|Star Wars character|
Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu.
|First appearance||The Phantom Menace (1999)|
|Last appearance||The Clone Wars |
|Created by||George Lucas|
|Portrayed by||Samuel L. Jackson|
Mace Windu is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise, portrayed by actor Samuel L. Jackson in the prequel films and voiced by Terrence C. Carson in other projects. He appears as a human male, Master of the Jedi High Council and one of the last members of the order's upper echelons before the Galactic Republic's fall. He is the Council's primary liaison, although the Clone Wars caused him to question his most firmly held beliefs.
Character conception and overview
Several early incarnations of the character who would become Mace Windu were developed in the original Star Wars drafts as the narrator, Princess Leia's brother and Luke Skywalker's friend. Through the process of redrafting and copyediting, his character was removed from the original trilogy (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi) but was reintroduced in 1994 when series creator George Lucas began writing the prequel trilogy.
The character's purple lightsaber was a personal request Jackson made to Lucas as a quid pro quo for appearing in the films, as well as a way of making the character unique and easily distinguishable.
Introduced in Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Windu appears as the Master of the Jedi High Council. The maverick Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn comes before the Council and offers to train Anakin Skywalker, believing that the boy is the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy. Windu and the other Council members refuse, deeming Anakin too old and full of fear. After the corrupt Trade Federation is defeated and Obi-Wan Kenobi defeats Sith Lord Darth Maul, who also kills Qui-Gon, Windu realizes that the Sith have returned, and he and the Council reluctantly allow Obi-Wan to train Anakin in Qui-Gon's stead.
In Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Windu initially refuses to believe that the assassination attempt on Senator Padmé Amidala on Coruscant was authorized by former Jedi master Count Dooku, the leader of a galactic Separatist movement. Having learned of Obi-Wan's whereabouts on Geonosis, Windu arrives to save Obi-Wan, Padmé and Anakin from being executed at Dooku's order. In the ensuing battle, Windu kills bounty hunter Jango Fett, the template for the Republic's army of clone troopers, and leads them and a cadre of Jedi to victory in a battle with Dooku's forces. At the end of the film, with the Clone Wars begun, Windu resolves to keep a closer eye on the increasingly corrupt Galactic Senate.
In Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Windu and the other members of the Jedi Council are concerned that the Republic's Supreme Chancellor, Palpatine, may not relinquish his emergency powers when the Clone Wars end. Their suspicions only grow when the Senate grants Palpatine a vote on the Jedi Council by appointing Anakin as his personal representative. The Council grants Anakin a seat, but denies him the rank of Jedi Master and orders him to spy on Palpatine, shaking Anakin's faith in the Jedi. After Obi-Wan kills Separatist leader General Grievous, Anakin informs Windu of Palpatine's true identity as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, the mastermind of the war. Windu and three other Jedi Masters attempt to arrest Palpatine, but the Sith Lord swiftly kills Windu's companions and engages him in a lightsaber duel. Windu subdues Palpatine by knocking away his lightsaber and deflecting the Sith Lord's Force lightning back into his face, causing Palpatine's true form to show. Anakin arrives and pleads with Windu not to kill Palpatine, but Windu counters that Palpatine controls the Senate and the courts, and is therefore too dangerous to be left alive. Just as Windu is about to strike, Anakin intervenes on Palpatine's behalf, severing Windu's lightsaber hand and leaving him helpless. Palpatine then tortures Windu with another blast of Force lightning, then defenestrates him sending Windu falling to his death. Palpatine uses Windu's death to start Order 66 and murder all but nearly 100 Jedi.
Windu makes his final film appearance in the 2008 animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars, set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. He plays a supporting role as a general in the Republic's clone forces. He is voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, who portrayed the character in live-action films.
The Clone Wars (2008)
In Star Wars: The Clone Wars (set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith), Mace Windu has a supporting role. As in the film, he is a general of the Republic's clone army. He is voiced by Terrence "T.C." Carson.
In 2017, Marvel released Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic—Mace Windu, a 5-issue series centered around Mace Windu during the early days of the Clone Wars. He leads a small team of Jedi on a mission to the planet Hissrich, to find out what the Separatists are doing there. During the mission, Windu's faith in the Jedi path is tested by his interactions with two new characters: AD-W4, a mercenary droid with a thirst for murdering Jedi; and Prosset Dibs, a blind Jedi Master who becomes disillusioned with the Jedi Order and turns on Windu. Ultimately, Windu ends up besting both adversaries in single combat, respectively, and his faith in the Jedi way is strengthened by the experience.
In April 2014, most of the licensed Star Wars novels and comics produced since the originating 1977 film Star Wars were rebranded by Lucasfilm as Star Wars Legends and declared non-canon to the franchise. Windu appears extensively in the Star Wars Legends of novels and comic books.
Clone Wars (2003)
Mace Windu is a supporting character in Genndy Tartakovsky's Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series, which is set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The character's likeness in the series is based on that in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. In the first chapters, he defends the grasslands planet Dantooine against a large hovering "fortress", and over the course, he loses his lightsaber, forcing him to instead use a lethal form of unarmed combat powered by the Force. In final chapters, he and fellow Jedi Master Yoda help defend the planet Coruscant from an attack by General Grievous. In the midst of the battle, he realizes that the attack is a ruse to distract the Jedi from Grievous's true objective: to "kidnap" Palpatine. Despite being too late to save the Supreme Chancellor, the Jedi Master uses the Force to crush Grievous's chest, inflicting upon the cyborg general the wheezing, asthmatic cough heard in Revenge of the Sith.
Novels and comics
Windu is the central character of Matthew Stover's novel Shatterpoint, in which he is called to his home planet of Haruun Kal to defeat his former apprentice Depa Billaba, who has turned to the dark side of the Force. The novel establishes that Windu has the unique talent of seeing "shatterpoints", or faultlines in the Force that could affect the destinies of certain individuals, and indeed the galaxy itself. Mace's "shatterpoint" ability also enables him to see people's weaknesses, allowing him to exploit their flaws and defeat them. It also explains that Windu is the creator and sole master of a style of lightsaber combat called Vaapad (Form VII), in which the user skirts dangerously close to the dark side — without giving into it — by actually enjoying the fight and the thrill of victory. All others who attempted to master the form either gave in to the dark side or were unable to properly master the technique. Stover also referenced these abilities in his novelization of Revenge of the Sith.
Besides Shatterpoint, Windu has appeared in other Expanded Universe novels, such as Cloak of Deception, Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, Rogue Planet, Outbound Flight, The Cestus Deception, Jedi Trial, Yoda: Dark Rendezvous and Labyrinth of Evil.
A Mace Windu action figure was added to the Star Wars Transformers toy line in 2006. It was a remold of the toy first used for Obi-Wan Kenobi. He becomes an Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor starfighter with Astromech droid R4-M6.
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Novelization - Novelization, 1st edition hardcover, 2005. Matthew Woodring Stover, George Lucas, ISBN 0-7126-8427-1
- Shatterpoint (novel), 1st edition, 2003. Matthew Woodring Stover, ISBN 0-345-45573-8
- The New Essential Guide to Characters, 1st edition, 2002. Daniel Wallace, Michael Sutfin, ISBN 0-345-44900-2
- Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: The Visual Dictionary, hardcover, 1999. David West Reynolds, ISBN 0-7894-4701-0
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary, hardcover, 2002. David West Reynolds, ISBN 0-7894-8588-5
- Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game), 1st edition, 2002. Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins, J.D. Wiker, Steve Sansweet, ISBN 0-7869-2876-X
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Power of the Jedi Sourcebook, hardcover, 2002. Michael Mikaelian, Jeff Grubb, Owen K.C. Stephens, James Maliszewski, ISBN 0-7869-2781-X
- Star Wars Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley, softcover, 1993. Martin Wixted, ISBN 0-87431-187-X
- Sansweet, Stephen J.; Hidalgo, Pablo; Vitas, Bob (2008). The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. Los Angeles, California: LucasBooks. ISBN 978-0345477637.
- Rinzler, J.W. (2007). The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film. London, England: Del Rey Books. ISBN 978-0345494764.
- Giles, Jeff (July 1, 2013). "Samuel L. Jackson On The Hilarious Origins Of His Purple Lightsaber in 'Star Wars'". ScreenCrush. Greenwich, Connecticut: Townsquare Media. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (DVD). Los Angeles, California: 20th Century Fox. 1999.
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (DVD). Los Angeles, California: 20th Century Fox. 2002.
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (DVD). Los Angeles, California: 20th Century Fox. 2005.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2008.
- "Disney and Random House announce relaunch of Star Wars Adult Fiction line". StarWars.com. April 25, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- McMilian, Graeme (April 25, 2014). "Lucasfilm Unveils New Plans for Star Wars Expanded Universe". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- "The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page". StarWars.com. April 25, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- "Top 100 Star Wars Characters: 27: Mace Windu". IGN. Los Angeles, California: j2 Global. Archived from the original on August 16, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
- Mace Windu in the StarWars.com Databank