How Many Jedi Survived the Great Jedi Purge?

Star Wars Massacre of the Jedi Order by the Clone Army and Sith

Photographic portrait of Obi Wan Kenobi played by Alec Guinness in "Star Wars Episode VI."

Wacko Photographer/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The Great Jedi Purge began with Order 66, Supreme Sheev Chancellor Palpatine's directive to the Clone Army to kill their Jedi commanders. Order 66 exterminated nearly all of the Jedi. Anakin Skywalker also slaughtered the Force-sensitive youngling children who were starting their training to be Jedi. This is shown in "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." In the years following Order 66, Darth Vader hunted down and killed most of the surviving Jedi, with this entire period being known as the Great Jedi Purge.

The stated purpose of Order 66 was to prevent the Jedi from turning against the Republic. But Palpatine's true purpose was to eliminate the Jedi completely so the Sith could have free reign. Palpatine then was able to declare himself the Emporer and transform the Republic into the Galactic Empire.

Jedi That Survived the Purge

The Jedi who survived the Purge did so by going into hiding. Some, like A'Sharad Hett, abandoned the ways of the Jedi and turned to the dark side of the Force. Others simply hid their Jedi nature and tried to blend into the rest of the society. A few, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, became hermits, preserving the ways of the Jedi Order and training new Jedi.

The exact number of Jedi who survived the Purge is uncertain since Expanded Universe material featuring survivors of Order 66 is still being produced. Wookieepedia lists 105 confirmed survivors as of 1 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), just before "A New Hope." This number is misleading in part because it includes former Jedi who had left the Jedi Order before the time of the Purge. However, even when one eliminates survivors who were exiled, fell to the dark side, or otherwise no longer identified as Jedi, the number of survivors is just under 80.

Why Did Yoda Call Luke the Last of the Jedi?

The number of Purge survivors in the Expanded Universe seems to contradict Yoda in "Return of the Jedi" when he tells Luke "the last of the Jedi will you be." But although Yoda knew of at least two more survivors of Order 66, he was not aware of any besides Obi-Wan Kenobi who survived the Great Jedi Purge in its entirety. Even if Yoda knew of other survivors, Luke was, to the best of his knowledge, the only Jedi currently practicing the ways of the Jedi Order.

Jedi Knowledge Also Purged

Besides eliminating any living Jedi they could find, Palpatine also sought out all records and technology of the Jedi to purge. He was bent on erasing the Jedi from the historical record. He used Force-sensitives as members of the Inquisitorius and used the Imperial Security Bureau to find the remaining Jedi and their memorabilia. This made it all the more difficult for Luke Skywalker to reestablish the Jedi Order. He likewise had to search for Jedi relics, writings, and teachings.


"Great Jedi Purge." Wookieepedia, Wikia Inc., 2019.