Star Wars has revealed Order 66 wasn’t the first Jedi Purge, meaning Jedi Order’s history is darker than anyone thought. Will it be explored further?
Star Wars‘ High Republic-set novel Light of the Jedi has just revealed that Order 66 wasn’t the first Jedi Purge. Most viewers assume Star Wars is just a film (and, increasingly, TV) franchise. In reality, for decades Lucasfilm has been taking advantage of other mediums, ranging from video games to New York Times bestselling novels, from comics to RPG sourcebooks. Star Wars was the precursor for the modern structure of transmedia universes, and it’s continuing to push the boundaries even now.
Unfortunately, this caused major problems for Disney when they acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. They made the difficult decision to reduce the canon to the bare essentials, mostly the films and TV shows, erasing the then-named “Star Wars Expanded Universe” (now known as Star Wars Legends) from canon. These old stories may not be canon anymore, but they continue to have an influence on modern Star Wars. Lucasfilm has been carefully absorbing the best bits into their new continuity, ranging from characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn to elements of galactic history – recently recanonizing the First Sith War from the Knights of the Old Republic games.Continue scrolling to keep reading
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Charles Soule’s novel Light of the Jedi goes a step further, though, in confirming the Sith committed several purges of the Jedi in the past – presumably including one purge in the First Sith War. The book features a discussion between several members of the Jedi Council during the High Republic Era, and during a discussion on military action, they get sidetracked by arguing about ancient history:
“But we have been a military force in the past,” said Oppo Rancisis. “In fact, our predecessors waged and won the Great Sith Wars. There is endless precedent in the chronicles for this sort of thing.”
“True, but we are not at war now. We are the farthest thing from it,” said Rana Kant.
“Not the farthest,” replied Yarael Poof. “There have been times in our history when the Order was reduced to but a handful of members.”
The scene is an amusing one because it suggests that – however different the Jedi of the High Republic may have been to the prequel era – the Council had the same tendency to become preoccupied with academic discussions. It probably doesn’t help that Oppo Rancisis and Yarael Poof were presumably already centuries old, and thus may well have struggled to focus on the present moment. They are corrected by Master Ephru Shinn, the newest member of the Council, who has been selected by Master Yoda to hold his seat while he obeys the will of the Force to train a new generation of Jedi.
Readers will, of course, be fascinated by this brief glimpse into the history of the Jedi Order. While the Great Sith War is restored to canon, note Oppo Rancisis refers to multiple such conflicts, and Yarael Poof claims there have been “times” – plural – when the Jedi have been decimated. This suggests that, as in the old Expanded Universe, the history of the galaxy is one of unceasing conflict between the light and the dark. No doubt Palpatine’s purge was more successful than those of his predecessors, of course, because the Force clearly believed the Chosen One himself would be needed to restore the balance and defeat the Emperor. Still, hopefully, this throwaway comment means Star Wars intends to begin exploring the ancient past of the Jedi and Sith, telling stories of earlier Sith Wars and Jedi Purges.
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About The Author
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Tom Bacon is one of Screen Rant’s staff writers, and he’s frankly amused that his childhood is back – and this time it’s cool. Tom’s focus tends to be on the various superhero franchises, as well as Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Star Trek; he’s also an avid comic book reader. Over the years, Tom has built a strong relationship with aspects of the various fan communities, and is a Moderator on some of Facebook’s largest MCU and X-Men groups. Previously, he’s written entertainment news and articles for Movie Pilot.
A graduate of Edge Hill University in the United Kingdom, Tom is still strongly connected with his alma mater; in fact, in his spare time he’s a voluntary chaplain there. He’s heavily involved with his local church, and anyone who checks him out on Twitter will quickly learn that he’s interested in British politics as well.
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