After Anakin told Windu that Palpatine was a Sith, Windu made a plan on the fly to assassinate Palpatine with few Jedi present.

Why didn't he contact Yoda and other Jedi Masters who were in the battlefield before going after Palpatine?

They could have even reached the conclusion that the Clone Wars was a deceit (Dooku was on Separatists' side, so reaching this conclusion shouldn't have been difficult) and they could have returned to Coruscant. Or maybe, Yoda could have said, "Powerful may be, the Dark Lord. Wait for me, you must."

  • 4
    @Null, the other Jedi could probably have used a warning that the clone troopers might turn on them.
    – Jaciq
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 16:23
  • @Null After concluding Clone Wars was a deceit, they could drop the war until next Republic plan (after defeat of Palpatine).
    – user931
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 16:23
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    The bigger question is why didn't Mace Windu choose to confront Palpatine in public...so that if he tries to run away...or takes out a lightsaber and starts waving it around...it becomes pretty obvious that he IS a sith lord.
    – Demarini
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 16:28
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    @SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 Surely they could arrest him on suspicions of other offenses. Once he is in custody and some research is done I can't imagine it would be hard to figure out all of the actual illegal things he has done as chancellor and sith lord. With the strings he was pulling it would be impossible to cover all tracks and ensure that no one talks at all. The only reason he was able to do it before was because no one knew he was a sith lord, and most people thought he was a pretty good guy.
    – Demarini
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 16:50
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    Because plot. No matter how critical the time requirement, Windu got the other three masters together, indicating he had time for phone calls. Even if Yoda was unavailable due to battle conditions, the Jedi Temple would have been alerted and trustworthy people there would have alerted every jedi across the galaxy. If they decided not to tell everyone for operational security, the Temple personnel would still have informed other high-up allies and jedi across the galaxy.
    – Taejang
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 15:01

4 Answers 4


The Jedi learned that Palpatine was a Sith Lord when Palpatine told Anakin. Anakin decided not to attack Palpatine at the time but instead to report him to the Jedi Council, at which point he informed Mace Windu about Palpatine. When Windu learned the truth about Palpatine he had to realize that time was of the essence: a Sith Lord was the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic and knew that the Jedi were aware of him (because he told Anakin). Windu knew that Palpatine, as the Supreme Chancellor, had considerable power that he could potentially use against the Jedi before the Jedi could act. Thus, Windu had to have concluded that he needed to attack Palpatine immediately.

At the time, Yoda was leading the Republic troops in the Battle of Kashyyyk and was unavailable to help. Nonetheless, Windu had Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin, and Kit Fisto with him. It was reasonable for him to think that four Jedi Masters -- all on the Jedi Council -- would be sufficient to arrest one Sith Lord.

Since (a) time was of the essence, (b) Yoda was unavailable, and (c) it was 4 Jedi Masters vs. 1 Sith Lord, it was reasonable for Windu to attack Palpatine immediately and think that he could win the showdown.

(Review the Episode III synopsis if you don't remember the sequence of events.)

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    It almost worked, too. Would have done if Anakin had followed orders and remained behind. Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 23:39
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    @Harry It's debatable. It's possible that Palpatine lost intentionally to Windu.
    – user931
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 3:26
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    And Mace Windu would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for that meddling Anakin.
    – Zikato
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 8:40
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    Those other Jedi Masters seem exceptionally weak considering how fast they were brought down... Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 17:35
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    I like how people keep asking completely logical questions about the SW prequels and we keep building answers that make sense, but most likely Lucas never thought about. It's as if we were back-writing the story to make more sense than it did in the movies! Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 8:17

To quote Yoda himself:

Yes. Yes. A flaw more and more common among Jedi. Too sure of themselves they are. Even the older, more experienced ones.

Rarely in the movies does a Jedi, let alone a Jedi Master, run away from a fight with a Sith.(1) Yoda often cautioned the eager ones (Obi-wan and Luke). Luke certainly didn't listen.

  1. Notable exceptions: Qui-gon running from Darth Maul in Episode 1, and Anakin choosing not to engage Sidious.
  • 8
    @phantom42 Sounds like Qui-gon was the wisest Jedi of them all, then.
    – Marsh
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 18:31
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    @MartinCarney Especially given what happens when he finally does fight Darth Maul one-on-one...
    – KSmarts
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 18:38
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    I personally feel that the entire prequel trilogy demonstrates not only that the Jedi are arrogant, but that arrogance is their downfall. The Jedi had ascended to be a position of so much power and the council members were at the top of a large bureaucracy. They didn't see it coming. Contrast to Return of the Jedi. Luke (after learning the hard way by ignoring Obi-Wan and Yoda's advice in TESB) remained calm and refused to fight, then pointed out that Palpatine's weakness was his arrogance. Funny how the tables turned and history repeated itself.
    – Brandon
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 18:54
  • @brandon that is what I also saw there when I saw the prequels. The jedi were becoming mroe and more arrogant. It led me to think that the jedi themselves were becoming darker thus and the "bringing of balance" thus had to include also reducing them to nothing (in addition to the fully dark sith)
    – Thomas
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 6:19

If you recall, Mace Windu was already on his way to ask Palpatine to relinquish his emergency powers at once. Yoda had already discussed this previously with Mace and Obi-Wan. An accomplished Jedi himself and with the help of Kit Fisto, Saesee Tiin, and Agen Kolar, it is no surprise the Mace felt the need to rush to the chancellor's chambers based on his previous discussions with Master Yoda.

Also, Mace Windu was an EXTREMELY accomplished Jedi within himself, and defeated Palpatine in lightsaber combat prior to Anakin's interruption

  • 18
    It is debatable whether Windu really defeated Palpatine or Palpatine threw the fight to entice Anakin to join the dark side.
    – Null
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 16:29
  • Revelation of his being Sith was a serious issue. Previous discussions concluded anything without keeping this fact on table.
    – user931
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 16:40
  • @SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 True, and Mace Windu's response was genuinely surprised. He is quoted as saying "We must move quickly if the Jedi Order is to survive." Having the galactic senate under your control is a huge advantage (recall the discussion about most senators being easily influenced between Padme and Bail Organa), and Mace clearly felt that wasting time would have meant the end of the Jedi
    – MAF
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 16:45

Because yoda was unavailable and he thought three other jedi would be enough

  • 1
    This doesn't add anything to the more detailed, accepted answer.
    – Blackwood
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 22:26

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