15

When Mace Windu decides that he has to kill Palpatine, he is holding his lightsaber inches from Palpatine's throat.

Given that a lightsaber can cut metal, he should have easily been able to kill Palpatine by just thrusting the lightsaber forward.

This would finish Palpatine without giving him or Anakin any time to intervene.

Instead however, Windu swings his blade back to slice at Palpatine, allowing Anakin to intervene and save him.

Why does Mace Windu swing back instead of simply slashing forward, when slashing forward would have guaranteed Palpatine's death and avoided any risk of interference?

  • 5
    Windu went a little bit to the dark side ... He was putting anger and frustration into that swing – Cearon O'Flynn Feb 9 '16 at 17:04
  • 7
    Because he's a schmuck – Valorum Feb 9 '16 at 17:05
  • 5
    To give Anakin a chance to disarm him? – Scott Whitlock Feb 9 '16 at 17:10
  • 1
    Cos he's Samuel L Jackson and he's mad. I'm surprised (and disappointed) he didn't give him a speech first. – ThruGog Feb 9 '16 at 22:16
  • 1
    For reasons of plot. – Jon Kiparsky Apr 26 '17 at 1:53
6

According to the film's official novelisation, Palpatine was using the Force to push Mace's lightsaber around. Swinging it (e.g. rather than simply poking it toward him at low speed) would presumably make it this feat dramatically harder.

Mace’s blade bent so close to his [own] face that he was choking on ozone. “Anakin, he’s too strong for me-“

...

Mace yanked his arm free. “He’s too dangerous to be left alive. If you could have taken Dooku alive, would you have?”
Skywalker’s face swept itself clean of emotion. “That was different-“
Mace turned toward the cringing, beaten Sith Lord. “You can explain the difference after he’s dead.”
He raised his lightsaber.
“I need him alive!” Skywalker shouted. “I need him to save Padme!”
Mace thought blankly, Why? And moved his lightsaber toward the fallen Chancellor.

Revenge of the Sith: Official Novelisation

  • 5
    It's unclear to me how your quote backs up you claim. Explain like I'm 5 years old. :) – RedCaio Feb 9 '16 at 19:39
  • 1
    @Richard I understand that It's harder to push something away if it's moving toward you at high speed. I'm saying that I don't see how you're source supports your claim that "Palpatine was using the Force to push Mace's lightsaber around." – RedCaio Feb 9 '16 at 23:30
  • 2
    Yep - that text says the opposite, that Palpy was beaten and cringing, not using Force push or whatever. – Oldcat Feb 10 '16 at 1:03
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    @Richard I don't think your quote supports your answer. It needs to demonstrate Palpatine's use of the Force to hold back Mace Windu's blade at the least. Showing that the swing is necessary to complete the kill is an added bonus, or else the only way to derive that is through inference. – thegreatjedi Feb 11 '16 at 5:22
  • 1
    @Timpanus Having the blade farther back allows Windu to swing at a greater variety of angles, making it more likely that he will strike at one the emperor isn't force pushing. – Weaveworker89 Feb 11 '16 at 10:45

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