Published November 3, 2017

Mace Windu: Insurrection

Writer Matt Owens previews a conflict between Jedi!

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On November 29, two guardians of peace and justice eschew their philosophical responsibilities as ally faces ally in battle. In STAR WARS: JEDI OF THE REPUBLIC – MACE WINDU #4, by writer Matt Owens and artist Denys Cowan, the Jedi Master looks to put down a rebellion in his ranks after former friend Prosset Dibs challenges his leadership.

We caught up with Owens to discuss the oncoming clash and the complex life of a Jedi. What attracted you to the idea of exploring such a complex moral situation between two Jedi?

Matt Owens: The time period of the book afforded a very obvious opportunity for a story about grey areas. You have the Jedi, who have operated according to their specific doctrine for generations, suddenly thrust into an entirely new role and arena. People naturally pause and contemplate that. Now, the degrees of action following that contemplation will vary. Some would still stick to the established Jedi way. Some would quietly question the new direction. Some would loudly question the new direction. Putting these varying degrees in the mouths of a group of Jedi acts as a catalyst for some great conflict. And we are seeing play out right now. How has Denys Cowan helped you realize the specific tone of your story? Overall, how has the collaboration been?

Matt Owens: There is an edge—a harshness—to Denys’s art that lines up so well with the tone of this story. It’s a great fit.

There’s a great creative snowball effect to our collaboration. When he sketches off my script, he sees things and adds detail, then I look at them and get more ideas for things to add—which, in turn, inspires him again and so on and so forth. Both Windu and Dibs have legitimate arguments leading them to this conflict. How do you maintain such an objective, nonjudgmental stance so that the reader has the choice to side with either Jedi?

Matt Owens: To make any conflict between characters compelling, they both have to believe that they are right. And for that to be interesting to an audience, they both need to have a point of view that can be seen as correct. That can be a difficult line to walk. But that’s the only way to make something true, for people to feel or learn something from it. How might this fratricidal fight impact the other members of the group?

Matt Owens: Rissa, as the youngest member of the team, feels incredibly distraught by this. Not only does she not understand Prosset refusing to follow orders and listen to his commander, but attacking another Jedi seems completely insane to her. Kit gets affected as well, but his understanding is more internal. He sees the battle between Mace and Prosset as a physical representation of the two stands Jedi can make right now. Which one will win out in the end? The answer will be important to him. How are both Dibs and Windu psychologically affected by this situation?

Matt Owens: Both of them feel torn. Mace doesn’t want to fight his fellow Jedi; he understands that Prosset has gotten frustrated. But at the same time, he has to be a leader, an example. If Mace does not fight to defend the path of the Jedi, then he cannot convince others (or himself) that he’s made the right choice. He wields his lightsaber with a heavy heart.

Prosset does truly believe that the Jedi Council is in the wrong. That everything he knows and loves is being corrupted. He’s acting out of desperation to save himself. Last question: how cool does it feel to write a scene where two Jedi throw down?

Matt Owens: It’s so much fun! A simultaneous physical and philosophical battle between two Jedi? It’s a dream come true.

Read STAR WARS: JEDI OF THE REPUBLIC – MACE WINDU #4, by Matt Owens and artist Denys Cowan, on November 29!