There is no world where it is okay to kill children, but the fact that Anakin Skywalker killed the younglings in the Jedi Temple during Order 66 has become an internet meme among Star Wars fans. The death of these younglings hampered the Jedi Order’s ability to recover from Order 66 as Palpatine ordered Anakin to target the Jedi Temple and kill anyone inside it as one of his first missions as Darth Vader. But how many younglings did Anakin kill during Order 66?
It is estimated that Anakin killed at least 11 younglings in the Jedi Temple. It is possible that he killed more than what we saw in the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith because he might have killed more of them off-screen. However, a few of the younglings in the temple survived.
The fact that Anakin killed innocent children eventually convinced Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Padme Amidala that he had already chosen the path of the dark side and that there was no way for him to return to the path of the light. This act made it clear that Anakin had already allowed his Darth Vader persona to consume him. Now, let’s talk more about the younglings that Anakin killed.
Anakin’s Youngling Kill Count
It was when Anakin Skywalker betrayed Mace Windu and allowed then-Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine to kill him that ultimately turned him into a Sith Lord and the newest apprentice of Darth Sidious. He was dubbed Darth Vader and became the most powerful apprentice that Palpatine ever had. And Palpatine gave Anakin a special assignment in preparation for the fall of the Jedi Order.
Palpatine initiated Order 66, which forced the clones to kill all of the Jedi without any questions or hesitation. Of course, Anakin’s special mission also involved Order 66, as he was tasked with going to the Jedi Temple and killing all of the Jedi he could find there. There were no exceptions because he was ordered to kill younglings, Padawans, Knights, and Masters alike. And Anakin brought countless clone troopers with him to storm the Jedi Temple.
That was when one of the darkest scenes in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith happened. Anakin went to a room full of younglings hoping he would help them in the fight against the clones. These children were younger than Anakin when he first started training as a Jedi, meaning they were just starting out in the world and were yet to understand anything happening around them.
Nevertheless, Anakin lit his lightsaber and killed all the younglings off-screen without hesitation. While we didn’t see how he killed the younglings, we did see him in action in the holographic recording of the Jedi Temple when Yoda and Obi-Wan infiltrated it to see exactly what happened to the Jedi that were in the temple at that time.
We didn’t see how many younglings Anakin killed in the Jedi Temple, but it is estimated that he slaughtered at least 11 children during Order 66. Of course, it is possible that he killed more than 11 children. But it is also possible that he left the job of killing the other younglings to the clone troopers that were compelled to kill any Jedi due to Order 66.
Why Did Anakin Kill the Young Jedi During Order 66?
As mentioned, Anakin never hesitated to go to the Jedi Temple to slaughter innocent younglings that were too young to make a difference in the war. Such was the extent of Darth Sidious’s evil ways, as he didn’t even think about sparing the younglings when he decided to end the Jedi Order. But why did Anakin kill the younglings during Order 66?
Well, for one, he was ordered by Palpatine to storm the Jedi Temple and kill any Jedi there. At that time, Anakin was obsessed with only one thing—saving Padme. He went to the dark side because he thought that the dark side would have allowed him to have unnatural powers that could allow him to save Padme from the death that he foresaw in his visions. Because he was obsessed with saving Padme, he didn’t care about anything else, as he even thought that the lives of countless younglings were not equal to those of his beloved wife.
There’s also a good chance he killed the younglings out of mercy. Remember that the clones were compelled to kill any Jedi regardless of age. That means that the younglings weren’t going to be spared from the clones that were on their way to kill the younglings. And because Anakin probably still had some good left in him, he might have decided to kill the younglings himself to spare them from getting shredded to pieces by the blaster bolts of the clone troopers.
Finally, it is also possible that this was his way of exacting his revenge on the Jedi Order in which he had lost hope. He decided to kill the younglings to make an example of them and to take revenge on the Jedi for not believing in his power and capabilities. And we know that Anakin was obviously distraught when the Jedi Council gave him a seat in the High Council but didn’t grant him the rank of Jedi Master.
Younglings Who Survived During Order 66
While we do know that Anakin and the clone troopers killed the Jedi Knights, Masters, Padawans, and younglings that were in the Jedi Temple, we also know that there were survivors that were able to find a way to survive the events of Order 66. Most of the Jedi survivors were away from the Jedi Temple or from the battlefield because they weren’t close to any clones that could have easily killed them. But there were also survivors from the Jedi Temple.
The most prominent youngling that survived Order 66 was Grogu, who was revealed to be in the Jedi Temple when the clone troopers attacked. A few Jedi protected him but was eventually carried out of the Jedi Temple by Kelleran Beq, who was stationed at the Jedi Temple at that time because he was the one that supervised the Padawans and younglings in the temple. And Beq said that Grogu was the only youngling to survive the attack on the Jedi Temple.
However, we also know that Reva Sevander, who became the vengeful Third Sister of the Inquisitorius, was also a survivor of Order 66. She had to hide under the corpses of her fallen friends to stay hidden while Anakin and the clones were killing everyone in sight. And the fact that Reva knew that Anakin was Darth Vader prompted her to try to get as close to him as possible to take revenge on him for killing her friends.
In Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it was also revealed that a Rodian youngling could survive the events of Order 66. However, this youngling was never named. We also don’t know how this Rodian survived the attack on the Jedi Temple.
Ultimately, not a lot of younglings survived the attack on the Jedi Temple because it was a surprise attack that none of them saw coming. The Jedi Temple wasn’t well-fortified and was full of younglings and Padawans that were yet to learn how to handle such situations. As such, only a few could leave the Jedi Temple alive.