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Mace Windu is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, portrayed by actor Samuel L. Jackson in the prequel films and voiced by voice-actor Terrence C. Carson in other projects. A Jedi Master of the High Council and one of the last members of the order's upper echelons before the Galactic Republic's fall, he is the Council's primary liaison but the Clone Wars caused him to question his most firmly held beliefs.
Character conception and overview
Several early incarnations of the character have been developed in the original Star Wars drafts as the narrator, Princess Leia's brother and Luke Skywalker's friend. Through the process of redrafting and copyediting, his character was removed from the original trilogy (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi) but was reintroduced in 1994 when series creator George Lucas began writing the prequel trilogy.
The search for an actor to play the character ended when Samuel L. Jackson expressed his desire to be in the prequel films. Lucas then offered him the role which Jackson accepted and thus signed on but with certain stipulations on his character's portrayal. Aware that the prequel trilogy's climax would eventually call for Windu's death, one of the conditions was that his character die in a spectacular fashion, rather than being killed off ingloriously "like some punk".
According to an interview on the Late Show with David Letterman on May 13, 2005, the character's purple lightsaber was a personal request from Jackson to Lucas as a quid pro quo for appearing in the films, as well as a way of making the character unique and easily distinguishable.
Mace Windu makes his first appearance in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace as the Master of the Jedi High Council. He is present when Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn brings Anakin Skywalker before the Council, saying that the boy is the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy. Concerned with the boy's age, Windu and the other Council members decline Qui-Gonn's request. After the Trade Federation is defeated, and Darth Maul is killed in a duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Windu realizes that the Sith has returned, and he and the Council reluctantly allow Obi-Wan to train Anakin in Qui-Gon's stead, though Windu continues to distrust Anakin.
In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, set ten years after the invasion of Naboo, Mace Windu realizes that Senator Padme Amidala's assassination attempt was done by a Sith Lord. Having learned of Obi-Wan Kenobi's whereabouts on Geonosis, Windu arrives to save Obi-Wan, Padme, and Padawan Anakin Skywalker from being executed in the stadium. In the ensuing Battle of Geonosis, he kills the bounty hunter Jango Fett during the opening salvo of the Clone Wars. Before Count Dooku's droid army can kill the Jedi, Yoda arrives with the new Clone army for the Galactic Republic to rescue them.
In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Mace Windu has fought in the Clone Wars for three years and during which time he has come to distrust Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. The Jedi Council is troubled by Palpatine's power and fears it will not be relinquished when the Clone Wars end. Their suspicions only grow when the Senate grants Palpatine a vote on the Jedi Council by appointing Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker a personal representative. While they granted him a seat, the Council refuses to grant Anakin the rank of Jedi Master, and orders him to spy on Palpatine. After Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi kills General Grievous, Anakin informs Windu of Palpatine's true Sith identity as Darth Sidious. Acting swiftly on this terrifying revelation, Windu and fellow Jedi Masters Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin attempt to arrest Palpatine. However, Palpatine accuses Windu of treason before killing Mace's companions in a matter of mere seconds and battling the Jedi Master in a lightsaber duel. Windu eventually disarms Palpatine and deflects a blast of Force lightning back into the Sith Lord's face with his lightsaber just as Anakin arrives. When Windu makes it clear that he intends to execute the Sith Lord, Anakin objects but Windu replies that Palpatine has control of both the Senate and the courts, and so to keep him alive would be far too dangerous. As Windu is about to kill Palpatine, Anakin intervenes and severs Windu's lightsaber arm, allowing Palpatine to strike him with a blast of Force lightning and hurl him out of the window to his death.
Mace Windu is a supporting character in Genndy Tartakovsky's Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series, which is set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The character's likeness in the series is based on that in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. In the first chapters, he defends the grasslands planet Dantooine against a large hovering "fortress", and over the course, he loses his lightsaber, forcing him to instead use a lethal form of unarmed combat powered by the Force. In final chapters, he and fellow Jedi Master Yoda help defend the planet Coruscant from an attack by General Grievous. In the midst of the battle, he realizes that the attack is a ruse to distract the Jedi from Grievous's true objective: to kidnap Palpatine. Despite being too late to save the Supreme Chancellor, the Jedi Master uses the Force to crush Grievous's chest, inflicting upon the cyborg general a wheezing, asthmatic cough, setting the stage for Revenge of the Sith.
Mace Windu appears extensively in the Star Wars "Expanded Universe" of novels and comic books.
Windu is the central character of Matthew Stover's novel Shatterpoint, in which he is called to his home planet of Haruun Kal to defeat his former apprentice Depa Billaba who has turned to the dark side of the Force. The novel establishes that Windu has the unique talent of seeing "shatterpoints", or faultlines in the Force that could affect the destinies of certain individuals and indeed the galaxy itself. Mace's "shatterpoint" ability also enables him to see people's weaknesses, allowing him to exploit their flaws and defeat them. It also explains that Windu is the creator and sole master of a style of lightsaber combat called Vaapad (Form VII), in which the user skirts dangerously close to the dark side — without giving into it — by actually enjoying the fight and the thrill of victory. All others who attempted to master the form either gave in to the dark side or were unable to properly master the technique. Stover also referenced these abilities in his Revenge of the Sith novelization. It was said that without his unique style only Yoda and Dooku could match him. However, with the use of Vaapad he was the greatest swordsman of his time, able to defeat Darth Sidious in lightsaber combat which even Yoda could not achieve. He was also able to overwhelm Dooku in lightsaber combat during the battle of Boz Pity which took place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
Besides Shatterpoint, Windu has appeared in other Expanded Universe novels, such as Cloak of Deception, Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, Rogue Planet, Outbound Flight, The Cestus Deception, Jedi Trial, Yoda: Dark Rendezvous and Labyrinth of Evil.
Star Wars Transformers
A Mace Windu action figure was added to the Star Wars Transformers toy line in 2006. It was a remold of the toy first used for Obi-Wan Kenobi, he becomes an Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor starfighter with Astromech droid R4-M6.
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Novelization - Novelization, 1st edition hardcover, 2005. Matthew Woodring Stover, George Lucas, ISBN 0-7126-8427-1
- Shatterpoint (novel), 1st edition, 2003. Matthew Woodring Stover, ISBN 0-345-45573-8
- The New Essential Guide to Characters, 1st edition, 2002. Daniel Wallace, Michael Sutfin, ISBN 0-345-44900-2
- Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: The Visual Dictionary, hardcover, 1999. David West Reynolds, ISBN 0-7894-4701-0
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary, hardcover, 2002. David West Reynolds, ISBN 0-7894-8588-5
- Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game), 1st edition, 2002. Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins, J.D. Wiker, Steve Sansweet, ISBN 0-7869-2876-X
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Power of the Jedi Sourcebook, hardcover, 2002. Michael Mikaelian, Jeff Grubb, Owen K.C. Stephens, James Maliszewski, ISBN 0-7869-2781-X
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- The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
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- "Mace Windu". StarWars.com. LucasFilm. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Star Wars Episode III: Attack of the Clones (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2005), disc 1.