[Warning: Star Wars and Doctor Who spoilers!]

A post on Barnes and Noble's sci-fi-fantasy blog had an interesting observation about Mara Jade:

Introduced as the would-be-assiasin of Luke Skywalker, she ends up marrying him. (Did Steven Moffat base River Song from Doctor Who off of Mara Jade? Hmmm…)

enter image description here River Song and Mara Jade do seem to be very similar:

  • trained to assassinate the main hero
  • fell in love with target instead
  • ends ups marrying target
  • still managed to fulfill assassination mission by instead killing a decoy/duplicate of the target
  • red-ish hair (Mara has red hair, River is a sort of strawberry-blonde)
  • is a fan favorite warrior
  • posseses rare skills the main hero also has (Mara wields a lightsaber and uses the Force, River can fly the TARDIS and is part Time-Lord)

I could go on, but basically these two characters seem way too similar to be just a coincidence. Is River Song based on Mara Jade?

  • 2
    Bernice Summerfield seems like a more likely inspiration.
    – Politank-Z
    Nov 23, 2015 at 19:17
  • 6
    This is hardly a new idea
    – phantom42
    Nov 23, 2015 at 19:28
  • 3
    Damnit @Phantom42 for the love of God put a warning! XD
    – Mac Cooper
    Nov 23, 2015 at 23:51
  • 1
    @EngrStudent Yes.Archaeologist, hooked up with The Doctor, time sequence shenanigans with The Doctor's brother... not to mention, Davies liked reusing ideas from extended/non-canon sources which he liked.
    – Politank-Z
    Nov 26, 2015 at 0:47
  • 2
    Unless Steven Moffat fesses up some day in an interview, there is no possible answer to this question. Dec 3, 2015 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


No. In Love with the Mark (warning: TvTrope) is a common trope and there is no reason for River Song to have been specifically based off of any previous iteration of that trope.

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