Mace Windu’s death in Revenge of the Sith is a popular topic of debate within the Star Wars fandom. There’s plenty of theories that build on the idea that the Jedi Master survived his demise at the hands of Darth Sidious, paving the way for Samuel L. Jackson to one day make a surprise return. But there’s also plenty of debate to say Windu shouldn’t have died that way at all, and those discussions can be backed up by hints that the Jedi was originally meant to face a vengeful Boba Fett — and die by his hands.
Windu’s original fall was both anticlimactic and a symbol of the way the Jedi Order was betrayed from within. Made aware that Chancellor Palpatine was secretly the Sith Lord behind the ongoing war, he gathers a small squad of Jedi to arrest Palpatine. But the situation goes awry as Palpatine, no longer hiding his Sith rage, kills the other Jedi and duels Windu. Windu is on the verge of winning when Anakin Skywalker‘s Dark Side nature overtakes him, and he loses a hand to Anakin before Sidious’ Force Lightning shoves him out a window.
While the lack of a body is a boon to fans ready to bring Windu back from the dead, it’s ironic that his fate is similar to Boba’s unceremonious fall into a Sarlacc pit in Return of the Jedi. It’s another string to tie the pair’s fate together, with Boba, still a child, swearing vengeance against Windu after the Jedi Master killed Jango Fett in front of him during the battle of Geonosis. Boba does get some time in the spotlight during Star Wars: The Clone Wars. with some of his early episodes centering around his quest to exact that vengeance.
But there are some obscure clues to suggest that, at one point, George Lucas strongly considered giving Boba what he was owed during Revenge of the Sith. Artist Warren Fu is one of today’s biggest music video directors, but he cut his teeth on design work for Lucasfilm. A concept artist for General Grevious, Wu also sketched an early artboard called “Boba Fett’s Revenge: The Death of Mace Windu.” It was first printed in Star Wars Insider #85 as part of a special three-part section on the art of Revenge of the Sith, and can also be found in the book, The Making of Revenge of the Sith, by the original article’s author, J.W Rinzler.
The art itself doesn’t make the context clear. Boba, prone, is taking a fatal shot at Mace, who is mid-jump. There are also a number of Clone Troopers also aiming their weapons at the Jedi, so it’s safe to assume this is after Order 66. But the only other information about this piece is the Star Wars Insider caption that says, “On January 10, Lucas states definitively that Boba Fett would only be 16 and therefore too young.” There’s no clarification on what this statement means, but the visual itself is exciting for Boba fans.
For Boba to have achieved his dream of vengeance would have been a better finale for Windu, ensuring that the bounty hunter earned the reputation he was implied to have in the Original Trilogy by taking out one of the Jedi’s fiercest masters. Windu’s fall out of a window is meant to be thematically anticlimactic on purpose, but it still comes off like bad comedy to many fans, and it also feels like a misuse of Jackson’s reputation.
Letting fate bring Windu face to face with the child he unwittingly orphaned would have been a stronger metaphor for the damage the Jedi caused by losing contact with the worlds around them, and how that brought them down. Boba stopped being a child the day Windu changed his life, and although he’s finally back for more, this piece of art proves that the pain Windu left behind could’ve been better addressed.