- "First, I want you to go to the Jedi Temple. We will catch them off balance. Do what must be done, Lord Vader. Do not hesitate; show no mercy."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader
Following a duel between Mace Windu and Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, who had been revealed as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, Anakin Skywalker swore himself to Palpatine and the dark side of the Force. Anakin Skywalker, was given the name Darth Vader, and was then ordered to attack the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Vader led the attack on the Jedi Temple with his 501st Legion of clone troopers. He did not stop until even the Younglings were destroyed, and set the Temple beacon to call the Jedi home, saying the war was over, in order to kill those that had escaped Order 66. He later left to tell his wife Padmé Amidala of the situation, and the troops continued the attack independently, taking down Zett Jukassa and warding off Bail Organa. The attack, along with the execution of Order 66 on other planets, led to the exile and near-extermination of the remaining Jedi.
However, two Jedi survivors, Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, managed to infiltrate the Temple and invert the beacon, having it tell all Jedi to stay away from the Temple.
- "In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you're under arrest, Chancellor."
"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"
"The Senate will decide your fate."
"I am the Senate."
- ―Mace Windu and Palpatine
Since their first encounter, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine—secretly the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious—had taken an interest in Anakin Skywalker, a boy strong in the Force and intent on learning the ways of the Jedi. He positioned himself as a mentor and father figure to the boy in order to influence his decisions, and eventually make him his apprentice. Skywalker, because of this, trusted Palpatine absolutely, confiding in him his greatest secrets, such as his slaughter of Tusken Raiders on Tatooine. Near the end of the Clone Wars, Palpatine invited Skywalker, who had become a Jedi Knight, to a performance of Squid Lake in the Galaxies Opera House. There, he told to Skywalker The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise, telling him that there were Sith techniques that he could learn to people-such as his wife-from death. Later, Palpatine admitted to Skywalker that he knew how to utilize the dark side of the Force, and Skywalker realized that he was actually the Sith Lord that the Jedi had been looking for. The Knight was shocked by this revelation, and he fled to the Jedi Temple to inform Jedi Master Mace Windu, who took a squad of Masters to apprehend the Sith.
In his office on Coruscant, Sidious was confronted by Windu's group, and all but Windu were quickly killed by the Sith. Sidious and Windu continued fighting until Skywalker arrived. Deciding that Amidala's life was more important to him than his commitment to the Jedi, Skywalker cut off Windu's sword arm to save the Sith Lord, and Sidious Force pushed Windu out of a window to his death. Skywalker then pledged himself to Sidious's teachings in order to save his wife, and was given the Sith name "Darth Vader." Sidious took this moment to carefully admit that he did not actually know the secret to preserving life, but Vader evidently did not realize what he had said. With that, Sidious declared the Jedi Order an enemy of the Galactic Republic, assigning Vader the task of attacking the halls of the Jedi Temple and eliminating this growing "menace." A large detachment of troopers from the 501st Legion was transferred to Coruscant to serve Lord Vader during the mission.
While Vader prepared to begin his mission, Sidious enacted Order 66, a mandate that Republic clone troopers across the galaxy had been programmed to follow without question since before the Clone Wars had broken out. It commanded them to kill their Jedi commanders in the name of the Republic. Within minutes, many Jedi were killed by their formerly loyal troops, though a few survived the Order.
- "You have done well, my new apprentice. Your skills are unmatched by any Sith before you. Now, Lord Vader, go and bring peace to the Empire."
- ―Palpatine, to Darth Vader
Marching silently to the gates of the Temple with the clones, Darth Vader led the clones inside. The clones charged into the Temple foyer to meet with heavy resistance from Jedi and Temple Security Force personnel, eventually clearing the room of resistance. Vader altered and broadcast a beacon ordering all Jedi to return to the Jedi Temple because the war was over, leading any who heeded the call to their death at the hands of the clones.
Vader went to search the Council Chamber for more survivors, and it was there that he found an large group of younglings. A young boy, Sors Bandeam, approached Vader from where the other Younglings had hidden themselves. Bandeam, not realizing that Skywalker had become Vader and defected to the Sith, asked him what the Jedi were going to do, and in answer, Vader re-ignited his lightsaber and proceeded to execute the entire group. As the Temple burned, Bail Organa, the senator from Alderaan and a Jedi sympathizer, landed on the landing platform of one of the Tower hangars to investigate the fire. After being turned away by the clones guarding the hangar, the retreating Senator witnessed the execution of Zett Jukassa, a young Padawan. The clones started to fire on Bail Organa until a trooper ordered them to stand down, telling the others not to worry about him.
Vader then confronted Temple Guard master Cin Drallig. After murdering two of Drallig's trainees, Bene and Whie, the Sith entered a duel with Drallig, but Vader killed him by slashing his shoulder. Soon after, this would be briefly witnessed by Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
As the fighting began to die down, Darth Sidious arrived at the Temple to check on Vader's progress. Vader knelt before his Master to be congratulated by the Dark Lord. Sidious then ordered Vader to travel to Mustafar to eliminate the leaders of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, a faction opposing the Republic that had seceded three years prior, assembled there by Sidious under the pretense of talks to end the conflict.
- "Not even the Younglings survived."
"Killed not by clones, this Padawan, but by a lightsaber, he was."
"Who? Who could have done this?"
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, upon finding a group of murdered Jedi hopefuls in the Temple
Leaving the clones to root out any remaining Jedi in the Temple, Darth Vader went to visit his wife in her apartment and explained the destruction of the Temple by telling her that the Jedi had betrayed the Republic. He told her where he was going and why while warning her to stay away from other members of the Senate, saying there were traitors there, too.
Before the fires had been doused, an emergency Galactic Senate meeting was called by Palpatine the day after the attack on the Temple. During the assembly, he informed the senators of the Jedi's attempt to usurp control of the galaxy and the previous night's events. He also told them of the Temple's pacification and the clones' efforts across the galaxy to wipe out the organization in the wake of that realization. To fully sway his audience to his cause, Palpatine delivered a speech claiming the Jedi had orchestrated the entirety of the Clone Wars to weaken the Republic so that they could take over the galaxy. Palpatine also announced that to prevent another such attempt, the Galactic Republic would be reorganized as a unified body under his sole, absolute authority, the Galactic Empire.
The Jedi incursion
- Kenobi: "Have we had any contact from the Temple?"
- Yoda: "Received a coded retreat message, we have."
- Organa: "It requests all Jedi to return to the Temple. It says the war is over."
- Kenobi: "Well, then we must go back. If there are any stragglers, they will fall into the trap and be killed."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Bail Organa[src]
Following the raid, two survivors of Order 66, Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, received the message ordering all Jedi to return to the Temple and immediately recognized it as a trap. Since the emergency Senate session would make it easier to enter the Temple, the two Jedi Masters returned to the Temple during the meeting to take advantage of it. They found the Temple in shambles, fires still burning, and bodies from both sides of the conflict strewn through the halls.
After fighting his way through their former allies alongside Yoda, Kenobi was able to enter the beacon room. There, Kenobi reconfigured the beacon to ward Jedi away. They also found a security holgram that showed Skywalker killing Cin Drallig and his Padawan students before conferring with Sidious. Kenobi was shocked by the revelation that Skywalker, his former Padawan, had fallen to the Dark Side and lead the massacre. In order to find him, he went to Amidala, who had been watching the Jedi Temple burn from afar, and stowed away in secret on her ship when she went to confront her husband on Mustafar. This led to a duel between the two Force users.
Behind the scenes
- "Then [Sidious] says 'Okay, well, now I'll [save your wife], but now you have to do all these things: you have to kill the Jedi because if you don't kill all the Jedi—even if you leave one alive, even if it's just one of the little kids—they'll come back and get us and we'll be dealing with this forever.'"
- ―George Lucas in the Revenge of the Sith commentary
The eradication of the Jedi Order and the turning of Anakin Skywalker were first indirectly mentioned in the original trilogy. However, in 2005, the theatrical release of the film, depicting the event for the first time.
George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, felt that the portion of the raid featuring Sors Bandeam and his clan was a very necessary one. He wanted to demonstrate just how far Skywalker had fallen from his pedestal as a Jedi Knight, but he had absolutely no intention for actually showing them killed. Nonetheless, another child, Zett Jukassa, was killed on screen. He was portrayed by Lucas's son, Jett Lucas.
In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series episode "Ghosts of Mortis," the Son shows Anakin Skywalker a vision of his future that included portions of the events of Revenge of the Sith. One of these visions was of Skywalker raising his lightsaber to strike down a child immediately after a vision of Palpatine using Force lightning, and before he saw his strangling Padmé Amidala with the Force just before his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Taken as chronological visions of the movie, and interpreting Palpatine's scene as from the showdown with Mace Windu, that would place this child as a victim of the raid.
Originally, Kenobi and Yoda were to be greeted by a squad of clone troopers disguised as Jedi in the movie. A promotional image of Temuera Morrison as one of these clones is on the second disc of the Revenge of the Sith DVD set, suggesting that they were considered for the movie.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ghosts of Mortis" (Vision to Anakin Skywalker)
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (First appearance)
- Lords of the Sith (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Darth Vader 1: Vader (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Darth Vader 24: End of Games, Part V (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- ↑ Star Wars: Kanan 1: The Last Padawan, Part I: Fight
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ screenshot)—The tweet in question refers to the number of in-universe years between the canon films and television shows, with Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace set as Year 0. Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope can be deduced as taking place nineteen years after Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. (