Sorry Samuel L Jackson, no one wants Mace Windu in the new Star Wars films

The return of the purple-lightsabered Jedi would augur an entirely unnecessary and deeply disturbing shift back towards the bland side of the Force

Samuel L Jackson and Star Wars really ought to have been a marriage made in Jedi heaven, if such a knotty metaphysical concept can be presumed to exist. On one side, an actor capable of delivering lines with such force of venom that mere sentences of English crystallise into almighty rhetorical thunderbolts; on the other, the greatest space opera saga of all time.

But that was before George Lucas decided to cast Jackson as CGI Yodas purple lightsabered sidekick Mace Windu, a character so muted and mundane that it is utterly impossible to remember anything he ever said in the execrable prequel films. Dont believe me? A quick search turned up the following gems. And these are the best ones.

You refer to the prophecy of The One who will bring balance to the Force. You believe its this boy?

I think it is time we inform the senate that our ability to use the force has diminished.

Our worst fears have been realized. We must move quickly if the Jedi Order is to survive.

In the grand scheme of things, none of the above has quite the resonance of: No Luke, I am your father, Ive got a bad feeling about this, or Someone who loves you, all of which are instantly attributable to their respective owners. And there are dozens more lines from the original trilogy I might easily have quoted instead.

Windus lines could have been spoken by any of the grey, underwritten members of the prequels hideously tedious Jedi council (bar Yoda, who would have said them backwards). And thats because Windu is yet another example of the late-era Lucas penchant for insipidly written identikit characters who exist largely for the purposes of exposition. Windu may have had a few decent lightsaber battles Jackson was none-too impressed with the quality of Rey and Kylo Rens laser sword spats in new episode The Force Awakens but he is otherwise instantly forgettable.

The only really decent roles in the prequels are the baddies, the likes of Christopher Lee (Count Dooku) and the ever-reliable Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine) often mining gold from the distinctly leaden material on offer. But Jackson never got his chance to chew scenery as a nefarious Sith Lord, because Lucas horribly miscast him as a monkish bureaucrat instead.

Imagine for a parsec if the Pulp Fiction star had been given the role of a maverick space vagabond, perhaps part-way between Han Solo and Boba Fett. Young Obi-Wan might have been forced to team up with said cosmic neer-do-well, at least temporarily, to help him complete a vital mission. But where the original trilogy thrilled us with regular trips to the nearest wretched hive of scum and villainy, the prequels always seemed to prefer the dubious joys of the dreary galactic senate.

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Lately Jackson has been dropping hints that Windu might not be dead after all, pointing out that having ones hand cut off by Anakin Skywalker, being royally Force-blasted by Palpatine and falling from a vast height to ones death is the kind of ordeal Jedis have easily survived in the past. In my mind Im not dead, he said during a Twitter Q&A, before telling Entertainment Weekly: Of course he is [alive]! And theres a long history of one-handed Jedi. So why not?

But is this really somewhere Jackson wants to go? Some fans are now suggesting that a (presumably aged, robot-limbed) Windu might turn up in a future Star Wars movie, perhaps Colin Trevorrows Episode IX. After all, JJ Abrams gave Leonard Nimoys Spock a wonderfully dignified last hurrah in the Star Trek reboot movies, despite some of the Vulcans late 80s big screen appearances (Im brandishing barbecue tongs in your general direction, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier camping trip)having made Attack of the Clones look like Citizen Kane.

Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) June 25, 2016

.@starwarsgirl1 #IMDbAskSamJackson pic.twitter.com/aSZ0uwHUpz

Abrams made the wise decision to avoid all reference to Lucass later movies in The Force Awakens, bar a brief line of half-heard dialogue recorded by young Kenobi actor Ewan McGregor in Reys phantasmagorical flashback scene at Maz Kanatas castle. Reversing that paradigm when it helped to free the new movie from any lingering resentment toward the prequels would be a sign that Disney is dead set on an entirely unnecessary and deeply disturbing shift back towards the bland side of the Force.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jul/01/samuel-l-jackson-mace-windu-new-star-wars-films

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