#3323: Mara Jade



Mara Jade was once Emperor Palpatine’s Hand, his most-trusted assassin. Five years later and now a successful smuggler, the last thing Mara expected was to stumble upon her former arch-enemy: Luke Skywalker.”

The post-Jedi Star Wars Expanded Universe had within it a good number of characters who rose to prominence, despite not being a direct part of any of the on-screen adventures of the franchise.  One of the more prolific examples was Mara Jade.  Introduced in Heir to Empire, Mara served as a foil to Luke, as the two eventually went from enemies to lovers.  Given her quite interwoven story with Luke, Mara was one of the first major “casualties” of Disney moving away from the Expanded Universe.  Unlike Thrawn, her compatriot from Heir, Mara has not, as of yet, made the jump to Disney’s official canon.  Her presence in the franchise as a whole has been a bit down played in more recent years, but she’s gotten her second figure since the Disney take-over, which, if you’re counting, brings her total number of figures up to a whopping four.  But hey, Black Series coverage.  That’s pretty cool.


Mara Jade is part of the third round of the comics-inspired sub-line of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.  While prior assortments have had four figures, this one’s down to three.  Hey, at least Mara finally made the cut.  She’s officially branded “Legends,” denoting her outside of canon status.  Mara is based on her appearance in Dark Force Rising, allowing her to be a direct follow-up to Luke from Heir, by virtue of being the next entry in that trilogy.  It translates to her still wearing the all-black get-up that she’s best known for, so it works fine by me.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and she has 28 points of articulation.  Mara’s posability is a little more restricted than some more recent figures from the line, but not terribly so.  A lot of it has to do with her construction, which re-uses a good chunk of  parts from Jaina Solo (who is, entertaining, the first figure to use the “Legends” classifier).  She shares the torso and legs with that release and gets a new head and arms to differentiate things.  It all works a bit better than I’d expected; many of Mara’s prior figures have looked a bit tossed together, but this sculpt flows rather nicely.  The head sculpt doesn’t exactly have a spot-on likeness of Shannon McRandle (the model who “portrayed” Mara on book covers and trading cards in the ’90s), but it maintains enough of the traits to feel appropriately like the character.  It’s certainly closer than any prior attempt.  The only slight nit is that the hair’s maybe a tad flatter than it should be, but it’s minor.  To further differentiate Mara from Jaina, Mara gets extra add-ons for her shoulder harness, bandana, and goggles.  They can also be removed, if you want a more streamlined look.  Mara’s color work is generally on the basic side, largely relying on molded colors, especially for the bulk of her outfit.  She gets the now standard face printing, which is suitably clean and life like.  Mara is packed with her distinct purple lightsaber, as well as a small blaster pistol.  It’s a bit on the light side, but it’s standard at this point for this branch of the line.  At least both of her accessories are actually for her, which is more than could be said for Luke.


Honestly, a few years ago, I probably wouldn’t have picked up Mara at all.  I’ve not really had any direct interactions with the character.  I do have her Expanded Universe figure from ’98, but that one’s more fueled by nostalgia than anything.  That said, Rebels got me more interested in Thrawn as a character, so I wound up buying his Black Series figure.  I then got the Heir Luke figure, since I was buying others from the first comics assortment.  At that point, I was two figures deep on this set, and Mara was kind of the main missing piece.  She’s the strongest of the three, so she was certainly worth the wait.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.


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