Meet the other Mace Windu (from before The Phantom Menace)

Star Wars Marvel's Mace Windu #1 2024. Image credits: Marvel and
Star Wars Marvel's Mace Windu #1 2024. Image credits: Marvel and /

May of 2024 is the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Phantom Menace being released in theaters. The movie introduced many new settings and characters into the Star Wars universe, one of them being the character of Mace Windu, who made his first appearance in the movie, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson.

Though Mace Windu would have a relatively small part in the movie, only appearing in a handful of scenes, the character would go on to play a bigger role in the second and third movies, eventually becoming one of the major players of the prequel trilogy. The character would also play a major role in the expanded universe, having several books and comics dedicated to filling out the character's backstory. But the Mace Windu that we all know, the one who we first met twenty-five years ago, is actually the second Mace Windu to appear in the Star Wars universe. 

In 1993, a Galaxy Guide dedicated to the city of Mos Eisley was published. The Galaxy Guide books were a series of sourcebooks for the Star Wars: Roleplaying Game. They would contain information for building a campaign in the Star Wars universe including descriptions and stats for characters as well as maps for cities and buildings.

In Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley, players were introduced to a character called Mace Windu. This Mace Windu was an alien called a Squib, who served on a spaceship called Two-For-One, but was stranded in the city of Mos Eisley when he was delayed and the ship ended up leaving without him. Mace Windu was forced to take odd jobs around the city to survive and eventually would wind up collecting a good deal of information while on the planet.

The character was originally designed to be the kind of NPC that players of the RPG could potentially meet while playing the game. He only appeared in this one sourcebook and a short story that was written a few years later. So how is it possible that this character ended up getting the exact same name as the powerful Jedi who wouldn't be introduced to Star Wars for another five years? 

The name Mace Windu actually has a long history in the creation of Star Wars. As far back as 1973, an outline George Lucas wrote for an early version of Star Wars featured a character named Mace Windy. The name Mace Windu (and other names very close to it) would appear throughout the early development of Star Wars, as the story went through several incarnations before finally being developed in 1977. Though no character named Mace Windu appeared in the first Star Wars movie, it's clear that Lucas still had a fondness for the name, as he would eventually use it over two decades later when he returned to the Star Wars universe. 

However, in 1993, when the other Mace Windu was created, the name was nothing more than a forgotten bit of Star Wars lore that only the most dedicated of fans would have known about. It was perfectly reasonable at the time to use the name as an easter egg that only the most dedicated of Star Wars fans would be able to spot. Unfortunately, a few years later, George Lucas finally got around to getting the name into a Star Wars movie, making it a well-known character to all Star Wars fans. 

After the release of The Phantom Menace, the name of the earlier Mace Windu was retconned. The race of Squibs came from a planet called Skor II, a planet that was invaded during The Clone Wars. According to the retcon, the Battle of Skor II was won by the Jedi Master Mace Windu, making him a hero among the people of the planet. So the original Mace Windu took the name to honor the hero of his people which is how there got to be two different Mace Windu’s in the Star Wars galaxy.

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