While I have only read a tiny fraction of what is called the Expanded Universe in Star Wars literature, the characters that capture my imagination the most are not the ‘canon’ ones from the movies. Talon Karrde, the Smuggler turned information-broker business man and his Mistryl assassin companion Shada. Grand Admiral Thrawn trying to rebuild an Empire to be proud of and Pellaeon who wanted to bring much-needed changes to Imperial forces. Among all these author-created characters another stands out – Mara Jade, who would later marry Luke Skywalker in the novels. The head-strong, thoroughly-capable former “Emperor’s Hand” who would later become a Jedi – after her own fashion of course. So I set myself a challenge in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Could I create a character that looked like the artistic renderings on the book covers? So here’s how to make Mara Jade in SWTOR – at least my opinion on it! Feel free to share yours in the comments!
Star Wars Book Cover Inspiration
As I only actually own a handful of Star Wars books I had to look some book covers up. So here are the ones I used for inspiration. Mara Jade’s black outfit has several renderings, as do Cosplayers if you look them up.
Cartel Market Unlocks
To put this version of Mara Jade together I needed to use a couple of account unlocks.
For my version of Mara Jade in SWTOR, you’ll need to have one of the hair styles unlocked for your account. The one you’re looking for is Appearance Options: Human Hairstyles 2, which costs 240 Cartel Coins. I couldn’t find a hair style in vanilla options that really suited.
If you’re a Free-to-Play account holder you will not have this option unlocked straight away. You can choose to unlock Unify Colors (to use its American spelling) or apply the same dye to all outfit pieces. Though this second option will be expensive in credits, you don’t have to spend real money,
Mara Jade at Character Creation
Whether you want to create your Mara as a Jedi, a blaster-wielding Smuggler, or maybe even the Emperor’s Hand, you decide what faction is most appropriate. For the purposes of this exercise, I chose Mara as depicted on the cover of Timothy Zahn’s Vision of the Future novel. She is shown wielding just one Lightsaber – and I can’t think of a reference to her using two – so I chose the Jedi Guardian class.
Character Creation Settings
- Race: Human, because she is!
- Gender: Female
- Body Type: 2
She is strong and lithe, so I think this suits
- Head: 6
from her descriptions, she is stern but not unlovely so I think #6 is a balance.
- Scars: 1
i.e. no scars. I may be wrong about this if there are descriptions of facial scars in books I have not read
- Complexion: 37
I wanted to add some colour to her face without being too made-up
- Eye Colour: 3
Green eyes and red hair
- Cosmetics: 3
Just a bit of eye tinting to bring out the green of the eyes
- Hair: 52 (or 50 when making an Empire Character)
Shae Vizla’s hairstyle. Incidentally this is number #58 when making appearance changes at the Appearance Designer on Republic and Imperial Fleet. Hmm.
- Hair Colour: 8
or 9 maybe, depending on which shade you prefer. I’ve shown 9 on the Jedi Guardian shot below and 8 on the Sith Juggernaut one.
- Skin Colour: 20
I went for a mid-tone, to give her a healthy-looking skin colour. That and she rarely stops moving so having colour in her skin makes sense to me.
Note: I don’t know if the hairstyles have different numbers depending on which packs you have unlocked, hence providing screenshots below so you can copy the look.
Jedi vs Sith Appearance
All the settings seemed to be the same on Republic and Empire sides, except the hairstyle number.
Mara Jade’s Outfits in SWTOR
Okay that’s the first stage. The next was a decision about her outfits. There are two key ones I’ve seen on book covers: an all in black suit and a more Jedi-looking robe with leather shoulder pads. While the book cover of Vision of the Future has her robe being more a teal colour, I could find no such dye on GTN or the Cartel Market. So I went for the Dark Green and Deep Red dye, so that the shoulder pads had a reddy-brown tint. The actual green/brown dyes were, on this outfit at least, disgusting!
Non-glove Gloves, hiding the hand slot
I can only think of four ‘gloves’ that simply show your hands. The ones I’ve found so far are:
- Nightlife Socialite’s Covert Gloves
- Loyal Adherent’s Gloves
- Covert Energy Gloves
- Covert Hand Energy Armour (the Armour Set of the same name does not contain gloves)
I’ve used the Nightlife gloves as they can be earned during the Nar Shaddaa Nightlife event in SWTOR.
Mara Jade, Jedi Outfit
- Head: None
- Chest: Force Apprentice’s Robe, Dark Green and Deep Red Dye Module
- Hands: Nightlife Socialite’s Covert Gloves (Nar Shaddaa Nightlife reward)
- Wrists: Elegant Duellist Bracers (just for something simple)
- Waist: Vrook Lamar’s Belt
- Legs: Dark Advisor’s Greaves or Lana Beniko’s Pants
- Feet: Force Apprentice’s Boots
- Lightsaber: anything fairly basic will do, but her blade is blue. So I chose the Defiant Technographer’s Lightsaber and the Farmhand Blue crystal, because it’s a reference to Luke Skywalker, I believe. No weapon tunings used to keep it nice and straightforward.
Mara Jade, Black Suit Outfit
I had to use a little artistic license on this – and I didn’t want to have to fork out for either a fancy new armour set or a black-black dye. The challenge without Black-Black is then finding parts of outfit sets that match the black of the dye and not the grey. So admittedly this isn’t as dark as I would like, but hey, I prefer to save credits where possible! For the trousers and top I wanted something slick and smooth. And the difficulty with not having a Black-Black Dye is finding gloves that work, so this is a best approximate with what I have unlocked!
- Head: None
- Chest: Elegant Duellist Jacket, Black and Medium Gray Dye Module as is relatively cheap on GTN or can be crafted by Artificers. Alternative Cartel Dyes:
- Underworld Boss: 240CC
- Black and Medium Gray: Doesn’t seem to be available for individual purchase but was very pricey on GTN
- Black-Black: 1500CC
- Hands: Lana Beniko’s Gloves
- Wrists: Elegant Duellist Bracers
- Waist: Vrook Lamar’s Belt
- Legs: Skirt: Lana Beniko’s Pants, Trousers: THORN Epicenter Pants (Rakghoul Resurgence event reward), Remulus Drepya’s Pants
- Feet: Corellian Pilot’s Boots
- Lightsaber: Same as the above
Underworld Boss Dye Module
Other Item Close-Ups
Sorry the sizes of images here are a bit all over the place, but I just wanted to give some close-ups of individual items here.
Possible Mara Jade Role-Playing Options
I made a few choices in set-up based around a loose understanding of Mara. These were simply
- Riding Speeders not creature mounts
- Retaining roughly balanced alignment, but making good choices (obviously not this if you’re role-playing as Emperor’s Hand!)
- A balanced combat set-up. In the books Mara is fierce in both attack and defence. So she is a Vigilance DPS Guardian, but uses a shield to boost defences.
- Taking a practical approach to conversations, not idealised ones.
TL;DR Well this is my SWTOR Mara Jade. What Would You Do?
I’d love to know your thoughts on this one – on outfit, appearance and RP-ing. I had fun doing this and will play my Mara Jade from time-to-time.
May the Force Be With You.