One of the more intriguing questions in Star Wars lore is how much the average person knows about the Jedi. In the prequels, the Jedi were clearly a major force in the galaxy. Jedi Generals led troops in the Clone Wars across numerous planets and their headquarters was an enormous, eye-catching building in the center of Coruscant. And yet, by the time of A New Hope, just 19 years later, it seems that most people haven’t even heard of the Jedi. If they have, they consider them at best a myth.
Even the well-travelled and knowledgable Han Solo is a skeptic, saying “I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything,” and Darth Vader is casually dismissed for his “sad devotion to that ancient religion.” Luke Skywalker himself, meanwhile, only truly learned about the Jedi when he met Obi-Wan, though it’s understandable that Owen and Beru would want to keep him in the dark as much as possible given his ancestry.
Now, new comic Star Wars #5, set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, sees Luke being told for the first time about Order 66 and the end of the Jedi Order. While on a quest to figure out his destiny, he encounters Verla, a traumatized survivor of the Jedi purge who begins to reveal the true extent of Darth Vader’s crimes.
See for yourself below:
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So, how could such a major event as Order 66 be unknown? Well, it’s worth remembering that the Star Wars universe is a very big place and there were relatively few Jedi. Even if someone had fought in the Clone Wars, it’s unlikely that they would have seen or interacted with a Jedi. Plus, only high-up Imperial insiders and Clone Troopers would have known the specifics, and it’s easy to see why they’re not talking. On top of that, the Empire conducted a propaganda campaign designed to erase the Jedi Order from popular consciousness. So, even if people are knowledgeable about them, they might not reveal it in order to avoid trouble.
Still, now that this Star Wars comic has shown Luke beginning to learn the facts of Galactic history, I’m interested to see how much he’ll discover about exactly what Darth Vader did. After all, it’s one thing to find out your dad is a feared Imperial leader, but it’s quite another to learn that he personally slaughtered children.