Star Wars Celebration officially kicked off this morning and it kicked off in a big way. The first panel this weekend was the highly-anticipated Star Wars 40th anniversary panel, and it didn't disappoint. There were plenty of surprises that came during the panel and lots of guests, but perhaps the most fun surprise came from Samuel L. Jackson. He couldn't be there in person, but in a video message he made that was played during the panel, he made it clear that, at least in his mind, Mace Windu is not dead and he is ready and waiting to return.

The 40 Years of Star Wars panel was one of the marquee events at Star Wars Celebration this year and it lived up to the hype. George Lucas and Harrison Ford surprised everyone with appearances at the panel, but some of the folks who couldn't be there in person, like Samuel L. Jackson, sent video messages to the fans. Jackson took this opportunity to declare that he feels that his Jedi character Mace Windu is very much alive. And that he is ready to play him in a new movie. Here is what he had to say.

"Hey everybody. Sorry I couldn't make it. Busy as usual, but I just wanna say, it's been a real honor and privilege to be a part of the Star Wars community. Thanks George for giving me that opportunity and letting me ride it out through at least three episodes. Wish I could be there so I could sign everything you brought for me to sign, and to just say hey to everybody in person. And while you're all sitting there, I know you're all in my corner on this, we know Jedi can fall from incredible heights and survive. So apparently, I am not dead! Yes, I have two appendages right now, but we know the long and rich history of Star Wars characters reappearing with new appendages and being stronger and better than they ever were. Mace Windu is awaiting his return. Let's make it happen. Kathy, you're sitting right there. I know you know what to do. All you got to do is say the word. See you soon. On screen, I hope."

The crowd totally erupted at these comments and Samuel L. Jackson seemed playful, but very serious about it. He does have a good point and it is plausible, at least within the confines of the Star Wars universe, that Mace Windu could have survived. Even though many fans don't love the prequels, there is a lot of love for his character and fans would probably love to seem him come back. This isn't the first time the subject has come up. Last year, while promoting The Legend of Tarzan, Samuel L. Jackson revealed that George Lucas said that he thinks Mace Windu can be alive. Even though he doesn't have anything to do with the franchise anymore, it is clear that the actor has been lobbying for a return to Star Wars for some time.

With a ton of Star Wars movies in the works for many years to come, there is no reason to think that Lucasfilm can't make this happen at some point. Samuel L. Jackson even called out Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy in his video. It will ultimately be Lucasfilm's decision to bring him back or not, but even if they don't, this clip was a good bit of fun. In case you missed it, you can check it out for yourself below, with Samuel L. Jackson's bit starting at the 1:09:00 mark.

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Ryan Scott