Jeremy hopes the Force is with him as he pursues a forensics career in the swamps of Louisiana.
How Many Jedi Survived Order 66?
Seen in Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith, Darth Sidious's masterminded the Jedi Purge, where nearly every Knight was slaughtered. Death came to the Jedi at the hands of their former Clone Trooper allies, or at Coruscant's Jedi Temple, Anakin Skywalker, the newly-christened Darth Vader. The Purge was largely successful, shattering the Order into fragmented pieces, but a surprising number of Force-sensitives survived the chaos.
Counting both the canon and Legends timelines, about 200 Jedi remained, but many were hunted down by Vader in the following years. Others went into hiding, and some are still unaccounted for and may or may not have endured. But with dozens of confirmed survivors, which warriors did the Sith miss? These are the ten most noteworthy Jedi to endure Order 66!
10. Shaak Ti
Council member Shaak Ti, once described by Obi-Wan as the most cunning Jedi he'd ever met, managed to escape Order 66's destruction, fleeing to Felucia with Padawan Maris Brood. There, she trained Brood in hopes of eventually combating the Empire, but Vader sent his secret apprentice Starkiller to finish her off before her revolution began. The Sith initiate successfully eliminated Ti, though he spared Brood.
That's what happens in the alternative Legends timeline; in canon, Ti was killed during meditation by recently-fallen Anakin Skywalker. She also dies by General Grievous's hand in one of Episode 3's deleted scenes, proving this poor Togruta can't catch a break despite her formidable powers.
9. Kirak Infil'a
Gray-skinned Kirark served the Republic as a Jedi Guardian, dedicating himself to mastery over the lightsaber. Perhaps concerned by his devotion towards battle, he eventually took a vow that required him to separate himself from the Order, granting time to reevaluate his perspectives on the Force.
Luckily for Kirak, this act let him survive Order 66, though he's eventually discovered by Vader. Nonetheless, Kirak proves his skills by defeating and nearly killing the Sith in a duel. Sadly, Vader ultimately exploits Kirak's compassion, using bystanders as distractions to strike the finishing blow.
8. Rahm Kota
In the Legends saga, as a young boy, Kota was discovered by Master Mace Windu at the age of 18 and soon trained by Yoda. Wow, kind of a jerk move to hamper Anakin about his age when Kota was twice as old, but I digress.
Since he wasn't stationed with clones during Order 66, Kota lived through the Purge's mayhem. Closely working with Senator Organa (Leia's adoptive father), Kota helped enact several strikes against the Empire, eventually making contact with Vader's secret apprentice, Starkiller. Though Starkiller initially planned betrayal, he gradually came to champion the Rebellion's cause, in part due to Kota's mentorship, leading to the Rebellion's official beginning. Kota's also one of today's few entries to completely cheat death, bearing no confirmed end as of this writing.
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7. Kento and Mallie Marek
Kento and Mallie were both Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars, which ironically united them and sparked love. Renouncing the Jedi Order to marry, the two left for Wookie homeworld Kashyyyk, and their timely departure let them escape Order 66.
Sadly, Mallie was eventually killed defending the Wookies from Trandoshan slavers, and Kento died when Vader ultimately tracked him down, but not before siring Galen Marek, who Vader then took as his secret apprentice. In the Legends timeline, this proves a fatal stroke for the Sith, as Galen ultimately gathers the Rebellion's forces, paving the path for the Empire's defeat.
6. Kanan Jarrus
Though only an apprentice when the Order falls, Kanan lives thanks to the sacrifice of his master, Depa Billaba. To hide his Jedi identity, Kanan goes underground for years, partnering with rebel operative Hera Syndulla. When Force-sensitive Ezra Bridger joins their team, Kanan takes it upon himself to instruct the boy despite his own inexperience, and the two gradually forge their powers.
Kanan, Ezra, and the rest of the Rebels faced villainous foes ranging from Darth Maul to Grand Admiral Thrawn, and though Kanan eventually perished in battle, his spirit found peace as part of the Cosmic Force.
5. Ahsoka Tano
Shown extensively throughout the second animated Clone Wars series, Ahsoka Tano served as Anakin's apprentice during the Republic's biggest crisis. For such a youthful apprentice, Ahsoka continuously proved her dueling skills, surviving and sometimes triumphing in battles against deadly foes like General Grievous and Asajj Ventress.
However, a false accusation leads to Ahsoka's resignation from the Jedi Order, escaping notice shortly before Order 66's fulfillment. Ahsoka eventually makes her way to the Rebellion through Senator Organa, and though she doesn't officially retitle herself a Jedi, she's about as light-sided as they come. Plus, unlike most 66 survivors, she's still alive, escaping a fateful reunion with Darth Vader thanks to Ezra Bridger's intervention.
4. Empatojayos Brand
Species: Unknown (human?)
The former Padawan of Jedi Master Yaddle (Yoda's female counterpart seen in Episode 1: The Phantom Menace), Brand served as a renowned Jedi throughout the Clone Wars. While he evaded calamity during Order 66, his ship was soon shot down by Vader near Nar Shaddaa, leaving him desperately wounded.
Brand was given a prosthetic body by the Ganathan people and eventually became their king, serving as a just ruler for many years. Eventually, he's recruited by Leia to help combat the reborn Emperor Palpatine, and he plays a pivotal role in the Sith's final defeat, sacrificing himself to contain the Sith's spirit. This prevents Palpatine from finding a new host; even Luke Skywalker (likely the strongest Jedi at the time) didn't know the Force technique Brand uses, showcasing his vast knowledge.
3. Ferus Olin
Introduced in the Jedi Quest young adult novels, Ferus served as the talented apprentice of Obi-Wan's ally and love interest Siri Tachi. Ferus often likened himself to Kenobi, adopting a traditional approach to Jedi studies, but this rigid outlook contrasted Anakin's rule-bending mindset, making the two fierce rivals. After many turbulent adventures, Ferus leaves the Order for a self-perceived failure, inadvertently removing himself as a target for the years-off Order 66.
Ferus resurfaces after the Empire's rise, locating Obi-Wan, who guides him through a variety of trials. Defeating many Imperials throughout his missions, Ferus eventually settles on Alderaan to watch over Leia, just as Obi-Wan does for Luke on Tatooine. Luckily, due to an off-planet investigation, he escapes the Death Star's annihilation of Alderaan, although he eventually falls at the hands of his old rival in order to buy Leia time to escape Vader's clutches, again paralleling Obi-Wan's fate. Still, he saved perhaps the Rebellion's most crucial figure and outlasted most 66 survivors.
2. Obi-Wan Kenobi
Not only did Obi-Wan survive his Clone battalion's betrayal, he defeated Vader in a legendary duel, maiming the Sith and crippling his Force potential. Nonetheless, Obi-Wan likely regretted letting his former apprentice live, and soon left for exile on Tatooine.
Throughout the following years, Obi-Wan periodically saved young Luke from discovery, battling and defeating Darth Maul in both timelines and assisting Ferus Olin in his adventures. Obi-Wan also learned the secrets to immortality from Qui-Gon's spirit, a skill he used to guide his surviving allies following his sacrifice aboard the Death Star, where he allowed his fallen apprentice to strike him down.
Arguably the Republic's strongest Master, Yoda sidesteps Order 66 with assistance from the Wookies (notably Chewbacca). While he subsequently fails to conquer Darth Sidious, he again escapes and develops the long-term strategy of using Vader's own children against the Empire. He's also the first to learn the secrets of Force revival from Qui-Gon, gaining the power the Sith so desperately crave.
As lonely as Obi-Wan's isolation must have been, Yoda likely had it even worse on Dagobah, having few if any sentient beings to commune with. Nevertheless, the elder Jedi patiently waited over two decades for Luke's arrival, and his planetary choice proved effective, as the dark-sided energy radiating from a nearby cave counteracted Yoda's own resonance, eluding Imperial pursuers. After training Luke, who arguably became the strongest Jedi of all time, Yoda was one of few Jedi to die peacefully in rest, finally becoming one with the Force.
Other Survivors of Order 66
Although additional Jedi escaped annihilation, many were soon hunted by Vader or his Inquisitors, and even those who eluded the Empire's wrath often faded into obscurity. Had more known about one another's existence, perhaps they could have formed a united coalition, but as they were scattered across dozens of worlds, many believed themselves the last Jedi.
The rise of the Empire era remains a fan favorite, as many of Star Wars's most beloved characters are present, and we'll undoubtedly unearth more Jedi survivors in future adventures. But for now, vote for your favorite fugitive and I'll see you at our next Star Wars countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: Is Aayla Secura one of the most powerful Jedi in Star Wars?
Answer: I certainly wouldn't call her weak, but she wouldn't be anywhere near my top 10.
© 2019 Jeremy Gill
Jake Schaeffer on May 12, 2020:
I am a big Star Wars fan and enjoy your stories
Liz Westwood from UK on April 19, 2019:
Your Star Wars knowledge is impressive. The franchise gives scope for many more articles to come.