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PT Analysis of Mace Windu's plan to overthrow Palpatine

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Emperor Ferus, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Mace seemed close to the dark side, actually. He was prepared to cut down Palpatine in cold blood (no different from Anakin when he killed Dooku) and he gave into emotion after the other masters were killed. He also didn't seem to think his plan through ahead of time, only taking three other Jedi and forgetting about the justice system. He made Anakin stay in the council chamber, further alienating him from the Jedi and the mission.
     
  2. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    May 27, 1999
    As I've posted elsewhere, I look at it as the GFFA version of "Seven Days in May", the difference being that the action that leads to the plot is Palpatine's manipulations, rather than President Lymon's optimistic, though possibly naïve, beliefs. Palpatine had bamboozled everyone in doing what he wanted them to do, even if it violated their basic principles, in the belief that they are doing what was best for themselves and everyone else. Mace, like Gen. Scott, decided that it was a good idea to disregard his oath and devotion to his beliefs (Jedi Code/U.S. Constitution) and overthrow the duly elected government in order to save the galaxy. (Though, admittedly, Scott was more motivated by egotism than Mace was.)

    The problem is that such an action also plays into Palpatine's plan to destroy the Jedi. If Mace had been successful, and arrested or even killed Palpatine, he's determined that the Jedi will run things. But for how long? And what about the Senate, which is certain to have big problems with the law being tossed aside and the unelected Jedi suddenly calling the shots? Or the average citizen; how do they feel about the Republic suddenly being led by a bunch of mysterious, legendary warriors who have made an effort to reject any real connection to non-Jedi, except in the line of duty? No matter how you look at it, the Jedi come across as usurpers of the real government, no matter how much proof they provide that Palpatine was the real tyrant.

    And again, when does it stop? At what point do the Jedi say, "Okay, the Senate can have the Republic back. All is well."? History teaches us that those who suddenly are given or seize total power tend to resist efforts to give it up, no matter to whom and why (Cincinattus and George Washington being big exceptions). I have the unfortunate feeling that Mace and at least some Jedi would start demanding senators that didn't measure up to their standards of integrity be removed, one way or another. And, as we see from the pre-arrest conference, Yoda is very worried about this possibility. I doubt he'd support such an action. Thus, we have the basis for a possible split in the Jedi Order, leaving them wide open to attack from those who'd reject Jedi rule, for any reason.

    Thanks to Palpatine's manipulation, the Jedi went from Qui-Gon's righteous rebel who still stayed on the right side of the Code, to Mace deciding to abandon the Code and seize power for the good guys, including committing cold-blooded murder. Even if it meant getting arrested or killed, Palpatine and the Sith would have revenge, via the spiritual, then actual, destruction of the Jedi.

    Over to you...
     
  3. jakobitis89

    jakobitis89 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2015
    The Jedi Council had been forced into a corner somewhat. They've realised Palpatine was either working for Darth Sidious, or WAS Darth Sidious, and in either case had managed to subvert the entire basis of the Senate and was about to gain dictatorial powers on a permanent basis. Given the options were either overthrowing him and trusting in their wisdom and the Force to guide them true, OR let a Sith rule the Galaxy unchallenged and unchallengeable, they went for the lesser of two evils.

    There is always the chance of power corrupting, but even if the Council did seize power, it would be the COUNCIL in power not one tyrannical figure. If Mace starts wanting to clamp down on particular Senators, someone like Yoda or Obi-Wan can argue against it and no one Jedi has the veto on the Council's decisions. With some pretty wise and experienced heads and no Sith Lord manipulating events, the Council taking charge for any length of time is far, far better than giving Palpatine/Sidious that power, ever. The very first thing he did was order genocide - the Jedi were never going to do the same.

    If you look at it, both Mace and Yoda are not exactly happy with the turn of events in any case. This wasn't a selfish power grab attempt at all, if they thought there was any other way they surely would have tried it - but with Anakin's tip off they had to act immediately or would never get the chance. And whilst leaving Anakin behind turned out to be a mistake, the logic behind it stood up. He was pretty tight with Palpatine for years, and clearly lost any Jedi focus and calm he'd ever had. There was no real way to know which side he'd come down on in the heat of the moment.
     
  4. DARTHLINK

    DARTHLINK Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Wouldn't you? Anakin had made it crystal clear through his actions that he wasn't thinking clearly; he was reacting strongly with his emotions -- exactly the sort of thing the Sith would exploit for their own gains. They were all already in a very dangerous situation, last thing Mace needed to do was bring along the emotional cannon who could be easily manipulated by the Sith to join them instead.

    Which is basically what happened.
     
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  5. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview Host/All-Around Good Guy star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Mace could not arrest Palpatine since he was a Sith Lord and would kill him.
     
  6. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2011
    I think the result of taking Anakin along, or leaving him at the Temple, was intentionally paradoxical.

    But I personally think bringing Anakin - the chosen one foretold to solely be capable of ending the Sith - would have been wiser.
    Palpatine would likely shift his plan to an outcome where he appears to go quietly if Anakin was there. It wouldn't solve the Jedi's dilemma, but it would buy them precious time and make Palpatine's crimes more transparent to the public.
     
  7. Talos of Atmora

    Talos of Atmora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2016
    Mace Windu's Plan:

    1. Be badass
     
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  8. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 13, 2011
    That doesn't need to be planned, it just is. :p
     
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  9. Rickleo123

    Rickleo123 Jedi Knight star 3

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    May 20, 2016
    In hindsight I believe Lucas should have stuck to his initial script and had Anakin already there when the Jedi arrived to stop Palpatine. Having Mace tell him to stay out of it only made Mace out to look pretty incompetent and distrustful of Anakin. Bringing Anakin - the chosen one foretold to solely be capable of ending the Sith - would have been wiser and forced Palpatine to shift his plan.
     
  10. jakobitis89

    jakobitis89 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2015
    He WAS distrustful of Anakin - and was entirely correct to be. Anakin has always been impulsive and a bit volatile even on his good days... and he's having a very, very bad day. Palpatine expressly placed Anakin on the council as his direct representative, the two of them go back a very long way. Mace has every reason to at least consider that Anakin's ''revelation'' has been timed very specifically - and in either case he is just too much of a risk.
     
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  11. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2011

    He forgot to tell the rest of his plan to his posse.

    2. Don't be not badass
     
  12. Talos of Atmora

    Talos of Atmora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2016
    That's what happens when you don't figure out the plan.
     
  13. JEDI-RISING

    JEDI-RISING Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2005
    don't recall seeing a 'plan to overthrow Palpatine'

    I remember the jedi attempted to arrest him for treason at which point Palpatine murdered 3 jedi and tried to kill Mace
     
  14. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    May 27, 1999
    You missed the part where Mace said they'd also have to bypass the Senate and have the Jedi run the Republic for an undetermined amount of time, and Yoda having serious misgivings about such an action.
     
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  15. jakobitis89

    jakobitis89 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2015
    Mace himself didn't seem exactly thrilled at the idea but as I said before, it had come down to either the Jedi taking over, or the Sith, so he went with what would be far the lesser of evils. That said, an alternative universe story where they actually succeed could have some pretty interesting implications...
     
  16. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    No, he didn't. Palpatine was still very powerful (something he showed before and after Mace's death), unlike Dooku who was in a helpless position and Anakin decided to kill him anyway. Mace didn't give into emotions. He tried to arrest him. Palpatine killed his fellow Jedi and tried to kill Mace. Mace still tried to arrest him. Palpatine blasts him with lightning. Mace declares he's going to end it once and for all, since there's really no other choice.
     
  17. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2011
    I know we've done this in a loop before but...

    Mace's language in the script reflects he is partly acting on emotions. He snarls "My Lord" as a sarcastically insulting slur.
    The information he held about Sidious before the second arrest attempt hasn't changed, Palpatine is still the same Sith behind the galaxy's turmoil. Just, now Palpatine has flauntingly defied him to his face one too many times.

    Lucas states on the ROTS commentary "Mace should have arrested Palpatine." Why would Lucas word it "should have" if he was referring to the two attempts Mace already did make. You may disagree with Lucas, but this is clear-cut English.
    You never seem to agree with me on this, but, Mace and Anakin think Mace has won when Palpatine feigns weakness. Just before this Mace already stated "The oppression of the Sith will never return! You have lost."
    This is the reason for the repeated dialogue from Dooku's execution. An unarmed Sith being "too dangerous" to live, as they actually are, but a prisoner willing to submit rather than die, nonetheless. Anakin and Mace think Palpatine is defeated legitimately when he says "I'm too weak, don't kill me please." He is actually letting Mace go for a real death-strike that only Anakin can stop, Sidious is just that confident Anakin will stop him.

    "Oppression" implies a personal and ancient grudge from an ongoing past feud between their orders, something ingrained in Mace from childhood. He isn't a totally impartial juror/executioner, it's personal.
    "You old fool." and "You Sith disease!" are clearly reflective of something more personally driven than simply doing what he has the right to do.


    It's not that controversial that a Jedi can make a mistake. Mace is both right and wrong, as is Anakin. Palpatine is the only of the three that is acting irredeemably, but as I said, this isn't for Mace to decide.

    The whole ending of ROTJ is strong because Luke would rather go defenseless than kill Vader. Complete selflessness, where Mace is acting on his own authority. Why else would watching Luke's spiritual growth, and Anakin seeing what he never could in the PT, be such a payoff 1-6?
     
  18. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Snarls?! Insulting slur?! There's none of that in Jackson's performance. It's no diferent than "You can't win, Darth". Neither Mace nor Obi-Wan were acting on emotions. It's just banter.

    He should have arrested Palpatine, and Palpatine should have let himself be arrested. But his actions gave Mace no other choice. Lucas also said that Qui-Gon was wrong by taking Anakin in. He said that to make a point on how ideally things should be. Same in this instance.

    And then Sidious blasts him with lightning, showing that he hadn't lost at all.
     
  19. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2011
    I'll concede about that one line, but I still think it shows disdain.
    As for Obi-Wan, fair point that it is just banter really, but of course Obi-Wan then gives up his life for the bigger cause of Luke's beginning destiny. Letting go of himself and his own will like Luke does at ROTJ's peak. Mace is more attached to the current state of things when he attempts to behead Palpatine.


    I mostly agree, it is easier to preach it than apply it in practice. But I stand by my opinion that what happens in Palpatine's office contradicts the consistency of the moral code we are presented with in the films.

    Like I have pointed out in the past, it's the lesson of the Dagobah cave reflected with a fitting motif of beheading in several saga scenes.
    The beginning of Anakin's revenge on the Tusken camp is shown as beheadings. Mace is pretty direct and relatively aggressive when he beheads Jango, as the Clone Wars begin. Anakin beheads Dooku in cold-blood in ROTS. And again, Mace attempts to take control of the Republic's destiny and behead Palpatine, and doesn't foresee how desperate Anakin actually is, and how deep Palpatine's influence runs.
    "Your weapons, you will not need them." Luke beheading the Vader apparition and seeing his own face in ESB was always symbolic of where his negative emotions, fear, and aggression would lead him if he didn't conquer them, which he doesn't fully understand until the climax of ROTJ. His selfless dismissal of his weapon and his leaving hate behind in face of possible death answers everything we see leading up to it. It's all the same lore, how can Mace's decision not contrast this?



    I can't convince you objectively, but I think at the very least that after the lightning Palpatine would go quietly as he claimed, just to look good in front of Anakin. Then he can regroup and alter his plan knowing Skywalker still needs him. Mace just does what he is hoping and gives Palpatine what he was hoping for, and Mace and Anakin are suckered right in.
     
  20. black_saber

    black_saber Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2002


    Or the fact that Palpatine had control of the courts, The Senate, The Clone Wars on both sides of the conflict Republic and Separatist , and No one above him to answer to but himself.
     
  21. black_saber

    black_saber Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2002


    Actually when mace said" I am going to end this, once and for all," He tried to kill Palpatine but Anakin sliced his arm, Palpatine played like a victim to seduce Anakin to the Dark side.
     
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  22. Kuro

    Kuro Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 17, 2015
    Maybe it’s the libertarian in me speaking, but I find it damn near impossible to ever justify a coup d’état that deposes democratically elected leaders, under any circumstances. The irony is that, as much as I loathe Anakin Skywalker, this is the one scene where I completely agree with what he did, and would’ve done the exact same thing if I were in his position, even if I strongly disagree with the reasoning behind his actions.

    And this isn’t just me speaking as a fanboy of the Emperor (trust me, I do plenty of that already). This really is just an egregious violation of pretty much every political principle I’ve ever had or cared about (and I say this as someone who absolutely despises and loathes politics). The only way Samuel L. Jackson’s actions in this scene could be an even deeper violation of every political principle I hold dear and would give my life to defend would be if he followed it up by suspending freedom of speech and the press.
     
  23. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Personally, I care little about the distinction that the monster directly responsible for so much suffering also happens to have been democratically elected. A democratically elected monster is still a monster. I would have decided to kill Palpatine far more quickly than Mace did.

    I agree with Alexrd in that killing Palpatine is the right decision, and with HevyDevy in that Mace was falling toward the dark side, anyway.

    I also don't buy that the Jedi would have "taken over" anything to any significant degree, for any significant length of time. They would have done what was necessary to prevent warlords from seizing territories, and other schisms, to get a new chancellor elected and other such necessities, but little more.

    I don't even see the Jedi "taking over" at all. I see them hanging around to make sure everyone plays nice, and by the rules. I can see them getting rid of a few people like Mas Amedda, but that should be perfectly reasonable and possibly even within the law.
     
  24. Kuro

    Kuro Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 17, 2015
    And that’s where we will never agree. The fact that he’s democratically elected makes all the difference in the world as far as I’m concerned. The minute any state decides that it’s OK to subvert democracy in the name of “the greater good” is the day that that state is no longer worth defending or fighting for. Like I said, I have a pretty strong libertarian streak, and I’m remarkably paranoid when it comes to anything involving a government. The idea of an unelected body deposing a democratically elected leader just manages to hit every single button that activates my political paranoia.

    Feel free to call me an anti-government kook. You’re probably right. But you’re never gonna change my mind on this.

    Now once he officially abolishes democracy, and declares himself Grand Galactic Emperor or whatever, then he’s fair game.
     
  25. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Palpatine had already subverted democracy by staying in office for far longer than what was intended, and was mere minutes from declaring himself Emperor. What difference does it make that the Jedi act five minutes before you admit he's fair game?

    I'd also call into question the legitimacy of Palpatine's democratic election. He was elected out of gross ignorance that goes far beyond the ordinary. If the truth was known, there would be no way that he would have been elected in the first place. If at any point the truth is revealed, he would have been democratically removed, anyway. One could argue that the supposed Jedi coup was democratic in its way, in that it would definitely represent the will of the people. It certainly represents the will of the audience.

    I question if the supposed Jedi coup was a coup at all. It's not a coup if it's legal or legally justified. Seeing how Palpatine is obviously guilty of treason and certainly breaking his oath of office, I don't see how the Jedi aren't justified in arresting him, and killing him in self-defense if he resists arrest.

    Even if this type of thing pushes your buttons, it's foolish not to see that this is a very special circumstance, entirely unlike any other. If one were to take away Palpatine's magic powers, then yes, he needs to be arrested, not killed.

    I mean, never say never.