Besides the Jedi, there are other non-clones serving the Galactic Republic in the Clone Wars. Many of them served at the officer level, particularly in the Republic's star fleets. Unless I am mistaken, most of them believe in the Republic's ideals and the force of good that the Jedi Order represents, as well as having a history of working with the Jedi during the war, sometimes before that too. When Order 66 came down, the suddenness of the clones turning on the Jedi might have surprised and overwhelmed these non-clones before they can react to it, but why did they continue to stay in the Imperial Army? The only non-clones I can observe to have joined the infant Rebel Alliance are mostly grunt troops, primarily non-humans, people from Outer Rim worlds and former Separatists. But among the non-clones who fought alongside the Jedi for years, there seem to be a surprisingly low rate of defection in the years that follow. I can understand the notable exceptions such as Tarkin who positively support Order 66, but what of the majority?

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    Purely speculation but I suppose it's entirely possible that old Palps was ensuring the promotion of like minded officers over the course of his machinations. It would also be fairly simple to paint officers still loyal to the Jedi as traitors or as acting in collusion with them and have them ousted.
    – kylieCatt
    Aug 28, 2015 at 15:21
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    Like every military coup in history, SOMEBODY HAS TO DO IT. Palpatine likely promoted those whose ambitions rivaled his own. Those who did not support his goals would either be summarily killed when the Jedi were, assigned to more dangerous missions with higher fatality rates, or demoted as needed until the "right" men were where they needed to be. Palpatine had YEARS to arrange this, and with VADER as his guard dog and selection committee, if an officer didn't cut it, they experienced Vader's "disappointment." Aug 28, 2015 at 15:36
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    As part of the Great Jedi Purge, Palpatine effectively portrayed the Jedi as attempting to overthrow the Republic and was incredibly effective in discrediting them. In addition, many of the officers wouldn't have any reason to doubt Order 66, as they had no idea about its genesis. Plus, the non-clones serving as officers were working for the Republic, not the Jedi (the Jedi only had overall field command of the military) so their loyalty to the galactic government was not necessarily suspect.
    – Phyneas
    Aug 28, 2015 at 15:42
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    Maybe the officer corps was simply sick of know-it-all Jedis in bathrobes lording it over them?
    – Gaius
    Aug 28, 2015 at 19:38
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    Just another continuity error in the Prequels. There's no mention of the Navy at all in them, Senator Babe is fighting against any kind of military at all, the Navy is not used to enforce or break the blockade in Phantom Menace, the Jedi lead the fight against the driods with clones, and suddenly in the last scene we have a full Navy with officers out of the blue that is running things and the Death Star being built in about 5 minutes.
    – Oldcat
    Aug 29, 2015 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


Order 66 did not simply "come down" from nowhere, it was given in response to the attempted arrest/assassination of Palpatine by the Jedi. The general public (including the Senate and non-clone members of the Republic military) were not aware that Palpatine is a Sith Lord or that he had played both sides during the Clone Wars -- all they knew is that the Jedi attempted to assassinate him, leaving him very visibly "scarred and deformed". The general public only knew that the Jedi were attempting to take over the Republic by assassinating the legitimately elected Supreme Chancellor, which is treason.1 This is why the Senate approved of the transition from Republic to Empire "with thunderous applause". The transition was justified by Palpatine as follows:

In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society which I assure you will last for ten thousand years.

Emperor Palpatine, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith

This justification would sound like a good reason for non-clone members of the Republic military to continue working for the Imperial military -- they would simply be ensuring "security and continuing stability", just as before. Furthermore, the failures of the Republican system were made evident by the Clone Wars, so it would have made sense to transition to an empire.

From the perspective of the general public, the suddenness of Order 66 was due entirely to the suddenness of the failed Jedi assassination attempt -- so there was nothing suspicious about it.

The Jedi had been discredited and the Empire was seen as a force for ensuring security and stability, so there was no reason for the majority of non-clone soldiers to leave the service of the Empire.

1Palpatine himself had of course already committed treason against the Republic by working with the Separatists as Darth Sidious -- but, again, the public didn't know that.

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    It is not "By All Apperances". They Jedi WERE trying to seize power - According to Mace Windu: "... the Jedi Council would have to take control of the Senate in order to secure a peaceful transition . . .".
    – Mark
    Dec 14, 2015 at 15:21

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