While watching the first Star Wars Ewok movie; Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure I noticed that one of the main characters was called Mace. This of course made me think of Mace Windu from Episodes I - III.
Given that both the Ewok film and the main Star Wars films were largely written by George Lucas, has it ever been address why he decided to reuse part of the name?
The first Star Wars name George Lucas came up with was Mace Windu; his name is featured in one of the first drafts of A New Hope. Was your character Mace Towani named after him?
No. Mace Towani is Star Wars first Mace. He used the name again with Samuel Jackson because he liked the name. There is no truth to the rumor that Mace Windu was in the first drafts of A New Hope. Mace Windu was never mention in The Journal of the Whills or the first drafts of A New Hope. All that was added later. But if you know anyone that has one of the original scripts from 1973-1976 and not revised ones, they will tell you that Mace was added later. In fact a lot of Star Wars writers have done articles in magazines calling Eric Walker Star Wars first Mace. You can find the articles in the official Star Wars magazine of Germany and the U.K.
The well-sourced article on Wookieepedia on Mace Windu gives the following explanation under Character Concept
The name "Mace Windu" (or Mace Windy) actually dates back to the earliest incarnation of Star Wars, a 13-page treatment written by George Lucas in 1973 called Journal of the Whills, Part I. The character Windy Marstrap is also derived from early incarnations of Mace Windu, becoming variously a brother of Leia in the rough draft and a friend of Luke's in the third draft. A similar name—Mace Towani—appeared in the made-for-television Ewok films Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984) and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985). An alien in Spare Parts (c. 1994) and Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley (1993) also went by the name of Mace Windu, an abbreviation of his full name Macemillian-winduarté. The name Mace Windu was finally introduced into the films with The Phantom Menace (1999). Although a HoloNet article mentioning Mace Windu's participation in the Battle of Skor II explains Macemillian-winduarté's name, the coexistence of the names "Mace Towani" and "Mace Windu" may imply that "Mace" was a common name throughout the galaxy, or that Towani was simply named after Windu due to Windu's fame (given the fact that the Ewok films take place during the Galactic Civil War).
At least one thing can be said without any possibility of being wrong: The mace from the 2 ewok films can NOT be the mace from the star wars I-III. Even if we ignore the skin color difference there is something happening in the 2nd film that makes this impossible:
Mace dies alongside the whole family aside from his sister.