Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes Developer Insights: Mara Jade, The Emperor’s Hand

The guys over at Capital Games has posted a new developer insight. This time they are talking with the designers of Mara Jade, The Emperor’s Hand. According to legend, she served as the true hand of the Emperor at the height of the Empire, going after his foes, be they remnants of the Jedi or duplicitous Imperials.

Below, we take a dive into the developers’ motivations and inspirations while creating the kit for this fan-favorite character.


UNIT NAME: Mara Jade, The Emperor’s Hand
CATEGORIES: Dark Side, Attacker, Empire, Unaligned Force User
Dark Side force user Attacker who uses her allies to boost her own power and supports Emperor Palpatine.




FINAL TEXT: Deal Special damage to target enemy twice and inflict Daze for 2 turns. If Emperor Palpatine is the Leader, he assists if it’s Mara Jade’s turn; otherwise, a random ally with Useful Pawn assists dealing 50% less damage.

Special 1: ULTIMATE PREDATOR (Cooldown 4)


FINAL TEXT: (ZETA) Dispel all buffs and inflict Stun and Vulnerable for 1 turn on target enemy. Then, deal Special damage to all enemies and inflict Tenacity Down for 1 turn. This ability deals double damage to Shocked enemies and Jedi.

Special 2: INFILTRATE AND DISRUPT (Cooldown 4)


FINAL TEXT: (ZETA) Deal Special damage to all enemies and inflict Offense Down, Shock, and Stagger for 2 turns. Mara Jade gains Stealth for 2 turns and 1.25% Turn Meter for each debuff inflicted by this ability. If Emperor Palpatine is the leader, he also gains 1.25% Turn Meter for each debuff inflicted by this ability.


FINAL TEXT (OMICRON): If Emperor Palpatine is in the Leader slot at the start of the encounter, Empire and Sith allies have +20% Offense and Potency; otherwise, all other Dark Side allies gain Useful Pawn until the end of the encounter, which can’t be copied or dispelled. Mara Jade has+10% Critical Chance, Critical Damage, and Offense for each ally with Useful Pawn. At the start of Mara Jade’s and Emperor Palpatine’s turns, Mara Jade gains a stack of Loyal Hand (max 20 stacks) until the end of the encounter.

If Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker is on the enemy squad: Mara Jade Blinds Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker for 1 turn at the start of her turn, which can’t be evaded or resisted.

Useful Pawn: -5% Critical Chance, Critical Damage, and Offense

Loyal Hand: +10% Max Protection and Offense

While In Territory Wars: At the start of battle, if the enemy Leader is not a Galactic Legend they lose 100% Protection, 50% Max Protection, and Mara Jade gains 100% Turn Meter. Whenever an enemy unit is defeated, all allies gain 20% Max Protection and Mara Jade inflicts Vulnerable for 1 turn on a random enemy, which can’t be evaded or resisted.

The Basics:

  • Empire, Unaligned Force User, Attacker, Dark Side
  • Mara Jade, The Emperor’s Hand’s Omicron ability is focused on Territory Wars
  • Mara Jade is an Empire Unaligned Force User Attacker who is meant to work well with Emperor Palpatine and his core allies

Unique Attributes:

  • Working well with Emperor Palpatine is thematically important for Mara Jade, The Emperor’s Hand. As such, her kit has several abilities that look for him as the leader.
  • Looking for an AOE Tenacity Down? Mara has that!
  • When paired with Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, Mara can boost the potential to start a Turn Meter train for her squad. All aboard!
  • Mara stacks lots of damage with Loyal Hand. Overall, her kit is also good for inflicting a lot of debuffs on her enemies.


  • Mara Jade operated under direct orders of the Emperor, but was many times left to her own devices. This is thematically reflected through the bonuses she gets while Emperor Palpatine is the leader, as well as the “Useful Pawns” she creates when he is not.
  • Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker eventually would fall in love and get married. We wanted to pay homage to this by having Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker “blinded by love” when they are opposing each other on the battlefield.
  • Mara Jade would be tasked with taking out rogue Jedi as well as Imperials who were not loyal to the Emperor. The callout to Jedi and the Daze effect help reinforce this aspect of her past.
  • She was also a master infiltrator so Stealth had to be part of her kit.
  • Being a Hand of the Emperor like Darth Talon was to Darth Krayt, we thought it would be fitting if they shared a common buff in Loyal Hand.

Strategy Tips:

  • Mara can embrace different play styles depending on whether Emperor Palpatine is in the leader slot.
  • On the theme of embracing different styles, Mara won’t always want to open the battle with the same Special ability each time. Which works best will depend on the circumstances.
  • Mara’s Omicron ability “The Emperor’s Hand” is great at hindering non-Galactic Legend enemy leaders in Territory Wars.
  • If the Galaxy of Heroes version of Mara Jade, The Emperor’s Hand had a motto, it would be “go real fast and defeat everything.”
  • The ideal squad composition for Mara can change depending on the enemy team. It may come down to a simple question of “To have a tank, or not to have a tank?”
  • She will likely perform best alongside Darth Vader, but can still be effective without him.
  • Having said that, Emperor Palpatine lead is usually the best situation for Mara Jade. But, there are other squad comps that are fun and effective.


  • Who is Mara Jade?
    • Mara Jade was an assassin for the Emperor who was tasked with killing Luke Skywalker. She nearly accomplished this by infiltrating Jabba’s palace, but was prevented from going to the Sarlaac Pit to finish the job.
  • Why this version of Mara?
    • Mara Jade has had many different careers throughout her history, but she started out as The Emperor’s Hand for Palpatine. We thought this version of the character set parity with the 50th Anniversary marquees in having two light side and two dark side units to easily collect.
  • What are the requirements and rewards for the Legacy tier in her marquee?
  • Where is her sleeve gun?
    • The most recognizable visual look for Mara Jade as The Emperor’s Hand is an ensemble featuring a sleeveless top, so it didn’t make sense to include it here.