When Mace Windu battled Chancellor Palpatine in the chancellor's office, they shattered the window in the office.

Anybody in a nearby building could see into the office and watch the final moments of the duel. I could imagine hundreds of cameras secretly watched every corner of the Senate office building day and night. (After all, various governments, news agencies, and corporations have cameras and microphones aimed at embassies and government office buildings all over the world here on Earth today.) And there are hundreds (thousands?) of air cars flying within a few kilometers of the office.

They would see the key moments leading up to the end of the Jedi.

  • Mace Windu in a lightsaber duel with the Chancellor.
  • Mace kicking Palpatine in the face and knocking the red lightsaber out the window.
  • Anakin Skywalker arriving in the office.
  • Palpatine zapping Mace with lightning bolts from his hands. (Or trying to because Mace blocked it with his lightsaber.)
  • Mace attempting to kill Palpatine.
  • Anakin slicing off Mace's hand.
  • Palpatine zapping and defenestrating Mace to his death.
  • Anakin kneeling in front of Palpatine.
  • Anakin leaving the office unharmed.

An observer could think, "Whoa! Shit just got real! Palpatine has some real lightsaber moves! How did he learn to swing a blade like that if he aint a Jedi? And he can make lightning bolts with his hands! And then Anakin attacked a Jedi Master!"

It would be enough to make people think Palpatine was a Sith Lord.

Just imagine the news headlines and videos posted all over the galactic internet the next day.

Is there anything in the Disney Canon or Expanded Universe about anybody observing the duel?

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    +1 clearly, there is no social media in the Galactic Republic.
    – Paul
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 3:55
  • 6
    "Palpatine zapping and defenestrating Mace to his death." LOL! Had to look that word up, and was delighted to see that the use here actually covered both meanings of the word. Nice one. :) Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 5:07
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    @AndrewThompson I hoped somebody would catch both definitions of defenestrating. Both definitions are rarely used today as they were centuries ago and it was a pleasure to use both at once.
    – RichS
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 5:15
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    obviously there was otherwise we would never had had the documentary that is StarWars
    – Naib
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 17:26
  • In the novelisation, Palpatine recorded the audio from the first part of the encounter, making it look like an attempted coup. Does that count?
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


I'm not aware of any source which indicates that anyone filmed the duel. The canon novel Tarkin does indicate that it is public knowledge that a duel took place, so it's possible that someone directly observed a duel:

There were many stories about what had occurred that day in the chancellor’s office. The official explanation was that members of the Jedi Order had turned up to arrest Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and a ferocious duel had ensued. The matter of precisely how the Jedi had been killed or the Emperor’s face deformed had never been settled to everyone’s satisfaction, and so Tarkin had his private thoughts about the Emperor, as well. That he and Vader were kindred spirits suggested that both of them might be Sith. Tarkin often wondered if that wasn’t the actual reason Palpatine had been targeted for arrest or assassination by the Jedi.

p. 77

However, if anyone observed the duel they were apparently unable to see that Palpatine was one of the duelists and therefore was a Sith Lord. Otherwise the Empire could not have gotten away with an "official explanation" that was so vague and unsatisfactory.

It's worth noting that Palpatine did know ahead of time that he was going to be confronted by the Jedi. Palpatine had revealed that he was a Sith Lord to Anakin and he knew Anakin would tell the other Jedi. Palpatine undoubtedly would have used that time to increase security in the area around his office in order to make sure no one saw/recorded him wielding his lightsaber. He could have justified such high security since the Republic was at war. The presence of the nearby vehicles is more difficult to explain, but apparently their drivers were paying attention to the "road" and/or were moving too quickly to get a good look at Palpatine.

  • "There were many stories about what had occurred that day in the chancellor’s office." And the Empire probably dismissed all those stories as mere conspiracy theories and propaganda by rebels. But still you can bet your last republic credit that hundreds of cameras were focused on that office window. Not to mention long distance microphones for picking up slight sounds.
    – RichS
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 5:48

No. A lightsaber rumored to be Windu's was found, but the owner did not know of any means, video proof or otherwise, to verify that it was his

In the Legends book The Last of the Jedi: A Tangled Web, Senator Sano Sauro owned what was rumored to be Windu's lightsaber.

[Sauro] turned and looked at the artifact that hung suspended in a cube of transparisteel. He allowed himself to feel a surge of satisfaction at the battered object, a broken lightsaber hilt from a fallen Jedi. The Duro who sold it to him told him it had belonged to Mace Windu himself, but Sauro had no way to verify that. It just pleased him to imagine it.

There are a couple of things I take from this:

  • Sauro (a high ranking senator in Palpatine's inner circle) wasn't even able to confirm that this hilt belonged to Mace Windu, so footage or pictures of him using his lightsaber throughout his tenure as a Jedi are virtually non-existent.
  • The Duro who sold the lightsaber did not provide any proof that it was Windu's lightsaber.
  • Since neither the Senator nor the Duro had any proof that this was actually Windu's, the only way this could be Mace Windu's lightsaber (and not a fake) were if:
    • Someone saw the fight, but didn't record it, and went to pick up the lightsaber
    • Someone found the lightsaber and recognized it as Windu's, but from firsthand knowledge

Although not a direct answer, again the lack of information about Windu's lightsaber, and the fact that Sauro had no way to verify whether or not this was even his lightsaber at all, means that nobody was known to have recorded the fight. If there was a known recording, Sauro would have had a way to verify the lightsaber.

  • 1
    There's a difference between saying "there is no evidence" and saying "we have no known evidence". You can't prove that no such evidence exists. On the other hand, if people filmed it, you think some of those films would be on the news or internet within minutes after the event. Just imagine how hard it would be for people on Earth to ignore many videos of an assassination attempt on a national leader.
    – RichS
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 17:44
  • I sometimes wondered what happened to Mace's lightsaber after that duel. Since Palpatine's lightsaber also went out the window that night, I wondered what happened to it. Maybe a guard at the base of the Senate office building saw it, picked it up, and returned it.
    – RichS
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 17:46
  • @RichS Fair point, I've softened my claims to say that there is no known evidence. Although you're right, video footage would likely wind up on HoloYouTube pretty quickly. Even if Palpatine was censoring it, someone in his inner circle like Sauro would probably be able to find out about it if he tried. Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 17:48
  • @RichS Also according to Wookieepedia, Palpatine owned multiple lightsabers and just used a backup one for his fight with Yoda. There is no info as to the fate of his lightsaber from his duel with Windu. Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 17:53

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