- "A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Luke Skywalker
The Great Jedi Purge (19 BBY—3 BBY), also known as the war against the Jedi, was the campaign waged by the Galactic Empire to hunt members of the treasonous Jedi Order, a noble monastic religious order during the early Imperial Era. The destruction of the Jedi traced its origins to the ancient wars against the Sith, at the end of which were nearly eliminated by the Jedi Order. The Sith were in fact operating in secret, plotting their eventual destruction of the Jedi. A millennium after the defeat of the Sith, Darth Sidious, using his public persona of senator and then Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, manipulated and deceived the galaxy into the Clone Wars as a pretext for gaining emergency executive power over the Galactic Republic. He used the war to manipulate and deceive the Senate into giving his office virtually unchecked executive power in the name of security. In addition, the clone army that provided the Republic with its military force had secretly been implanted with bio-chips by its Sith creators that, upon activation, would trigger total compliance and force the clones into killing their Jedi leaders.
The Jedi Purge began at the end of the Clone Wars. Anakin Skywalker, a Jedi Knight believed to be the Chosen One destined to destroy the Sith, discovered that Palpatine was Darth Sidious and informed Jedi Master Mace Windu. In what Sidious would publicly label the "Jedi rebellion," Windu and three other Masters confronted the Chancellor, who killed the three Masters and engaged Windu in a lightsaber duel. Skywalker, who sought power from Sidious in order to save his wife, Padmé Amidala, from death, betrayed and incapacitated Windu before the Jedi Master could kill the Dark Lord. Sidious then killed Windu, and Skywalker became the Sith Lord Darth Vader and led the Siege of the Jedi Temple, killing everyone inside it. While Vader carried out the assault on the Temple, Sidious initiated Order 66, with the latter causing the Clones' biochips to brainwash them into betraying and slaughtering the Jedi, ultimately leading to the Jedi Order being defeated and nearly destroyed. The order was a resounding success: nearly all the Jedi in the field were killed. With the Jedi branded traitors and the Clone Wars at an end, Sidious declared himself Emperor and restored the Sith Empire when he transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire. However, a small number of Jedi who were either not involved with the clones or escaped the trap survived and continued to vex the Sith in years after.
The Age of the Empire saw the continued hunting of the Jedi survivors by the Empire. Vader commanded a number of Inquisitors, whose job was to hunt any Jedi survivors. The Grand Inquisitor, a former Jedi Temple Guard from Utapau, hunted a group of rebels on the planet Lothal who were led by a former Padawan, Kanan Jarrus. These rebels ultimately helped create the Alliance to Restore the Republic, which fought against the Empire during the Galactic Civil War. The final battle of the purge came with the Mission to Malachor, during which the former Sith Lord Maul resurfaced, and Vader dueled his former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano.
- "At last, we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last, we will have revenge."
- ―Darth Maul
Over a thousand years before the Invasion of Naboo, a rogue Jedi began using the dark side of the Force, believing that it was the dark side where the true potential of the powers of the Force lied. While this caused him to be expelled from the Jedi Order, he gained followers and formed a new order that eventually became the Sith. Soon, the Jedi and Sith became bitter enemies and waged many wars against each other. Ultimately, the Sith's greed for power led to infighting within their order, which the Jedi took advantage of, defeating and nearly destroying the Sith. Following their victory, the Jedi believed that the Sith were extinct. However, one Sith Lord, Darth Bane, survived and plotted his revenge by enacting the Great Plan and the Rule of Two, which allowed the Sith to operate in secret without anyone, particularly the Jedi, knowing. They would number two at any given time—a master and an apprentice—and henceforth used cunning and conspiracy rather than brute force to carry out their plans to destroy the Jedi Order and eventually rise again to subjugate the galaxy.
The Sith operated in secret for centuries. In the years before the Invasion of Naboo, Sheev Palpatine of Naboo became the apprentice of Darth Plagueis and took on the name Darth Sidious. As a Sith, Sidious betrayed and killed his master and became a Dark Lord of the Sith. In his public persona of Senator Palpatine of Naboo, Sidious carried out his plans to gain power over the Galactic Republic. He planned to deceive and destroy the Jedi and Republic, then usher in a Sith dominion over the galaxy, with himself as sovereign ruler over an empire that would allow him to cast the galaxy into darkness and unlock the ancient secrets of the Sith and the dark side of the Force. In doing so, Sidious believed he could remake the universe in his own designs. Infiltrating the Galactic Senate, Republic and Jedi, allowed him to carry out his plans.
Sidious orchestrated the Invasion of Naboo, in which the Sith—through his apprentice, Darth Maul, before Maul was defeated—revealed themselves to the Jedi, as a means of gaining power. As Senator Palpatine, he urged Naboo's ruler, Queen Padmé Amidala, to call for a Vote of No Confidence in the leadership of Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum. Palpatine was nominated to succeed Valorum and ultimately won the election, placing him in charge of the Republic. Around the same time, Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, a member of the Jedi Council who believed that a galactic war was imminent, secretly ordered the creation of a clone army on Kamino. Sifo-Dyas, who was killed at the behest of fallen Jedi Master Count Dooku, who became Sidious' apprentice after Maul was assumed dead on Naboo, intended the army to be used for the Republic. Dooku, as Darth Tyranus, secretly took over the project, and the Sith saw to it that bio-chips were added to each clone trooper. These chips contained Order 66, a command that when executed, would forcibly brainwash the clone troopers into believing that the Jedi were traitors to the Republic that needed to be executed, which would then be followed by the Clone Troopers executing the Jedi.
The years that followed the Naboo Crisis saw the advent of the Separatist Crisis, in which thousands of star systems seceded from the Republic and joined the Confederacy of Independent Systems. This period of political tension and the calls for war were orchestrated by the Sith, as a means for Sidious to gain further control over the galaxy. In order to allow for Chancellor Palpatine to adopt the clone army to respond to what the Republic saw as the threat of the Separatist Alliance, Junior Representative Jar Jar Binks of Naboo called on the Galactic Senate to give the Chancellor emergency executive power. The Senate granted the Chancellor the power, the clone army was commissioned as the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Clone Wars began shortly thereafter during the First Battle of Geonosis.
The Jedi Order was placed in charge of the war effort, with Jedi serving as Generals and Commanders in the military. After several years of war, many of the galaxy's citizens turned against the conflict and blamed the Jedi leaders for the prolonged and devastating war. Public opinion, therefore, began to turn against the Jedi, with many in the public viewing the Jedi Order as synonymous with the Clone Wars. Padawan Barriss Offee, a member of the Order, also viewed the Jedi as having become complicit in a mistaken war, leading her to bomb the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Other Jedi also shared her views; Jedi Master Depa Billaba believed it was a mistake for the Jedi to lead the Clone Wars. Grand Master Yoda, after setting out on a spiritual path to learn the secrets of eternal consciousness within the Force, saw a vision on Dagobah of Jedi fighting clone troopers and being killed by Darth Sidious. Through his journey, he came to believe that the Jedi Order may have lost the Clone Wars simply by fighting in it. He suspected that the Jedi would lose the war, but ultimately be victorious in the fight against the Sith.
Towards the end of the war, the clone conspiracy was nearly uncovered when clone trooper Tup suffered from a premature activation of Order 66. He betrayed and murdered Jedi Master Tiplar during the Battle of Ringo Vinda. After Tup's death, his friend and fellow trooper, Fives, investigated what happened and learned about the bio-chip and the Order 66 conspiracy. He confronted the Chancellor, who revealed his involvement, and then feigned an assassination attempt against him and implicated Fives. Fives told two of his commanders, Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, a Knight of the Jedi Order who was believed to be the Chosen One, and Clone Captain Rex, about the conspiracy, but they did not believe him. Fives was killed by a fellow clone after being viewed as a threat, and the official story of what happened to Tup was that he was exposed to a parasite that made him violent. The Jedi later learned that the Sith were involved in the creation of the clone army, but they did not learn of the conspiracy and continued to use the clones as their only means of combating the Separatist Alliance.
The Jedi Purge
The "Jedi rebellion"
- "In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you're under arrest, Chancellor."
"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"
- ―Mace Windu and Sheev Palpatine
The final days of the Clone Wars saw Chancellor Palpatine amassing more central authority, and the Jedi Council becoming increasingly distrustful of the Chancellor and his growing power. They felt that the dark side of the Force surrounded the Chancellor, though they did not yet know that he was the Dark Lord they had been searching for the entire war. The Battle of Coruscant which was orchestrated by Sidious, saw Dooku being betrayed by Sidious, and then killed by Anakin at the behest of Palpatine. With Dooku dead, the Chancellor promised a swift end to the war once General Grievous, the leader of the Separatist Droid Army, was killed. The Jedi Council, wary of the Chancellor's claims that he would give up his executive power, privately discussed removing the Chancellor from office if he did not give up his power upon Grievous' death.
It was in the war's last days when Anakin Skywalker began having visions of his wife, now-Senator Amidala, dying in childbirth. Determined to save his wife and their unborn child—the couple was unaware that they were expecting twins—Skywalker began searching for the power to save his family. Palpatine regaled him with the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise, which he described as an old Sith legend, and explained that Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith who had unlocked the secrets of immortality. Shortly thereafter, the Chancellor revealed to the errant Jedi Knight that he was indeed Darth Sidious and that he could help Skywalker save Amidala's life. Skywalker initially rejected the opportunity and informed Jedi Master Mace Windu, a member of the Jedi Council, about the Chancellor's identity and deception.
Knowing the Chancellor's deception and true identity, and with Palpatine having not yet given up his executive power despite the death of General Grievous during the Battle of Utapau, Windu assembled a team of three other Jedi Masters—Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin—to arrest the Chancellor. The Jedi Masters confronted the Chancellor in his office, and Sidious lashed out at them, killing the three other Jedi Masters and engaging Windu in a lightsaber duel. The duel moved throughout the Chancellor's office until Windu disarmed the Dark Lord, at which point Skywalker arrived to witness what Sidious claimed was the Jedi trying to take over the Republic. Because he needed Sidious to survive in order to save Amidala's life, Skywalker betrayed Windu by cutting off his hand, before Windu could kill Sidious. Sidious used the opportunity to unleash a torrent of Force lightning on the Jedi Master, sending Windu out the window and to his death. Having betrayed and turned against the Jedi Order, Skywalker pledged himself to Darth Sidious and became the Sith Lord known as Darth Vader.
Fall of the Jedi
- "This is Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. I regret to report that both our Jedi Order and the Republic have fallen, with the dark shadow of the Empire rising to take their place. This message is a warning and a reminder for any surviving Jedi: trust in the Force. Do not return to the Temple. That time has passed, and our future is uncertain. Avoid Coruscant. Avoid detection. Be secret—but be strong. We will each be challenged: our trust, our faith, our friendships. But we must persevere and, in time, I believe a new hope will emerge. May the Force be with you always."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to all surviving Jedi
Windu's attempt on Sidious' life gave the Dark Lord the justification he needed to brand the Jedi as traitors and destroy the Jedi Order. He ordered Vader to go to the Jedi Temple and kill every Jedi who was inside, and then execute the Separatist Council. Vader brought with him a battalion of clone troopers, ones loyal to the Sith as a result of Sidious' activation of Protocol 66. While Vader and the 501st Legion participated in the Siege of the Jedi Temple, Sidious ordered clone commanders across the galaxy to begin executing Order 66. With Sidious issuing order 66, the bio-chips set off and brainwashed the Clones into believing that the Jedi were traitors to the Republic that needed to be executed. On worlds such as Mygeeto, Felucia, Cato Neimoidia, Saleucami, and Kaller, clone forces killed their Jedi commanders. The Jedi were caught off guard by their Clone Troopers sudden betrayal. Some Jedi, including Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi on Utapau, Master Luminara Unduli and Grand Master Yoda on Kashyyyk, Padawan Caleb Dume on Kaller, and Grogu on Coruscant escaped the clone onslaught, but most Jedi fell. This included in the Jedi Temple, where almost everyone, including younglings, were killed by Vader and his clone forces. Hoping to lure more Jedi to their deaths, Vader activated a beacon inside the Jedi Temple that broadcast an emergency message requesting all Jedi to return to the Temple.
With the Jedi Order effectively destroyed, Sidious called a special session of the Senate in order to mark the end of the Galactic Republic. The Sith Lord presented himself as a brutally wounded victim of an attempted Jedi coup that he referred to as the "Jedi rebellion." He pledged that the remaining Jedi traitors would be eliminated. He further used the instability wrought by the Clone Wars to transform the Republic into the Galactic Empire, a proclamation that was met with enthusiastic congressional support.
After his attack on the temple, Vader proceeded to Mustafar to eliminate the Separatist Council. Earlier, Sidious had tricked the Council into believing that Vader would protect them. Vader slaughtered the council upon his arrival, which was then followed by him following Sidious's 3rd order by shutting down the Droid army, thus ending the war.
Birth of the Empire
Rise of Darth Vader
- "At last, the Jedi are no more."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Yoda
While Sidious proclaimed himself Emperor of the galaxy, Kenobi and Yoda infiltrated the Jedi Temple and found the destruction left in Vader's wake. Kenobi altered the Jedi beacon to warn the Jedi to avoid Coruscant, and soon saw a holographic recording that showed him the truth: Darth Vader, the man responsible for the deaths in the Jedi Temple, was his former apprentice Anakin Skywalker, as well as that the Chancellor is Sidious and Vader's master. The two Jedi resolved to destroy the Sith, with Yoda confronting the Emperor while Kenobi would track down and kill his former friend. Kenobi's message made it to Dume just as he entered the Coruscant system. After a brief skirmish against a group of ARC-170s, Dume escaped back to Kaller.
Kenobi tracked Vader to the volcanic world of Mustafar by stowing away aboard Amidala's ship, after the senator chose to travel to Mustafar in search of her husband. Vader, who slaughtered the Separatist Council on Mustafar and brought an end of the Clone Wars, became enraged when he saw his former master, believing that he and Amidala were conspiring against him. Vader attacked Amidala and left her unconscious, while he and Kenobi engaged in a lightsaber duel throughout the Separatist complex and above the lava rivers. Yoda, meanwhile, confronted the Emperor and also engaged him in a lightsaber duel. While neither conquered the other, Yoda ultimately fled after being unable to defeat the Emperor and was rescued by Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan, the latter being an ally of the Jedi Order. On Mustafar, Kenobi cut off three of Vader's limbs and left the Sith Lord to burn to death on the banks of a lava river, while Kenobi rescued Amidala and left Mustafar. The Emperor soon arrived on Mustafar and found his battered apprentice. They returned to Coruscant, where Vader was given a suit of life-supporting armor that he would be forced to wear for the rest of his life.
Kenobi rendezvoused with Yoda and Organa on the asteroid colony of Polis Massa, where Amidala gave birth to her twins, Luke and Leia, before dying. The Jedi Masters knew that if they had any hope of ever defeating the Sith, they would need to keep Anakin's children hidden and safe. Leia was taken to Alderaan, where she was raised by Organa and his wife, Queen Breha Organa, as Princess Leia Organa. Luke was taken to live with Anakin's stepbrother, Owen Lars, and Owen's wife, Beru, on Tatooine. Kenobi went into exile on Tatooine to watch over the boy, while Yoda returned to Dagobah in seclusion.
In the immediate aftermath of Order 66 and on the steps of the Jedi Temple, the Imperial Grand Vizier, Mas Amedda, led a public rally celebrating the extermination of the Jedi. Amedda stated that the galactic population was now free from the supposed threat of the Jedi thanks to the new Galactic Emperor. He further claimed that the Jedi had been responsible for Separatist plots and told numerous lies, but that Palpatine had seen through these supposed ploys and survived their assassination attempt. The main event was the incineration of a number of lightsabers, taken from the dead Force-sensitives. The Imperials had also recovered Yoda's lightsaber, with Amedda personally throwing the hilt into the furnace. The Kyber crystals in the lightsabers soon reacted to the heat, exploding into a blast of blue light that pushed Amedda and several clones back.
Darth Vader's first hunts
The Age of the Empire saw the continued hunting of Jedi survivors across the galaxy. Darth Vader, ordered by his master to retrieve a new Kyber crystal for a lightsaber to replace the blade lost on Mustafar, traveled to the site of a sacred Jedi monastery on the river moon of Al'doleem. There he faced Jedi Master Kirak Infil'a and despite losing in their first duel and taking massive damage he defeated him and took his lightsaber as his own.
In order to hunt them down and eliminate them, the Emperor ordered Vader to train a group called the Inquisitorius made up of former Jedi. Their past as Jedi meant the Inquisitors were weak in the dark side of the Force and defensive, unused to attacking. Vader noticed this when he began training them and decided to train them in a purely offensive style. Vader tasked the Grand Inquisitor with studying the records of the Jedi Order to familiarize himself with their enemies and hunt them more efficiently. The Inquisitors were given a hit list of Jedi unaccounted for after the purge including Jedi such as Yoda, Quinlan Vos, Ahsoka Tano and Jocasta Nu.
Nu, the former Chief Librarian of the Jedi Order, was given special importance. She was attempting to preserve the order by creating a new hidden school alongside her assistant Gar. To do this she needed students and in pursuit of this goal she used a secret tunnel back in to the temple to find a holocron with a list of every Force-sensitive child catalogued prior to Order 66. While she successfully sneaked in to the temple and retrieved the holocron from a secret vault, her escape was not so easy. While escaping she saw the Grand Inquisitor reading and discarding her books which sent her into a frenzy causing her to attack him.
After a brief lightsaber duel against the Grand Inquisitor, she was bested, and only Vader's intervention saved her life. Vader demanded she be taken alive causing an argument between him and the Inquisitor which allowed Nu to escape. She retreated to a computer access room in the Library retrieving a special weapon and initiating the deletion of the archive files. After failing to kill him with the weapon and ruining her lightsaber in the process, Nu attempted to kill Vader by self-destructing it, but he redirected it so that it blew a hole in the Temple's outer wall. Grabbing a green-bladed lightsaber from a shelf, Nu took the opportunity to escape out the gap, but was forced to fight off several Coruscant Guard shock troopers led by Commander Fox, who also fired on Vader by mistake due to Fox neglecting to provide a description of the Sith Lord.
Snapping the clone commander's neck, Vader ordered the troopers to take Nu alive, stopping her with the Force after she attempted to commit suicide in order to deny them the information she held. Restrained and confined aboard a patrol transport, Nu was forced to watch as Vader accessed the coveted information: the Kyber memory crystal, containing a list of all known Force-sensitive children in the galaxy. When Nu inquired what her fate would be, Vader ignited his lightsaber but met no resistance from Nu, who accepted her death. The list of names was then destroyed by Vader, to ensure that his master could not use it to find and train other Sith apprentices.
Executions continue on
Following these events the hunt for Jedi continued resulting in the capture and eventual death of Jedi Master Luminara Unduli in the Spire, a heavily fortified former Separatist prison on Stygeon Prime. Her bones were kept as they still contained traces of her Force signature even after her death and could lure other Jedi survivors to their deaths by making them believe that she was still alive. This strategy proved effective, with Jedi survivors such as Caleb Dume making for Stygeon Prime only to be caught in a trap. The Empire also offered rewards to those who turned in Jedi survivors.
Order 66 remained in effect throughout Imperial rule, with it being ordered that any suspected or known Jedi had to be shot on sight. Order 66 subsection Codicil Nine made it illegal to keep Sith artifacts. During the Purge, Vader personally contacted the clone CC-5052 "Bly" to help him capture two rebellious Padawans. Vader selected Bly due to his experience with the two Padawans in question, which made him the ideal candidate for the task. Vader and Bly were ultimately successful in killing the Jedi.
Having escaped execution on Kaller and above Coruscant, Dume continued to run from the Empire and joined the crew of smuggler Janus Kasmir. The two managed to escape clone trooper officers CC-10/994 "Grey" and "Styles" by leaving each of their smuggling jobs right away after getting paid. However, they were finally caught on the planet Lahn, only for Styles to take Dume in alive so he could enjoy executing the Padawan who had caused them so much trouble, much to the anger of Grey who simply wanted the supposed traitor dead. As their Gozanti-class cruiser entered the Kaller system, Dume managed to break Grey out of the trance of Order 66 by reminding him of his friendship with Master Billaba. After Dume escaped out the airlock to join Kasmir and his other allies in a battle against the clones' cruiser, Grey gave his own life to ensure the Padawan escaped by destroying his ship's controls, leaving the Gozanti to explode with him and Styles aboard.
Uprisings on Mon Cala and Raada
By 18 BBY, former Padawan Ferren Barr had begun influencing king Lee-Char of Mon Cala into open rebellion against the Empire. In retaliation to this, the Emperor sent Vader, along with three Inquisitors, Tenth Brother, Ninth Sister, and Sixth Brother, to the water world to learn the truth about what was happening on Mon Cala and if Jedi were present, then Vader was to destroy them. During the ensuing conflict, Vader captured Lee-Char and killed Ferren Barr, but Barr's acolyte Verla escaped after he told her to find another surviving Jedi such as Quinlan Vos or Yoda to finish her training.
Sometime after the occupation of Mon Cala, the Sixth Brother was sent to Thabeska to hunt for a possible Force-sensitive. Unbeknownst to him, this is where Ahsoka Tano had been in hiding. After discovering the Inquisitor's presence, Ahsoka fled to Raada and eventually started an early rebel movement. During the Raada Uprising, she fought the Sixth Brother. She used the Force to cause the Inquisitor's lightsaber to explode, killing him. She later used the now-purified kyber crystals from his saber to build her own lightsabers.
Hunt for Eeth Koth
Eventually, Darth Vader and the Inquisitorius located the former Jedi Master Eeth Koth, who had left the Order during the Clone Wars. Vader found Koth with his wife, who had just given birth. Sending an Inquisitor to secure the child, Vader engaged Koth in a lightsaber duel. Once the child was secured, Vader stabbed Koth in the back, killing him.
Mission to rebuild the Jedi
In 14 BBY, the Inquisitorius discovered a Jedi, Padawan Cal Kestis, hidden on Bracca. The Second Sister and Ninth Sister were sent to kill him, but Kestis managed to escape. The Ninth Sister was defeated by Kestis on Kashyyyk, and the Second Sister met her death in Nur after being defeated by Kestis and moving away from the dark side of the Force, having reconciled with her former Jedi master, Cere Junda, whom Kestis joined and made a Jedi Knight. Darth Vader arrived in time to see the Second Sister's betrayal and execute her with his lightsaber. Vader tried to kill Kestis and Junda, but both narrowly escaped.
Having had a Force vision that foretold their potential Jedi academy would be found, Kestis elected to destroy the holocron, telling his comrades that they would let the Force decide the fate of the potential younglings. Afterward, he asked what they should do next.
Uprising on Lothal
- "The Emperor has foreseen a new threat rising against him: the children of the Force. They must not become Jedi."
"Yes, Lord Vader."
"Hunt down this new enemy, and if they will not serve the Empire, eliminate them along with any surviving Jedi who would train them. This is my master's command."
- ―Darth Vader and the Grand Inquisitor
As the Empire expanded throughout the galaxy, and the Sith increased their hold over the cosmos, the Emperor sensed a new threat that could potentially rise against him. This threat, which Darth Vader referred to as the "children of the Force," came in the form of young Force-sensitives who the Emperor feared would rise up against the Empire. The Inquisitors were ordered to either turn these individuals to the dark side or eliminate them, along with any Jedi who could potentially train them. To that end, the Inquisitors carried out an operation known as Project Harvester to capture these young Force-sensitive beings. These individuals were recruited from such facilities as the Imperial Academy on the Outer Rim world of Lothal or were taken from their parents as infants.
The Age of the Empire also led to a number of rebel cells operating throughout the galaxy in opposition of the Empire. One such cell was the Spectres rebel cell that based on Lothal, and was was led by Captain Hera Syndulla of the starship Ghost, as well as Caleb Dume, who took on the name Kanan Jarrus in order to evade Imperial execution. The cell came to the attention of the Empire after Jarrus revealed himself as a Jedi while freeing Wookiee slaves from the spice mines of the planet Kessel. The Empire tracked down Jarrus and Ezra Bridger, who had become Jarrus's Padawan apprentice, and they too were lured into the Spire, but they managed to escape before they were killed.
Later, the Spectres sabotaged the Empire Day celebrations at Lothal's Capital City in 4 BBY and rescued the Rodian Imperial Information Office employee Tseebo. The Grand Inquisitor pursued the Spectres, but they escaped into hyperspace aboard the Ghost. However, the Grand Inquisitor tracked down the Spectres using an XX-23 S-thread tracker attacked to the auxiliary shuttle Phantom. While the other crew members spirited Tseebo away into hiding, Bridger and Jarrus led the Grand Inquisitor to Fort Anaxes on PM-1203. Following a brief duel, the two Jedi escaped the Inquisitor. However, Bridger tapped into the dark side in a moment of fear.
Due to the failure of the Inquisitor and other Imperial agents to capture the Spectres and their Jedi "leader," Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin arrived on Lothal and chastised them for their failings. Working with the Imperial Security Bureau Agent Kallus and Tarkin, the Grand Inquisitor trapped the Spectres at the Imperial Communications Center near Jalath. The Inquisitor bested Jarrus in combat and captured the Jedi. However, the other Spectres escaped and used a computer spike to hijack the communications tower and broadcast Bridger's message of rebellion. After the Grand Inquisitor and Kallus proved unable to break Jarrus, Tarkin advocated transferring the Jedi to Mustafar, a place "where the Jedi went to die."
Above Mustafar, the Grand Inquisitor continued interrogating Jarrus aboard Tarkin's Imperial Star Destroyer Sovereign; taunting Jarrus about the death of his master Billaba. However, Jarrus' comrades infiltrated the Sovereign, and Bridger rescued his master. Jarrus then defeated the Grand Inquisitor in a duel aboard the Star Destroyer's reactor core. Rather than face the penalty for his failure, the Grand Inquisitor committed suicide by plunging into the malfunctioning reactor. The Spectres escaped Tarkin's stricken Star Destroyer with the help of Phoenix Cell, a larger rebel cell. They were also greeted by Tano, who revealed herself as the rebel spymaster Fulcrum.
Galactic Civil War
Hunt for the rebel Jedi
Shortly afterward, the Emperor sent Darth Vader to deal with the rebel threat, as the rebels began working with the larger rebel movement led by Senator Organa and Tano, the former Padawan of Anakin Skywalker. Following a botched mission to rescue Minister Maketh Tua, Vader ambushed the Spectres at the Imperial Complex on Lothal. Despite besting Jarrus and Bridger in lightsaber combat, the Spectres managed to escape back to the Phoenix fleet. However, Vader pursued them in his TIE Advanced x1 and crippled the rebel flagship Phoenix Home. During the dogfight, Tano and Vader sensed each other's presence in the Force. This encounter confirmed her survival to Vader, while Tano later denied knowing who Vader was. After the Phoenix Squadron escaped with the Jedi fugitives, the Emperor ordered his apprentice to send another Inquisitor to deal with the situation.
During the Assault on Seelos, Admiral Kassius Konstantine was ordered to rendezvous with the Fifth Brother in space. While Konstantine was concerned that this rendezvous had compromised the Imperial Security Bureau Agent Kallus' mission on Seelos, the Fifth Brother was unperturbed and vowed to succeed where Konstantine and Kallus had failed.
Later, the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother ambushed members of the Spectres rebel cell at an abandoned Republic Haven-class medical station in space. One of the Spectres was Bridger, who clashed with both the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother in lightsaber combat. Following a brief skirmish, the Spectres escaped back to Phoenix Group on the Phantom. Bridger related his encounter to Jarrus, who was shocked that there was more than one Inquisitor.
The Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother then embarked on a campaign to abduct Force-sensitive children for the Empire and kidnapped baby Alora from her grandmother Darja. Tano learned about the Inquisitors' secondary mission and enlisted Jarrus and Bridger's help in stopping them. Tracking the Inquisitor's coordinates, Jarrus, Bridger, Garazeb Orrelios, and Chopper traveled to the planet Takobo. They managed to rescue the Ithorian baby Pypey from the Inquisitors but were unable to match them in combat. Tano came to their rescue and the Jedi and rebels escaped aboard the Phantom. With the Jedi Order gone, Tano, Jarrus, and Bridger resolved to protect Force-sensitive children from the Empire.
Acting on information obtained by one of the Seventh Sister's ID9 seeker droids, the Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother later joined forces with Agent Kallus and Admiral Konstantine to hunt down and destroy the Phoenix Squadron, which was hiding on the planet Garel. The two Inquisitors caught up with Bridger and Jarrus but the Spectres escaped aboard the Ghost into space.
For the next several months, the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother continued their hunt for Bridger and Jarrus, undermining their efforts to help Phoenix Squadron find a new base on Oosalon. In desperation, Bridger, Jarrus, and Tano visited the Lothal Jedi Temple to seek out wisdom in this hour of crisis. There, Bridger communed with Yoda, who told the young Padawan to find Malachor. Meanwhile, Jarrus completed his Jedi Trials and emerged a Jedi Knight while Tano confronted her suspicion that Skywalker and Vader were one and the same. The trio escaped the Lothal Jedi Temple before the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister forced their way into the temple. The two Inquisitors then informed Vader about their finding.
Tragedy of Malachor
- "There are no Jedi! You and your Inquisitors have seen to that. […] I am no Jedi."
- ―Ahsoka Tano, to Darth Vader
After helping Phoenix Squadron to establish Chopper Base on the planet Atollon, Jarrus and Bridger accompanied Tano to the planet Malachor, intent on finding the secrets to destroying the Sith. There, they were attacked by the Eighth Brother. Ezra was separated from Jarrus and Tano and encountered the former Sith apprentice Maul, who offered to help him obtain the secrets inside the Malachor Sith Temple. After Maul helped the Jedi and Tano to fight off the Eighth Brother, Seventh Sister, and Fifth Brother, they reluctantly teamed up with Maul to obtain the temple's secrets. While Bridger was convinced that Maul was an ally, Jarrus and Tano distrusted the former Sith.
Maul convinced Bridger to place the Sith holocron they had recovered inside the Sith temple's obelisk. After killing the Inquisitors, Maul then turned on Jarrus and Tano, blinding the former. Meanwhile, Bridger learned that the Sith temple was an ancient battle station capable of destroying all life and refused to harness the Temple's dark-side powers. However, Vader arrived and fought Bridger, only to be confronted by Tano; denying his request to join him and hunt any surviving Jedi, going so far as to say Vader and his Inquisitors had destroyed the last of the Order, Tano affirmed she was not a Jedi and battled Vader in the name of avenging Anakin Skywalker. Bridger and his blinded master managed to escape with Chopper aboard the Phantom while Tano stayed behind to hold back Vader. After the Sith temple imploded, Vader departed while Tano headed inside the temple. With Tano assumed dead, the Great Jedi Purge came to its end.
Fall of Maul
Later, Maul captured the Spectres to force Bridger and Jarrus to bring the Sith holocron from Malachor and the latter's Jedi holocron to him. After learning an individual with a red lightsaber was behind the capture, Bridger initially speculated that another Inquisitor was responsible, though they soon learned it was Maul. Maul later manipulated Bridger into helping him find Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine. After Kenobi sent Bridger away and Maul deduced that Kenobi was protecting someone on the planet, the Jedi Master and his old enemy engaged in one final duel, which Kenobi quickly ended by fatally striking the former Sith. As Maul died in his nemesis's arms, he asked if the person Kenobi was guarding, secretly Anakin Skywalker's son Luke, was the Chosen One. Kenobi believed this was the case, and Maul died hoping the young Skywalker would avenge them.
The Lothal Jedi's final stand
- "Hmm, the Jedi once numbered in the thousands. What's left are a scattered, frightened lot, mostly beaten and in hiding, or poorly trained children, like yourself."
- ―Grand Admiral Thrawn, to Ezra Bridger
During the skirmish on Batuu, Darth Vader reflected on how the war against the Jedi Order had been won. Still, even as the Empire and the consolidated Rebel forces that had come to be known as the Rebel Alliance fought, several Jedi had survived the purge. Among these survivors were Jarrus and Bridger, but, after the Spectres' return to Lothal, the former gave his life to protect Bridger, fellow rebel Sabine Wren, and his lover, the now-General Syndulla.
Shortly afterward, the Spectres launched a mission to the Lothal Jedi Temple, leading to Bridger entering the World Between Worlds through a portal, which enabled him to reach through time and save Tano from Vader on Malachor. The two were interrupted by Darth Sidious, who tried to use Bridger to access the World Between Worlds, which would have given the Galactic Emperor control of the universe itself. The two escaped Palpatine, and Tano returned to her own point in time, though she promised Bridger she would find him again, while Bridger returned to his friends outside the portal. The Lothal Jedi Temple collapsed, thus destroying the gateway into the World Between Worlds.
A short time later, Bridger, the other Spectres, and their assorted allies launched an attempt to liberate Lothal, during which the Jedi Padawan was captured and taken to Grand Admiral Thrawn on the Chimaera. During their conversation, Bridger and Thrawn discussed the Jedi, with the Imperial officer noting that the majority of the Order's members were either in hiding or "poorly trained children." Thrawn took the Force-sensitive before Sidious, who spoke to Bridger via a hologram. Through a surviving part of the Lothal temple he had ordered be brought aboard the Star Destroyer, the Sith Lord offered the young man a chance to reunite with his parents. The Jedi Padawan ultimately refused the potential future and destroyed the temple fragment, again denying Sidious access to the World Between Worlds.
Escaping three Royal Guards and a trio of stormtroopers, Bridger made his way to the Chimaera's bridge, where he confronted Thrawn. Thanks to a pod of Purrgil he had asked the young rebel Mart Mattin to summon, the Seventh Fleet was defeated, and the Chimaera, including Bridger, Thrawn, and all others aboard, was taken away into hyperspace by the creatures. With the Imperial fleet gone, the Spectres and their allies, having lured all Imperial forces into the structure with a false Protocol 13, destroyed the Empire's command "dome," fulfilling Bridger's wish that his homeworld be freed from Imperial oppression.
Rise of Luke Skywalker
- "That boy is our last hope."
"No, there is another."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, about Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa
Elsewhere in the galaxy, Kenobi and Yoda were also alive. Luke Skywalker began his Jedi training under Kenobi, before the Jedi Master was killed by Darth Vader. Skywalker received guidance from Kenobi's spirit, and after a number of years the departed Jedi Master sent Skywalker to Dagobah, where he received more extensive Jedi training from Yoda.
Skywalker cut his training short in order to rescue his friends Han Solo and Princess Leia, the latter of whom he did not yet know was his sister, from Vader on Bespin. Skywalker soon learned this was a trap, as Vader wanted to capture Skywalker and train him as his new apprentice, and the two engaged in a lightsaber duel. During the duel, Skywalker learned that Vader was his father, and he fled the fight and was rescued by his friends. A year later, Skywalker proclaimed himself a Jedi Knight and returned to Dagobah, where he found a weary and dying Yoda. Before death, Yoda imparted final wisdom onto his apprentice and confirmed that Vader was his father. He also urged Skywalker to pass on his Jedi training to others. Upon Yoda's death, Skywalker became the last of the Jedi.
Having sensed the goodness in his father, the last vestiges of Anakin Skywalker, Luke surrendered himself to Vader during the Battle of Endor and was brought before the Emperor. Skywalker and Vader engaged in a final lightsaber duel, and Skywalker nearly turned to the dark side after lashing out at Vader in anger. After defeating his father, Sidious betrayed Vader by ordering Luke to finish him off, but Luke composed himself and tossed his lightsaber aside, refusing to fight any further. The furious Emperor attempted to kill Skywalker with his Force Lightning, but the sight of his son in agony led to Vader's redemption. Once again Anakin Skywalker, the redeemed Jedi sacrificed himself to kill the Emperor and save his son. Their deaths and the Empire's defeat during the battle ended the era of Sith rule over the galaxy.
- "He was training a new generation of Jedi. One boy, an apprentice turned against him, destroyed it all. Luke felt responsible… He walked away from everything."
- ―Han Solo
The death of the Emperor, made possible by the return of the Jedi, left the Galactic Empire leaderless. The Empire fractured into competing sects, while the Rebel Alliance reformed itself into the New Republic. Following the Empire's defeat in the Battle of Jakku, Sabine Wren and Ahsoka Tano launched a search to find Ezra Bridger, who was still alive, and bring him home to Lothal.
Heeding Yoda's advice, Luke Skywalker set out to rebuild the Jedi Order and established a training temple. He gathered a group of at least a dozen students which included Ben Solo, who was the son of Han Solo and Luke's sister, Leia Organa. Skywalker sensed the darkness in his nephew, however, and went to confront him one night. Peering into his nephew's mind, Skywalker saw the terror that his nephew would bring to the galaxy, and in a moment of instinct, ignited his lightsaber. Skywalker quickly came to his senses and was overcome with shame, but Solo woke up and brought down his hut with the Force, collapsing it in on his uncle. He then destroyed the temple and the Jedi Order with a storm.
Solo had been seduced to the dark side of the Force by the mysterious Snoke, the Supreme Leader of the First Order. Solo joined the Knights of Ren, taking on the name Kylo Ren, and became Snoke's apprentice. Meanwhile, Skywalker went into self-exile at the First Jedi Temple on Ahch-To, only to be brought back into the fold later by the Force-sensitive orphaned scavenger Rey, who became the last Jedi after Skywalker sacrificed himself at the Battle of Crait to save the Resistance.
A few Jedi survived Order 66 and went into hiding. Some succeeded in avoiding the Empire; however, others were tracked down and killed by Vader and the Inquisitorius.
Several Jedi or former Jedi eluded capture or death during the purge and survived, though several were killed after its conclusion.
Behind the scenes
The Jedi Purge was first mentioned in the 1977 original Star Wars film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, forming part of the film's backstory. The event was first canonically depicted in the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.
The concept of a period in which the Galactic Republic fell to make way to the Galactic Empire dates back to George Lucas' earliest drafts of Episode IV written in the 1970s. In Lucas' second draft for A New Hope, the Holy Rebellion of '06 was a conflict in which the Black Knights of the Sith, a Sith mercenary band, destroyed and hunted down the Jedi Bendu of Ashla, who were the defenders of the Republica Galactica.
- LEGO Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
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- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Mission to Mos Eisley" (In flashback(s))
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