An Unanswered Question from Revenge of the Sith

So here we are, the end of our series of unanswered questions from the Star Wars saga.

But not really. I’m walking away for a little bit, but you can bet this topic comes back. Considering the entire concept was spurred by a question I asked Agent Bun just before we watched The Amazing Spider–Man, which was better than people gave it credit for and definitely better than Prometheus, the focus will expand. But for now…the curtain falls.

So here is my question (for now) regarding Revenge of the Sith.

Why Didn’t Mace Windu Take More Than Just Jedi to Accuse and Arrest the Chancellor?

I mean, on some level he had to know where things were headed. Especially since Anakin leveled the charge that Palpatine was the Sith Lord, meaning all of the focused physical power of the Dark Side was now manifesting in him alone just before they went off to get him.

I get that the Jedi were cocky, but this just makes Windu seem so cocksure as to be stupid. The troops were still loyal to you, and there was a whole battalion (I guess) headquartered in the temple or near it. If you went with a platoon of soldiers, at least you’d give Palpatine a motivation to “play it cool” and at least cede political power while things were “sorted out.”

He wouldn’t be issuing orders for one thing. Orders that led to the wiping out of the Jedi.

Unlike some of the previous ones, I don’t have a ready–made, logical answer to this one other than to say that Windu is already teetering on the edge of the Dark Side and motivated by a quest not for justice at that point, but vengeance.

Also for the record, I know that the way it is in the film is more dramatic, and played that way on purpose, but the whole point of this series is to look at things from different angles and try to imagine different ways it could have played. So don’t go responding that it’s for the sake of drama. I want a serious nerd over–examination of it.

23 thoughts on “An Unanswered Question from Revenge of the Sith

  1. Windu knows that the clone troopers were under Palpatine’s control, and it didn’t take much of a leap of logic to guess that they were part of Palpatine’s plan to usurp control. In other words, Windu made a simple prediction that bringing in a platoon of troops was more likely to be introducing enemies than allies. The “garbled” transmission from the novelization suggests that the seed was already being planted that the Jedi were enemies of the state, but I don’t remember whether Windu was privy to that transmission. In any case, he didn’t need it to make his prediction.

    If that isn’t it, I don’t know what is.

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  2. Ok, I think both in response to Frylock and the original question, we have to remember these are Jedi (and Sith) here.

    Mace did *not* suspect the clone troopers. The only thing in my mind that makes the Clones turning on the Jedi and succeeding this the complete and total element of surprise. Jedi throughout the movies eat Stormtroopers, Geonocans, battle droids, and any other kind of genaric bad guy grunts for breakfast and by the score. The ONLY thing the clones had on the Jedi was surprise. I can further imagine the Jedi are extra susceptible to the element of surprise because they are so rarely surprised and may even feel they can’t be. Back to topic.

    Remember, Papatine has all of the focused physical power of the Dark Side now manifesting in him alone. Oh wait you said that. Why would Mace bring anything other than Jedi to help him? Bringing a platoon of weak minded potential meat shields for Palpatine is decidedly a bad idea. As Jedi, they have qualms with controlling even thier enemies minds, let alone troopers. If Palpatine controls one of them to stand in the way of the Jedi, what are they going to do, cut through them to get to Palpatine?

    Nah man, RotS is perfect and don’t you forget it! 😉

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    1. I get that the Jedi were surprised, but that’s because they thought Palpatine was merely an asshole. Once Windu suspected Palpatine was Darth Sidious, do you really think he couldn’t piece together that the *army* of clone troopers would be part of the plan? These are troopers that follow the orders of the Chancellor. If the Chancellor is a Dark Lord of the Sith, then the troopers follow the Dark Lord of the Sith.

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      1. I suppose that’s true, but I have to imagine his first incling of this was, as you say, when Anakin told him about Palpatine. But if that *did* occur to Mace, why was Mace’s first action to go confront Palpatine and not warn his legion of Jedi Friends that the clone troopers might not be 100% trustworthy. I guess the answer goes back to: He was cocky thinking he could take out Palpatine before any kind of “Order 66” type thing could be given.

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        1. Yeah. No matter how you slice it — my way, your way, KESSEL JUNKIE’s way — somewhere, somehow there has to be some arrogance in the explanation. They knew there was a threat, they knew the Dark Side was on the rise, and they knew there was a large, standing army. When it was clear that they were all the same thing, Windu should have admitted this was beyond him standing alone (or even in a group of four). Then again, we have that drama we’re not permitted to discuss . . . . 🙂

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  3. Also, Mace has nothing but the say-so of Anakin. Any government forces are duty bound to defend Palpatine until he is convicted in some sort of court I assume. While Troopers and Jedi were not “enemies” per se at that point. In that particular confrontation they would have been if each simply served thier expected obligations/duties/loyalties.

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    1. “Nah man, RotS is perfect and don’t you forget it!”

      I would not presume to debate you. You’re about to remind me that logic alone guides your actions.

      “While Troopers and Jedi were not “enemies” per se at that point”

      But why not some Senators, or I don’t know, a camera crew? Surprise him with a big, showy number of people or something. Your on Candid Coup!

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  4. Also, also, Mace probably knew, if Anakin was right, “bringing him in alive” was not a practical option. At the very least the Jedi would have to be self appointed judge, jury and executioner. In any scenario I can realistically imagine, Mace and the Jedi were going to have to be operating outside the law.

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  5. I’m going out on a crazy nerd limb and suggest that Mace is not just cocky, he’s racist and ageist (sp?) and that leads him to make this dumb decision. Really. It’s not that different from WWII and Pearl Harbor… the US underestimated the Japanese because of racist views held at the time (I am not making this up).

    So, even though he’s going up against a sith lord, all Mace sees is an old white guy. Just like all he sees in Anakin is a sneaking around, punk kid that is not to be trusted.

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    1. Mace Windu’s best friend is an 800-year-old troll, but he’s an ageist racist because he didn’t like two white guys who, in hindsight, were evil people about to destroy democracy for an entire galaxy? I’m not sure I’m tracking.

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    2. What’s a Nubian?

      So if I get this straight, Mace Windu is acting out of a sense of Black Rage at having been enslaved to the machinations of a corrupt white man. It’s like Roots, only with the Force!

      This is an awesome interpretation, like something I’d get in the same college class that tried to convince me Emily Dickinson didn’t stink on ice (they failed).

      “So, even though he’s going up against a sith lord, all Mace sees is an old white guy. ”

      I’m not sure I’d reduce him to a Forrest Gump-level of intellect like that, but OK. :-p

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  6. What pisses me off about Star Wars lore is how much happens off screen. I realize you can’t show it all, and the books have plenty of playroom. But certain characters (windu included) have a lot of cool shit, that when I watched the movie was almost non existent. I had a book of star wars character bios in a book when I was in middle school. I feel like bobba fett’s origin did a 180 unless the alcohol has killed the brain cells. But I always liked that star wars stuff seemed consistent (unlike Star Trek). Or am I totally wrong? I’ve been out of the game for a while, so fill me in.

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    1. It’s an interesting conundrum: they were consistent until they weren’t (Bantam to Del Rey switch), but then they make efforts to clean the mess from conflicts when complaints get too loud. The EU stuff is largely pointless now unless you’re talking prequel-era.

      Fett’s history got way out of control, then reset with the prequels. I prefer the reset. I blogged about it at some point: https://kesseljunkie.com/2011/05/12/flashback-blog-how-i-grew-to-love-boba-fett-thanks-to-the-prequels/

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  7. The Jedi were completely surprised by order 66. Mace only took Jedi because who else could he trust? Reporters? Seriously? Other politicians? He surely had no idea about order 66, but bringing in storm troopers would only have added confusion. He needed to bring Jedi. He needed believers who understood the risks and the dangers, but also the reality of Palpatine/Sidious. He needed people willing to die, but powerful enough to give them a chance. What he didn’t count on was betrayal. At the end, he and Anakin might still have been enough.

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  8. I got some other ones, if I may…

    Why the hell, if the Jedi Council didn’t trust either Anakin and Palpatine, and were afraid of them being together, did they approve of the pairing? And what’s more, why the hell did they send Obi-Wan off alone to fight Grievous? Isn’t this guy supposed to be a major badass who killed multiple Jedi? And since Anakin is clearly the better swordsman, why not send him as backup?

    And for that matter, why did Yoda and Obi-Wan split up to go fight Palpatine and Anakin at the end? They’ve worked in pairs for every other movie, so why do Jedi do everything alone now? Of course, its all contrivances of course, so Anakin can fall to the dark side, Yoda can fail, and Obi-Wan can face Anakin alone.

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