Yeah, we all heard it: “Emperor’s Hand” in Saturday night’s Rebels, ‘Legacy of Mandalore.’ The Hand in question is Gar Saxon, governor of Mandalore, a character who’s appeared on Rebels before.
So no, it’s not Mara Jade, the first and best known “Emperor’s Hand” in the no-longer-canon Star Wars Legends timeline. Per Dave Filoni himself, it was just a reference. He told ComicBook.com it’s “probably just a little sly nod to a character type.” Probably:
I think it would probably be meant more innocently, but the minute you say it I’m like, ‘Good grief.’ I know exactly where everyone’s going to go with that,” Filoni told us with a laugh. “I know, with the hopefulness of it all, but I wouldn’t dwell too much on that. It’s more of a generic reference to that type of character that exhibits in history of the world, like the emperor has a hand, there’s someone who’s always sitting at the right hand that’s gained great power.”
Yeah, Filoni could be playing games. But I’m willing to take the comments at face value for now… Even though giving the title to both a man and a Mandalorian seems particularly tone-deaf.
But the fact is, I’ve been rather wary of Mara returning to canon and would prefer it not be on Rebels – if at all. (Rebels is fine for what it is, but it just doesn’t do it for me. Take all the Thrawn you like, but I’m selfish and want more for Mara.)
The Star Wars Fan Figure vote finalists are in, and it’s a Legends-heavy field this year: Jaina Solo, The Force Unleashed’s Starkiller, Darth Talon from the Legacy comics and even our own namesake Mara Jade. Rounding out the choices are The Clone Wars’ Captain Rex and bounty hunter Dengar.
(Were certain Legends zealots doing some targeted ballot-stuffing to ensure this outcome? Oh, definitely. Yet in the grand scheme of things, they clearly followed the rules, and there’s no malice to be done here. An action figure hurts no one, so let them have their fun.)
Mara won this a couple years back, and even the resulting figure was something of a disappointment, I don’t really feel tempted to vote for her again. (That Fan’s Choice was her third Hasbro figure, and every single one had to be wearing that silly catsuit, apparently.) Having three women in the finals might be unprecedented, but I don’t find any of the choices all that exciting. Vote as you will: The winner will be announced at Hasbro’s SDCC panel on Friday.
Grand Admiral Thrawn was revealed as a villain in Star Wars Rebels S3, and that’s not even the whole of it. Timothy Zahn – who gave his blessing to the Rebels version via video – is writing a canon Thrawn novel that’ll be out in April 2017.
The Rebels Thrawn is being voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, Mads Mikkelsen’s brother.
Thrawn, who originated in Zahn’s Heir to the Empire in 1991, is the first Legends character to make the jump to the new canon.
When asked if Mara Jade could be next, Filoni was fairly straightforward: “No, not likely.” (I am, for the record, more than okay with that.) Filoni also said that the ysalamiri aren’t making the leap to canon, although there are some visual nods to them in the production design of Thrawn’s introduction.
On his Facebook, Zahn said he’s just turned in the first draft of the novel.
The trailer also featured Wedge Antilles and a Force sensitive character named Bendu, who’s being voiced by Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. For more on everything else about Rebels S3, head to StarWars.com.
Two episodes were show (but not livestreamed) and you can read one review, with some spoilers, over at io9.
Filoni and Lucasfilm’s Kiri Hart talk about how the show makes Thrawn work on Sunday, comparing him to Vader as a villain: “We want to treat him like a big time villain, as much as Darth Vader,” Filoni said. “But on the strategic, military side of things.”
Can you believe that I’ve now completed six whole months of #WearStarWarsEveryDay? That’s a different Star Wars apparel item worn every day for the past twenty-six weeks – 182 days of shirts, hats, costumes, outerwear, even a skirt and a pair of sweatpants. And there’s still more coming!
To mark the six month point, I decided to wear a week of just Her Universe clothing, as a way to highlight the different programs of Collateral Repair Project that help empower women, including their Hope Workshop and their programs funded by Dining For Women. And so we go a whole seven days, turning from the light side with Yoda and Ahsoka, and slipping to the dark side with Mara Jade and the Empire! One shirt is mine, and the High Commander Cardigan borrowed from Mrs. Jawa, and the rest are loaned by Margaret Mays (4 items) and Dunc! Plus we got a donation – Jennifer, one of our per-day pledgemakers, got her bimonthly donation in ahead of time! Clothing art by Tsuneo Sanda, Dave Filoni, Cat Staggs and Nathan Hamill. This review for Week 26 covers June 24 to June 30 of my wearathon, and an update on fundraising for Collateral Repair Project, a non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance, education, and community support to urban refugees.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Wear Star Wars Every Day so far! There’s a lot of people who had donated to Collateral Repair Project, with more than $1,900 raised in the first six months, over $1,300 of which is via the GoFundMe. And each day I continue my project is another $4.65 donated by our pledge makers. I’d love to get that total up to $5.00 even (or higher!) for the second half of 2016. If you’d like to chip in at a dime a day or a quarter per day (or more), make your pledge at the per-day pledge form and you can choose whether to support the project for the entire year, or just start at the beginning of July. Or you can just make a one-time or monthly donation at GoFundMe.com/WearStarWars2016.
I’m not in The Clone Wars generation by any means – I’d been active in fandom for more than a decade when Ahsoka came around – hell, this blog was four years old in 2008.
But what Ahsoka is to that generation, Mara Jade was to mine. She was, back in the day – or at least to some of us – just as big a Star Wars figure as Leia. In fact, she was only the second female in the whole franchise to get anywhere near that much development. For nearly a decade – before the prequels – Mara Jade was the second-most important woman in Star Wars. But she’s not canon any more. And though I don’t really care about that, I have to admit it hurts to see her effect ignored. Oh, I know that to mention her in that video would just muddy the waters, but so much of what you see with Ahsoka and fandom right now mirrors what was happening with Mara and fandom back in the day.
Marvel solicitations for April are out. (Hattip to @DarthSpiriah.) It includes Kanan: The Last Padawan #1 (which has a little art peek at StarWars.com,) but the real curiosity may be Princess Leia #3 – or rather, the second woman on the cover. Some are suspecting it’s Winter, a Legends character it would make sense to bring back given that we know the miniseries is dealing with Alderaan, but I wouldn’t say no to a brand-new lady pilot. Either way, we’ll find out in April. UPDATE: She’s a new character.
And depite the million or so copies in circulation, Star Wars #1 is going back for a second and third printing. In CBR’s latest Axel’s In Charge Q&A, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso talks a bit about Star Wars #1 and the line in general. On that note, Darth Vader #1 is looking like it’ll sell more than 200,000 copies.
Why the Emperor’s Hands need to be in Rebels. Nanci at Tosche Station lays out why she thinks the role should make the jump from Legends. I mostly agree, but I don’t think the actual title is necessary. But between the Inquisitor and Asajj Ventress, there’s certainly plenty of precedent in canon – even if the concept of Emperor’s Hand actually predates both of them.