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Order 66: Star Wars: A Republic Commando Novel (Star Wars: Republic Commando Book 4) [Kindle Edition]

Karen Traviss
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After the fierce combat of Hard Contact, Triple Zero, and True Colors comes the spectacular culmination of New York Times bestselling author Karen Traviss’s gripping Republic Commando series. As a battle-scarred era nears its end, a shattering power play is about to stun the entire galaxy . . . and set in motion events that will alter destinies and resound throughout history.

Even as the Clone Wars are about to reach an explosive climax, no one knows if victory will favor the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) or the Separatists. But no matter who wins, the stakes are highest for elite Special Ops clones like the Republic Commandos in Omega and Delta squads–and the notorious renegade Advance Recon Commando troopers known as Null ARCs.

With Republic forces stretched to the max and casualties mounting, the last thing these beleaguered warriors need to hear is that Chancellor Palpatine is keeping vast armies of secret clone troops in reserve. Sergeant Skirata, a mentor to the clone commandos, has no intention of standing idly by while Palpatine sends them into battle like lambs to the slaughter. Skirata begins to plan the clones’ escape from the GAR, but his heroic effort will be in vain unless he can reverse the clones’ accelerated aging process.

Caught in the treacherous dealings of their leaders, and locked in the battles of their lives, the disillusioned Null ARCs and Commandos nonetheless fight with everything they’ve got, determined to wrest victory from the Seps and save the galaxy.

But even the deadliest weapons may not be powerful enough to defeat the real menace. And nothing will stop the apocalyptic horror unleashed when Palpatine utters the chilling words The time has come. Execute Order 66. Translation: The Jedi have tried to stage a coup, and all must be shot on sight.

With their faith in the Republic and their loyalty to their Jedi allies put to the ultimate test, how will the men of Omega and Delta squads react to the most infamous command in galactic history? All the breathtaking action, suspense, and intrigue of Karen Traviss’s Republic Commando series comes alive in Star Wars: Order 66.

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Traviss is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of three previous Star Wars: Republic Commando novels: Hard Contact, Triple Zero, and True Colors; three Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novels: Bloodlines, Revelation, and Sacrifice; as well as City of Pearl, Crossing the Line, The World Before, Matriarch, Ally, and Judge. A former defense correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, Traviss has also worked as a police press officer, an advertising copywriter, and a journalism lecturer. Her short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, On Spec, and Star Wars Insider. She lives in Devizes, England.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Ba’jur bal beskar’gam,
Ara’nov, aliit,
Mando’a bal Mand’alor–
An vencuyan mhi.

Education and armor,
Self-defense, our tribe,
Our language and our leader
All help us survive.
–Rhyme taught to Mandalorian children to help them learn the Resol’nare–the six tenets of Mando culture

Arca Barracks, Special Operations Brigade HQ, Coruscant,
736 days after the Battle of Geonosis–
second anniversary of the outbreak of war

Scorch raised his rifle and sighted up on the two sergeants on the parade ground below the window.

The DC-17’s upgraded optics were a definite improvement on the last version. The reticule settled on Kal Skirata within a narrow imaginary band level with his eyes and the indentation at the base of his skull; a perfect cranial vault shot, the ideal for instant incapacitation. Scorch could see the Mandalorian’s mouth moving as he spoke to Walon Vau.

Yeah, it’s getting like downtown Keldabe around here. It’s not as if I don’t like the guy. But . . .

Sergeant Vau–and he would always be Sergeant Vau, civilian or not–was the nearest Scorch had to a father. Vau and Skirata seemed to be deep in conversation, both talking at once while they stared down at the ferrocrete surface of the parade ground, no eye contact at all. It was a weird thing to be doing at daybreak.

“I thought you said you could lip-read,” Sev said, munching on a handful of spiced warra nuts.

“I can, but he’s not making sense.”

“Maybe they’re talking Mando’a.

“I can lip-read Mando’a just fine, mir’sheb . . .

“You’d think they’d have the sense to wear their buckets and use the internal comlink.”

“Maybe it’s nothing confidential.” Scorch could smell the pungent spice on the nuts from across the room. “Look, you know what happens when you stuff your face with those things. You get indigestion and wind. And I’m not going to put you over my shoulder and burp you.”

Sev belched. “You’ll miss me when I’m gone.”

“Make yourself useful and take a look, will you?”

Sev made a long, low rumbling noise at the back of his throat, finished the handful of nuts, and sighted up with his own Deece. He was a sniper. He spent even more time staring through optics than Scorch did.

“They’re reciting something,” he said at last, and leaned his Deece against the wall again to sit on his bunk and resume munching. “They’re both saying the same words.”

“Yeah? And?”

“Don’t know. Can’t make it out.”

For as long as Scorch could remember, Skirata and Vau had been at loggerheads about everything from tactics and how to motivate troops to the color of the mess walls, sometimes to the point of fistfights. But the war seemed to have softened their outlook. There was no affection between them–not as far as Scorch could see–but something kept them together as brother warriors, tight and secret.

Neither of them needed to be here. Vau’s bank raid–and they didn’t talk about that, no sir–had probably netted millions. They were men with a mission, driven by something Scorch didn’t quite understand.

He cranked up the magnification. But it didn’t help. “Maybe they’re having a really boring conversation.”

“It’s names,” said Sev at last. “They’re reciting names.”

Scorch sighted up again, transfixed. “How old is Skirata?”

“Sixty, sixty-one, something like that.”

“What’s that in clone years?”


It was a sobering thought, and Scorch wondered why it hadn’t struck him that way before. He’d never worried about getting old. He never thought he’d survive, for all Delta Squad’s general bluster that the Separatist hadn’t been born who could kill them.

“You think the crazy old barve is going to find his magic cure?” he asked.

Sev tossed a nut in the air and caught it in his mouth. “For what?”

“Our premature exit from this life. He is always talking about it.”

Sev rumbled again. “I still reckon he killed Ko Sai. And I still reckon he got her research, and that’s why he killed her, to shut her up. So yeah, I’d bet on him finding a way to stop us aging so fast.”

Scorch suspected that Vau was as deeply involved in the death of Kamino’s renegade cloner as Skirata; he was still fiercely loyal to Vau, because the man was the reason Delta were all still alive today, one of a handful of squads that had survived intact since the Kamino days. Vau raised survivors. “You’re not going to mention that to Zey, are you, Sev?”

“Nah. I hate giving him sleepless nights.”

“But if Sergeant Kal’s got Ko Sai’s research, why hasn’t he started dishing out the cure? It’s been nearly six months since he gave you her head.”

“You make it sound like a birthday present,” Sev said. “Maybe he can’t make some of the formula work. Or he’s just milking the Republic for all he can get before he bangs out with his stash.”

“Kal wouldn’t leave without his precious Nulls.” Scorch turned to look at Sev and met a raised eyebrow. “Would he?”

“If they deserted, would you shoot them?” Sev asked.

Scorch shrugged, trying to look disinterested, but the idea of putting a round through a brother clone didn’t sit well with him. The Nulls were Skirata’s adopted sons, too, his precious little boys even if they were grown men–big men, dangerous men–and if any barve so much as looked at them the wrong way, Skirata would have his guts for garters.
Even us.

“We wouldn’t have to,” Scorch said. “You heard all about Palpatine’s death squad standing by if we step out of line.”
“Don’t avoid the question. Would you shoot them if ordered?

“Depends,” Scorch said at last.

“Orders are orders.”

“Depends who’s giving them.”

“The longer this war goes on, the less I feel the Nulls are on the same side as us.”

Scorch knew what Sev meant, but he thought it was a harsh judgment all the same. He couldn’t imagine the Nulls siding with the Seps. They were crazy, unpredictable, even Skirata’s private army, but they weren’t traitors.

“Come on,” he said, grabbing his helmet and heading for the doors. “Let’s see what the old guys are up to. I can’t stand the suspense any longer.”

The parade ground was a platform edged with a low retaining wall and a border of manicured bushes, all trimmed to regulation height– there was such a thing, Scorch was certain–and it didn’t see many parades. More often than not these days, it stood empty except for the occasional impromptu game of bolo-ball. The two veteran sergeants stood in the center of it with heads slightly bowed, oblivious of the commandos approaching.

But Skirata was never really oblivious of anything. Nor was Vau. They had eyes in their backsides, those two. Scorch still hadn’t worked out how they’d managed to keep such a close eye on their respective training companies back in Tipoca City. To a young clone, they’d seemed like omniscient gods who could not be deceived, evaded, or outsmarted, and they still came pretty close now.

Scorch could hear the mumbling rumble of low voices. It had a sort of rhythm to it. Yes, they were reciting a list. Now that he could hear, he caught sounds he recognized.


They were reciting names.

Sev was the first to hesitate. He caught Scorch’s elbow. “I don’t think we should interrupt them, ner vod.

Skirata turned slowly, lips still moving, and then Vau looked up.

“You want to join in, ad’ike?” Vau said kindly, and he was not a kindly man. “Just commemorating brothers gone to the manda. You forgotten what day it is?”

Scorch had, although it should have been etched in his memory. Seven hundred and thirty-six days ago, all ten thousand Republic commandos had been deployed to Geonosis with the rest of the Grand Army at zero notice, a scramble to board ships that left no time for farewells to their training sergeants. Of the ten thousand men who shipped out, only five thousand had come back.

Scorch felt like a fool. He knew what the two sergeants were doing now, and why: they were reciting the names of fallen clone commandos. It was a Mandalorian custom to honor dead loved ones and comrades by repeating their names daily. He wondered if they went through all those thousands every single day.

“You didn’t memorize every name, did you, Sarge?” Sev asked.

“We remember every lad we trained, and we always will,” Skirata said quietly, but Scorch saw that he kept glancing down at a datapad clutched in his hand. Five thousand names–plus those killed after the Battle of Geonosis–was an impossible feat of memory even for Skirata’s devotion. “The rest ...we only need a little prompting.”

Scorch couldn’t now name half the squads in his bat...

Product Details

  • File Size: 4993 KB
  • Print Length: 498 pages
  • Publisher: LucasBooks; Reprint edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00513E4GC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,700 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first part of the commando saga comes to a close October 24, 2008
Several years ago first-time Star Wars author Karen Traviss was tapped to pen a spinoff novel based on the videogame Republic Commando. Although there are an increasing number of games available featuring significantly strong storylines (Knights of the Old Republic comes to mind), Republic Commando was a fairly straightforward first-person shooter: a lot of fun to play, but not necessarily a deep source for a quality book. Defying my expectations, Traviss produced a gripping and distinctive tale with her book Hard Contact. By not adhering to the storyline of the game, she gave herself room to develop a compelling set of new characters, breathing life into the concept of clone soldiers.

Reactions to the first book, despite some fan concerns about its pro-Mandalorian, anti-Jedi overtones, were quite positive, and the sequel Triple Zero appeared not long thereafter. Triple Zero took its time in developing a richly detailed ensemble cast of mercenaries, soldiers, and disillusioned Jedi, and it became clear that Traviss was laying foundations for a bigger story. It turned out there were two more books coming, a third paperback named True Colors and the hardcover series finale, succinctly titled Order 66.

My anticipation for this climactic fourth novel was extremely high and overall I was not disappointed. As expected, Traviss takes all of the disparate threads and characters she has been developing and weaves together an action-packed portrait of the chaos surrounding Order 66 itself and the rise of the fledgling Empire. One element I did not expect is how much time is spent months earlier in the first half of the book. This makes sense, though: the war was three years long and there was a significant gap of roughly a year between the end of True Colors and Order 66.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"An order was an order. And orders had to be followed, or else society fell apart."

The last book in the Republic Commando series! There was no way you could keep it from me. How would the clones that Karen Traviss has spent the last three books developing deal with this time altering order?

The clones from the last three books gear up in the final days of the war. Kal Skirata, den father, as it were, delves deeper into finding if the age acceleration can be reversed. Drama occurs between Ordo and Besany, Atin and Laseema, Darman and Etain, and Fi and Parja as they all deal with the "relationship" question. And pressure from the outside might force our courageous commandos to go into hiding far before the end of the war.

I Liked:
I tend to get a bit rambling here, so I want to streamline it for the ease of the reader and for the ease of the writer:
1.Karen Traviss pulls no punches. Right off the bat, not a page into the book, she has one of Jusik Bardan, who left the Jedi Order because of the hypocrisy of it, face another Jedi. Through his eyes, we see how desperate the Republic is to use a Jedi commander of such a young age, how, to the citizens of Coruscant (much like the citizens of America), life goes on as if there was no war, how maybe not everyone thinks the Jedi are peaches and cream, like so many Star Wars authors paint them, and how the Jedi are no better than the Separatists, if they are willing to resort to slave labor to fight their war. And this is only 4 pages into the book! Traviss continues this line into the book, showing the gray to the Jedi that most authors refuse to do, and revealing the errors, arrogance, and hypocrisy of the Jedi Order.
2.The Republic Commando books are thinking books.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Order 66 or Why The Jedi Had it Coming! September 19, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I feel that Traviss, while a solid writer, has gone too far with her personal feelings in this book. If anything, I am really surprised Lucas Licensing didn't demand a rewrite considering her frankly hostile handling of one of the most iconic institutions in the Star Wars universe. She has a pretty twisted impression of George Lucas's World, to be honest, and Order 66 really runs that home.

As I read further and further into Order 66 I began to get the impression that the writer did not like Jedi. I don't mean that the characters in it don't like Jedi. I mean that Traviss personally does not like Jedi and it was bleeding through the characters and events. It oozes off the pages like a deeply ingrained prejudice. That prejudice slips out all over the book, from comments about Obi-Wan Kenobi being an arrogant glory seeker, to political ramblings about the moral corruption and overall impotence of the Jedi Order that is never refuted by a single character in her book. It wasn't just that the Clone troopers and mercenaries don't like Jedi, even HER Jedi don't like Jedi, and spend most of their time regretting or being ashamed of the Jedi order.

The book is filled with criticism against the Jedi order and goes out of its way to show that the things that lead to the Dark Side, as shown to us in the films, are not really dangerous. In fact, they lead to a better life. She has her two Jedi characters essentially follow in the footsteps of Anakin and Count Duku (Intimate personal attachment and strong emotions like anger for the former and leaving the order for political/ideological reasons for the latter) and it is shown that not only does this not lead to the dark side, but it makes them better people.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
It fills in a lot of gaps for me. I really love this series
Published 22 days ago by IK
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
great book. it really keeps you on your toes the whole time.
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, it helps show the non-force using side ...
A great read, it helps show the non-force using side of the Star Wars universe. Even if you're not a Star Wars fan, it is still a great sci-fi military read.
Published 1 month ago by Jason Lord B.M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Order 66 is another great Republic Commando novel. With the war coming to a close, we had to see what was in store for these Jedi and clones and boy does Karen deliver! Read more
Published 4 months ago by shaneluke29
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointing...
Boring plot lines, misleading title, stale dialogue. Worst of all, I could not develop any emotional connection to any of the characters. Read more
Published 5 months ago by nick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great read if you are a fan of the series or author.
Published 5 months ago by ToastyEwok
5.0 out of 5 stars Those evil jedi
Awesome read. Best of the series so far. Makes you less sympathetic towards the jedi.
Published 5 months ago by Ryan M. Muldoon
5.0 out of 5 stars "But Why?"--Jedi General Arligan Zey
Exactly. Why did the Clones execute Order 66? Read Karen Traviss' book of the same name and find out! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ken Fontenot
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
This one. Ehhhh. This one and the next one. Just eh.
Published 6 months ago by Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 6 months ago by katie Buland
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More About the Author

#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, scriptwriter and comics author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess'har series, and her work on Halo, Gears of War, Batman, and other major franchises has earned her a broad range of fans. She's best known for military science fiction, but GOING GREY, the first of her new techno-thriller series, is set in the real world of today. A former defence correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, she lives in Wiltshire, England. She's currently writing the new G.I. Joe flagship comic series, and working on BLACK RUN, the sequel to GOING GREY.


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