There might be more information about the making of Star Wars out there than any other movie, with fans having spent decades poring over the tiniest behind-the-scenes details to learn as much as they can about a galaxy far, far away. This scrutiny means a genuine mystery is a rarity, but fans are currently stumped on a big Mace Windu-shaped question.
Samuel L. Jackson’s Jedi Master is one of the most popular prequel trilogy characters, and there are still calls for him to return to the franchise. But a brief shot towards the end of The Phantom Menace appears to show another actor briefly playing the role, and fans on r/StarWars have absolutely no idea who it is:
First up, a fan very sensibly points out that this could simply not be Mace Windu, saying “Not every black Jedi is Mace Windu…”. But a reply notes that he’s standing next to fellow Jedi Council members Plo Koon and Ki-Adi Mundi, so it would make sense for this to be Windu.
The closest we get to an answer is a fan noting that this parade scene was shot in Leavesden Studios after the main shoot wrapped and that the crowd in this shot was made up of local extras. They theorize that Jackson may have been unavailable this late into the production so they either used his official stand-in or just an extra who they thought resembled him enough that audiences wouldn’t notice.
But, frustratingly, that’s the best anyone can do and we don’t have an actual name. If this is just a random British extra dressed up as Mace Windu for a brief shot they’ve got a great story to tell at the pub, but chances are they have no idea they’re at the center of one of Star Wars‘ strangest mysteries.