The Clone Wars Final Season — Order 66 Explained
The Clone Wars final season offers a different look at the events of Order 66, a genocide that completely altered the Star Wars galaxy.
In Disney Plus’ revived Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, audiences are shown a different perspective of the tragic event Order 66. The final season of the acclaimed animated series concludes in-line with the events of Revenge of the Sith.
In both the movie and animated series, the sinister Emperor Palpatine rises to power, and orders the Clones to murder all of the remaining Jedi. This execution of the Jedi is referred to as Order 66.
In the second-to-last The Clone Wars episode “Shattered,” the Emperor executes Order 66 on Ahsoka Tano and Maul. After capturing Maul and completing the dangerous mission on Mandalore, Ahsoka is once again faced with danger and difficult choices. With that being said, what exactly is Order 66 and how is it presented in The Clone Wars series?
What is Order 66?
Order 66 is a directive for the entire army of Clone Troopers to assassinate their Jedi commanders and any other Jedi they can locate. In essence, the order brands all Jedi as traitors to the Republic, and threats to the “peaceful” state of the galaxy.
In Revenge of the Sith, several Jedi masters are shocked to see their fellow Clone Troopers turn on them during their missions. The Jedi are killed by their own friends and allies. Aayla Secura, Plo Koon, and Ki-Adi-Mundi are among the Jedi that are killed in Revenge of the Sith’s most emotional, gut-wrenching scene.
Order 66 was kept a secret from everyone, most notably the Jedi Order. With that being said, the Jedi Temple on Coruscant is a primary target of the order, as Darth Vader and the 501st clone legion march into the temple and slaughter Jedi knights, padawans, and younglings. No Jedi is spared or kept alive.
In The Clone Wars series, Ahsoka Tano gets caught right in the middle of Order 66. While going back to Coruscant to deliver the prisoner Maul, Ahsoka abruptly feels an intense disturbance in the Force, as Anakin joins Emperor Palpatine and the Jedi are killed. All at once, her fellow Clones and friends turn on her and attempt to gun her down. All in a matter of seconds, Ahsoka is tasked with surviving the execution, with the executioners serving as the individuals she once called friends, particularly Commander Rex.
How was Order 66 executed?
Prior to the events of Order 66, the Jedi believed the Clones were their friends and their fellow soldiers. They had fought alongside the Jedi for years. However, the Clones were genetically engineered, and not naturally born. Emperor Palpatine was able to make these clones a part of his long-term plan from the very beginning.
In the sixth season of The Clone Wars series, an accidental early execution of Order 66 almost revealed Palpatine’s master plan. When his friend seemingly killed a Jedi for no reason, Clone Trooper Fives decides to investigate the situation. Through his search, he is led straight to Palpatine. However, Fives is killed before his discovery could be shared with Anakin Skywalker and Captain Rex.
The Emperor’s plan was extremely comprehensive. The creation of the Clones wasn’t even traced to him, rather it was thought to be the work of the Jedi. Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas had contacted the Kaminoan cloners about creating the Clone Army because he foresaw a prophecy about an arising threat to the Republic. Sifo-Dyas didn’t live to complete the creation of the Clone Army himself, but Emperor Palpatine secretly continued forward with the plan. That is why the Kaminoans were expecting a Jedi to come when Obi-Wan Kenobi visits them in Attack of the Clones.
Who survives Order 66?
Although the intention of Order 66 was to eliminate the entirety of the Jedi, there were certain survivors. Some Jedi survived long enough to see the rise of the Rebellion. Others merely survived a few days or months after the order.
Major characters such as Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi went into hiding until the Original Trilogy’s events, in which they attempted to keep the Jedi alive through Luke Skywalker. In Revenge of the Sith, both Yoda and Obi-Wan avoided their execution and together created their long-term plan to one day defeat the Emperor.
Certain Force-sensitive individuals were spared if they were willing to join the dark side: this is how Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine recruited the Inquisitors, Force-sensitive hunters trained to locate and kill the remaining Jedi. Furthermore, the Grand Inquisitor was a former Jedi Temple guard before the rise of the Empire.
In the new Disney Plus series The Bad Batch, Caleb Dune — a padawan who would eventually join a group of rebels who were showcased in Star Wars: Rebels — escapes the execution of Order 66. The young Jedi and his master are on a mission, accompanied by their Clone Troopers. Like a majority of the Clones, they betray the Jedi and kill Caleb’s Jedi master, Depa Billaba. By running away, Caleb evades Order 66.
Certain Clones also escaped the events of Order 66. After Ahsoka was able to remove his inhibitor chip, Captain Rex and his fellow Clone troopers Wolffe and Gregor left the Republic army and hid on a remote planet. However, the three Clones eventually rejoined the war, this time as Rebels fighting against the Empire.
Order 66 is the most important, critical moment in the Star Wars universe. The event ended the reign and power of the Jedi, and turned those that remain into exiled, scattered Force-users across the galaxy. However, The Clone Wars series’ interpretation of Order 66 is incredibly emotional yet powerful, and is the closet iteration to Revenge of the Sith’s events.