One of the most accomplished Jedi during the Star Wars Skywalker Saga was Mace Windu, who was the only Jedi to ever defeat Palpatine in a straight-up lightsaber duel. That means that Mace was one of the strongest Jedi of his time and was arguably the best duelist of that era. As a Jedi Master, of course, he was called to serve the Jedi High Council and train a younger Jedi as his Padawan. So, did Mace Windu ever have a Padawan?
Mace Windu did indeed have a Padawan named Depa Billaba, who was also able to reach the rank of Jedi Master and was a member of the Jedi High Council. Depa Billaba was also the master of the Padawan named Caleb Dume, known as Kanan Jarrus, during the final part of the Clone Wars.
While all of the other Jedi during the time of the Clone Wars weren’t as given enough screen time as the main characters, we do know that there were a lot of different Jedi that were active at that time, and Depa Billaba was no different. She was a powerful Jedi that had the opportunity to train under one of the strongest Jedi of all time. Now, let’s learn more about Mace Windu’s Padawan.
Who Was Mace Windu’s Padawan?
During the prequel trilogy of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga, one of the most prominent Jedi Masters we met was Mace Windu, who sat on the Jedi High Council as one of the biggest voices. Of course, the respect that Windu earned as one of the highest-ranking Jedi in the Jedi Order was due to his talents as the champion of the Jedi Order. He was arguably the greatest duelist and fighter in the Jedi Order then and was right up there with Yoda in terms of the most powerful Jedi during the Clone Wars.
While we all know that Windu was busy with his responsibilities as a Jedi Master and a member of the High Council, one of the things that we also know about the Jedi Masters is that they should also take in apprentices known as Jedi Padawans, who have to learn under an accomplished Jedi before becoming a Jedi Knight. So, who was Mace Windu’s Padawan?
Mace Windu once served as the master of Depa Billaba before she became a Jedi Knight herself. Many years before the Clone Wars, Billaba was rescued by Windu when she was held captive by space pirates responsible for killing her parents. Mace sensed her strength in the Force, which was why he brought her to the Jedi Order to be trained in the ways of the Jedi. Eventually, when she got old enough to become a Padawan, Depa became the apprentice of the man responsible for saving her life.
Depa Billaba was one of the few Jedi to learn Mace Windu’s Form VII variant known as Vaapad, which the Jedi champion didn’t teach to just about anyone due to its dangerous form. In that regard, Billaba had the temperament to learn Vaapad and was not tempted by the dark side when she studied her master’s lightsaber form. However, when she became a renowned Jedi Knight, she eventually learned to harness her talents in Form III: Soresu, the same defensive lightsaber combat form that Obi-Wan Kenobi mastered extensively.
Due to her accomplishments as a Jedi, Depa Billaba was elevated to the status of Jedi Master and was allowed to join the Jedi High Council alongside Mace Windu. She was there in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace when Qui-Gon Jinn presented a young Anakin Skywalker to the Jedi Council so that they could ascertain whether or not he was indeed the Chosen One. After Qui-Gon’s death, Depa attended his funeral on Naboo, as all of the other members of the Jedi High Council also attended it.
Years after Qui-Gon’s death, Depa Billaba continued to serve under the Jedi High Council as one of the most prominent Jedi Masters of the Jedi Order. During the Clone Wars era, she took on a Padawan of her own in Caleb Dume. Depa taught Caleb in the ways of Form III and took him with her on the many different missions she undertook during the Clone Wars era.
What Happened to Depa Billaba?
While we know that Depa Billaba took on a Padawan of her own in Caleb Dume, we also know that she was one of the Jedi Masters that ended up experiencing the effects of Order 66 firsthand. And we saw this during Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Depa and Caleb took part in the Conquest of Kaller but were saved by the members of Clone Force 99. However, while that was happening, Depa’s old master stormed Chancellor Palpatine’s office to demand him to surrender his emergency powers and to arrest him after finding out that he was the Sith Lord that they were looking for. Anakin intervened in the fight between the champion of the Jedi Order and the dark lord of the Sith, and that was how Windu was defeated and presumably killed. Moments later, Palpatine initiated Order 66, a secret program that mandated the clones kill any Jedi on sight.
In that regard, the clones that were with Depa and Caleb on Kaller attacked them just moments after the demise of Billaba’s old master. The clones under Depa formed up and surrounded her. They opened fire on her and overwhelmed the Jedi Master. Caleb wanted to help his master, only for Depa to tell her Padawan to run.
One of the clone troopers shot Billaba’s lightsaber out of her hand. It was now easier for the clones to kill her as Depa Billaba was shot to death by the clone troopers she fought with together during the Clone Wars. Caleb watched in horror as his master died. Meanwhile, Depa’s men chased after the young Padawan, as the members of Clone Force 99, who were resistant to Order 66 due to their mutations, were confused.
Crosshair was prepared to shoot Caleb on sight, only for Hunter to stop him from doing so. As a result, Caleb escaped the events of Order 66 after the death of his master. Caleb Dume went into hiding and took on the name Kanan Jarrus. And as we all know, Kanan became the Jedi that mentored Ezra Bridger during the events of Star Wars: Rebels.
As such, Kanan Jarrus can directly trace his roots to Mace Windu because his master, Depa Billaba, trained under the legendary Jedi champion. And while neither Depa nor Kanan were ever as powerful as Mace, they were true Jedi who could hold on to the Jedi principles until their deaths.