When Star Wars was released in 1977, it hinted at a story of an order of powerful knights who once protected the galaxy but were hunted down by the evil Galactic Empire at some time in the past. By the time of A New Hope, the Jedi were nothing more than a myth, one that Luke Skywalker was fascinated with because he learned that his father was once a Jedi. Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke that Darth Vader, the Empire’s powerful Sith enforcer, hunted down the Jedi, killing Luke’s father among many others. But once man couldn’t destroy all the Jedi across the entire galaxy. So how did all the Jedi die, and how many of them survived?
The real reason for the Clone Wars
Revenge of the Sith, the third and final film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, revealed exactly how the Empire eradicated the Jedi Order and for what reason. The Jedi were surviving as generals leading squads of clone troopers all across the galaxy in the Clone Wars. The war was between the Republic and the Separatists led by Count Dooku, but secretly, the war was being orchestrated by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who was really Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord who hated the Jedi. Palpatine had legions of clones commissioned not to fight his war with the Separatists. Instead, the Clone Wars distracted the Jedi from the evil simmering right in front of them. With the Jedi spread out in battles across the galaxy serving alongside clones they had grown to trust as comrades, the Jedi never saw their execution coming.
What was Order 66?
After Obi-Wan Kenobi killed General Grievous, the leader of the Separatist droid army, Palpatine sent a message out galaxy-wide for the clone troopers to execute Order 66. Inhibitor chips planted inside the clones’ brains by the Kaminoans bound the clones to follow the order, which said that if the Jedi were to ever commit treason against the Republic, the clones were to execute the Jedi. Without warning, in an instant, the Jedi who were fighting against the droids alongside their clone squads were suddenly being fired upon by those same clones. Vastly outnumbered, the Jedi didn’t stand a chance.
The last of the Jedi?
In Return of the Jedi, just before Yoda dies, he tells Luke, “When gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be.” It has since become clear that Yoda couldn’t have been speaking literally here, or, at the very least, he was telling Luke what he believed, that he was the only one left. But even at the time of Return of the Jedi, there were a few Jedi still alive across the galaxy.
In fact, not every Jedi died as a result of Order 66, although many that did survive died shortly after. Some managed to fight and win against the clones that attacked them. Some were rescued from execution, such as Grogu in The Mandalorian. Others were spared only to be forced to turn to the dark side to serve Sidious as Jedi hunters. Many went into hiding.
Everyone who survived Order 66
Below is a list of all confirmed (so far) Jedi in canon who survived Order 66 with the source material in parentheses of where you can find out more about their survival of the Jedi Purge. The number thus far numbers at least 30, but it’s likely that more will be revealed in future stories.
- Obi-Wan Kenobi (A New Hope)
- Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back)
- Kanan Jarrus (Star Wars Rebels)
- Cal Kestis (Jedi: Fallen Order)
- Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars Rebels)
- Grogu (The Mandalorian)
- Jocasta Nu (Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic)
- Ferren Barr (Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic)
- Luminara Unduli (Star Wars Rebels)
- Kirak Infil’a (Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic)
- Prosset Dibbs/Tenth Brother, Bil ValenSixth Brother, and Masana Tide/Ninth Sister (Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic)
- Eeth Koth (Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic)
- Zubain Anokonori, Nuhj, Mususiel, and Khandra (Star Wars: Uprising mobile game)
- Uvell (“The End of History” short story in Star Wars Insider 154)
- Quinlan Vos (Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic)
- Cere Junda (Jedi: Fallen Order)
- Taron Malicos (Jedi: Fallen Order)
- Naq Med (The Force Collector)
- Fifth Brother (Star Wars Rebels, Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic)
- Seventh Sister (Star Wars Rebels, Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic)
- Trilla Suduri/Second Sister (Jedi: Fallen Order)
- Oppo Rancisis, Coleman Kcaj, Ka-Moon Kholi, and Selrahc Elous (Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic)
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