Near annihilation of the Jedi Order
Order 66 was one of a series of contingency orders that the clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic were trained to prepare for during their growth. The order branded the Jedi as traitors of the Republic and called for their immediate execution without question. Its issuing by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine marked the formal beginning of the Great Jedi Purge, the rise of the Galactic Empire and was chief among the atrocities that led to the Galactic Civil War.
Almost all of the Jedi were killed by Order 66, and most of the survivors were killed in the Great Jedi Purge that followed. The Jedi Order survived through acts of Jedi, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda teaching Luke Skywalker the ways of the Force.
I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi. The dark side of the Force surrounds the Chancellor.—Mace Windu, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Prelude to Order 66Edit
Order 66 could be found in the document entitled Contingency Orders for the Grand Army of the Republic: Order Initiation, Orders 1 through 150, GAR Document CO(CL) 56-95, a document containing a series of special contingency orders that covered any and all emergency situations, which the clones that comprised the GAR were prepared to execute, immediately and without question, and only in specific cases of extreme necessity. Some of these orders concerned contingencies any armed force could conceivably face. Many dealt with contingencies specifically involving the GAR Supreme Commander — in this case, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine — and the effect on the chain of command were he ever to become incapacitated or declared unfit to issue orders. Sufficiently buried among the other one hundred forty-nine orders so as to almost escape notice, Contingency Order 66 specifically dealt with the effect on the chain of command were issues to arise involving the Jedi. The exact text of the order ran:
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Order 66: In the event of Jedi officers acting against the interests of the Republic, and after receiving specific orders verified as coming directly from the Supreme Commander (Chancellor), GAR commanders will remove those officers by lethal force, and command of the GAR will revert to the Supreme Commander (Chancellor) until a new command structure is established.
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Under close examination, the text of Order 66 exposed several distinctions that set it apart from the other contingency orders. First, the majority of the other known contingency orders took into account other sources of command authority — the Vice Chair Mas Amedda, the Senate Security Council, the Jedi Council, the GAR High Command—while Order 66 could only be issued by the GAR Supreme Commander — in this case, Palpatine himself. Second, it was not required that the Security Council, or a Senate majority, declare that the Jedi were acting against Republic interests; Palpatine alone had the power to make that determination. Third, GAR commanders were not required to authenticate the order, or even to report it to any other command authority. If the order came directly from Palpatine, using specific command phrasing and over specific communications channels pre-approved by him for this express purpose, that was all the authentication the clone commanders appear to have needed. Fourth, there was no apparent mechanism for rescinding the order; once given, it had to be followed.
Finally, there was no proviso — as there was in other known contingency orders — that the Jedi were to be detained and that lethal force should be used if necessary; the order specified that they were to be removed by lethal force, period. Though the true purpose of this specific command was to satisfy Darth Sidious's personal wish to eliminate the Jedi as a threat to his power, the insistence on lethal force could have been rationalized for general — that is, non-Sith — consumption: it could be argued that any attempt to detain a Jedi who did not wish to be detained would fail, except in the event that said Jedi was faced with overwhelming GAR numbers, and even then, such an attempt would likely result in numerous unnecessary GAR casualties. The use of lethal force, in that event, would therefore automatically be considered necessary to preserve the lives of GAR soldiers and officers.
In 19 BBY, Order 66 was issued by Darth Sidious towards the end of the Clone Wars. The official reason given for its execution was the onset of an attempted Jedi coup against the Republic; in reality, it was the culmination of a chain of events orchestrated by Palpatine himself over a period of decades, all designed to end the Jedi Order and to bring about the domination of the Sith. Just days earlier, the Senate had passed the Security Act, which gave Palpatine authority to disband the Jedi Order.
After the destruction of General Grievous at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Masters Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin stormed the Supreme Chancellor's office, intent on arresting Palpatine, who had been revealed to them as the elusive Sith Lord Darth Sidious by Anakin Skywalker. Kolar, Tiin and Fisto were quickly cut down by Sidious, but Windu was able to hold him off and eventually disarm him. Skywalker then arrived to find the Supreme Chancellor, looking defeated, attempting to surrender in exchange for his life. When it became evident that Windu was going to kill Sidious, Skywalker intervened, which gave the Sith Lord the opportunity to destroy the Jedi Master. Windu's "assassination attempt" provided the chancellor with the excuse he needed to have Order 66 carried out.
Anakin Skywalker, for his part, was in a state of shock and confusion. Sidious, now scarred from the "attempt on his life," took advantage of young Skywalker's emotional distress and pressured him to turn to the Dark side of the Force. Unsure what to do, feeling he could never be forgiven for what he had done and desperate to save his wife Padmé Amidala from the possibility of a presaged demise, Skywalker complied and was "knighted" by Sidious as his new apprentice, Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith. Vader would have an important role to play in carrying out his new master's plan.
Execution of the OrderEdit
At 2100 hours local time, on the one thousand and eighty-ninth day of the Clone Wars(16:5:23), Palpatine retired to his private office in the Republic Executive Building, activated his comm unit and, with much relish, issued the command for which the Sith had spent a thousand years waiting: “Execute Order 66.” He used a channel that would make the authenticity of the order unquestionable, but ironically, the signal was encrypted using a Separatist code – one of the rare giveaways that he was in fact the hidden hand behind both sides of the war.
Palpatine sent word out via the office of the Chancellor to all of the clone commanders in the army. The commanders had a variety of reactions to the surprising order, but since it came from the Chancellor himself, virtually all of them carried it out without question or hesitation. On countless planets, Jedi were cut down by their troopers. The Jedi, who had been spread throughout the galaxy across disparate battlefields, were almost all caught totally unaware and gunned down with ease. Three years of non-stop galactic warfare polluted the Force with the dark side, clouding Jedi perception even further. Because the clones had no malice nor hatred, but were merely following a legal order, they had no ill intent in their heart, which might have given some warning to the Jedi via the Force.
Although it was impossible for Palpatine to have issued the order to every single commander individually, he did take the time to contact several personally before the Order was relayed throughout the army as a whole. Within the first minutes of the Order, several members of the Jedi Council had been killed; including Plo Koon on Cato Neimoidia at the hands of Captain Jag, Stass Allie on Saleucami at the hands of Commander Neyo, Aayla Secura on Felucia at the hands of Commander Bly, and Ki-Adi-Mundi on Mygeeto at the hands of Commander Bacara. On Utapau, Obi-Wan Kenobi was riding a varactyl named Boga when Commander Cody executed the order, ordering an AT-TE to fire on him, but Kenobi managed to survive and escape the planet. He soon reunited with Grand Master Yoda, who had also managed to escape an attack by Commander Gree on Kashyyyk.
As noted, not all clone troopers obeyed the Order. On Murkhana, Roan Shryne and Olee Starstone were rescued from Order 66 by members of a clone commando unit. Led by Climber, they initially questioned the validity of the order, and even upon confirmation, refused to side with the government over those who had fought alongside them, having developed an affinity for the Jedi. Omega Squad, Delta Squad, and Ordo Skirata did not even hesitate to disobey the order, though all of them said Yes, Sir to avoid suspicion, as they had already formed suspicions about Palpatine and his new Centax Clones. In all other recorded instances, Commandos and ARC troopers obeyed it.
Raid on the Jedi TempleEdit
- Main article: Operation: Knightfall
I saw thousands of troops attack the Jedi Temple.—Bail Organa, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
On Coruscant, Senate Emergency Response announced a state of martial law over Coruscant, and declared the Jedi Temple under military lockdown. Order 66 authorized the newly christened Darth Vader and the 501st Legion to attack the Jedi Temple; however, deciding to take a more surprise-attack approach, a mission named Operation: Knightfall was devised where the 501st killed everyone they found in the Temple — Masters, Padawans, even younglings. They also massacred non-Jedi staff, including administrators, trainers, and guards. Bail Organa was able to escape because the 501st were "tired of killing". No Jedi within the building were spared, but some escaped, including Shaak Ti, Kazdan Paratus and Jin-Lo Rayce.
We must move quickly. The Jedi are relentless. If they are not all destroyed, it will be civil war without end.
Would it have been too much to ask for the order to have come through before I gave him back the bloody lightsaber?
Although Order 66 greatly depleted the Jedi Order's ranks, with an estimated less than 100 Jedi surviving it, it was only the beginning of the Great Jedi Purge, which stretched on for years. Nearly all of the surviving Jedi Knights were hunted down and murdered by Darth Vader, while Order 66 itself remained in effect indefinitely among the ranks of the Galactic Empire's newly-christened stormtroopers. Masters Kenobi and Yoda, like many others, chose to go into exile—on Tatooine and Dagobah, respectively. There they managed to elude Imperial forces for many years; a feat few of their contemporaries could claim.
Every single Jedi, including your friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi, is now an enemy of the Republic.—Palpatine to Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
The majority of the Jedi across the galaxy fell victim to Order 66. Specifically targeted were the leaders of the Order: the Jedi Council. Stass Allie, Plo Koon, and Ki-Adi-Mundi were all struck down by their clone troopers in the Outer Rim. Master Arligan Zey, leader of the Special Operations Brigade on Coruscant was able to escape the Jedi Temple but was slain within his office by his trusted clone assistant.
Those clones that were not near the more significant Jedi Generals began to eliminate the Jedi that were leading them in battle. Masters Simms, Sev, Nem Bees, and Knights Barriss Offee, Aayla Secura, Saras Loorne and two fellow Jedi, were all slaughtered while fighting on the front line. Masters Traavis, and Luminara Unduli were taken by surprise as they assisted in cleanup operations on their assigned fronts. Jedi Knights Ali-Alann and J'oopi Shé were also killed in battle. Etain Tur-Mukan, an unorthodox Jedi Knight, died protecting a clone from a Jedi's lightsaber amongst the towers of the capital planet.
Master Du Mahn was stationed at Bogden Jedi Training Facility, where she cared for the members of the Soaring Hawkbat Clan, along with Jedi Chase Piru. Visiting Masters K'Kruhk and Sian Jeisel brought with them clone soldiers, and it was during their stay that the Order was issued. Mahn, Jeisel, and ten younglings died, while the others escaped with the Whiphid and Jedi Piru.
During Operation: Knightfall, many prolific Masters were targeted and eventually died, including: Jedi librarian Jocasta Nu, Sword master Cin Drallig, and Gatemaster Jurokk. A group of masters led a charge in the Temple's halls during the later part of the fighting, yet all fell to the clone invaders. The master who protected the Great Holocron was murdered along with a Zabrak who attempted to protect a group of younglings. Jedi Knights Olana Chion, Serra Keto, Tru Veld, and J'oopi Shé, died along with Padawans Zett Jukassa, Bene, and Whie Malreaux. Sors Bandeam, Shia Letap, and Jeswi Ele were among the hundreds of younglings who died at the Temple.
The Jedi Order is as ancient as time itself. It would take the might of the entire galaxy to strike us down.—Kreia, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
It was said that fewer than one hundred Jedi—approximately one percent of the entire Order—survived Order 66. However, it appeared that that was incorrect, as the number seemed to actually be above one hundred (close to two hundred). Nonetheless, many of these Jedi were killed over the following years during the Great Jedi Purge.
Initially, four Jedi on Dellalt escaped with their lives: Klossi Anno, Deran Nalual, Siadem Forte, and Iwo Kulka. A group that was fighting on Murkhana were saved by their troops but one of their number, Bol Chatak was later killed by Vader. The other Jedi, Roan Shryne and Olee Starstone, then fled, meeting up with the group fleeing Dellalt. Forte and Kulka would die at Darth Vader's hands, along with Shryne, while the others would escape to attempt to attack the Empire on smaller fronts. A group of several Jedi combatants in the Battle of Shumari, who, except for the young Tao, would all be hunted down by the Sith. Dass Jennir would lead his own fight against the Sith along with a group of rebels, while fellow Jedi Kai Hudorra, and Noirah Na went into Imperial City to try and become "normal" citizens. Kai Justiss attempted to hide from bounty hunters. Ekria, Zonder, and Drake Lo'gaan were able to escape Felucia alive, though Zonder died in a duel against Vader. Chase Piru would watch after younglings from the Soaring Hawkbat Clan including Seddwia, Jiro, and Kennan Taanzer. Tholme would die at some point, and have a funeral pyre on Anzat, and a Verpine Jedi and a female Jedi were able to hide from their clones.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Shaak Ti, and Even Piell, were the only Council members to survive the initial purge, though Ti and Piell would both die later in the Dark Times. An'ya Kuro was another prolific Jedi that would die at Vader's blade.
At a meeting on Kessel the Sith executed Koffi Arana, Tsui Choi, Roblio Darté, Jastus Farr, Ma'kis'shaalas, Shadday Potkin, Bultar Swanand Sia-Lan Wezz. Morvet Storm would soon die after this when Vader attacked his home.
Aqinos and his Iron Knights hid away on Dweem, while Lady Caryn took a Padawan, Ana Tathis and then fled into the Unknown regions. Minos Fel'Kona fled the devastated Cularin system and disappeared. Geith, Callista Ming, and Plett, hid on Belsavis away from the fighting, though were eventually found. Bon and Nia were found by a traveler and escaped the purge. Darrus Jeht tricked his clone troops and fled to parts unknown. Ylenic It'kla and Ferus Olin would die on Alderaan while Bardan Jusik fled to Mandalore. Drakka Judarrl and her master hid on Dantooine, and Quinlan Vos would presumably hide on Kashyyyk with Khaleen Hentz and their son, Korto Vos.
Darrin Arkanian and his apprentice Corwin Shelvay were killed by High Inquisitor Antinnis Tremayne while Lexi Degarienne and his family were hunted down and murdered. To escape a similar fate, Neth Enasteri left his family and fled into the Outer Rim. Ydra Kilwallen and her husband would live in peace for several years until they were lost to the Ssi-ruuk. Niebur Boton, Dama Montalvo, a Gotal Jedi, and Halagad Ventor were tortured by Vader, with Ventor giving the locations of several surviving Jedi, along with his friend Ashka Boda hiding spot. While Boton was tortured to death and mutilated by Vader, Ventor was released and went insane because of the deaths he caused. Ameesa Darys was killed by Arden Lyn, while the Last Curator of Records, Axton Tredway, and a Jedi on Talasea was hunted and killed by the Sith.
Drun Cairnwick, Denia, Dorn Tavers, Joc Sah, and Tyneir Renz joined the Rebel Alliance and fought against the Empire. A Jedi that was captured by the Empire would lead the Death Star Uprising during which he was killed. A Jedi and her daughter joined the Alliance and helped combat the Empire. Ranik Solusar and his son were hunted, with Kam eventually joining the New Jedi Order. Qu Rahn would help Kyle Katarn in his quest for the Valley of the Jedi. Vima-Da-Boda would hide in shame in the Outer Rim after the Order's fall.
Beldorion, Jerec, Danaan Kerr, Maw, Travgen, fell to the dark side and were eventually killed by other Jedi or Vader. A'Sharad Hett eventually fell to the dark side and renamed himself Darth Krayt. Gruu Dunrik was never selected by a Jedi Master and therefore was sent to the AgriCorps where he fell to the dark side.
Shaak Ti, Rahm Kota, and Kazdan Paratus were hunted by Darth Vader's secret apprentice, Galen Marek, during the Purge as part of the latter's training. Only Kota survived and apprenticed the young misled youth to the light, which led to Maris Brood's redemption. Jax Pavan and Laranth Tarak would try to undo the Empire on Coruscant. K'Kruhk would eventually take an Unnamed Padawan to the Hidden Temple.
Fy-Tor-Ana and Garen Muln hid on Ilum and were eventually killed when they met on the secret Jedi asteroid. Ry-Gaul was undercover during Order 66 but also fled to the Jedi asteroid where he was killed. A Jedi attempt to attack a squad of clones at the Temple and was killed. Taj Junak sacrificed to save his academy and was killed by stormtroopers. Nos'lyn would hide on Tatooine and help Force-sensitives learn the ways of the Force. Qid Proko worked as a technician, and Echuu Shen-Jon hid in waiting for a sign from the Force to rebuild the Order. Urootar was killed on Kasshyyyk by a bounty hunter.
Valara Saar, Ood Bnar, Thracia Cho-Leem, Codi Ty, and Zao were not active in the Jedi Order and therefore were not hunted by the Sith. Vergere was not in the galaxy at the time and thus was unaffected.
There were some Jedi whose fate after Order 66 was unknown. Either no body could be discovered or all troops present were killed. Among the lost were Depa Billaba, who was believed to be recovering from past wounds at the time of the attack on the Jedi Temple. Iri Camas was involved in the war so it is very possible that he was killed, though still unknown. Master Coleman Kcaj was believed present on Coruscant during Operation: Knightfall so is therefore probably dead.
It was assumed by Obi-Wan Kenobi that his long time friend, Bant Eerin was killed. Glynn-Beti, Ulu Ulix, Sha Koon, Voolvif Monn, and Saldith were all assumed to be active during the war and possibly died, though it is also possible that they survived and went into exile along with many of the other Jedi.
Behind the scenesEdit
There are a number of theories regarding the origin of Order 66:
- Order 66 may take its name from 666, the Biblical Mark of the Beast and a sign of the Apocalypse. This goes along with George Lucas' opinion that Palpatine is a representation of Satan, as stated in numerous interviews.
- It may also take its name from Executive Order 9066 issued by United States President Franklin Roosevelt, which ordered the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
- Order 66 has a great deal in common with the historical elimination of the warrior monks known as the Knights Templar. Like Order 66, it was a command spread through secrecy and suddenly implemented. Virtually all of the Templars in France were simultaneously arrested on October 13 (erroneously leading some to believe that this is the source of the Friday the 13th superstition), 1307. Many were tortured and sentenced to death. In most every other country, the Templars were forced to leave the order or join other orders. A few Templars escaped and lived in exile, mainly in Scotland. King Philip the Fair at this time also seized the Templar's treasury for himself, putting an end to the monastic banking system. These events are largely seen as manipulated by Philip to gain greater powers. Like in Star Wars, this began an era of military fiat.
- Order 66 may also have been inspired by the Night of the Long Knives, the Nazi Party's purge of opposition both within and outside the Party. On June 30, 1934, the SS conducted a wave of murders across Germany, destroying not only a major portion of the Nazi private army (the so-called "Stormtroopers" of the SA) but also such opposition politicians such as Kurt von Schleicher, Hitler's predecessor as Chancellor. The purge is seen as the penultimate step towards Hitler's establishment of a total dictatorship in Germany, as it was followed very closely by the death of President von Hindenburg, the consolidation of the posts of President and Chancellor (in the new post of Führer) and the imposition of a personal loyalty oath to Hitler by the German military. In much the same way, Order 66 and the Jedi Purge were the herald for the declaration of Palpatine's Empire and the transfer of the Chancellor's powers to the new post of Galactic Emperor. A similar Nazi purge would be the 1938 Kristallnacht, which marked the start of the Holocaust.
- The Auspicious Incident in the Ottoman Empire bears some resemblance to the events in Revenge of the Sith. In 1826, the Osmanlı Sultan Mahmud II disbanded the Janissaries, the former elite troops of the Empire. His loyal troops, the Sipahis, rounded up the mutinous Janissaries and they were executed.
- There is a similar scene at the end of The Godfather, when Michael Corleone arranges several murders to take place during his nephew's baptism, which leads to him taking over as the leader, much the same way as Darth Sidious has. Francis Ford Coppola, the film's director, co-founded American Zoetrope with George Lucas.
When Revenge of the Sith first came out, some sources stated that Order 66 was preprogrammed into the clone troopers. However, George Lucas has stated that it was a "last resort" order, not preprogrammed. The order preceding Order 66 is Order 65, which stated that the Supreme Chancellor (had Palpatine not won the seat) would be removed from office by the GAR if the Galactic Senate declared him unfit for duty. The Jedi were obviously not aware of either order.
In one issue of Mad magazine there are several comics parodying Star Wars, including a comic parodying Revenge of the Sith. It contains a short "Execute Order 66" scene quoted as a rip-off of the end scene in The Godfather (called Baptism And Murder).
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Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
- ↑ Reversal of Fortune
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Order 66: Destroy All Jedi
- ↑ Randy Stradley on the DarkHorse.com Message Boards
- ↑ Perfect Evil
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Star Wars Republic: Into the Unknown
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Evasive Action: Reversal of Fortune
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Star Wars Dark Times: Parallels
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Star Wars Republic: The Hidden Enemy
- ↑ Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight
- ↑ Extinction
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Star Wars: Purge
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 Children of the Jedi
- ↑ Rebel Dawn
- ↑ Sacrifice
- ↑ Star Wars: Battlefront II
- ↑ Dark Empire
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Dark Empire II
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ Planet of Twilight
- ↑ The Last of the Jedi: Underworld
- ↑ The Last of the Jedi: Against the Empire
- ↑ Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
- Great Jedi Purge
- Operation: Knightfall
- Contingency Orders for the Grand Army of the Republic: Order Initiation, Orders 1 Through 150