With a sigh, Mara returned her full attention to the desert landscape before her. So she had failed. Her first true failure since the Emperor had designated her his Hand. it hurt. Terribly.
But it was all right. She would make it all right. Skywalker might escape now, but he couldn’t avoid her forever. Eventually, somewhere, she’d catch up with him.
And then he would die.
The making of Mara Jade’s Z-95 Headhunter.
This isn’t my work. This is my friend, Kurt’s. I think it’s amazing!
Her gray jumpsuit had been rather badly stained and rumpled by her trip through the engine nozzle. She had another in her satchel, plus a set of business wear that could be converted into something more formal should the need arise.
But for the situation at hand, she had an even more appropriate outfit.
A few minutes later she was in her combat suit: skintight black, with high boots, a weapons belt, and knee pads for the kind of violent exercise she tended to get in these situations. A compact BlasTech K-14 blaster was holstered against her right hip, her lightsaber rode her left, and a pair of small knives waited hidden in the sides of her boots.
[…] She removed the outfit’s detachable sleeves, anticipating the extra heat that freighters this size usually produced, and left the cloak in the satchel as well. Aboard ship, people seldom fought in the kind of near-complete darkness where the cloak would help obscure her outline, and unless the pirates had weapons with autotargeting systems the material’s passive sensor confusers wouldn’t be necessary.
- description of Mara Jade’s combat suit in Star Wars Allegiance, by Timothy Zahn
I was bemused to find this extremely detailed description of one of Mara’s outfits in Allegiance, not least because Zahn doesn’t usually go for lots of unnececssary detail about clothing. It’s obviously a description of her infamous ‘catsuit’ that is used in many visual depictions of her. It wasn’t described at all in Zahn’s original Thrawn Trilogy and first appeared in the comic adaption of those novels in 1997 (Club Jade has a good history of the catsuit and why it’s problematic here: http://clubjade.net/?p=37452).
The catsuit doesn’t inherently have to be a bad thing, when not used in conjunction with the hypersexualisation that’s actually the really annoying part of it. Sure, it’s impractical if cosplaying it in real life (and yes, I’ve run about in a pleather catsuit a couple of times myself ;) ), but a bit of imagination in a sci-fi environment and you can explain some of that (maybe the ‘pleather’ is a technologically sophisticated material that gives some armour protection while allowing flexibility, it’s feasible I guess - just as he explains away her cloak as having special fabric properties). But I wondered why Zahn bothered including it, especially given hints he’s made in the past about not liking it: http://tosche-station.net/even-timothy-zahn-hates-the-catsuit/
Maybe that’s it though - perhaps he figured that if Mara’s stuck with this image, at least he can rationalise why she might wear it, which he does pretty well, whilst emphasising that it’s not the only or even main thing she wears. It seems to be her Emperor’s Hand uniform in a way, which means it wouldn’t make any sense for her to be wearing it after ROTJ anyway. The version we later see on the Choices of One cover certainly suggests this, and offers a much less annoying version of the traditional catsuit.
While I obviously wouldn’t presume to speak for Mr. Zahn, I can say that he certainly appreciated the non-catsuit Emperor’s Hand costume I wore at Awesome Con. ~Light combat armor~
Also, the description doesn’t specify leather. I like to think that he meant something like spandex.
adeCon prep meant I never did a new release post last week, so naturally there were several last Wednesday.
This Wednesday (6/18) however, brings us Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #2.While you’re at the comic ship, you can pick up last week’s books, Star Wars #18 and the third Dawn of the Jedi trade collection, Force War. Last week also saw Star Wars Insider #150 make it out to the newsstands.
Also on the shipping list for this week? Kotobukiya’s Mara Jade Bishoujo statue. The list is for comic shops, but it’s also on Amazon if you’re so inclined. (It doesn’t seem folks were too impressed, but keep in mind this may very well be the last Mara Jade merchandise ever…)
While rereading The Last Command recently, it finally struck me why Mara is a much-beloved character. I’ve never thought hard on it before because I started reading Star Wars books when I was 13 and just kind of accepted that Mara was a fucking badass and what more do you need to know? There’s all kinds of explanations, from the idea that she’s a “strong female character” to Zahn’s explanation that “she’s also flawed and searching and—dare we say it?—human. At the same time, she’s highly competent at her job. One simplistic answer might be that women can identify with her, while men would like to have her at their side in trouble” (1) (which is kind of a problematic answer on a number of levels but that’s another issue). What made Mara likeable and relatable for me in this arc is her struggle for her own agency against the men in her life and the fact that she fought as hard as she could to maintain her autonomy and won.