Mace Windu Actually Had a Significant Role in The Republic’s Downfall, Based On ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’
Anakin Skywalker’s tragic story comes at the detriment of the whole Republic, all the Jedi, and more. Star Wars is built on hope, as Jyn Erso might say, but there are many, many points in canon where hope just isn’t in the cards for these characters. And with something like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, you already know it’s going to end badly. But still, there were a couple of moments where — had characters chosen a different route — Anakin Skywalker could have been saved from the Dark Side. A massive one involved Mace Windu and Ahsoka. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Season 7].
Ahsoka’s trial really brought out the bad side of the Jedi
To start, it’s important to remember the relationship between these two characters. Master Windu, in the films, is a stern master who was very much the voice of reason, if not a bit cynical. But in the show, you see more of the character and how some of Mace Windu’s actions weren’t so much stern as they were judgemental (and wrongly so).
During Ahsoka’s trial in Season 5, when she was framed for bombing the Jedi Temple, no one on the Jedi Council stood up for her. Anakin was adamant that Ahsoka didn’t do that, and so was she. Plus, the only evidence they had was a video with no sound that seemed to show her Force choking the only suspect they had. Despite lack of further evidence and Ahsoka’s admirable track record and devotion to the Jedi, they decided to ban her from the Order so she’d go on public trial as a citizen.
Obi-Wan and Plo Koon didn’t seem happy with that outcome, although they didn’t come out and support her as Anakin did. And when it was all over, and her name cleared, Mace Windu was the most flippant about the strife Ahsoka had to go through, thanks to the Council.
Plo Koon apologized, and while masters Saesee Tiin and Ki-Adi-Mundi didn’t, they both talked about how her strength really got her through it. But Mace Windu took no culpability and instead said it was supposed to happen. It was her “great trial,” which she does not take well. She decides to leave the Order soon after.
Windu’s dismissal of Ahsoka reinforced her distrust in the Jedi, making Ahsoka leave out Maul’s vision
So, fast-forward to Season 7, and Ahsoka has her last meeting with the Council after defeating Maul. Yoda thanks her, which she says she’s doing as a service to the Republic, as a citizen. Not yet a Jedi, but coming back to the Order seems like it’s something she is toying with, but she needs to speak with Anakin first.
When Mace Windu informs her that Anakin is letting the Chancellor know about Obi-Wan’s current fight with General Grievous, she says the war could be over soon. Windu makes a cryptic remark about how it depends on Palpatine, and of course, Ahsoka wants to know what he means. However, he condescendingly replies, “I’m sorry citizen, these matters are for the council to discuss.” Her little eye twitch and look of resignation says it all.
This moment did two things. It solidified to Ahsoka that she made the right decision to leave the Order. Nothing has changed, and the reasons behind her departure still stand. It also reminds her of her distrust in the Council.
These two reminders stopped Ahsoka from telling the Council about Maul’s vision of Anakin being groomed by Palpatine. Had she told Yoda, it would have led them to have a tighter leash on Anakin, perhaps. They also would have stopped Anakin’s contact with Palpatine. They knew Anakin spent a ton of time with the Chancellor; considering they were so cautious with Anakin, to begin with, Ahsoka’s information would have changed the outcome, if even slightly. But she didn’t share the vision.
Ahsoka was really trying to protect Anakin from the Council’s judgment
It wasn’t necessarily about withholding information from the Jedi Council, for Ahsoka. Yes, she had her grievances with them, but she wouldn’t have done that if she had information she deemed as game-changing. But this was more a moment of protecting Anakin because she so strongly believed she didn’t have important information.
Ahsoka was so adamant that Maul’s vision of Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side was wrong. So why would she tell the Jedi Council about it, if she also already knew they didn’t trust her former master. Having Mace Windu remind Ahsoka of everything wrong with the Order, and also that they recently gave Anakin a mission that he despised (spying on the Chancellor), Ahsoka doesn’t want to give them more reason to distrust Anakin. And, again, she thinks Maul’s vision is false anyway.
No one can deny what Ahsoka’s leaving did to Anakin. Not only did he lose one of his closest bonds — which we know he doesn’t handle too well — but it also opened his eyes more to the faults of the Jedi. This just compounded with Palpatine’s manipulations later on. And now we see how close Ahsoka was to reaching him before he turned. Could she have changed things? Maybe. But we’ll never know.