Mace Windu: A Fascinating Contradiction

One of the most powerful Jedi of his time and second only to master Yoda in the Jedi Council's hierarchy, Mace Windu is an endlessly fascinating Star Wars side character.

[Credit: Lucasfilm]

One of the most powerful Jedi of his time and second only to master Yoda in the Jedi Council's hierachy, Mace Windu is probably my favourite Star Wars side character. Although, it's not beacause he probably has the coolest lightsaber, or that he is played by awesomeness personafied that is Samuel L. Jackson. In fact, I don't even find Mace particularly likeable. Rather, I find him endlessely fascinating.

'Attack of the Clones' [Credit: Lucasfilm]

You see, to me, this character is both, a perfect mainfestation of the traits, which caused the fall of the old Jedi Order, but also the traits that might have saved it. Let's take a look what makes him this walking contradiciton and, by that extention, one of the most intriquing characters in Star Wars.

A Symbol Of Everything That Was Wrong With The Old Jedi Order

[Revenge of the Sith' [Credit: Lucasfilm]

Yes. Yes. A flaw more and more common among Jedi. Too sure of themselves they are. Even the older, more experienced ones. - Yoda

There is no better word to sum up why the old Jedi Order fell than complacency. While their code was still noble in theory, their reluctance to even consider that it could use a bit of tweaking after 1000 years of relative peace, was almost painfull to watch. Also, it does give me the feeling that if Palpatine didn't use it to his advantage, someone else would have done it eventually anyway.

Now, Windu was quite literally a walking representation of this problem. You see, while I do think that he followed the Jedi Code out of a genuine belief that it was the right thing to do, he also did so blindly.

'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' [Credit: Lucasfilm Animation]

For a good example of it, we can turn to #StarWarsTheCloneWars arc, where padawan Ahsoka Tano was falsely accused of murder and expelled from the Jedi Order. Now, when it was revelaed that she was in fact innocent, the Jedi Council came to apologise to her and ask her back to the order.

While some of the council members did indeed show some regret to the error of their ways, Windu had a tiny bit different look on the whole thing. He simply said that Ahsoka getting wrongfully accused of murder, expelled from the order and forced to become an outlaw to prove her innocence was actually the "will of the Force".

You see, what this scene so brilliantly displays, is Windu's relcutance to simply admit that he and other council members had royally messed up on this one. It is made all the more painfull, if one considers the fact Mace was critical of Qui-Gon and his tendency to simply follow the will of the Force.

Other examples of this complecency include his utter surprise at the notion that Sith have returned and his ignorance towards Palpatine's plan. Also, there are countless other occasions, when he just seemed to follow the protcol no matter what.

Yet, He Was Far From A Mindless Drone

'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' [Credit: Lucasfilm]

First of all, he was obviously highly knowledgeable both in the Force and politics. He clearly acknowledged, that the Jedi's ability to use the Force has diminshed, and even contemplated on making it public. He was also sceptical of Palpatine and the political climate in general. Obviously, it was not to a point that he would actually do something about it before it was too late, but it's still worth to point it out.

However, perhaps the most fascinating part of the contradictive nature of his character becomes apparent when one looks into his fighting style. You see, he was a practicinoer of Vaapad, which was considered the most aggressive and unpredictable version of the art of lightsaber combat. Therefore, it was more prominent among dark side users. It's fascinating that Windu, who too often seemed to only walk the straight line, managed to actually use a bit of the dark side's power without giving himself to it.

So, that shows that he could be rather open minded on other occasions, which was obviously something the Jedi sorely needed and lacked. Although, the great irony (or tragedy) here is that the one time where he really should have followed the code, he didn't. I am of course referring to him trying to execute Palpatine, which turned out to be the final push Anankin needed to turn to The Dark Side and, well, also the cause of his demise. Now granted, it was Palpatine's plan all along and Mace was put on the spot, but he sill had a choice.

To Sum Up

Bottom line here is that I want to know more about the guy. I fully admit that I am not quite sure what was under that stoic presence and complacency, but judging by the above discussed contradicitons, there clearly was something. Now, it's fair to assume that we woun't be getting any Star Wars content focused on him anytime soon, but finding out about the inner workings of his mind, would help us all a great deal to better understand the fall of the Jedi.

For now, however, he just remains this fascinating enigma with a mysteriously cold and stoic presence. Also, don't forget that he's the guy, who managed to complete a mission with Jar-Jar and keep his composure.