Mara Jade was, during different times in her life, an Emperor's Hand, a smuggler, and later a Jedi Master who sat upon the Jedi High Council. She was raised as a servant to Emperor Palpatine and became a high-level Force-using operative. As an Emperor's Hand, Jade carried out the Emperor's bidding, killing Rebels and corrupt Imperials alike with cold professionalism, even as a young woman. As Palpatine's assassin, she received top-notch training from experts in a variety of fields as well as training in the Force, which was continued by Luke Skywalker years later. After Palpatine's death, she received his last command, which was to kill Luke Skywalker; however, the death of her Master caused her to go rogue. Eventually she joined smuggler chief Talon Karrde, becoming one of his best smugglers and his second-in-command. During the predations of Grand Admiral Thrawn, she was forced to work with Skywalker, and developed a grudging respect for him. During the Galactic Civil War, Mara Jade proved herself skilled in a variety of fields; she was a good pilot and mechanic and trained in the use of both a blaster and hand-to-hand combat even without relying on the Force.