- "In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you're under arrest, Chancellor."
- ―Mace Windu, to Darth Sidious
Mace Windu, a Force-sensitive human male, was a revered Jedi Master and member of the Jedi High Council during the last years of the Galactic Republic. During his time in the Jedi Order, he once served as elected leader of the Jedi and, during the Clone Wars, as a Jedi General in the Grand Army of the Republic. He was the greatest champion of the Jedi Order and promoted its ancient traditions amidst the growing influence of the dark side of the Force in the corrupt, declining days of the Republic.
When the Separatist Crisis spawned the birth of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and sparked the Clone Wars, Windu and the Jedi rallied to the defense of the Republic and became the leaders of the Grand Army of the Republic. Throughout the war, Windu served the Jedi and the Republic in various capacities—on the battlefield in command of the clone army, on Coruscant as an overseer of the war effort and an advisor to Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, and even as a diplomat to contested worlds, despite his disdain of politics. His exploits on the frontline served as a reminder of his reputation as a renowned Jedi warrior.
As the war drew to a close, Windu became increasingly suspicious of the chancellor's motives, as Palpatine had amassed near-dictatorial control over the Galactic Senate, and sensed the rising power of the dark side in the galaxy. His suspicions were confirmed when Anakin Skywalker, a Jedi Knight and the Chosen One of ancient prophecy, discovered that Palpatine was Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith who manipulated the Republic and the Separatist Alliance into war. Windu, along with Jedi Masters Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin, confronted Palpatine with the intention of arresting him. Instead, the Dark Lord attacked them, striking them down one by one until only Windu was left. Windu bested Palpatine in the confrontation and—deciding the chancellor was too dangerous to be left alive due to his influence over the government—prepared to strike him down, but the intervention of Anakin Skywalker, who saved the chancellor's life, led to Windu's death. As a result, Skywalker fell to the temptation of the dark side and was renamed Darth Vader.
Windu'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 their Jedi leaders, marking the fall of the Jedi Order. Palpatine transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire, and the Emperor's new regime promoted anti-Jedi sentiment across the galaxy. Through propaganda, the Empire portrayed Windu as the leader of a criminal gang of Jedi who caused the outbreak of the Clone Wars. In spite of the propaganda, some of Windu's actions were remembered with fondness; General Cham Syndulla, who served alongside Windu during the Battle of Ryloth, remembered Windu with great respect and told the tale of how Windu helped him liberate Ryloth during the war.
- "A fire burns inside you, Padawan. That, in itself, is not inherently wrong. It is my job to help you temper it. This is why I chose you to accompany me on this mission. I do so enjoy a challenge."
- ―Cyslin Myr, to Mace Windu
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 sent to the Jedi Order—a monastic order of protectors, sworn to defend the Galactic Republic, and known as the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy—to learn the Jedi arts. Rising to the level of Padawan, he became the apprentice of Jedi Master Cyslin Myr; by then he possessed a lightsaber with an amethyst-colored plasma blade.
Prior to the Naboo Crisis, Windu had achieved the rank of Jedi Master and gained a seat on the Jedi High Council—the governing body of the Jedi Order. Long regarded as the Jedi Order's greatest champion, Windu endeavored to maintain the Jedi's ancient traditions while the Republic declined due to galactic unrest and political corruption. As one of the most distinctive members of the Order, Windu crafted a new lightsaber which—in addition to its specially designed handgrip and electrum finish, indicating his status as a member of the High Council—also emitted a plasma blade of amethyst, making it one of the most distinctive Jedi weapons.
During one of his missions, Windu rescued Depa Billaba from pirates and brought her to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant where he trained her to become a Jedi Knight. By 32 BBY, Billaba was serving on the High Council alongside her former Master.
Mission to Mathas
- "You would twist such a beautiful thing as faith into something so vile. Wring out what measly credits and adoration you could from these poor people—all while besmirching the esteem of the Jedi Order. And you think that punishment would not find its way to your doorstep? Yet you claim we are the stupid ones… I will make sure you never hurt another soul again. This I vow… As a true Jedi."
- ―Mace Windu, to Drooz
During Windu's apprenticeship under Cyslin Myr, a man named Drooz had taken residence in a Jedi outreach temple on the planet Mathas. With the local populace suffering from the effects of the Niffin plague, Drooz convinced the people that he was a Jedi prophet who could heal the sick and the dying in return for their faith and servitude. Upon receiving reports of Drooz's activities, the Order dispatched Myr to assess and apprehend him. At the same time, Myr sought to teach Windu how to channel his frustrations into an appropriate emotion and therefore brought him to Mathas.
As they made their way to the temple, Windu observed the people's situation and pondered on what the Jedi could do to alleviate their suffering. He also denounced Drooz as a heretic and swindler who perverted the Jedi doctrine in order to take advantage of the people's misery. At that point his Master cautioned him to suppress his hostile feelings, having noticed how the thought of Drooz using the Jedi's teachings to prey on others frustrated Windu. They entered the temple and found Drooz with a group of Force worshippers, one of whom beseeched him to heal her child who was dying in spite of her many prayers and offerings.
Drooz's followers came to his defense when the Jedi openly confronted him. Using the distraction they created, he tried to escape from the temple but was pursued by Windu. Although Drooz's Gamorrean bodyguards were defeated by the Padawan, Drooz managed to injure Windu's left arm with his blaster pistol. He taunted Windu and mocked the Jedi's ways, sneering at their commitment to peace as he believed they should use their power to gain wealth through the faith of millions. Using the Force to immobilize Drooz, Windu disarmed him and vowed that he would never hurt anyone else. However, Myr intervened by ordering Windu to lower his lightsaber. While she understood her apprentice's frustrations, Myr believed that Drooz's punishment should be decided in a court of law.
Invasion of Naboo
- "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 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 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. Unknown to the Jedi, the slave Shmi Skywalker had given birth to a son who was exceptionally powerful with the Force; because of Anakin's inherent potential and the circumstances surrounding his birth, Jinn believed Anakin could have 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 Skywalker possessed the highest concentration of midi-chlorians in his cells, Windu was skeptical of Jinn's claims, but nonetheless agreed to meet the boy in the Council's chamber where they would evaluate his aptitude with the Force. The Council was impressed by Skywalker's ability to use the Force without any formal training, but they also sensed his emotional 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, as well as the Force, 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.
- "Remember, Obi-Wan. If the prophecy is true, your apprentice is the only one who can bring the Force back into balance."
- ―Mace Windu, to Obi-Wan Kenobi
The training of Anakin Skywalker drew the attention of his peers, Padawans and Jedi Masters alike, as well as Chancellor Palpatine, during his first three years as Kenobi's apprentice. He especially took an interest in lightsaber combat, as noted by Palpatine, although Windu was more focused on the training droid—mimicking the appearance and fighting style of Darth Maul—that Skywalker sparred with. Neither Windu or Kenobi had expected to see Skywalker duel with the visage of Maul, but the act served to impress Palpatine.
However, Kenobi was forced to intervene after Skywalker used the Force to take the lightsabers of two nearby apprentices, having overheard them mocking him for being a "slave to his emotions." Windu observed the incident as an example of how Skywalker was a complicated case for the Jedi, given the fact that he joined the Order far later than any of his contemporaries. After mentioning that Skywalker's training was an extremely difficult task for Kenobi, Windu politely declined the chancellor's offer to help guide the young Jedi. However, Palpatine claimed that as the Jedi were under the jurisdiction of the Senate, by extension they also reported to the Senate's chancellor. After considering Palpatine's line of reasoning, Windu agreed to send Skywalker to speak with the chancellor.
In the days leading up to the start of the Clone Wars, the High Council was confident that Skywalker was ready to be given a mission of his own for the first time. By then, Windu regarded him as an exceptionally skilled Jedi, but Kenobi was concerned that his Padawan's abilities led him to become arrogant and therefore had much to learn. Yoda concurred with Kenobi, but also felt that Skywalker was not an isolated case. In his assessment, other Jedi had grown overconfident in their skills as well. At this, Windu told Kenobi to keep the prophecy in mind, for if Skywalker was indeed the Chosen One then only he could bring the Force back into a state of balance.
Prelude to war
- "You must realize there aren't enough Jedi to protect the Republic. We are keepers of the peace, not soldiers."
- ―Mace Windu, to Sheev Palpatine
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 Geonosis
- "This party's over."
- ―Mace Windu, confronting Count 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 regarded as a son—watched in horror. Overwhelmed by the droids' 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 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, "Ponds", and five special commando units accompanied the legendary Jedi champion to the forefront of the battle. Windu kept Ponds by his side during the rest 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.
Mission to Hissrich
- "You will lead a small unit to monitor the Separatists' and determine what their purpose is. Due to the clandestine nature of this mission and our thinly stretched resources, we cannot offer you a clone squadron for support."
"The Jedi have trained our whole lives for missions like this. We will make do."
- ―Plo Koon and Mace Windu
Even in the early days of the Clone Wars, the High Council saw their situation as dire. With the Separatist army establishing multiple footholds throughout the Outer Rim, Windu was concerned that it would only be a matter of time before they moved inward, annexing more star systems before ultimately reaching the galactic capital of Coruscant. Seeking to ascertain the purpose of the Separatist presence on the planet Hissrich, the Council assigned the task to Windu. However, because of the mission's covert purpose and the Republic's thinly spread resources, they were unable to provide him with a squadron of clone troopers. Windu therefore assembled a covert team of Jedi, consisting of himself along with Kit Fisto, Prosset Dibs, and Rissa Mano.
Traveling to the remote planet aboard the T-6 shuttle Westwind, the Jedi's arrival was ultimately detected by AD-W4, a mercenary droid hired by General Grievous to oversee the Separatist occupation of Hissrich. After encountering members of Hissrich's indigenous population, Windu and Fisto followed them into a system of caverns and although they could not speak the aliens' language, Windu sensed that they were not hostile to the Jedi. The aliens led Windu and his team to their subterranean dwellings, at which point the Separatists attacked the Jedi after tracking their position to the alien settlement.
Windu ordered the other Jedi to protect the civilians while he fended off a group of droidekas. After dispatching the destroyers, he was confronted by AD-W4, who confronted the Jedi Master in single combat. As they fought, both combatants criticized their opponent's motivations; Windu regarded the droid's greed as a sign of depravity, whereas AD-W4 viewed the Jedi's beliefs—in particular, their commitment to peace—as asinine. During the fighting, the Jedi realized that the droids were mining the planet for its energy resources, the amount of which could turn the war in the Separatists' favor. Ultimately, a cave in separated the team in half, with Windu and Mano on the surface, while Fisto and Dibs were trapped below.
Together, Windu and Mano defeated the droids on the surface and succeeded in destroying one of the Separatist harvesters. Afterward, they returned to their ship to regroup with Fisto and Dibs. At that point, Windu had determined that it would not be possible for his team to put an end to the Separatist operation one skirmish at a time, and therefore desired to locate the enemy's command center in order to bring the conflict on Hissrich to a swift and decisive conclusion.
Rebellion in the ranks
- "I have failed you, Prosset. I was to be your shepherd, and you have strayed too far from the path. All of these bold accusations, all of these grand inquisitions. If you think you know better than I what is good for the Jedi, what is good for the galaxy—Then come! Test your resolve against mine. Let us find out who is right."
- ―Mace Windu, to Prosset Dibs
The Jedi's mission on Hissrich was interrupted by a fallout that occurred between two of its members. Dibs confronted Windu soon after returning to the Westwind with Fisto; his doubts about their military role and the loss of multiple natives led him to lose faith in the Order and the High Council. Shouting at his fellow Jedi Master, Dibs made several accusations against both Windu and the Council, ranging from callousness towards collateral damage to distorting the Jedi doctrine. He then physically assaulted Windu, causing the High Council member to chastise Dibs for attacking his general.
Although Windu denied the accusations and sympathized with Dibs' frustrations, the latter remained unconvinced and ignited his lightsaber, intending to take Windu's life. Realizing that Dibs would not back down, Windu declared that he had failed in his responsibility to keep Dibs on the Jedi path. He then accepted Dibs' challenge by igniting his own lightsaber. Yet even as they fought, Windu beseeched Dibs to cease his attack by reminding him that they were essentially brothers in the sense that they were both chosen to walk the path of the Jedi. Despite Dibs' resolve to kill Windu, he was ultimately bested and disarmed by the Jedi champion.
The ordeal served to remind Windu of his mission on Mathas years prior to the Clone Wars, in which he was tempted to take the life of the false prophet Drooz. Recalling his past experience with deciding another person's fate, Windu decided to arrest Dibs and to leave his punishment to the will of the High Council. After securing Dibs on the Westwind, the remaining Jedi proceeded to bring their mission to an end by attacking the AD-W4's headquarters. Although his own faith was tested during the duel, Dibs' accusations ultimately strengthened Windu's resolve and his belief that the Jedi Order existed to protect people from the malevolence of the dark side.
Showdown on Hissrich
- "My righteousness is anything but self-motivated. There is definitive right and there is wrong. Good and evil."
- ―Mace Windu, to AD-W4
While Fisto created a distraction by confronting the battle droids, his comrades executed their respective parts of the mission, with Mano infiltrating a Separatist supply ship and Windu challenging AD-W4 to single combat. As they fought, the droid mercenary attempted to bait Windu by accusing him of hypocrisy as well as secretly enjoying his newfound authority as a general in the Grand Army of the Republic. Although it briefly overpowered the Jedi Master, Windu ultimately prevailed using both his Force powers and lightsaber to defeat AD-W4. He also rejected its claims against him, asserting that his virtues were influenced by altruism and the concept of right versus wrong.
AD-W4 was confident that its mission was a success in spite of the Jedi's efforts to prevent the Separatists from gaining a valuable energy source that could fuel their war effort against the Republic. However, Windu had anticipated the supply ship's purpose and instructed Mano to destroy it; the young Jedi Knight succeeded in her task—destroying the ship along with its flora samples—and moved to assist Fisto against the remaining droids in accordance with Windu's orders. Having failed in its mission, AD-W4 attempted to escape by disconnecting its head from its disabled body. The effort was in vain as Windu used the Force to cause the head to explode, destroying AD-W4 and ending the Separatist operation on Hissrich.
Returning to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Windu provided a report on the success of his team's mission to the High Council. The leaders of the Jedi Order decided to send a force of clone troopers to Hissrich, both to eliminate the remaining droids and provide aid to the planet's indigenous population. In addition to their plans for replanting and reconstruction on Hissrich, Yoda announced that they would study samples of the flora in order to learn more about its properties. The next item on their agenda was the trial of Prosset Dibs, who remained under arrest as a result of his conduct during the Hissrich operation. Dibs, who turned against his team and attacked Windu—a Jedi Master as well as a general in the Republic military—stood before the leaders of the Jedi Order accused of heresy and insubordination. He was ultimately found guilty on both charges, including treason, but although Dibs expected to be put to death, Windu implored his colleagues to be merciful.
Windu, who harbored his own reservations against the Jedi's new military responsibilities, sympathized with Dibs' frustrations. In Windu's view, Dibs did not deserve to be faulted for feeling anger and confusion, both of which Windu regarded as valid emotions under the circumstances of war. As such, he believed that the Jedi had a duty to help rehabilitate the members of the Order who strayed from the light. Although Dibs continued to doubt Windu's sincerity, Windu requested for the prisoner to be placed on probation, confined to work in the Jedi Archives where he hoped Dibs would reevaluate his opinions. After the trial, Windu confessed to Mano his hope for reconciliation between Dibs and the Council, having sensed that the Order would need every Jedi as they faced their greatest challenge yet—a long war filled with trials and hardships. While he continued to yearn for a quick end to the fighting, Windu felt that it was not an attainable goal at the moment. The best that the Jedi Order could do, he believed, was to keep faith in the Force and stand in defense of not only the citizens of the Republic, but all peoples of the galaxy.
Rescue of Rotta
- "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 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 rescue 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 Huttlet's abduction 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 Ryloth
- "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, the Jedi generals Windu, Kenobi and Yoda asked Senator Bail Organa to negotiate with King Katuunko of Toydaria, hoping to gain his planet's support as a staging area for the delivery of relief supplies to the Twi'lek people. 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. When Tano asked how long she would be on guard duty, Windu coldly responded by extending the punishment. 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 Malastare
- "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 (which he regarded as a "dangerous bloodthirsty monster") 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 RX-200 Falchion-class assault 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 Dug 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 incident
- "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 Dantooine
- "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
As the war progressed, Boba Fett conspired to assassinate Windu out of vengeance for the death of father, the clone template Jango Fett. Aided by the bounty hunters Aurra Sing, Bossk and Castas, Fett infiltrated a squad of clone cadets during a tour of Windu's starship, the Venator-class Star Destroyer Endurance. Initially, Fett intended to kill Windu by placing an explosive device in the latter's quarters. However, the Jedi Master was called away mere seconds before the bomb was triggered, resulting in the death of a clone trooper. As the Endurance crew searched the vessel for Windu's would-be assassin, the rogue clone amended his plan by sabotaging the Star Destroyer's reactor core, causing the starship to crash into the surface of the planet Vanqor. After escaping the doomed vessel, Windu and Skywalker's search for survivors led them to an escape pod that contained the cadets with the exception of Fett, whom Sing retrieved in Slave I prior to the Jedi's arrival.
In the aftermath of the destruction of the Endurance, Windu and Skywalker traveled to the crash site hoping to find survivors—including Admiral Kilian and CT-411, both of whom opted to remain with the ship as it went down. During the search, Windu chastised Skywalker for encouraging individuality in his droid, the astromech unit R2-D2. Before long, the Jedi generals discovered several dead clones along with signs that they had survived the crash only to be executed shortly after. On the bridge Skywalker discerned a Mandalorian helmet in the rubble. At that moment, Windu remembered both Jango and Boba Fett, leading the Jedi Master to realize that it was the latter who attempted to assassinate him. Although Windu was unable to prevent Skywalker from triggering the bomb within the helmet, he succeeded in saving the younger Jedi's life by pulling him away from the explosion through the Force. The blast caused even more damage to bridge, however, leaving both men trapped and injured under a large pile of debris. Unable to escape on their own, Skywalker instructed R2-D2 to relay their situation to the Jedi Temple. Windu, on the other hand, expressed little faith in the droid's ability to succeed.
As they lay trapped and waiting for the droid to return with help, Windu began to reflect on his actions at the Battle of Geonosis, particularly his victory over Jango Fett and how Boba witnessed his father's death at Windu's hand. Ultimately, Skywalker's droid returned with a rescue party—consisting of Plo Koon, Ahsoka Tano, and the clone troopers of Wolfpack—and managed to save both Jedi just prior to the full collapse of the Endurance bridge. Before returning to Coruscant, Windu praised R2-D2 for saving his life, much to Skywalker's surprise.
After returning to the Republic capital, Windu and Skywalker recuperated at the Jedi Temple where they initially argued over their next course of action in light of Fett's attempt on their lives. Although Skywalker insisted that the Jedi should hunt the renegade clone and bring him to justice, Windu was content to let the matter go, preferring to not become entangled in a vendetta as Fett was against him. A transmission from Aurra Sing, who revealed the hostages she took from the Endurance, changed the Jedi Master's mind. Windu decided to confront Fett and his accomplices upon witnessing Sing's execution of CT-411, but due to his injuries he allowed Koon and Tano to go in his stead. Their mission was a success, resulting in Fett's arrest and the rescue of the remaining hostages. On Coruscant, Windu confronted Fett in person, who regretted his actions on the Endurance, but refused to forgive the Jedi for Jango's death. The unrepentant clone was then sent to prison by Windu.
Funeral and the brother of Maul
Later in the war, the Jedi Council received a holorecording of the Devaron massacre. Windu and Kenobi observed the footage which revealed the Zabrak warrior Savage Opress whom Kenobi mistook for Darth Maul. Windu informed his colleague that the Zabrak in the recording was not the Sith Lord he fought on Naboo. He further explained that the Zabrak and Maul were Dathomirians of Dathomir, not Iridonia as they previously believed in Maul's case.
Kidnapping of the Chancellor
- "Tell me about my target."
"His name is Moralo Eval. Works directly for Count Dooku. Rumor is their plot will be hatched in three revolutions at the festival on Naboo."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu
When rumors reached the Council that the bounty hunter Moralo Eval was planning to abduct Chancellor Palpatine despite his incarceration at the Republic Judiciary Central Detention Center, Windu, Yoda, and Kenobi conceived a plan for Kenobi to infiltrate Eval's operation by impersonating the bounty hunter Rako Hardeen. 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, Bane and Kenobi's escape from the detention center, Windu and Yoda rescinded the bounty to ensure that they would continue on their way to Serenno where Count Dooku awaited their arrival.
While Kenobi continued to impersonate Hardeen, Windu accompanied the Supreme Chancellor to his homeworld of Naboo for the Festival of Light. The bounty hunters executed their plan during the ceremony, disabling the ray shield and kidnapping Palpatine. Through Kenobi's intervention, however, Windu and Skywalker were able to apprehend Bane and Eval before they could escape with their prisoner.
Attack on the Temple
- "It is the Council's opinion that Padawan Ahsoka Tano has committed sedition against the Republic, and thus she will be expelled from the Jedi Order."
- ―Mace Windu, pronouncing the Council's decision to expel Ahsoka Tano
Following a terrorist explosion in a hangar of the Jedi Temple, the Council recalled Skywalker and his apprentice to Coruscant. After briefing the two Jedi on the situation, Windu and Yoda assigned them to oversee the Jedi Order's internal investigation. In addition, they suspected that the attack was caused by a rogue Jedi. As neither Skywalker or Tano were present at the time of the bombing, Windu and the Grand Master considered them above suspicion and therefore suited to the task. During the investigation, Skywalker and Tano reported directly to Windu, who informed them that a swift conclusion to the case was imperative as rumors began to circulate within the Senate that the military police could become involved. With the arrest of Letta Turmond, Windu and Yoda concluded that the radical Coruscanti was the main culprit in the bombing of the Temple hangar. While there was no indication at the time of a Jedi's involvement, the incident served to fuel anti-Jedi sentiment among the Republic citizenry—an outcome that concerned Windu.
In the aftermath of Turmond's arrest, Windu attended a funeral ceremony to honor the six Jedi Knights who were killed in the hangar blast. Shortly thereafter, Skywalker's Padawan came under suspicion of being the true mastermind behind the bombing after Turmond was Force-choked to death in her presence. Admiral Wilhuff Tarkin contacted the Council and claimed that Tano had not only murdered Turmond, but also several clone troopers during her escape from the Republic Center for Military Operations. The Council endeavored to apprehend the fugitive Padawan, although Windu was concerned by Yoda's decision to send Skywalker after his own apprentice, believing that his emotional connection to Tano would complicate the mission.
The hunt for Tano led to her capture and subsequent confinement in the Jedi Temple. As the Council debated on what to do with her, Tarkin contacted them on the Senate's behalf, imploring the Jedi leadership to expel Tano and surrender her to military custody. Windu was troubled by the Council's options in the matter—to either stand by Tano, as Kenobi insisted; or remove her from the ranks of the Order as the Senate commanded. Ultimately, Windu concurred with Tarkin on the grounds that failing to submit Tano for trial could be regarded as an act of oppposition to the Senate. At Yoda's behest, the young Padawan was taken to the Chamber of Judgment, where five members of the Council, including Windu, reviewed the charges against her and asked for her plea. Tano pleaded innocent and insisted that the Council was being deceived; but as she was unable to confirm the identity of the true perpetrator, Windu announced the Council's decision to revoke Tano's Jedi status and hand her over to the military custody of the Republic.
After the expulsion was completed, Windu attended Tano's military trial alongside several other members of the Council. Before the verdict could be read, however, Skywalker burst in and revealed the real traitor, Barriss Offee, who confessed to the crimes that Tano had been accused of and scathingly claimed that the Jedi were the ones responsible for the Clone War.
Due to this revelation, Windu and the Council attempted to make amends with Tano. In addition to a personal apology from Skywalker, Plo Koon informed Tano that she had the Council's most humble apologies. Saesee Tiin, Mundi and Windu all observed Tano's ordeal as a great trial in her training, and stated that she had become a greater Jedi than she would have been otherwise. But while Windu and his colleagues were prepared to accept her back into the Order with a promotion to the rank of Jedi Knight, Tano refused the offer and instead chose to leave the Temple to search for a new path.
Mission to Bardotta
- "Jedi Master, I owe you my life."
"It is my privilege to serve you, Queen Julia."
- ―Queen Julia and Mace Windu
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, due to a long-standing mistrust of the Jedi by the Dagoyans. Windu also sensed that the Force was out of balance on Bardotta. 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, and 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 mysterious "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 soon confronted the Great Mother, who revealed herself to be the Nightsister Mother Talzin. With Binks's help, Windu was able to prevent Talzin from absorbing the sphere's power and watched as she disappeared.
The truth about the Clone Army
- "Our enemy created an army for us."
"If this was known, public confidence in the war effort, the Jedi, and the Republic would vanish. There would be mass chaos."
- ―Yoda and Mace Windu
Responding to a mysterious distress call, Master Plo Koon discovered a crashed Republic ship, and found the lightsaber of Sifo-Dyas in the wreckage. This surprised the Council, as Sifo-Dyas's lightsaber had never been found when he was killed over ten years ago. Skywalker and Kenobi were assigned to investigate, and eventually, they discovered that Sifo-Dyas had in fact been murdered by Pyke criminals on orders from Count Dooku rather than the native Felucians he had been sent long ago to negotiate with, as the Council had previously assumed. They also realized that it was Dooku who was actually responsible for the creation of the clone army.
The Council was greatly disturbed by this revelation, and did not understand why their own enemy would create an army for them. Windu, however, noted with caution that such a revelation could easily destroy public confidence in the Jedi, the Republic and the war effort. At these words, Yoda decided that they would not inform anyone, even Chancellor Palpatine, of their new discovery, citing the valiant service of the clone soldiers, and the need to bring the war to a swift and decisive end. When Windu asked Yoda if he was sure they were taking the right path, Yoda asserted that it was not the right path, but the only path, stating that for now they had to continue by the Sith Lord's game.
- "There is great turmoil within Master Yoda."
"Yes, we all sensed it."
"For something to affect Yoda this deeply concerns me… We must keep an eye on our old friend."
"The war has taxed all of us to our limit. I suppose we're just surprised Master Yoda has one."
"I hope it's that simple, but I feel the shadow of something greater on our horizon."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu, discussing their concern for Yoda
Not long afterwards, Yoda started behaving strangely, becoming noticeably distracted and thoughtful during meetings. This surprised and concerned Windu, who sensed great turmoil in Yoda. He voiced his concerns to Obi-Wan Kenobi in a private discussion, and they resolved to keep a closer watch on their old friend. Later, a noticeably uncertain Yoda revealed that he had spoken with the deceased Qui-Gon Jinn. However, everything the Jedi knew about the Force suggested that the ability to retain one's individuality after death was impossible, so the reactions from the Council ranged from concern to skepticism and suspicion. Though they meditated with Yoda for a whole day, they were unable to sense anything. After the failed meditation, Ki-Adi-Mundi suggested that what Yoda was sensing could be a deception by the Sith. Kenobi refused to believe that Yoda could be susceptible to such manipulation, but Windu replied that, even as wise and old as he was, Yoda was not beyond the corruption of the dark side. The ancient Jedi master agreed and submitted himself to medical examination.
Windu, Kenobi and Mundi were told by Rig Nema that Yoda was in perfect mental health, even though he was approaching the nine hundredth year of his life. Mundi, who was particularly skeptical of Yoda's claims, suggested the Dark Lord of the Sith could be using Yoda's connection to Dooku to manipulate him, but Kenobi vehemently rejected the idea, saying they all had been apprenticed to Yoda at one point or another. Before the discussion could go on, Nema suggested a deprivation ritual for Yoda to reach the source of the voice. During the procedure, Kenobi, Skywalker, Mundi and Plo Koon watched over the small Jedi. Yoda managed to hear Jinn's instruction to go to the Dagobah system before Kenobi noticed his vital signs were dropping too low and stopped the test.
When Windu asked about the procedure, Kenobi told him that Yoda was sure he had contacted the dead. Mundi asserted that Yoda's claim was impossible, and again voiced his suspicion that Yoda was under attack by the Sith. More concerned than ever, Windu ordered temple guards to keep an eye on Yoda. However, the diminutive Jedi Master soon managed to escape with Skywalker's help and R2-D2's company, willing to go on a journey that would take him to Dagobah, a mysterious planet and Moraband, the ancient homeworld of the Sith. Immediately after Yoda's escape, a furious Windu confronted Skywalker, but the younger Jedi countered that, for once, none of what had occurred had been his idea.
On Yoda's return to Coruscant, Windu and Kenobi greeted him, and Windu stated that the Council was eager to hear Yoda's report, but the old Jedi master claimed that there was not much to discuss. When Windu asked him if his journey had given him insight on how to win the war, Yoda told them that he was no longer certain that the Jedi could win the Clone Wars but that, through hope and perseverance, the Jedi would ultimately triumph over the Sith.
- "With our shipyards operational again, we can expect more victories on all battlefronts across the galaxy."
- ―Mace Windu
Later in the war, Windu lead the 91st Recon Corps along with Skywalker and the 501st Legion to the planet Anaxes which was under attack by Admiral Trench. The Separatists had gained the upper hand in the battle despite weeks of battle. At the Republic base, Windu conferred with Skywalker after the droids had over run their main production unit which indicated them losing. 501st Legion Captain Rex and 212th Attack Battalion Commander Cody arrived and Rex shared his theory on why Trench had been winning the battle that he had his algorithm and was using it to win the battle. Windu ordered them to take a small squad of troopers to go behind enemy lines to infiltrate the cyber center.
Following Echo's mission from Skako Minor, Windu debriefed Kenobi, Skywalker, Rex and Jesse on his plan to retake the Separatist assembly complex by air, when Echo posed his plan to be escorted by the Bad Batch into Trench's new comm vault on a dreadnought on the planet's orbit and plug himself to feed the Separatist's strategic movements. Windu along with Kenobi, lead the assault along with the 501st Legion, 91st Mobile Reconnaissance Corps and 212th Attack Battalion attacking the complex. The battle ended with all other fronts falling to the Republic, Trench initiated a countdown for an explosion that could destroy most of Anaxes. Windu assisted with deactivating the bomb and managed to save Anaxes. Following the victory, Windu awarded Rex, Clone Force 99 and Echo with medals.
The Dooku assassination attempt
- "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, to the Jedi High Council
Upon witnessing a devastating Separatist attack on Mahranee, as well as the killing of many Mahran refugees, Mace Windu urged the Jedi Council to consider his proposal to assassinate Count Dooku. At first, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda opposed this course action, believing that such measures could draw them closer to the dark side, but Windu countered their argument by reminding them of Dooku's significance to the Separatist war effort. He also warned that unless the Jedi learned to adapt, the war and its devastating effect on the galaxy could continue indefinitely. Anakin Skywalker, who had been invited by Kenobi to attend the Council's meeting, agreed with Windu.
Windu and Skywalker also pointed to the Clone War's growing number of civilian casualties, noting that many more lives would be lost as long as the conflict continued. Having considered Windu's words, including his stance on the Jedi Order's responsibility to protect the innocent, the Republic and its citizens, the Council agreed to sanction the plan. At Kenobi's suggestion, they assigned the mission to Jedi Master Quinlan Vos, due to his experience with covert operations. Vos, in turn recruited Dooku's former apprentice, Asajj Ventress. However, after becoming lovers Ventress convinced Vos to train in the ways of the dark side in order to defeat Dooku.
The mission ended in failure, as Dooku was able to defeat both Force-sensitive assassins, resulting in Vos' capture on Raxus. When Ventress reported directly to the Jedi Council, Windu greeted her with an arrest warrant, but was persuaded by Kenobi and Yoda to hear her account of the mission. He was particularly displeased to learn that Ventress exposed Vos to the dark side, but the former Separatist retorted by reminding Windu that he and the Council had assigned Vos the mission in the first place. When the Council decided to rescue Vos, Windu became exasperated by their decision to send Ventress on the mission, but reluctantly agreed to follow Yoda's plan.
Although the rescue mission was a success, Windu and the Council soon grew suspicious of Vos' allegiance. After definitively concluding that Vos had secretly joined Dooku, and having considered the repercussions that could result from the fall of a Jedi Master of Vos' stature, Windu proposed that the Council consider the possibility of executing him as punishment for treason. Most of the Council was supportive of this idea, given the Order's history with other Jedi who turned to the dark side such as Barriss Offee, Pong Krell and especially Dooku, but Kenobi persuaded them to give Vos the chance to reaffirm his commitment to the Jedi and the Republic by making another attempt on the Count's life. In the event that Vos failed to assassinate Dooku, Kenobi and Skywalker were under orders from Windu to execute Vos.
Following the second battle of Christophsis, the Council once again met to discuss the fate of Quinlan Vos, who renounced the dark side after Ventress died while defending him from Dooku. At the same time, Windu spoke well of Ventress, commending her decision to sacrifice her life for another. Kenobi, however, felt that he and the Council did not understand. Despite their disagreement on the use of assassination, as well as the circumstances surrounding Vos' temporary turn to the dark side, the Council agreed to give him the chance to regain their trust by atoning for his actions.
Tracking Darth Maul
- "Stand down in the name of the Republic… This has gone far enough, Dooku."
- ―Mace Windu, to Darth Maul and Count Dooku
In the aftermath of a battle between the Separatists and Shadow Collective, Chancellor Palpatine informed Windu that Count Dooku and Darth Maul were seen near Ord Mantell. Acting on the Chancellor's information, Windu led a force of clone troopers—alongside fellow generals Kenobi, Tiplee, and Aayla Secura—to the battle site in the hopes of ending the war by capturing both Sith. After investigating the area, they found the helmet of a Mandalorian super commando which led Windu to confirm that the alliance between Prime Minister Almec's government and the criminal underworld remained intact. Following this, the Jedi tracked Maul to Vizsla Keep 09 and proceeded with a direct assault on the Mandalorian outpost. During the attack, Windu and Secura dueled with Maul while Dooku fought Kenobi and Tiplee, who was ultimately slain by the former Jedi Master.
Despite their efforts, both Sith Lords were able to escape from the outpost with the support of Maul's commandos. In the aftermath of the battle, Windu reported to the Chancellor and conveyed his suspicion that Dooku and Maul were master and apprentice—a theory which led him to believe that Dooku may have been the second Sith that the Jedi had been searching for since the Naboo crisis.
Duel with Darth Sidious
- "I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi. The dark side of the Force surrounds the Chancellor."
- ―Mace Windu, expressing his concern for the future of the Order
Following the Battle of Coruscant, Windu was disturbed by Chancellor Palpatine's decision to appoint Anakin Skywalker as his representative on the Jedi High Council. Though the Council obliged the Chancellor, hoping to use the young Jedi as a spy against him, Windu warned his colleagues that it was dangerous to pair Skywalker with Palpatine. Skywalker reacted with anger to the Council's decision to withhold the status of Jedi Master from him, but was quickly put in his place by Windu. At this time, the Council grew doubtful that Palpatine would surrender his wartime powers. As such, Windu agreed that the Chancellor would have to be removed by force and further added that the Council would have to take control of the Senate in order to maintain peace during the transitional period.
With the death of General Grievous during the Battle of Utapau, Windu was determined to see the Senate restored to its former position prior to the Clone Wars. By then, however, Skywalker revealed to Windu that Sheev Palpatine was in fact Darth Sidious, the mastermind behind the war and the second Sith that the Jedi had been searching for since the Naboo crisis. Knowing that the future of the Jedi Order was in grave danger, Windu and three other Jedi Masters—Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin, and Kit Fisto—raced to Palpatine's office and attempted to arrest the Supreme Chancellor. Their confrontation led to a lightsaber duel in which Sidious killed Kolar, Tiin and Fisto with ease. Despite the loss of his comrades, Windu continued to fight and ultimately prevailed in the duel, disarming the Sith Lord in the process. However, Skywalker, who had followed Windu despite being told by the latter to remain in the Jedi Temple, begged the Jedi Master to spare the Sith Lord's life, believing that Sidious had the power to save Padmé Amidala from death. Although Windu originally intended to arrest Sidious, the Jedi Master concluded that he was too dangerous to be left alive, given his control over the Senate and the courts. However, before Windu could deliver the killing strike, Skywalker intervened by severing Windu's forearm, enabling Sidious to unleash a torrent of Force lightning that sent the Jedi Order's great champion plummeting to his death.
- "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 Mace Windu would later be reviled by those who believed the line of the Galactic Empire. The Empire taught in their history books that Windu was the leader of a "criminal gang" that interfered with a legal execution taking place on Geonosis, thus sparking the Clone Wars.
However, Windu's reputation was not completely tarnished by Imperial propaganda. During the Age of the Empire, the people of Ryloth still remembered his exploits and heroic deeds in the Battle of Lessu, and ultimately immortalized his name along with Cham Syndulla's through songs dedicated to their victory.
Personality and traits
- "He has taken everything we cherish, everything that we are, and spun it into a web of lies and deceit, for profit! He must atone for this."
"And he will. But not by your hands. Not like this. I understand your frustrations, but we have to be better than our adversaries. There will be times when we are called to violence. This is not one of them."
- ―Mace Windu and Cyslin Myr, debating the fate of Drooz
During his formative years as a Padawan, Mace Windu was devoted to the Jedi Order, but struggled to temper his frustrations with everything that contradicted his ideals. While his feelings were not inherently wrong according to his Jedi Master, Cyslin Myr, she nonetheless believed that her apprentice needed to convert his hostility into a positive emotion. The teachings of the Jedi were sacred to Windu; during a mission on Mathas, he was offended by the way Drooz used religion to take advantage of the world's indigenous population. He regarded faith as something that was beautiful, and therefore saw Drooz's actions as heretical and offensive.
Although he struggled to temper his animosity for heretics and con artists, Windu expressed empathy for other people, in particular the natives of Mathas who suffered from the effects of the Niffin plague. He saw them as innocents, but was also stunned by their refusal to see Drooz as a charlatan instead of a prophet. While in pursuit of Drooz, who mocked Windu by insulting the esteem of the Jedi Order, the young Jedi almost took Drooz's life, believing he deserved to be punished for using the Jedi's own belief system to prey on the people who expressed faith in the Force.
- "Doubt not the ways of the Force. It tests us at times, but believe it will lead us where we are meant to be, we must. Similarly, doubt not yourself. You are a wise and capable leader."
- ―Yoda, to Mace Windu
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. In their first encounter, Windu was unimpressed with Skywalker. He was not only skeptical of Skywalker's status as the Chosen One, but also felt that he was too old to dedicate himself to the ways of the Jedi and the Force without the distraction of his emotional attachments. Although he never stopped doubting Skywalker, Windu came to regard him as an exceptionally skilled, yet tempestuous Jedi. However, his ill-concealed distrust had an adverse effect on his relationship with Skywalker—a sentiment which also extended to Skywalker's apprentice Ahsoka Tano, whom Windu regarded as another rebellious Jedi.
In the early days of the Clone Wars, Windu wrestled with feelings of uncertainty concerning the Jedi's new role as warriors, as well as remorse for the Jedi who died during the Battle of Geonosis. In his moments of doubt, he turned to Yoda seeking wisdom and guidance. The ancient Grand Master advised his fellow Councilor to keep faith in the will of the Force; nor question his role in the Order, for in Yoda's eyes, Windu was a wise and capable leader. During a mission on Hissrich, Windu's faith was further tested by his interactions with the Jedi Prosset Dibs, who harbored his own reservations about the Order's part in the conflict.
Whereas Dibs grew increasingly doubtful, believing the Jedi did not belong on the battlefield, Windu became more certain that—as Jedi Knights—they had a duty to protect the innocent and restore peace to the galaxy. Dibs ultimately accused the Jedi Order of turning away from their traditions, causing Windu to hold fast to his conviction that it was not wrong to fight for the ideals he believed in. The Jedi, Windu felt, never wanted to fight in a war, but circumstances compelled them to become a sword instead of a shield for the Republic.
When Padawan Ahsoka Tano was framed for treason, Windu supported the Council's decision to revoke her status as a Jedi and turn her over to the Republic for a military tribunal. While their verdict pained him, Windu concurred with Tarkin's position on the matter—an internal Jedi trial would appear biased, and to protect Tano would be to defy the wishes of the Senate. He therefore felt that the Council had little choice but to submit Tano for trial. After her innocence was proven, however, Windu joined his colleagues in offering to welcome Tano back into the Order, and proclaimed her a greater Jedi because of her ordeal, which he observed as the great trial in her path to Jedi Knighthood. Tano refused to come back, a decision which surprised Windu and the Council.
Notwithstanding his commitment to the ancient traditions of the Order, the Clone Wars forced Windu to rethink some of his beliefs and preconceptions. Prior to the Battle of Geonosis, he did not believe it was in the nature of a Jedi—even a former one such as Count Dooku—to assassinate anyone. The onset of the Clone Wars caused Windu to realize that his old friend was more than a "political idealist;" he was now an enemy of the Order and the Republic he had once served. Furthermore, as the death toll escalated after nearly three years of continuous warfare, Windu proposed to have Dooku assassinated in the hope of preventing further civilian casualties. Although his colleague, Obi-Wan Kenobi asserted that assassination was against the Jedi Code, Windu felt that it was also against the Jedi way to allow innocent people to suffer needlessly.
Diplomat and general
- "My name is General Mace Windu of the Jedi Order. At this point of the Clone War, I have dismantled and destroyed over one hundred thousand of you Type-1 battle droids. I am giving you an opportunity to peacefully lay down your weapons so that you may be reprogrammed to serve a better purpose than spreading the mindless violence and chaos which you have inflicted upon the galaxy."
"Well, I guess it was worth a try."
- ―Mace Windu, a B1 battle droid, and Obi-Wan Kenobi
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. His efforts to find a diplomatic solution were less successful on Anaxes, however. Upon confronting a regiment of battle droids, he offered to have them reprogrammed in return for their unconditional surrender, citing his capacity for destroying Separatist droids as a reason to avoid fighting him. Their response was to attack, forcing Windu and Kenobi to defend themselves.
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 chose to not seek retribution against Boba Fett after the latter attempted to assassinate him. Despite his disapproval of maverick Jedi and the avarice of the Senate, Windu was very loyal to both the Republic and the Jedi 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.
- "We do what we have trained our whole lives to do. Trust in the Force. Believe in the path that is set out before us. Stand in defense of all peoples, not just of the Republic, but across the galaxy. We do what any Jedi would when staring into the face of evil. We fight."
- ―Mace Windu, to Rissa Mano
Though noted for his grim demeanor, Windu was highly compassionate towards his fellow Jedi, the citizens of the Republic, and the clone troopers under his command. His own survival on Geonosis was of little comfort to him; the galaxy had fallen into a state of war, and the Jedi—once the peacekeepers of the Republic—were forced to adopt the mantle of warriors and military leaders.
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 chancellor's decision to bring the dangerous creature to the Republic capital. Though wary of Palpatine, Windu remained committed to his duty as a Jedi, which required him to ensure the safety of the chancellor. Yet even this responsibility resulted in a disagreement between himself and the chancellor; Palpatine claimed that the level of security around him was unnecessary during his visit to Naboo, but Windu insisted on taking every precaution to protect the chancellor.
In the waning days of the Clone Wars, Windu's trust and respect for Palpatine had all but evaporated. Following Dooku's death, he was uncertain whether Palpatine would relinquish his wartime authority as he once promised. At the same time, Windu came to sense the dark side of the Force surrounding 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 Jedi Order hung in the balance. Although he initially attempted to arrest Sidious, Windu concluded that it was impossible to seek justice due to the chancellor's hold over the system. He therefore decided to end Sidious' life before the latter could succeed in his plan to fully take over the Republic, despite Skywalker's insistence that killing the Sith Lord—disarmed and seemingly beaten—was against the Jedi Code. However, in concentrating all of his attention on preventing the galaxy from falling under Sith oppression, Windu failed to anticipate Skywalker's intervention, resulting in the demise of the Jedi Order's great champion.
Mace Windu was a human male who had brown eyes, dark skin, and a height of 1.92 meters. His head was completely bald; although in his youth, Windu had black hair and a braid that marked his status as a Padawan.
Powers and abilities
- "I have studied his teachings since I was a youngling. His style of lightsaber combat has been the foundation of my own. He is a top five Jedi Master of all time for sure!"
- ―Rissa Mano, on Mace Windu
Mace Windu was a highly accomplished and powerful Jedi Master who possessed advanced skills in both lightsaber combat and Force abilities. He was a notable practitioner of Form VII, also known as Juyo or Vaapad. It was the seventh form of lightsaber combat and considered the most unpredictable or aggressive form. In combat, Windu demonstrated his skills as a duelist against fellow Jedi Master Prosset Dibs, the Nightsister 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 easily 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 scenes
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 reenacted scenes with the character in a March 2017 episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden.
The name "Mace Windu" was already featured in the earliest incarnation of what would become Star Wars—a 13-page document written by George Lucas in 1973. According to Concept Artist Iain McCaig, early artwork of Windu was based on the face of Industrial Light & Magic modeler Steve Aplin, before the casting of Samuel L. Jackson.
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. The phrase "bad motherf--ker" was engraved on Windu's lightsaber hilt at Jackson's request.[source?]
During the early development of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, Jackson expressed interest in reprising his role of Mace Windu as a Force ghost given Windu's death in Revenge of the Sith, but neither Jackson nor his character appeared in the finished film. Despite this, Jackson is still interested in reprising his role as Windu in the Star Wars Anthology Series, insisting that Windu survived his fall in Revenge of the Sith.
- William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace: Star Wars Part the First
- William Shakespeare's The Clone Army Attacketh: Star Wars Part the Second
- William Shakespeare's Tragedy of the Sith's Revenge: Star Wars Part the Third
- Disney Infinity 3.0
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Duel of Destiny" (Appears in hologram)
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales Episodes I-III (Appears as Force spirit and in flashbacks)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DLC)
Notes and references
- Mace Windu on Wikipedia