Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released earlier this month and immediately became a hit with fans and critics alike, racking in $155m during its opening weekend alone. The first in a series of planned spin-offs that look to expand on the already vast Star Wars universe, work is already underway on a Han Solo spin-off film that is set to hit theaters in 2018 - a year after the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII. With hundreds of characters to chose from, Disney is spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the subject of their next Star Wars spin-off. However, one character they might not of thought of who would be perfect for the role is Mace Windu.
Mace Windu is alive!
If you're like me you would of repressed all memory of ever watching Revenge of the Sith, but if not, you will remember that Mace Windu died at the hands of Chancellor Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker. It would seem impossible then for him to return to star in his own film, not least one set after Revenge of the Sith, but not everyone agrees on what happened to Mace Windu that faithful day.
According to Samuel L. Jackson, who portrayed the Jedi Master in the prequel trilogy, Mace Windu is alive! He addressed the character's fate in a Q&A on Twitter.
In the video, he said that the idea to kill Mace Windu in Revenge of the Sith came from George Lucas but he had other ideas about what happened to him. Jackson later clarified his comments in an interview with Entertainment Weekly stating that:
“Jedi can fall from amazing distances. And there’s a long history of one-handed Jedi. So, why not?”
Jackson even ran the idea past George Lucas who apparently gave him his blessing:
“George is like, ‘I’m okay with that. You can be alive.”
But he also pointed out that George Lucas doesn't have anything to do with deciding what is and isn't canon anymore, not after he sold the rights to Star Wars to Disney in 2012. That job belongs to the Lucasfilm Story Group. But that doesn't mean that Mace Windu is out of the running just yet. The Lucasfilm Story Group might still decide to bring the character back for future movies.
Down and Out in the Outer Rim:
The biggest question a Mace Windu spin-off would raise is how did he survive and, if he did survive, where has he been all these years? The first question is the easiest to answer. As Samuel L. Jackson pointed out Jedi can fall from amazing distances, it is not outside the realms of possibility that Mace Windu used the Force to slow his descent enough to prevent himself from dying on the streets of Coruscant.
Hurt and on the run Mace Windu would have had to flee Coruscant or face certain death at the hands of Clone Troopers carrying out Order 66. Windu would have been forced to follow in the footsteps of other Jedi Masters Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda in escaping to the outer rim where the Empire's influence was weaker. This is where a possible Mace Windu spin-off could start, focusing on the former Jedi Master's life in exile, hiding out from the Empire that he himself had helped create.
Homage is Where the Heart Is:
George Lucas is famous for borrowing extensively from other films when creating Star Wars. For example, A New Hope was a mish-mash of science-fiction serials, sword and sorcery epics, westerns and war films with perhaps one of his biggest influences being Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawa's influence on Lucas is unmistakable from his use of soft wipes to the name of his religious order (Jedi sounds awfully similar to jidaigeki the genre of period films Kurosawa is famous for producing).
One of Kurosawa's greatest films, Yojimbo, about a masterless samurai (ronin) who plays two crime lords against one another in order to free a town from their control is the perfect story from which to base a Mace Windu spin-off. Yojimbo was also the influence for Sergio Leone's famous Spaghetti Western A Fistful of Dollars (starring Clint Eastwood).
Putting Mace Windu in the role of Yojimbo's Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune) as the masterless Jedi who plays two criminal groups against one another would be a brilliant way for the Star Wars series to once again pay homage to expert filmmaker Akira Kurosawa while telling an interesting and engaging story.
What do you think? Do you want to see a Mace Windu spin-off in the future? What characters would you like to see feature in future Star Wars spin-offs?