To be honest the mention of Mara Jade by Ryan Scott of MovieWeb kind of gave me the tingles since she was a character in the EU that was a big hopeful to see when Disney purchased Lucasfilm, but of course that went sideways quickly. Just to tell you of who Mara Jade is, or was, or could be, and how it might factor into The Mandalorian and even The Rise of Skywalker, you’ll have to at least look up the character online and get a better sense of how she was brought to life. Out of all the characters ever created for Star Wars she’s definitely one that has had the ability to show up just about anywhere without warning and was, for the EU canon, one of the most dynamic and well-liked individuals that was ever created. The fact that Disney didn’t bring her around was kind of regrettable, but it also makes one think that the end of the Skywalker saga was always the plan, which is another regret that a lot of fans will continue to give the Mouse House the stink-eye over.
Mara Jade spent a good portion of her early life as a servant and an assassin in the employ of none other than Emperor Palpatine. Skilled and trained in the ways of the Force she was used as the Emperor’s Hand, one of several in the EU canon, to undertake various tasks that he would assign her. This brought Mara into conflict with Vader a few times and often forced her to fight her way back to safety. But the trick is that she was very good at getting into places as she learned how to be a smuggler and even ran with some of the lowest scum of the galaxy to get what she needed and complete her objectives. This means that she ran into plenty of bounty hunters during her time and had to deal with all sorts of people, well away from the Jedi vs. Sith conflict and firmly ensconced within the terror campaign that the Empire was so fond of pushing. She was the silent operative among the bunch and didn’t often get called upon unless there was something that was in need of a softer but equally lethal touch since Vader was more like a sledgehammer that the Emperor used to beat down his opponents, while Mara was more like a scalpel in how she operated.
Unfortunately she’s just one part of the overall theory that The Mandalorian will be setting up material that could be important to The Rise of Skywalker since honestly it’s a lot of conjecture and not enough facts at this point. It’d be exciting though to see another character that people really care about, but considering that she’s strictly from the EU, where she first came to prominence no matter what anyone wants to point out, it’s not entirely likely that we’ll see her. But there is plenty of other material and information that might be able to link The Mandalorian to The Rise of Skywalker since within the world of the bounty hunters there’s still plenty of interaction that goes on from one end of the galaxy to the other since bounty hunters are known to track their prey to the ends of known reality at times. That means that they see plenty and meet quite a few people along their travels, so it’s likely that the Mandalorian might set up a few moments here and there that might be recognized in the coming movie. Right now some of the theories seem a bit thin, but it’s likely that Disney could start connecting the dots since The Mandalorian is its first live-action TV show and as such there really needs to be some kind of continuity to keep the people happy. Britt Lawrence of CinemaBlend has more to say on this.
That seems less important to the Mouse House than keeping the people excited however since excited people buy the tickets, the merchandise, and don’t realize just how badly they’re about to get fooled until it’s too late. That could be why some of us will be going into The Rise of Skywalker with expectations that aren’t only lowered a bit but will be on high alert in order to keep from being shattered once again. As far as The Mandalorian goes the show looks like a solid hit already and could possibly live up to its reputation that has been created throughout the movies and books, but again, it’s best to sit down as neutral as possible and not expect too much until such time as it’s been seen whether it’s worth something or not. The hope of course is that both the show and the movie will be worth the wait, but until we find out for certain it’s probably best to just be patient.