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Star Wars: “Do It!” — Learn About Order 66 With Us

5 Minute Read
Mar 21 2024

Sometimes your galaxy goes from having thousands of Jedi to just a dozen. This happened overnight thanks to a little thing known as Order 66.

Few things in Star Wars are as well known, as tragic, or as joked about as Order 66. Okay, many subjects in Star Wars are all of those things. But Order 66, also known as the Great Jedi Purge, is one of the most horrific things to happen in the Star Wars universe. It’s also one of the saddest for fans and characters alike. So what was Order 66? Who called for it? And how did it affect the galaxy far, far away?

What Exactly Was Order 66?

Order 66 was a covert contingency plan set up by Sheeve Palpatine. It was designed to rid the galaxy of its Jedi and make it seamless and easy for Palpatine to destroy the Republic, form the Galactic Empire, and give himself ultimate power as Emperor.

The way he accomplished this involved many steps and years of waiting but was ultimately incredibly effective. All of the planning happened throughout the Clone Wars. And in the end, Palpatine took the most advantage of the millions of clones created. Behavioral modification biochips were implanted in the brains of each clone. These made the clones very loyal to the Republic. It also made it nearly impossible for them to disobey orders from or turn on their Jedi Commanders.

But unbeknownst to the Jedi, the Kaminoan scientists were told to add a ‘contingency’ plan. It was designed to be used in the rare event of a Jedi going renegade.

“The time has come; execute Order 66.”

– Darth Sidious, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

In 19 BBY, the Jedi High Council could no longer ignore Palpatine’s suspicious political actions. This eventually led to the revelation that Chancellor Palpatine and Darth Sidious were one and the same person. They moved to arrest him, but he turned the tides on them, counterattacking and then escaping the Jedi. Palpatine claimed that this attempted arrest was an unprovoked attack. He also used it to accuse the entire Jedi Order of treason. He then contacted the entire clone army and directed them to follow the contingency ‘Order 66’. The command triggered them to execute their Jedi commanding officers.

Jedi generally trusted and had a good relationship with their assigned clone armies. This made the attack much more effective, immediate, and nearly impossible to escape.

READ MORE: Who the Kriff Was That New Guy on Book of Boba Fett: The Cad Bane Breakdown

Did Every Clone Execute Order 66?

Throughout the Clone Wars, this secret was well-kept and the slow growth of Sith activity in the galaxy went unnoticed. That is until General Tiplar was killed by Tup, a clone with a malfunctioning behavioral modification chip. ARC trooper Fives conducted an investigation and eventually found that the chips were, for some reason, conditioning the clones to be hostile towards the Jedi at a moment’s notice. Before Fives could present his proof to Anakin Skywalker, he was killed by shocktroopers.


After this incident, some clones had their inhibitor chips removed, including Wolffe, Kix, and Gregor.

Grey—introduced in the Kanan comics—did follow Order 66 when it came to Kanan’s master, Depa Billaba. But during his hunt for Kanan, he was able to override the programming. Kanan maintained willpower long enough to sabotage the ship.

Clone Force 99—also known as the Bad Batch—was immune to the effects of the chips. This was due to their mutations, except for Echo. He had no natural mutations, the cybernetics he was implanted with gave him a similar resistance to the chips.

Rex attempted to follow Order 66 but was stunned by Ahsoka Tano long enough for her to remove his chip. After this, he helped her escape the rest of the clones and the two went into hiding.

How Many Jedi Were Killed By Order 66?

The exact number is hard to find. Somewhere in the area of nine to ten thousand Jedi—if not more—were likely killed during the purge.


And Who Survived?

The list of Jedi who survived the Purge has been slowly growing, but we know about a few for certain.

Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Caleb Dume (also known as Kanan Jarrus), Kirak Infil’a, Jocasta Nu, Eeth Koth, and Luminara Unduli all survived the initial purge.

Cere Junda, Cal Kestis, Taron Malicos, and Eno Cordova are introduced in the Jedi Survivor games. Kelleran Beq is seen helping Grogu escape the massacre at the Jedi Temple in The Mandalorian. Gungi was a Wookiee youngling we see again later in The Bad Batch. And, in Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s third episode, we see a list of Jedi names on a wall that implies all of their survival after Order 66. We just don’t know what their current status is. Those included Roganda Ismaren, Djinn Altis, Valin Halcyon, and Quinlan Vos.

Plus there were many other Jedi who turned to the Dark Side and joined the Empire. Some of them became Inquisitors. Not to mention Anakin Skywalker’s transformation into Darth Vader.

Is Order 66 Still Active?

Technically, unless it was called off behind the scenes, Order 66 is probably still standing. It just hasn’t come up because there aren’t many Jedi left. Many of the remaining Jedi quickly went into hiding. That, combined with the relatively short life of clones and the number who later had their chips removed limits the chances that a rogue Jedi would cross paths with a still-active clone.

Why Did Yoda Predict the Great Jedi Purge and Do Nothing?

On Dagobah, Yoda has a vision of what would later turn out to be Order 66 being carried out… And he doesn’t seem to do anything with this information to prevent it from happening. And it’s left the fandom wondering why for a long time. We don’t have an official answer. At no point is it spelled out why Yoda doesn’t prevent Order 66—but there are a few possibilities.


For one, visions are often vague and inexact. Yoda could have been staying vigilant and looking for warning signs. Possibly he just missed them because he didn’t know what he was looking for. But Yoda was also proud, prideful, and old. He’d seen numerous attempts on the Jedi Order fail, so why wouldn’t this one?

Either way, no Jedi, even Yoda, seemed able to predict the swift, violent event that was Order 66.

May the force be with you, Adventurers!

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