What is Order 66? How Was it Executed?

Order 66 was just one more 6 short of the devil’s number 666 and that’s what it was – the Dark Lord Sith’s plan to destroy its biggest enemy, the Jedi Order.

As secret as all evil is, Order 66 was an ingenious plan to kill the galaxy’s strongest warriors, the Jedi, by turning their own troops against them.

Also known as the Clone Protocol 66, Order 66 was designed to be carried out by the clone troopers to kill their Jedi Generals.

The mastermind of Order 66 was none other than the Galactic Republic’s Supreme Chancellor, Sheev Palpatine. Hiding in plain sight, he was actually the Sith Lord Darth Sidious.

He used Order 66 to overthrow the Republic, orchestrate the great Jedi Purge and single handedly revive the rule of Sith in the Galaxy.

A lot went into the success of Order 66, including a series of Sith Lords since Darth Bane, on whose watch the Jedi had wiped out the Sith for good.

Or at least that is what the Sith wanted the Jedi to believe, that they were wiped out. At the end of The Clone Wars, the Sith rule returned to the Galaxy after a thousand years of peace.

Order 66 itself began when Palpatine ordered for the creation of clones, over 10 years before the Clone Wars, which is when Order 66 struck the galaxy in all its monstrosity.

However, there was that one time when it got prematurely executed and leading to an almost exposure of the Sith’s plan.

1. What Did The “Secret” Order Say?

Since the order itself was ostensibly in place to prevent the Jedi from turning against the Republic, it said the following:

“In the event of Jedi officers acting against the interests of the Republic, and after receiving specific orders verified as coming directly from the Supreme Commander (Chancellor), GAR commanders will remove those officers by lethal force, and command of the GAR will revert to the Supreme Commander (Chancellor) until a new command structure is established.”

Besides eliminating any living Jedi that could be found, Palpatine also sought out all records and technology of the Jedi to destroy. He was bent on erasing the Jedi from the very history of the galaxy.

Palpatine “Execute Order 66”

He used Force-sensitives as members of the Inquisitorius and used the Imperial Security Bureau to find the remaining Jedi and their memorabilia.

This made it all the more difficult for Luke Skywalker to reestablish the Jedi Order in the Original Trilogy. He likewise had to search for Jedi relics, writings, and teachings.

Only a handful of Jedi could survive Order 66 – some of them had to kill their clone troopers while others were saved by clones with slightly more willpower who questioned the orders before executing them.

However, despite surviving, all the Jedi Masters were forced to go into hiding on far off planets.

2. Who Issued Order 66 and Why?

The real reason for execution of the Order 66 in the middle of the Clone Wars was of course part of Palpatine’s plan to take over the controls of the Republic. But how could Palpatine get away with issuing such an order?

What is Order 66?
Darth Sidious | Source: Fandom

Certain events of supposed Jedi highhandedness were manufactured by the Supreme Chancellor to justify shoot-at-sight orders against them. 

Besides the one premature execution that almost exposed him, Palpatine’s plans were afoot without any other major hindrances.

Except, the Jedi High Council had been growing increasingly suspicious of the Chancellor and his underhanded but continued abuse of power. But it was not until 19 BBY that the Jedi Masters learnt of the Chancellor’s true identity as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious.

A group of Jedi Masters then sought to arrest Palpatine but when their efforts failed, Palpatine used the incident to frame the Jedi Order for treason.

This was when he also directed the clone army to execute their Jedi commanding officers in accordance with Order 66.

What is Order 66?
Darth Vader | Source: Fandom

Across the galaxy, thousands of Jedi were murdered by the very same troops that fought beside them.

Meanwhile, the Chancellor’s new apprentice, Sith Lord Darth Vader, led the 501st Legion in a direct assault on the Jedi Temple of Coruscant. It was Vader who killed the young ones being trained to join the Jedi Order at the time.

3. How Was Order 66 Executed?

It was lucky that the Jedi High Council learnt of Palpatine’s true identity and sought to arrest. But the Sith Lord knew better than to rely on luck. He had ensured that all clones would execute Order 66 whenever it declared valid.

It was during the cloning process itself that Palpatine had requested the Kaminoans for a special biochip to be installed in the brains of each clone.

This chip would serve the purpose of destroying any free will in the clone, thus rendering them powerless when the Chancellor issues orders to kill their own Jedi Masters.

What is Order 66?
Sifo Dyas | Source: Official Website

When Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas ordered the clone army for the Galactic Republic, nearly 10 years before the Clone Wars broke out, little did he know the project was soon going to be hijacked by Sith Lord himself.

Palpatine saw an opportunity in the clone army, a way to finally destroy the Jedi. He soon got Sifo-Dyas murdered by the Pyke Syndicate and concealed the true circumstances and location of his death from the Jedi.

Then becoming the sole manager of the cloning process, he could manage to keep such a massive feature of the clone troopers, a top secret for so long.

The clones grew up to look identical but varying in their experiences, style, skills, armors and also opinions. They were treated by the Jedi masters, especially Master Yoda, as individuals and not a bunch of identical bots.

Each one had a name separate from their clone trooper codes, which were basically just numbers.

This is why the Jedi could never have seen an attack coming from such close quarters. They had grown to trust their clone troopers who functioned at minimal maintenance and maximum efficiency.

4. Premature Execution of Order 66

In all those years, there was but one glitch in Palpatine’s plan. In one of the clones, Commander Tup, the chip turned out to be faulty leading to a premature execution. This led to Tup killing the Jedi General Tiplar mid-battle and without the execution of Order 66.

What is Order 66?
Tup | Source: Official Website

“Jedi. Good soldiers follow orders,” were Tup’s words moments before he fired the deadly shot at Tiplar in the Battle of Ringo Vinda.

Tiplar was killed instantly and the Republic forced to retreat. Tup was brought prepared to be studied by the Kaminoans when Dooku and his master, Darth Sidious, learned of what happened to Tup.

Fearing that the incident would lead to their secret being revealed, they ordered the Separatists to kidnap Tup from the Republic. But Tup was successfully taken to Kamino for further study.

While there, Tup’s fellow clone soldier Commander Fives grew increasingly suspicious of the Kaminoans’ treatment of his friend.

Fives was first told it was a virus but later he decided to take matters into his own hands and scanned Tup’s brain. He found the faulty chip which he assumed to be a tumor and removed it by operating on Tup.

However, in a moment of inspiration, he scanned his own brain only to find a similar not-so-deformed chip in his own brain.

The Kaminoans discovered what Fives had done and warned Palpatine. Fives was immediately flown to the Chancellor’s office to present his claims of faulty biochips were the real cause of Tup’s divergent behavior.

He failed to convince all those present and declared crazy for attempting to assassinate Chancellor Palpatine.

What is Order 66?
Chancellor Palpatine | Source: Fandom

Fives was soon executed and no one ever raised the matter of a secret biochip ever again. However, Fives’ senior Commander Rex did submit an official query in the matter, which even he knew was bound to be ignored by the Republic.

A major disaster was averted by Palpatine and his plan went on unaffected.

5. About Clonewars

Star Wars is an American epic space opera media franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the eponymous 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon.

It has three trilogies at its core – Original, Prequel and Sequel, spread across five decades and interspersed with at least a dozen spin-off series and films. The most important of these spin-offs is Star Wars: The Clone Wars whose events occur between the Prequel and Original Trilogy.

The Clone Wars sets the basis for events that happened in the first Star Wars film when the Dark forces have taken over the Galaxy. Their enemies, Jedis, have already perished with only one left to fight the whole Sith Empire. The Clone Wars lays the ground for this Great Jedi Purge mentioned in the Original Trilogy.

Created by George Lucas and his Lucasfilm, the franchise is currently under the Disney umbrella. ALL Star Wars films and shows are available to binge on Disney+ streaming service.


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