For want of a horse the rider was lost
Chapter 2: untangle the cord
A procession of grief, interrogations and revealations.
the rain have ceased, and we have been graced with another beautiful day but Obi-wan not here to see it.
Read in AO3
Consider to read my original short story in Ko-Fi and Medium too
Tagging: @jedi-order-apologist @mid-nighttiger @pandora15
Mace Windu in "Star Wars: Brotherhood"
So, I'm mostly enjoying Mike Chen's Brotherhood, but, uh, WTF actually is this characterization of Mace?
Anakin wanted to shake his head, figuring the moment was nothing more than an extension of Mace’s constant disdain for his being there, his very existence. From the moment Qui-Gon Jinn presented Anakin to the debriefing after Geonosis, Master Windu always seemed irked by his presence, like he should not have even been there. One time, Anakin caught his look when fellow Padawans mentioned the Chosen One prophecy—in jest, of course—and the power of his instant glare felt more deadly than his renowned fighting technique.
Seriously, it's like Mike Chen was inspired by Professor Snape bullying Harry during Potions lessons (and every other opportunity).
Like a button pushed in his mind, Anakin saw Mace’s glare, heard his condescending monotone speech, felt the air of judgment that naturally came with him. He knew the Jedi Master would do anything to complete the mission, to dedicate himself to seeing justice in the Republic. But did he care about anyone?
Does seriously no one else remember that in AOTC, Anakin and Mace seemed to respect each other, and Mace defended Anakin to Obi-Wan when Obi-Wan said Anakin was arrogant and not ready for a solo mission? Am I still the only one?
“Skywalker. Where are you going?” Mace Windu always spoke with quiet intensity, but now the venerable Jedi Master’s frustration manifested into an emerging growl. In all of the challenges that Mace had faced down recently, from taking down Jango Fett with a single lightsaber swipe to staring down an overwhelming wave of super battle droids on Dantooine, he’d done so with such calm and control—and yet here, a simple comm trick managed to get under his skin.
. . .
Anakin cut off the transmission there, Mace’s burning eyes and tight scowl suddenly disappearing.
Even when the text acknowledges Mace's accomplishments, it's only to contrast them to how Anakin now is outwitting and getting the better of him and cast Mace as an uptight killjoy.
“Skywalker is no longer your responsibility,” Mace said, the lines on his face shifting ever so slightly. Obi-Wan recognized the look—it seemed to be a constant whenever Anakin and Mace crossed paths. Even Jedi had interpersonal conflicts, he supposed.
I've seen some discussion chalking up Mace's characterization in this book to Anakin being an unreliable narrator. But the thing is, the problem just can't be Anakin being an unreliable narrator if Obi-Wan is thinking the same thing.
“While you depart for Cato Neimoidia, we have a new matter to discuss: the chancellor’s request to prepare Padawans for the field,” Mace said with a solemn nod.
“Padawans for the military?” Obi-Wan asked, unaware that Palpatine had asked for such a thing. Padawans had certainly fought in skirmishes alongside the clones—Geonosis saw more than its share, including Anakin. But further blurring of the lines between the Jedi Order and the military? The idea caused enough unease in Obi-Wan that it momentarily overtook the mission to Cato Neimoidia in his thoughts.
“A recent discussion. Interrupted by Cato Neimoidia’s tragedy.”
“We must act in the best interests of the Republic. We are at war,” Mace said, as definitive a statement as Obi-Wan had heard the old Master make. “The chancellor is allowing the Jedi freedom to assess the best way to balance military assignments between Jedi Knights and Padawans.”
This is the worst moment for Mace in the book. Hands down. I don't care so much about him being mean or impatient with Anakin or getting fed up with jokes about Anakin being the Chosen One. Whatever.
But right here? When the discussion turns to Padawans being involved in the war? This is the point in the story where Anakin could have been proven as an unreliable narrator, where Mace could have been concerned for the Padawans and didn't want them in the military and clashed with Palpatine to keep them out of it. Or he could have been quietly resigned but questioning himself and the Jedi's place in the war and having a "What have we become moment?" Or he could have been portrayed as being conflicted, torn between his duties as Master of the Order and protecting the Jedi he was meant to lead, and protecting the Republic as Jedi are sworn to do.
Basically, anything, anything other than, "Yeah, my BFF Palpatine told me to send Padawans onto the battlefield, so we're gonna do it."
But there's no concern here. There's no sense that Mace disagrees or is in turmoil or in conflict with himself or with Palpatine. Instead, this passage gives credence to the idea that the Mace Windu of this book doesn't really care about other people, much less the Jedi he's responsible for. There's never any evidence provided that Anakin is wrong in believing Mace doesn't like him or care about anyone in general. In fact, my impression of this portrayal of Mace is that we are supposed to think he doesn't care and that he's not concerned for the safety of the Jedi around him, and that he doesn't even begin to realize what the war could cost them.
And a Mace Windu who doesn't care is just a badly written Mace Windu. End of story.
I mostly like this book, but just like Obi-Wan & Anakin, I think the Mace portrayal is deeply flawed.
This is a little random but thoughts on a crack au where Luke has an “imaginary friend” that is, in fact, Mace Windu’s force ghost
Mace: Now remember what I have taught you
Luke, levitating his things into his backpack for like Tatooine elementary school or whatever: We forgive and love and do no harm, but if we see Palpatine it’s on sight
Owen: Beru it’s happening again-
tfw things with your kid get so weird that you have to bite the bullet and go ask your wizard-in-law to help figure out what the hell is going on.
This would be a lot of fun, and I think Leia deserves a ghostly mentor as well. Let's give her Shaak or Jocasta?
“I think Mace [Windu] is a well thought-out character who has the trust of a lot of people throughout the universe.
It’s important to have characters that people can look at and see that they’ve made a decision to be right. Now we have a lot of antiheroes, and I’ve played a lot of them, but there’s something to be said for the pure, unadulterated good guy.”
— Samuel L. Jackson on his character Mace Windu