Mace Windu is dead. We know that not only because (spoiler alert) we heard his voice as a force spirit in The Rise of Skywalker, but it’s been more than 50 years since we last saw him in Revenge of the Sith. But was that when he really died? Was being electrocuted and thrown out of the window of a skyscraper really his cause of death? It seems far fetched at first I know, but since the reveal of the power to force heal in The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker (and the many potential plot-hole debates it has sparked) it just makes you wonder; could Mace Windu have survived the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith?
Throughout Star Wars, no Jedi has been killed from force lightning, limb loss, falling from great heights or a combination of the three. In fact, many have survived them – take Luke and Anakin for example. Master Windu could have been found by another Jedi and his fall damage and lightning burns could have been force healed shortly before the Jedi was killed at the hands of clone troopers during order 66, or alternatively a medic droid could’ve found him and healed him in a bacta tank. We know the galaxy far far away has no shortage of robotic hands, so as long as he was found he would be fine (save for a metal hand and maybe some scars).
So it is possible, even likely, that Mace Windu survived and lived in exile, unbeknownst to Yoda and Obi-Wan. They could even have known about his survival, Luke just never met him – he might have died of old age before the events of A New Hope, or decided to exile himself as Luke did in The Last Jedi, and stay out of Jedi affairs so as to lead a normal life – or even because he thought one young Jedi and a rag-tag rebellion had no chance against the empire, having endured the wrath of the emperor and his apprentice himself.
We may even see Samuel L. Jackson return as the fallen Jedi in the upcoming Kenobi series on Disney+, whether it’s as a cameo or a full on role assisting Obi-Wan in whatever tasks the series brings. We are likely going to see Obi-Wan learning how to become a force ghost from Yoda in the series (which suggests the return of Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn), and we know Mace becomes one too, so we may see the pair receive training from Yoda on Dagobah or Tatooine. Although being the experienced Jedi Master that he is, Windu may have already learnt this power and could be the one teaching it to Kenobi.
However, there’s a flaw in this theory. Given Mace’s position of authority in the Jedi Order, he would be of the same importance as Yoda and Obi-Wan. Palpatine himself said that if no body was found, the Jedi isn’t dead, which is why he doubled the search for Master Yoda and eventually declared him and Obi-Wan as two of the empire’s most wanted. If Mace’s body was never found, the emperor wouldn’t be satisfied that he was deceased, and he would also be one of the empire’s most wanted.
But mistakes can be made. Palpatine may well have glossed over the possibility of him being alive – he didn’t fatally injure Yoda, he just saw him fall. And Kenobi was shot down by clone troopers. Neither is as concrete as having electrocuted and thrown the victim out of a window yourself. He could have presumed him dead because the likelihood was higher than with Yoda and Obi-Wan. Plus, Disney and Lucasfilm have left much bigger plot holes and inconsistencies in the Star Wars franchise, so it wouldn’t exactly be a massive storyline fault. You have to make the connection that Palpatine would have needed a body to prove his death, it’s never explicitly stated that he died.
But take this all with a grain of salt. It’s a theory (and an exciting one at that) but I would personally love to see Samuel L. Jackson return as Windu in the Kenobi series (or any other live action medium) – whether he did in fact die at the hands of the emperor and it’s as a force ghost, or whether this theory is correct and he survived.
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