3 Reasons to Expect a Mace Windu Comeback in 'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker'

A new fan theory suggests Master Windu didn’t die in ‘Revenge of the Sith’, but even if he did, a surprise appearance from Samuel L. Jackson in ‘Episode IX’ makes sense for other reasons.

In Attack of the Clones, Jedi Master Mace Windu said “This party’s over!” but what if the Samuel L. Jackson party is just getting started? Could Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker pull the most unexpected cameo of all time and bring Mace Windu back just in time to close out the saga? It might be a long shot — or the fan version of wishful thinking — but talking about Jackson returning to Star Wars at the 11th hour isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Here are three reasons to expect a Mace Windu appearance in Episode IX.

Speculative spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead.

Mace versus Palpatine
Mace versus Palpatine

3. Mace Windu Might Have Survived That Fall

Last week, Reddit user u/shahkabra outlined their theory as to why Mace Windu did not die after being thrown out of a window by Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. The basic points of the theory make sense: Nobody has ever died from Force lightning and Jedi (and Sith) can generally survive falls from great heights. To put it another way, Leia was blown-out into the vacuum of space in The Last Jedi and she survived. Mace Windu is at least as powerful as Leia, right? And Darth Maul came back from surviving a great fall, too.

The theory has picked-up some traction online, too, garnering support from a few online publications, but, really, the idea that Mace Windu is maybe alive is hardly breaking news. Back in 2017, Samuel L. Jackson himself insisted that his character was not dead, saying, emphatically during Star Wars Celebration 2017: “We all know Jedi can fall from great heights and survive. … I am not dead!” So, really, the origin of this fan theory isn’t Reddit, but Samuel L. Jackson himself.

Nick Fury Marvel
Everyone loves this guy.

2. Mace Windu Appearing in The Rise of Skywalker Would Be a Smart Move for Disney and Lucasfilm

Since the Star Wars prequels, Samuel L. Jackson has arguably become known to a new generation of moviegoers, not for his roles in films like Pulp Fiction or The Long Kiss Goodnight, but instead, as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The most recent Spider-Man film, Far From Home even had Nick Fury making a sly Star Wars joke, a sort of perfect reference to the idea that Sam Jackson is a huge part of both franchises. The point is, even if you’re still a prequel hater, there’s no way you hate Samuel L. Jackson. So, if Lucasfilm did bring back Mace Windu for The Rise of Skywalker, it would be a zeitgeist coup. It could neatly fulfill the promise to “unite the trilogies,” by bringing in a representative of the prequel films who is universally beloved by everyone.

Plus, there would be a certain symmetry to bringing back Mace Windu. Other than Anakin and Yoda, the last Jedi who fought Palpatine prior to his rise to power was, Mace Windu. And just like Palpatine, we thought Mace died from a fall. So, if Palpatine is back, why can’t Mace come back, too? (Plus, there’s that pesky theory that Mace Windu is secretly Snoke, but let’s try not to think about that, shall we?)

Come at me, Palps!
Come at me, Palps!

1. Mace Windu Doesn’t Need to Be Alive to Appear in The Rise of Skywalker

Obviously, it’s fun to debate whether or not Mace survived the fall in Revenge of the Sith or the effectiveness of Force-lightning (I mean, the Emperor was trying to kill Luke with it in Return of the Jedi, duh) but all of this is kind of moot when you consider that Mace Windu doesn’t need to be alive in order to pop-up in the last installment of the Skywalker saga. Being dead isn’t preventing Luke Skywalker or Emperor Palpatine from hitting up this movie either. (To say nothing of maybe Yoda, and you know, the ghost of Darth Vader, too.)

The point is, The Rise of Skywalker could end up being the Star Wars film haunted by the most ghosts. Apparently, some of George Lucas’s original plans for a sequel trilogy included battles taking place on a metaphysical plane of existence. If any of those ideas make it into The Rise of Skywalker, a full-on ghost war isn’t out of the question, which could, of course, include Mace Windu.

Finally, the sequel trilogy has made pretty liberal use of flashbacks and dream-like Force visions. Which, is yet another way for Mace Windu to be in the movie. If Palpatine is back, there’s a chance he might want to relive his most famous moments of triumph, including his dangerous tango with Mace Windu high above the city streets of Coruscant.


Star Wars: The Rise of Mace Windu Skywalker is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.