Mace Windu #1 Review

by Dennis Keithly

A reluctant and thoughtful Mace Windu leads a Jedi strike team on a Clone Wars era mission in Mace Windu #1.

This article discusses plot elements of Mace Windu: Jedi of the Republic #1.

Mace Windu #1 Cover

Mace Windu #1

Writer: Matt Owens | Penciler: Denys Cowan | Inker: Roberto Poggi | Color Artist: Guru-eFX | Cover Artist: Jesus Saiz | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna | Assistant Editors: Heather Antos & Charles Beacham | Editor: Jordan D. White

A Reluctant Jedi Master

Mace always had a militant reputation. Many episodes of The Clone Wars focused on his fighting prowess. In fact, he was the Jedi often leading the fight. For instance, in Attack of the Clones, it was Mace Windu that lead the Jedi into the arena on Geonosis. Then he and Yoda commanded the clone armies in the succeeding battle. Therefore, it is somewhat surprising that Mace is a reluctant warrior in Mace Windu #1. In the opening pages of this new mini-series, Mace contemplates the Jedi’s new role as generals in this galactic war. He is very reluctant. During a holo-conversation with Ki-Adi Mundi, he notes the Jedi’s role as champions of peace and protectors of life. He laments that sometimes this means the Jedi must become a sword instead of a shield. This theme of seeing Mace in a new light resurfaces throughout the debut issue of Mace Windu: Jedi of the Republic.

Mace Windu Receives a Mission

In every one of the prequel movies and in The Clone Wars, the stories always portray Mace Windu as a member of the senior counsel. He assigned Jedi their missions with the assistance of the other masters on the Jedi Council. However, Mace Windu #1 turns the tables on him.

Mace finds himself standing before the council. In a surprising move, the council assigns him a mission this time. There is concern on the council that the Separatists are gaining a foothold in the Outer Rim with expansion to the Core to follow. Mace must lead a team of Jedi to investigate Separatist activity on the Outer Rim planet of Hissrich. In addition, there is a clandestine mission, and so no Clone support is available.

Mace Windu #1 - Mace and Yoda confer

The Jedi Team

Mace believes the Jedi are more than up to the task. Therefore, he assembles his team. Up first is a familiar face, Kit Fisto. Mace selects him for his bravery, combat skills, and environmental ruggedness. Next is Prosett Dibs. Mace selected Jedi Dibs because of his insight, gained at the expense of his eyesight, into the Force. Finally, Rissa Mano rounds out the team. Rissa is a young Devaronian lady that recently became a Jedi Knight. Mace notes her skills in engineering, piloting, and battle as her assets.

The addition of two new, never before seen Jedi adds suspense to this series. This story takes place early in the Clone Wars—practically right after the Battle of Geonosis. Star Wars fans know Mace and Kit survive until Revenge of the Sith. Any suspense this story might generate gets diffused by that knowledge. However, with new characters with unknown fates, some degree of suspense exists.

Windu’s Doubts

Another crack in the mystique of Mace Windu emerges after the meeting with the High Council. Yoda and Mace have a brief conversation. Yoda attempts to counsel Mace. He notes Mace’s troubled mind, and then reassures Mace in the face of his doubts. The diminutive Jedi Master further reminds Mace that the Force tests them, but it always leads them where it needs them. Mace takes this advice to heart, and reminds Prosset later that the Force leads them where they are meant to be.

Mace Windu #1 - Battle Droids

The Mission Planetside

Hissrich is a dark and foreboding planet. The Jedi don special gear designed for concealment and body temperature control. Prosset revisits the discussion about the role of the Jedi. Like Mace earlier, he feels unsure of his path. He believes the Force is testing the Jedi. Mace reminds him they must trust in the Force, and it will guide them where they need to be.

Before long, the Jedi find a droid patrol and combat ensues. The Battle Droids deliver humor in their discussion among themselves at a level a bit above those in The Clone Wars. The Jedi quickly prevail, and then some of the inhabitants of Hissrich arrive.

The scene shifts as a surviving Battle Droid reports into his commander. The droid reports on Mace and the other Jedi, and the issue concludes with the reveal of the Separatist commander, a mercenary droid with the designation of AD-W4.

The Art of Mace Windu #1

Denys Cowan developed an interesting new look for the Jedi. Simply put, their dark environmental gear makes them look tough and menacing. In addition, AD-W4 is a fantastic addition to this story. This droid mercenary was a great development by Matt Owens (writer for the Netflix’s Luke Cage and writer and editor for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Cowan did very well in bringing him to life with his art. It is a very different style from other Star Wars titles by Marvel, and it may take some getting used to. However, it lends itself to combat scenes very well.

Mace Windu #1 - Mace in Action

Concluding Thoughts on Mace Windu #1

Mace Windu #1 portrays the Jedi Master in a new light. Windu frequently faces criticism as too detached and lacking compassion. However, Mace Windu #1 makes clear that Mace has doubts and concerns. This galactic war is new territory for him and his generation of Jedi. He is not a war monger. In fact, the war and the Jedi’s role in it greatly concerns him. Regardless, as defenders of life, peace, and the Republic, the Jedi have a responsibility. Mace knows he must see it through. This is the second comic series by Marvel featuring the Jedi during the Republic era. However, it is the first set during the Clone Wars. Although this territory is covered thoroughly in the animated series, this issue proves there is still room for new, engaging tales.

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