When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, the studio rendered the Expanded Universe of novels, comic books, and video games non-canonical, relying instead on the six live-action films and Star Wars: The Clone Wars to create the only official canon. This eradicated some beloved characters from the official franchise, though some have found new life in a variety of properties. Some audiences believed that Mara Jade, a character who married Luke Skywalker, may be appearing in Episode IX, yet author and creator of the character Timothy Zahn
“If there was a generic, or organic, spot for her to fit into a story…I promise people, I will pitch it to the Lucasfilm story group, and then, it’s their decision whether to allow it or not,” Zahn shared with the Talking Bay 94 podcast.
Zahn is still an active collaborator with Lucasfilm, having recently written the novel Thrawn and Thrawn: Alliances. Despite that partnership, it doesn't necessarily mean the studio would actively incorporate him into the development of all of their stories. Zahn is, of course, welcome to contribute ideas, but whether or not the studio incorporates them is up to their own discretion.
Earlier this year, reports surfaced claiming the production was casting a role that was referred to as "Mara," which understandably ignited theories that Mara Jade would appear in the film. It's unclear if those reports were true or if that was the actual name of the character, with Zahn's comments seemingly dashing the hopes of those who wished for an appearance by the character.
Were Mara Jade to make an appearance, it wouldn't be the first time a character made famous by Zahn officially crossed over into Star Wars canon.
The author wrote a trilogy of books that focused on Grand Admiral Thrawn, a terrifying member of the Galactic Empire who proved himself as one of the organization's most skilled tacticians. In the animated Star Wars Rebels, Thrawn made his debut in the new Star Wars canon, with the series allowing the character to put his villainy on full display.
Taking place before the events of Rogue One, Darth Vader appeared in the series, though Thrawn quickly proved himself as the formidable foe of the Ghost crew, reviving interest in the character and inspiring Zahn's newest novels.
Episode IX will be hitting theaters on December 20, 2019.5comments
Do you think the author's comments debunk the Mara Jade rumors? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!
[H/T Talking Bay 94]