Not every Jedi perished in Order 66. Kanan Jarrus survived the Emperor’s purge, going underground for years and hiding the truth about who he really was. To keep his past a secret, Kanan carried a blaster -- an uncommon practice for a Jedi -- and used a lightsaber that had to be assembled. He was a leader among the Ghost crew, a small group of rebels looking to strike back against the Empire, and with the emergence of the Force-sensitive Ezra, once again embraced his identity as a Jedi Knight.
For over a thousand years, the Galactic Republic stood firm as a democratic union that governed the galaxy. The Republic was governed by the Galactic Senate, consisting of elected officials from each system and world, and Jedi Knights served as peacekeepers. With the rise of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, however, the Galactic Republic -- and democracy -- would crumble.
A venerable if maverick Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn was a student of the living Force. Qui-Gon lived for the moment, espousing a philosophy of "feel, don't think -- use your instincts." On Tatooine, Qui-Gon discovered a young slave boy named Anakin Skywalker who was strong in the Force. Sensing the boy's potential, Qui-Gon liberated Anakin from slavery. The Jedi Master presented Anakin to the Jedi Council, but they deemed the boy too old to begin training and dangerously full of fear and anger. They refused to allow Qui-Gon to train Anakin, but rescinded their decision to fulfill Qui-Gon's dying wish.