... a few facts about the characters that feature in my stories.
Son to Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala, twinbrother to Leia Organa. After growing up on his uncles farm on the desert planet of Tatooine, Luke joined the Rebel Alliance and helped to overthrow the Galactic Empire. For the rest of his life, Luke remains deeply involved with the events in the galaxy.
Exceptionally gifted with the Force, Luke was trained first by Obi-Wan Kenobi and later by Master Yoda. He established the New Jedi Order, gathering Force sensitives from the entire galaxy, and rose from Jedi Knight to Master and finally Grand Master.
In 18 ABY Luke married Mara Jade, ten years after their first, hostile encounter. They had one son, Ben Skywalker.
The character of Luke Skywalker was created by George Lucas for Star Wars: A NEW HOPE (1977). For better and for worse, Luke's character is the very archetype of a hero both in storyarch and traits but actor Mark Hamill managed to give him a vitality and complexity that continues to capativate generations.
Separated from her parents from an early age, Mara was trained into a highly specialized agent and named the Emperor's Hand. After Palpatine's death she roamed the galaxy, determined to follow his last command: to kill Luke Skywalker.
In 8 ABY she met informations broker and smuggler Talon Karrde and joined his organization. She finally encountered Luke in 9 ABY but due to circumstances, she could not allow herself to kill him. Upon learning how Palpatine had used her ruthlessly for his own ends, Mara was able to free herself from his influence and she and Luke formed first a weary truce, then a friendship. Ten years later they married on Coruscant and in 26 ABY their son Ben was born.
Force sensitive from birth, Mara's skills were only partly developed by the Emperor. She joined Luke's Jedi Academy sporadically but ten years would pass before she was prepeared to commit herself. After her marriage, Mara quickly advanced to Jedi Master.
Mara was killed by Darth Caedus (former Jacen Solo) in 40 ABY.
Mara Jade was created by writer Timothy Zahn and first appeared in his novel Heir to the Empire 1991. Her character can be seen as a development of the gorgeous butt-kicker in the form of the many-layered female assassin that became popular around that time, f.ex. in Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita (1990). She is also in tradition with the red-haired spitfire as portrayed by Maureen O'Hara in Against All Flags (1952).
"People say to me, “Dude, you’re married to Mara Jade! She’s smokin’ hot!” I go, “That would have been nice if they had thought of that when I was actually involved!" - Mark Hamill (CapeTown Film Festival may 2013)
Ever since her first appearence, Mara has been portrayed very differently. On book pages. EU authors have had various succes with capturing her character, while for her looks, well... peep into the image gallery and see for yourself.
Born in 26 ABY during the Yuuzhan Vong war, Ben is son to Luke and Mara. After withdrawing from the Force as a young boy he eventually followed in their footsteps and become a Jedi Knight. For many years Ben was remarkably close to his cousin Jacen and in his early teens, when Jacen started turning towards the Dark Side, it lead Ben to repeated conflicts with his father. After Mara's death, however, father and son found each other again and when Luke was sent into excile in 43 ABY, Ben followed him.
Ben is still a character in development in the EU but it is clear that he has inherited his red hair, his quick, independent wit and sharp tongue from his mother.
Twin sister to Luke, married Han Solo in 8 ABY and mother to Jaina, Jacen and Anakin Solo, Leia is from infancy adopted by Bail and Breha Organa, rulers of Alderaan. From her teens to 18 ABY she was deeply involed in galactic politics, as senator, rebel and Chief of State of the NR.
Highly Force sensitive, Leia did not pursuit her Jedi legacy properly before 35 ABY but even after that she's never involved deeply in the NJO but prefers a role as influential outsider.
Being one of the few Force sensitives to remain in a (seemingly) life long, happy relationship, Leia's life is still full of tragedies. She's lost not only her home planet Alderaan but also her two sons, having to watch helplessly as the oldest of them drifted to the Dark Side.
In the OT, Leia was portrayed by actress Carrie Fisher and set new standars for female characters in cinema.
Pirate, smuggler, Imperial officer, rebel, hero and husband to a princess and Galactic Chief of State, Han Solo might not only be the most famous Corellain in galactic history but also the one with the most wide-spanning career. It is however as husband, friend and cunning pilot that he is at his best.
Han Solo was portrayed by Harrison Ford in the OT. He has been described at "the SW character every guy, at some point in their lives, wanted to be."
A Wookiee, born on Kashyyk 200 BBY, Chewie is the loyal friend and side-kick to Han Solo. In the EU he continued to follow his human friends and only occationally visited his wife Malla and son Lumpawaroo on Kashyyk. He died a hero's death on Sernpidal, 25 ABY in the early stages of the Yuuzhan Vong War.
Chewie was played by hospitale porter Peter Mayhew in both the OT and Revenge of the Sith. Although completely hidden by a hairy costume he non the less managed to give his character so much personality and expression that no other actor has managed to reprise the role. Chewies voice was provided by sound designer Ben Burtt.
Jedi Knight and Master of the Old Jedi Order, Obi-Wan settled on Tatooine to keep watch over Luke as he grew up.
After introducing Luke to the Force, Obi-Wan was killed by Darth Vader but his Force ghost continued to guide and help the young Jedi apprentice for years.
Obi-Wan was played by sir Alec Guiness in the OT and by Ewan McGregor in the PT.
900 years old and of an unknown species, Yoda was a true master of the Force and the head of the Old Jedi Order. After the fall of the Old Republic, Yoda went into excile on the swamp world of Dagobah where Luke arrived in 3 ABY to recieve Jedi training.
Yoda died peacefully of old age in 4 ABY.
Yoda was voiced and puppeteered by Frank Oz in Episodes I, IV, V and VI. In Episodes II and III he was rendered with computer animation, adding a manouverability not previously possible.
The only one to ever have survived two Death Stars, Wedge is a master pilot and good friend of Luke 's. Together, they founded the legandary Rogue Squadron in 0 ABY. Other notable Rogues are Tycho Chelchu, Wes Jansen, Hobbie Klivian and Corran Horn. Many years later, Wedge married Cor Sec agent Iella Wessiri and they have two daughters.
Wedge was played by Denis Lawson on the OT but it is EU that has established him as everyman's hero - a hero with no supernatural abilities execpt his extraordinary ability to survive - and win.
Force sensitive, Cor Sec agent, pilot in Rogue Squadron and later Jedi Master, Corran Horn is a friend of both Luke and Mara. He's married to smuggler and trader Mirax Horn (born Terrick).
Corran's character was created by writer Michael Stackpole and first appeared in short story Missed Chance, 1995. The story was a prequel to his X-Wing series of novels where Corran is one of the two main protagonists. I used Corran as self-appointed detective in my short story Caught.
Smuggler, baron, general, businessman - Lando's professions and titles are multiple but in his heart he is and remains a gambler. He's the second ressourceful scoundrel introduced to the Star Wars universe and inherits the role after Han's gone (mosty) respectable.
Billy Dee Williams played Lando in the OT.
Darth Vader/ Anakin Skywalker
Slave, Jedi, Sith, Saviour and the Chosen One - Anakin Skywalker was all of this but to me he's still most interesting as Darth Vader.
In the OT Darth Vader was played by David Prowse but got much of his personality from the voice of James Earl Jones. Anakin Skywalker has been played by Hayden Christensen, Jake Lloyd and (briefly and now edited away) by Sebastian Shaw.
Respected Senator of Naboo and later Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, Palpatine was succesful not only to conceal his identity as Darth Sidious but also to undermine the Old Republic and Jedi Order to such an extent that he could exclaim the First Galactic Empire in 19 BBY. As Emperor, Palpatine was in command of the most powerful military force the galaxy had ever seen and had thus complete control over the people in the entire galaxy.
An incredible actor, extremely intelligent, patient and manipulating, Palpatine is the archetypal megalomaniac villain.
The Emperor was first seen as a hologram in Episode VI, 1980 but it was Ian McDiarmid's portrayals in Episode VI and later I, II and III that established him as the blackhearted villain that made Dark Lord Vader look decent in contrast.
Shira Brie made her entrance as Luke Skywalker's fellow pilot and possible love intrest in the Marvel Star Wars run (issue 56, Coffin in the Clouds). However, she quickly showed dubious sides of herself and was soon revealed as Imperial agent. Shot down by Luke, she later emerges as cyborg and Dark Side vielder under the name of Lumiya.
Many years later, Lumiya is instrumental in Jacen Solo's turning to the Dark Side.