“Execute Order 66.”
Those words changed the entire galaxy forever. The lands that were once governed by the Republic and the Jedi Order would now be taken over by the Galactic Empire. Darth Sidious’s plan worked to its fullest extent, perhaps even better than he would have hoped. The Jedi Council was blind to his dark dealings, and they paid the ultimate price for it. The clone troopers turned on the masters, and the young Anakin Skywalker would be seduced by the Dark Side of the Force.
That montage was always one of the hardest things to watch in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Say what you will about the prequels, but there was always something horribly depressing about seeing all of the great Jedi get cut down one by one. Every time I watch it, I wish and hope that somehow it would turn out differently. But it never does.
It wasn’t all completely depressing, though. After all, we did get to witness Masters Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda escape the clutches of the Emperor. They both retired to their own worlds and hung up their Jedi ways until they were needed once more. However, they weren’t the only ones that made it out alive. In the extended universe of Star Wars (whether Disney considers it canon or not), there was actually quite a good number of Jedi who also survived Order 66.
Without any more delay, here are 11 Jedi Masters who lived through Order 66, as well as four other masters that should have lived through it as well.
Those Who Lived:
11. Luminara Unduli
I’ll admit, Luminara is on the list for a technicality, but regardless, she did survive Order 66 itself. This Jedi Master was actually present in the prequel trilogy, having minor roles in both the Battle of Geonosis and the Battle of Kashyyyk. Like many of the Jedi alive during the Clone Wars, Luminara had many excellent adventures and crossed paths with Obi Wan and Skywalker on a few occasions. One of her explorations even put her face to face with intergalactic zombies, and she did manage to survive that. Eventually, her excellence in the field of battle would put her side by side with Yoda on the Battle of Kashyyyk. For those of you that remember the movie, it was during this battle that the Emperor conducted Order 66. The clone troopers turned on the Jedi, and Luminara was caught in the fire. Although, instead of being killed, she was actually captured and held in a special Empire prison. Much later she was eventually cut down, and her remains were used as a trap to lure rebel leaders in. There were many rumors that she was alive, and desperate to cling to hope, many people met the unfortunate consequences.
10. Kanan Jarrus
Like all good origin stories, Kanan Jarrus’s is one plagued by tragedy. Beginning his life as the young Caleb Dume, many of the Jedi sensed great Force capabilities within him. Agreeing to train as a Jedi Knight, Dume quickly grew in his abilities and prowess. However, when the Emperor began Order 66, he found himself cornered along with his Master. As the clone troopers swarmed in, Dume’s mentor held them off long enough for him to escape, but lost his life in the process. After that tragic event took place, Dume decided to hang up his robe and lightsaber, and instead spend the rest of his days as a smuggler. Changing his name to Kanan Jarrus, the Jedi was determined to live a life of solitude away from the Galactic Empire. However, it wouldn’t be long before Jarrus met up with the protagonist of the Star Wars Rebels series- Ezra Bridger. Sensing the Force in this young lad, Jarrus became his mentor during the war against the Emperor. Since then, he has faced many challenges, including a duel with the presumed-dead Sith, Darth Maul.
Khandra was a much younger Jedi in the days of the Old Republic. Not a lot of information exists about her whereabouts during the Clone Wars, but what we do know is a sad story. Once Sidious initiated Order 66 and Jedi began dropping like flies, Khandra and three other surviving Jedi fled to a distant planet. After some time remaining hidden from the Galactic Empire, they were eventually discovered. While being attacked, one of the Jedi stayed on the planet to buy Khandra and the others enough time to get as far away as possible. After arriving on another planet, another ally of Khandra’s was also cut down by the Empire. After this, Khandra was sent over the edge. She became lost in her Jedi ways, and had to take up the miserable life of a hermit, simply scavenging the planet for food to eat. As if her situation wasn’t bad enough already, the Empire’s Inquisitor returned to that planet after some time and hunted down Khandra and her remaining ally. In a brief fight, the Inquisitor cut down both Jedi, and stole their possessions, which included a broken lightsaber. Khandra’s only appearance to date has been in the mobile game Star Wars: Uprising.
8. Kai Hudorra
The Bothans are a hardy race, and by the time of the original trilogy, many of them served as valuable Rebel soldiers. Before those days, however, there was a Bothan Jedi by the name of Kai Huddora. One of the more skilled Jedi Masters, Huddora was a general for the clone army. During one his expeditions, Order 66 came into play and his soldiers pointed their guns at him. Unfortunately for the clones, Huddora cut them down and managed to escape with his life. Afterward, he decided to hang up his lightsaber and instead live a more modest life. He bought and began running a fancy casino, where he was able to stay and run the business for a little while. However, one of his former allies betrayed him, outing his location to the Galactic Empire. Instead of clone troopers bursting in to take him out, though, Huddora was faced with something much more frightening: Darth Vader. Vader stormed through the casino, only there to take the Jedi’s life. The worst part is that Vader succeeded in his desires, despite the face that Huddora had attempted to assassinate the Sith Lord. Vader is just too good for simple-minded folk.
7. Quinlan Vos
Quinlan Vos has a story that’s about as awesome as Jedi stories get. First off, I should point out that he had a brief background appearance in The Phantom Menace doing an underground mission. Geeking out aside, he is an excellent Jedi, albeit a bit unorthodox. Very quickly in his training, it was clear that Vos was a good fighter, but had a certain disregard for the rules, opting to choose his own path on multiple occasions. During the Clone Wars, Vos would work alongside Obi Wan Kenobi to hunt down Ziro the Hutt. It was sometime after that when his story got really good. He began working alongside Asajj Ventress, a former Sith, to assassinate Count Dooku. They fought well together, and eventually became romantically involved. Unfortunately, this did not prevent Vos from succumbing to the Dark Side of the Force. He was pitted against Ventress, but through their love, he was able to see the light once more and leave the Dark Side. Their struggles eventually brought them face to face with the Count, but it was a move that cost Ventress her life. Vos then had the opportunity to kill Dooku himself, but ultimately chose to spare his life.
Unlike many other entries on this list, K’Kruhk was a Jedi that not only survived Order 66, but ended up working with the New Jedi Order after the death of Darth Sidious. During Order 66, K’Kruhk was with other Jedi at the time, even a group of younglings. After watching clone troopers he was just talking to kill and slaughter the younglings, he and his comrades put their minds together to bring them down. Along the way, one of his friends sacrificed himself so he could escape, and he went into hiding for many years, never coming out until after the Emperor had been slain. After all of his experience and battle prowess during the Clone Wars, K’Kruhk quickly became one of the most respected and feared Jedi alive. As a matter of fact, by the time after the events of Return of the Jedi, K’Kruhk was the oldest living Jedi. After the fall of the Galactic Empire, there were a handful of events that threatened to bring the Sith back from their demise. The New Jedi Order, including K’Kruhk, worked together effectively to stop the Sith from rising once more.
5. The Grand Inquisitor
If there’s one thing that the prequel trilogy did right, it was showing just how a Sith Lord could weasel his way into the Jedi Order. The truth of the matter is that the Jedi themselves were blinded by their own pride and desires, and were falling from grace more with each passing film. During the Clone Wars series, there was a bomb threat in the Jedi Order. Protagonist Ahsoka Tano was framed for it, but after some investigation, Anakin Skywalker proved otherwise. One of the Jedi Knights that witnessed this trial became disheartened by the Jedi Order and felt that they had become very corrupt. This Jedi left the Order and began searching for his own path, where he was eventually seduced by the Dark Side. By this time, he had survived Order 66, and chose to join the Galactic Empire, under the leadership of Darth Vader. Taking on the title of the Grand Inquisitor, this new Sith was as dangerous and terrifying as you’d expect. Responsible for the death of Luminara, the Inquisitor had many ways of hunting down the remaining Jedi. He was an unstoppable force when the Rebels first appeared, but eventually this led to his death at the hands of Kanan Jarrus.
4. A’Sharad Hett
Another surviving Jedi that fell to the Dark Side, A’Sharad Hett’s story is a bit more gripping. Hett was born to Tusken raiders on Tatooine, one of whom was a skilled Jedi Knight. As he grew up, he was raised as both a raider and a Jedi. However, his father would eventually be cut down by a bounty hunter, so Hett took his father’s lightsaber and sought to get real Jedi training. Eventually, he and his mentor, Ki Adi Mundi, would find this bounty hunter and throw her in prison. After this, Hett got a new mentor who enabled him to become a Jedi Knight, and after the Clone Wars, he became a Jedi Master. During Order 66, Hett was on a scouting mission, and didn’t have many clones near him. He killed that ones that turned and interrogated another to find out what had happened. Because he thought he was the only Jedi who lived, Hett went back to Tatooine to become a war leader for the Tusken Raiders that he grew up with. Eventually his leadership became brutal, and he eventually crossed paths with Obi Wan Kenobi, who cut off his arm. After being exiled, Hett would travel across many planets, where he would eventually be seduced by the Dark Side to become Darth Krayt.
3. Ahsoka Tano
When the Clone Wars animated series made its debut several years ago, it was a nice in-depth look at what Anakin and Obi Wan were doing during that period of time. In it, Anakin had a cute little apprentice named Ahsoka Tano. However, many viewers couldn’t hold on to her too much, because they knew that Order 66 was inevitable and that one way or another, she would die before the days of the Empire. That said, viewers were in for a surprising shock in Star Wars Rebels when it was revealed that not only was she alive, but she was also willing to help the Rebels in their struggle against the Empire. This led Tano to a brutal battle against Darth Vader, her former mentor. In the series, she chose to run away from a lot of the horrible realities of what had really happened after Order 66- after all, it was because she distanced herself from the Jedi Order that she managed to survive. When she faced Vader, though, she chose to go at him head on and seemingly lost her life in the process.
2. Obi Wan Kenobi
Fans of the original trilogy were excited to see the young Padawan version of Ben Kenobi. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. Obi Wan was full of great moments and action scenes that make him one of the most memorable Jedi in existence. While he wasn’t perfect and ultimately failed his apprentice Anakin Skywalker, he still fights for the good of others and the entire galaxy as a whole. Along the way, he had many encounters with numerous Sith Lords as well as deadly droids that only helped him to harness his abilities (how about that battle with Grievous?). When Order 66 was put into action, Obi Wan was able to discover that the clone troopers were not to be trusted, so he was able to escape with his life. However, once he figured out that Anakin had fallen to the Dark Side, he knew that he had failed his apprentice and had to atone for his mistakes. He fought the new Darth Vader, but he would never be the same. He went into hiding on Tatooine, where he would watch over the young Luke Skywalker, and we all know how the story goes from there.
1. Master Yoda
When you think of all of the greatest Jedi, there is no list that would be complete without Yoda. In the original trilogy, there was a lot of love for this little green guy. Because he was incredibly old, though, we never got the true scope of his full potential and power. All we knew was that he was very strong in the Force. Fortunately, we got a much better look at how powerful this Jedi Master was than in the original trilogy. One of the wisest members of the Jedi Council, Yoda had a lot of skill to back up his talk. Despite his size, he was the greatest fighter the Jedi had ever known. Utilizing his mobility and the Force to flip and maneuver around his opponents, it seems that he was nearly untouchable. When Order 66 was brought into play, the clone troopers behind him were going to kill him silently. Sensing that something was up, though, Yoda was able to fell his foes before dueling the new Emperor himself. Sadly, Yoda did not win the fight and because he failed to see that the Sith had infiltrated the Jedi Order, he exiled himself to swamp planet of Dagobah.
4. Master Plo Koon
Jedi Master Plo Koon is an amazing fighter and has a lot of strong abilities that single him out as one of the greatest Jedi fighters of all time. On top of being one of the coolest-looking Jedi to date, he was also the one who found Ahsoka Tano at the start of the Clone Wars. Part of his excellence in battle led to him frequently going off on dangerous missions that regular Jedi would normally be too frightened to take part in. During the Clone Wars, Plo Koon became a general for the Republic’s army and took part in intense battles on planets like Geonosis. On top of being a great fighter, Plo Koon was also an adept pilot, offering decent air support as necessary. During Order 66, he was one of the many Jedi who were cut down, but the way he was killed felt so cheap (in my opinion). He was leading a squadron of clone fighters, but once the Emperor gave the orders, they shot his fighter, and he dropped out of the sky into a fatal crash.
3. Aayla Secura
Aayla Secura, like the few that are on this list, is also a great fighter. In many games like Star Wars Battlefront 2, she often wields two lightsabers. When coupled with a great use of the Force, there aren’t many battles that she can’t overcome. Part of what makes her so excellent is that she was trained in the Jedi ways by her master, Quinlan Vos, someone you may recognize from earlier in this list. Because of how great her master was, she picked up on much of his knowledge and many of his skills in order to fight her opponents. In Revenge of the Sith, Secura was stationed with a large force on a distant planet to deal with the Separatist droids that were there. As fans of the series know, though, the Emperor gave Order 66 and the clone troopers behind Secura shot her in the back. That moment seemed so unfitting for a character like Secura, though. After all, shouldn’t she have been able to sense the troopers behind her? She might’ve been distracted or something, but the entire scene felt so lame either way.
2. Ki Adi Mundi
By the time The Phantom Menace took place, Ki Adi Mundi was already an established Jedi Master who served on the Jedi Council. Unfortunately, he, like the other members, suffered from a lot of pride and corruption during that time that allowed Darth Sidious to enact his ultimate plan. During the Clone Wars, Mundi was also a powerful general and fought a lot of battles alongside Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. Ki Adi Mundi was also one of the Jedi who helped rescue Quinlan Vos after he was tainted by Dooku and the Dark Side. He was also in favor of Ventress coming along to aide him. During Revenge of the Sith, Ki Adi Mundi was leading a force across a bridge on the planet Mygeeto. During the attack on the Separatists, the Emperor gave the order and the clones turned on Mundi. Unfortunately for the Jedi Master, he sensed the betrayal a bit too late. He was able to deflect a large number of blaster bolts aimed at him, but a single hit caused him to stagger enough to be taken out by the rest of the soldiers. Like the two entries before Mundi, his death also feels a bit ridiculous. However, perhaps that was the ultimate point behind Sidious’s plan.
1. Mace Windu
I will go on record and say that Mace Windu had his death coming. That doesn’t mean that he should have ultimately died anyway. Out of all of the Jedi Council who seemed blind to their own ways, Windu was probably the most extreme. He partook in a lot of great battles throughout the original trilogy and proved to be one of the greatest Jedi of the time. During Revenge of the Sith, he, among many others, sensed that a Sith Lord had penetrated their ranks. After continuous investigation, Windu discovered that Chancellor Palpatine was actually Darth Sidious. Bringing a squadron of three Jedi at his side, he attempted to arrest the Emperor. As such, you would expect these Jedi to be more than capable to deal with one Sith. Unfortunately, they were all cut down, leaving only Windu to fight him. When the Jedi Master finally had Sidious on the brink of death though, he revoked the Jedi Code and attempted to kill him, stating, “He’s too dangerous to be left alive,” something that Sidious had said earlier in the film to Anakin. It was this statement that led Anakin to save the Emperor and become Darth Vader.