In Star Wars, Palpatine’s infamous Order 66 may have happened years ago, but new stories continue to uncover more about the heartbreaking tragedy.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 1, Episode 1, “Aftermath,” which airs on Disney +.

Star Wars He has not been shy about the horrors of Palpatine’s infamous Order 66, which activated the clone’s inhibitor chips and forced them to systematically execute nearly all Jedi. When the audience first heard those words spoken in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, a Jedi assassination montage flooded the screen and collectively broke hearts, from watching the brutal death of Aayla Secura to watching Anakin prepare to slaughter the young.

With the premiere episode of Star Wars: The Bad Lot, the public was forced to see Order 66 for the third time on screen, after Revenge of the Sith and the end of Star Wars, Clone Wars. For those who have played the Jedi: Fallen Order game, it was the fourth time. Each revival reveals new perspectives, reveals new character destinies, and helps shape the early days of the Empire in a new context. But it also hurts every time.

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Order 66 in Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Even though everyone knows that by the time Star War: Episode IV – A New Hope, the Jedi are long gone and are little more than a myth, actually seeing their execution for the first time in Revenge of the Sith brought a whole new perspective. The montage of deaths, including Plo Koon, Ki-Adi-Mundi, youth and more, set in John Williams’ haunting “Betrayal of Anakin,” hitting especially hard. These were Jedi the audience had come to know and love, and even knowing that Anakin was destined to turn against them, that scene was the first to show how swift and brutal the end of the Jedi really was.

Order 66’s second screen appearance in The Clone Wars brought a new level of pain. Throughout the seven years of storytelling in Clone wars, the clones themselves were humanized far beyond what movies could do. They were given distinct personalities, formed close relationships with the Jedi, whom they considered not just compatriots but friends, and explored character arcs and growth themselves. Due to these extra dimensions, the change of its chip switches was especially heartbreaking. The feeling of betrayal became more realistic and seeing longtime friends Rex and Ahsoka suddenly in a life-and-death match with each other was horrible.

In fact, Clone wars It set the stage to be even more disturbing, as Ahsoka’s return to fight alongside the Jedi and clones was still fresh. Many members of the 501st were proudly wearing helmets painted with Ahsoka’s markings when they all turned to her, thus bearing physical markings from that betrayal. Ahsoka was able to save Rex and remove his chip, but the two still had to face the legion of other clones programmed to now hunt down and destroy the ancient Jedi. Although they escaped, the rest of the clones were killed by crashing into the planet below. Ahsoka’s final moments on screen at Clone wars It showed her staring at the soldiers’ graves as she symbolically dropped her lightsaber into the snow. This instance of Order 66 carried the weight of a multitude of purposes.

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Ashoka during order 66

Finally, with the May 4 release of the premiere episode of The bad lot, the last screening of Order 66 arrived. In fact, the entire series opened just before the Order was called. On Kaller, the clones were fighting alongside Jedi Depa Billaba when the Bad Batch themselves appeared to save the day. Moments later, Order 66 was initiated, and not only did Depa Billaba die, but those opening minutes contextualized those of Caleb Dume (soon to be Kanan Jarrus in Star wars rebels) experience with Order 66, watching his master die in front of him as a Padawan and then having to flee and escape from the clones, his former allies. That view of Order 66 was especially harsh because it forced the audience to see the tragic story of a loved one. Rebels protagonist.

And because Clone Wars, Rebels Y Bad batch creator Dave Filoni and many others Star Wars The writers clearly have a history of weaving the horrors of Order 66 into their stories, this is most likely not the last time audiences have to relive the pain. There is a lot of potential for live action flashbacks with the upcoming Ahsoka Y Obi-Wan Kenobi show. In fact, with Hayden Christensen confirmed to revert to his role as Anakin in Obi-Wan Kenobi, it only makes sense to show another point of view of Order 66. There is even the possibility of flashbacks of Order 66 that will illuminate the story in the next Andor show, which will undoubtedly highlight the fall of the Republic and the early days of the Empire.

While it is always important to show this key moment in Star Wars story from different points of the galaxy, one of the tragedies in the heart of Star Wars stay on the “what if” path. What if Anakin could have put the past behind him? What if Qui-Gon had survived? What if Ahsoka had returned to the Jedi Order? With each iteration of Order 66, the possible future of all those “what ifs” dies over and over again, making this tragedy even more devastating.

KEEP READING: Star Wars: The Bad Batch just gave us the most heartbreaking death of Order 66

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