Star Wars: Mara Jade #1
August 1998
"By The Emperor's Hand" part 1, 22ppg, $2.95

Story: Timothy Zahn
Writer: Michael A. Stackpole
Artist: Carlos Ezquerra
Colorist: James Sinclair
Letterer: Michael Taylor
Cover Artist: Kilian Plunkett
Book Design: Kristen Burda
Assistant Editor: Mike Hansen
Editor: Peet Janes
Publisher: Mike Richardson


DROID
C-3PO (See Threepio), Kaythree

LOCATION
Tatooine, Jabba The Hutt’s Palace, Svivren

ORGANIZATION
Stormtroopers, Black Nebula

SPECIES
Gamorrean

STARSHIP
Mara Jade's ship, Z-95 Headhunter

VEHICLE
sail barge, skiff, landspeeder

COMMENTS
According to the inside cover, the events in this issue takes place 4 years after the Battle of Yavin. More specifically it occurs during the beginning of Return of the Jedi.

The issue contains a letters page, Mara Jade Letters, and features letters from Sherry Trott, Alfredo E. Pares, and Jason Ford.

Black Sun was the criminal organization seen previously in Shadows of the Empire, run by Prince Xizor and has lain relatively dormant since his demise.
SYNOPSIS
On the planet of Tatooine, Mara Jade is attempting to get herself included in Jabba's entourage to the Pit of Carkoon. She had infiltrated the Hutt's palace as a dancer named Arica. She was surprised however, to see Luke Skywalker arrive and attempted to kill him, but was discovered and sent away.

Using her Force connection with the Emperor, she tells him of her failure. He orders her to continue on to Svivren. Mara flashes back on other assignments that he has given her, and she knows if she fails now, it will be her last time.

She boards her ship and reviews a holographic entry on Svivren. It's a major trading center with many bargaining arenas. One of those contains Mara's next assignment, a Jeodu named Dequc, who is trying to resurrect Black Sun. His group is called Black Nebula.

She opens a hidden panel and selects the weapons that she needs for the assignment from a huge cache of devices. She also makes sure to select her lightsaber, before flying down to the planet.

Mara wanders through the town, checking out all the subtleties of the local garrison, the Black Nebula guards and even Dequc himself. She follows one human Black Nebula member, and using the Force to slow him down, gets ahead of him, pulls him into an alley and mugs him. She steals the data off of his datapad, and his money. Mara then scouts out the back door to Dequc's hideout and discovers that the security is pretty tight. Even more so and night, so she decides that she needs to get in during the day. And for that she'll need a diversion.

The next morning, Mara visits the local Imperial General, Tuono, at his office and demands that he make available two squads of stormtroopers at her disposal. Tuono asks Captain Strok to aide agent 'Green'. They review the data on Dequc's arena, and Mara points out that Strok can raid the rodian next door who has Rebel ties, to provide just the proper distraction for her. Strok admits to her that he's pleased ti see some planning for once, instead of the sloppy methods Tuono uses.

Just after midday, Strok serves his warrant on Cevva Xuz, when the whole things blows up. Mara realizes this is not going as planned when Dequc's men get involved and create a crossfire. She manages to approach the Black Nebula arena. Strok quickly follows her.

She tries to wave him off and tells him she doesn't need any help. She pulls out her lightsaber and slices open the door, but once she enters and sees the various aliens and their weaponry, she thinks it may have been the wrong arena after all.


Related Issues
Mara Jade #0 Mara Jade #2 Mara Jade #3 Mara Jade #4 Mara Jade #5 Mara Jade #6


Trade Paperbacks and Alternate Covers
Star Wars Omnibus: Shadows of the Empire Mara Jade – By the Emperor