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Jade Skywalker, Mara

a strikingly beautiful woman known for her flame-red hair and piercing green eyes, Mara Jade was hand-picked by Emperor Palpatine to become one of the Emperor's Hands. Little was known about her childhood and young adulthood, even by Mara herself. She remembered being taken from her parents by Palpatine, an event that her parents seemed to resent. Palpatine began to train her in the use of the Force, an education that allowed him to imprint himself on her mind, creating a Force bond between them that allowed him to communicate with Mara across vast distances. After her training was complete and she had matured into a strong-willed young woman, Mara was assigned a number of surveillance missions, often posing as one of the Emperor's dalliances in order to escape notice. As a member of Palpatine's closest followers, she gained a good deal of experience in the use of The Force. Her latent Force-sensitivity was heightened by the Emperor, enhancing her ability to contact him across vast distances via Force energy. These abilities later disappeared almost completely when the Emperor was killed. One of the last missions the Emperor assigned her to was the killing of Luke Skywalker. The Emperor claimed to have foreseen her involvement in Luke's death, and sent her to Tatooine following Darth Vader's failure to capture Luke at Cloud City. She infiltrated Jabba's palace as a dancing girl named Arica, but was not allowed onto Jabba's sailbarge when it left to sacrifice Luke and Han Solo to the Sarlacc. This unfortunate setback allowed her to continue in her efforts to kill Luke, but the death of the Emperor at Endor robbed her of her Force abilities and her main source of impetus. She went underground after Palpatine's death, since - as a secret agent for the Emperor - none of the surviving Imperials would ever believe she was more than a dancing girl. She performed a number of odd jons across the galaxy before she joined up with Talon Kaarde. She was working on Tropis at the time, and was employed by two safari hunters who turned out to be Talon Kaarde and Tapper Quelev. When Kaarde and Quelev got into trouble, Mara intervened and helped Kaarde escape. They then made proper introductions, and Mara asked for a job. She joined up just before he became involved with the New Republic, and was once again thrown into Luke's path. The Emperor's command to kill Luke resurfaced, but the events surrounding Grand Admiral Thrawn's plans for Luke and the New Republic kept getting in her way. She found herself helping Luke more often than not. When she and Luke were reunited in C'baoth's stronghold on Wayland, she fulfilled her "destiny" to kill Luke Skywalker, but not in the way she or the Emperor had forseen. When C'baoth sent a clone of Luke to battle the original Luke, Mara destroyed the clone. Following the death of Grand Admiral Thrawn Mara worked with the New Republic as a liaison between the Republic and the newly-formed Smugglers' Alliance. Following the death of the reborn Emperor on Byss, Mara continued to assist the Republic, but was increasingly pursued by Lando Calrissian, both on a business level and a personal level. She kept Lando at arm's-length from a personal standpoint, but joined in with him to restart the Spice Mines of Kessel as a legal source of glitterstim spice. They were also employed by Talon Karrde to search out the location of Jorj Car'das, a job which took them nearly six years to complete on the side. During the Caamas Incident, Mara took a group of Karrde's people to Nirauan, to search out the strange ships that attacked them in the Kauron asteroid field. She was stranded on the planet, and was eventually rescue by Luke. They realized that their relationship was now stronger than ever, especially after Mara bluntly showed Luke that his use of the Force needed to be minimized before he could fully understand it. Luke, in response, helped Mara realize her potential with the Force, unlocking it in time to use it to escape from the Chiss who controlled the Hand of Thrawn. During their escape, Luke asked Mara to marry him, a question to which she immediately agreed. After the resolution of the Caamas Incident, they were wed: once, in a solemn Jedi ceremony performed by Kam Solusar; and again in a public ceremony on Coruscant. Both agreed that they should travel the galaxy as Jedi instructors, leaving the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 to grow beyond Luke's vision. A few years later, Mara suddenly became ill. Through the sheer will of the Force, she remained active, but was unaware that her illness was actually engineered by Nom Anor, in an attempt to see just how powerful the Jedi Knights were. She resisted the disease he had created long after other victims were dead and buried. After the creature named Vergere escaped from the Millennium Falcon and her servitude to the Yuuzhan Vong priestess Elan, Han Solo returned to Coruscant with a sample of Vergere's tears. The creature claimed they could help heal Mara's disease, and Mara was more than willing to try. The initial stages of her recovery were somewhat painful, but whatever Vergere gave them drove off the disease. She hesitated to call herself cured, and retained a small portion of the tears for later use. Soon after the Battle of Fondor, Mara discovered two momentous things: first, that it was Nom Anor who had poisoned her on the planet Monor II; and second, that she was pregnant with Luke's son. She refused to stop fighting against the Yuuzhan Vong, but also realized that she could not longer be at the forefront of the fight. When the Senate ordered Luke's arrest, the couple set out for the Errant Venture, where Mara struggled with her pregnancy. It had been complicated by toxic shock syndrome, brought on by the use of Vergere's tears. With Luke's devotion to her and his connection with the Force, he drove out the Yuuzhan Vong disease and helped Mara give birth to a son, Ben. Luke and Mara spent less time with Ben than they had hoped to, when they were pressed into action defending the Eclipse base from invasion and, later, defending Coruscant. With the fall of Coruscant, Ben was separated from them, but was kept safe by Leia Organa Solo and her husband, Han. Mara and Luke then set out on a most dangerous mission: to locate the rogue planet Zonama Sekot. They were escorted by Arien Yage and the Widowmaker after lending assistance at the Battle of Bastion, and eventually located the mobile planet in the Klasse Ephemora System. Although the planet initially refused to help them, the actions of Luke and the Jedi Knights later convinced Sekot that they were searching for a peaceful resolution to the war against the Yuuzhan Vong. The planet then agreed to follow them back into the galaxy and assist them in any way possible. However, the treacherous actions of Nom Anot nearly destroyed the planet, which was forced to make a blind jump into hyperspace in order to avoid any disaster. Mara and the Jedi were forced to work with the Ferroans to survive the jumps, which caused tremendous damage to the planet's surface. However, Sekot finally decided to make jumps toward the known galaxy, and after speaking with the Jedi, it decided to jump into realspace near Coruscant. There, Mara and Luke were reunited with Han and Leia Solo, along with their daughter Jaina and several other members of the Jedi Order. Luke's input helped shape the Galactic Alliance's final assault on Coruscant, and Mara accompanied her husband to the planet's surface. There, the Jedi set out to locate Supreme Overlord Shimrra and put an end to the war. When Mara encountered Nom Anor in the streets, leading a revolution of Shamed Ones, she set out to bring him to justice. He begged for mercy, claiming that he knew of the poisoned coralskipper Shimrra was planning to send to Zonama Sekot. She spared his life, demanding that he lead them to Shimrra. Ultimately, Luke, Jaina, and Jacen were able to reach the Citadel ahead of them, and Mara arrived to find that Luke had been badly injured by the Scepter of Power. She and Kenth Hamner managed to drag Luke free of the Citadel before Onimi was able to launch its escape pod, and Luke went into a deep Force trance to try and heal himself.
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