The Mandalorian<\/em> Is Primed to Bring Back Mace Windu
You may recall a scene in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones when troves of Jedi clash with a swarm of Separatist forces in a gladiator colosseum on the planet Geonosis. There, as the battle escalates, Mace Windu soars onto the field, his robe getting ignited by a bounty hunter named Jango Fett. Samuel L. Jackson, being the consummate movie action hero that he is, responds by decapitating the Mandalorian renegade, helmet and all. Soon after, other than a few stray appearances in the Clone Wars animated series, we don’t really hear about Jango, or his fatherless son, Boba, ever again. That is, not until this new season of The Mandalorian, where Jedi and Fetts have suddenly become as important to the live action multiverse of Star Wars as they are polarizing to each other.
Right now, there’s only one episode left of the second season of The Mandalorian on Disney Plus. This finale will likely tie off some of the loose ends that’ve been left hanging ever since Ahsoka Tano busted the story wide open on the forest moon of Corvus a few episodes back. We may find out why the space ronin is going after Grand Admiral Thrawn. We may learn the significance of Din’s new Beskar pike. And, we could even discover how Moff Gideon ended up with the Darksaber.
But I think what most of us really want to know is–who the hell rescued Baby Yoda from Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith, and which Jedi is about to answer the call to train the hungry little green guy? To me, those two questions could, and should, have the same answer. It’d make it all the more meaningful if the person who saved Grogu back in the prequel era ended up returning decades later to help him become a Jedi Knight. And I think, if Disney really wants to create another moment; if they want a pop culture phenomenon like they had with Baby Yoda’s first appearance, the Jedi Master that they need for this cameo is none other than Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu.
There are a handful of Jedi who could have saved the little guy from Anakin Skywalker’s rampage of the Jedi temple. It could’ve been Yoda, which would make sense, since the grouchy old monk shared the same species with little Grogu. If that were the case, though, then why would he say in Return of the Jedi that Luke Skywalker is the Jedi’s “last hope?” Obi-Wan Kenobi, too, could’ve secretly managed to get Baby Yoda into hiding somewhere–after all, Kenobi seems to have a pretty good track record for concealing force-sensitive babies–but if he were aware of Grogu’s existence, why didn’t he tell Luke about him? There are also Cal Kestis and Cere Junda from Fallen Order, and a hodge-podge of other survivors, all of whom are pretty obscure for the mainstream Star Wars crowd–I’m sorry, Jocasta Nu, nobody cares about you!
Same goes for the surviving Jedi who could potentially take up the mantle of Grogu Trainer. Both Luke and Leia are pretty busy at this point–with Leia still in training herself, and other than Ezra Bridger (the lead character of the Star Wars Rebels series who was created by Mandalorian head honcho Dave Filoni), none of the force-sensitive warriors really make sense here. Sure, I could see Ezra following Ahsoka over the threshold into live action–as he certainly fits the mold for a Jedi who understands the danger of attachment–but excluding his ties to Ahsoka, Ezra doesn’t really have any other connection to the present storyline here. He’d be peripheral at best to everything that’s going on.
Mace Windu, on the other hand, couldn’t be more wrapped up in the current Mandalorian thread. The fallen Jedi, of course, chopped off Boba Fett’s father’s head. He led the Jedi Council; he was likely one of the many Masters who trained younglings such as Grogu. He witnessed the end of the Jedi Order, and saw first hand what emotional dependence can do to a Padawan. And he was well aware of the Clone army–the battalion of troopers who were created in Jango Fett’s image (Boba himself is a clone of his father, albeit an “unaltered” one). Saving Grogu from the Jedi Temple the day Windu was electrocuted (but not killed!) by Darth Sidious could have been the disgraced Master’s last act of heroism before boarding himself up in hiding for decades like his old buddy Yoda.
If Mace Windu, grizzled, bearded, with a bionic arm and scorched complexion, were to remove his hood and reveal himself to the Star Wars galaxy for the first time in 30 years, how flabbergasted might he be to see Boba Fett standing there before him? And vice-versa! The first time the two saw each other, Mace was lopping off Fett’s father’s noggin. After, in the Clone Wars TV show, the young Boba tries (and fails) to exact revenge for his father by killing Windu. And then, years later, Fett would meet his own end (almost) at the hands of another lightsaber blade, which sent him tumbling into the Sarlacc Pit for god knows how long. This is not to mention the fact that the Clone Army, which were manufactured replicas of these galactic mercenaries, ended up being the harbingers of the Jedi Order’s demise.
Mace Windu and Boba Fett are the exact same kind of Star Wars legends. Both of them are glorified side characters who earned exponentially more imagination from fans of the franchise than actual screen time. They’re outcasts; they were, and are, both thought to be dead. And when it comes down to it, they’re warriors who fell victim to Palpatine’s grand schemes for galactic domination. I cannot think of a better combination. Fett, after all, was raised by a bounty hunter known for killing Jedi.
Samuel L. Jackson is already a big player in the current Disney ecosystem, as he is set to star in the upcoming Disney Plus series, Secret Invasion, and will likely appear in a zillion other Marvel shows and films for years to come. So it would make total sense if Disney had already been invested in bringing this character–who we last saw missing an arm, flying off a building, but never buried in the ground–back from irrelevance. If not, Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau: please take this idea! Run with it! It’s free! Just plop Sam Jackson into the next season of Mandalorian and you’ll have another spinoff series all teed up and ready to go!
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