- "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 Jedi Purge was the period in which the Jedi Order was destroyed by the Sith and the Jedi were hunted by the Galactic Empire to near-extinction. The destruction of the Jedi traced its origins to the ancient wars against the Sith, at the end of which the Sith were nearly eliminated by the Jedi. The Sith operated in secret, plotting their eventual destruction of the Jedi Order. A millennium after the near-defeat of the Sith, Darth Sidious, using his public persona of Senator and then Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, manipulated the galaxy into the Clone Wars as a pretext for gaining emergency executive power over the Galactic Republic. He amassed more central power during the war, all while the Republic utilized a clone army—one that had secretly been implanted with bio-chips by the Sith 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 as 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, intervened and attacked Windu before the Jedi Master could kill the Dark Lord. Sidious killed Windu, and Skywalker became the Sith Lord Darth Vader and led an attack on the Jedi Temple which saw the deaths of those inside of it. Sidious, meanwhile, executed the clone command with Order 66, and clone troopers across the galaxy killed their Jedi commanders. With the Jedi branded as traitors, and the Clone Wars at an end, Sidious declared himself Emperor and transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire.
The Age of the Empire saw the continued hunting of the Jedi by the Empire. Vader commanded a number of Inquisitors whose job was to hunt any Jedi survivors. One such Inquisitor, the Inquisitor 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. One of the Rebels was Vader's son, Luke Skywalker, who became the last of the Jedi and helped guide his father towards redemption. Vader died shortly after he killed Sidious to save his son, bringing an end to the Sith rule over the galaxy.
- "At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge."
- ―Darth Maul
Over the centuries, the Jedi Order fought numerous wars against their ancient enemies, the Sith Order. One thousand years before the Invasion of Naboo, the Jedi believed that the Sith had been destroyed. At least one Sith Lord, Darth Bane, remained alive, and he enacted the Rule of Two. Rather than operating in the open with large numbers, the Sith instead began to operate in the shadows. They would number two at any given time—a a master and an apprentice—and used cunning and conspiracy to enact their plans to destroy the Jedi Order and take over 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 killed his master and became the 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. His plan was to destroy the Jedi Order and usher in 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 would be able to remake the universe in his own designs.
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 Count Dooku, who became Sidious' apprentice, 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 into each clone trooper. These chips contained Protocol 66, a command that, when executed, would force the clone troopers to kill all Jedi who they encountered.
The years that followed the Naboo Crisis saw the advent of the Secessionist Movement, 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, Senior 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 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 of Jedi fighting clone troopers and being killed Darth Sidious. Through his journey, he came to believe that the Jedi Order may have lost the Clone Wars simply by fighting it. He suspected that the Jedi would lose the war, but ultimately be victorious in the fight against evil.
Towards the end of the war, the clone conspiracy was nearly uncovered when clone trooper Tup suffered from a premature activation of Protocol 66. He 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 Protocol 66 conspiracy. He confronted the Chancellor, who feigned an assassination attempt against him and implicated Fives. Fives told Anakin Skywalker 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 PurgeEdit
The "Jedi Rebellion"Edit
- "In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you're under arrest, Chancellor."
"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"
- ―Mace Windu and 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. After the death of Count Dooku during the Battle of Coruscant, 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, which he described as an old Sith legend, and explained that Darth 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.
Knowing the Chancellor's 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 confronted the Chancellor in his office, and Sidious lashed out at them, killing the three 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 intervened when Windu was about to kill the Chancellor and cut off Windu's hand. 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 turned against the Jedi Order, Skywalker pledged himself to Darth Sidious and became the Dark Lord of the Sith known as Darth Vader.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ghosts of Mortis" (Vision to Anakin Skywalker)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Orders" (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voices" (Vision to Yoda)
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Kanan: The Last Padawan (First identified as "Jedi Purge" in the opening crawl of The Last Padawan 2)
- Tarkin (Mentioned only)
- A New Dawn (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion
- Star Wars Rebels – "Rise of the Old Masters"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Empire Day"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Gathering Forces"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Call to Action"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Rebel Resolve"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Fire Across the Galaxy"
- Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First mentioned, albeit indirectly)
- Heir to the Jedi (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Darth Vader 1: Vader (Indirect mention only, in the opening crawl)