Order 66 is one of the most important events in the entire Star Wars timeline, but it could have been prevented by a number of characters had they acted differently. Darth Sidious’ plan to scapegoat and eradicate the Jedi to attain galactic supremacy was planned out over the course of decades, and the Sith Lord carefully put all the right pieces in place to attain his goal. However, there were a few ways the plan could have gone awry had other characters made different choices.
The execution of Order 66 was the final step in Palpatine’s plan to create the Galactic Empire. After creating both the Separatist alliance and the Republic’s clone army from the shadows, pitting them against each other for years, and sowing seeds of public distrust in the Jedi all the while, the Supreme Chancellor pulled the trigger. Activating the secret purpose of the clone troopers’ inhibitor chips, Palpatine brought about the end of the Jedi Order in an instant. And because of the distrust many civilians developed toward the Jedi during the course of the war, they were ready to believe Palpatine when he claimed they had tried to assassinate him and seize power for themselves.
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As well thought out as Palpatine’s plan was, it was far too massive and complex to be truly foolproof. As such, there are a number of Star Wars characters who could have prevented Order 66 from ever taking place had acted differently. Here’s everything you need to know about who, and how.
There are a lot of broad ways in which Yoda could have prevented Palpatine’s rise, though most of them are admittedly pretty big-picture. If he’d been able to resist the Sith Lord’s fogging of the future; if he’d been more inquisitive into the origin of the clone army; if he’d been less willing to turn his Jedi Knights into military commanders, then maybe the whole Imperial Era could have been avoided. However, most specifically, Yoda could have prevented Order 66 if he’d paid closer attention to his own Force visions.
In the Star Wars short story anthology The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark, Yoda has a vision of dark happenings surrounding the clone troopers. It’s the kind of warning that, considered in conjunction with some proper scrutiny of the army’s creation, could have revealed Palpatine’s scheme years beforehand. However, at the time, Yoda believed that vague visions of the future were insufficient guidance for actual behavior, and that following such prophecies often led to the dark side. For those reasons, Yoda ignored his vision, allowing Order 66 to wipe the Jedi out.
A few clone troopers gained knowledge of their sinister programming and therefore could have potentially prevented Order 66. The most notable example is ARC trooper Fives. Fives discovered the inhibitor chip’s true purpose through a lengthy investigation after one of his friends tripped the Jedi-killing instinct prematurely. He eventually uncovered the basics of the Order 66 plot, but before he was able to reveal the truth, Palpatine had him killed and the entire affair covered up. Had Fives been more careful or known a bit more about the full plot, he may have been able to avoid his unfortunate fate and save the galaxy from Order 66.
Kix and Captain Rex
Before Fives was murdered, he warned two other clones about his suspicion, albeit in less detail than would have been most helpful. Those two were medical trooper Kix and Captain Rex. Kix followed the clues left by Fives and uncovered the same plot, but like Fives, he too was discovered and incapacitated by Palpatine. Rex disregarded the warning at the time, but the knowledge of the inhibitor chip later helped get his removed and save the life of Ahsoka Tano after Order 66 began. If either of these clones had made different decisions, they may have been able to finish Fives’ mission.
For obvious reasons, Order 66 wouldn’t have been possible without the work and secrecy of the Kaminoan cloners – particularly Prime Minister Lama Su and Chief Medical Scientist Nala Se. Though the true purpose of the inhibitor chip was never revealed to the cloners, they knew what it was capable of when most in the Republic did not. Had they prioritized their morals over their money, they could have wrecked Palpatine’s entire plan by revealing or undoing the risk of the inhibitor chips. Instead, they did the job they were hired for and indirectly let the Jedi Purge take place.
Sly Moore and Mas Amedda
Two of the more minor characters who likely could have prevented Order 66 are Sly Moore and Mas Amedda, Palpatine’s two closest political allies. Sly and Mas only appear in the background of the prequel films, but they play larger roles in some other more ancillary Star Wars stories. Mas Amedda knew Palpatine’s true identity and likely of the Order 66 plan, and he aided the Chancellor in carrying out the assassination of Fives. Sly Moore is less pivotal in the post-Disney canon, but in the Legends continuity she was an active servant of Palpatine and even received instruction in the dark side from him. Either of them could have blocked Order 66 from taking place, but they remained loyal to Palpatine throughout its execution.
Because Darth Maul was Darth Sidious’ apprentice for years, and because he later became a renegade Sith with a distinct agenda, he was in a unique position during the Clone Wars to stop Order 66. When Ahsoka Tano confronts Maul during the Siege of Mandalore, he speaks about Palpatine’s plans in a way that indicates he may not have known everything, but he certainly knew enough. Maul grew to hate his former master, especially after he killed his brother Savage, but he never used the most important information he had to bring the Sith Lord down. At the end of the day, Maul wanted to see the Jedi ended just as much as Sidious did.
Last but not least, Anakin Skywalker could have prevented Order 66 had he trusted Mace Windu instead of Palpatine. Realizing the gravity of Palpatine’s deception, Windu was prepared to execute the Sith Lord on the spot to prevent whatever schemes he may have had in the works. Of course, by the time Anakin arrives to the scene of their battle, he’s already been convinced that Palpatine must live if Padme is to survive, thereby ensuring his loyalty to the Chancellor. When forced to choose between the two, Anakin turns on Windu and saves Palpatine. Had he chosen differently, the course of Star Wars history may have looked very, very different.
Next: Star Wars Explains How Palpatine Groomed Anakin Before Attack Of The Clones
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