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From what I've found, there were something like 150 contingency orders so as to hide what Order 66 was meant to do.

The first time I saw "Revenge of the Sith", I thought he gave the order "666", and I thought, cute, the devil.

But then I learnt it was "66". Is that still referencing the devil? Is it just a number pulled from a hat?


George Lucas also did "American Graffiti" which references Route 66, but I don't how to connect that with killing Jedi. Jedi road kill?

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Lars, Route 66 is a fairly well-known road ("The mother road") running from Chicago to Los Angeles. Prior to the advent of the Interstates, it was a primary thoroughfare for a significant portion of the country's population. It has significant cultural meaning in the US, and there are many movies about it. – Jeff Oct 13 '11 at 3:17
@Jeff - and an iconic song as well :) – DVK-in-exile Oct 13 '11 at 4:40
up vote 10 down vote accepted

It's just a random number. There's no real significance to the number 66 in Jedi or Sith lore, which I think was the point.

If someone were to look at a list of pre-specified orders and directives, it's VERY likely they'd begin skimming or walk away before Order 66 (especially if the first sixty were very mundane).

Random spot checks of any list of these would be less likely to turn it up if the number weren't important to the Jedi or their foes.

You can read more about Order 66 here.

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You (LarsTech) might also want to read up on the other Contingency Orders – dkuntz2 Oct 13 '11 at 1:10
That's got to be the worst-protected secret evil plan ever, if it just relies on everyone being too lazy to check the smallprint of the cloned supersoldier army... – evilsoup Sep 23 '13 at 23:25
But that's part of the brilliance, honestly. Maybe Order 43 was "The Chancellor has seized power without a Senate Vote, capture or kill the chancellor and return power to the Senate." and Order 856 was "The Wookies have a bad case of fleas, prioritize delivery of flea powder on all transports to Kashyyk" If there were other orders which covered potentially-disastrous yet low-probability cases, it would have easily gone unnoticed. – Jeff Sep 24 '13 at 13:25
If only one Jeid had tried 'ctrl+f' and searched for betray... – Daft Jan 7 '15 at 14:15

I believe that Order 66 was a reference to the Standing Order 66 in the U.K.

Both introduced a change in government that centralized power after a conflict to "protect the kingdom/Republic)" from an inside threat. The British version was purely financial in nature. Order 66 in Star Wars canon was a bit more drastic, eliminating the threat of the Jedi altogether.

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This is a great theory but do,you have any evidence? – Wikis Apr 21 '12 at 16:53
No, it's pure speculation, but it's based on the fact that so much of Star Wars is based on real historical events, names, ideas. Jedi knights (complete with swords, honorable code), Stormtroopers (Nazi troops), the Empire, and many other examples. I just find it highly unlikely that it was purely arbitrary. I'll take any downvotes that come from an unsupported answer, but I'm looking for a quote or anything that gives a better answer than that it was purely arbitrary. – David Apr 22 '12 at 5:31

This is also speculation, but during World War II FDR issued Executive Order 9066 when American citizens of Japanese descent were summarily rounded up and interned. In other words he "took care of them.." Could be a connection there.

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I do agree that George Lucas took inspiration from WWII for his movies. So this adds to the inspiration – JediPythonClone Aug 7 '15 at 17:34

Not sure about the number having significance but Hitler issued a similar order in '34. He purged a great deal of his own party and others who might oppose him to carry out his ethnic cleansing in the future. He purged all left-leaning members of the Nazi party and the leaders of the SA fearing it's members were becoming more loyal to SA leader Röhm instead of him.

Since the Empire are basically space Nazi's that's probably where it came from.

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The question is asking about the number 66, not similarities with other purges like the Night of the Long Knives. – Null Jan 6 '15 at 18:07
I do agree that George Lucas took inspiration from WWII for his movies. – JediPythonClone Aug 7 '15 at 17:33

I would also like to throw in Missouri Executive Order 44 as a possible inspiration for Order 66. This was issued in 1838 by governor Boggs, and is commonly referred to as the "Mormon Execution Order" as it basically made it legal for people to kill and/or cause harm to those who followed the Mormon Church and its teachings. Which sounds similar to the events brought about by 66. Two religious groups ordered by the government to be threats and which justifies their eradication and/or removal from society through a same-double-digit Executive Order.

"...the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description"

I believe this, combined with the a fore mentioned possibilities (Standing Order 66, Route 66, etc.) gives us a good look at why he choose Order 66, but this is just personal speculation.

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I found significance because he says "execute Order 66," then proceeds to have 6 Jedi shot at. Yoda is the only one not actually shot at, and Obi-Wan is the one survivor.

Maybe coincidence.

But I think it has to do with the evil in him and 666.

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What do you mean by "proceeds to have 6 Jedi shot at"? He has all Jedi shot at, and I think there are still more than 6 of them at that time. – O. R. Mapper Mar 20 at 16:34

Lucas has knowledge of what will occur with the NWO; Star Wars is a mural of what's happening and will happen in the world. Order 66 is Directive 51.

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