Sunday, January 9, 2011

58 BBY: Star Wars Tales Volume 4: Stones

One of the reasons I’m so excited to finally enter the Prequel Trilogy era is that I get to encounter a whole new set of ‘firsts’. The ‘first’ in this case is the first time Mace Windu enters Star Wars history.

Windu enters Star Wars history as a cocky 14-year-old padawan learner who has yet to make his own saber. Windu’s comment that he has yet to make a saber and has his Masters concerned by this is interesting because it raises the question ‘at what age is a padawan expected to make their saber?’. In Legacy of the Jedi, Dooku was still using a training saber at the age of 13 and like Windu he was the top of his class. I guess the unusualness of Windu not having a saber at 14 could be accounted with the idea that a padawan doesn’t make a saber until their Jedi skills match the ability to use a real one, and therefore, Windu could have made a saber earlier but chose to hold back so he could find the right crystal – as this story implies.

Which brings up another interesting question: is the desire to be unique “Jedi” in its motivations? It seems to me Windu has a very strong desire to be unique, to set himself apart from other Jedi. He says himself that he was arrogant and cocky, but wouldn’t his purple saber always be a symbol of this mindset? Of course we all know the ‘real reason’ for Windu’s purple blade – Samuel L. Jackson’s desire to be different. It seems like Mace Windu the Jedi Master has unwillingly adopted this character trait from – what is to him – an equally fictional character.

Yet there is hope for Mace. Although he begins his saber crystal quest with arrogance and a little too much self-sureness, he learns a valuable lesson on humility and respect. All is not lost with the young pupil of the Force just yet.

As it is, Mace Windu is a most complex character. I’m looking forward to uncovering his complicated and faceted story, and watching as Mace Windu becomes more intricate and ambiguous as time goes on.

Every good hero needs a tragic flaw, and in this first encounter with Mace Windu I think his is rather evident.

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