Who Can It Be Now: Survivors of Order 66

Anna

In The Mandalorian, “Chapter 13: The Jedi”, we learned so, so much about The Child, now known as Grogu. One of the most interesting things we learned was that Grogu was in the Jedi temple on Coruscant during Order 66 and escaped with the assistance of an unknown rescuer. After much discussion with my fellow Stardusters, I decided to consult the sacred texts for clues as to which Jedi escaped Order 66 and discuss those narrative arcs. The Stardust suggested texts included the Charles Soule Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comics from 2017, the Kanan comics by Greg Weisman, and the video game Jedi: Fallen Order. I have added to this an article from Esquire regarding the possibility that a certain purple-saber-wielding Jedi survived.

I have to preface this by saying I have loved Star Wars since I can remember, and for some reason I never got into the comics. This is baffling to me as my father was a comic book aficionado, who bought me this large format Empire Strikes Back comic that he would read to me when I was sick. I finally got into reading the comics with the most recent Vader series by Greg Pak because Handmaidens are cool (seriously, how do we not have a WHOLE KRIFFING SERIES ON SABÉ??!). I have explored a few series for this article and if you have additional recommendations, please DM me on Instagram. Seriously. I am lost when I have nothing to read. 

The largest wealth of knowledge as to who survived Order 66 can be found in the Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sithcomics by Charles Soule. I read these as four volumes and have listed them that way for reference. A holo projection of survivors, seen on Vader’s ship while he is consulting with the Grand Inquisitor in volumes 2 (Legacy’s End) and 4 (Fortress Vader) included the following:

               Volume 2:                                                 Volume 4:

                Kayce Beradun                                        Yoda

                 Yoda                                                    Obi-Wan Kenobi

                Quinlan Vos                                            Coleman Kcaj

                Kirak Infil’a                                            Oppo Rancisis

                  Jocasta Nu                                             Selrahc Eluos

                  Ahsoka Tano                                         Ka-Moon Kholi

                  Kule Xandar

                  Naia Taver

Many of these survivors are members of the Council, highly skilled and able to effectively hide. Interestingly, Ahsoka is listed. I am guessing that this list was compiled prior to Vader locating the crashed ship and grave, seen at the end of Season 7 of The Clone Wars. Kirak Infil’a is killed in an EPIC BATTLE with Vader the first volume of the Soule comic.Not on the list are Ferren Barr and Eeth Koth, both of whom perish (in volumes 3 and 4 respectively) at the hands of Vader soon after Order 66.

Jocasta Nu’s survival was a surprise to many and the Emperor’s specific interest in her is intriguing as he clearly values her knowledge deeply. While she does guard a holocron detailing the locations of Force sensitive children throughout the galaxy, my gut says the Emperor’s interest goes beyond that. She is heavily featured initially in the Soule comic and provides a really great insight into early Vader. He discovers what Jocasta is hiding, destroys it, kills her, kills all of the troopers with him and lies to The Emperor, hiding his knowledge of the holocron from everyone. I feel as if this is one of those cracks in his armor of evil (as we see later when he saves Luke). 

Oppo Rancisis, one of the oldest members of the Jedi High Council at the time of the Purge, was recently mentioned in Light of the Jedi, Charles Soule’s High Republic novel. Since his whereabouts after Order 66 are still unknown, my hope is that we will get more information about the Master in future High Republic entries. 

Of all confirmed survivors, Quinlan Vos’ survival is the one I want to know about the most. Vos was the subject of Christie Golden’s fantastic canon novel Dark Disciple, along with my favorite Nightsister, Asajj Ventress, and I am really interested to see what became of him after that tale. Go read it, it is fantastic, and make sure you have tissues for the end. I have long thought of him as an underutilized and complex character. I found Quinlan as a character about 15 years ago, when he was featured as a Wookiepedia character of the day. I thought his now-EU backstory was really interesting and I was so excited when he was brought back into canon. He was never what one would call a typical Jedi and I tend to enjoy those characters immensely. We know he is back in the field, leading troops on Boz Pity in the Mid Rim after the events of Dark Disciple, but beyond that, his activities are a mystery.

Moving away from the survivors on Vader’s list, most Star Wars fans are aware of Kanan Jarrus, also known as Caleb Dume. Kanan is one of the main characters in the animated show Rebels, as well John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn, and is the star of the Kanan comic series by Greg Weisman. He was the Padawan of Depa Billaba, who sacrificed herself to save him during Order 66. I highly recommend the comics, as you learn about how Caleb became Kanan, the sacrifices he made and the struggle some of the Clones had with Order 66. Kanan’s story, in my mind, runs parallel to Han Solo’s, in that smuggling, theft and activities that are not strictly speaking legal are sometimes a necessity for survival. It is just a fact of life. This willingness to work outside of the lines is what brings both Han and Kanan to the Rebellion.

Jedi: Fallen Order follows Order 66 survivor Cal Kestis on his quest to find a holocron containing the names and locations of Force sensitive children (a copy of the one Jocasta was protecting). Cal survived Order 66 in a similar way to Kanan, in that his Master, Jaro Tapal, sacrificed himself to save his Padawan. Cal is assisted on his quest by my favorite droid ever, BD-1, pilot Greez Dritus, Cere Junda, a former Jedi Knight and Merrin, a Nightsister. Both Cere and Merrin have survived devastating massacres, allowing a unique understanding of what Cal is facing and recovering from. Playing through Cal’s story, we also learn of the existence of Taron Malicos, Jedi General, who falls to the dark side after arriving on Dathomir, eventually manipulating Merrin for Nightsister secrets. He is defeated in a battle with Cal and Merrin. Trilla Suduri, Cere’s Padawan, was forced to turn to the dark side after Cere betrayed her location under torture. Trilla became Second Sister, an Inquisitorius, along with several other captured Jedi. Trilla perished at the hand of Vader for her failure to retrieve the holocron and kill Cal. 

In my research, I discovered a few other survivors. Per Rebels, Luminara Unduli survived Order 66 briefly, however was later captured and assassinated. The Empire spread rumors of her survival and kept her remains, in an effort to lure other Jedi out of hiding. Disgraced Jedi Barriss Offee is kind of a dangling plot thread. According to her her Wookiepedia, she was supposed to be killed off, but was not, at the direction of Dave Filoni. It would be very interesting to see what has become of Barriss, especially in the wake of the Jedi and Republic falling and the rise of the Empire. 

There are others who may have survived or left the order prior to Order 66, who are not listed in the holo projection from the Soule Vader comics or whose standing within canon are unconfirmed. So having covered those who definitely survived and those who may have survived based on available evidence, we now are going purely into the land of speculation. 

Mace Windu could have survived. No Jedi or Sith in the history of Star Wars has died from a fall. Not Maul. Not Luke. Not Sidious. Force lightning is survivable, as evidenced by Luke and Yoda. Mace Windu lost a hand, as have many Jedi, including Anakin and Luke. Thankfully, the lightsaber cauterizes wounds, so there is not a concern for heavy blood loss. Yes, we heard Mace Windu’s voice in The Rise of Skywalker, however Dave Filoni said (in reference to Ahsoka) that this does not necessarily mean that the person is deceased. It also does not mean that he died at the end of Revenge of the Sith. I think it is well within the realm of possibility that Mace Windu survived.

Survival of Order 66 in canon appears to have been rare. I am interested to see how many Padawans could have survived, as Cal and Kanan did. Do you have a theory or further information for us to investigate? Drop a comment on our Instagram and join us for the next part of this series, concerning the rescue of Grogu!

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