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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.
Tupac Shakur was set to audition for this role, but was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996. 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-Gon's offer to train him. After the Trade Federation is defeated, and Darth Maul is defeated in a duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Windu realizes that the Sith have 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, Windu realizes that Senator Padme Amidala's assassination attempt was done by a Sith Lord. Having learned of Obi-Wan's whereabouts on Geonosis, Windu arrives to save Obi-Wan, Padme, and Anakin from their death sentence 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, Windu has fought in the Clone Wars for three years and during which time he has come to distrust Palpatine. Troubled by Palpatine's power, the Jedi Council is concerned that 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 Anakin a personal representative. While they grant him a seat, the Council declines Anakin the rank of Jedi Master, and orders him to monitor Palpatine. After Obi-Wan kills General Grievous, Anakin informs Windu of Palpatine's treachery and his identity as Darth Sidious. Acting swiftly on this revelation, Windu and fellow Jedi Masters Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin attempt to arrest Palpatine. However, Palpatine accuses Windu of treason before mercilessly killing Windu's companions and fighting the Jedi Master. Windu eventually disarms Palpatine and deflects the Sith Lord's Force lightning back into his face with his lightsaber just as Anakin arrives. When Windu makes it clear that he intends to kill the Sith Lord, Anakin objects but Windu replies that Palpatine has control of both the Senate and the courts, and to keep him alive would be far too dangerous. Anakin intervenes and disarms Windu, allowing Palpatine to kill the Jedi Master by throwing him out of a window with his Force lightning.
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.
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
- Star Wars Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley, softcover, 1993. Martin Wixted, ISBN 0-87431-187-X
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
- James Whitlark, Ph.D. "Stage Eight in The Star Wars and Harry Potter Series?". whitlarks.com. Retrieved 2007-09-24.
- The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 1999), disc 1.
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2002), disc 1.
- "Mace Windu". StarWars.com. LucasFilm. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Star Wars Episode III: Attack of the Clones (DVD, 20th Century Fox, 2005), disc 1.