Order 66 is one of the most horrifying events in Star Wars canon. Lately, quite a few shows have included more live-action flashbacks of the dark day when Clone Troopers turned on the Jedi, something they were programmed to do, and totally helpless at preventing. However, though it should be comforting to see that out of the 10,000 or so Jedi alive at the time, 50-100 may have been able to escape this tragic fate, many fans have been critical as more and more Jedi are shown alive post Order 66.
While the number that survived is barely 1% of the total Jedi in the galaxy at the time, still, Star Wars is officially addressing the criticism via Delilah S. Dawson’s new novel, Rise of the Red Blade. The book follows Iskat Akaris, a Jedi turned Inquisitor who joined the Empire during Order 66 as she goes after surviving Jedi.
Iskat uncovers how they managed to survive, and a lot of it has to do with the chaos of a galaxy drowning in war, but it also goes to show that while Palpatine’s plans to wipe out every Jedi were successful, they weren’t perfect. There were still many things that weren’t in his control and ultimately allowed Jedi such as Ahsoka Tano and Cal Kestis to survive.
Initially, Anakin’s assault on the younglings at the Jedi Temple led to a message being relayed around the galaxy in order to warn the Jedi of what had happened. They were asked to return to the Jedi Temple, much to Palpatine’s satisfaction, however, in some ways this message helped a few Jedi survive.
On some battlefields, this emergency message was heard by Jedi before the Order 66 call went off, and let them know that something was wrong. That’s why some were already trying to escape with their lives before any Clone Troopers could attack them. Furthermore, Obi-Wan and Yoda arrived at the Jedi Temple in time to deactivate the emergency message, and Obi-Wan was able to record a warning for all surviving Jedi that the Republic had fallen, and that all Jedi had to hide.
Ultimately, Order 66 was as successful as Palpatine could have hoped for it to be, and as sweepingly destructive and tragic as the Jedi could have imagined. However, a glimmer of hope still remained alive in the 1% of Jedi that managed to survive it, and that glimmer of hope is what Star Wars has always been about.