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The text of Order 66 as given in Chapter Twenty of the novel "Star Wars Republic Commando: True Colors" reads:

In the event of Jedi officers acting against the interests of the Republic, and after receiving specific orders verified as coming directly from the Supreme Commander (Chancellor), GAR [Grand Army of the Republic] commanders will remove those officers by lethal force, and command of the GAR will revert to the Supreme Commander (Chancellor) until a new command structure is established.

It sounds like a big established rule. It was even known by a huge no. of clones (that's why they were able to follow it).

And, there wasn't any known opposition against this rule. So, I can assume that it wasn't known to the Jedi because if it was, they would have opposed it because its not a good rule (killing all because of one).

How is it possible? The Jedi were known to keep track of everything around them. Plus, they were able to feel it from mind of clones.

Update:
After a recent answer saying the quoted text doesn't say that order 66 was meant for all Jedi, I decided to clarify this because a very old comment (by @BenVoigt) says the same thing:

But you're misreading the rule. It doesn't say "remove all Jedi", it says "remove those officers" (the ones committing treason).

I would like to counter this with the last information in the quote:

In the event of Jedi officers acting against the interests of the Republic, and after receiving specific orders verified as coming directly from the Supreme Commander (Chancellor), GAR [Grand Army of the Republic] commanders will remove those officers by lethal force, and command of the GAR will revert to the Supreme Commander (Chancellor) until a new command structure is established.

If you can interpret the bolded part well, it means "all" Jedi were the targets. You don't really need a new command structure if only a few Jedi get killed (which used to happen a lot).

It should also be clear from the movies as noted by @AndresF in the comment:

@BenVoigt Judging just from the movies, didn't the clones try to get rid of all the Jedi? I don't see any procedure to get rid of just the so-called "traitor" Jedi. We see the clone commanders receiving a message to "execute Order 66", then try to kill all Jedi on sight, without checking whether they are traitors. It seems to me, in practice, the rule does say "kill all Jedi" (maybe the books clarify this?)

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    No, it was hidden from them by the magical Steve Jobs....err... Emperor's Reality Distortion field. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Feb 11 '12 at 13:24
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    Where in that rule do you get "killing all because of one"? – Ben Voigt Feb 12 '12 at 5:20
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    @Sachin: But you're misreading the rule. It doesn't say "remove all Jedi", it says "remove those officers" (the ones committing treason). The rule wasn't the problem, it was the improper activation and application of the rule, when no treason had been committed. – Ben Voigt Feb 12 '12 at 16:40
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    @BenVoigt Judging just from the movies, didn't the clones try to get rid of all the Jedi? I don't see any procedure to get rid of just the so-called "traitor" Jedi. We see the clone commanders receiving a message to "execute Order 66", then try to kill all Jedi on sight, without checking whether they are traitors. It seems to me, in practice, the rule does say "kill all Jedi" (maybe the books clarify this?) – Andres F. Jan 3 '13 at 15:03
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    Based on the trailers for the final set of Clone Wars episodes, there will be an episode or an arc about Order 66, so a more definitive answer will be available soon. – swbarnes2 Mar 4 '14 at 22:01
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It was fairly well hidden in the bureaucratic mumbo jumbo. Jedi weren't exactly lawyers - they were too busy fighting a war.

Wikia says:

Order 66 could be found in the document entitled Contingency Orders for the Grand Army of the Republic: Order Initiation, Orders 1 through 150, GAR Document CO(CL) 56-95, a document containing a series of special contingency orders that covered any and all emergency situations, which the clones that comprised the GAR were prepared to execute, immediately and without question, and only in specific cases of extreme necessity. Some of these orders concerned contingencies any armed force could conceivably face. Many dealt with contingencies specifically involving the GAR Supreme Commander — in this case, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine — and the effect on the chain of command were he ever to become incapacitated or declared unfit to issue orders. In particular, Order 65 dealt with the detainment and possible execution of the Supreme Chancellor by the Republic, further hiding the true intention of Order 66. Sufficiently buried among the other one hundred forty-nine orders so as to almost escape notice, Contingency Order 66 specifically dealt with the effect on the chain of command were issues to arise involving the Jedi.

As far as Jedi sensing it - most troopers weren't exactly briefed on the significance of that precise order - just brainwashed to follow ANY order. So, until it was given, Jedi wouldn't have sensed any danger from their clone troopers/commanders (Jedi aren't exactly mind readers).

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    @DVK - actually key orders are committed to memory. I can still recite my general orders on a dime 20 years after I got out. – Chad Feb 24 '12 at 19:26
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    If the US army had seen to require me to learn them then I would have. Though as I recall in the movie the details of 66 were displayed on their HUD in the helmets when it was issued. – Chad Feb 24 '12 at 21:25
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    It still seems a big failure on the part of the Republic. Even with Order 65 (aka "kill the Supreme Chancellor") as a "safeguard". Because without a formal trial, how does the GAR decide which orders to trust? Presumably, if the Jedi Council had sent a message to "execute Order 65", they would have blindly shot Palpatine? So it's simply a case of First Come, First Served? :P – Andres F. Jan 3 '13 at 15:07
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    @Erratak - Nope. DOOM. Or Modern Warfare 14. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 8 '13 at 0:49
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    @DVK I DO think that trained, genetically manipulated clones, are able to memorize a bunch of "important and bureaucratic" data. Of course, a "mass hypnosis" footnote of the kind "Don't talk to Jedi about order 66" is in order. – Matemáticos Chibchas Jun 1 '13 at 1:42
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I suspect there were no objections to this rule because it sounds perfectly reasonable, if you don't know how it is going to be carried out.

In the event of Jedi officers acting against the interests of the Republic, and after receiving specific orders verified as coming directly from the Supreme Commander (Chancellor), GAR [Grand Army of the Republic] commanders will remove those officers by lethal force, and command of the GAR will revert to the Supreme Commander (Chancellor) until a new command structure is established.

The way it is written, it sounds like a perfectly innocent contingency for in case any Jedi officers go rogue and become a threat to the Republic as a whole. And given that the Sith were clouding their ability of foresight, they had no way of knowing that this order would be given to every GAR commander at once, thus ordering the mass execution of the Jedi. You have to remember, until that very moment, the Jedi trusted the Emperor and believed him to be benevolent.

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    I think most Jedi would even confirm such an order neccessary - what if some Jedi General would convert to the dark-side? Did they really want someone like Count Dooku with a whole battalion of loyal Clone Troopers and no way to stop him? - It was a great rule you could read it as "If a Jedi ever becomes evil, the army can remove him from duty" - sounds like a good rule! – Falco Jul 27 '15 at 9:03
  • "You have to remember, until that very moment, the Jedi trusted the Emperor and believed him to be benevolent. " Not really. There were already members of the Council (particularly Yoda and Windu) growing suspicious of him. They did not realize he was a Sith Lord, but they were suspicious and thought he might be under the Sith Lord's influence. – suchiuomizu Mar 27 at 23:04
  • @suchiuomizu Two members of the council were suspicious of him - but not the entire council. They were at least trusting enough to allow such an order to exist. – Zibbobz Mar 27 at 23:06
18

While there seems to already be an accepted answer, and I am far from a master of where the current canons lie, I would not be surprised if some or all of the Jedi were aware of Order 66 and felt that it didn't apply to them. It's human (and quite possibly alien) nature to look at a law stated to target a group of bad people and to assume that you would never be designated as such a bad person. The Jedi know that members of their group have gone power-mad. They know that Jedi have turned to the Dark Side. Why would they object to a measure clearly built to defend people against such abuses?

1

As you might recall, Chancellor Palpatine convinced the Galactic Republic that the Jedi were power-thirsty criminals, and he managed to dissolve the Jedi Order. Soon after, the Jedi Purge began after Order 66 was enacted. So, while the Jedi were being hunted to extinction, the specifics behind why the Clone Troopers were killing them off (Order 66) was fairly insignificant to them.

0

Judging from Battlefront 2, but I am not quite sure it is canon, they knew it from beginning and they believed they should kill the jedi. Although there were splinter groups who said no, and some of the clones were reluctant to kill some of the jedi. But like I said, I am unsure if this is canon.

0

There are 150 contingency orders. Considering the clones learned a lot of their information by flash memory programming, it's very likely all 150 were "burned in" just as many combat tactics would have been. From before being released from the stasis/cloning chamber they are being implanted with memory. After being released, about age 5, I think, they do nothing but train. So, it's no surprise the orders would be committed to memory just as ingrained as anything, just as natural as eating or walking.

Why didn't the Jedi know about Order 66? They did. All 150 orders would have been presented to the Senate and passed. Debated upon and passed. I doubt they gave it more than a passing thought. As noted, it does not order ALL Jedi to be killed. Just whichever one the Supreme Chancellor orders eliminated. Or ones. Or, if he issues the order 50 times... then 50 Jedi. Which, if you notice, he specifically orders Commander Cody to eliminate Obi-Wan. He gives a specific individual order to the clones that are with Yoda, Secura, Mundi, and Koon.

I'd theorize that, especially for the Master Jedi, Palpatine issued the orders to EACH clone commander individually and personally. His one major mistake... he should have given the order to eliminate Yoda first. Then Obi-Wan and then the others. This is because Yoda, of all the Jedi other than perhaps Mace, is more attuned to Living Force and to being able to precognate and to feel the other Jedi. He was constantly aware of the other Jedi in the Force. He felt Anakin's pain on Tatooine when Mace and Obi-Wan couldn't. I'd also theorize it is why Qui-Gon was able to make contact with Yoda. Yoda naturally was tuned to feeling the Force in others more than the other Masters.

So, the Jedi didn't detect Order 66 as a threat written in a group of 150 other orders because there's no reason to consider it. Much as most Americans have no clue what Executive Order 11490 or 12919 says, does, or means. Why should we? It's just another mess of bureaucratic stuff we don't need to pay much attention to... until it gets implemented. By then it's too late to think about it. And the Jedi didn't detect any threat form the Clones because they didn't hate the Jedi nor have any ill or harmful feelings towards them. An order to shoot and kill is just as non-emotional for them as an order to dig a trench. The Jedi feel when a person is threatening. The clones weren't. They were just following orders. By the time they were, the Jedi was already in the cross hairs and pretty much toast.

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    A good answer but very speculative, can you provide any quotes to support your case? – Edlothiad Mar 17 '17 at 15:17
  • As noted, it does not order ALL Jedi to be killed. ~> I updated the question to clarify this. You got it wrong. – I Love You 3000 Mar 17 '17 at 18:04
  • Sure... "Good soldiers follow orders." - CT-5385 Tup was a Clone trooper that, because of a malfunction, had his inhibitor chip activate early. He executed his Jedi commander because of this, but was killed before the secret about the inhibitor chips got out. (*Clone Wars) (*In the Commando series there are several troopers that refused Order 66, but this is not part of the Disney canon.) -- cont – Speedy Mar 17 '17 at 21:55
  • "There's been a rebellion, sir. Don't worry. The situation is under control. I'm sorry, sir. It's time for you to leave." CC-1119 Appo We can clearly see that the 501st Legion was with Anakin killing Jedi as traitors. They are told and telling others the Jedi are trying to rebel. “Word has reached me,” Palpatine was saying, “that a group of clone troopers on Murkhana may have deliberately refused to comply with Order Sixty-Six.” This comes from the book Dark Lord: The Rise Of Darth Vader. Canon before Lucas sold out to Disney. So it is canon that is not canon any more. -- cont – Speedy Mar 17 '17 at 21:55
  • Now... that's where it gets dicey. In the Republic Commando series of books, there are an entire group of clones that not only do not execute Order 66... they protect the Jedi with them. Pretty much all of Theta Squad, personally trained by Kal Skirata, disobeyed. Darman, one of the clones, fathered a child with Jedi Etain Tur-Mukan. But, that was a book series that got cancelled because the canon from the books... which Lucas declared canon... and had an entire committee that approved story lines... got totally screwed by the losers that screwed up with Clone Wars. --cont – Speedy Mar 17 '17 at 21:57
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Well they could have because some clones like fives tried to tell them but then got killed off. Its probably just that they were all focused on the battles, because some Jedi like Ki-Adi Mundi got killed when they were fighting, but some of the Jedi did because don't forget Anakin launched on attack on the Jedi. They all thought Anakin was on their side and he started killing them and all but not all the Jedi didn't know what was going on.

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    Ki-Adi Mundi did not get killed fighting droids, he was killed by his troops in Order 66 – The Fallen Mar 18 '14 at 22:20
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The clones had chips in their brain that made them cooperate with order 66. The Jedi can only sense threats that they can expect. So the clones executed most of the Jedi and then the rest of the Jedi on Coruscant witnessed the Supreme Chancellor (Darth Sidious) revealed his real self a Sith lord! then after then the empire was born.

  • While this is all true, describing the events and aftermath of Order 66 doesn't do much to address the question of why the Jedi weren't able to learn about it. If you could expand on your point about "Jedi can only sense threats that they can expect," especially justifying that statement, this answer could be greatly improved – Jason Baker Nov 28 '15 at 5:03

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