Due to comics’ lack of consistency, there’s a plot hole in the Star Wars galaxy regarding Order 66, and it’s impossible for any story to fix it.
Warning! Spoilers for Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #19 and Star Wars: Crimson Reign #3
There is a massive plot hole in the Star Wars galaxy regarding Order 66, and it’s impossible for any story to fix it. Due to comics’ lack of consistency, it’s unclear if Emperor Palpatine’s command from Revenge of the Sith banned the study of the Force.
When Palpatine put Order 66 into action, it seemed like its primary goal was to eliminate the Jedi, enabling the Sith to rule the galaxy without opposition. As the Inquisitors were employed to finish the job and ensure the Jedi Order’s eradication by finding survivors, it didn’t appear that Order 66 had any other major ramifications. Recently, Star Wars comics have elaborated on the Sith’s plan, revealing that it also involved Force-based education to be banned throughout the galaxy. However, even this story point has been called into question in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #19, written by Alyssa Wong with art by Minkyu Jung.
When readers see the Archivist AKA Madelin Sun in Crimson Reign #3, it was revealed she worked at the University of Bar’leth, where she studied the Force. Based on her intellectual pursuit, she has come away with the understanding that there isn’t much different between the light and the dark side. After Order 66, she was kicked out and pushed into junk trading. In Doctor Aphra #19, the Archivist’s experience appears to be contradicted according to Iglan’tine Nos. As the Chair of Occult Archaeological Studies, she has also studied the Force, but hasn’t been removed from the same university. Readers aren’t given enough information to assume this is anything other than a plot hole that Star Wars comics have opened up on itself.
With these two comics taking place in the same frame of time, there doesn’t seem to be many ways in which this could be resolved. The University of Bar’leth was evidently affected by Order 66, but it doesn’t appear that the Empire was mindful enough to implement the change in every department of the school. Apparently, a professor who teaches the Force can be kicked out, but another professor who teaches in an extremely similar capacity keeps their title.
In nearly all previous depictions of Order 66’s impact on the broader galaxy, it appeared that the Empire strived to stomp out the Jedi. However, as soon as comics made it seem like the Empire was also attempting to eliminate any record of the Force, they almost instantly contradicted the new premise. Based on what fans previously knew about Order 66, this doesn’t seem to fit the strategy of the Empire, as this makes them look worse. Other dark side users have tried to reduce knowledge of the Force in the past, but Emperor Palpatine only seemed concerned with destroying the Jedi for the Sith’s resurgence. Despite comics’ attempt to elaborate on Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars fans have been left with a fresh plot hole.
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