I had a few days off because I didn’t go to Origins
JadeCon this year, but I did end up writing/repurposing some stuff from Tumblr for a post on Mara Jade and the Star Wars generation gap. It’s done pretty well, going viralish on Facebook and getting chosen as a featured link on Tumblr. (Isn’t it nice that they finally made Tumblr links look decent?)
It’s a little weird to look at fandom and realize how young some of these folks are – Tumblr, Twitter, makes no difference – it’s just the nature of Star Wars that it picks up new folks with each new wave, and sometimes it’s just boggling. (I remember feeling shocked when I realized that most of the staff of another site were probably fairly young teenagers when they started it, even though I was a teenager when I started my first site…) The roots of that Mara post, for instance, lie not just with the Ahsoka thing I mention, but with something I randomly came across on the tags several months ago, when I realized that these fans don’t know what it’s like not to have Star Wars stuff all over the place constantly. They never had to search for an out-of-print novel from 1977, because only a tiny handful of Star Wars novels have gone out of print in their lifetimes, period. (Suck it, Young Jedi Knights.) They never had to learn about the events of a comic book from the roleplaying supplement because it was the days before mall bookstores carried graphic novels. Most of them probably can’t even imagine fandom before Wookieepedia.
And hell, I can’t remember waiting for the original movies to come out, one by one – not when I couldn’t even wait a day after The Empire Strikes Back to watch Return of the Jedi on VHS. And that kind of thing – the waiting – can really define your relationship with something. I didn’t wait for the OT, but I’ve been waiting for each of those books since December 1991. I remember thinking that it was more likely that Mara was going to die in Visions of the Future than have anything happen with Luke.
Now, the thing with doing anything regarding Mara at this point is that it brings out the ‘she should be canon!’ comments – and not just from the frothy fringe types who throw fits about the old books being declared noncanon. I’m of mixed minds about bringing Mara back, but talk of it isn’t really something that can be avoided.
Obviously, I can see half a dozen ways they could do it, involving both Episode VII spoilers and canon stuff that’s out in the open. Any spoiler-reading fan who knows the difference between Legends and canon could probably do the same, and I could no doubt write a post about it and go viral all over again, but the thing is I don’t want to encourage that thinking. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. My prevailing mindset here is wait and see, and I honestly feel that’s the safest path. I can’t control the whole fandom – there are no doubt a couple of those posts already out there – but I don’t have to participate, either.
Will I be devastated if they don’t bring Mara back eventually? Maybe, but I suspect not. I’ve joked that if I do hate Episode VII that I’ll just quit blogging and write fanfic of ‘my’ version – though if I was going to write fanfic, period, wouldn’t I have done it by now? But no amount of snotty know-it-all fanboy assholery is going to stop me from hoping, either. I’ve certainly had enough practice.