Mace Windu is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, most famously portrayed by actor Samuel L. Jackson in the prequel films. However, Mace has been voiced by other actors in video games and other animated projects.
Mace is a Jedi Master and one of the last members of the Jedi High Council before the fall of the Galactic Republic. He is the Council's primary liaison to the Supreme Chancellor, although the Clone Wars cause him to question his firmest held beliefs. Until the Battle of Geonosis, he was the head of the Council.
Mace was born Force-sensitive on the planet of Haruun Kal. At a very young age, he was discovered by the Jedi Order and brought to the Coruscant Jedi Temple to be trained as a Jedi. He eventually obtained the rank of Jedi Master, and becoming one of the finest Jedi that the Jedi Order has ever had.
At some point, Mace became the leader (Master of the Order) of the Jedi Order and head of the Jedi High Council. As the effective leader of the Order, Mace sought to protect the Galactic Republic and Jedi Order, as well as their values from external interference. Unfortunately, he let his fame go to his head, resulting in him becoming openly arrogant, ruling, dismissive and condescending towards individuals that he believed were inferior to him. Despite this, he tended to respect individuals he believed were superior or at least equal to him.
Shortly after the Clone Wars had begun, Mace a Jedi General and step down from his position as the leader of the Jedi Order; as he pointed Yoda as the new Grand Master.
Throughout the war, Mace sought to protect the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic from both internal and external interference. Mace also acted as an adviser to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, though as the war dragged on he became increasingly distrustful of the Chancellor due to his near-tyrannical hold on the Republic. The Jedi Master's suspicions proved sound when Anakin Skywalker informed him that Palpatine was in fact Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Realizing that the fate of the Jedi Order was in grave danger, Mace dueled and cornered Palpatine, disarming and seemingly defeating the Sith Master. Although he originally intended to arrest Palpatine, Mace concluded that the political and Force power that the Sith Lord possessed made him too dangerous to be left alive. Resolving to end the Sith threat once and for all, Mace tried to execute Palpatine, but Anakin intervened by severing the Jedi Master's forearm, leaving him defenceless against the torrent of Force lightning that Sidious used to send the Jedii Master plummeting to his demise.
Mace's actions led Palpatine to brand the Jedi as traitors to the Republic. The chancellor executed Order 66, and clone troopers across the galaxy turned against and killed most of their Jedi comrades, marking the fall of the Jedi Order. Palpatine transformed the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire, and the Emperor's new regime promoted anti-Jedi sentiment across the galaxy, especially in regards to Mace.
Even for a Jedi, Mace Windu had a unique personality. He was serious, noted for his grim demeanor, and very cautious, to the point of occasional reluctance, a careful chooser of his friends, being slow to trust or being mistrustful. Despite this, he was highly compassionate and extremely brave, as he willingly risked life and limb many times to protect the people of the Republic, as well as his fellow Jedi and even the clone troopers under his command. He also had a certain value for life, as he opposed the constant attempts to kill the mighty Zillo Beast, which he correctly presumed to be the last of its species. Mace firmly believed in the role of the Jedi as the Republic's servants rather than its masters, and displayed a fierce dedication to the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic alike. A staunch traditionalist, Mace was long regarded as the great champion of the Jedi Order.
However, despite these commendable/admirable traits, Mace was also rather arrogant and self-righteous; he was very confident in his own abilities, and saw very little fault in the Jedi or the Republic, believing they were always in the right and everyone else was in the wrong. He was prideful, known to be outspoken, occasionally sarcastic, and was largely obstinate to anything that contradicted his views. However, he kept his arrogance in check for the most part; he was humble towards individuals he believed were superior to him, such as Yoda, and treated most civilians and fellow Jedi with respect. Despite this, Mace evidently didn't always hold his arrogance in check; he was shown to be somewhat dismissive and condescending towards individuals he believed were inferior to him, most notably fellow Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, all of whom he distrusted and treated with little respect (despite them all being exceptionally powerful Force-users, skilled lightsaber duelists, strong individuals and loyal members of the Jedi Order in their own rights).
As a Jedi, Mace was intelligent, wise and perceptive. However, like most Jedi Masters, he was somewhat short-sighted, as he focused almost entirely on the future, giving the present little to no thought. He also did not realize that his constant mistrust, lies and deceit towards Anakin was slowly turning the latter against the Jedi Order.
During Ahsoka Tano's trial, Mace took his distrusting nature too far, to the point where he openly accused Ahsoka of lying to the Jedi Council and then coldly decided to strip her of her Jedi status and turn her over to the Republic military, an act that most of the other Council members agreed with. After her innocence was proven and the real traitor apprehended, Mace joined his colleagues in offering to reinstate Ahsoka into the Jedi Order, but instead of taking responsibility for his and the Council's mistake, he rather arrogantly claimed that Ahsoka's traumatic experience had been nothing more than a test given to her by the Force. When Ahsoka left the Order for good, Mace, unlike the others who were very sad to see her leave, only seemed disgusted; as she walked away, he frowned and his fists clenched. This indicates that he feels no guilt, shame or remorse for his actions.
Ultimately, Mace's true motivation for all he did was a divergence from Jedi philosophy, as his personal belief system was an extremist viewpoint of peace achieved at all costs. In his mind, peace was created by only one thing; civilization, and he viewed the Republic as the ultimate and only true civilization in the entire galaxy, thus developing an attachment towards the institution, and leaving him with a willingness to do anything required to preserve the Republic, even if it meant violating the Jedi Code. This proved to be his ultimate downfall, when he resolved to execute the seemingly helpless Sith Lord Palpatine, an unarmed opponent, spurring Anakin Skywalker into action.
Powers and Abilities
- The Force: Mace was extremely powerful and had an extremely strong connection to the Force. Although he was not quite as powerful as Anakin Skywalker at his peak, Mace was still one of the most powerful Force-users in the history of the galaxy.
- Telekinesis: Mace utilized Telekinesis either as offensive or defense.
- Force push: Mace utilized Force push to send his opponents flying through the air, causing them serious injury or temporarily incapacitating them/knocked them unconscious.
- Force pull: Mace utilized Force pull to pull his opponents or objects towards him.
- Force Wave: Mace utilized Force Wave to unleash a wave of pure Force-energy that knocked back anything within the power's blast radius or push multiple opponents at once.
- Force Crush: Mace utilized Force Crush to crush objects or droids.
- Mind trick: Mace utilized Mind trick to control the minds of other sentient beings, however, it did not work on individuals who have very strong wills.
- Force vision: Mace utilized Force vision, to have visions of the past, the present and the future. However, like all Force-Wielders, his visions were not always clear or sometimes had visions even when he was not utilizing this power at will.
- Force jump: Mace utilized Force jump to jump or leap at great distances.
- Force Dash: Mace utilized Force Dash to move at amazing speeds.
- Telekinesis: Mace utilized Telekinesis either as offensive or defense.
- Great Physical Strength: Mace used his Force powers to increase his physical strength; this made him physically stronger then most other sentient beings.
- Lightsaber Skills: Mace was extremely skilled in lightsaber combat and an extremely gifted duelist. He was one of the greatest lightsaber duelists in the history of the galaxy. Mace was one of the few known individuals who could fight Yoda as an equal.
- Form V: Mace was extremely skilled in Shien/Djem So.
- Form VII: Mace was a master of Juyo/Vaapad. In fact, he was the only Jedi known to have truly mastered the style, as Juyo/Vaapad was generally favored by Dark side Force-users due to it's aggression and unpredictability.
- High-Level Intellect/Master Tactician/Leader: Mace was highly intelligent and wise; his intelligence and wisdom was surpassed only by Yoda, Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker respectively. As a Jedi General and the former leader of the Old Jedi Order, Mace was a highly skilled tactician and a very capable leader.
Weapons and Equipment
Mace's valued weapon and possession was his purple-bladed lightsaber. Mace's second lightsaber was made out of Electrum metal and black alloy; making it indestructible, even to other lightsabers.
- First Lightsaber: Mace built his first purple-bladed lightsaber on Hurikane, it would remain in his possession until it was destroyed.
- Second Lightsaber: Mace had built a new purple-bladed lightsaber, sometime before the First Battle of Geonosis, and used it throughout his Jedi career and the entirety of the Clone Wars. It would remain in his possession until his death, but it is unknown what happened to it after Mace's death; it was last seen falling out of a window.
The Phantom Menace
Mace was the leader of the Jedi Order, and head of the Jedi Council when Qui-Gon Jinn came back from Tatooine with news of a Sith. He also asked the Council if they would train a nine year old boy named Anakin Skywalker, who he sensed was unusually strong with the Force and found he had more midichlorians than Yoda. He had concluded that Anakin was the 'Chosen One' destined to bring balance to the Force by destroying the Sith. Mace was sceptical of Qui-Gon's claims, but agreed to test Anakin. The Council was mildly impressed by Anakin's abilities, but refused to train him, believing he was too old and dangerously full of fear and anger.
Mace later attended Qui-Gon's funeral, along with Yoda. Qui-Gon had been killed by the Sith Darth Maul on Naboo during the battle after Obi-Wan was separated from the duel due to the laser shields that lead to the chamber where the duel took place. While there Yoda said to him there are always a master and an apprentice with a Sith, Mace agreed but wondered which one Maul was.
Attack of the Clones
Ten years after Qui-Gon's death, a Separatist movement was being led by ex-Jedi Count Dooku, Qui-Gon's former mentor and Yoda's former apprentice. Also Senator Padmé Amidala was the victim of many assassination attempts. They had assigned Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker to protect her. After another attempt, the Council sent Obi-Wan to track the dart that killed Padmé's assassin and sent Anakin to Naboo to protect her. Later on, Obi-Wan reported that on the planet Kamino he found a bounty hunter named Jango Fett who he thought was the killer and the Council told him to arrest him. When Anakin kills the entire tusken raiders who killed her mother, Yoda felts this and informs it to Mace. Later on they received a message from Obi-Wan who was on Geonosis who said that Dooku was working with Fett and Viceroy Nute Gunray is behind of the assassination attempts on Senator Amidala, although he was captured before he could finish. The message also went to Anakin who they denied rights to going to rescue Obi-Wan, although he disobeyed this to stay where he is currently. Windu led a strike team of Jedi to rescue him while Yoda went to get the Clone Army Obi-Wan told him about.
When Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padmé were about to be executed, Mace came to the top balcony and put his lightstaber around Jango's throat while telling Dooku that "this party's over", but was shot off the balcony by Super Battle Droids and Jango's retaliation. Many Jedi came from the stands and they began to fight. During the battle, Fett came down and Mace decapitated him, leaving his son, Boba, an orphan. All Jedi were surrounded, with several casualties, and were given the option of surrender, but Mace spoke for the others and refused. Yoda and the Clone Army came and saved them and Mace went to fight the Battle of Geonosis in the same ship as Yoda, Mater Ki-Adi Mundi and Jedi Knight Kit Fisto. The Clones became an army for the Republic and the Clone Wars started, in which Mace was made a general.
Revenge of the Sith
Three years after the start of the Clone Wars, Mace Windu was no longer the leader of the Jedi Order, and head of the Jedi Council, he had been replaced by Yoda.
During the Clone Wars, the Council became increasingly suspicious of Chancellor Palpatine and his growing power in the Senate. The fearsome cyborg, General Grievous, had taken him captive and brought him aboard his ship above Coruscant. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his former Padawan Anakin Skywalker were sent by Mace to rescue him and they came back with him, claiming Anakin killed Dooku (who now went by Darth Tyrannus). Palpatine pointed out that Grievous was the leader of the droid army; Mace promised the Council would make it their highest priority to find Grievous. Mace and the other Council members denied Anakin's request to become a Jedi Master and asked him if he could spy on Palpatine, who had chosen Anakin as his representative on the Council. Yoda left to Kashyyyk to assist the Wookies that were under attack there, whilst Obi-Wan went to Utapau to kill Grievous now that he has been located there.
Mace was later informed by Anakin that Palpatine was really the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious. Mace left with Kit Fisto, Saesse Tin and Agen Kolar to kill Sidious in his office (originally, he was only going to bring Agen Kolar before learning of this). When they got there, Sidious killed Tin and Kolar almost instantly. Kit was also slain very quickly and it was just Mace who was left. After a vicious duel, Mace shattered the window and disarmed Sidious. He had Sidious on the ground when he began to shoot Force lightning at him, but he managed to deflect it back with his lightsaber, disfiguring Sidious and unmasking his true hideous appearance. Anakin, who was secretly married to Padmè who was pregnant and believed only Sidious could save her if she died in birth, came in and begged Mace to spare Sidious. Mace refused, telling him that Sidious was the real traitor of the Galactic Republic and keeping him alive would be far too dangerous. As he was about to kill Sidious, Anakin intervened and cut off Mace's lightsaber arm. As he screamed in shock and pain, Mace realized that he had not realized what Palpatine's greatest weapon was. Sidious cackled and proceeded to blast him with Force lightning and Force-pushed Mace out of the broken window, sending him falling to his death.
Friends and Allies
Like all Jedi, Mace deeply respected Yoda and regarded him as the oldest and wisest Jedi of his time. He always obeyed the ancient Jedi Master, though, as a senior member of the Jedi Council, he was one of the few who dared to question him, though he rarely did so.
Yoda also held Mace in high esteem and trained him when he was a young boy.
Mace had a healthy respect with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan held Mace in high esteem for his mastery of Form VII and Mace held Obi-Wan in high esteem for his mastery of Form III. Despite their mutual respect for each other, however, Obi-Wan often disagreed with Mace's questionable decisions. This was because Obi-Wan was a moderate who followed the Jedi Code and Mace was an extremist who had a secret emotional attachment to the Republic.
Although Mace and Qui-Gon Jinn were both Jedi Masters, they were often at odds due to their differing ways; Mace was a traditionalist who was staunchly committed to the Jedi Code and always yielded to the will of the Council. Qui-Gon, on the other hand, was a maverick who was perfectly willing to disobey the Jedi Council and bend the rules of the Code if he felt it was the right choice. Because of this maverick nature of Qui-Gon’s, Mace had a low opinion of him, though he did tolerate Qui-Gon to an extent. He was shown to think little of Qui-Gon’s opinions and beliefs; for example, he was skeptical of both Qui-Gon’s theory that the Sith had returned and his insistence that young Anakin Skywalker was the prophesied Chosen One. In both cases, Qui-Gon ultimately proved to be right.
Like most Jedi, Ahsoka held Mace in high esteem for his legendary wisdom and fighting skills, but he held her in low esteem because of her young age and rebellious nature.
What bond they had between them was destroyed when Ahsoka was accused of treason; like most of the Jedi, Mace refused to believe in her innocence and coldly expelled her from the Jedi Order without a fair trial. After Ahsoka was proven innocent, Mace joined the Jedi Council in offering to reinstate her into the Order, but instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he somewhat arrogantly claimed that Ahsoka's traumatic experience had been nothing more than a test given to her by the Force. When Ahsoka chose to leave the Jedi for good, Mace, unlike the others who were very sad to see her leave, only seemed disgusted; as she walked away, he frowned and his fists clenched. This indicates that he feels no remorse over his unjust treatment of her.
Mace first met Anakin Skywalker when Qui-Gon Jinn brought him before the Jedi High Council for testing. As Mace was a firm believer in the Jedi Code, he thus believed Anakin, nearly ten years of age, was far too old to be trained as a Jedi. Unlike Yoda, he regarded Anakin's status as the "Chosen One" with a degree of skepticism, but like the latter, he viewed the young boy as potentially dangerous due to his internal conflict. However, given Qui-Gon's last wish and Anakin's heroic actions during the Battle of Naboo, Mace reluctantly agreed to allow Anakin to be trained by Obi-Wan, though he continued to doubt Anakin's suitability for the life of a Jedi.
Over the years, Mace and Anakin came to respect each other fairly well due to their many similarities; both were born in the Outer Rim, both had secret emotional attachments, and both were hardliners who mastered particularly aggressive lightsaber styles (Anakin mastered both variants of Form V: Shein and Djem So, while Mace mastered Form VII). However, they were not necessarily friends and were often at odds due to their differing ways; Mace was staunchly committed to the Jedi Order's ancient traditions while Anakin was more than willing to push against the retraining rules of the Order.
The pair's respect for each other was severely shaken after Ahsoka was accused of treason; Anakin saw right away that Ahsoka had been framed, but Mace believed she was guilty and urged that Anakin be left out of the matter because of the emotional bond between him and Ahsoka, but was overruled by Yoda and Obi-Wan. When Wilhuff Tarkin demanded that Ahsoka be expelled from the Jedi Order and turned over to the Republic military for her so-called treason, Mace agreed with him. After a short Council meeting, Mace coldly had Ahsoka expelled from the Jedi Order. Anakin saw right away the meeting was just a formality to disguise how the Council was casting Ahsoka out for the sake of self-interest and was disgusted by Mace's shamelessness. After Ahsoka left the Jedi Order for good, Anakin secretly developed a grudge against Mace.
As the Clone War dragged on, Mace became increasingly mistrustful of Anakin, believing he was unstable, unpredictable and unreliable. Anakin's dislike for Mace was intensified when the latter rather coldly denied him the rank of Jedi Master when Anakin was placed on the Jedi Council, something Anakin perceived as an insult. Mace also ordered him, via Obi-Wan, to spy on Palpatine, whom Anakin considered a friend and mentor, further fueling Anakin's anger. When Anakin informed him of Palpatine's true Sith identity, Mace accepted the truth, but refused to allow Anakin to accompany him in confronting Palpatine, believing he was too much of a risk.
After Mace subdued Palpatine, he resolved to execute the Dark Lord of the Sith, believing he was too dangerous to be left alive due to his near-dictatorial power in the Senate. Anakin pleaded with Mace to spare Palpatine, pointing out that killing an unarmed opponent was not the Jedi way, but Mace disregarded all his pleas and prepared to strike. However, in concentrating all of his attention on Palpatine, Mace underestimated Anakin, who stopped Mace by cutting off his lightsaber wielding hand, allowing Palpatine to kill him. Despite his dislike for Mace, Anakin was horrified by what he had done and showed at least some remorse over his part in Mace's demise, but knew there was no turning back and reluctantly pledged himself to the Sith Order.
At first, Mace respected and admired Palpatine for his clean slate. When Dooku revealed the existence of Darth Sidious and that the Dark Lord of the Sith had hundreds of Senators under his control, Mace, unlike Yoda, took it seriously and vowed to keep a closer eye on the Galactic Senate. As Palpatine amassed near-dictatorial powers, Mace began to realize he was not what he seemed. When the CIS invaded Coruscant, Mace realized that it was an inside job and that Dooku was telling the truth.
Mace later had Anakin spy on Palpatine, and Anakin later revealed that Palpatine and Darth Sidious were in fact the same person. Shocked and startled by this terrible revelation, Mace immediately confronted the Dark Lord and just barely managed to defeat him with a combination of his mastery of Vaapad and his shatter-point ability (however, in truth, the Palpatine threw the fight in order to further corrupt Anakin into killing Mace). Deciding that he was too dangerous to be kept alive, Mace prepared to execute the Dark Lord of the Sith, only to have his sword arm severed by an emotionally insecure and desperate Anakin, allowing Palpatine to kill him.
- Samuel L. Jackson, Mace's actor, expressed interest in reprise his role of Mace in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but as a Force spirit. However, Mace didn't appear in the film, like Boba Fett and Lando Calrissian.