. Her self-denial of Jacen's true motivations brought her, for a time, to the belief that Jacen was the best caregiver for Ben. However, she later came to believe Skywalker and considered that her nephew was falling to the dark side.
- "I get the proverbial bad feeling about this."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker to Luke Skywalker
After deducing that her old foe Lumiya was alive, Jade Skywalker constructed a shoto to combat Lumiya's lightwhip and accompanied her husband on his search to locate her and hopefully put an end to the menace she presented. Jade Skywalker would also supervise a sparring session between her husband and son.
On their search for Lumiya, they were summoned by detectives to examine Tresina Lobi's corpse in Fellowship Plaza, where she learned that Skywalker had told Lobi to watch over Ben and Jacen without her knowledge. At the crime scene they found a holocube that brought them to Lumiya's apartment. In the apartment, the Skywalkers found evidence that linked Lumiya to the killing of Bothans. Distraught at their findings, Jade Skywalker decided that Ben had to be taken away from Jacen.
After landing at the rendezvous point where Jacen had said Ben would meet them, the Skywalkers were attacked by Lumiya and Alema Rar. While her husband dealt with Lumiya, Jade Skywalker dueled Alema Rar and Rar nearly killed her with a dart. In the duel, Skywalker was severely injured while fighting Lumiya, but Jade Skywalker defeated Rar, knocking her unconscious, only to discover the bomb attached to Rar. Returning to see Skywalker shoot Lumiya three times, Jade Skywalker informed him of the bomb and pulled him to safety. Meeting up with the rest of the family on Hapes except Han and Leia, Jacen allowed Skywalker to take Ben away as a precaution. The three then returned to Coruscant.
Upon returning to the Jedi Temple, the Skywalkers were informed by Kyp Durron of Cal Omas' and Cha Niathal's request that Jacen be made into a Jedi Master. After Ben disappeared, the Skywalkers accurately guessed Jacen was involved and contacted him, though they learned little from the encounter. Following their conversation with Jacen, they held a meeting with Jagged Fel at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, who warned them of the survival of Alema Rar, who had helped kill Tresina Lobi. Shortly before the meeting ended, Fel entrusted Skywalker with a special device to aid in capture of Alema Rar—the Skywalkers then gave it to Master Cilghal to analyze. The two then received an encrypted message from Han and Leia requesting to meet them on the Errant Venture.
While traveling aboard the Errant Venture, the Skywalkers reunited with Leia and Han as well as their old friends Wedge and Iella Wessiri Antilles, and Corran and Mirax Horn. However, they also took that opportunity to confront Jacen about his activities with Ben, but a battle alarm allowed him to slip away. After the reunion, Jade Skywalker accompanied Skywalker, Han, and Leia to Gilatter VIII to rescue Jacen, who was unaware that the station was a trap for him and the Galactic Alliance. The rescue mission ended in disaster as the three encountered both Lumiya and Rar, in addition to the station's security, while Jacen fled to the Galactic Alliance Guard Star Destroyer Anakin Solo.
- "You think…you've won, but Luke will crush you…and I refuse…to let you…destroy the future…for my Ben."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker's last words.
The fiasco on Gilatter VIII left Jade Skywalker and the others wary of not only Jacen, but Rar and Lumiya as well. Concerned for the safety of her son, Jade Skywalker decided to hunt down Lumiya and kill her, thinking that Lumiya was after Ben. To help in tracking her son, Jade Skywalker also gave Ben a vibroblade she had used while she had worked for the Empire, which also contained a virtually undetectable transponder. Refusing aid from Skywalker or other Jedi, she then set out on her hunt for Lumiya, looking for an opportunity to end what she viewed as the Sith menace to her son. Jade Skywalker obtained such a chance at Hesperidium and ended with herself gaining a bruised eye, split lip, burned neck, and bleeding forehead while Lumiya suffered severe lightsaber wounds. When her son, Ben, discovered that Jacen and Lumiya were connected by affiliation, he told his mother. Jade Skywalker, feeling both betrayed and upset at the dark revelation, cornered Jacen and attempted to sway him back to the light side. After Jacen brushed her warnings off, Jade Skywalker felt Jacen had become too evil and dangerous to leave alive.
Jade Skywalker tracked Jacen to Hapes, where he was visiting with Tenel Ka and Allana. When he left Hapes, Jade Skywalker ambushed him in her StealthX, and after a dogfight in Hapan space, they ended up on the planet Kavan. In the tunnels of Kavan, a fight between the two ensued that degraded into a brawl. Initially, Jade Skywalker trapped Jacen beneath rubble by collapsing the ceiling and attempted to shoot him with a blaster. The ambush backfired when Jacen used a Force Wave so strong it blew the blaster bolt and the cave stones off himself which also knocked her backwards.
She kept fighting Jacen with her shoto and vibroblade even after sustaining a scalp injury and being painfully thrown into a brick wall several times, using her assassin's training and physical skills to good effect. As she prepared to finish off her opponent, Jacen stared into her eyes and instantly created the illusion of Ben's face beneath her by using the Force, causing Jade Skywalker to hesitate for a split second. Jacen used the time to stab a poisoned dart into her thigh, causing a slow, paralyzing, and painless death. Her final words expressed her belief that Jacen had become worse, more vile and cruel than Palpatine, and that Skywalker would defeat and strike him down. Jade Skywalker left her body behind instead of allowing it to become one with the Force to leave evidence of the identity of her killer as well as to give her family something to say goodbye to. Her last uses of the Force were to whisper in Ben's mind and to ruffle Skywalker's hair. Other Jedi, including Leia, also felt her passing through the Force.
Jade Skywalker's corporeal body remained long enough for Cilghal to perform an autopsy and have her funeral arranged on Coruscant. Numerous Jedi, including the entire Masters' Council, as well as government officials including Cha Niathal, military supreme commander and co-Chief of State, attended. Although her sister-in-law Leia Organa Solo was supposed to deliver her eulogy, Leia and Han were prevented from arriving by a Galactic Alliance Guard squad seeking to detain them. Instead, Saba Sebatyne eulogized the fallen Master, though she was interrupted by the late and discourteous arrival of Jacen Solo, whose role in Jade Skywalker's death remained unknown. As Jacen Solo, now known as Darth Caedus, arrived, Jade Skywalker's body began to fade and dissipate, finally becoming one with the Force. Her son Ben took that to mean that they should not trust Jacen. Sebatyne continued with her eulogy, recounting Jade Skywalker's history and using her change from a life of serving the dark side and rationalizing sacrifices to make a point to Jacen Solo, who had done the exact opposite.
- "It's not about the legacy you leave, it's about the life you live."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker's apparition speaking to Luke and Ben Skywalker
Jade Skywalker's death led Ben to actively plot to kill Darth Caedus, whom he believed had murdered his mother. Her husband, believing Lumiya had killed Jade Skywalker, pursued the Sith Lady and slew her, only to learn later from Ben that it might not have been Lumiya. That realization led Skywalker's grief and loss to intensify, while Ben's rage and hatred of Jacen grew and intensified; he became willing to sacrifice innocents in order to end Jacen's life.
As the Second Galactic Civil War continued to escalate, Ben decided to find proof of Jacen's involvement of Jade Skywalker's death, as he still retained nagging suspicions that Jacen was the culprit. Recruiting a sympathetic Galactic Alliance Guard agent named Lon Shevu, Ben returned to Kavan, hoping to unearth clues about Jade Skywalker's death. At Kavan, Jade Skywalker appeared as a Force ghost to Ben showing hair was involved and mouthing the words "I love you". With that revelation, Ben and Shevu decided to find a way to check Jacen's StealthX for traces of her hair.
Using a Coruscant Security Force forensics droid, Shevu and Ben were able to investigate Caedus' StealthX and discovered one twenty-nine centimeter long hair of Jade Skywalker, with a tag and blood on it, confirmed by comparison with one of her hairs that Luke Skywalker still had in his possession. Later, that evidence was corroborated by Caedus' confession to Shevu that he had brawled with and eventually killed Mara Jade Skywalker. Ben's recordings of the scene of the murder, the physical evidence, and a recording of Caedus's confession were all presented by Ben on Endor to his father, Han and Leia Solo, and Jaina. Not long after the Second Battle of Fondor, Jade Skywalker would visit her husband as an apparition, comforting him in the midst of his grief and wartime duties. Darth Caedus would later worry about the merciless approach that Luke Skywalker would take in a future confrontation now that Skywalker knew that Caedus had slain Jade Skywalker. Ultimately, though, Skywalker rejected the idea of revenge and forced himself to not confront Caedus; that fell to Jade Skywalker's niece and apprentice, Jaina Solo, who killed the Sith. A year and a half after the end of the war, Jade Skywalker appeared in a vision alongside Lumiya, Kam Solusar, and Lassin to Jedi Knight Jaden Korr and told him to travel to the Black Hole on Fhost, warning him of a pending problem. Journeying there, Korr discovered the remnant of an Imperial project from the Thrawn era designed to clone Force-users. The memory of Mara Jade Skywalker also remained with Khedryn Faal, a salvager Korr encountered. Faal remembered Jade Skywalker from her visit to Outbound Flight and his memory of her helped lead him to assist Korr in investigating the Imperial facility.
Three years after her death, Jade Skywalker's memory remained strong with her husband and son. Ben decided to accompany Skywalker into exile partly because Skywalker would be searching out why Jacen fell during his travels, and Ben saw that as helping lay Jade Skywalker's killer to rest. For his part, Skywalker still felt grief and guilt over having not seen Jacen's fall and preventing her death, which motivated him to accept his exile in order to perform his search. Ben and Skywalker would later use her ship, Jade Shadow, in their quest to find what led to Jacen's fall. Using the ship would remind both of them of the woman they had lost.
While they were inside the Maw Cluster, Skywalker and Ben were led to an out-of-body experience that took them both to a place called the Lake of Apparitions. As they walked along, they saw what appeared to be a reflection of Anakin Solo. After conversing with Anakin, they continued on. The next person that both Skywalker and Ben saw was Jade Skywalker. Ben's saying the word "Mom" brought her spirit to talk to them. She asked them what they were doing, as she was concerned for their well-being if they were talking to her, but they reassured her that they were alive and on a mission. Jade Skywalker told them that for her, the afterlife was a place of reflection, to think of what she had done. She also mentioned that she had done some things that had caused her anguish, namely going after Jacen with the intent of killing him, to protect Ben by ending his life. Jade Skywalker said that her actions weren't Ben's fault, and that he should learn from both her mistakes and Jacen's. Skywalker then asked her about a mysterious woman, known as Abeloth, they had seen in the mist near the Lake of Apparitions. Jade Skywalker replied that she knew very little about the woman, but that they should avoid her. She ended their conversation by telling her husband that she loved him and that the Force would be with them. As they continued their search, they thought they sensed Jade Skywalker's presence telling them to return to the Maw and attempt an out-of-body experience again. When Skywalker did so, Jade Skywalker met him again at the Lake of Apparitions and told him that it wasn't her they had sensed. Discomfited, they realized they had been misled by Abeloth.
Mara Jade's ghost later interacted with Luke Skywalker when he returned to the realm beyond shadows to stop and destroy Abeloth, although she was at a loss as to how to defeat Abeloth when Skywalker asked her. After Abeloth was defeated by Skywalker, Ben, the Sith apprentice Vestara Khai, and Darth Krayt, Skywalker was reeling from the effects of psychic wounds sustained fighting Abeloth and had no desire to return to corporeal existence. Jade Skywalker saved Skywalker from going into the Lake of Apparition which would have killed him, even though he said he was ready she said it wasn't time yet and wouldn't be for sometime. Knowing that Krayt had returned to corporeal planes, she told him that he couldn't give up yet as long as the galaxy needed him to help him fight the Sith. Additionally, she told him that she loved him but did not want to see him for sometime.
Jade Skywalker's descendants would all be raised on the Skywalker family histories in which she featured prominently. Family holos described the important events of her life to those who came after her. One such descendant was Cade Skywalker, a drug-addicted former Jedi haunted by the ghosts of his past. Hiding from his enemies on Ossus, Cade experienced drug-induced hallucinations after ingesting several death sticks; visions of Mara Jade and Anakin Skywalker, who then morphed into Darth Vader and warned him of the perils of falling to the dark side.
Personality and traits
- "Sometimes I think you can be spooky just singing nursery songs."
- ―Elassar Targon to Mara Jade Skywalker
Mara Jade Skywalker was an extremely proud woman, who always gave her best at everything that she did—that could be seen in her time as an Emperor's Hand. During her investigation of Moff Glovstoak, she showed efficiency and skill in bringing down the corrupt Imperial. However, she did not let Glovstoak's fall, or the Emperor's approval, end her mission—she continued by delving deeper into the conspiracy, eventually following the clues directly to their source. She refused to serve the warlords who seized power after the Emperor died, feeling that they were beneath her.
Additionally, Jade Skywalker was also extremely devoted, serving what she viewed as Palpatine's will even after his death. She would later display loyalty to Talon Karrde and his organization even at the cost of total alienation from the Empire, and was furious that Thrawn forced her to betray Karrde. She later displayed the same commitment to her husband, Luke Skywalker, and her son, Ben Skywalker, even at one point refusing to participate in the defense of Borleias in order to protect Ben.
Due to her upbringing under Darth Sidious, and also to the training she received from the Sith Lord, Mara Jade Skywalker learned how to maintain a calm and collected composure in almost every situation. During the First Corellian Insurrection, and though she harbored a vendetta against Luke Skywalker, she was able to prioritize the severity of the situation and place her differences with Skywalker aside—she proceeded to warn Leia and the Senate about the recently uncovered plot to destroy the New Republic. During her brief tutelage under Kyle Katarn, Jade was forced to face Katarn in an ancient Temple when he fell to the dark side. While he was fully engaged in the dark powers of the temple, Jade was forced to defend against Katarn's attacks, managing to fend him off each time. Eventually, Katarn and Jade found themselves deep inside the catacombs of the temple, and Jade voluntarily turned off her lightsaber and surrendered, maintaining her calm composure as she realized she could not longer fight her one-time friend. Due to Jade's self-control, Katarn was eventually redeemed and brought back to the light.
Even though Jade exuded a toughened exterior, she was a warm and compassionate individual. Even as an Imperial assassin, Jade had a merciful side, particularly when it came to serving the greater good. She allowed the rogue stormtrooper unit Hand of Judgment to survive after seeing they were good men and after they aided her on one of her missions. She also allowed Govenor Bidor Ferrouz to survive despite admitting to treason, since he had been forced to collaborate with the Rebel Alliance to save his kidnapped family. Jade was willing to make allowances using her official position in order to save the lives and careers of people she thought were good, though she had no qualms about using people as tools on her missions.
Through her love and marriage to Luke Skywalker, Jade Skywalker was able to realize that her life of constant conflict had not provided her with everything she needed. However, through her experiences and relationship with Skywalker, she came to acknowledge her love for him and understand what his companionship offered her life—she realized that it was acceptable to let him past her defenses. A small way in which she showed Skywalker her love for him was through the playful nickname which she constantly called him—Farmboy. Jade Skywalker's love and compassion also manifested when she gave birth to her son Ben during the Yuuzhan Vong War. The war caused Jade Skywalker to develop a strong, and somewhat overprotective, demeanor towards Ben, constantly fearing that the war would find him and take him away from her and her husband. After watching the devastation that Anakin's death caused Leia, Jade Skywalker had no wish to experience that type of emotional pain. Later, during the Second Galactic Civil War, Jade Skywalker's love and protectiveness of her son was still evident. She was constantly worrying over Ben and his actions within the GAG, and even up until her death, her love for her husband and Ben was present in her mind.
- "Sure I can't get you another drink?"
"No thanks, Calrissian. We've got business to discuss."
- ―Lando Calrissian and Mara Jade
Though Calrissian was rather enamored with her following the Thrawn crisis, Jade never returned any of his frequent, and sometimes blatant, flirtations with her. However, to impress her, when he won the Millennium Falcon from Han in a sabacc game, he returned it to Han in an act of selflessness, thus garnering some respect from her. Though he was insistent in his infatuation with her, Jade did not reciprocate his feelings. After Calrissian replaced her wardrobe with clothes that he would have preferred her to wear around him, she retaliated by raiding his own supply of clothes. However, while their partnership lasted for some time, Jade later told Skywalker that much of it had been an unpleasant assignment that had originally been handed down by Talon Karrde.
- "When I first met Luke, I was under a compulsion to kill him. Generally not a good sign for a lasting relationship. Such was his courage that he did not run, and did not strike me. He accepted me, as no one else had done before."
- ―Mara Jade, to Luke Skywalker as they are married
When Jade first met Skywalker after the destruction of the second Death Star, their relationship was more than prickly at first, as she wanted to kill him, although they were forced to cooperate on numerous occasions to survive. As she worked with him, she developed at first a grudging respect for him, then later a growing admiration, tempered by her pragmatism and coolness as usual. While fighting on Nirauan, in order to coordinate their efforts perfectly, they performed a Force Meld, linking their minds. It was after understanding each other on so deep a level that they realized the depth of their attraction for each other. The two fell in love and were happily married. The Skywalkers had a son that they named Ben, in honor of the memory of Skywalker's first master, Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi. Jade Skywalker would be at her husband's side throughout the Yuuzhan Vong War as his supportive wife, even while being deathly ill for much of the initial stages. While they often disagreed, the Skywalkers trusted each other explicitly and supported the other half of their union. Upon her death, Skywalker was devastated by the loss of his wife, and, clouded by grief, struck down Lumiya after believing her to be Jade Skywalker's killer. Even though he felt that his world had ended, Skywalker was eventually able to recover enough to again fully take the helm of the Jedi Order, knowing that his wife would not have wanted him to let his grief control him.
- "Excellent, Mara. You're becoming very adept at using the force to anticipate my actions. Someday that insight may save your life."
- ―Kyle Katarn, to Mara Jade, towards the end of her training.
After the defeat of Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade entered a brief but unique mutual-apprenticeship with Kyle Katarn, with Kyle initially taking on the role of master, and Mara that of the apprentice. Despite their short time together, Mara trusted Kyle (who had left for the planet Dromund Kass and was subsequently corrupted by the dark side) to not strike her down by deactivating her lightsaber after their fight, leaving her at his mercy. Kyle, in turn, could not bring himself to kill her and give in fully to the dark side, and thus was able to return to the light side. Due to Mara's actions of rescuing Kyle, and her reassuring words to him, Kyle remarked how Mara had seemingly become the Master, and he the apprentice. Later, after her death at the hands of Darth Caedus, Kyle was one of many present at Mara's funeral.
Powers and abilities
- "We don't have a lock for the window but there's an alarm on it. You try going out, and it'll be a toss-up as to whether the vornskrs get to you before I do. But don't take my word for it. Try it and find out."
- ―Mara Jade
Just as her personality was diverse, so were the talents that Mara Jade Skywalker utilized throughout her colored career. She was known to be a skilled slicer, breaking into secure files with relative ease, though she was not on the same level as Zakarisz Ghent. During Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic, Talon Karrde was captured by Imperial forces, and Jade Skywalker took it upon herself to rescue the smuggler leader. Jade Skywalker was able to sneak aboard Thrawn's ship, Chimaera, and used her slicing abilities to hack the Star Destroyer's computer, eventually reaching the detention block and freeing Karrde. Jade Skywalker was also a skilled user of multiple types of weaponry, including blaster pistols and rifles, melee weapons, and heavy weapons. She often used blaster pistols, including a small hold-out blaster, which she carried in a sleeve holster. She was well-trained in unarmed combat, and was also a skilled tactician who could quickly analyze a situation for dangers and traps and then formulate a means to secure her objectives. Jade was also capable of rewiring electronic devices with some proficiency.
During her life, she became an experienced pilot who flew a variety of ships in a number of situations. During the Thrawn Campaign, she flew a Z-95 Headhunter and flew at the Battle for the Katana fleet, though she was disabled by an ion cannon. During the First Corellian Insurrection, Jade Skywalker piloted her ship, the Jade's Fire, and used it in several different instances. After she and Leia escaped from the Human League, Jade Skywalker flew her ship through the enemy forces, and eventually managed to rendezvous with Han Solo on Selonia. Later, she flew the Jade's Fire in the final battle at Centerpoint Station, and contributed to the defeat of the Corellian forces. After the First Corellian Insurrection, Jade Skywalker piloted the Starry Ice in her rescue of Skywalker, who had ran into trouble with the Cavrilhu Pirates. Skywalker had unfortunately been discovered during his infiltration of the pirate group, and Jade Skywalker's skilled hand as a pilot helped Skywalker survive the encounter. During the Yuuzhan Vong war, Jade Skywalker distinguished herself during the Second Battle of Borleias when she was made second in command of Blackmoon Squadron. In that position, she provided cover for the Lusankya during Operation Emperor's Spear, which saw the command ship successfully ram a Yuuzhan Vong worldship.
During her time as an Emperor's Hand, Jade Skywalker became skilled in the arts of disguise and infiltration. In 0.5 ABY, she used her skills of disguise to infiltrate the court of Moff Glovstoak, posing as Countess Claria. During that mission she discovered that Glovstoak had been skimming the top off tax returns to the Imperial Center. She managed to sneak through Glovstoak's palace and found that he was in possession of six stolen paintings which were worth millions of credits and the Emperor was provided with the proof he required of the Moff's treason, summarily disposing of Glovstoak. After the destruction of the first Death Star, she employed her spy abilities against Darth Vader, recording his actions and delivering reports to the Emperor. In the months prior to the Emperor's Palpatine's death, Jade Skywalker was sent to Tatooine in an effort to infiltrate Jabba's Palace. She disguised herself as the dancing girl Arica, and set her plans in motion while she awaited the arrival of Skywalker. Following the death of the Emperor, Jade Skywalker found herself on the run from Director Ysanne Isard, however, she managed to escape, disguising herself as a refugee. During her days as a smuggler, Jade Skywalker often employed her spy abilities for Talon Karrde—she participated in a mission for Karrde to track down Jorj Car'das, where maximized her infiltration skills to complement her spy abilities. Jade Skywalker's colored life reinforced the skills she needed to be a successful spy. During the outbreak of the Confederation-Galactic Alliance War, Jade Skywalker's son Ben would brag about her abilities as a spy to Jedi Knight Nelani Dinn. During the Confederation-Galactic Alliance war of 40 ABY, she used her talents as a spy to track and watch Jacen, eventually following him to Hapes, where he was visiting his lover Tenel Ka and his daughter Allana.
Beginning with her training under Emperor Palpatine, and culminating with her ascension to Jedi Master, Jade Skywalker continually proved her reputation as an accomplished lightsaber duelist. During the Thrawn campaign, Jade Skywalker and her future husband encountered the crazed Jedi-clone Joruus C'baoth and the dark clone of Skywalker. While being strengthened by Skywalker through the Force, she was able to defeat the clone, Luuke, and then confronted C'baoth. She dodged a bolt of Force lightning that C'baoth threw at her, and managed to stab him through his chest with her lightsaber. During the Yuuzhan Vong war, the Skywalkers traveled to the ExGal-4 outpost on Belkadan and began an investigation into what had occurred there. During their search, she was confronted by the Yuuzhan Vong spy Yomin Carr, and the two proceeded to engage in a violent duel. Jade Skywalker was evenly matched in skill by the Yuuzhan Vong warrior, who fought with a viciousness she had rarely encountered—she was startled by her opponent's lack of presence in the Force, his seemingly impenetrable armor, and his strange weapon which could resist a lightsaber's blade. However, she was able to defeat Carr by slicing both of his legs off at the knee and stabbing him through the chest. The Yuuzhan Vong war also saw the Skywalkers and Veila encounter the deranged Dark Jedi Lord Nyax, formerly Irek Ismaren. Nyax had been held in an Imperial laboratory on Coruscant, where he had lightsabers surgically implanted in his elbows, knees, and forearms—thus providing him with six lightsaber blades with which to fight. The ensuing lightsaber battle saw the superior strength of Nyax almost completely overwhelm the three Jedi. However, Veila was able to make herself invisible in the Force and proceeded to severely wound the Dark Jedi. Ultimately, the Skywalkers and Veila were able to defeat Nyax with relatively little injury, even though Nyax easily slaughtered the Jedi-killing voxyn that the Yuuzhan Vong sent after him. Jade Skywalker continued to demonstrate her skills with a lightsaber during the Dark Nest Crisis and had also learned the skill of Force lightning, employing it against Alema Rar during the Battle of Kr. She was known to use the Ataru form.
During the Second Galactic Civil War, the Skywalkers found themselves confronted by an old enemy—Lumiya. They eventually tracked the Dark Lady and the Dark Jedi Alema Rar to Hapan space where a violent duel took place aboard the space station known as Roqoo Depot. While Skywalker and Lumiya dueled each other, Jade Skywalker and Rar entered into a deadly fight—Rar shot at Jade Skywalker with a poison dart, but Jade Skywalker was able to defeat the Twi'lek, knocking her unconscious. The Twi'lek only survived because Jade Skywalker noticed the bomb on her chest that would go off if she was killed. As the war progressed, Jade Skywalker began to worry about the safety of her son, and decided to hunt down Lumiya and finish her off for good. She eventually caught up with Lumiya on Hesperidium and another lightsaber duel took place involving the two women. Jade Skywalker fought Lumiya to a standstill, and the two women were both left severely wounded. Jade Skywalker also learned how to hide in the Force from her son in 40 ABY, a skill that would help her in her final pursuit of Jacen Solo— who would be later known as "Darth Caedus".
After years of training and battle, Mara Jade Skywalker's skills with manipulating the Force were well-developed. Even Skywalker relied on his wife's danger sense more than his own, since Jade Skywalker had required it to survive as an Imperial agent. Her keen danger sense provided her warning of imminent danger and saved her life on numerous occasions. As the Emperor's Hand, she was able to hear Palpatine's voice through the Force—and just prior to her marriage with Skywalker, she discovered that they had gained a similar telepathic ability. By the time of her ascension to Jedi Master, Jade Skywalker had became a powerful member of the New Jedi Order. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, she successfully used the Force to keep her disease from attacking Ben inside her womb. By the time of the Second Galactic Civil War, Jade Skywalker's talents as a Jedi Master had progressed and she was able to levitate herself across an open area on a bubble of Force energy while keeping the air around her stilled and her heat emissions minimal to avoid setting off any sensors.
Jade Skywalker was adept in immediately reading and assessing any situation or individual, and the Emperor gave her memory retention techniques to enhance her abilities. She was also talented enough to secure a number of odd jobs while on the run, including as a hyperdrive mechanic.
- "This ship fights my way, or not at all."
- ―Mara Jade
While working as an Emperor's Hand, Mara Jade Skywalker was provided with an enormous cargo ship which she used as her mobile base of operations. The ship was essentially her home, and in it she kept a large number of books, personal items, and also an extensive choice of weapons for any number of missions. While she was away on missions for the Emperor, the ship was administered by the protocol droid K3, and crewed by a small group of trusted Imperials. The ship was large enough that it had its own hangar bay which Jade Skywalker used to store a number of craft, including ground craft such as landspeeders, and personal starfighters like Z-95 Headhunters.
During her time as an Emperor's Hand, and later during her career as a smuggler and Jedi student, she often chose to fly a Z-95 Headhunter starfighter. The Z-95 was a dependable and reliable fighter which was able to pack both speed and firepower into its small package. During her hunt for Black Nebula, Jade Skywalker used a Headhunter to insert herself onto the planet Svivren, and was able to go unnoticed in the initial part of the mission. Much later, during the Grand Admiral Thrawn campaign, she chose to use a Z-95 Headhunter, most notably at the Battle for the Katana fleet. During that battle Jade Skywalker flew alongside the New Republic space forces against the fleet of Thrawn, but was hit by an Imperial ion blast—she proceeded to manually steer her damaged Headhunter into the hangar of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer, managing to eject at the last moment before her craft exploded. In the years following the Thrawn campaign, Jade Skywalker decided to attend Luke Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum, arriving in 079, a Z-95, which she intended to use as a personal escape if her time with the Jedi did not go as planned. During her time on Yavin 4 she lent her Headhunter to fellow Jedi student Corran Horn, and he used it to destroy four Sithspawn monsters.
After her adventure on Wayland, she would fly a Skipray blastboat on a mission to aid a New Republic courier.
Jade Skywalker eventually entered a mutual apprenticeship, though only for a short time, to the Jedi Kyle Katarn. However, her apprenticeship was unfortunately cut short when Katarn left to search the mysterious world of Dromund Kaas. Deciding to follow him, she utilized the ship Shrike to follow and eventually help Katarn. Shrike was a prototype starfighter produced by Incom Corporation, and was privately owned by the smuggler Talon Karrde. During Operation Shadow Hand Karrde permanently loaned it to Jade Skywalker for her personal use. For a very short while she operated a ship by the name of Hunter's Luck, which had originally been a rich kid's private yacht, but was then captured by pirates.
By that time, Jade Skywalker had been the captain of numerous ships, but had never owned a ship which was registered in her name. Her first ship which she privately owned was the Jade's Fire, a Personal Luxury Yacht 3000 which had been previously named the Winning Gamble and which had been given to her by Sansia Bardrin. During the First Corellian Insurrection she piloted the Jade's Fire alongside the Lady Luck and Millennium Falcon at Battle of Centerpoint Station. When Jade Skywalker and Skywalker departed for their mission to Nirauan, Jade's Fire was destroyed over during an attempt to infiltrate the Chiss fortress. The Jade's Fire was unique when compared to other ships that Jade Skywalker had piloted in that it possessed a special "shoot back" system that automatically fired on any vessel that attacked it.
After the Jade's Fire was destroyed, Luke Skywalker presented her with the Jade Sabre as a wedding gift. Jade Sabre required a single pilot to operate, but the ship was designed to carry up to fifteen passengers and up to 100 metric tons of cargo. For defense, Skywalker armed the ship with four concealed quad laser cannons and a tractor beam projector. In 22 ABY, the Skywalkers used Jade Sabre to travel to Crustai on the edge of the Chiss Ascendancy, where they rendezvoused with the Chiss who had offered to lead them to the remains of Outbound Flight. Three years later, in early 25 ABY, Jade Skywalker flew the Jade Sabre with Jaina Solo and Leia Organa Solo to the planet of Rhommamool, where Leia was asked to act as a New Republic envoy to deal with upstart Nom Anor. The galaxy soon erupted into a full scale war with the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, and Jade Skywalker and her nephew Anakin Solo piloted Jade Sabre to the world of Dantooine, where it was hoped that Jade Skywalker could enjoy a vacation. The Yuuzhan Vong, however, soon invaded the planet, and the two Jedi were forced to abandon Jade Sabre when they found themselves cut off from their landing site by warrior patrols.
Several months following the loss of Jade Sabre, Lando Calrissian gave Jade Skywalker the gift of a space yacht that he had recently purchased from spice merchants. Calrissian's wife, Tendra Calrissian, named the ship Jade Shadow due to its non-reflective gray hull. Over time, and with the help of her husband, Jade Skywalker was able to install a tractor beam projector and was also able to reconfigure the aft docking bay to contain her modified Z-95 Headhunter or even carry an entire X-wing. Jade Skywalker used her new ship throughout the remainder of the Yuuzhan Vong war, utilizing it as a base of operations when the Skywalkers decided to search out the living planet Zonama Sekot. Following the defeat of the Yuuzhan Vong, she continued to use the Jade Shadow and operated it during the Second Galactic Civil War.
However, Jade Skywalker was also a capable starfighter pilot, flying X-wings and E-wing escort starfighters during the Yuuzhan Vong War. Later, she would also fly the StealthX variant of the X-wing fighter in the Dark Nest Crisis as well as the Second Galactic Civil War.
Behind the scenes
- "She's a girly girl."
- ―Shannon McRandle on Mara Jade's physical appearance
The character of Mara Jade Skywalker was developed by author Timothy Zahn, and debuted in the novel Heir to the Empire. She quickly became one of the most famous characters of the Expanded Universe, judging by the number and volume of appearances the character has had.
Zahn picked the name "Mara" very deliberately, with the Hebrew word "Mara" meaning bitterness. Also, one of Zahn's dictionaries had "discarded woman" as a meaning for Jade. Thus, the name Mara Jade was born.
In a 1997 poll by Star Wars Insider magazine about the fans' favorite Star Wars characters, Mara Jade placed 20th, the highest-ranked character who did not appear in a Star Wars movie. She was described as the character of Zahn's to whom fans connected the most. Jade Skywalker was also the winner of a Wizards of the Coast trading card game "You Make The Card Contest", where users voted over which Expanded Universe Character to make into a trading card for the Star Wars Miniatures game. In a Wizards.com poll in 2003, Mara Jade Skywalker was overwhelmingly chosen by users to have a card created for an expansion set, edging out her nearest competitor by over six to one in votes.
Mara Jade Skywalker has been portrayed by several women. The most well-known is model Shannon McRandle—formerly Shannon Baksa—in the Star Wars Customizable Card Game. McRandle was chosen to serve as the likeness of Jade Skywalker when Decipher, Inc., after getting the idea approved by Lucasfilm, put out a casting call for the part. McRandle knew a photographer at Decipher who suggested her for the part and that led to her getting the role. McRandle did not have knowledge of the Expanded Universe prior to trying out for the shots of Jade Skywalker but read some of the comic books and part of Heir to the Empire before she was depicted. McRandle's first portrayal of Mara Jade Skywalker was for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game. Since then McRandle's likeness has been on several products that depict Jade Skywalker, including book covers, action figures, and trading cards. She has also been to numerous conventions in both the United States and in other countries such as Japan and Mexico.
In the Return of the Jedi radio drama, C-3PO speaks with Arica, voiced by Samantha Bennett. In Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Mara Jade was voiced by Heidi Shannon; by Edie Mirman in Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi, and by Kath Soucie in Star Wars: Empire at War.
During the Darth Vader campaign in Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, you can discover Mara Jade through cheats in many of the missions. She lurks on the edge of the map, and when discovered, is only there for a moment before walking offscreen. She is also available as a unit if you create a map using the scenario editor. Mara Jade is also the narrator of that campaign.
In another non-canon appearance, Mara Jade appears in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game as a playable character in the duel mode for the Nintendo Wii and PSP. Also, in the game, you can play as her if you enter MARAJADE as a cheat code.
Author and actor comments
- "She fit the story, she fit the Star Wars universe, and she was fun to write."
- ―Timothy Zahn, on Mara Jade
Timothy Zahn, the original creator of Mara Jade Skywalker, has said that the character "has a certain kind of attitude, an alertness, an awareness of what's going on." Zahn went on to say that the only physical characteristics he had in mind for Jade Skywalker were a dancer's figure, red hair, and green eyes. He also said that he wrote the character as a foil for Skywalker and the pairing of her and Skywalker was a reversal of Han's and Leia's roles. He described Jade Skywalker as a well-rounded character with both an emotional and intellectual component to her personality. According to the author, her personality makes her a heroic character, as she doesn't always like what she's doing but does it anyway because it's right. Zahn stated that she was a complex character, but not difficult to write. In an interview, Zahn said that Jade Skywalker's emotional baggage from her past played a large role in the character's personality. She also has a desire for people she can trust, even though she has a hard time connecting with others.
Zahn also explained that Palpatine took Jade Skywalker from her home when she was very young and trained her to be his servant. As such, much of her power was derived from her link with Palpatine, though without the Sith philosophy. Zahn used that element of her to explain why her powers and abilities declined sharply after the death of Palpatine. He described her, even as an Emperor's Hand, as "definitely willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, and let the chips fall where they may." Furthermore, Zahn stated that he sought to maintain certain characteristics of Jade Skywalker, such as her loyalty and desire for justice, during both the character's career as the Emperor's Hand and later as a Jedi Knight.
When he wrote Jade Skywalker, Zahn stated that he kept the romance between her and Luke Skywalker from developing until later works because he wanted to give her time to work through her anger with Skywalker. Prior to the New Jedi Order book series, he said that Jade Skywalker would settle down with her husband, rest from fighting and possibly raise a family. Kevin J. Anderson, who wrote several Star Wars books that featured Mara Jade, stated that originally, Zahn had not intended for Jade and Luke Skywalker to get together—at least not when he was starting to write the Jedi Academy Trilogy. However, Anderson had felt that it seemed obvious for them to fall in love, but did not take his stories in that direction after discussing the matter with Zahn. Instead, he made Jade and Lando Calrissian "an item," saying that they seemed to share a lot of the same interests. Ultimately, though, Anderson said that fan reception of Jade encouraged Lucasfilm to make her Luke Skywalker's primary love interest.
Michael Stackpole, who wrote the Union comics which feature the wedding of Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker, said the biggest problem was trying to have a series that incorporated action, humor, romance, beauty, and adventure. He also said that he saw Union as "a kind of Star Wars family album, and a cap to the Bantam novel continuity. This is a postscript to the last of Timothy Zahn's novels." These novels featured Mara Jade extensively.
During a Hyperspace celebrity chat, Mark Hamill voiced his support of the Mara Jade character and the general direction post-Return of the Jedi fiction has taken Luke Skywalker's story. Hamill did not meet McRandle until a fan convention in 2004.
The decision to kill off Mara Jade Skywalker was made by Lucasfilm for the plot of the novel Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice. The author of Sacrifice, Karen Traviss, stated that it was her idea to have Jade Skywalker die and that she felt obligated to write the scene herself. Traviss further stated that she was a fan of the character and wanted the death of Mara Jade Skywalker to fulfill a larger purpose, and that writing the death scene was difficult for her. As she was writing Jade Skywalker, Traviss said that she wanted to emphasize the importance of Ben to the character, as well as her warrior spirit. In response to Mara Jade Skywalker's death, Shannon McRandle, the model who has portrayed Mara Jade Skywalker on numerous occasions, has stated her displeasure with the events and particularly the cover of Sacrifice. Also, when asked about the issue of Jade Skywalker's death in a writing workshop, Timothy Zahn expressed his displeasure with the decision to kill off the character in Sacrifice. In his comments, he stated that Del Rey not only failed to inform him of the death and he had not heard from them since, but he would still be willing to write another novel about the three Skywalkers.
Mara Jade was one of the first Expanded Universe characters to receive a Hasbro action figure and a Gentle Giant bust. The first Hasbro figure did not use Shannon McRandle's likeness, but the Gentle Giant product did. Additionally, a Mara Jade's lightsaber replica was produced in a limited edition run by Master Replicas and the item rapidly sold out. In August 2007, a second Mara Jade action figure was released by Hasbro as part of their Comic Packs line, consisting of two figures and a comic book reprint. Jade was packed with a Luke Skywalker figure, and issue #5 of Heir to the Empire by Dark Horse Comics.
Wizards of the Coast produced five Mara Jade figures for Star Wars Miniatures collectible board game. The first set, Rebel Storm contained an Imperial version, Mara Jade, Emperor's Hand. This was later reprinted in a full reprint set, Rebels and Imperials. The next one was a New Republic version, Mara Jade, Jedi in Alliance and Empire, a 30th anniversary set. The fourth was an older New Republic version, Mara Jade Skywalker in the Legacy of the Force set. The fifth was an Imperial version again, Arica in the Imperial Entanglements set.
- Star Wars: Empire at War (Appears only in non-storyline event)
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
- Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game (PSP, PS2 and Wii versions only)
- "An Apology" (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Mara Jade on Wikipedia
- Official Website of Shannon McRandle, the model who portrayed Mara Jade in several live-action photographs.