Star Wars: The Real Reason We Don't See Many Jedi Fighting The Empire After The Clone Wars

star wars the clone wars season 7 obi wan kenobi
(Image credit: Disney+)

Spoilers ahead for the series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

The final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars has come to an end, and it did so without killing off all of the Force-sensitive characters. Ahsoka survived, as did Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Caleb Dume (although off-screen). The conclusion of the prequel era of Star Wars also raises the longtime question: why weren't there any Jedi with the Rebel Alliance in A New Hope?

Order 66 obviously resulted in the deaths of most of the Jedi Order, but not all Jedi would have been surrounded by clones or in the temple when Palpatine gave the fatal order. Neither Revenge of the Sith nor Clone Wars showed every familiar Jedi dying, let alone any of the nameless others spread throughout the galaxy far, far away. Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni weighed in to Deadline on why we don't see many Jedi fighting the Empire:

It also spoke to something that I discussed with George (Lucas) over the years as far as the aftermath of the Clone Wars. The reason why we never saw too many Jedis fighting against the empire is the fact that a lot of them felt that they failed in their goal to protect the Republic, and they were all deceived. And so a lot of them realized that fighting a war maybe isn’t the best way and created violence. They set their sabers down, they tried to find different paths to helping people than perhaps, you know, being violent, and so there is an old idea there.

It's not because they're all dead! According to Dave Filoni, most of the surviving Jedi chose paths like Obi-Wan that involved watching and helping without drawing attention to themselves, even if Obi-Wan did eventually pick up his saber again. The Jedi were intended to be peacekeepers, after all, and their missions to protect the Republic and continue the Jedi Order obviously did fail with the rise of Palpatine and the Empire.

It's also worth noting that, according to Star Wars Rebels, Darth Vader and his team of Inquisitors tasked themselves with hunting down and killing surviving Jedi. Lying low was the way to go. Yoda is pretty much the only Jedi who actually got to die a natural death in the saga, and he couldn't have gone much further than he did to set down his saber.

Considering Star Wars and Disney probably aren't going to produce a TV show or movie revolving around Jedi who are quietly helping others without their lightsabers or ties to the rebellion, Dave Filoni's comments serve as a rare window into what may have happened to the Order 66 survivors after the rise of the Empire. Thanks to his role on Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Filoni has actually had a hand in the few stories of surviving Jedi (or former Jedi) that have been told in Disney canon.

If a survivor does something a little bit more proactive in the post-Order 66 era, like Kanan Jarrus of Rebels, then their story might be told in canon. Otherwise, fans can always imagine that Jedi who didn't die on screen survived and were living their own versions of Obi-Wan's self-exile in service on Tatooine.

That said, Star Wars fans can be pretty confident that Obi-Wan wasn't just living a quiet life on Tatooine from the end of Revenge of the Sith until shortly before the original trilogy. Ewan McGregor's live-action Obi-Wan series presumably won't just be episode after episode of Obi-Wan hanging out in the desert and possibly thinking about those he lost. Whether Obi-Wan is pulled back into galactic conflict or something requires him to jump into action on Tatooine remains to be seen.

While the Obi-Wan series that will follow one of the few confirmed surviving Jedi is still a ways off, there is no shortage of Star Wars content. All 11 of the live-action Star Wars films are available streaming on Disney+, as are The Mandalorian Season 1, all seven seasons of The Clone Wars, and all four seasons of Star Wars Rebels.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).