(Character - Expanded Universe - Portrayed by: Shannon Baksa)
Sensing her powers in the force, the Emperor proably took Mara Jade from her parents at an early age. He trained her in the ways of the dark side, teaching her marksmanship and lightsaber fighting. His instruction also included educating her in matters of political intrigue and spying techniques. Palpatine successfully turned Mara Jade into his personal assassin and infiltrator. She was known by the code-name "The Emperor's Hand". Well trained, Mara traveled the galaxy ruthlessly exposing traitors and eliminating Palpatine's enemies. She took covert operations that other Imperial troops could not handle. Since she was able to hear the Emperor's commands from anywhere in the galaxy, Mara was Palpatine's most powerful - and most secret - weapon.
Since it seemed that Luke Skywalker would not turn to the dark side of the Force (and Vader was reluctant to kill him), Palpatine ordered Mara to kill Skywalker. Mara went under cover in Jabba's palace where she was hired as a dancer and assumed the name Arica. She was intent on ending Skywalker's life when he tried to rescue Han Solo, but she wasn't allowed to go along with the group heading to the Great Pit of Carkoon, where Luke's sister ended Jabba's life. This failure eventually resulted in the destruction of the second Death Star and the death of the Emperor himself.
An angry Mara Jade, haunted by the Emperor's death vision, vowed not to rest until Luke Skywalker was dead. Devastated by the death of the Emperor, Mara found work as a smuggler and eventually joined with Talon Kaarde. A few years later she crossed paths with Skywalker again, but circumstance made them alies instead of enemies. And after he saved her life, it became harder to keep her vow to kill Luke even though she told anyone who would listen that it was her intent. She didn't kill Luke but helped him defeat the evil Clone Master Jorrus C'Baoth. She was able to end the tourturous voice in her head when she killed Lukke, Luke's clone (saving Luke in the same instance).
Afterwards Luke gave her his fathers lightsaber. Mara continued to work on the Smuggler's Alliance for a few years. Lando Calrissian showed some romantic intrest in her, but was kept at arms lenght. She occasianally dropped by Yavin 4 to work on her Jedi training and to see Luke. She helped on many missions for the New Republic. On one mission, looking for the Hand of Thrawn, she and Luke worked together on a planet on the edges of the outer rim where they found the Hand of Thrawn along with a clone Thrawn. They managed to destroy it but when locked in a flooding chamber Luke proposed to her and she accepted. Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker did marry and under Luke's guidance Mara went on to become a powerful Jedi Knight.
A few years after thier marriage, Mara and Luke decided to travel and let the Academy grow on it's own. Mara, however, both became ill (through the efforts of soon to be discovered enemies) and discovered she was preganant. With Luke's help, the diease was driven out and her son, Ben Skywalker, was born.
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