Samuel L. Jackson has taken tons of roles over the years but one of his more iconic in principle and forgettable in practice was that of Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequel movies. Jackson played the Jedi Master who was very much a version of the actor but dressed up in the brown tunic and carrying a lightsaber. In all, Windu probably got short shrift when it came to character development over the course of the three movies, but that looks set to change going forward. There are some rumors that Mace Windu is going to get an expanded story in upcoming Star Wars works as part of the bigger Lucasfilm plan.
This news about Samuel L. Jackson possibly coming back into the Star Wars universe in some way as Mace Windu follows word that Disney and Lucasfilm are attempting to do right by the prequels by tying up or even expanding on some of the side stories from those movies. This isn’t going to be rewriting or even retconning of the three movies, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith, but rather an attempt to solidify them in the canon moving forward as part of the larger franchise.
How Samuel L. Jackson would or could fit into this plan remains to be seen but there’s some chance Mace Windu and that arc gets further exploration considering the character is still wildly popular in the universe. It might have been a mistake to originally cast Jackson in the role considering his overall demeanor and signature acting prowess threatened to overwhelm a cerebral Jedi master. But they did it anyway and we got the character in that form. We know that Mace Windu died (right?) near the end of Revenge of the Sith after a battle with the Emperor and Anakin, so it’s not clear how the character makes a return.
We could see more side stories for Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu during his time leading up to the events of the prequels, or even overlapping stories within that timeline to lend more credence and understanding to his background and motivations. This would make sense from a storytelling perspective and could strengthen those movie’s narratives.
This exploration and even inclusion of Samuel L. Jackson could possibly come in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi television series that’s coming to Disney+ in the next wave of Star Wars programming. Because Obi-Wan’s story overlapped with the prequels, this show would be a good starting place for tying in those storylines.
As for Samuel L. Jackson, he’s still firmly entrenched in another franchise you might have heard of, Marvel. He’s set to reprise his character, Nick Fury, in a bunch of upcoming projects with the biggest being Secret Invasion. That limited series will tell a huge story about a Skrull takeover of Earth in which they impersonate top leaders and even heroes. It’s a massive storyline and could end up being one of the signature productions of Marvel’s Phase Four. He’s also got starring roles in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with Ryan Reynolds and Salma Hayek coming out later this year. So there’s plenty on his plate before possibly returning to Star Wars.