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Star Wars Rumor: Did George Lucas Really Hate Luke Skywalker's Wife Mara Jade?

Even if she's yet to make a canonized "Star Wars" appearance, Mara Jade remains a fan-favorite character within "Star Wars" Legends, previously known as the "Star Wars" Expanded Universe. First appearing in Timothy Zahn's "Thrawn" novel trilogy, the Emperor's Hand-turned-Jedi Master was prized for her skilled fighting abilities and dedication to the Jedi order after marrying Luke Skywalker. 

However, it has been long rumored that George Lucas himself was not a fan of the character. This largely stems from an interview with Total Film where the "Star Wars" creator denied her place in the canon (via CinemaBlend). "The 'Star Wars' story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader," Lucas said. "Once Vader dies, he doesn't come back to life, the Emperor doesn't get cloned and Luke doesn't get married." But it appears that Lucas' supposed hatred for the character herself was blown out of proportion.

In an interview with Star Wars Theory, Michael Stackpole, best known for authoring the "X-Wing" novel series, explained that Lucas would not have approved of Jade if he didn't want to. "I know that Tim [Zahn] met George Lucas they had a sit-down conversation before the first book was done," Stackpole shared. "I know that as with any of the novels, everything is cleared through Lucasfilm and a hundred percent for anything as major as a love interest being developed for Luke  — that's a decision George would've given a yes or no on." Ultimately, it doesn't seem that George Lucas had any overtly negative feelings regarding Jade to the extent fans believe he did. And even if he wasn't fond of her, it wasn't a fight that Lucas felt was worth his time. 

Lucas was too busy revolutionizing filmmaking to care

George Lucas' alleged disdain for Mara Jade has made for one of the longest-standing rumors throughout "Star Wars" history. He himself even poked fun at the idea in a skit where he angrily threw out a "Robot Chicken" writer who mentioned the character. But at the end of the day, whether or not Lucas truly hated Jade, it wasn't something he felt the need to throw too much energy into. 

"Star Wars" historian J.W. Rinzler heavily believed in this notion. In a 2019 interview with The Resistance Broadcast, the author stated that while Lucas may have not liked Mara Jade, he never made a big fuss about it to the licensing team, simply because it wasn't a high priority for him. "But George ... he had bigger fish to fry," Rinzler said. "He was trying to change filmmaking by advancing digital technology, he wasn't going to get involved in the minutia of the expanded universe. He quite literally had better things to do." 

Considering that "Star Wars" Legends exists in a completely separate realm from Lucas' blockbuster franchise, any characters, retcons, or new rules established in these stories, no matter how egregious he would have found them, ultimately had no impact on the story he wanted to tell. If anything, this outlook benefited the fictional universe. Without the stranglehold of a singular vision bounding everything to the same rules and regulations, "Star Wars" Legends gave artists and storytellers the freedom to explore their own corners of the galaxy far, far away.