During the Clone Wars, a Jedi Commander was a Jedi military officer in the Grand Army of the Republic. The title was created shortly after the First Battle of Geonosis, the first battle of the Clone Wars, and was given to the Padawans of the Jedi Order in 22 BBY. The rank of commander granted them authority over the clone troopers of the Grand Army, including clones of rank such as Clone Captains. As in the Order itself, however, Jedi Commanders were subordinate to the Jedi Generals—veteran Jedi who completed their training to become Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters.
A Jedi Commander's place was often at the side of their master and general, although they were occasionally required to complete tasks or missions without the aid of their mentor. As the conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems came to a close in 19 BBY, the majority of Jedi officers were betrayed and killed by their clone troopers as a result of Order 66—a military protocol labeling all Jedi as enemies of the state. Despite the deaths of many Jedi in the ensuing purge, there were several survivors who escaped into hiding, such as Commander Caleb Dume and former Commander Ahsoka Tano, both of whom went on to become supporters of the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the reign of the Galactic Empire.
- "Where's Ahsoka?"
"She engaged General Grievous."
"She distracted him while we completed the mission. It was on her orders, sir."
- ―Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and Clone Captain Rex
Whereas the rank of Jedi General made both Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters the commanding officers of the clone trooper battalions that composed the Grand Army of the Republic, the rank of commander made Jedi Padawans their second-in-command.[source?] A Jedi Commander outranked all clones except Clone Commanders. Jedi Commanders were also still subordinate to the higher-ranked Jedi General and were given authority over clone forces as large as a regiment. Clone troopers were trained to follow orders without question and would execute commands given to them by their Jedi Commanders, just as they would with their Jedi Generals.
- "It was a trap, Snips. It wasn't your fault."
"I lost so many of my pilots."
"Take heart, little one. That's the reality of command."
- ―General Anakin Skywalker and Commander Ahsoka Tano
During the First Battle of Geonosis in 22 BBY, the Grand Army of the Republic was deployed against the Separatist Droid Army of the Confederacy of Independent Systems for the first time. At the time, the Jedi Order lacked an official status in the military forces of the Galactic Republic. Nevertheless, the clone troopers followed the orders of the Jedi, who served on the battlefield as de facto generals. In the aftermath of the Battle of Geonosis, the rank of general was given to fully-trained Jedi, giving them control of the Grand Army whereas Padawans—Jedi who were still training to achieve the status of Knighthood—were given the lesser rank of commander. Many in the Republic found the footage of the teenage Jedi Commanders leading full grown clones strange. However, many had forgotten or weren't aware of the fact that, because clones had gone through growth acceleration, the Padawans were chronologically older than the clone troopers.
During the Battle of Christophsis, Ahsoka Tano was assigned to the newly-promoted Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, making her Skywalker's official Padawan despite his unwillingness to mentor the next generation of the Jedi Order. As a result, Tano also became a Jedi Commander in the Grand Army of the Republic. On Christophsis, she served alongside the soldiers of her master's unit, the 501st Legion, and would continue to serve as Skywalker's second-in-command in multiple battles across the galaxy such as Teth, Bothawui, and Ryloth. In 21 BBY, Tano worked with Commander Barriss Offee— the Padawan of Jedi Master Luminara Unduli—to destroy the Geonosis primary droid foundry during the Second Battle of Geonosis. After securing victory for the Republic on Geonosis, commanders Tano and Offee worked together to prevent the spread of an infestation that infected the crew of the Pelta-class frigate TB-73.
In 20 BBY,[source?] Commander Knox fell in battle along with General Halsey and their clone troopers, all of whom were killed by Count Dooku's new enforcer, Dathomirian Nightbrother Savage Opress. As the fighting continued, Barriss Offee secretly grew disillusioned with the Clone Wars, the Republic, and the Jedi's role in the conflict. She orchestrated a terrorist attack on the Jedi Temple of Coruscant in 19 BBY, killing several Jedi, clone troopers, and civilian workers. In addition, her actions resulted in the death of her friend, Tutso Mara, and the framing of another friend, Ahsoka Tano, whom Offee had set up to take the fall for the attack. Although Offee was ultimately exposed as the true culprit and traitor by Tano's master Anakin Skywalker, the former Commander Tano declined the chance to rejoin the Jedi Order and the Grand Army of the Republic. However, when Tano unofficially rejoined the Republic Military to lead forces in the Siege of Mandalore to assist the Mandalore resistance, the clones in the unit treated her as though she still held the rank out of respect.
In the final days of the Clone Wars, the clone troopers turned against their Jedi Generals and Commanders after receiving the command from Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine to execute Order 66. Having been labeled as enemies of the state by the chancellor, many Jedi were suddenly gunned down by their own soldiers, all of whom had been programmed to carry out Order 66 without question, no matter what they thought before the order. However, one of the Jedi Commanders, Caleb Dume, survived the clones' betrayal due to his master, Depa Billaba, who sacrificed her life to ensure that Dume would not perish by the blaster fire of their battalion. The Padawan Cal Kestis, who was a Jedi Commander in the 13th Battalion, also survived Order 66 due to the sacrifice of his master, the Jedi General Jaro Tapal. Under the reign of the Galactic Empire, the few surviving Jedi were forced into exile in order to survive the purge that all but destroyed their Order. Prior to the Galactic Civil War, the former Jedi Commanders Dume and Tano became members of the Alliance to Restore the Republic during its formative years as a resistance movement. Dume, who now went by the alias of "Kanan Jarrus," continued the Jedi tradition by training a Padawan of his own—the Force-sensitive Ezra Bridger of Lothal.
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 15 (Highlights of the Saga: Palpatine Unmasked)
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines
- Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 76 (Helmets: Commander Ponds)
- Rise of the Separatists
- Collapse of the Republic
- Star Wars: The Secrets of the Jedi
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – "Score"
- "Republic, Rebel, and Resistance Starfighters" – Star Wars Encyclopedia (Picture only)
- Star Wars Bust Collection 2 (Star Wars Universe: Stormtroopers)
- (Picture only)
- "Scarif and Other Outer Rim Planets" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Battles that Changed the Galaxy
- (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- The Clone Wars, during which the rank was used, began with the First Battle of Geonosis, as shown in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. Rise of the Separatists states that the rank was formally established shortly after the war began. As the First Battle of Geonosis is dated to 22 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, the title must have been established in that year.
- As shown in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, the Clone Wars ended with Order 66 and the Great Jedi Purge, which wiped out most of the Jedi Order. The Galactic Atlas dates this event to 19 BBY.
- Rise of the Separatists
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids"
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Storm Over Ryloth"
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Brain Invaders"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Weapons Factory"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Monster"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sabotage"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Wrong Jedi"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Old Friends Not Forgotten"
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Orders"
- Kanan 2
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars Rebels – "Fire Across the Galaxy"
- Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide