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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 "Return 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?

Update:

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 Oct 13 '11 at 4:40

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 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
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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

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 Stratton 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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