- "You must realize there aren't enough Jedi to protect the Republic. We're keepers of the peace, not soldiers."
- ―Mace Windu, to Sheev Palpatine
Mace Windu, a human male, was a Jedi Master and member of the Jedi High Council during the waning days of the Galactic Republic. Born on the planet Haruun Kal, Windu was trained in the Jedi arts as a result of his strong connection to the Force. Ascending to the rank of Master, he became known as the champion of the Jedi Order, an honor he carried for many years until his death. At one point in his career, Windu served as Master of the Order—the elected leader of the Jedi Order.
Approximately twenty-two years before the Battle of Yavin, Windu witnessed the decline of the Republic as the Separatist Crisis threatened to engulf the galaxy in civil war. The secessionist movement ultimately spawned the Confederacy of Independent Systems, which attempted to secede from the Republic by force. In response to the threat of the Separatist Droid Army, Windu and the Jedi rallied to the defense of the millennia-old democracy as generals of the newly-formed Grand Army of the Republic.
Throughout the Clone Wars, Windu served the Order and the Republic in various capacities—on the battlefield as a general of clone troopers; on Coruscant as an overseer of the Republic war effort and as an adviser to Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine; and even as a diplomat to contested worlds despite his disdain of politics. His exploits on the frontlines in particular served as a reminder of his reputation as a renowned Jedi warrior and champion.
As the war drew closer to an end, Windu became increasingly suspicious of the Chancellor's motives, largely due to Palpatine's near-dictatorial control over the Galactic Senate of the Republic. He also sensed the rising power of the dark side of the Force and ultimately a plot to destroy the Jedi Order. Concerned for the future of both the Order and the Republic, he recommended that the Jedi Council would have to consider the option of deposing Palpatine and taking control of the Senate in order to ensure a peaceful transition to a new government.
His suspicions were vindicated when the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker informed him about the Chancellor's true identity; Sheev Palpatine was Darth Sidious—the Dark Lord of the Sith who manipulated the Republic and the Separatists into a civil war that enabled him to amass virtually unlimited power over the galaxy. Determined to save the Order and the Republic before it was too late to act, Windu confronted the Chancellor with the aid of Jedi Masters Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin. Their intention was to arrest Sidious so that he could be put on trial in the Senate for treasonous acts against the Republic.
Armed with a red-bladed lightsaber, Sidious swiftly killed his Jedi adversaries with the exception of Windu, who was left to fight for the survival of the Order and Republic on his own. After a brief duel in the Chancellor's office, the Jedi Master prevailed by disarming the Sith Lord and holding him at saber-point. By then Windu felt that a trial was pointless; given Sidious' control over the Senate and the Supreme Court, he took it upon himself to end the threat of the Sith once and for all. However, an emotionally unstable and desperate Skywalker managed to sever Windu's forearm before he could deliver the killing strike. Bereft of his amethyst-bladed lightsaber, he was unable to defend himself against a torrent of Force lightning that Sidious unleashed on him. Mace Windu—long regarded as the great champion of the Jedi Order—was sent plummeting to his death by the Dark Lord while a confused Skywalker stood by and watched. With Windu's demise, the Order and the Republic would ultimately fall, resulting in the rise of the first Galactic Empire.
During the reign of Emperor Sheev Palpatine, Imperial propaganda promoted anti-Jedi sentiment by spreading lies about the now-outlawed Jedi, including the late Mace Windu. Seeking to blame the Jedi for the outbreak of the Clone Wars, the Empire falsely claimed that Windu was the leader of a so-called "criminal gang" that interfered with a legal execution on the planet Geonosis prior to the subsequent Battle of Geonosis. In spite of the Empire's propagandist agenda, some of Windu's true deeds were remembered with fondness and gratitude by the people he aided during the war. In particular the Twi'leks immortalized Windu's name in "The Hammer of Ryloth," a song dedicated to the liberation of the planet Ryloth.
Mace Windu was born on the planet Haruun Kal approximately fifty years before the Clone Wars. Due to his natural affinity to the Force, Windu was trained as a Jedi—defenders of the Galactic Republic, the Jedi Order were the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. Prior to the Naboo Crisis, Windu had achieved the rank of Jedi Master and a seat on the Jedi High Council—the governing body of the Jedi Order. Long regarded as the champion of the Jedi Order, Windu endeavored to maintain the Jedi's ancient traditions while the Republic declined due to galactic unrest and political corruption.
During one of his missions, Windu rescued a young human girl, Depa Billaba, from pirates and brought her to the Jedi Temple. He then took Billaba as his Padawan learner, who became a Jedi Knight and ultimately a member of the Jedi Council as well.
Invasion of NabooEdit
- "There's no doubt the mysterious warrior was a Sith."
"Always two, there are. No more, no less. A master and an apprentice."
"But which one was destroyed, the master or the apprentice?"
- ―Mace Windu and Yoda, on the return of the Sith
Approximately ten years before the Clone Wars, the Trade Federation initiated a blockade of the planet Naboo. At the request of Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, the Jedi Council ordered Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to settle the dispute as emissaries of the Chancellor. Upon returning from their failed mission, the Council was made aware of a far greater threat, the ancient enemy of the Jedi—the Sith—had returned.
However, neither Mace Windu or Ki-Adi-Mundi were particularly convinced that the Jedi Order's ancient nemesis could have returned, much less avoid the awareness of the Jedi Council. Nevertheless, Windu assured them that the full resources of the Order would be utilized in order to verify the truth of Jinn's claims—and more specifically, the identity of the dark warrior who attacked him on Tatooine. It was then that Jinn revealed another significant discovery that he made during the course of his mission. Prior to his departure from Tatooine and subsequent return to Coruscant, Jinn encountered Anakin Skywalker. A young human child with the highest concentration of midi-chlorians in his cells, Anakin was the only son of Shmi Skywalker, but had no father. Jinn ultimately deduced that Anakin had been conceived by the midi-chlorians.
Windu knew that Jinn referred to the Jedi prophecy of the Chosen One—The One who would restore balance to the Force by destroying the Sith. Although he was skeptical about Jinn's claims, Windu instructed the maverick Jedi Master to bring young Skywalker to the Jedi Council Chamber where they could gauge his strength in the Force. The Council was impressed by Skywalker's ability to use the Force without any formal training, but they also sensed his attachment to his mother and a great amount of fear within him. As such, they declined Jinn's request to have him trained in the Jedi arts. Windu personally felt that Skywalker was too old to commit his life to the Jedi Code without the distraction of his emotional attachments.
The Council soon reversed its decision after Jinn's death during the Battle of Naboo, entrusting Skywalker's training to the newly-anointed Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. Windu continued to doubt Skywalker's ability to commit himself to the Jedi way, however, and his ill-concealed distrust would put a strain on their relationship throughout the years as Skywalker ascended the ranks of the Jedi Order. During the funeral of Qui-Gon Jinn, Grand Master Yoda and Windu realized that Jinn had been correct; the Sith had indeed survived and endured over the last millennium. Yoda quoted the Rule of Two, an ancient Sith philosophy that limited their ranks to two Sith Lords—a master and an apprentice—causing Windu to ponder over which of the two was defeated by Kenobi. Afterward, he attended the victory celebration on Naboo along with Yoda, several members of the Jedi Council, and the newly-elected Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine.
Prelude to warEdit
- "You know, m'lady, that Count Dooku was once a Jedi. He couldn't assassinate anyone. It's not in his character."
- ―Mace Windu, to Padmé Amidala
In the decade that followed the Battle of Naboo, the Galactic Republic faced an existential crisis as thousands of star systems and powerful corporations threatened to secede from the ancient democratic union. Chancellor Palpatine assured the Jedi Council that his office was seeking a peaceful resolution with the Separatists, and that he would not permit secession to divide the millennium-old Republic. Despite the Chancellor's assurances, Mace Windu advised him to consider just how vulnerable the Republic truly was—the Jedi Order lacked the sufficient manpower to defend the entire Republic in the event of war. Moreover, the Order was a force of peacekeepers rather than soldiers.
As the Galactic Senate continued to debate over whether to vote for or against the proposed Military Creation Act, Senator Padmé Amidala narrowly avoided an assassination attempt on her life. During a meeting with the Chancellor, she revealed to Windu and Yoda her suspicion that Count Dooku was involved in the attack. Although Dooku had renounced his Jedi status before becoming the leader of the Separatist movement, Windu refused to believe that even a former Jedi could be involved in a plot to assassinate the Naboo senator—or anyone for that matter. Nevertheless, Windu heeded Yoda and Palpatine's warning that Amidala's life was in grave danger, regardless of whether Dooku was personally involved or not. As such, he dispatched Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker to serve as temporary bodyguards for the senator. After the death of Amidala's would-be assassin, Zam Wesell, Windu and the Council instructed Kenobi to track Wesell's accomplice who evaded capture. They also ordered Skywalker to accompany Amidala to her home planet of Naboo in case of another assassination attempt against her.
While the Separatist Crisis worsened, Windu concurred with Yoda's belief that the dark side of the Force was responsible for the turmoil that undermined galactic peace and stability. They were especially disturbed to learn that Kenobi's investigation led him to the planet Kamino where their agent discovered the existence of a secret army—hundreds of thousands of clone troopers, in addition to a million more units in development. Prime Minister Lama Su, the leader of the Kaminoan cloners, revealed that the army was made to serve the Galactic Republic. He also asserted that the client who commissioned the project was the late Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, whom he presumed was alive and a leading member of the Jedi Council until Kenobi corrected his assumption.
Kenobi followed the source of the clone army, the bounty hunter Jango Fett, to the planet Geonosis where he reported another discovery to Windu and Yoda, both of whom witnessed his transmission in the Chancellor's office. Dooku and the Separatist Council had no intention of negotiating a peaceful solution with the Republic; they merely stalled for time in order to construct a massive army of battle droids for one purpose—to make war on the Republic. After the Senate voted to empower Chancellor Palpatine with emergency wartime powers, which he quickly used to authorize the formation of the Grand Army of the Republic, Windu led a Jedi assault team to Geonosis in order to rescue Kenobi while Yoda moved to take command of the clone troopers on Kamino.
Battle of GeonosisEdit
- "This party's over."
- ―Windu, confronting Dooku on Geonosis
Windu and the Jedi prevented the execution of Kenobi, as well as Skywalker and Amidala, both of whom traveled to Geonosis with the intention to help Kenobi, but were quickly confronted by an overwhelming force of battle droids. The Jedi fought bravely, destroying many battle droids in the process, but also sustained a large number of casualties. During the fight, Windu swiftly killed Jango Fett with relative ease, decapitating the bounty hunter as Boba Fett— a clone whom Jango raised as a son—watched in horror. Overwhelmed by droids' the superior numbers, the Jedi were cornered into the center of the Geonosian Petranaki arena. Dooku demanded that the Jedi surrender themselves into Separatist custody, but Windu refused to allow himself and his allies to be taken as prisoners of war. Moments later, the arrival of Yoda and the clone army ultimately turned the tide and enabled the Jedi survivors to escape from the arena.
In the aftermath of the arena skirmish, the Battle of Geonosis officially commenced as thousands of clone troopers engaged the battle droids on the field of war. The remaining members of Windu's assault team took to the field as well, assuming command of the clones who were trained to serve the Jedi with absolute loyalty. Reporting directly to Windu, Clone Commander CT-411 and five special commando units accompanied the legendary Jedi champion to the forefront of the battle. Under the Jedi's leadership, the clone army forced the Separatists into full retreat, abandoning Geonosis to Republic occupation. Windu returned to the capital, content that the first battle resulted in a Republic victory, but was also morose over the failure to capture Dooku. By then Windu came to accept that he had been wrong in his preconception of Dooku's character; his old friend had turned to the dark side, becoming an enemy of both the Order and the Republic.
The formation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems shattered a thousand years of peace that once defined the Jedi Order's role in the galaxy. In order to preserve and defend the Galactic Republic, Windu and his fellow Jedi accepted formal command of the clone army as generals and commanders. He also learned from Kenobi about Dooku's assertion that a mysterious Sith Lord by the name of Darth Sidious had hundreds of senators under his control, but Yoda believed that the Council had no incentive to trust the word of a fallen Jedi. Windu nonetheless recommended that the Council maintain a watchful eye on the Senate, having never trusted the highly corrupt government in the first place. As the clone troopers and their Jedi leaders prepared for war, Yoda expressed his sadness to Windu and Kenobi, declaring that the shroud of darkness had descended upon the galaxy—now engulfed by the Clone Wars, the first galactic-scale conflict since the formation of the Republic.
Rescue of RottaEdit
- "This is the opportunity we've been looking for. The Jedi must rescue Jabba's son."
"Hmm… I don't like it—dealing with that criminal scum. This is a dark day for the Republic."
- ―Sheev Palpatine and Mace Windu, on a potential alliance with Jabba Desilijic Tiure
As a senior member of the Jedi Council, Mace Windu directed the Republic war effort from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, often conferring with Grand Master Yoda and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine on matters of strategy and diplomacy. However, on occasion he also took to the field, commanding clone troopers and Jedi on several military campaigns with Commander CT-411 (nicknamed "Ponds") as his second-in-command. Windu's exploits on the battlefield served as a reminder of his reputation as a fierce warrior and champion of the Jedi Order.
During the early phase of the war, Rotta—the Huttlet son of Jabba Desilijic Tiure—was "Huttnapped" by the Separatists, who conspired to discredit the Jedi Knights in order to prevent a potential alliance between the Republic and the Hutt Clan. In response to Rotta's abduction, Jabba issued a general distress call to anyone who was willing to aid in the safe retrieval of his son. Although Palpatine was quick to use this turn of events in the Republic's favor, Windu urged the Chancellor to proceed with caution, believing there was more to the kidnapping than what was apparent. He also informed the Chancellor that, because of the Separatist General Grievous, Republic forces were stretched too thin to send a large number of Jedi on a rescue mission. Due to Palpatine's insistence that the Republic clone army needed to gain safe passage through the Outer Rim Hyperspace routes in Hutt Space, Windu agreed to assign the mission to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker since both Jedi Knights were now available after liberating the planet Christophsis from Separatist occupation.
Soon afterward Windu received a message from the Advanced Recon Force troopers who tracked Rotta's location to an old monastery on the planet Teth. Due to the monastery's heavy fortification, Windu instructed the troopers to stand by and await Republic reinforcements. He then reassigned three of Admiral Wurtz's cruisers to the rescue operation. In spite of Count Dooku's plot to form an alliance between the Confederacy and the Hutt Clan, Rotta was ultimately redeemed from captivity by Anakin Skywalker and his new Padawan, Ahsoka Tano. The Separatists were defeated on Teth and Jabba was made aware of Dooku's conspiracy, which in turn allowed the Republic to secure passage through the Hyperspace lanes in Hutt territory.
Liberation of RylothEdit
- "General Windu! Perhaps we can come to a compromise."
"Not when I hold all the cards."
- ―Wat Tambor and Mace Windu
Following the Separatist invasion of the planet Ryloth, General Windu personally oversaw the campaign to retake the Twi'lek homeworld. In response to the Republic's imminent counterattack, Wat Tambor—foreman of the Techno Union and Separatist emir of Ryloth—ordered the Separatist navy to form a blockade around the planet. As such, Windu entrusted Skywalker and Tano with the responsibility of breaking through the blockade in order to clear a path for the rest of the Republic invasion force. After some difficulty, Master and Padawan succeeded in their task, allowing Windu and Kenobi to commence with the landing of their ground forces on Ryloth.
In order to establish a foothold on Ryloth, Windu instructed Kenobi to lead a detachment of the 212th Attack Battalion on a mission to secure the landing area near the city of Nabat. On Tambor's orders, however, the Separatist battle droids used the local Twi'lek population as living shields to protect their proton cannons. Despite the danger that the cannons posed to the Republic Navy, Windu informed Kenobi that freeing the hostages was a mission priority. After the success of Kenobi's assignment, Windu and his forces landed on the surface of Ryloth and proceeded with the final phase of the campaign—the liberation of the planetary capital city, Lessu.
The liberation of Ryloth moved apace, but the march to the capital was perilous. After sustaining casualties and damage to his All Terrain Tactical Enforcers, Windu decided to enlist the aid of Cham Syndulla, the leader of the local resistance against Separatist occupation. Syndulla was hesitant to align his cause with that of the Republic, fearing Ryloth would only trade one oppressing force for another. Yet the suffering of his people compelled him to communicate with Ryloth's own senator, Orn Free Taa. Windu long detested politics, but was nonetheless a capable diplomat. His skills as a mediator enabled him to guide the corpulent politician and the freedom fighter to a compromise—Taa vowed that the clone army would withdraw from Ryloth after the remaining Separatists were driven away. In return, Syndulla promised to not use his popularity with the people to seize power from Ryloth's democratically-elected senator.
The combined forces of Republic clone troopers and Twi'lek freedom fighters laid siege to Lessu, which Tambor was in the process of evacuating, but not without confiscating much of Ryloth's wealth. The attack on the capital was led by both Syndulla and Windu, until the latter broke off from the main fighting in order to prevent Tambor's escape. As a result of the emir's delayed departure, Tambor was left stranded on Ryloth, allowing Windu to capture him at saber-point. Several Separatist bombers made a last ditch attempt to bombard the capital, but their efforts ended in failure as Skywalker and Tano narrowly intercepted and destroyed the enemy starfighters in their respective Delta-7 Aethersprite-class light interceptors.
With the liberation of Lessu and the capture of the Skakoan emir, the campaign concluded in victory for both the Republic and Ryloth. Many Twi'leks gathered in the capital to celebrate their renewed liberty as clone troopers and freedom fighters marched through the city in a triumphant parade. General Windu and Commander Ponds attended the event, as did Syndulla and Senator Taa.
- "You will take us to the holocron… And you will take us now."
- ―Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi, using the Force to break Cad Bane's resolve
In the aftermath of the Confederate victory on the planet Felucia, Windu and the Jedi Council reprimanded Tano for her failure to immediately comply with the order to withdraw from the battle. As punishment, they temporarily reassigned her to serve as a guard in the Jedi Archives of the Temple. Shortly afterward, Windu and Yoda discovered that the Temple had been infiltrated by thieves—unknown to the Jedi, Darth Sidious hired the bounty hunter Cad Bane for an assignment to steal one of the Order's holocrons. As Kenobi and Skywalker hunted the intruders, Bane sacrificed his droid, Todo 360, by sending it to the communication center as a bomb. Before the droid could detonate, Windu Force pushed Todo into the ventilation system where it exploded. The distraction worked to Bane's advantage, allowing the mercenary to escape the Temple with a holocron. However, Tano managed to apprehend his partner, Cato Parasitti, who revealed to Windu and the other Jedi that Bane's next target was Bolla Ropal, the keeper of the Kyber memory crystal. Windu deduced the true nature of the theft—the holocron that Bane stole could be used to access the crystal's data, which contained the names and locations of all known Force-sensitive children in the galaxy. With the future of the Jedi Order in jeopardy, the Council dispatched Kenobi to hunt Bane while Skywalker and Tano traveled to the Devaron system to find Ropal.
Skywalker and Tano were unsuccessful in their mission to thwart Bane's theft of the crystal. Knowing that the bounty hunter's next move was to abduct the Force-sensitive children, the Jedi switched to a new tactic—meditation. Windu, Yoda, Kenobi and Skywalker searched through the Force, seeking to identify the children who were in immediate danger from Bane. The Force guided the Jedi to the planets Rodia and Naboo. Kenobi failed to prevent the abduction of the Rodian infant Wee Dunn, however the Gungan child Roo-Roo Page was saved, and Bane was taken into Jedi custody by Skywalker and Tano. Windu personally conducted Bane's interrogation, although initially without success as he sensed that the mercenary's fear of his client outweighed his fear of the Jedi Order. At Tano's suggestion, Windu, Kenobi and Skywalker simultaneously performed the mind trick technique on Bane. Despite the possibility of permanently damaging Bane's mind in the process, the Jedi felt that he had given them no other recourse except to force his compliance for the sake of the Order's future. The experience proved too painful for Bane, who finally relented to the Jedi's demands.
Bane brought Windu, Kenobi and Clone Commander CC-2224 to Black Stall Station where the holocron was kept. The Jedi inadvertently trigger the station's defense turrets, however, allowing Bane to leave the space station in an escape pod while Windu and Kenobi defended themselves. Both Jedi Masters ultimately survived the trap and escaped with the holocron just prior to the station's destruction. Simultaneously, Skywalker and Tano tracked the missing infants to the planet Mustafar and were able to rescue them all before they could be used in the schemes of the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Battle of MalastareEdit
- "I have a bad feeling about this."
- ―Mace Windu
When the Separatists invaded the planet Malastare, homeworld of the Dug species, Windu again took to the field commanding Republic forces with the assistance of Commander Ponds and General Skywalker. Preventing the Separatist conquest of Malastare was not their only objective; the Republic sought to gain access to Malastarian fuel. Doge Nakha Urus, leader of Malastare, agreed to sign a treaty of trade between the Republic and Malastare, provided that the Separatists were first driven off of Malastarian soil by Windu's forces. However, the Republic soon found itself heavily outnumbered upon confronting the Separatist invasion force on the open field of battle.
Despite this, the Republic had a backup plan—the electro-proton bomb, developed by the Republic scientist Doctor Sionver Boll, was designed to neutralize a specific target: the Separatist battle droids. The doctor assured Windu and Chancellor Palpatine—who communicated with Republic forces via hologram—that the bomb posed no threat to organic-based units, such as clone troopers and the Malastarian Dugs. The plan met with the Chancellor's approval, but did little to assuage Windu's concerns. Although the Jedi Master proposed to seek an alternative solution, the bomb's use was authorized by Palpatine and Urus. Upon detonation, the immediate blast incinerated the droids that were closest to the explosion. The subsequent discharge of EMP radiation caused the remaining the droids to shut down, along with every form of machinery within proximity of the overall blast.
Though the experimental bomb succeeded in neutralizing the entire Separatist invasion force in one fell swoop, the surface began to collapse as a result of the explosion, creating a massive sinkhole that began at ground zero and expanded in every direction. A rescue operation soon commenced in order to search for the Republic troops who fell into the sinkhole. After losing communication with the rescue party, Windu and Ponds led a team to ascertain the fate of the survivors. Their investigation ultimately led them to discovering the Zillo Beast—an ancient creature native to Malastare, its species was long believed to be extinct by the Dug population. The beast, awoken by the bomb, chased after Windu and his troops until Skywalker created a distraction by flying maneuvers around it in his Jedi starfighter.
After escaping from the sinkhole, Windu regrouped with Skywalker and Urus in order to develop a strategy to neutralize the Zillo Beast. The Malastarian doge was adamant that the creature should be destroyed—a plan which Palpatine supported in order to ensure the Dugs' cooperation with the Republic's needs for Malastare's fuel. Windu strongly objected on the ground of Jedi morality, however. Due to the possibility that the beast could be the last of its species, the Jedi Master was determined to preserve its life. His value for life ultimately conflicted with Urus' insistence on the creature's extermination. Urus went ahead with his plan upon discovering the harmful effects that Malastarian gas had on the Zillo Beast, prompting Windu to intercede in defense of the creature's life by threatening the doge with his lightsaber.
The situation was ultimately resolved when a group of Republic stun cannon tanks concentrated their fire on the Zillo Beast and, as a result, incapacitated the creature. The Dugs believed that the beast was finally dead when in fact the stun cannons merely rendered it unconscious—long enough for Republic forces to transport the Zillo Beast to Coruscant for scientific research. Though the Malastarian council formally ratified Malastare's treaty with the Republic, Windu made no effort to conceal his disapproval of Palpatine's decision to bring the dangerous beast to the galactic capital—a move that the Jedi Master regarded as folly on the Chancellor's part.
Zillo Beast incidentEdit
- "With respect, Chancellor, I believe this creature could pose any number of dangers. Bringing it here to Coruscant is a mistake."
- ―Mace Windu, to Sheev Palpatine
Windu returned to Coruscant with the sedated Zillo Beast in tow. As the clone army transported the beast to the Republic Science and Technical Center, Windu again expressed his disapproval of Palpatine's decision to move a dangerous creature to the capital. By then, however, it was clear to him that the Chancellor would not listen to the Jedi Master's counsel on this matter. Palpatine claimed that the research conducted on the Zillo Beast would be beneficial to the Republic war effort, although his reassurance did little to alleviate Windu's concerns about the safety of Coruscant. At Kenobi's suggestion, the Jedi turned to Senator Padmé Amidala in the hopes that she would have more success in reasoning with the Chancellor.
Shortly after its arrival, however, the Zillo Beast escaped from its confinement and proceeded to rampage through the cityscape of the galactic capital. Windu and the other Jedi mobilized Republic forces in order to prevent the beast from causing more damage and casualties on Coruscant. Palpatine, who had ordered the beast's destruction, was caught in its path while attempting to evacuate the Senate Office Building. Windu and the Jedi consequently focused their efforts on saving the Chancellor's life, which ultimately led to the death of the Zillo Beast when Palpatine ordered the Republic gunships to fire Malastarian gas bombs on it.
During the Clone Wars, Senator Rush Clovis of the planet Scipio became a suspected traitor to the Republic. Due to the lack of proof, however, Windu and the Jedi Council instructed Skywalker to recruit Senator Amidala as a spy, believing that their former relationship would enable the Naboo politician to gain the alleged traitor's confidence. Ultimately, the Council was right to be suspicious of Clovis as Amidala discovered proof that her colleague had secretly dealt with the Separatists on behalf of the InterGalactic Banking Clan while pretending to be a Republic loyalist.
Battle of DantooineEdit
- "I've just received a distress signal from our forces on Dantooine. Master Windu's defenses held, but at a great cost to his men. They need medical supplies immediately."
Windu personally oversaw the defense of Dantooine against oppositional forces that sought to wrest control of the planet from the Republic. The Jedi Master's forces prevented the fall of Dantooine to enemy control, but also sustained a large number of casualties in the process. After the battle Windu sent a distress signal, which Ki-Adi-Mundi received shortly after the Republic's reconquest of Geonosis, informing the Jedi of his victory while simultaneously requesting medical supplies for his injured soldiers.
- "Boba was on Geonosis when his father died. He watched as I killed him."
"That would complicate things."
- ―Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker
Windu, Ponds and Skywalker were then to the Jedi Cruiser Endurance for a brief respite from the War. However, somebody had planted a bomb in his quarters, attempting to assassinate him. Windu, Skywalker, and the Endurance's crew then searched the ship for the saboteur. However, the Endurance was compromised when the saboteur blew up the reactors. Windu and Skywalker were able to save Admiral Kilian from being blown out into space. Windu and Skywalker then led the evacuation of the Endurance as it entered Vanqor's atmosphere. Windu and Skywalker tried to convince Kilian to abandon ship, but he refused. Windu then boarded his starfighter, left with Skywalker, and rendezvoused with survivors as the Endurance crash landed on Vanqor. Windu was then informed that a escape pod with Clone cadet was missing. Windu, realizing that the saboteur was there, went with Skywalker to investigate. There, they found the cadets.
After a medical ship arrived, Windu and Skywalker investigated the crash site, looking for survivors, including Kilian and Ponds. Windu then had his astromech droid, R8-B7 and R2-D2 scan for survivors. Windu was displeased with Skywalker's attachment with R2. Windu then found evidence that someone was executing the survivors, believing they were looking for his body. Windu and Skywalker then went to the bridge. After looking, Windu informed Captain Silver that Kilian and Ponds were lost and ordered them to the nearest medical station. Skywalker then spotted a Mandalorian helmet. Windu then realized that the saboteur was none other than Jango Fett's son, Boba. Windu then pulled Skywalker away from the helmet before it blew up. However, he and Skywalker were buried in debris, unable to move. They then told R2-D2 to call for help. Windu then watched as R2 took his fighter, believing he was leaving them behind when he was being pursued by Slave I. Windu and Skywalker were then rescued by Master Plo Koon, Ahsoka, and Commander Wolffe's Wolfpack. As Windu was being loaded onto a stretcher, he thanked R2 for rescuing them, seeing why Skywalker valued him.
At the Jedi Temple, Windu and Skywalker recuperated. Windu told Skywalker that he would not be hunting down Boba Fett, knowing that they are busy with the War. However, Koon and Ahsoka then showed them a message from Boba Fett, in which his colleague, Aurra Sing, shot Commander Ponds and threatened to kill the other hostage if Windu did not meet with Boba. Windu decided to agree to this but allowed Plo Koon and Ahsoka to apprehend him. Windu then met with Boba after he and Bossk were captured. Though Boba regretted what he had done, he told Windu that he would never forgive.
Funeral of Onoconda FarrEdit
The Brother of MaulEdit
Following this, Windu showed Master Kenobi footage of the Devaron massacre, showing a Zabrak attacker with a resemblance to Darth Maul. Windu informed Kenobi that this Zabrak was not Darth Maul, also saying that the attacker, as well as Maul, came from Dathomir. It had been previously believed that Maul had come from Iridonia.
Kidnapping of the ChancellorEdit
When rumors reached the Council that the bounty hunter Moralo Eval was planning to kidnap Palpatine from inside prison, Windu, Yoda, and Kenobi conceived a plan for Kenobi to impersonate bounty hunter Rako Hardeen to get close to Eval. Windu arranged for Skywalker to arrest Kenobi, posing as Hardeen, and have sent to prison. He was then informed that fellow bounty hunter Cad Bane was planning to free Eval. Following Eval's, Bane's and Kenobi's escape, Windu and Yoda took the bounty off them to ensure that they would continue on their way to Serenno.
Attack on the TempleEdit
Later during the war, the hangar of the Jedi Temple was bombed, killing many clones and civilians, as well as several Jedi. Master Yoda promptly summoned Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano back to the Temple and to the Council Chamber. Unwilling to trust anyone who was in the Temple during the attack, Windu and the rest of the High Council assigned Skywalker and Tano to lead the investigation in order to provide an "impartial" point of view. The Council were also troubled by the possibility that a Jedi could have been behind the attack.
Later, Tano herself was accused by Admiral Tarkin of being the mastermind behind the attack after a suspect was Force-choked to death in her presence. After the young Padawan fled into the Corsuant underworld, Tarkin contacted the Jedi Council and relayed the accusations against Tano, stating she had committed sedition and further said that she should not be treated as an internal affair. Yoda then sent Skywalker and Plo Koon to lead squadrons of clones to track down Tano and bring her back to the Temple. Windu attempted to have Skywalker left out of the situation, expressing his belief that having him involved would only make things worse due to his emotional bond with his Padawan. However, Obi-Wan Kenobi convinced the Council otherwise, stating that Skywalker knew Tano best and would be able to capture her. Skywalker and Koon then left to hunt Tano.
Not long afterwards, Tano was found and arrested in a warehouse full of nano-droid explosives, the same devices used to blow up the Temple Hanger. She was brought back to the Temple by Skywalker and Koon. As the Council debated on what to do with her, Tarkin contacted them and requested, on behalf of the Galactic Senate, that Tano be expelled from the Jedi Order and turned over to the Republic Military so she could receive more "impartial" judgment. After the transmission ended, Kenobi strongly suggested that they side with Tano, pointing out that it was the Jedi's duty to stand by their own. But Mundi and Tinn refused, stating that there was too much evidence against her. Then Windu said that though he understood Kenobi's sentiment, he feared that protecting Tano would damage the Order's ties with the Senate. Yoda then summoned Skywalker and Tano to the Chamber of Judgement.
During the meeting, Windu surveyed Tano with pronounced with mistrust, darkly asking her if she was deceiving the Council, to which Tano denied. Believing Tano to be guilty and deciding to do as the Senate asked, Windu closed the matter by declaring Tano guilty of sedition and expelling the young Padawan from the Jedi Order. Tano was then stripped of her Jedi status and battlefield privileges, and turned over to the Republic courts to await her trial.
Like many of the Jedi, Windu was present during Tano's trial and Barriss Offee's confession, proving Tano to be innocent. The Council was shocked to learn that Tano had been innocent the whole time.
Afterwards, Offee was imprisoned while Tano was released and returned to the Jedi Temple. There, the Council and Skywalker gathered to personally request she rejoin the Order. Koon spoke for all present, humbly admitting to Tano that the Council was wrong to accuse her. Mundi and Tinn then praised Tano for her resolve, stating she had shown the true signs of a Jedi Knight. Then, Windu said that the whole ordeal was simply a "great trial", blaming the Force for working in mysterious ways rather than admitting he had been wrong. Yoda and Skywalker then asked Tano to rejoin the Order, but to their shock, she refused and left.
Mission to BardottaEdit
Windu later accompanied Representative Jar Jar Binks to assist the Bardottan Queen Julia in finding the disappearing Dagoyan Masters. However, Windu's presence was not welcome by the Queen nor the Bardottans. Windu also sensed that the Force was out of balance here. However, when the queen disappeared, Windu assisted the Bardottans and Binks in their search in the catacombs belonging to the Frangawl Cult. When Binks disappeared, Windu tracked him down and rescued Binks from being sacrificed. However, the Frangawl cult leader escaped with queen off-world. Binks promised the Bahk-tov Council that they would find the queen before the prophecy came to be.
Windu learned from Binks that the Frangawl cult was extracting the living force from Dagoyan masters putting it into a sphere. He surmised that they would do same to Queen Julia. Windu then sensed the orb on Zardossa Stix where Windu sensed her in a city market square. Windu fought with several of the cultists and saved Binks from capture, then stunning one Gundark and killing another. Windu questioned the Gundarks' trainer, who told them that the Great Mother would deal with him. Windu and Binks took an eopie and a dalgo to help in their search, traveling to the Zardossan temple. However, Windu and Binks were then confronted by stone guardians, yet Windu was able to defeat them. He confronted the Great Mother, who revealed herself to be the Nightsister Mother Talzin. Windu was able to prevent Talzin from absorbing the sphere's power and watched as she disappeared.
The Dooku assassination attemptEdit
- "The question before us now is—who will strike the killing blow?"
"I, ah ...may have a suggestion..."
- ―Masters Windu and Kenobi discussing their plans to assassinate Dooku
Mace Windu and his fellow Jedi Council members watched a live holographic recording of the devastating Separatist attack on Mahranee, the homeworld of the Mahran species. In response, Windu convinced his fellow Jedi Council members to sanction a secret mission to assassinate Count Dooku. At the suggestion of Master Kenobi, the Council recruited Master Quinlan Vos, who was experienced in undercover work, and Dooku's former apprentice Asajj Ventress for this sensitive operation. Ventress agreed to assist Vos with the mission but insisted that the Jedi could only overcome Dooku by training in the ways of the dark side.
Windu's plans unraveled when Dooku managed to best the two Force-sensitive assassins, and captured Vos on Raxus. In Dooku's captivity, Vos was tortured and coerced into embracing the dark side and joining Dooku after learning that Ventress had murdered his late master Tholme. After Ventress failed to rescue Vos, she informed Kenobi that Vos had joined Dooku. Later, the Jedi Council hatched a mission to rescue Vos from Separatist captivity. When Vos' friend Akar-Deshu invited Ventress to a Jedi Council briefing, Windu reacted with hostility to the dark sider's presence and announced his intent to arrest her on the spot.
However, Masters Kenobi and Yoda defended her, causing Windu to react with anger when upon learning that Ventress had instructed Vos in the ways of the dark side. Ventress responded by reminding the Jedi Master that he had assigned Vos the mission in the first place. After the Council was satisfied that Ventress had abandoned the Sith ways, they agreed to pardon her in exchange for helping to rescue Vos from Dooku. The rescue mission was successful and the Jedi and Ventress succeeded in rescuing Vos. Unknown to the Jedi, Vos had become a double-agent working for Dooku in an attempt to gain Dooku's trust so that he could learn the identity of the mysterious Darth Sidious. Vos planned to kill the two Sith Lords.
Following the rescue, Windu was present during a Jedi Council meeting which assigned Master Vos on a mission to obtain supplies from a Separatist supply storage base. However, Vos sabotaged the operation by destroying the supplies. Master Windu also assigned Vos and Kenobi on a mission to destroy a Separatist listening post on the planet Vanqor. Vos used his position within the Jedi Order to leak information about the operation to Dooku; allowing the Separatists to abandon the base before the Jedi arrived.
After these two incidents, Windu voiced his suspicions about Vos to his fellow Council members. After Master Yoda discerned that Vos had indeed fallen to the dark side, the Council decided to test Vos' loyalties by sending him on a mission to kill Count Dooku. During the briefing, Windu also gave Kenobi and Anakin orders that they were to kill Vos in the event that he failed to kill the Separatist leader. As expected, Vos failed to kill Dooku and instead demanded that the Sith Lord lead him to Sidious. As a result, Kenobi and Skywalker apprehended Vos and Dooku and imprisoned them aboard the Venator-class Star Destroyer Vigilance. Windu and the other Council members learned of this development via hologram.
Shortly later, Dooku and Vos managed to escape the Vigilance with the unwitting help of Asajj Ventress, leading to the events of the Second battle of Christophsis. During the fighting, Ventress died trying to protect Vos from Dooku's Force lightning attack. Despite being goaded by Dooku, Vos did not kill the Separatist leader since he realized that this would lead to the dark side. Vos was then recaptured by Kenobi and Skywalker who brought him back to Coruscant. During a subsequent Council meeting, Windu listened to Vos' confession and accepted Kenobi's report that Ventress had given her life to safe Vos from Dooku. After deeming that Vos had returned to the light side, Windu and his Jedi colleagues agreed to pardon him and conceded that their decision to assassinate Count Dooku was morally wrong since it led to the dark side.
Duel with Darth SidiousEdit
Following the end of the Clone Wars and the revelation that Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine was secretly Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith, Mace Windu and fellow members of the Jedi Council engaged Palpatine in a lightsaber duel in the Chancellor's office on Coruscant. Palpatine quickly dispatched Jedi Masters Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin and Kit Fisto, but had an extended confrontation with Windu. The duel lasted until Windu disarmed the Chancellor and knocked him to the ground.
As Windu held the Chancellor at bladepoint, he was interrupted by the arrival of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. Windu had told Skywalker to remain at the Jedi Temple, yet he was seduced to come to the Chancellor's office by the promise that Palpatine could use the dark side of the Force to save his wife, Padmé Amidala, from dying in childbirth, an event Skywalker saw in a vision. Skywalker was forced to choose between siding with Palpatine to potentially save his wife, or siding with Windu and saving the galaxy. Skywalker attempted to convince Windu to arrest the Sith Lord, as he at first intended, but Windu had realized that Palpatine controlled the Senate and the judicial system, and would most likely be acquitted no matter what. Stating that Palpatine was too dangerous to be left alive, Windu prepared to kill him, while Skywalker desperately claimed that doing so was not the Jedi way and finally blurted out "I need him!" When Windu tried to make the killing blow, Skywalker lashed out at him, cutting off his right hand and depriving him of his lightsaber. While Windu was still reeling from the pain, Palpatine, who was feigning helplessness, lashed out with Force lightning, hurling the Jedi master from the shattered window and sending him plunging into the dark streets miles below.
- "Master Windu spoke highly of your heroics at the Battle of Lessu."
"Ah. Mace Windu. Outnumbered 100 to one, we charged across Lessu's energy bridge to certain doom. We would not be stopped. They named that attack in songs, 'The Hammer of Ryloth.'"
- ―Kanan Jarrus and Cham Syndulla
The name of Windu would later be reviled by those who believed the line of the Galactic Empire. The Empire taught in their history books that Mace Windu was the leader of a "criminal gang" that interfered with a legal execution taking place on Geonosis, thus sparking the Clone Wars.
During the time of the Empire, the people of Ryloth still remembered his exploits in the Battle of Lessu, though, and they immortalized his name together with Cham Syndulla's in the song "The Hammer of Ryloth."
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Isn't protecting the innocent the very definition of what it means to be a Jedi? We are failing the Republic and its citizens. We must stop this—now."
- ―Mace Windu, emphasizing the Jedi Order's duty to protect the Republic and its citizens
As a senior member of the Jedi High Council, Mace Windu sought to protect the Jedi Order from the corruption and unrest that undermined the Galactic Republic from within. Noted for his grim demeanor, Windu held corrupt politicians and rebellious Jedi in low regard. He had very little patience for the failures of the Galactic Senate and was disdainful of the Jedi who disobeyed the will of the Council. A staunch traditionalist, Windu was long regarded as the great champion of the Jedi Order. His commitment to the Order's ancient traditions often put him at odds with less orthodox Jedi, such as Qui-Gon Jinn and especially Anakin Skywalker. Despite his disapproval of maverick Jedi and the avarice of the Senate, Windu was fiercely loyal to both the Republic and the Order to the point where he bravely risked his life for both institutions throughout the Clone Wars. Even as the Jedi became officers in the Grand Army of the Republic, Windu remained extremely protective of the Order's independence and jealously guarded its interests against external interference.
Though largely obstinate to anything that contradicted his views, the Clone Wars forced Windu to rethink some of his beliefs and preconceptions. Prior to the Battle of Geonosis, he refused to believe that even a former Jedi such as Count Dooku could be capable of arranging the assassination of another being. The onset of the Clone Wars caused Windu to realize that his old friend was more than a political idealist—he was an enemy of the Republic and the Order that he once served. As the war progressed, Windu was compelled to engage in politics. Although he disliked the system, he nonetheless proved to be an able diplomat during the Ryloth campaign in which he successfully mediated a truce between two rivals, Senator Orn Free Taa and Cham Syndulla. In spite of how the conflict forced the Jedi into the role of generals and warriors, Windu held fast to the Jedi Code for the most part. He refused to support the Dugs of Malastare when they proposed to kill the Zillo Beast, which he correctly presumed to be the last of its species. He also refused to seek retribution against Boba Fett after the latter attempted to assassinate him.
Despite his grim demeanor, Windu was highly compassionate towards his fellow Jedi and the citizens of the Republic. His own survival after the Battle of Geonosis was of little comfort to him—war had replaced peace and the Jedi, who once served as peacekeepers, were forced to adopt the mantle of warriors and military leaders. Nevertheless, Windu sought to bring the conflict to a swift conclusion in order to minimize the level of death and destruction wrought by the Clone Wars. However, as the casualties continued to rise, Windu became increasingly vexed by the Order's inability to end the war. In his view, the Jedi were failing the Republic and the people that they were sworn to protect. For this reason he supported the Council's decision to assassinate Dooku, believing that the traitor's death would destabilize the Separatists and enable the Jedi to finally end the Clone Wars. Although assassination contradicted Jedi philosophy, Windu asserted that it was also against the Jedi way to allow innocent people to suffer needlessly.
However, when Ahsoka Tano was framed for treason, Windu went too far; he believed Admiral Tarkin's claims that Tano had betrayed the Jedi and murdered many clone troopers, as well as innocent civilians, and urged that Skywalker be left out of the situation, believing that having him involved would only make matters worse due to his emotional bond with Tano, but was overruled by Yoda and Kenobi. After Tano was captured and brought before the Council, Windu outright accused her of lying to them and then decided to strip her of her status as a Jedi and turn her over to the Republic military, an act that most of the other Council members agreed with. After finding out that Tano was innocent, Windu took no responsibility for his actions or for the Council's failure. Instead, he claimed that the whole ordeal had been nothing more than a test given to Tano by the Force.
Windu worked closely with Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, often acting as an adviser to the leader of the Senate throughout the Clone Wars. As time went on, the Jedi champion grew increasingly suspicious of Palpatine's intentions. During the Zillo Beast's transportation to Coruscant, Windu strongly disagreed with the Palpatine's decision to bring the dangerous creature to the Republic capital. Though wary of Palpatine, Windu remained committed to his duty as a Jedi Knight, which required him to ensure the safety of the Chancellor. Yet even this responsibility was a source of conflict as, during a visit to Naboo, Palpatine voiced his concern that the level of security accompanying him was excessive. Windu interjected by stating that no amount of security was overkill where the Chancellor's safety was concerned.
Near the end of the war, Windu's trust in Palpatine had all but evaporated. Following Dooku's death, Windu grew concerned over whether Palpatine would relinquish his wartime authority as he once promised. At the same time, Windu sensed that the dark side of the Force surrounded the Chancellor. By now he was certain that a plot was in motion to destroy the Jedi Order. When Skywalker confirmed that Palpatine's true identity was Darth Sidious, Windu was determined to take swift and decisive action against the Sith Lord, realizing that the fate of the Order and Republic hung in the balance. Although he initially attempted to arrest Sidious, Windu concluded that it was impossible to seek justice through the Republic's failed system. He therefore decided to end Sidious's life before the latter could succeed in his plan to fully take over the Republic. However, in concentrating all of his attention on preventing the return of Sith oppression, Windu failed to anticipate Skywalker's intervention, resulting in the demise the Jedi Order's champion.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
- "I think it is time we inform the Senate that our ability to use the Force has diminished."
"Only the Dark Lord of the Sith knows of our weakness. If informed the Senate is, multiply our adversaries will."
- ―Mace Windu and Yoda
Mace Windu was a powerful Jedi Master who possessed highly advanced skills in both lightsaber combat and Force abilities. As a duelist, Windu favored Form VII—also known as Juyo or Vaapad, the seventh form was considered the most aggressive and unpredictable version of the art of lightsaber combat. Though more prominent among dark side users, Windu was able to master the form without falling to the corrupting influence of the dark side. In combat Windu demonstrated his skills as a duelist against Mother Talzin and even Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith. In the case of the latter, Windu not only survived Sidious' initial assault, which resulted in the deaths of three Jedi Masters, but ultimately prevailed against the Sith in the fight itself. Following an intense, but relatively short duel between the Dark Lord and the Jedi Order's champion, Windu disarmed and cornered the seemingly defeated Sidious.
Windu was also highly adept at deflecting incoming blaster shots with his lightsaber. During the Battle of Geonosis, Windu charged towards Jango Fett while simultaneously deflecting his fire before ultimately disarming and decapitating the bounty hunter in a swift motion. Afterward, he continued to utilize his skills at blaster deflection against an overwhelming number of battle droids, which enabled him to survive long enough until Yoda and the clone army arrived and turned the tide of the battle in the Republic's favor. Throughout the Clone Wars, Windu continued to rely on this defensive technique when leading Republic forces on the frontlines, especially during the Ryloth campaign. In addition to blaster shots, Windu could use his lightsaber to block a Force lightning attack, which he could also redirect back to its source in a superconducting loop.
As a Force user, Windu was proficient in various forms of telekinesis, which he could utilize as both attacks and defenses. He was capable of summoning his lightsaber, as demonstrated on Geonosis when he quickly reclaimed his Jedi weapon by way of the Force before Fett could prevent this. On Ryloth he used the Force to telekinetically pull battle droids in his direction, rendering them vulnerable to a fatal lightsaber attack. He was also powerful enough to levitate individuals, such as two clone troopers whose lives he saved by using the Force to prevent them from falling to their deaths. In addition to the offensive and defensive applications of the Force, Windu could use his connection to the Force to enhance his physical capabilities, allowing him to engage in acrobatics and land jumps from high places without sustaining injuries.
Windu's abilities with the Force extended to mind control, a Jedi technique that allowed the user to exert a considerable amount of influence over weak-minded individuals. Against a person of greater willpower than the average being, however, Windu was forced to combine his effort with Skywalker and Kenobi in order to force Cad Bane's cooperation. Although the initial attempt failed, their combined use of the "mind trick" technique caused Bane to experience significant discomfort, which nearly damaged his mind in the process.
Behind the scenesEdit
Samuel L. Jackson portrayed Mace Windu in the prequel trilogy and he returned to voice the character in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film. In the The Clone Wars TV series, his voice was provided by Terrence Carson, who had also played the role in various Legends animation and video games.
Jackson requested George Lucas that his character be given a purple lightsaber because he wanted to be able to find himself in the Geonosis battle scene in Attack of the Clones. He reasoned that since Windu is the second most powerful Jedi after Yoda, Windu should have a lightsaber of a different color from the customary red, blue, and green.
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Notes and referencesEdit
- Mace Windu on Wikipedia