Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by archiedog, May 7, 2011.
Did Mace Windu really have to attempt to kill Palpatine. Was it the Jedi Way?
Originally Mace wanted to just arrest Palpatine but after he took out Kit, Agen, and Saesee with minimal effort and maximun effeciancy and fought Mace pretty hard it became apparent to Windu just how strong Palpatine was and he realized how much of an influence his strength could have while he was captured be it through potential escapes or political manuevering. He had to make a decision and that decision was Palpatine had to be killed then and there to avoid future problems that may arise....it didn't work obviously but that seems to have been Mace's thought process.
In the commentary, Lucas talks about how Mace wants to do the wrong thing (kill Palpatine) for the right reasons (end Sith corruption of the Republic), while Anakin wants to do the right thing (arrest Palpatine) for the wrong reasons (to interrogate him so he can learn the power to save Padme).
Had Palpatine been cut down during the fight, there would have been no issue, as Palpatne would have been killed in self defense. But at the time that Mace tried to cut Palpatine down, Palpatine had surrendered and wasn't resisting (all an act, but he still wasn't fighting back). Mace wasn't really wrong in the assertion that Palpatine was too dangerous to be kept alive, but it really wasn't appropriate for him to decide that by himself.
Given how Palps just took out 3 council members with ease just moments before, Mace seemed to be justified in decideing how strong Palpatine really was. Look at it like this too. They've had experience with 2 other Sith Lords and what was the result? Maul was killed by an experienced Padawan/borderline Jedi Knight in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Dooku was defeated by a Jedi Knight in Anakin, Palpatine just took out 3 Jedi Masters from the Jedi Council with really no effort what-so-ever. That sounds like someone way more powerful than what they have been dealing with and what they dealt with before still gave them a bit of trouble.
Like you said, Palpatine surrendering was an act. If Anakin hadn't showed up, would he have surrendered? Can't really say but in my opinion I feel he would have not surrendered and look at his reaction after Mace was disarmed(literally), he shot him with Force Lightning.
If someone were involved in a big shoot out with the police, killed several people, and then when there was a break in the fighting said: "Don't shoot! I surrender!" in a very sarcastic tone, throw down their gun, and walk out from behid cover. It would be wrong for the police to shoot the guy. Let's say he has another gun concealed and has have every intention of pulling it out and continuing the fight. Even if one of the officers suspected this, it would still be wrong to fire unless the shooter reached for it.
It was an act, but that's not something that can really be proven by the Jedi. Mace walks into the office and kills the Chancellor after surrendering. I don't think he could really defend his actions in the senate. I don't think "he was faking!" would hold up. The fact that the Jedi Master even felt the need to justify his actions to Anakin makes me think that he knew what he was about to do was against the Jedi way. Mace was single handedly judging Palpatine and making the decision to execute him, and that's not something that a Jedi who serves the Republic should do.
Jedi also have senses that come into play, so that is something to consider.
I understand where you are coming from with Mace killing a "defenseless" Palpatine, but at the same time Palpatine while surrendering did nothing to show he was actually surrendering. He didn't roll over to his stomach with his hands above his head, he just sat there the same way he had when he was attacking. Not to mention he just sat there trying to(and successfully achieved) turn Anakin right there in front of Mace. It's not the strongest arguement, but Mace had to do what he had to do at that point and that was end what was the most dangerous and perhaps most corrupt aspect of the Republic.
Palpatine hurled sith lightning at Mace Windu while in a state of apparent surrender. That changes his intent from "Please don't hurt me" to "I surrender, suckers." At that instant, Mace was legally and morally justified in killing Palpatine - his surrender was blatantly insincere.
Palpatine did not "surrender" until after his Force attack failed. Insincerity is not good cause to kill someone. Whether or not to trust someone is subjective. We as the audience know he was lying, because Lucas wrote the part and said that Palpatine was lying, but Lucas also says that Mace was doing the wrong thing.
Like I tried to demonstrate with the scenario of the shootout, no matter how much someone might threaten another, or commit muder, etc. If they surrender themselves, the police have no authority to kill that person because "they were faking it" or because that person had caused harm prior to surrender. The police however, can kill in the defense of themselves or others. If the shooter was shot during the shootout, then there wouldn't be a problem. To shoot him after he surrenders is a huge problem though. They should take that person to court and then the court could decide whether or not that person should be given the death penalty for their crimes.
Mace instead had no faith in the Republic system that justice would be served and took matters into his own hands to execute Palpatine. As Lucas says, it's the wrong action being made for the right reasons. He's acting like the very thing he wants to destroy at that point in making a unilateral decision and bypassing Republic procedure.
Mace had no faith in the Republic court systems because Palpatine controlled the Republic court systems.
Yes, but that represents the corruption even within the Jedi Order. Do they hold true to their ideals that they serve the Republic or do they aim to take control of the senate to enforce their own ideas of right and wrong, which leads to a "dark place" as Yoda puts it?
Anakin held true to the Jedi way, Mace did not. Mace had a good goal in mind, but it would involve the corruption of the order. Palpatine after being taken into custody would have no legitimate power in the court system. He would have to rely on corruption and public opinion to save himself, and Mace didn't like those odds. He lost faith that Palpatine's influence could be undone through anything short of killing him, and that is a subjective view of one individual, albeit a convincing one.
TaradosGon, what are you arguing?
Your example has no relevance in this situation, a police shootout is not at all comparable.
The shooter doesn't have complete control of the government and a massive army.
What exactly was Mace supposed to do? Arrest him? First, he wasn't physically able to restrain Palpatine. Palpatine would have either escaped or attacked. Second, even if he was able to restrain him, Palpatine controls the courts. He would get off somehow. Third, what makes you think anyone would believe Mace anyway? Fourth, even if Palpatine were found guilty, what jail could hold him?
The only solution to Mace's problem, the Jedi's problem and the galaxy's problem is Palpatine's death. Attempting to arrest Palpatine is too silly to even consider.
This is how extremely powerful dictators are handled, they are killed.
Imo Mace was trying to do the right thing for the right reasons.
Forget it, don't bother responding.
The immorality and injustice of killing an "unarmed prisoner."
This whole argument is based on a lot of assumptions. How do you know that any person that surrenders doesn't have a weapon up their sleeve or something else. If the president of the United States is arrested for cooperating with a leader from another state to undermine the power of his own country, he doesn't retain ANY political power. He is no longer commander in chief of the military, and he has no authority to pardon himself, etc. You assume he is able to hold onto this power, and you assume he will do this, that, and the other thing. Mace could not have known any of this. Mace's fear was that Palpatine's corruption and influence was already too deep, and that if faced with a trial, corrupted officials would rule that he was innocent.
A good cop can't decide to kill a mob boss because he assumes that a lot of people in the judicial system are in his pocket and will let him go with a slap on the wrist when he deserves to spend years or life in prison.
As for your last comment, I would recommend watching the commentary during the scene in which Mace overcomes Palpatine and then taking it up with Lucas.
Mace and Jedi had to have had a good idea of how deep Palpatine's corruption ran just based off of the fact that he(Palps) managed to stay in office far beyond the allowed term limit. Now he's confessed to be the Sith Lord to Anakin, was given more powers than a man in his office is delegated(due to war time yes, but still more than he should have) and powers he promised to immediatly return after the end of the war(which he didn't do), he had pretty much supreme control over the Senate and had many Senators in his pocket who were looking for their own personel gains so why would they allow him to be remved from office and found guilty? Also considere that Nute Gunray, a guy who pretty much declared war on the Republic, was found innocent by the courts multiple times, because of Palpatine's influence.
Palpatine was too much of a strategist to not have a back up plan in case he was arrested and forced to go on trial.
I don't care what Lucas has to say about it.
And I don't necessarily disagree with that logic. And I'm sure this is the kind of stuff that we are to expect that Mace is thinking about. But in following this path and forcefully removing Palpatine from office and taking control of the senate to "ensure a smooth transition" puts the Jedi in a non-legitimate position of power that they were never meant to have. It goes against the ideals of democracy that they are meant to serve. I don't deny that the choice is difficult. They can wipe out the corruption of the senate at the corruption of themselves, or remain uncorrupt but face risk the backfire of following bureaucratic procedure if Palpatine walks free.
If they had the intention of staying in power there might be a problem, but I'm sure there is procedure for such a thing considering they had Order 65, so they likely had some sort of procedure to handle the transition of power. The hiccup would be of course another corrupt politician coming to power, but at least they aren't a Sith Lord.
If we go by GL's reasoning, Vader either did the wrong thing for the right reason or vice versa at the end of ROTJ.
He had to say that nonsense to back up Anakin in some way to make him seem like he wasn't completely wrong (he was), it's classic "point of view" bs.
Palpatine's political influence loomed very large indeed.
Is a Sith Lord or Jedi Master for that ever really unarmed? Just because he's not holding a saber or a blaster does not mean they are defenseless. Hopefully Mace realized this as he was flying through the air at terminal velocity toward Coruscants sub-levels. Mace either hesitated for the "dramatic" effect of course, or if you stick plainly to in universe, he too much time jaw jacking and wasnt committed to his course of action.
That they thought they could arrest a Sith Lord just goes back to the arrogance they had developed.
The only thing Anakin held true to was himself. Him wanting Palpatine taken alive had NOTHING to do with truth, justice and the galactic way. He needed him to help him deal with his fear of Padme's upcoming doom and to learn the skills dangled in front of me. Right out of Anakins mouth " I need him"
Shoulda sent a SEAL Team.
Yes, you are right. Which is why it is said that Anakin wanted to do the right thing for the wrong reason. The wrong reason is what you just described, but what Lucas refers to as the right thing is Anakin's effort to try and stop Mace from killing Palpatine.
No, a Jedi or Sith is never TRULY "unarmed," but that didn't stop Anakin from realizing that executing Dooku was the wrong thing. They were faced with a similar situation. They are on an enemy ship, with enemy troops, and were faced with the same problem of logistics as to how they would secure him and get him off of the ship without him trying to escape or without droids coming to his rescue. But those issues did not excuse Anakin from killing him just because it was convenient. He was still "unarmed" and was putting up no resistance at the moment he was executed.
In all fairness, Anakin did have 2 lightsabers to an "unarmed" Dooku's neck, so he was quite detained at that point. Palps was just sitting on the floor and not really incapacitated. If Mace had his own and Palps' lightsaber at Palps' neck while Palps arms were lieing 5 feet away from him, it would be different when he went to kill him. I don't know how similair the situation really was.
Let me restate: Palpatine hurled Sith Lightning at Mace Windu during his "surrender." That alone nullifies any prior intent on his part. Being on equal combat footing is irrelevant. Being attacked gives one the right to respond. Sincerity matters. You cannot attack your captor immediately after surrendering and still call it a surrender. Considering the fact that Force lightning is a weapon Palpatine can never really relinquish, I don't even think its possible to consider a Force user ever to be unarmed, and therefore wholly incapable of truly placing himself in the custody of another.
In AOTC, Obi-Wan is held aloft in some kind of energy field, which appears to render his powers null and void, allowing Dooku to safely interrogate him. Presumably, then, there is technology in the SW universe that can actually neutralize regular Force ability, or at least make it exceedingly difficult for an incarcerated person to use their connection with the Force to retaliate or escape.
Mace didn't exactly have that on hand though, and Obi-Wan is a much more docile opponent than Palpatine.
Look, I really don't know what all the fuss is about. Mace Windu was always a loose cannon when
it came to Jedi morality, and even though he did make me look like a prune with really bad teeth,
I got to blast him out the window and half-way across town. I mean, after all...
...it could have been worse.