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What Is Order 66?

What Is Order 66?

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The Clone Wars offers a frightening new perspective on Order 66, a massacre that radically altered the Star Wars world and almost wiped out the Jedi.

If you have ever watched the Prequel Trilogy, you would know that Order 66 signifies the start of his Jedi purge. How does Order 66 connect to the rest of the Star Wars saga?

What Is Order 66?

Order 66″ is the signal for the whole clone trooper army to execute their Jedi commanders and any other Jedi. Order 66 labels all Jedi as traitors to the Republic and enormous threats to the galaxy.

In Revenge of the Sith, many Jedi are attacked by clone troopers during operations and are slain on the ground or in the air by their own allies. Several Jedi are killed by Order 66, including Aayla Secura, Plo Koon, and Ki-Adi Mundi.

Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, and others are killed in an encounter with Palpatine on Coruscant just before the Sith Lord’s order.

Order 66 was kept secret from everyone except Palpatine. Clones and Darth Vader slaughter Jedi Knights, padawans, and younglings upon invading the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Whether on the battlefield or at home, no Jedi is immune to peril.

Ahsoka Tano gets caught in the middle of Order 66 in “Shattered“, the penultimate episode of The Clone Wars. Upon returning to Coruscant to deliver the former Sith apprentice, she immediately detects a massive disturbance in the Force as Anakin Skywalker joins Darth Sidious and the Jedi are slaughtered.

Once under her command, the clone troops abruptly turn against her and seek to kill her. Ahsoka is now engaged in a fight to the death with the warriors she once called her family.

We know Ahsoka doesn’t meet Anakin Skywalker during Order 66. She does not yet know that he has become Darth Vader since Star Wars Rebels does not expose this fact until a later episode.

Nonetheless, if she returns to Coruscant before the end of The Clone Wars, she may see the effects of Order 66 firsthand.

Who Executed Order 66?

Not on the side of good are clone soldiers? After all, they had fought side-by-side with the Jedi for decades. However, clone troopers were produced and decanted, as opposed to being born naturally. Since these clones are custom-ordered by the Republic from gene-smiths on Kamino ready to sell individuals into a life of strife, Palpatine was able to include them into his long-term plan from the start.

In season 6 of The Clone Wars, the “Clone Protocol 66” plot recounts how an accidental early activation of Order 66 almost revealed the whole conspiracy. Clone trooper Fives investigates the seemingly random assassination of a Jedi leader by a friend.

His research leads him right to Palpatine, who was slain by clone guards who were unaware they were serving the man who would one day be responsible for destroying the Republic.

Fives discovered that each clone was implanted with a control chip that allowed Palpatine to override their free will. This was how Order 66 could be executed, regardless of the clones’ desire to obey.

The plan of Palpatine was extensive. Not even the clones’ origin could be traced back to him. They were mistakenly considered to be Jedi constructs. Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas once addressed cloners about heading the Clone Army because he anticipated a threat against which the Republic would have to defend itself.

This order was issued after his passing, but Darth Sidious and Count Dooku secured its concealment. In Attack of the Clones, the cloners expected the arrival of a Jedi when Obi-Wan Kenobi pays them a visit.

Order 66 implies that at least 65 further orders exist, none of which have ever been discussed in canon. Exist other protections against Jedi rebellions? Or just commands clones to bring Palpatine’s preferred foods?

Did Anyone Survive Order 66?

The Jedi were meant to be annihilated completely, but the galaxy is enormous. Some Jedi were able to evade discovery long enough to see the start of the Rebellion. Others lasted just a few months after the first order.

Jedi who survived the end of the Clone Wars exist in both the Legends timeline and the Disney canon.

Major Jedi figures like Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi were banished until the Original Trilogy, in which they instructed Luke Skywalker in an effort to maintain the Jedi traditions. Revenge of the Sith tells how they escaped and devised a future plan to attack the Emperor.

Some Force-users were spared on the condition that they would join the dark side; these were the ones Palpatine and Vader recruited for their Inquisitors, the Force-sensitive hunters trained to hunt out the few remaining Jedi.

Caleb Dume, the padawan who ultimately joined the core group of freedom fighters in Star Wars: Rebels. This cartoon features Caleb surviving Order 66 and changing his identity to Kanan Jarrus.

In Kanan #1 by Greg Weisman and Pepe Larraz, clone soldiers pursue the young Jedi and his teacher on a mission away from the Jedi Temple. Like most clones, they turn against the Jedi and kill Caleb’s master, Jedi Master Depa Billaba.

Caleb is able to dodge the purge by hiding and gathering non-Jedi allies. In order to stay unknown, he refrains from using the Force or his lightsaber in public.

Cal Kestis, the protagonist of the computer game Jedi: Fallen Order, disconnects himself from anything that may link him to his Jedi abilities or the Order, similar to Kanan. Over a decade later, he returns to the war after keeping himself distracted by working in a scrapyard.

Also, several clones escaped. Captain Rex and his fellow clone soldiers Wolffe and Gregor used a roaming walker to flee the Republic army and hide on a desert planet when Ahsoka removed his control chip. Eventually, they resumed military operations, but as rebels battling the Empire.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the most momentous event in the Star Wars universe was Order 66. On several occasions, the event that separated the golden age of the Jedi from the decades when Force-users were scattered and in hiding has been shown. 

The Clone Wars is the closest thing we have to a recounting of the events of Revenge of the Sith since it depicts how the destruction affected characters other than Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Yoda.

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