This is a story that I have had running through my head since I first encountered Mara Jade. I wondered what would have happened had Mara been introduced in Return of the Jedi. Now I know Jayd has one going as well, but I have sent her the first two chapters before I posted. So far our stories are different, but have the same plot. Mara in ROTJ. She has had no objections and I have the first chapter ready to post. Here is my version of events.

Disclaimer--Everything belongs to GL and Lucasfilm, LTD. I am making no money from this. I am writing for personal enjoyment, Please don't sue.

A Jedi's Return


By Maara

Jabba's Palace

She stood back in the shadows, watching the scene unfold before her. Luke Skywalker, standing before Jabba's throne, trying to free Han Solo from Jabba's clutches. She smiled to herself, wondering if the slimy Hutt would save her the trouble of having to kill Skywalker herself.

No, something would happen to ensure her skills would still be needed. And something did. Skywalker had made a grab for the blaster held by one of Jabba's Gamorean guards, but Jabba hit a switch on his throne, opening a trap door set before him, dropping both Skywalker and the guard into the Rancor pit.

Cheers and catcalls came from those in Jabba's court as they all crowded around the pit. Princess Leia strained against her restraints, trying to see if her friend would survive. The crowd cheered louder as the Rancor picked up and bit the Gamorean guard in half.

She was pushed back and fourth by the crowd, everyone trying to get a look. She pushed back and was just in time to see Skywalker crawl under a rock overhang. She was hoping to watch Skywalker die so she could go on to her next assignment. Somehow she knew he would survive and it would be left up to her to see that he never left Tatooine alive.

She watched as he ran under the Rancor's legs and was trapped in its lair. Failing at opening the keepr's door, Skywalker flattened himself against the wall, trapped. A moment later he picked something up and lobbed it into the control panel, bringing the massive door down on the Rancor's head, killing it. She would never have believed it if she hadn't seen it with her own eyes.

All of a sudden a great commotion broke out in the court as Jabba yelled out orders in Huttese, enraged at the death of his prized Rancor. He ordered the prisoners brought before him, to inform them of their fate.

She sat in stunned silence as she listened to Jabba declare that they would be thrown into the Sarlacc pit deep in the Sea of Carcoon, and she knew they would make it. She knew that in order for her to fulfill her duty to kill Luke Skywalker, she would have to be there to make sure he died as he was supposed to.

She was Mara Jade. The Emperor's Hand, his personal assassin. She was sent here to kill Luke Skywalker. She destroyed all threats to the Empire, and Skywalker was a threat to everything it stood for. In the dossier she had been given, it was reported that he had killed innocent Imperial citizens who just wanted to go about their daily lives. He was trying to destroy the Empire, and take over control for himself. She would not let that happen.

She had been trained from an early age in all forms of combat, weapons, lightsaber techniques, stealth movement and every other form of fighting there was. She learned to fly every type of ship, and because she was a female, she learned to dance and move her body in order to keep those around her distracted so she could do what needed to be done.

Mara had endured much in her life to become the Emperor's Hand and was proud of the position she held. Even though only the inner court knew her for who she really was and not as the dancer/courtesan everyone else thought her to be, she still held a certain power. No one would dare give away her true identity. It didn't bother her that most thought of her that way. It gave her freedom, knowing that they would not dare touch the personal plaything of the Emperor, knowing that they would face his wrath if they did.

She was a very effective assassin. No one suspected until it was too late that they had let in the one that would end their traitorous acts. Many in hiding got over confident when a beautiful woman responded to their advances only to find out it would be the last mistake they would ever make.

She often went under cover to stalk her targets, posing as different people in different professions. Her favorite persona was a dancer. She had learned at a young age that she could dance and that it was fun and many beings didn't put dancers too high on the list of enemies to look for. It was easy to get close to her target using this identity.

And it was one way to have fun, and not be reprimanded for it. The Emperor wanted her to train to be the best at what he needed her to do. In order to do that, no outside distractions such as friends or fun. She didn't mind much because she wanted her master to be proud of her and do anything she could for him.

Now she was Arica. The Emperor knew that Luke Skywalker would come here to try to save his ally, so he sent her here to ingratiate herself into Jabba's court as a dancer, to carry out her mission. Her training as a dancer had made her fit and lithe, ready to do what she had to do.

It hadn't been too hard to get a job as a dancer, but she did her best to not out do the other girls. She didn't want to be one of Jabba's favorites to be put on a chain, forced to do unspeakable acts with him. She had seen a few dancers over the weeks that she had been here virtually raped while the whole court watched. That was something she could not let happen to her. She would end up killing him and blowing her cover. It didn't always pay to be the best.

Then Skywalker had shown up, just as her master had predicted. No other being seemed able to stop him from entering the palace. He was using his powers to get what he wanted and hurting those not involved to gain his own ends. And that is what was dangerous about him.

At least that was what the debriefing had told her. She had a somewhat different sense about him, but determined that he was projecting that image around him so others would feel differently about him. It didn't always seem to work. Mara shook those feelings out of her mind. She had to find a way onto Jabba's sail barge to ensure his death.

Mara watched as Skywalker and the others were led away to face their fate, then approached Jabba, begging to be let on the sail barge. She wanted to see the Jedi die. She begged and pleaded, but Jabba would not relent. She had to find another way to get there. And then the sail barge left without her.

Mara ran back to her room in the palace to change and find a way out of the palace and out to the Sarlacc pit. Just as she zipped up her jumpsuit, she heard a voice, as if someone was right behind her. //Mara Jade// the Emperor's voice boomed in her mind.

//Yes, my Master// Mara sent back to him.

//You have failed me.// She could feel his anger in her mind.

//No, my Master, all is not lost. I am going out to the Sarlacc Pit to make sure they die in it's belly. I will not fail you Master.// Mara had never failed in any assignment before and she had no intention of doing so now.

//How do you plan to do that, my Hand?// The Emperor was not pleased.

// He will not have a chance to escape. I will make sure whatever he has planned fails and that he is dead before he rolls into the Sarlacc's belly.// She hoped her master would give her this chance to complete her mission.

//I will give you this chance this time, but do not fail me, Hand or I will make sure you live the rest of your long life in constant agony. And remember, you must not have any contact with him. He can use his powers to keep you under his control.//

//Yes, Master, I won't fail you.// Mara felt the contact end and she blew out a breath as she slumped to the floor. She just had to finish this or the Emperor would be true to his word.

Slipping out of the palace, she stole a skiff and headed out in the direction the sail barge went. By this time tomorrow, Luke Skywalker would be dead.