PT Did Mace Windu really defeat Palpatine?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Graves101, May 2, 2013.

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  1. Graves101 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2013
    star 1
    This is something of debate that has been discreetly going on for years, but I can't help but suspect Mace Windu didn't really defeat Palpatine (in a combat sense). It's kind of strange to see Palpatine overwhelm Yoda in almost every way during their later duel, but in the case of Mace Windu, he conveniently goofed off when Anakin was arriving. It was also shown during his duel with Yoda, he has absolutely no problem with having no lightsaber.

    Now, notice how when Palpatine is launching Force Lightning at Mace Windu he's acting all weak and pitiful, but the minute Windu loses his hand, he bursts him with lightning so intense it lit up his skeleton?

    It kind of really makes me wonder.
  2. The Supreme Chancellor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    Palpatine didn't overwhelm Yoda, in fact Yoda was countering everything he threw at him, he just happened to have better position in an awkward battleground. I don't think Palpatine was faking it, I don't think even he is powerful enough to playfight against Mace Windu.
  3. SlashMan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2012
    star 3
    Interesting topic, but there's no evidence to suggest either was in a position to win. Palpatine had his full arsenal of Force weapons, despite being cornered by a fully-armed Mace. The fact that Palpatine stopped trying in the presence of Anakin further confuses things.

    If I were to simply guess, I'd say Mace would beat him. The saber could inflict a quick kill, the lightning could not.
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  4. Master Jedi Macen Arren Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2013
    star 1
    It's probably something we'll never know for sure. But this is what I think of both fights.

    Firstly the fight between Yoda and Sidious. There was no difference between these guys, I believe the only reason Yoda ran was because a) He had lost his lightsaber and b) Sidious had the high ground. Yoda knew that even if he made up the height Sidious would just blast him with lightning over and over again, so without his lightsaber he knew it would be pointless to even try it.

    Now Windu vs Palpatine. Again there was no one that had a clear advantage in this fight, there lightsaber skills were evenly matched with nobody being able to gain the upper hand. Then Palps hits Mace with lightning which Mace holds off and then redirects it towards Palps causing him a lot of pain. At this point in time regardless of Anakin and what Palps knew, Mace is in control of the fight and has the clear advantage with Palps down and out. Then Anakin chops off Maces' arm and Palps hits him with lightning and it's see you later Mace.

    Now the debate is weather or not Palps knew Anakins' intentions?. Now lets not forget before the fight that Palps didn't know what Anakin was going to do, He'd planted the seeds of doubt in Anakins' mind, but was still unclear of his intentions. I believe that Mace won that fight because, a) The timing. Even if Palps knew Anakin was on his way to help him, He would have needed to get the timing perfect. So surely it would have made more sense from Palpss' point of view to wait until Anakin was in the room before being beaten by Mace (If I remember correctly, Mace had already beaten Palps as Anakin was entering the room).

    So for me the fight was as we saw it, Mace beating Palps, but then Anakin turning up distracting Mace giving Palps the opportunity to kill Mace.
  5. DukeW Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2013
    I'm not sure it's so clear cut.

    Palpatine could well have been in full control (though not necessarily without some effort), tailoring the duel while sensing Anakin approaching - something that is hardly implausible for a Force user. Similarly, I imagine getting timing right is not as precarious if someone is as skilled in the Force as Palpatine was.

    One thing I think is clear, Palpatine needed Anakin to be complicit in his killing of the council members and Mace, in order to complete his conversion.
    Last edited by DukeW, May 3, 2013
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  6. Chainmail_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2013
    star 2
    isn't the word of Lucas taken as gospel on the PT forums?

    He said Mace won. That should satisfy you.
  7. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
  8. DukeW Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2013
    You're right, it should
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  9. darth ladnar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    I think the following makes for a convincing case that Palpatine threw the fight:

    --Palpatine set up the fight by purposely revealing his Sith identity to Anakin. He certainly knew the Jedi would be coming for him and he must've foreseen (via the Force) that the Jedi would come with a force that he could easily handle and not threaten his life b/c if he couldn't predict what they were going to do or if he knew that they were sending a force he could not easily handle, then he would've brought in extra reinforcements to help (such as a clone troopers) or he simply would have allowed himself to be arrested (since he controls the courts). Not taking such precautions in the face of such "serious" risk (if it really were a serious risk) would indicate that Palpatine is a complete idiot, and we know that Palpatine is anything but an idiot. (He's also knows when he really is facing a challenge because he is isn't afraid to flee when Yoda challenges him, even though in the end, Palpatine slightly gets the better of him in their confrontation. Thus, even though Yoda didn't end up threatening his life, he was willing to flee, so if those 4 Jedi were really a threat to his life, he would have fled as well or had clones there as backup given that he setup the situation in the first place.)

    --Palpatine has an incredible ability to predict the future, so he could have certainly foreseen that the Jedi would send a force that he could handle and that Anakin would return. I could list the tons of ways he successfully predicts the future: using the Naboo crisis and the Clone War to gain power; knowing that Anakin is being asked to spy on him even though this request is made off the record; knowing about Anakin's nightmares and his secret marriage even though virtually everyone on the Council is ignorant of this; knowing tons of stuff that Vader can't sense, even stuff about his own kid like the fact that Luke will turn himself over to him; and here's the real the best of all: Palpatine knowing that Vader will respond to Luke's attempt to strike him down and even knowing that Vader will be fast enough to block Luke's saber (that's why Palpatine does nothing to defend himself). Yes, in the end, Palpatine ends up being wrong about a few things, but he's got to be wrong some time, or he'll never lose. (Plus, it was pretty much accepted wisdom that once you go to the dark side you're not coming back, so he had a pretty good reason to trust that Vader wouldn't turn on him. Yoda and Obi sure didn't think he would.)

    If he can predict that Vader will block Luke's killing strike, then I think it's clear that he would be able to predict the makeup of the Jedis sent to arrest him and know if he could handle them. In fact, if he can predict that Vader will block Luke's blow, then he should certainly be able to predict that Mace will disarm him in some way if Palpatine chooses to hesitate, and that's exactly what the novelization says that Palpatine does do just before he is disarmed--namely hesitate.

    --It would be an incredible coincidence that Mace disarms Palpatine just an instant before Anakin enters the room given that this is exactly what Palpatine wants Anakin to see. Before the encounter, Anakin says "I will quickly discover the truth of all of this." Remember Anakin has split allegiances and Palpatine has made him think that the Jedi are treasonous, so that's what Anakin is intending to discover the truth of. Palpatine encourages Anakin to do just this. Why would Palpatine encourage this if he didn't know he could manipulate the situation to appear as if the Jedi are traitorous? And what does Anakin just happen to see when he enters Palpatine's chambers? He sees Palpatine without a weapon to defend himself cowering in a corner with Mace approaching him pointing his lightsaber at his neck, and Palpatine's first words are: "Anakin I told you it would come to this." Again, remember Palpatine is a really smart guy (not an idiot) who chose to create this confrontation by encouraging Anakin to tell the Jedi that he was a Sith, and a really smart guy doesn't rely on an incredibly lucky coincidence to make it appear as if he is helpless and the Jedi treasonous. What a really smart guy does do is use his power of foresight and his superior swordplay to allow himself to be disarmed just as the guy he wants to convert is about to walk through the door.

    --Even if Palpatine did just happen to be disarmed at the most convenient of all times, Palpatine is still clearly faking weakness when using the Force lightning against Mace and Lucas even says so: "But this part where he, he pretends to lose his power and be weak was something that I added later, 'cause this is, it moved the point where Anakin turns down to this moment right here, and you can see now, that it's very clear that he's, he, he wants him to go on trial so he can pump him for information about how to get these powers.So, since Palpatine is holding back and pretends to look weak, he clearly could have held off Mace as long as he wanted or even disarmed him with his Force lightning. (Some have also argued against this, asking why Palpatine would allow himself to be disfigured. He has many reasons. Being disfigured makes him appear weaker and more helpless to Anakin, which encourages Anakin to intervene. (In fact, Palpatine may know that this is the straw that breaks the bantha's back for Anakin.) Being disfigured also provides compelling physical evidence to the Senate that the Jedi are treasonous and even murderous, and that helps garner senatorial support for the Jedi purge. Furthermore, Palpatine is not really even truly disfigured. He is merely allowing the Force mask that conceals his true appearance to drop. Force lightning doesn't disfigure Luke, and Force lightning doesn't cause manicured fingernails to turn into talons, blue eyes to turn yellow with a halo of red, and teeth to suddenly become in need of a good teeth cleaning, and all of these changes occur to Palpatine, so his lightning clearly wasn't really disfiguring him in the literal sense.)

    Palpatine's duel with Yoda shows just how powerful Palpatine's Force lightning really is. Palpatine is able to disarm Yoda, who is stronger in the Force than Mace (he has a higher midichlorian count) and, even if Mace is a better duelist than Yoda (which is not supported by the EU), Yoda's strength in grasping his lightsaber should be directly proportional to his strength in the Force, and thinking otherwise would be "judging him by his size." So, we must conclude that it is easier to disarm Mace, not Yoda. Also, watch the scene in which Yoda is disarmed. The Force lightning that Palpatine uses to disarm him is a much more concentrated and linear bolt unlike the wide diffuse lightning he uses against Mace. It even makes a louder sound. Some have also argued that Mace is holding his lightsaber with 2 hands, but this isn't the case at the beginning. Mace is holding the saber with one hand and pointing it in Palpatine's direction. He only grabs it with the both hands a full second after Palpatine has been blasting him with Force lightning, long past when Yoda was already disarmed in their duel.

    --Finally, I would add that Mace is not the Chosen One, and the Chosen One by prophecy is the only individual who can balance the Force, and bringing balance to the Force means destroying the Sith. GL states that Anakin is the Chosen One and that the prophecy is valid, so with 1 Sith left, that means Mace can't kill Palpatine at that point, since only the Chosen can destroy the Sith, and at that point, killing Palpatine would be equal to destroying the Sith.
    Last edited by darth ladnar, May 3, 2013
  10. darth ladnar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    Lucas also said that Anakin is the Chosen One, that the Chosen One is the only one who can bring balance to the Force, and that balancing the Force means destroying the Sith. (All of this is also established in the films.) He also says that Chosen One is a valid prophecy, and this is also shown to be true given the fact that Anakin does end up destroying the Sith. Since Palpatine is the only Sith at the time of his confrontation with Mace, and since killing Palpatine is equivalent to destroying the Sith, and since by Lucas's own words only the Chosen One can destroy the Sith, then we can very firmly conclude that Mace cannot kill Palpatine in this circumstance.

    I would also make the following argument to suggest that your interpretation of George Lucas's words is not the correct interpretation.

    I’ve already seen some using Lucas’s own statements used to argue that Mace defeated Palpatine (and also to argue that Palpatine defeated Mace too). In Lucas’s commentary for the ROTS DVD, Lucas casually says the following: "Okay, well, this sequence uh always started out with Mace overpowering Palpatine, and then Palpatine using his powers to try to destroy Mace, and Mace deflecting his rays with his lightsaber. And it always was that Anakin cut the lightsaber out of his hand. But this part where he, he pretends to lose his power and be weak was something that I added later, 'cause this is, it moved the point where Anakin turns down to this moment right here, and you can see now, that it's very clear that he's, he, he wants him to go on trial so he can pump him for information about how to get these powers.

    BTW, my understanding is that the following occurred in the scene when it was filmed the first time. Unlike the original script, Anakin was there for the whole thing. After fighting for a while, Palpatine lost his saber, which he took from Anakin (& supposedly in the final film you can see that in some shots he’s using Anakin’s light saber, not his own, since they only re-filmed some of it). Then, Palpatine, still on his feet, stood his ground using forcing lightning against Mace, but it was not reflected back at him. Instead, it was a standoff, and since the lightning didn’t arc back, Palpatine couldn’t fake that he was being disfigured. His face simply changed as he shows his true Sith nature. The standoff went on for a while, each asking Anakin for help, and finally convinced, Anakin stepped in and cut off Mace’s hand. Lucas, as well as Spielberg and others he showed it to, didn’t feel like Anakin had a strong enough reason to step in this earlier version, so Lucas re-staged it with Anakin coming in much later, with Palpatine on the floor, holding Mace off for a while with lightning, and then pretending to become so “weak” that he couldn’t go on. At this point, Lucas felt that Palpatine seemed so helpless that the audience would understand it when Anakin finally intervened. Intercepting Mace’s “death” stroke also gave Anakin a reason he had to act. If he did nothing, Palpatine would have “apparently” not been able to stop it himself (“apparently” because Palpatine was faking weakness). Again, I’m describing what was filmed the first time around, not what was in the original version of the ROTS screenplay or later versions of the screenplay. It also goes slightly differently in the novelization too.)

    For reasons I’ll state below, I don’t think Lucas’s commentary adds much to the discussion. As I said, this statement has been used by some to suggest that Palpatine threw the fight because in the final version (the version we see, so the ‘real’ version) he pretends to lose his power and be weak, thus he could have more fiercely used his Force lightning and disarmed Mace as he did Yoda or, at the very least, held Mace at bay as long as he needed (how it was in the original filmed version). This quote by Lucas, particularly what’s in bold, also supports this interpretation: It seemed to make a lot more sense to have him remain loyal to the Jedi as long as possible, which meant later on in the scene with the fight with Mace, we re-did that scene, and at first, there wasn’t the part where the Emperor gives up. He says, “Uh, you got me. You got me.” It was basically the scene without that where it just gets more intense, then finally Anakin breaks down and saves him, but it doesn’t have the same thing as that pause in there where you think that, and it also makes the Emperor a lot more slimy. It’s really fun too. It’s a fun dramatic thing to deal with.So, what makes Palpatine so slimy here? Well, it seems pretty slimy for Palpatine, when he could defend himself more vigorously, to pretend to be weak so that he can gain Anakin’s sympathy and so that he can reveal his true grotesque Sith form to the world at such at time that this apparent deformity appears to be caused by Mace’s “traitorous” act. Yeah, that’s hardcore slimy in my book.

    This commentary has also been used to suggest that Mace disarmed Palpatine on his own and that Palpatine did not allow this happen to himself. There is one really big problem with interpreting Lucas’s commentary in this way. The big problem is that it ignores the fact that Lucas never actually says in the commentary that Mace did in fact defeat him on his own and that Palpatine did not simply allow himself to be disarmed. The Making of the ROTS book states that Lucas purposefully wanted to leave the outcome of the fight ambiguous so that the fans could debate the matter, and since Lucas meant the scene to be ambiguous and probably also knew it would be controversial subject among fans, it seems logical that Lucas would specifically address this in a lot detail if he were really providing a final answer to this controversy. For instance, he would have said something like: “Some people think that Palpatine allowed himself to be disarmed and did not use his powers full force, but that’s not how I meant it. Mace really beats him fair and square.” However, Lucas says nothing like this even though he stated in “The Making of ROTS” that he meant the scene to be ambiguous. Actually, all he uses to describe the entire duel is a mere three words: “Mace overpowers Palpatine.” He never says: “Palpatine allows Mace to overpower him because it serves his ultimate goal of turning Anakin to the dark side” or “Even though many people think that Palpatine is allowing Mace to overpower him, this is not the case. Mace beats him on his own.” And again, this is a scene that Lucas says he intended to keep ambiguous. So, instead of just focusing on those three words that Lucas does say, I think it is much more important to focus on what Lucas is saying in its full context, since that context might allow us to understand why he so briefly describes the entire duel with just three words. If you do, I think you’ll see that Lucas is not giving a deep explanation of what is going on in the scene. Just look at why he’s saying what he’s saying. What he’s doing here is comparing the final version of the entire duel to the previous version I already described, so what he is saying is a this-versus-that comparison. In a very brief way, he is saying: this is the same, then this is the same, then this is the same, but then this part is different. He is not talking about intentions or hidden motivations, like for instance, that Palpatine was holding back allowing Mace to “overpower” him, or anything like that.

    To go further with this argument, let’s look at the commentary of another scene from ROTS in which we do know the subtext of the situation so that we can gain greater insight about the limits of what Lucas is saying here. The plot to kidnap Palpatine is very complex, involving many layers of deception. Palpatine has orchestrated the entire situation to create an opportunity to test Anakin. He wants to determine if Anakin is powerful and angry enough to be turned to a Sith. To manipulate the situation so that Anakin and Dooku will meet in combat, Palpatine, in one way or another, deceives both his apparent captors as well as his apparent rescuers; Grievous and Dooku are also each deceived in different ways from the other.

    Grievous is unaware that Palpatine and Darth Sidious are one in the same, and he believes that he is truly on a mission to kidnap and hold the chancellor prisoner. (Whenever Grievous speaks with Palpatine via hologram, Palpatine’s face is always hidden in shadows and Palpatine is always dressed as Sidious. He’s not simply appearing in this way because he thinks he looks snazzier in this garb. He’s keeping Grievous just as clueless of his own real identity as Nute Gunray is.) Unlike Grievous, Dooku is aware that Darth Sidious really is Palpatine. So unlike Grievous, he knows that the kidnap plot is simply a ruse and that Palpatine does not really need to be rescued since he orchestrated the kidnapping in the first place. However, during the action on Grievous’s command ship, the Invisible Hand, Grievous’s behavior and dialogue reveals that he is clearly not in on the plot. These instances are understated, but when analyzed, they make Grievous’s behavior irrational if he really knew Palpatine’s true identity and the true substance of his kidnapping plot. For instance, if Grievous were aware of Palpatine’s scheme, then he would not have captured Anakin and Obi-Wan as they were escaping with Palpatine, since Anakin was meant to rescue Palpatine all along. A similar rationale explains Grievous’s behavior on the Invisible Hand’s bridge. If he knew that Palpatine was Darth Sidious, then it is doubtful that he would have shattered the window of the bridge and escaped into the vacuum of space, since doing so not only could have placed the life of Darth Sidious, his master, in jeopardy but also left his master stranded on a ship apparently destined to be destroyed in a crash landing. Also, Grievous’s dialogue gives a hint that he is not fully aware of Palpatine’s scheme. When he is informed that two Jedi have just boarded the ship, Grievous says: “Just as Count Dooku predicted.” If he were aware of the Palpatine’s scheme, he would have made a statement that indicates that their arrival is merely the inevitable next step in the plan. His comment, instead, suggests that Dooku had previously told him what he predicted the next move of the Jedi would be, but if Grievous were in on it, then Dooku would have simply told him what would happen next in the plan rather than giving Grievous his “prediction,” which would disguise the fact from Grievous that Dooku already knew exactly what the Jedi would do.

    While Dooku knows more than Grievous, Palpatine still keeps some very vital information away from Dooku, as well. Dooku does know that Palpatine intends to test Anakin’s skills in combat and turn him to the dark side, but what he doesn’t know is that, as part of Palpatine’s plan, Anakin will prove himself worthy by actually killing Dooku, himself. (Had Dooku learned of this part of the plan, he probably would have been a little less likely to participate in it.) Dooku had expected Palpatine to intervene if his life was threatened. Also, Anakin and Obi-Wan are fully deceived and truly believe that Palpatine is a helpless captive of Dooku and Grievous, and that they are saving him.

    So, this is a pretty complicated plan that’s going on here. Dooku knows Palpatine’s identity, and he’s aware of the plan, but he’s deceived about the fact that the plan could end in his death. At the same time, Grievous does not know that Darth Sidious is Palpatine’s real identity, and so he believes that he has captured Palpatine against his will and that he must prevent the Jedi from saving him. Finally, Anakin and Obi-Wan are totally clueless about everything. Knowing all this, let’s now look at how far Lucas goes to explain the complexity of this scenario. If you listen to the entire commentary, you find that Lucas only addresses and explains a single aspect of this elaborate plan and nothing more: Dooku’s ignorance that he might die in combat. Lucas says: “In this particular case, the idea is that Palpatine is testing Anakin to see if he’s strong enough to become his apprentice, and he doesn’t tell Dooku what he’s actually up to. Dooku thinks he’s just going to fight him, but the whole thing is a setup by the Emperor to test Anakin’s strength, and when Anakin is strong enough, which he proves to be by killing Dooku, then the Emperor is ready to convert him over to the dark side to become his new apprentice.” This and this alone is the only point of the plan that Lucas explains to the audience. He does not clarify any other of the multiple layers of deception going on in Palpatine’s hostage plan. The opening scrawl of the film even states: “In a stunning move, the fiendish droid leader, General Grievous, has swept into the Republic capital, and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate.” So, if were going by what Lucas tells us in the scrawl and reveals in his commentary, we would have to conclude that Palpatine really is a helpless captive of Grievous when we know just the opposite – that the kidnapping is only a ploy and that Palpatine could have killed Grievous quite easily to prevent the entire thing or escaped at any time if he really wanted to. Lucas’s choice not to address this as well as the many other aspects of Palpatin’e plan also indicates that Lucas does not mind leaving it to the audience to figure out what’s going on in large portions of his films.

    The third thing we should recognize after hearing Lucas’s commentary is that when Lucas wants to be explanatory and not just descriptive, his explanations are very detailed and elaborate because he intends to make himself completely clear. Just compare the commentary about Mace’s duel with Palpatine where Lucas only says “Mace overpowers Palpatine” to Dooku’s death scene, where Lucas says a great length: “In this particular case, the idea is that Palpatine is testing Anakin to see if he’s strong enough to become his apprentice, and he doesn’t tell Dooku what he’s actually up to. Dooku thinks he’s just going to fight him, but the whole thing is a setup by the Emperor to test Anakin’s strength, and when Anakin is strong enough, which he proves to be by killing Dooku, then the Emperor is ready to convert him over to the dark side to become his new apprentice.” As I pointed out earlier, if Lucas wanted to clarify whether Palpatine threw the duel or Mace won it fair and square, then he would have given a very long and complex explanation, so that all uncertainty about the proper interpretation is eliminated, and that’s exactly what we do hear in his commentary about what’s really going on between Palpatine and Dooku, and that’s exactly what we don’t hear in Lucas’s commentary during the Palpatine-Mace duel.

    In both cases of commentary, Lucas is merely giving a descriptive account of what the viewer sees happening in a scene, not an explanatory one, but since Lucas chooses to speak in a descriptive manner about the duel between Mace and Palpatine, then from the commentary alone, we don’t know whether Palpatine is throwing the duel or not. And there is also a very good reason why Lucas does not go into greater detail about what is really occurring in their duel, since as I pointed out above, Lucas purposefully wanted to leave the outcome of the fight ambiguous so that the fans could debate the matter. Well, this in itself is a pretty strong indication that Lucas is merely being descriptive when speaking about their duel during his DVD commentary, since giving us the answer would ruin the ambiguity and our opportunity to debate it. Furthermore, since Lucas had acknowledged that the scene is ambiguous and he said sometime before April 2005 (when “The Making of ROTS” was released) that he specifically wanted to leave it that way, it seems strange that he suddenly changed his mind in November of 2005, when the DVD was released, and that he then wanted to settle the issue in the DVD commentary, especially since in the commentary he doesn’t even mention the ambiguity of the scene that Lucas acknowledges he intended to create when making the film, and since the ambiguity of the scene was so important to Lucas in the first place, you’d think he’d at least mention that the scene can be interpreted different ways depending on the viewer’s perspective, and that he was simply revealing in the commentary how he interpreted the scene himself. What is more, it seems even stranger that Lucas would try to settle something he was intending to keep ambiguous by making a vague and brief three-word statement that could so easily be interpreted as only being descriptive, which makes his commentary ambiguous in itself, so again, his commentary really wouldn’t settle anything given that the commentary’s own meaning is ambiguous, and since Lucas would also be aware that his commentary is ambiguous, you have to assume that Lucas isn’t trying to settle anything here because if he were, he’d realize that he should give a comment that is more detailed and explanatory in nature, and probably he’d also acknowledge that he is giving the answer to an issue that has become a subject of discussion, which is really what Lucas apparently wanted all along, as he said he originally intended the scene to remain a subject of discussion for viewers to discuss without an obvious answer, so again, why would he be providing an answer to it all at this point? And if for some weird reason he did after just 6 months’ time choose to provide an answer to something that he said he intended to leave ambiguous just 6 months earlier, why would he do so in such an unclear manner? (Follow all that? I’m not sure I did.)

    Anyway, in a nutshell, if Lucas were really intending to settle any ambiguity with his commentary, he would have been much clearer and detailed about how he spoke about the topic, he would have mentioned that he initially meant the scene to be ambiguous, and he would have said that he’s now decided to clarify any ambiguity with his commentary, and since Lucas does none of these things, really what he does end up saying amounts to nothing more than a descriptive account equal to what you are seeing with your own 2 eyes when you watch the scene, and that doesn’t tell anything about how much effort Palpatine is putting into his combat – i.e. going all out or throwing the fight.



    Well, I’m done now. I hope I haven’t broken your forum.
    Last edited by darth ladnar, May 3, 2013
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  11. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I didn't read everything you posted, so I'll just reply to this. I think it could also be said that Palpatine knew the Jedi were coming for him, knew he was no match for them, and knew that his only chance was to turn Anakin to his side. And the Jedi were going to go arrest Palpatine even without Anakin revealing his true identity as Darth Sidious (Labyrinth of Evil and ROTS novelization give some good context on this). In any case I think the whole story works better if Palpatine, for all his genius scheming, is ultimately no match for the Jedi and needs Anakin in order to bring his plans to fruition.
  12. MRCynical Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2008
    star 1
    In the film, Palpatine has a clear opportunity to stick his saber through Mace Windu's chest and doesn't take it. He was stalling.
  13. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    I feel that both Mace or Palpatine were powerful enough to end up as the victor.
  14. Skelter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 1
    Mace won.. Its been 8 years, and people still dont get it..wow.
  15. Ambervikings91 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2012
    star 2
    Yep, and palpatine wouldn't have put himself in that position on purpose. Mace Windu beat him, end of story
  16. GGrievous Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2005
    star 5
    Fixed :p
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  17. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    Where is this victory that people speak of? Or the agony of Palpatine's defeat?

    I still cannot figure out how anyone thinks Mace won anything, when he ended up dead.

    Wasn't THAT Palpatine's plan all along? To kill those who came to arrest him?

    Who cares if Anakin helped or not, when it's the end result that matters?
    Like Darth Bane said, "Honor is for the living. Dead is dead."

    Mace outmaneuvered and disarmed Palpatine, then died anyways.
    Some victory.
    Last edited by SithStarSlayer, May 4, 2013
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  18. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    My 2 cents: Palps could have squashed Mace at any moment. He knew Anakin was coming, and took the burns to mess with Anakin's head.

    That's the camp I'm siding with in this argument.

    This may piss off those that disagree, but oh well... welcome to the internet.
  19. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Sidious is an evil mastermind. He could have let Mace win so he could tun the tables on the Jedi.
  20. darth ladnar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    If it's so easy to "get," please take the time to refute the following points. (It should be easy since it's so easy to "get.") And if you want to resort to GL said it, I would refer you to post #10 (which shows that's not what he meant) and I would also point out that GL says that only the Chosen One can destroy the Sith and that Anakin is the Chosen One means that Mace can't kill Palpatine at that point. I would also point out that GL can give his interpretation, but even he states definitively that Mace did beat Palpatine (which he didn't) GL still can't contradict what we see on screen. (He can't tell us that Yoda is 6 feet tall when he's only 2 feet given what we see on screen.) The following points are based on what we see on screen, and I think they are pretty hard to resort without having to argue that Palpatine is a complete idiot; that Palpatine wouldn't have the ability to predict how it would all go even though he has the ability to predict the most precise things -- things more precise than the outcome of a duel or what Mace will do if given the opportunity by Palpatine; that Palpatine is defeated even though he is clearly faking weakness b/c he bursts back to life the second Mace is disarmed; that Palpatine can't disarm Mace with his lightning even though he can disarm the more powerful Jedi Yoda with a lightning blast; etc. All of these points are fully expanded on below.

    --Palpatine set up the fight by purposely revealing his Sith identity to Anakin. He certainly knew the Jedi would be coming for him and he must've foreseen (via the Force) that the Jedi would come with a force that he could easily handle and not threaten his life b/c if he couldn't predict what they were going to do or if he knew that they were sending a force he could not easily handle, then he would've brought in extra reinforcements to help (such as a clone troopers) or he simply would have allowed himself to be arrested (since he controls the courts). Not taking such precautions in the face of such "serious" risk (if it really were a serious risk) would indicate that Palpatine is a complete idiot, and we know that Palpatine is anything but an idiot. (He's also knows when he really is facing a challenge because he is isn't afraid to flee when Yoda challenges him, even though in the end, Palpatine slightly gets the better of him in their confrontation. Thus, even though Yoda didn't end up threatening his life, he was willing to flee, so if those 4 Jedi were really a threat to his life, he would have fled as well or had clones there as backup given that he setup the situation in the first place.)

    --Palpatine has an incredible ability to predict the future, so he could have certainly foreseen that the Jedi would send a force that he could handle and that Anakin would return. I could list the tons of ways he successfully predicts the future: using the Naboo crisis and the Clone War to gain power; knowing that Anakin is being asked to spy on him even though this request is made off the record; knowing about Anakin's nightmares and his secret marriage even though virtually everyone on the Council is ignorant of this; knowing tons of stuff that Vader can't sense, even stuff about his own kid like the fact that Luke will turn himself over to him; and here's the real the best of all: Palpatine knowing that Vader will respond to Luke's attempt to strike him down and even knowing that Vader will be fast enough to block Luke's saber (that's why Palpatine does nothing to defend himself). Yes, in the end, Palpatine ends up being wrong about a few things, but he's got to be wrong some time, or he'll never lose. (Plus, it was pretty much accepted wisdom that once you go to the dark side you're not coming back, so he had a pretty good reason to trust that Vader wouldn't turn on him. Yoda and Obi sure didn't think he would.)

    If he can predict that Vader will block Luke's killing strike, then I think it's clear that he would be able to predict the makeup of the Jedis sent to arrest him and know if he could handle them. In fact, if he can predict that Vader will block Luke's blow, then he should certainly be able to predict that Mace will disarm him in some way if Palpatine chooses to hesitate, and that's exactly what the novelization says that Palpatine does do just before he is disarmed--namely hesitate.

    --It would be an incredible coincidence that Mace disarms Palpatine just an instant before Anakin enters the room given that this is exactly what Palpatine wants Anakin to see. Before the encounter, Anakin says "I will quickly discover the truth of all of this." Remember Anakin has split allegiances and Palpatine has made him think that the Jedi are treasonous, so that's what Anakin is intending to discover the truth of. Palpatine encourages Anakin to do just this. Why would Palpatine encourage this if he didn't know he could manipulate the situation to appear as if the Jedi are traitorous? And what does Anakin just happen to see when he enters Palpatine's chambers? He sees Palpatine without a weapon to defend himself cowering in a corner with Mace approaching him pointing his lightsaber at his neck, and Palpatine's first words are: "Anakin I told you it would come to this." Again, remember Palpatine is a really smart guy (not an idiot) who chose to create this confrontation by encouraging Anakin to tell the Jedi that he was a Sith, and a really smart guy doesn't rely on an incredibly lucky coincidence to make it appear as if he is helpless and the Jedi treasonous. What a really smart guy does do is use his power of foresight and his superior swordplay to allow himself to be disarmed just as the guy he wants to convert is about to walk through the door.

    --Even if Palpatine did just happen to be disarmed at the most convenient of all times, Palpatine is still clearly faking weakness when using the Force lightning against Mace and Lucas even says so: "But this part where he, he pretends to lose his power and be weak was something that I added later, 'cause this is, it moved the point where Anakin turns down to this moment right here, and you can see now, that it's very clear that he's, he, he wants him to go on trial so he can pump him for information about how to get these powers.So, since Palpatine is holding back and pretends to look weak, he clearly could have held off Mace as long as he wanted or even disarmed him with his Force lightning. (Some have also argued against this, asking why Palpatine would allow himself to be disfigured. He has many reasons. Being disfigured makes him appear weaker and more helpless to Anakin, which encourages Anakin to intervene. (In fact, Palpatine may know that this is the straw that breaks the bantha's back for Anakin.) Being disfigured also provides compelling physical evidence to the Senate that the Jedi are treasonous and even murderous, and that helps garner senatorial support for the Jedi purge. Furthermore, Palpatine is not really even truly disfigured. He is merely allowing the Force mask that conceals his true appearance to drop. Force lightning doesn't disfigure Luke, and Force lightning doesn't cause manicured fingernails to turn into talons, blue eyes to turn yellow with a halo of red, and teeth to suddenly become in need of a good teeth cleaning, and all of these changes occur to Palpatine, so his lightning clearly wasn't really disfiguring him in the literal sense.)

    Palpatine's duel with Yoda shows just how powerful Palpatine's Force lightning really is. Palpatine is able to disarm Yoda, who is stronger in the Force than Mace (he has a higher midichlorian count) and, even if Mace is a better duelist than Yoda (which is not supported by the EU), Yoda's strength in grasping his lightsaber should be directly proportional to his strength in the Force, and thinking otherwise would be "judging him by his size." So, we must conclude that it is easier to disarm Mace, not Yoda. Also, watch the scene in which Yoda is disarmed. The Force lightning that Palpatine uses to disarm him is a much more concentrated and linear bolt unlike the wide diffuse lightning he uses against Mace. It even makes a louder sound. Some have also argued that Mace is holding his lightsaber with 2 hands, but this isn't the case at the beginning. Mace is holding the saber with one hand and pointing it in Palpatine's direction. He only grabs it with the both hands a full second after Palpatine has been blasting him with Force lightning, long past when Yoda was already disarmed in their duel.

    --Finally, I would add that Mace is not the Chosen One, and the Chosen One by prophecy is the only individual who can balance the Force, and bringing balance to the Force means destroying the Sith. GL states that Anakin is the Chosen One and that the prophecy is valid, so with 1 Sith left, that means Mace can't kill Palpatine at that point, since only the Chosen can destroy the Sith, and at that point, killing Palpatine would be equal to destroying the Sith. Of course we really don't have to rely on GL here since in ROTJ we see Anakin fulfilling the prophecy.
    Last edited by darth ladnar, May 4, 2013
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  21. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    And the "Palpatine threw the fight" crowd never fails to mention this, but it's a strawman. It is not in dispute that Palpatine was "faking" when it comes to the issue of the lightning. The question is what happened in the lightsaber battle. One does not get you the other, they're not a package deal.

    Because people don't tend to talk like that. When you say someone did something, you don't feel the need to constantly qualify it with things like "on his own". The problem is that those who don't believe in the viewpoint expressed by Lucas are trying to hold his dialogue to an unreasonable standard. Lucas is famously not the most verbose person in the world, to put it mildly ( as Carrie Fisher mentioned on another commentary ). He doesn't specialize in long and complex explanations. In the case of Dooku, there was no real controversy there. He probably thought "Mace overpowers Palpatine" was clear enough without adding an "ON HIS OWN". I mean, where does it stop? If Lucas had bent over backwards he just would have been subjected to an even more unrealistic standard: "Mace REALLY overpowered Palpatine ON HIS OWN, FOR REAL, I'M SERIOUS, just so you don't get the wrong idea and mistake my last-minute decision to not use stunt doubles for something else, it was ALL ON HIS OWN, and that isn't a reference to what Anakin is supposed to think, hold on, I can feel you getting the wrong idea again! ON HIS OWN!!!!"

    In the same commentary Lucas says that Palpatine is trying to destroy Mace before Anakin intervenes. But I suppose this can be thrown out along with anything else Lucas says. Why not? When the fan base has gone so far as to throw the sides of the Force under the bus, why not continue to ignore Lucas completely?

    Irrelevant in this context. No prophecy is guaranteed to be correct, there is doubt in ROTS among the Jedi regarding the prophecy and Anakin's role in it, and Mace clearly decides to try to destroy Palpatine at one point.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, May 4, 2013
  22. Skelter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 1
    I dont have to refute anything Lucas words>>>>>>>>Whatever you think...Thats more than enough for me.
    [Then there is no need to say more, comment removed. ~Sx3].
    Last edited by SithStarSlayer, May 9, 2013
  23. Darth Dominikkus Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2013
    star 3
    When someone "wins" a battle, usually they walk away from that battle. Mace ended up dead in the city streets. Though he brought Palpatine to a weak point and left him scarred, Sidious ended up living till the end of the Second Death Star, Mace died before the Empire even rose up. Palpatine won that battle.
  24. The Supreme Chancellor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    Dredalus likes this.
  25. darth ladnar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    I agree with you on this, and I make this distinction in my argument. I admit that Mace may have defeated Palpatine in the duel. I simply say that this would be an incredible coincidence given that it serves Palpatine's purposes so well (looking helpless, making it seem as if Mace has attacked a disarmed man, leaving his deformed to create sympathy for him in the Senate, confirming in Anakin's mind what Palpatine hoped the scene would suggest -- that the Jedi are treasonous, etc). I also argue that Palpatine seems to have the power to know what happens given that his skill of foresight is incredibly strong, so strong that he can predict that Vader would be fast enough to block Luke's killing blow. However, in the end, I do accept that this would be a valid interpretation of the scene as long as whoever holds this view recognizes that the scene presents a very lucky coincidence for Palpatine at the same time.

    My point is that Mace wouldn't have been able to overcome Palpatine's lightning. 1st, it's very clear that Palpatine is faking weakness because he bursts back to life at full power. 2nd, GL says he's faking weakness. 3rd, Palpatine set up this confrontation, so he must be able to keep himself from getting killed (with Force lightning) given that he'd be an idiot to set up a confrontation and then not know he'd be able to survive it. (Again, I guess someone could accept that Palpatine is an idiot at this point, even though he's depicted as being incredibly intelligent during the rest of films, or maybe he had a Force brain fart, but even if this is the case, my points #1 and #2 about his lightning would have to be refuted as well, and I don't think that those points can be refuted.


    I respectfully disagree with you here. He can try, but since no one can break a true prophecy, he must fail. That's what makes a prophecy a prophecy; it's an infallible prediction. Since you are bringing in GL's words as proof that Mace defeated Palpatine, then I can bring in GL's words about the prophecy. GL says that Anakin is the Chosen One, that only the Chosen One can bring balance to the Force, that bringing balance to the Force means destroying the Sith, and that the prophecy is a true prophecy and that means no one else can ever be in the position to fulfill it. (The films also say the same thing; it also makes sense that Mace tries to kill Palpatine b/c he thinks it could be a false prophecy, but Anakin proves that it is a true prophecy in ROTJ.) I could go through all the quotes here, but the quotes get really long so I would refer you to the Chosen Post section titled "Bringing Balance to the Force." It's all in there. Given that GL says that only the Chosen One can destroy the Sith and Palpatine is the only Sith left at that time, that means that Mace can't kill Palpatine at the point b/c he'd be destroying the Sith instead of Anakin.

    You can choose to disregard GL's interpretation here, and I think that's fair, but if you disregard Lucas's words here, then you would have to disregard GL's comment that you cite as evidence from the ROTS commentary that you use to support your argument. So going with what GL says and what the characters say about Anakin being the only one who can destroy the Sith, then that really leaves only 2 solutions if Anakin doesn't intervene and Mace can ultimately overpower Palpatine's Force lightning defense at some point.

    1. That just after Mace does truly exhaust Palpatine and just before he's about the kill him a meteorite flies through window and kills Mace (or something silly like that). This would allow Mace to be able to overpower Palpatine's lightning defense and still prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled (which GL and the character say only Anakin, the Chosen One, can do.)

    Or a much cooler scenario (which I think I hinted at before in a former discussion with you):

    2. If Mace can kill Palpatine, then Mace becomes a Sith himself. Thus, the Sith are not destroyed by Mace b/c he becomes a Sith, and Anakin at some later point will fulfill the prophecy by killing Mace.


    Again, there's nothing wrong with saying that Mace was trying to destroy Palpatine. There's no controversy there. However, I disagree with your interpretation of what Lucas is saying in the ROTS commentary. IMHO Lucas is merely comparing the finished version of the scene with an earlier version. For this reason, Lucas is merely being descriptive and not explanatory. I could go on with this argument, but it would really amount to restating what I wrote above, so I think we've reached an impasse here.

    I would say that if your interpretation of GL's commentary is correct then it does seem to contradict GL's statements about the Chosen One prophecy, as I argue above.
    Last edited by darth ladnar, May 4, 2013
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