The source of AD-W4’s mission to Hissrich is revealed in Mace Windu #3.
This article discusses plot elements of Mace Windu: Jedi of the Republic #3.
Mace Windu #3
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
If a mercenary is on a mission, then he must have a benefactor. In the pages of Mace Windu #3, readers learn how General Grievous recruited AD-W4, the mercenary droid, to lead Separatist forces on Hissrich. When the action returns to the present, Mace Windu continues his mission against the Separatists on Hissrich with the assistance of Rissa Mano. Meanwhile, Kit Fisto and Prosset Dibs deal with the aftermath of the Separatist assault on the underground city of the native Hissrich population. However, Prosset senses an ulterior motive of the Jedi High Council, and as Mace Windu #3 concludes, he physically confronts Mace over his doubts.
AD-W4 – The Mercenary Droid
AD-W4 is not the first mercenary style droid appearing in the Star Wars galaxy. The bounty hunter IG-88 is the most notable example of a droid with a profit motive. However, AD-W4 might as well not be a droid. Compare him to General Grievous. The Separatist general is a cyborg. Therefore, when he speaks of his hatred for the Jedi and his desire to lead and conquer, there is a sentient being with its own desires behind those statements.
By contrast, AD-W4 is a droid. He has no organic background readers know of. He sounds nothing like a droid. In fact, if one extracted his dialogue from this issue, they could easily replace him with a Hutt or other gangster and it would make perfect sense.
In addition, AD-W4 is a caricature of Grievous in some ways. Primarily, he echoes Grievous’s disdain for the B1 battle droids. He hates their lack of intelligence, their insistence on calling him by rank or name, and their existence in general. AD-W4 insists on shooting them for the slightest provocation. It is cruelty for the sake of cruelty with no real purpose. Plus, the effect lacks humor unlike the fate of the droids in Clone Wars. Overall, AD-W4 seems he could be handled better.
The Internal Conflict of the Jedi
A recurrent theme of stories with the Clone Wars as a backdrop is the role of the Jedi in the war. For instance, Padme questioned Anakin about their role in the war in Revenge of the Sith. More than one episode of The Clone Wars included clones and Jedi, such as Barriss Offee, questioning the Jedi’s function and which side was in the right. The Mace Windu series echoes this series. First, Mace himself questioned the Jedi’s involvement in the first issue. Now, Prosset Dibs calls Mace’s motivations into question.
However, Prosset makes unfounded accusations. After Prosset and Kit rendezvous with Mace and Rissa, Prosset accuses Mace and the Jedi Council of corruption. In addition, he accuses Mace of a literal power grab on Hissrich. His accusation is that the Jedi knew of the organic power source on Hissrich, and they wanted it. The people of Hissrich are “acceptable” casualties of war being fought in the name of a larger peace. He won’t have it, and he attacks Mace Windu. Of course, Mace refuses to entertain such ludicrous accusations. In response, Prosset ignites his lightsaber and threatens to end Mace’s deceptions by ending his life.
This storyline doesn’t make the most sense. Prosset doubts the role of the Jedi in the war. That is fine. That makes sense. However, his accusations aren’t based on any evidence he gathered during this mission. It seems very sudden. Furthermore, he offers Mace no real opportunity to explain himself. Also, he offers no real evidence other than suspicions. Perhaps there is another plot line at work here, such as Prosset is actually a traitor (pure speculation), but this is unconvincing as it.
Concluding Thoughts on Mace Windu #3
Despite some if its flaws, Mace Windu #3 does have some redeeming features. Even though Prosset’s accusations seem unfounded, he is a more interesting character as a skeptic and adversary within the Jedi Order. AD-W4 has potential as a new droid character. However, that potential has little opportunity for fulfillment unless he survives this series, but what reason is there for him to do so?
Also, the art at the end of the issue where Prosset confronts Mace is some of the best in the series so far. Mace doubled over in the rain rejecting Prosset’s lunacy is a fantastic panel. Plus, the close-up panels of Prosset and Mace’s hands reaching for their sabers adds a cinematic touch. Add the concern of Rissa and Kit’s remorseful resolve to see this argument through, and the scene has potential. Even the dialogue finds the right dramatic balance, which has been an issue in the series overall.
Unfortunately, the overall story is collapsing under the weight of the clunky dialogue, AD-W4’s unusual portrayal, and unclear philosophical differences among the Jedi. There are still two issues left, and perhaps the later issues will tie all these elements together. It seems as if there is a twist still yet to come in this story.