...but today is a time to mourn.
Today Sacrifice, the new Star Wars novel in the "Legacy of the Force" series, was published. As is being widely reported already, this is the book that sees the death of Mara Jade Skywalker: wife of Luke Skywalker and perhaps the most beloved Star Wars character to have never appeared in any of the movies.
Mara Jade first appeared in Heir to the Empire, the first of the modern "expanded universe" books, in May of 1991. When we first saw her she was trying to kill Luke. She ended up falling in love with him. The two had a wedding as beautiful as any to be found in a fairy tale.
Mara Jade Skywalker was many things: former Imperial, Palpatine's personal assassin, smuggler, dancer, spy, Jedi, diplomat, wife, mother to son Ben... and so very beautiful.
And now, she is dead. Murdered at the hands of nephew Jacen Solo... who is now a Sith Lord calling himself Darth Caedus.
It's the end of an era, my friends...
Mara Jade, we hardly knew ye!
By the way, I sort of have a bit of "history" with Mara Jade. Some years ago I sat next to Shannon McRandle - the actress who did Mara's "real life" portrayals - during dinner. And in 2000 I interviewed Mara Jade's creator Timothy Zahn in an interview for TheForce.net. Then I wound up making a replica Luke Skywalker lightsaber for a friend's Mara Jade costume...
And yes, I do have a "favorite" Mara Jade outfit. But I'm not going to say which one it is here. But I will say this: of all the Star Wars female characters, I always thought that she was the hottest (WAY more so than that ridiculous "slave Leia metal bikini"). And for her attitude as much as for her loveliness.
Rest in peace, Mara...