While a lot of things about the Star Wars prequel trilogy have suffered twenty years of backlash from long-time fans of the saga – the overuse of CGI, the corny one-liners, the incessant call-backs, the undeniably-lame Anakin/Padme romance, and of course, Hayden Christensen’s performance from start to finish – few people would deny that Mace Windu is a great character.
He’s a powerful Jedi, he’s Yoda’s closest confidante, he had a huge role in fighting the Clone Wars – and who doesn’t love Samuel L. Jackson? He’s second only to Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan. So, Star Wars fans, here are 10 Facts About The Most Powerful Jedi, Mace Windu.
10 HE WAS ORIGINALLY GOING TO NARRATE THE MOVIES
Back in the earliest stages of development on the original trilogy, George Lucas considered having a narrator to help tell the complex backstories and tie the concurrent narratives together. This element was dropped when Lucas decided to expand the story into a multi-movie franchise, but not before he developed a character who would be the narrator.
This was an early version of the character who would become Mace Windu in the prequel trilogy. He was also briefly considered as Princess Leia’s brother and Luke Skywalker’s friend before being removed entirely and saved for the prequels.
9 HE INVENTED HIS OWN UNIQUE COMBAT STYLE
Mace Windu didn’t just master the art of fighting with a lightsaber – he invented his own way to do it. Fearing that he might be heading down the path to the Dark Side, Windu figured out a way to fight by using his inner darkness to turn his opponent’s aggression against them.
He called this fighting style Vaapad, and he explained it best to Obi-Wan: “I created Vaapad to answer my own weakness. It channels my own darkness into a weapon of light.”
8 PURPLE LIGHTSABER WAS JACKSON'S IDEA
Samuel L. Jackson agreed to appear in George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels on one condition: he got to have a purple lightsaber. He wanted his lightsaber to be a different color than everybody else’s to make his character stand out. Lucas, who is usually very precious about his vision, wanted the Pulp Fiction legend in his trilogy so badly that he relented and gave him the purple blade.
Jackson’s wish of standing out came to fruition, too – whenever there’s a huge battle involved a bunch of Jedi, like the Geonosis sequence in Attack of the Clones, his not-blue-or-green lightsaber can always be spotted in the crowd.
7 HIS LIGHTSABER HANDLE HAS AN INTERESTING INSCRIPTION
According to an interview with Seth Meyers, Samuel L. Jackson had the Star Wars prop team engrave the handle of Mace Windu’s lightsaber with a pretty cool inscription. He made them etch the initials “BMF” onto the handle, a reference to the “Bad Motherf**ker” wallet Jackson carried in the movie Pulp Fiction.
The wallet came out when Tim Roth’s “Pumpkin” tried to rob him at gunpoint in a diner and it has since become one of the most memorable props from the movie (along with the briefcase and Red Apple cigarettes, of course).
6 YODA GAVE HIM HIS NAME
Decades before the Clone Wars, Mace Windu was born on the planet Horuun Kal to a tribe known as the Ghosh Windu. His parents died not too long after he was born and he was abandoned by the tribe as a baby. When he was discovered by some Jedi, they brought him back to the temple to be trained as a youngling once he was old enough.
There, Windu was not only trained in the ways of the Jedi by Yoda – he was also raised and named by him. Yoda and Windu are so close because Yoda is essentially Windu’s father.
5 HE GAVE GENERAL GRIEVOUS THAT COUGH
General Grievous only had one scene in Revenge of the Sith, but in that one scene, he made enough of an impact to become a Star Wars icon. He has a robot body with a beating heart and four arms – his whole anatomy is an enigma. It was up to the expanded media to fill in the many blanks.
One of those blanks was how he ended up with a cough that never seems to go away. If you need any confirmation that Mace Windu is a truly powerful Jedi, look no further than the episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars in which he uses the Force to cave in Grievous’ chest, giving him that gnarly cough.
4 JACKSON'S LIGHTSABER TRAINING WAS TOUGH
According to Samuel L. Jackson, his training for the lightsaber battles in the Star Wars prequels was brutal: “There was a time when you went to acting school, fencing was a part of your requirement. So, a lot of us did that. But the majority of fighting is choreographed. Lightsaber battles?"
He continued, "It takes a long time to learn those, or it did when I was doing them. The last one I had [in Revenge of the Sith] with the Emperor was 99 moves through three rooms, backwards for me. So, two weeks in sneakers and shorts, two weeks in boots, another week in Jedi robe/boots/lightsaber, before we actually shot it. So, it was pretty intense.”
3 HE CAN SEE SHATTERPOINTS IN THE FORCE
Mace Windu can see something called “shatterpoints” in the Force. He observes people through the prism of the Force and it offers him the chance to see their “shatterpoints.” These are their weaknesses, either physically or mentally, and once he knows what they are, he can use that information to his advantage and best them in a combat situation.
The concept of “shatterpoints” is in keeping with the spiritual nature of the Force and steers clear of George Lucas’ scientific explanation of the midichlorians, so fans are cool with it.
2 HE ONCE QUESTIONED HIS FAITH IN THE JEDI ORDER
In a 2017 comic book miniseries from Marvel Comics, Mace Windu questioned his faith to the Jedi during the early days of the Clone Wars. He encountered a mercenary droid with a taste for Jedi blood named AD-W4 and a blind, cynical Jedi Master who’d turned his back on the Jedi Order named Prosset Dibs.
Their anti-Jedi rhetoric almost turned Windu to the Dark Side, but in the end, he killed them both and went on living as a Jedi. If anything, he was even more of a Jedi coming out of it.
1 HE MIGHT STILL BE ALIVE
Samuel L. Jackson is sure Mace Windu is still alive. He was ravaged with Force lightning and sent flying out of a window in Revenge of the Sith, but as he mentioned in a fan Q&A on Twitter, Jackson believes he survived it. George Lucas decided to kill off the character after figuring he was the only one left whose death would have any meaning. The really, really important characters – Obi-Wan, Anakin, Yoda etc. – all had to stay alive because of the original trilogy.
Besides Padme, Windu was the only one left alive whose death the audience would care about. The actor is open to appearing in one of Disney’s new movies, as he believes Windu just went into hiding like Ben Kenobi, just waiting for the chance to gloriously return.