A respected Jedi on par with the venerable Yoda, Mace Windu was a senior member of the Jedi High Council. His wisdom and experience were legendary, and his words carried great weight.
In the later years of the Republic, Windu spent most of his time in the Jedi Temple of Coruscant. He regularly conferred with Yoda and the ten other members of the Council, contemplating the very nature of the Force and the affairs of the Jedi Knights.
Windu was well schooled in Jedi philosophy and history. He knew of the ancient prophecy of the Chosen One who would return balance to the Force. When maverick Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn approached the Council with a prospective candidate to fulfill that prophecy, Windu was hesitant. With reservations, he agreed that the child, Anakin Skywalker, could be tested for Jedi potential.
Though Anakin had the highest midi-chlorian count on record, and indeed showed great potential, the Council and Windu decided that he was not to be trained. He was too old to begin the life of a Jedi. After Qui-Gon's death, the Council rescinded their original decision, and granted Obi-Wan Kenobi permission to train Anakin Skywalker.
Windu, a diplomat by nature, believed in the power of words over action. But as the galaxy found itself increasingly fragmented by the rise of a powerful secessionist movement, he grew to question some of his firmest held beliefs.
He thought it impossible that the Separatist leader, former Jedi Count Dooku, could be behind the escalating flashpoints of violence in the galaxy. Such aggression was not in his character, Mace reasoned.
When an intelligence report from Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi revealed the Separatists gearing up for war, Windu came to realize that the time for negotiation had passed. Though he reminded the Supreme Chancellor that the Jedi were peacekeepers and not soldiers, as the Clone Wars began, the Jedi found themselves leading platoons of clone troopers into battle.
Reversals such as these troubled Master Windu, for they came about too suddenly, and the usually prescient Jedi were unprepared. Something was clouding the future, and the order's very connection to the Force was weakening. That a Sith Lord existed, somewhere in the galaxy, was not in doubt, but could this shadowy villain really bring this much imbalance to the Force?
At the first engagement on Geonosis, Windu arrived ahead of the clone trooper army with a Jedi taskforce. He was there to free Jedi held captive by Count Dooku. In the battle that ensued, Windu faced Dooku's hired gun, bounty hunter Jango Fett. Though Fett had proven himself deadly against other Jedi, he was no match against Windu. The Jedi Master repeatedly deflected Jango's incoming blasts, and quickly decapitated the hunter with his lightsaber.
As the Clone Wars erupted on Geonosis, Windu led a special squad of commando clone troopers into the thick of battle. He would be one of the few Jedi to return unscathed from that first engagement.