A popular debate among Star Wars fans is whether Mace Wundu survives Revenge of the Sith. Despite rumors he is alive, canonically Mace Windu died following his duel with Darth Sidious. Still, fans love to discuss the possibility of Mace surviving. Even actor Samuel L. Jackson has expressed doubts over whether Mace is dead. So, let’s definitely answer: did Mace Windu survive and explain whether he is alive or dead in Star Wars.
Did Mace Windu Die?
Yes, Jedi Master Mace Windu died near the end of Revenge of the Sith. Although his fate is frequently debated, Mace Windu’s death is established Star Wars canon.
As seen in Episode III, Windu initially subdues Darth Sidious, AKA Chancellor Palpatine. Mace is about to strike Sidious down when Anakin Skywalker suddenly cuts off part of Windu’s right arm.
Sidious takes advantage of Anankin’s attack, unleashing Force lightning against the Jedi Master. Ultimately, Mace is pushed out the window and falls to his death.
His StarWars.com biography supports what is shown in the movie, concluding with the following:
Mace seemed to defeat Sidious and raised his lightsaber to strike down the Sith Lord, but a desperate Anakin ignited his own weapon and severed Mace’s forearm. Sidious then blasted Mace with Force lightning, sending the great Jedi champion plummeting to his death.
Windu’s Wookiepedia entry, the Star Wars Wiki, lists Mace’s death occurring in 19 BBY. This is the same year as the events of Episode III. The article details his duel with Darth Sidious and indicates the same fate as the StarWars.com bio.
Ultimately, until Lucasfilm decides otherwise, Windu died during that conflict. Either from injuries he sustained from Sidious and Anakin or from the fall itself.
Why People Ask If Mace Windu Survived
Despite his death in the official canon, many fans still think Mace Windu is alive. Also, Star Wars is fake and in space, so anything could happen.
There is certainly a growing precedent for the return of canonically dead characters.
Boba Fett returned from the dead in both the Star Wars Legends and new canon timelines.
Darth Maul famously survived the events of The Phantom Menace. Appearing in The Clone Wars, Rebels, and Rogue One, he goes on to become one of the most complex and popular characters in the Star Wars universe.
Ahsoka Tano escapes certain death in both The Clone Wars and Rebels. And let’s not forget the extremely detailed plot point in The Rise of Skywalker, “Somehow Palpatine returned.”
Still, Master Windu is one of the most powerful Jedi. Besides his Force powers, the height of the fall, and other Star Wars characters returning from the dead, there are many arguments for why Mace Windu is alive.
Reasons Fans Think Mace Windu Is Alive
Despite his death being canon, fans continue to ask the question did Mace Windu survive? While some arguments carry more weight than others, there are several key reasons to believe Windu is alive.
And, on some level, what is the harm in thinking Mace survived in your own headcanon? Sure, it disagrees with the established facts, but who is it really hurting?
Extremely Powerful Jedi
Perhaps the most reasonable argument that Mace survives the fall is that he is one of the most powerful Jedi. He was known for his exceptional reflexes and agility.
Although Anakin’s attack seemingly caught him off guard, it is possible he could have regained his focus before dying.
Windu was also skilled in telekinesis and levitation. He frequently used telekinesis to summon his lightsaber and deflect objects. Mace also saved falling clone troopers using levitation. He could easily have used either skill to save himself while falling.
Mace was one of the most accomplished lightsaber duelists within the Jedi Order. Windu was one of only two Jedi who mastered lightsaber Form VII without falling to the dark side.
While his lightsaber skills might not help prevent his death, they further showcase his powers as a Jedi. If he could master a lightsaber skill that most others could not, he surely could find the resolve to stay alive, right?
These are some of the ways fans use his exceptional Jedi skills to claim that Mace is still alive.
The Fall Wasn’t That High
Fans of the theory that Windu survived also claim the fall wasn’t that high, especially for a Jedi of his skill. The Chancellor’s office in the Republic Executive Building was only 1640 feet (500 meters) above the surface.
While still a great distance, it seems likely that a Jedi of Mace Windu’s skill could potentially have landed safely. Even with his injuries, it seems plausible that Mace could have landed on a speeder or braced his fall.
Darth Maul fell from a seemingly similar height, with more severe injuries, and still survived. And actually, so did Mace!
While the 2003 Clone Wars series is not canon today, it shows Mace jumping out of a starfighter in the skies above Coruscant. He lands on a Vulture Droid, hacking the droid to use it to land safely.
Many fans cite this scene when debating whether Mace could have survived. Surely, he could have used his levitation and telekinesis skills to land on a passing speeder. Or to simply stop his fall before he hit the ground.
The counterargument is that he was surprised by Anakin’s attack and worn out from his duel with Sidious. The shock of both would have left him disoriented and unable to recover.
Mace Windu Continues To Appear in Star Wars Stories
Another popular reason fans claim that Mace is still alive is that he continues to appear in Star Wars stories. Which is true, from a certain point of view.
Since the Star Wars canon reset in 2014, Mace Windu has appeared in 58 canon stories. The majority of the appearances are in books, comics, and video games.
So, if these stories came out after Revenge of the Sith, he must be alive, right? Well, not exactly.
Star Wars stories rarely come out linearly. Think about it, the Original Trilogy is episodes four, five, and six. Then the Prequel Trilogy, episodes one, two, and three, came out more than twenty years later.
Most of the Mace Windu stories released after 2014 are either set before Revenge of the Sith or include flashbacks to that time.
In a few instances, Mace appears as a Force vision conjured by the viewer. For example, both Darth Vader and Yoda see Windu in separate Force dreams.
One appearance that caused many fans to question whether Mace Windu was alive was The Rise of Skywalker. In a voice cameo, Samuel L. Jackson reprised the character in the 2019 conclusion to the Skywalker Saga.
Mace is one of the eleven Jedi that Rey hears during her duel with Palpatine. Speaking through the Force, Windu says, “Feel the force flowing through you, Rey.”
Although Tano’s fate is unknown at this time, all of the other Jedi are known to be dead. This includes Master Windu.
What about the now-Legends stories released between 2005 and 2014? Well, Mace appeared in many stories in the Legends universe. And those were either set before his death in Episode III or as flashbacks.
There Is No Proof Windu Died
Although a relatively weak argument, some claim there is no proof Mace died. That is, other than Lucasfilm confirming that he fell to his death.
Even though we never see a body and there is no funeral, this argument really doesn’t hold up.
Showing Mace’s body doesn’t fit with the narrative or style of the movie. It’s not like we see dozens of other Jedi bodies in the aftermath of Order 66, with Mace’s body mysteriously missing.
Each Jedi death we see is presented to evoke a definitive message without getting too gruesome or detailed. The bodies we do see are used to make statements about characters, not confirm deaths.
We do see the bodies of Jedi and younglings when Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi visit the Jedi Temple. This is to inform us, as viewers, about the extent of Anakin’s fall to the dark side.
Seeing the clones shooting down Ki Adi Mundi or Aayla Secura highlight their programming.
As for a funeral, who was supposed to hold that? The Jedi Order? The clone troopers? The Galactic Empire? It’s simply unrealistic.
So while we never actually see him dead, that doesn’t automatically mean Mace Windu is alive.
Perhaps we will see a Jedi funeral pyre for Mace in a future story. But for now, you need to leave it up to your imagination.
Other Jedi Survived
Some fans say Windu is alive because other Jedi survived Order 66. However, this is a simple yet flawed argument.
The idea is that because a number of Jedi escaped the purge, Mace Windu must have as well. It’s like using the fact that Diego Luna is human to proclaim you will be an actor in Star Wars, too.
Sure, there is a connection in both cases. But the statement largely ignores the circumstances.
Grogu lived because Kelleran Beq and other Jedi fought to help younglings escape. And several of them died in the process.
Similarly, Caleb Dume – AKA Kanan Jarrus – survived because Depa Billaba sacrificed herself.
And yes, we know that more Jedi survived the purge today than we did following Return of the Jedi. But the universe is also expanding. More storytellers are telling more stories.
And fans tend to prefer stories with Jedi, or at least Force users. So, of course, more Jedi survived than previously known.
Does that guarantee Jedi Master Windu survived? Possibly. But until that story is told, he remains dead in Star Wars canon.
Heroes Never Die
Finally, and perhaps the most extreme oversimplification, is that no one wants their heroes to die. And Mace was certainly a hero.
We are talking about the first Jedi we see with a purple lightsaber. Sure, other purple lightsabers have appeared since, but Mace’s was the first.
Not to mention the character is played by the ultimate “bad motherfucker.” You just can’t kill the Jedi played by Samuel L. Jackson. At least, that’s how some fans feel.
And this point likely plays into many of the others listed above as well.
Samuel L. Jackson’s Opinion On Whether Mace Windu Is Dead or Alive
Samuel L. Jackson not only hopes to appear in Star Wars again, but he thinks Mace Windu survived. Jackson has talked about the character surviving Order 66 for at least a decade.
When asked about Disney purchasing Star Wars in a 2012 E! News interview, Jackson said he hoped to return to the franchise:
…Obi-Wan was dead when episode four started, so maybe everyone thinks I’m dead and we’ll find out what happened to Mace Windu. I can come back as one-armed or a one-handed Jedi that’s still around that didn’t actually die.
During a IMDb Q&A session on June 25, 2016, Twitter user @starwarsgirl1 “Angelica Ravenstein” asked whose idea it was to kill Mace Windu. Replying that it was George Lucas’ idea, he said:
I was trying to figure out, really, can’t you just injury me or whatever? In my mind, I’m not dead. Jedi’s can fall incredibly high distances and not die.
On June 26, 2016, the Sirus XM channel Entertainment Weekly Radio asked him a follow-up about his response. Repeating that Jedi can survive great falls, Jackson added that he talked to George Lucas about it.
After acknowledging that Lucas was no longer in charge of Lucasfilm, he said, “George is like, ‘I’m okay with that. You can be alive.”
In a pre-recorded video shown during the 40 Years of Star Wars panel at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando Florida in 2017, he said:
…we know the long and rich history of Star Wars characters reappearing with new appendages and being stronger and better than they ever were. Mace Windu is awaiting his return. Let’s make it happen. Kathy, you’re sitting right there. I know you know what to do.
The Problem With Using Jackson’s Quotes To Make Windu Surviving Canon
A lot of fans take Jackson’s insistence that Mace survived as canon. And while Jackson is extremely close to the character, he did not create it.
So, he can believe Mace is alive in his own headcanon, but that doesn’t necessarily make it true. Actors often have opinions about their characters that differ from established canon or how the creator feels about them.
Sir Alec Guinness thought Star Wars was silly. Harrison Ford was adamant that Han Solo needed to die following The Empire Strikes Back. More recently, Mark Hamill disagreed with how The Last Jedi presented Luke Skywalker.
And yet, the creators and at least some fans disagreed.
As for Jackson’s claim that George Lucas conceded that Mace survived, perhaps this did happen. But even Jackson said that George was no longer in charge of Lucasfilm at that time.
You can choose to believe Jackson, and potentially George Lucas. But that doesn’t guarantee that Windu is still alive in Star Wars canon since neither has the ultimate say in the matter.
Still, almost anything can happen in Star Wars, as we have seen countless times before.
Despite being 75, Samuel L. Jackson shows no signs of slowing down. It is still possible he could return to the role at some point.
Assuming he did return, Jackson wouldn’t be the oldest actor in the series. Or at least not quite yet. Christopher Lee was 79 for the release of Attack of the Clones and 82 when Revenge of the Sith came out.
Temuera Morrison Also Believes Mace Is Alive, for a Very Different Reason
Jango and Boba Fett actor Termuera Morrison weighed in on the debate about whether Mace Windu survived. In a 2022 interview with IMDb On the Scene, Morrison said Windu was at the top of Fett’s hit list.
Talking to IMDB Editor Alex Logan, he said, “I owe him big time for my dad.” Morrison was referring to Windu decapitating Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones. The interview re-energized fans who believe Mace survived Revenge of the Sith.
Although he didn’t explicitly say Mace Windu survived, that was certainly the implication of his comments.
Morrison ended the interview by saying he would talk with show creator Jon Favreau about a second season. While this seems unlikely, stranger things have happened in Star Wars.
While strictly conjecture, the match-up between Mace and Boba Fett would likely take place between Episodes III and IV. Setting it during the existing Mandoverse timeline in 9 ABY would make Mace 81 years old.
Although still possible, it seems unlikely that Windu could compete at that age. At least, not at this best. And let’s face it, most fans would rather see Boba and Mace fight when they were still relatively at their peaks.
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