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Questions about Mara Jade

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Kahara, Jan 14, 2012.

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  1. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    If this question is covered by or should go in another thread, please direct me to it. Thanks!

    While researching her basic history for background information for another story, I found that it is really difficult to tell how and when Mara manages to become a Jedi by the NJO. Some of the information even seems contradictory, mainly if you try to reconcile information from the video games with the novels.

    I'm not interested in portraying her as a "Force vampire" or someone who rose through the ranks based on her relationship with Luke. That, to me, seems totally out of keeping with what I know of both Luke and Mara.

    My main question is, is this summary of her past largely accurate? So much is continually being added to her history that any story I write will probably by vastly AU by the time it?s finished. I?d like to keep things in a more or less reasonable range, and at least know where I?m going AU. Most of this is based on Wookieepedia and my memories of the books.


    ? From early childhood to some time before 0 BBY, Mara was raised in a controlled environment after being taken from her parents by the Emperor. She was taught to use the Force at some point, though not as a typical Darksider if I remember correctly. Her training led her to use the Force more as a supplement to her physical and mental skills. The main part of her education was complete by age fourteen, at which point she was capable of carrying out assassinations and other missions. The most unusual ability she had (for a semi-trained Force-user) was her telepathic connection to Palpatine, which seems to have been mostly his doing rather than a talent she could apply elsewhere.


    ? Wookieepedia info (which seems to be mostly drawn from game-related sources) indicates that she had some kind of an apprenticeship with Kyle Katarn around 9-10 ABY. Some time around 10 ABY, they moved from the Master-Apprentice training model to a Concordance of Fealty (an exchange of lightsabers for a period of time that marks an approximately equal mutual training relationship.) Mara was involved in a number of difficult missions, including one where she had to turn Kyle back from the Dark Side.


    ? However, by 11 ABY she showed up at Luke?s academy seeming like she?d learned little about the Force since the Thrawn trilogy and was quite reluctant to embrace becoming a Jedi. She left fairly soon after her first arrival.


    ? Subsequent stories up until 19 ABY seem follow the pattern of Mara shows up, trains a little, and leaves. She?s also working for Talon Karrde and at one point trying to start her own business during this time.


    ? She presumably is trained by Luke, possibly mainly after their marriage in 19 ABY. It doesn?t look like she was a Jedi Knight before this, though it would make her rank of Jedi Master by 25 ABY a lot more sensible. Mara travels with Mirax frequently in the YJK era. She begins training Jaina probably around 24 ABY, soon before the Yuuzhan Vong War. She also trains Anakin Solo during the war.


    The fan fiction that I?m thinking of writing would be based on the theory that Mara was actually doing a form of Jedi training during the years from about 13-19 ABY, on a sort of ?correspondence course? basis. This would be fairly unusual even for Luke?s Jedi Order, but I thought it would be an interesting way to explore how she interacts with the Jedi influences in her life (whatever Jedi training information she?s trusted with ? some kind of holocron or copy of one?, communication with Luke, maybe Kyle as well) while also dealing with her other responsibilities. Does this even marginally fit in with the current information about her? I?m not sure whether to entirely discard the information on her and Kyle or not. There doesn?t seem to be much evidence for a continuing friendship or mentorship between them. Is it likely that there was some kind of resentment or other baggage between them because of Kyle?s temporary fall?

    For research purposes, these are the novels that I?ve picked out to read or re-read. Am I missing
     
  2. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    Many of the consistency issues you're having have to do with the lack of communication between the authors back in the Bantam days. Other folks around here, I'm certain, can speak to things more specifically, but I've always (and I know other did too, even as far back as 10+ years ago) considered Mara's journey and sacrifice in VOTF to be her "trial" and therefore basically WAS a Jedi after that point, even though additional training was discussed at the end of that novel.

    I hope this is slightly helpful, and like I said: I'm sure others can be more specific with you. I've been out of the fic and canon worlds for a while. :)
     
  3. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 5, 2004
    Yeah, Luke and Mara state at the end of VotF that the Fire was her sacrifice and that she's a Jedi at the end of that book, but that she'll have to go through private training with Luke. At the beginning of the NJO, Mara is a Jedi Knight, not a master. Sometime during the NJO she becomes a Master, but I'd have to go through the specific DP lists to figure out exactly when.
     
  4. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 5, 2004

    Actually, this is exactly how Tyria Sarkin trained to be a Jedi. She never attended the Academy, but learned on her own using information Luke sent her.

    It doesn't necessarily fit in with what we know of Mara - she was pretty set against being a Jedi, and its inferred in the Hand of Thrawn books that Luke had been trying to encourage Mara to go to the Academy and train as a Jedi but she consistently refused. I'd look over her scenes in the novel I, Jedi, as it delves into a bit of why Mara left the Academy. She was reluctant to learn from Luke based on his actions at Byss.

    As for Kyle, I never played the games so I can't say anything, but in canon Mara never seemed to have a relationship with Kyle after that.
     
  5. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Jun 18, 1999
    I'd presume she was "promoted" to Master once Jaina was "promoted" to Jedi Knight, right? IIRC Jaina was still considered an apprentice in Vector Prime.
     
  6. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 5, 2004
    Well I just checked my books. Mara is listed as a Jedi Knight in Dark Tide I: Onslaught and a Jedi Master in Dark Tide II: Ruin.
     
  7. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 3, 2001
    Thanks for the information, everybody. Sounds like it's back to the drawing board on the plot ideas, but the confusion in her timeline isn't just me. That's reassuring, at least.
     
  8. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    Why go back to the drawing board? That's one of the beauties of fanfiction: if you don't like it, you can just make it up. ;)
     
  9. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 3, 2001
    Well, maybe that was a little hasty on my part. Mainly, it just seems easier in a way for the story to be believable to people if it isn't way out from canon. The main options I'm considering right now are either a) avoiding the Jedi training aspect and just writing about some adventure of Mara's during the post-JA trilogy, pre-NJO years, or b) having the plot spin off from some definitely non-canon event that acts as a catalyst for Mara to take a different view of her priorities. Writing both of the above as separate stories might work too. I'm still deciding how attached I am to the AU-ish aspects.
     
  10. nostalgia

    nostalgia Jedi Youngling star 2

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    Jul 6, 2011
    In reference to her training with Katarn, I know wookiepedia may say otherwise, but when I played the games, they had both already spent some time at the academy. They don't state it explicitly, but it's implied by a couple of their conversations.
     
  11. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 22, 2007
    In my research for my current epic set in this time after Jaina is promoted to Jedi Knight, Mara was only a Master in name only, not title. She only was Master to Jaina's apprentice. Of course, my research didn't last long because in everywhere I looked, that fact was limited to one sentence and then the NJO starts. (I try to remedy this with portraying how Mara and Jaina reacted as Master and apprentice.

    But that's also the beauty of there being not enough back story of Mara Jade in canon; fan fiction authors can create their own.
     
  12. nostalgia

    nostalgia Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Lets face it: this woman's character is so brilliant, that her past, and time not spent with Luke really does deserve some more elaboration. The real beauty of fanfiction is that it doesn't matter what the profic says, because the fans can write whatever they want.

     
  13. kataja

    kataja Jedi Master star 4

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    May 4, 2007
    As others have said, you can do what you want. But if you want to get familar with all the canon stuff with Mara in those years, I'd recommend you to skim Dark Apprentice (11 ABY) , I, Jedi (same), Dark Saber (12 ABY), The New Rebellion (17ABY) and The Correllian Crisis Trilogy(18ABY). There's also a undated (?) but cool passage from her in Jedi Versus Sith. Mara doesn't appear much, but as you can see from the dates, there's a pretty big gap. I'm surprised you say that Mara and Kyle have trained on the Academy, as Mystery of the Sith is supposed to take place in 10 ABY and the academy's not established before year 11... But taht could be one of the typical problems since the timeline wasn't made back then yet. Another possibility is that they've both trained with Luke before he established the Academy.

    But a short summary of what happens in thr books listed: we see Luke and Mara talking, joking even, at the end og TTT (9 ABY) and he gives her his lightsaber. Then happens Dark Empire where we don't see Mara (but a short story says she helps evacuate civilians from Coruscant) but we do know she's off wnatedrign and meets and trains wih Kyle during roughly the same time. We can only speculate how she sees Luke's fallign to the dark side. She comes to the Jedi Academy in Dark Apprentice and seems pretty positive - unfortunately her ship is stolen almost immmediately by another student (who's gone dark) and we get the pic that she's pretty miffed by it :p. DA doesn't really elaborate but we get amuch more varied pic of the happenings in I, Jedi. Still, she's only in that novel too in a few passages. Most of what's been going on is usually based on what she says to Luke in Vision of the Future, but it should be mentioned taht in this novels she's sort of p*ing off territory when she says it, so it migth not be the exct truth either.

    She makes a short appearance in Dark Saber, delivering some stuff, showing off her nes ship to Luke and grabbing a meal in the cantine, then leaves. No training involved, but in JVS we can read her leavign a message to Tionne that's much softer (and that indicates a budding friendship?) where she refects on her time as Emperor's Hand but also a little on her own comings and goings. Beside taht, there's actually no indication taht she shows up at the Academy, but we are of course free to speculate - not to speak about writing AU's.

    Next appearance is in TNR where she's been flying around with Lando (you'll learn more about that if you read VOTF, but she apparetly starts doing that at the end of Champions of the Force, it's pretty vital to her canon doings in those years). There she senses Luke is in trouble and comes to help him but we don't see them interact and her traning isn't mentioned. In TCCT, taking place roughely a year later, she has her own ship, crew and company and gets involved first with Han and Leia, then with Luke a little. No mentioning about training whatsoever but Han and Leia's relations to her in this and TNRare pretty inconsitent with what Zahn writes.

    Again, feel free to do what you want, but if you want to skim the books, just to know what you will or will not follow, you can drop me a PM and I'll give you the numbers of the relevant pages so you can just jump straight on. In text, it honestly isn't much.
     
  14. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2004
    A good short story to read is Jade Solitaire. It takes place in 18 ABY and tells how Mara got the Jade's Fire.
     
  15. kataja

    kataja Jedi Master star 4

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    May 4, 2007
    In what compilation is that now again?
     
  16. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 5, 2004
    It's in Tales of the New Republic. The one where she meets Karrde is in Tales of the Empire.
     
  17. nostalgia

    nostalgia Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2011
    I think, as long as you work within reason, anything you could possibly write about Mara Jade Skywalker would be absolutely fantastic. Canonical or not. Good luck, and I can't wait to see what a writer so dedicated to exploring a character comes out with.

    EDIT: I keep pressing the post button before I'm finished. :oops:
     
  18. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Thank you all for the comments. It's good to have some idea where to start researching. Writing canon characters is often more intimidating for me than writing original characters (since OCs only have to be consistent with themselves and not with an established history.) But I think this will be a fun project, since it requires some work outside my usual comfort zone.
     
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