Comics

Star Wars: Mace in Your Face

Mace Windu takes center stage in a series by Matt Owens and Denys Cowan!

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Star Wars fans and Marvel mavens alike spoke—no, shouted—and Marvel listened: one of the greatest Jedi Knights of all will finally star in his own series, STAR WARS: JEDI OF THE REPUBLIC: MACE WINDU.

No one’s more excited for the purple lightsaber-wielding champion to receive his due than writer Matt Owens, and as it turns out, he can barely wait for issue #1 to debut this August.

Marvel.com: Matt, how did you become a Star Wars fan?

Matt Owens: When I was growing up, my father showed me a lot of the sci-fi shows and movies that he loved and it’s one of the things that set me on my path. Star Wars, Star Trek, the original Battlestar Galactica—I was watching these things well before I fully understood them, but I loved them nonetheless. I remember getting “A New Hope” on VHS one Christmas as a kid and it was the happiest day of my life. I remember sitting in a tree house with my childhood friend Austin reading [the Star Wars novel] “Ambush at Corellia” in total silence when it first came out, periodically perking up with “Did you get to this part yet!?”

Marvel: Looks like it looms large with you. That had to feel pretty good when you got the MACE WINDU gig.

Matt Owens: It’s something I have always known. As a reader and a gamer and a collector, Star Wars has always been a part of my life. To be a part of this universe, to be trusted to tell stories here, is truly a privilege.

Marvel.com: Big question: Who is Mace Windu to you?

Matt Owens: I think Mace Windu is the ultimate wish-fulfillment for the audience personified in Star Wars. He’s a badass with his own colored lightsaber. He’s the greatest Jedi warrior. He’s friends with Yoda. He doesn’t trust Anakin. He is [actor] Sam Jackson speaking for us. In his own right, he’s a man just trying to do the right thing according to the rules which govern his life.

I see him foremost as a teacher and a leader. He is incredibly strong and wise and tries his best to lead others down the right path. Sometimes that does mean having to fight. There’s an interesting conflict in a man revered for his fighting skills who would rather not use them. Being a great warrior does not mean you have a love of combat, a lust for bloodshed. His lightsaber is the last weapon Mace would want to pick up. Similarly, he is a fiercely intelligent orator, yet despises politics. He is a man thrust into positions and situations he may not enjoy, but he does them because he just wants to do what is right.

Marvel.com: Sounds like you may connect with the character on a personal level, too.

Matt Owens: I grew up in a religious African-American household, so I see some similarities between Mace and the people I would look at around me. Religion is important to people for a variety of reasons. It gives people something to believe in, something to fall back on, something to support them, something to set their moral compass. Everyone has their own reasons for believing in what they believe.

I see Mace as a person who needs the way of the Jedi. He believes so strongly in the Force, believes it is the true path to peace in the galaxy and harmony amongst all peoples. Sometimes faith can be blind. Sometimes it can be misinterpreted or lead us astray. Some see religion as a guide, but not such a strict mandate. If you question your religion, does that make you a bad Christian? Muslim? Jedi? That’s one of the struggles Mace is dealing with in this story. The galaxy is at war. The role of the Jedi has changed, leading armies into battle. Is this their place? If peace is the ends, are the means justified? Are they on the right side of said peace? These are the kind of soul-searching questions Mace will have to dig deep and answer for himself. And not just Mace. Questions such as these are on the minds of many Jedi at this tumultuous time.

Marvel.com: Right; the series is set at the outbreak of the Clone Wars. Who else might we see that we’d recognize from the films?

Matt Owens: I asked for every conceivable character I could think of for this book. I overshot, in the hopes I could play with a few of my own personal beloved characters besides Mace. I’m very excited to say there is a lot of Kit Fisto in this book. I loved getting to know him more in the “Clone Wars” series. I’ve always seen him having a close relationship with Mace. They have fought together many times and even meet their end together. Exploring the lead-up to that demise is something I wanted to take a look at. That’s what I find so interesting about telling stories in this time. There is so much left unexplored during the Clone Wars. People want to see new things that shaped how the galaxy comes out the other side of the conflict.

Marvel.com: And there’ll be new characters, too, right?

Matt Owens: Yes, I also got the honor to create a few new characters for this book. Which is insane to me and I am still freaking out about it. You’ll meet two new Jedi, Prosset and Rissa, who are accompanying Mace on his journey. I wanted there to be new Jedi to give perspective to the emotional journey Mace is going through, but also have stories in their own right. Prosset is a sharp and inquisitive Miraluka. Rissa is an engineer and newly appointed Jedi Knight.

My favorite new character is probably the mercenary droid AD-W4. Hired by the Separatists to oversee a clandestine mission, AD is a droid who does not understand the concept or adherence to the doctrines of the Force. He embodies the science vs faith debate. It’s the perfect foil for Mace who is going through a crisis of faith at the time.

Marvel.com: Okay, and beyond all this coolness, you get to work with incredible artist Denys Cowan on the book.

Matt Owens: Denys Cowan is a legend. I have issues of POWER MAN AND IRON FIST and The Question of his on my bookshelf. I’m thrilled to work with him. There’s a rawness to his art that brings a welcome edge to the still familiar Star Wars look. I get so excited whenever he sends me sketches and I think people will feel the same when they see his finished work.

Look for STAR WARS: JEDI OF THE REPUBLIC: MACE WINDU by Matt Owens and Denys Cowan this August!