'Star Wars: Episode IX' Casting Rumor Teases the Movie Debut of Popular EU Character

The latest film in the Skywalker Saga proved divisive among the Star Wars community, but some new developments for the next installment might prove promising for Extended Universe fans.

A new casting report found by That Hashtag Show indicates Star Wars: Episode IX is casting "a female lead, 40-50 years old, to play the role of 'MARA.'" Now, that should ring some alarms for a number of reasons.

While we can't confirm this rumor, That Hashtag Show has had a decent track record with casting call information. And with Star Wars: Episode IX set to start filming later this summer, it makes sense that we'd start to hear new information about the pre-production process.

Their report states Nina Gold, casting director for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, is involved yet again for the new movie.

If you're wondering why this is a big deal, you might have forgotten (or aren't familiar with) the character Mara Jade. The popular character from the Legends continuity first debuted as the Emperor's Hand, a trained assassin proficient with a lightsaber and the Force. She was basically Palpatine's secret apprentice, until she joined the light side and developed a relationship with Luke Skywalker.

The two eventually got married, and Mara Jade became one of the most popular Extended Universe characters alongside Grand Admiral Thrawn. She's appeared in video games and has a Black Series action figure. So is she set to make her big screen debut?

Well, let's not get our hopes up. Most major films tend to use codenames for their main characters, with actors given broad descriptions when submitting to audition for the part. Mara is either someone getting lazy and likely fired for this slip, which seems unlikely, or a code name meant to throw people off.

It could even be a combination of the two, with the code name for the character meant to evoke a certain reaction among Star Wars fans. After all, the character is being billed as a female lead, 40-50 years old. With all of the major players from the original trilogy gone, that would leave room for a mysterious new character to enter the storyline.

Maybe it's not Mara Jade, but it could be someone inspired by the Legends character. After all, recent movies have borrowed heavily from the former EU, including Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Either way, this just got us excited for the future of the Star Wars galaxy — and the movie is still over a year away from hitting theaters!

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Star Wars: Episode IX premieres in theaters December 20, 2019.

Do you want to see Mara Jade on the big screen? Let us know in the comments!