Who kills Jedi Windu?

In Star Wars lore, Jedi Master Mace Windu meets his demise at the hands of Darth Sidious, also known as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, in Revenge of the Sith. This has led to much discussion and debate amongst Star Wars fans about the details surrounding Windu’s death, such as who ultimately deserves the credit for killing the legendary Jedi Master.

Mace Windu’s Background

To understand the events leading to Windu’s death, some background on the powerful Jedi is helpful. Mace Windu was a revered Jedi Master and skilled lightsaber duelist who served on the Jedi High Council during the final years of the Galactic Republic. He was cautious of the increasingly authoritarian powers being amassed by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and sensed the dark side of the Force growing stronger. Windu directly confronted the Chancellor after Anakin Skywalker revealed Palpatine’s true identity as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, beginning the fateful duel that led to the Jedi Master’s demise.

Confrontation with Darth Sidious

After Anakin Skywalker told Mace Windu that Chancellor Palpatine was in fact the Sith Lord the Jedi had been searching for, Windu assembled a team of Jedi warriors to arrest the Chancellor. Palpatine resisted and drew his red lightsaber, revealing that he was indeed Darth Sidious. In the vicious battle that followed, Sidious killed the other three Jedi Masters with ease, but found himself evenly matched when dueling with the swordmaster Windu. Backed by the power of the dark side, Sidious eventually overcame Windu’s Vaapad fighting style and force-pushed him through a window to his apparent death.

Anakin’s Role

Many fans argue that Anakin Skywalker deserves partial credit for killing Mace Windu. Just as Sidious was about to deliver the final blow, Anakin stepped in and severed Windu’s lightsaber arm, allowing Sidious to push him out the window. Anakin was troubled about the Jedi’s attempt to execute the Chancellor without trial and hoped to stop Windu from killing Sidious, who he believed could help save his wife Padme from his visions of her death. If not for Anakin’s intervention, Windu may have successfully apprehended or killed Sidious.

The Duel Between Mace Windu and Darth Sidious

The epic showdown between Mace Windu and Darth Sidious represented a major turning point in the Star Wars saga. Here is a detailed look at how the fateful duel unfolded.

Converging Forces

The duel took place in Sidious’ office on Coruscant at the culmination of the Chancellor’s master plan to take control of the Republic. With the Clone Wars coming to an end, Sidious was on the verge of turning Anakin to the dark side and initiating Order 66, which would destroy the Jedi Order. However, Windu’s arrival with a team of Jedi threatened to overturn his schemes. Earlier, Skywalker had informed Windu that Palpatine’s true nature was that of the Sith Lord they had been searching for. Both powerful forces converged for an inevitable clash.

The Jedi Make Their Move

Marching into the Chancellor’s office, Mace Windu declared that Palpatine was under arrest and the Senate would decide his fate. When Palpatine resisted, drawing his lightsaber and attacking the Jedi, Windu realized that Palpatine was indeed the Sith Lord. Palpatine quickly dispatched the other Jedi with ease using his expert lightsaber skills amped by the power of the dark side. But Windu proved a worthy adversary, deflecting Sidious’ onslaught with his mastery of the lightsaber form Vaapad.

Sidious Gains the Upper Hand

At first the two appeared equally matched, neither able to gain an advantage. However, as the duel progressed, Sidious began anticipating Windu’s Vaapad moves and countering them, drawing more power from the dark side in the process. The intensity of their strikes cracked the glass in the windowpanes surrounding them. Soon Sidious’ furious attacks became too much for Windu’s impenetrable defenses and the Jedi found himself overcome, pinned backed against a window.

The Death of Mace Windu

The final moments of Mace Windu’s confrontation with Sidious would result in the Jedi Master’s demise in shocking fashion. Here is how the scene played out.

Sidious Blasts Windu with Force Lightning

With Windu cornered near a window and his lightsaber arm growing weary, Sidious unleashed a torrent of devastating Force lightning upon the Jedi. Windu managed to deflect the lightning with his lightsaber initially, causing Sidious’ evil visage to appear as the electricity rebounded on him. But soon the intensity overwhelmed Windu, and his strength began to drain under the sustained Force lightning barrage.

Anakin’s Betrayal

At that critical moment, Anakin Skywalker appeared, having been drawn there by the dark side. When he saw Windu preparing for the killing blow on the disfigured Sidious, and heard the Chancellor appeal to his need to save Padme, Anakin made his fateful choice. Calling out “No!” he severed Windu’s sword hand, disarming the Jedi. This surprise intervention allowed Sidious to blast Windu with Force lightning once again.

Windu Meets His End

Overwhelmed by Sidious’ full power Force lightning assault, with no lightsaber left to defend himself, Mace Windu fell helplessly before his enemy. His body wracked by lightning and hovering on the brink of death, Sidious blasted him with one final push using the Force, sending the great Jedi hero plunging through the window to his death. Mace Windu, a pillar of the Jedi Order for decades, was no more.

Aftermath and Significance

Mace Windu’s death at the hands of Darth Sidious carried great meaning for the trajectory of the saga that followed. Here is an examination of the aftermath and significance of the pivotal event.

Turning of Anakin Skywalker

With Windu out of the way, Sidious was able to complete his seduction to the dark side of Anakin Skywalker, who was reborn as the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Sidious appealed to Anakin’s desperation to save his wife Padme’s life and need for greater power, promising that the dark side could deliver this. Killing Windu cemented Anakin’s turn, as he could no longer return to the Jedi after directly aiding the Sith Lord’s victory over the respected Jedi Master.

Fall of the Jedi Order

After converting Anakin, Sidious immediately executed Order 66, using the clone army to wipe out nearly all the Jedi scattered across the galaxy. With the Order’s most powerful champion in Windu now dead, and their Chosen One turned against them, the remaining Jedi were caught off guard and overwhelmed by the clone troopers’ treason. In a single coordinated stroke, Sidious used the clones to make the Jedi nothing more than a memory.

Rise of the Empire

With the Jedi Order eliminated, nothing stood in Sidious’ way to consolidate his power and transform the Republic into a totalitarian Galactic Empire. Mace Windu’s death marked the demise of the Jedi guardians that checked the powers of the Supreme Chancellor. Sidious used the political vacuum to declare himself Emperor and ruled absolutely through fear and intimidation. The Republic that had safeguarded peace for generations became a dictatorship overnight.

Questions and Controversy

Despite being known for surety and foresight, Mace Windu’s death has raised many questions and controversies among fans.

Could Windu Have Defeated Sidious?

Some argue that Windu could have gained victory in the duel if not for Anakin’s intervention. His unique fighting style Vaapad allowed him to channel his opponent’s dark side energy against them, and Windu seemed to have gained a temporary advantage over Sidious before Anakin stepped in. However, Sidious likely was not fighting at full strength initially. The Sith Lord’s power was unfathomable, so Windu defeating him outright remains debatable.

Why Did Windu Try to Execute Sidious?

The Jedi strictly followed a code of ethics valuing justice and shunning summary executions without trial. However, when Sidious revealed himself, Windu decided he was too dangerous to be kept alive. This controversial decision contradicted the compassionate Jedi way, and even concerned the more moderate Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. Windu may have feared Sidious could use guile and deceit to escape or undercut any trial.

Could Windu Have Been Saved?

Some fans believe if Anakin had helped Windu restrain Sidious following their duel, the Jedi Master could have survived the fall through the window, despite his grievous injuries. Although unlikely, with Sidious now captured, Anakin’s premonitions of Padme’s death could have proven false, potentially preventing his turn to the dark side. But Anakin lacked faith in the Jedi abilities to heal and save life by that point.

The Legacy of Mace Windu

Despite his controversial demise, Mace Windu left behind a formidable legacy in the Star Wars universe.

A Pillar of the Jedi Order

Windu was universally respected throughout the Jedi as a master of combat and wisdom. He served for decades on the Jedi High Council, helping guide the Order’s direction. Samuel L. Jackson’s charismatic performance in the prequels helped make Windu a fan favorite character.

Creator of Vaapad Lightsaber Form

This innovative combat style channeled an opponent’s dark side power against them, an advantage Windu demonstrated against Sidious. However, the dangerous flirtation with the dark side also presented risks. Windu’s apprentice Depa Billaba became the only Vaapad master beside himself. The style likely died out after the Jedi purge.

One of the Most Powerful Jedi

Windu’s extraordinary command of the lightsaber and the Force cemented his reputation as one the greatest Jedi warriors of his era. He was one of the few able to master Vaapad, and built a purple-bladed lightsaber using an amethyst crystal to symbolize his balance between the light and dark side.

Final Analysis

The full details around Mace Windu’s death remain controversial to this day. But the pivotal role the events played in tipping the galaxy into darkness is undeniable. Windu’s confrontation with Sidious set in motion the Jedi purge and rise of the Empire. The Jedi Master’s faith in Anakin to do the right thing proved tragically misplaced. Yet, Windu deserves respect for challenging the Sith Lord when the rest of the Order remained blind to the threat. The galaxy may have been plunged into two decades of tyranny, but Master Windu sacrificed himself in a valiant, if flawed, effort to stop Darth Sidious’ sinister plans.

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