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Mace Windu or Darth Sidious?


Emperor Devon
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After the off-topic but interesting posts in the Telos Tourist Bureau, I thought I;d start a thread about this topic...

 

During Episode III, we all noticed that Windu disarmed Sidious and had him at his feet - right when Anakin walked in. Do you think Mace had actually defeated Sidious and could've killed him were it not for Anakin, or was this one of another of Sidious's feints and deceptions?

 

I'll start. I think the Emperor lost on purpose for several reasons. First, a duel between Sidious and Yoda resulted in a draw - or possibly Sidious' victory, given how Yoda fled. It's obvious for many reasons is stronger than Windu, and to have Palpatine lose to a weaker opponent in one day and result in a draw against a stronger one shortly later makes no sense. Although coincidences are common in Star Wars, the fact that Anakin walked in on Sidious right after he'd 'lost' seemed a little bit too convenient.

 

So, who do you all think was the stronger?

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or was this one of another of Sidious's feints and deceptions?

It was definitely a deception... it is clearly revealed after Anakin makes his choice to turn to the Darkside with the "Power! Unlimited Power!" statement by Sidious while he fries Windu with Force Lightning?

 

If Sidious was 'beaten' by Windu as according to some sources. How is it explainable that he was able to do that impressive display of dark power mere seconds after being defeated and becoming so supposedly weak? There is only one conclusion. Sidious was indeed playing 'possum' the whole time to convert Anakin. That's the way I see it, and will always see it.

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During Episode III, we all noticed that Windu disarmed Sidious and had him at his feet - right when Anakin walked in. Do you think Mace had actually defeated Sidious and could've killed him were it not for Anakin, or was this one of another of Sidious's feints and deceptions?

 

To reiterate what I said in the other thread, I think Sidious was defeated by MWindu, which is shown in the movie. There is nothing else shown in the movie that indicates otherwise as far as I can see. Looking at their facial expressions during the fight it seems to indicate MWindu has the upper hand throughout the duel.

 

Whether Sidious knew that he would eventually lose and just fought a delaying action until Anakin arrived (which he more or less knew he would), or whether he was overconfident in his own lightsaber skills and got a nasty surprise is a more open question. But the end result was the same, he was vanquished. But, being the cunning, calculating type that he was, Sidious used the fact to his advantage when Anakin arrived. Being able to successfully reformulate your plans on the fly as your previous plans are foiled is no weakness. Few well-laid plans survive contact with the enemy wholly intact.

 

The confrontation to begin with was probably a Plan B, suggested by what happens when Anakin learns Palpatine's secret. Sidious had likely hoped Anakin to be a bit more suseptible to his ideas when he first revealed the truth about what he really was, or he might have waited a bit longer and baited him further. He likely didn't expect him to run off and alert the Jedi, seeing how close the the two of them were.

 

To use KotOR-style class definitions, MWindu gives me the impression of being a Weapon Master, while Sidious appears to be a Consular-type. Windu is specialized in lightsaber combat, while Sidious strength lies in other uses of the force (though he's of course no pushover in lightsaber combat either, but not quite on MWindu's level). Sidious is more manipulative and scheming; into deception, deceit and mental manipulation to dull the senses of his opponents rather than a brute force warrior. The brute force warrior role is what he uses his apprentices for (Maul, Dooku and Vader all being supreme lightsaber duelists).

 

It also makes Anakin's intervention that much more important. Had he not turned on Windu there and Windu had murdered Sidious the Empire would have ended before it had a chance to get started and the fate of the galaxy for the next few centuries would have been radically different.

 

If, on the other hand Sidious was merely toying with Windu and could beat him regardless of Anakin's decision then Anakin's role and importance to the galactic history is greatly diminished. The Jedi would have been all but annihilated and the Empire would have been formed regardless of his choice. The only difference would have been the lack of a Darth Vader, but Sidious would have found himself a new apprentice eventually, like he did before, and things would have proceeded according to his plan. Anakin's aid was not crucial for raiding the Jedi Temple; the clones could have done the job anyway, with only higher casualties as a difference. The clones were capable of carrying out Order 66 on their own quite effectively. An all-out assault on Mustafar could have whiped out the separatist leaders, had Sidious not just sent someone else to deal with them instead.

 

* * *

 

In comparison to Sidious vs. Yoda: Yoda also strikes me as a Consular-type to use KotoR class terms to define him. Very strong in the force, but not primarily focused on lightsaber combat, while certainly no pushover either. Thus their Lightsaber vs. Force balance would be more similar than the MWindu vs. Sidious matchup were.

 

It's also worth noting that Sidious never defeats Yoda, the duel ends prematurely with neither of them being vanquished. And if you again look at the facial expressions during the "lightning wrestling" at the end, Sidious starts out confidently and then the balance slowly starts to slide to Yoda's favor just before the lightning destabilizes and the shockwave separates them.

 

Why Yoda chose to disengage is less clear. Perhaps Sidious personal guard of Clone Troopers arrived (they certainly seemed to be on the scene to look for him quite soon after the duel ended) and he didn't favor his chances of taking on Sidious and the clones at the same time? The fight did after all take place in the very center of Sidious' seat of power; Yoda was alone, and time was definitely not on his side during the confrontation.

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I agree with you in principal Stoffe, I think Sidious' switch to using Force Lightning to defeat Windu (and the after-affect of costing him his youthful good looks) was a last resort - OK yes Anakin interceded and was therefore complicit in Windu's death, making Anakin realise that he had already started down the path of the Dark Side - this presumably was Sidious' plan when he realised that the Jedi would come for him. However, I think he under-estimated just how powerful Mace Windu was, and as a consequence Mace would have killed him if Anakin had not joined the fight. Look at the Emperor as he is depicted in ANH, TESB and ROTJ -aside from some more Force Lightning at the end of ROTJ he is to all intents and purposes a crippled old man - obviously still powerful with the Force but not really able to cut it in Saber duels etc. Windu would have wasted him if Anakin had not entered the room at that instant. I'm not sure Sidious would have used up so much Force energy on Windu and Yoda unless he felt it absolutely necessary (ie he couldn't win/draw any other way).

 

On another note, does it not bother anyone how easily Anakin disposed of Dooku in ROTS? I know there is the whole "doubled in power" thing, but Dooku held his own against Anakin and Obi-wan at the end of AOTC, and still had enough to fight Yoda to a standstill, yet in ROTS he manages to last for all of 2 minutes against Anakin on his own. As a master of Form II, he should have been a fearsome opponent for any Saber-wielding Jedi, no matter how Force-powerful they had become.

 

It's probably just me, as I'm a Dark Side freak and Dooku is my fave "prequels" character, it just seems that after these intense Saber battles the bad guy always seems to die in the cheesiest fashion. You know, Maul, Grievous etc. At least Sidious' death was done well.

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I think Sidious "lost" that duel on purpose. Sidious is a master of deception and as several sources state, one of his most powerful abilities is his force prediction.

 

Sidious became aware of Anakin Skywalker when Anakin was 9. Sidious sure learnt everything about Anakin there is to learn, becoming his trusted friend and during that 10+ years of friedship he sure learned almost everything about Anakin's character there is to learn, therefore it is not that far-fetched that Sidious could predict how Anaking would react if he walked in on a Mace-Sidious duel with Sidious as the looser.

 

Just look at all the effort Sidious made to turn Anakin, like sacrificing Dooku, Grievous, ...

It would seem kinda strange if is was randomness that made Anakin turn to the DS in the end.

 

 

@ Sadam: This bothers me too.

 

Dooku is CLEARLY more powerful then Obi-wan, in lightsaber combat (he defeats him with superior skill in Episode 2) and in offensive force technics as well. Not even Yoda could defeat Dooku. It really looked like a draw at the time the duel ended, but I admit there is no doubt Yoda would have won in the long run.

 

So we have Dooku, who bests Obi wan effortlessly and fights yoda to a draw.

And Anakin defeats Dooku (who easily defeats Obi wan) but then gets defeated by Obi wan? Or at least can't break through obi wan's defense at all?

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On another note, does it not bother anyone how easily Anakin disposed of Dooku in ROTS? I know there is the whole "doubled in power" thing, but Dooku held his own against Anakin and Obi-wan at the end of AOTC, and still had enough to fight Yoda to a standstill, yet in ROTS he manages to last for all of 2 minutes against Anakin on his own.

 

I think luck, chance and overconfident arrogance on Dooku's part played a significant role in that outcome. It just goes to show that in the chaos of battle the unexpected can happen and you can't be entirely sure of your victory beforehand even if the odds are stacked in your favour. One little mistake and it's all over.

 

Overconfident arrogance seems to be a key factor in the downfall of sith lords overall. It was what caused DMaul's death as well. He was so certain of his victory that he toyed with OB1 instead of just finishing him off when he had the chance. And overconfident arrogance is essentially what killed Sidious in the end too, after all.

 

 

Sidious is a master of deception and as several sources state, one of his most powerful abilities is his force prediction.

 

Yes, those were his most powerful abilities, and not lightsaber combat. :p And his vaunted foresight and prediction is not infallible. He didn't foresee that the second Death Star would be destroyed, that the Rebels would win that battle, and he didn't foresee that his pet Vader would turn on him and toss him to his death. If there is anything a power-obsessed individual like Sidious would want to foresee it would be his own demise, but still he was unable to do so. I think Sidious is somewhat overconfident in his own premonition ability. Like Yoda said the future is always in motion and not a static, fixed thing. Possible ends may be foreseen, but not all of them, and not necessarily which one will be taken. :)

 

If Sidious really was so powerful as some prefer to think why the need for all the deception and scheming in the shadows? He could just have strolled into the Jedi Temple and slaughtered them all himself with his vastly superior power. :)

 

CLEARLY more powerful then Obi-wan, in lightsaber combat and in offensive force technics as well. Not even Yoda could defeat Dooku. It really looked like a draw at the time the duel ended, but I admit there is no doubt Yoda would have won in the long run. So we have Dooku, who bests Obi wan effortlessly and fights yoda to a draw. And Anakin defeats Dooku (who easily defeats Obi wan) but then gets defeated by Obi wan? Or at least can't break through obi wan's defense at all?

 

Rock, bag, scissors? Different strengths and weaknesses of characters that yields different results when they interact, I'd wager. And besides, if anyone would know Anakin's fighting style, physical prowess and way of reasoning it would be OB1. If you know your opponent it is a significant advantage. The same could of course be said of Anakin knowing OB1, but I got the impression that his judgement and rational thinking was clouded by his darkside rage during that duel, along with him rejecting the Jedi teachings and thus regarding OB1 as weak and inferior and not someone who was a real threat to him.

 

The circumstances surrounding the fights were different as well. Yoda wasn't prepared to let OB1 and Anakin die, so he had to disengage and let Dooku escape in order to save them. Dooku wouldn't have fled if he was confident in his chances of beating Yoda in a straight fight.

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Mace defeated Sidious, Lucas has confirmed that much. But when Sidious was doing his "I'm..too...weak...don't let him kill me" part, that he was definitely faking as we see when he shoots his force lightning. He just did that to try to convince Anakin that Mace was the bad guy here.

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Na Mace lost because in a certain bit when mace swung his lightsaber Sidous duked and put his lightsaber to his chest like your dead and then dropped it and started fighting again so i think Sidous was playing with him, while waiting for Anakin

 

That is actually a pretty cool scene, however while it is true that any fighter (even me :D) could have killed mace in that situation, it might just be bad combat choreograhy.

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Na Mace lost because in a certain bit when mace swung his lightsaber Sidous duked and put his lightsaber to his chest like your dead and then dropped it and started fighting again so i think Sidous was playing with him, while waiting for Anakin

I noticed that too. So I'm going to have to say Sidious put on a show for Anakin due to that reason and also the fact that Sidious just got up afterwards and gave his speech to Anakin while walking around the room and putting his hood on.

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Looking at their facial expressions during the fight it seems to indicate MWindu has the upper hand throughout the duel.
But is that what he wanted to portray to Mace? Did he potentially do so because he wanted Mace to feel he was winning, and so feel he could best him? I just throw that out as a possibility.

 

Also, IIRC the novel states that Yoda and Palpatine are the greatest lightsaber masters of their respective orders.

 

Whether Sidious knew that he would eventually lose and just fought a delaying action until Anakin arrived (which he more or less knew he would), or whether he was overconfident in his own lightsaber skills and got a nasty surprise is a more open question. But the end result was the same, he was vanquished.
But was he? Or did it all go according to plan? Whether Mace was stronger and he held on or he was toying with Mace in the end doesn't matter. He achieved exactly what he set out to do, he forced Anakin to make a decision, and made the "right" decision easier for him.

 

By setting up the situation that Anakin walks in on, Palpatine reenforces everything that he said at their last meeting. The Jedi are corrupt and trying to take over, as Mace is attempting assassinating Palpatine against the Jedi way. He also forces Anakin to decide that Palpatine is the only way to save Padme, and therefore has to save him.

 

But, being the cunning, calculating type that he was, Sidious used the fact to his advantage when Anakin arrived. Being able to successfully reformulate your plans on the fly as your previous plans are foiled is no weakness. Few well-laid plans survive contact with the enemy wholly intact.
Exactly. There are several points along the way in the prequels that don't go as Palpatine planned (Padme escaping Naboo, Padme led attack on Theed, Maul's death, the early arrival of Mace and co, and so on). But each time he adapts and uses it to his advantage.

 

The confrontation to begin with was probably a Plan B, suggested by what happens when Anakin learns Palpatine's secret. Sidious had likely hoped Anakin to be a bit more suseptible to his ideas when he first revealed the truth about what he really was, or he might have waited a bit longer and baited him further. He likely didn't expect him to run off and alert the Jedi, seeing how close the the two of them were.
I think he did expect him to do so. I think he knew that the leap from discovering he was a Sith Lord to accepting that and becoming his apprentace was too great. I think he knew he had to plant the seed and then twist events later to show Anakin that what he said was true and that following him was the only way to get what he wanted.

 

If, on the other hand Sidious was merely toying with Windu and could beat him regardless of Anakin's decision then Anakin's role and importance to the galactic history is greatly diminished.
I don't really think so. Anakin was still the Chosen One.

 

The Jedi would have been all but annihilated and the Empire would have been formed regardless of his choice.
The Empire might have indeed been created anyway, but Palpatine thought he had defeated the Chosen One prophecy by making Anakin a Sith.

 

It's also worth noting that Sidious never defeats Yoda, the duel ends prematurely with neither of them being vanquished.
Well, Yoda says that he had failed, and Palpatine was looking for him to continue the fight and defeat him, so he clearly thought he could.

 

I agree with you in principal Stoffe, I think Sidious' switch to using Force Lightning to defeat Windu (and the after-affect of costing him his youthful good looks) was a last resort.
Or did he just go to his strength when the time was right?

 

OK yes Anakin interceded and was therefore complicit in Windu's death, making Anakin realise that he had already started down the path of the Dark Side - this presumably was Sidious' plan when he realised that the Jedi would come for him.
That's part of it. The other part was that he showed the Jedi were trying to take over and Mace and the Jedi were abandoning Jedi ideals and corrupt. As a result Palpatine showed that the Sith way was now a viable path.

 

However, I think he under-estimated just how powerful Mace Windu was, and as a consequence Mace would have killed him if Anakin had not joined the fight.
If what I remember is true and Palpatine was the greatest Sith lightsaber master, that doesn't necessarily mean he was greater than Mace. But again, I don't think it really mattered either way in his plans, apart from just not getting killed.

 

Look at the Emperor as he is depicted in ANH, TESB and ROTJ -aside from some more Force Lightning at the end of ROTJ he is to all intents and purposes a crippled old man - obviously still powerful with the Force but not really able to cut it in Saber duels etc.
But if you looked at Yoda or even Dooku you might think the same thing. Clearly they can all kick it into high gear when necessary. In the OT he clearly doesn't have to, since he was setting up the Luke/Vader fight anyway.

 

Windu would have wasted him if Anakin had not entered the room at that instant. I'm not sure Sidious would have used up so much Force energy on Windu and Yoda unless he felt it absolutely necessary (ie he couldn't win/draw any other way).
Clearly using lightning wasn't that taxing on him. Not to say fighting Mace and Yoda was easy, but I think that Palpatine had things under control the whole time.

 

On another note, does it not bother anyone how easily Anakin disposed of Dooku in ROTS? I know there is the whole "doubled in power" thing, but Dooku held his own against Anakin and Obi-wan at the end of AOTC, and still had enough to fight Yoda to a standstill, yet in ROTS he manages to last for all of 2 minutes against Anakin on his own. As a master of Form II, he should have been a fearsome opponent for any Saber-wielding Jedi, no matter how Force-powerful they had become.
As stoffe states I think it is like rock/paper/scissors. In the novel is states that Form II was great against other lightsaber forms in general, but the form was not good against raw power that Anakin's form V provides. Anakin basically just bashed through the finesse and grace of Dooku's form II. That was something that Kenobi's form III and Yoda's form IV did not utilize.

 

It's probably just me, as I'm a Dark Side freak and Dooku is my fave "prequels" character
I agree that he is an underrated Sith and villian in general. I love cerebral and "classy" villians.

 

it just seems that after these intense Saber battles the bad guy always seems to die in the cheesiest fashion. You know, Maul, Grievous etc.
And Boba... :)

 

If Sidious really was so powerful as some prefer to think why the need for all the deception and scheming in the shadows? He could just have strolled into the Jedi Temple and slaughtered them all himself with his vastly superior power.
But that was the greatness of the new (post Battle of Ruusan, order of two) Sith. Historically the Sith had battled Jedi in combat and military situations, and ultimately lost. They realized that they weren't going to defeat the Jedi that way, so they completely changed tactics. They attacked the Republic and Jedi in a way that wasn't easy to defend against. They conquered the galaxy essentially right under the Jedi's noses.

 

The Jedi were defeated not because they were necessarily complacient and stuck in their ways, but because those ways were designed to fight a foe that no longer existed in a form that they had once faced. They were not designed to fight the new Sith.

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