Saga Was Mace Windu right to want to kill a captive Palpatine? Were the Jedi right to want to take over?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Ghost, May 1, 2013.

Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
  1. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Anakin was conscious that killing Dooku after he'd been disarmed (or rather, dis-handed ;) ) was "not the Jedi Way" - which was why he didn't tell the Jedi he'd done that, when he was debriefed.

    In the Novelization, Mace actually brings Dooku up

    Palpatine: "I ... can't. I give up. I ... I am too weak, in the end. Too old, and too weak. Don't kill me, Master Jedi. Please. I surrender."
    Mace: (raising his blade) "You Sith disease-"
    Anakin: "Wait-" (grabbing Mace's arm)
    Anakin: "Don't kill him - you can't just kill him, Master."
    Mace: "Yes I can. I have to."
    Anakin: "You came to arrest him. He has to stand trial-"
    Mace: "A trial would be a joke. He controls the courts. He controls the Senate-"
    Anakin: "So are you going to kill all them too? Like he said you would?"
    Mace: (shaking Anakin off) "He's too dangerous to be kept alive, If you could have taken Dooku alive, would you?"
    Anakin: "That was different."
    Mace: "You can explain the difference after he's dead." (raises lightsaber)
    Anakin: "I need him alive! I need him to save Padme!"

    (Mace thinks "Why?" and attempts to strike Palpatine down, only to have Anakin cut off his hand, and Palpatine blast him)
    kainee likes this.
  2. Obi-Wan21 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2002
    star 4
    The films play Mace pretty straight; Anakin informs him that Palpatine is a Sith Lord, who clearly isn't willing to go down without a fight. In response, he requests Anakin stay behind because of the turmoil within him. Mace takes an elite group of Jedi to arrest Palpatine, but he resists and a battle ensues where the Chancellor murders the entire team.

    Now, at the point of resisting arrest, he becomes a serious liability. Palpatine suddenly throwing a fight is no reason to justify taking him alive. In the films no one ever has been scolded for killing a Sith Lord, not even a mention about Dooku, but that guy had no hands, I mean, so that was cold. Palpatine was a threat, he needed to be removed.

    In my view Mace was no close to turning to the darkside than Obi-Wan was when he asked to face the Emperor. There are necessary steps to take against savage opponents, especially one such as Palps. Mace was right, Palpatine was never a captive, everyone around him was.
  3. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2012
    star 3
    We don't know if Mace would have definately won. Sidious was a powerful Force user first and foremost, and was able to combat Yoda simply through Force abilities.

    Unless a major injury is inflict, a Force user is never really unarmed.
  4. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    While it's true that the nature of Sidious' plot (playing both sides of the war) forced the Jedi to do some unsavory things, I don't think it changed what the Jedi stood for or that they lost sight of what their purpose was.

    As for whether Mace was right to try to kill Palpatine, well for one thing he's right when he says Palpatine is "too dangerous to keep alive". But you don't need me to tell you that, just look what happened to the Jedi moments later when Palpatine actually did survive.
  5. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    Whether if Mace or later, Yoda, had killed Palpatine; I still believe that things would have gone bad for the Jedi. I don't think the Senate would have appreciated their actions without their consent. And considering the Jedi's lack of popularity . . . they would have had to resort to draconian measures to maintain control of the Senate and the galaxy.

    It's strange that many fans tend to view Mace's attempt to kill Palpatine as something bad, yet make excuses for Yoda's similar attempt, later in the film.
    Last edited by DRush76, May 3, 2013
    kainee and darth ladnar like this.
  6. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    I agree that the senate would most likely not have been happy with the Jedi acting judge/jury/executioner with Palpatine.

    That Mace tried to kill Palpatine at that point is justifiable to me, Palpatine had twice resisted arrest and killed three other jedi and tried to kill Mace. How many chances must he give him? Mace isn't Space Gandhi.

    The events leading up to the arrest is more questionable.
    First Mace hasn't got any hard evidence that Palpatine is a Sith, he only has Anakins word. And he could have asked Anakin for more details.
    The fact that Palpatine basically tells Anakin that he is a Sith and lets him leave would be rather suspicious.

    If Palpatine had gone quietly I wonder what the court would look like?
    "I accuse Palpatine for being a Sith Lord."
    "What is the evidence against the accused?"
    "Uhhh, Anakin Skywalker said so."

    Second, he should have warned the other Jedi and spoken with Yoda and made some kind of plan.

    Third, talking with some senators, like Bail, that they trust would also have been a good idea.

    In closing, someone posted bits from the novel or script where Griev says that he had been trained by Darth Tyrannus and Obi-Wan concludes that this is Dooku. This might have been a better way for the Jedi to learn that Palpatine is a Sith.
    Obi-Wan contacts Mace and Yoda, tells them that he now knows who Tyrannus is, namely Dooku. Then he puts the pieces together and says "Dooku hired Jango to be army template, he must have posed as Sifo-Dyas and deleted the Kamino file. The whole war is run by the Sith."
    "The chancellor must be the other Sith as he was the one who put the clone army into use and they ultimately answer to him."

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
    kainee and darth ladnar like this.
  7. Obi-Wan21 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2002
    star 4
    Well, I assume the evidence would be his lightsaber! lol. After searching him they would've found it, I'm sure. So it would've played out like this;

    "What is the evidence against the accused?"
    "We found this red lightsaber in his sleeve."

    I would hope, like all sane Sith, Palpatine had his name engraved on its hilt. Bam! Court adjourned.

    More seriously, in acknowledgement of another poster; I actually believe Yoda had just as much right to kill Palpatine as Mace did. The Jedi are not above killing for the greater good. The goal is not to do it with hatred in your heart. And I really don't believe Mace or Yoda had any hatred in their hearts. But I also believe that had Mace been successful the Jedi would meet little resistance from the Senate. We know the delegation of 2000 is proof enough that the senate was becoming disenfranchised with their leadership. They wanted democracy back and believed that Palpatine was corrupt, I mean, nobody really took Palps reveal as something of a surprise.
  8. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Yoda didn't have Palpatine defeated, without a lightsaber. Killing in combat is fine, like Obi-wan with Maul.

    Yoda taking Palpatine captive would have been much better than Yoda killing him. And not just morally... it would be much more convincing to expose Palpatine while he was still alive, and not make him into a martyr for the Imperial cause.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, May 4, 2013
  9. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Theocracy or dictatorship?

    Good choices.

    Well, we do have precedent for the Jedi, in the Expanded Universe, decapitating the Republic and the Senate and handing power back, when the Republic became a theocracy under Constipex and spent a millennia launching genocidal crusades. We also have the Republic imploding and Jedi Chancellors ruling for four centuries. Post-Endor, we have the New Jedi Order interfering with the election of a Jedi-friendly Chief of State during the Vong War, and then the NJO launching a coup against an ex-Imperial who led the Alliance (appointed, not elected, during a conference the Jedi forced to happen when they took down a Sith Chief of State), and then handed power back within a few weeks to the Senate.

    So, there is precedent for the Jedi taking over and handing it back to the people as soon as feasibly possible.

    But, without that context, the Jedi should never have disposed of democracy. They should have connected with the Petition of 2000, lobbied, and then attempted to impeach the Chancellor if they had real evidence. Instead they dispense with due process, which Palpatine at least followed, even if he had been able to subvert it by a large degree, and go for a coup.

    Bad Jedi. I was quite pleased to see Mace become the full culmination of light side ossification and prove that the light and dark side aren't a line on polar opposites, but at their extremes look exactly the same, much like left wing and right wing political viewpoints.
  10. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    What do you mean by "light side ossification"?
  11. Cautious Optimist Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2013
    What is the jedi equivalent of shooting someone in the leg so he cannot run away?
  12. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    [IMG]
  13. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Jedi become so set in their ways that they cannot bend; they can only break, and spectacularly; rigid conventionality to the extreme. They become unable to adapt and so forcibly impose their views on the galaxy.
    kainee and rumsmuggler like this.
  14. Skelter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 1
    The only time that Windu decided that Palpatine needed to die was when he showed off his dark side powers via force lighting. Mace had to duel his ass off, and kick him in the face in order to get the advantage. Mace Windu is no joke..He tried to arrest him 2 times, Sidious wouldn't have it.. I think the results of Mace no killing him shows why he needed to die..
    rumsmuggler likes this.
  15. rumsmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    Killing a Sith is always the right choice, no matter the flak that will fall afterward.
  16. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Germany was a democracy before the rise of Adolf Hitler. There comes a point when it is too late for anything but assassination, a leader just has too much power.

    Due process and doing battle in a political arena are good policies when they are realistically possible, but there does come a time when the greater good comes from assassination.
    darth ladnar likes this.
  17. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    I agree with you. I think it was morally the right thing to do. I think it also shows that the Jedi code is too inflexible. As Anakin points out at the beginning of ROTS, killing an apparently helpless person, especially when you have a Jedi by your side, is breaking the code. According to the code, Jedi can never take the life of an unarmed man, even a Sith. However, I think the morality of that moment shows that the Jedi code should make exceptions and be more flexible.
    kainee and rumsmuggler like this.
  18. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    I don't know enough about the code to understand the policy for making exceptions based on circumstances. I think the code is reflective of the best standards to live by based on past experience, but nothing is 100% effective for every situation in life, life is too complicated. I wonder if Lucas actually addressed this (the policy for making exceptions to the code). I am sure there is something about it somewhere in the EU, but I wouldn't be interested in that as it wasn't written by Lucas and wouldn't necessarily reflect Lucas's view on the subject. The code would certainly be too inflexible if there were NO policy for exceptions.
    Last edited by Lee_, May 6, 2013
  19. rumsmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    Sith are dangerous as long as they can use their minds to use the force. They don't need to be armed or have arms for that .
  20. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    The only reason that we reached this point at all is because the Jedi failed. Had they properly focused their attention at any point since 200 BBY they wouldn't have needed to launch a coup. Due process and political opposition would have been more than sufficient at any point pre-coup. I can pick points from the films alone which are apparently illegal but allowed by the Jedi.
    kainee and darth ladnar like this.
  21. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    That's totally true, and I think what you're saying again shows that the Jedi Code is too inflexible. Dooku loses both hands, but he can still Force push, Force choke, etc. (That's how he had just beaten Obi-Wan) But Anakin still says that -- according to the Jedi code -- he shouldn't have killed Dooku because he was an unarmed man.
  22. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    That is a very biased point of view against the Jedi that you have there, lots of subjective opinion. They failed against formidable opposition, that isn't necessarily their fault. The early chapter of the AOTC novel describes how they attempt to focus, but are too clouded by the dark side, and would have had to get into the dark side to really have a chance of seeing what is going on (the latter part of chapter 2 in the spoken version of the novel).

    The reality is, sometimes people have to be killed. You need to study history, and look at the way ruthless dictators are able to rise up, and the methods they use to stifle those who attempt due process. Once you are in far enough, there is no stopping you, you just have too much power. The only thing that can stop you at that point is the populace, which is typically too snowed from propaganda by the time you reach power. Hitler pulled some ingenious moves to both snow the populace as well as to stomp his political opponents, until he had full control of what was once a democracy. They tried to stop him at many points along the way, but couldn't. Once he was in full power, there were MANY attempts to assassinate him, because by then, that was the only way. What were they going to do, start due process?
  23. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3

    I'm interested in this idea. Could you expand on it?


    Here's my idea of the Jedi's failing that cut and pasted from another thread and I think it relates to what you're saying somewhat:

    I think the Jedi's big problem is that they became complacent because of their circumstances. The Jedi have become too dogmatic and too resistant to change or to other viewpoints. (Qui-Gon's friction with the Council shows this. The Council disapproves of him for thinking outside the box, but in the end, who's right? Apparently Qui-Gon since he becomes Yoda's master.)

    Still, I don't think I would really call it arrogance. The Jedi have come up with a way to deal with conflict, and it's understandable that they think their way is correct since the Sith haven't shown their heads in a millenia. They think plucking Force sensitive kids from their families and training them so that they aren't drawn to the dark side is working. Their evidence is that there doesn't seem to be any Sith around. In the past, the Sith weren't known for their patience. So the fact that they haven't popped up is credible evidence that the Jedi are being successful.

    The Jedi are sort of like the US or the Israeli government or any organization trying to prevent violence. We assume that since there hasn't been another 9/11-size attack and most of the top Al-Qaeda leaders are dead that our approach to fighting terrorism is working. Since we think it's working we keep doing what we've been doing -- shooting them with drones, gathering good intelligence, implementing safety precautions. Since Iron Dome and the wall seem to be working for Israeli and attacks have dropped to a trickle, the Israelis believe they've guaranteed their safety.

    The Jedi are doing the same thing. They think they are keeping the Sith in check, but the Sith have the advantage. Since the Jedi don't ever change their approach, the Sith can watch and find weaknesses in the Jedi's ways of maintaining order.

    The Jedi's main mistake is that they've become too predictable. They need to constantly change and alter their ways of maintaining order so that the Sith always have a moving target, but at the same time, they are afraid to do that b/c they think why change something that's working. If it's working, then changing may cause the Sith problem to arise once more.
  24. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    @darth ladnar, why would the Jedi need to constantly change their ways? If anything they would need to find the handful of flaws in their philosophy and adjust from there.
  25. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    I'm not saying that they should change their code or their philosophical outlook, though I do think they are too inflexible and dogmatic about some of their beliefs. Instead, I'm talking more strategically. A good example would be the movie Die Hard. The villain, Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), knows exactly how the FBI deal with a hostage situation, and he uses their standard approach against them. For instance, the FBI shuts off the power in the building in the building where the hostage-takers are. Gruber uses this to his advantage b/c when the FBI shuts off the power, it shuts off the security system for the building vaults. Again and again, he knows what the FBI will do and figures out a way to use it in his advantage. To prevent this from happening, the FBI needed to constantly change their counter-terrorism policies.

    Palpatine knows exactly how the Jedi deal with things, and since the Jedi have standard ways of doing things, he can find the holes in their ways of handling things. Off the top of my head here are a couple of examples. He knows that if he puts Anakin on the Council, then the Council on principle will refuse to give him the rank of Master, which ends up alienating Anakin. If they were just a little more flexible, they might have thought, "Well Anakin is torn between us and Palpatine. Let's not give him another reason to dislike us. Let's just make an exception and give him the title of Master. He is the Hero with No Fear, and nobody has ever been on the Council with being given the title of Master." In a bigger way, Palpatine uses the Jedi practice of raising children without any contact with their parents against them. Anakin is probably a little PO'd that this practice put him in a position so that he wouldn't be able to save his mother, and then Palpatine is able to make himself into a mentor and uncle-figure to Anakin b/c he feels alienated.

    So, those of the types of things that I'm talking about in general. Palpatine knows how the Jedi work inside and outside. If the Jedi were more flexible or simply change how they did things from time to time (experimented with different approaches), then Palpatine would have had a much harder time figuring out the weaknesses of the practices of the Jedi.
    kainee and Circular Logic like this.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn