A novel rumor? How very… Well, it’s been a while. With Del Rey teasing James Luceno’s Tarkin today, up sprang a good amount of speculation that his EU mistress Natasi Daala may make an appearance… And a rumor that we could see Mara Jade in this book as well.
The Daala part is pure speculation, but I can see her as a firm maybe. It would be nice to see the character redefined to be less of a grab-bag of lame sleeping-her-way-to-the-top stereotypes – there’s really only room for improvement, and it’s not like they can make her president in this time period. Despite how many books they kept bringing her back for in the old EU, she’s not really what I would consider to be a significant character, which gives them that much more leeway. (Whether Luceno is the one to make those improvements… Well, it could be worse, I guess.)
But Mara Jade, as Luke Skywalker’s wife and a character with a still-significant fanbase all her own, is perhaps the most-high profile EU character who could (possibly) connect to the sequel trilogy, and an appearance in the new canon at this early point will rocket expectations sky high. (Do we really need more of that? Aren’t expectations for Episode VII high enough already?) My first instinct – that they’d put Mara in to kill her off earlier in the timeline – would just be cruel to fans that are still (occasionally) somewhat bitter over Legacy of the Force. Better no Mara than to kill her off all over again.
Now, some seem to think Mara could be the ‘new ally’ in Heir to the Jedi, and while I don’t think that’s the case either, it’s at least a book that a fair share of Mara fans may pick up – which I’m not quite sure is the case for Tarkin.
And, of course, any hints leading to Mara (and even Daala) could equally apply to Shira Brie. You can’t say the early EU didn’t have a type.
Obviously I’m not really putting much stock in this rumor, but if this was a ploy to make me at least skim the ARC when it comes in – well done.