If you’ve been a Star Wars fan for any length of time, there’s no doubt you know that Emperor Palpatine’s execution of Order 66 is one of — if not the — biggest events in the Star Wars timeline. Now, Dave Filoni’s new animated series, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, is changing just how much Order 66 impacted the Jedi Order.
In Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Master Yoda tells young Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), “When I am gone, the last of the Jedi you shall be.”
For decades, Star Wars fans took the Grand Master at his word, presuming that Skywalker was quite literally the final living member of the Jedi Order once Yoda died on Dagobah.
In recent years, however, an increasing number of surviving Jedi have been introduced into the existing Star Wars canon — and, thanks to The Bad Batch, it’s becoming apparent that there may have been even more clone troopers outside of Clone Force 99 who were able to circumvent their inhibitor chips.
In The Bad Batch premiere (“The Aftermath”) Hunter allows Caleb Dume — later known as Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.) in Star Wars Rebels — to live.
Then, in the second episode of the series, Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, Echo, and Omega meet up with Cut Lawquane and his family. Lawquane was initially introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (“The Deserter”) — and we now know his inhibitor chip either wasn’t activated or he was able to bypass it, just like the “defective” clones.
Inverse pointed out additional details about clone troopers who didn’t participate in the Great Jedi Purge:
In the Rebels episode “The Lost Commanders,” we reunite former clone troopers Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor. In the finale of The Clone Wars, we specifically watched Ahsoka remove Rex’s chip to prevent him from carrying out Order 66, but it’s less clear what happened with Wolffe and Gregor.
The existence of these clones disobeying Order 66 proves there’s a pattern here.
Since Rebels, Star Wars canon has been slowly walking back the severity of Order 66. In fact, you could even argue that this retcon predates Rebels, since Ahsoka was introduced in The Clone Wars in 2008, and then was conveniently kicked out of the Jedi before Order 66 happened.
In theory, there are dozens — even hundreds — of Jedi who survived Order 66. We are increasingly learning that the execution of the Order was sloppy and haphazard. Just last year, Jon Favreau and Filoni’s The Mandalorian informed us that Grogu secretly survived Order 66 decades earlier, adding another Force-sensitive survivor to the ever-growing list.
In fact, that’s where Darth Vader comes into play.
Although few people in the Star Wars galaxy knew Vader was formerly Anakin Skywalker, everyone knew they needed to fear Palpatine’s right hand and the deadly band of Inquisitors who worked to get rid of any Jedi “stragglers”.
As the Star Wars universe continues to expand — and Hayden Christensen returns as the iconic Sith Lord in Obi-Wan Kenobi — it seems likely that we will not only see the Inquisitors in a live-action series but that we may meet even more surviving Jedi we previously didn’t know existed.
A list of key Jedi — excluding fallen Jedi Inquisitors — who are known to have survived Order 66 (in canon) — and where they were at the time, in some cases — is as follows:
- Yoda (on Kashyyyk)
- Obi-Wan Kenobi (on Utapau)
- Ahsoka Tano (in route to Coruscant with a captured Maul)
- Kanan Jarrus/Caleb Dume
- Luminara Unduli (on Kashyyyk)
- Cere Junda
- Cal Kestis
- Taron Malicos
- Jocasta Nu (on Coruscant)
- Naq Med
- Ferren Barr
- Eeth Koth
- Zubain Ankonori
- Grogu (at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant)
What do you think? Is Order 66 becoming increasingly less important in the Star Wars story?