Where’s the Happy Ending?May 15, 2012 at 10:42 am | Posted in Opinion | 1 Comment
Tags: Mara Jade Skywalker, Mara Month
One of the most important parts of any story is the ending. Will it be a happy ending? A sad ending? Will the director/author/creator pull off a good one or bad one? It’s the last moment the fans get to experience and it can potentially ruin the entire work. A lot rides on the ending.
Oddly enough, we don’t get very many endings in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. While each individual story might come to a close, the larger story goes on. Luke may have beat the bad guys in Return of the Jedi, but he also beat them in Dark Empire and The Thrawn Trilogy. In fact he’s still beating them. Until he dies, as long as the fans have a desire to see his story continue, there will be no ending for Luke Skyalker. There will always be one more bad guy for him to face.
In a way, there can be no endings in Star Wars as long as the story continues…unless of course the character dies. Empires, both Imperial and Sith, can rise and fall. The last Sith will never die because they are as much an idea as the Jedi are. But characters can die. The heart of all Star Wars stories lies in the characters, be they film characters or EU characters. For fans, the only endings we will ever see is character deaths.
It can be disheartening to think that death is the only ending, but is it not the ending that awaits all living things? The more important question then is: what kind of death? The difference between dying all alone in excruciating pain and dying peacefully in your bed surrounded by friends is the difference between a sad ending and a happy one. We all want the happy ending, but more often than not, we get the sad one.
Take a look at the character deaths in Star Wars. Obi-Wan Kenobi died in combat against Darth Vader in the first movie. Chewbacca was killed when a moon was crashed into the planet he was on. Anakin Solo fell against extragalactic invaders during a mission behind enemy lines. Ganner Ryhsode fought to the death against an unending wave of enemies. Jacen Solo was killed by his own sister in a lightsaber duel. Kenth Hamner plunged to his death. The list goes on and on.
Now we come to the point of the matter: Mara Jade Skywalker. Mara Jade was one of the most beloved Star Wars characters of the EU. She was so loved that she became Luke Skywalker’s wife. She was in all three novels of the Thrawn trilogy. Even in death, she still continues to show up in the novels and comics. Those of us who are Mara fans wanted to see Luke get his happy ending, to grow old with Mara, to have kids, and to die peacefully. But that didn’t happen. After all, happy endings are hard to come by in Star Wars. When the only ending is death, it’s all a matter of how you meet your fate. For Mara Jade, it was not the peaceful conclusion Mara fans longed for.
My point here is not to dwell on an unhappy ending, but to point out that this doesn’t have to be the end. Mara’s death means her story cannot progress into the future, however, it can still carry on in the past. This is evident with Zahn’s novels Allegiance and Choices of One. The EU is a big place and there are plenty of time gaps waiting to be filled in. Those opportunities are ripe for some more Mara action. As long as there are still fans out there who want more Mara, there is always the chance that we will get more Mara stories. And that’s the crux of the issue right there. We Mara fans ask only to be reassured that Mara is remembered, that she is not forgotten and left behind. Character deaths may be the end to a story, but they don’t have to be the absolute end.
As part of Mara Month here on Roqoo Depot, we ask that all Mara fans take the time to send Del Rey a tweet or leave a post on their Facebook page and let them know that we still want more Mara. If we keep the flame alive, then Mara can never truly die. In the end, that’s the best happy ending you can ask for.