Look, I know what you’re thinking: we already know about four Jedi who definitely survived the Jedi Purges. Why the heck would you advocate for a fifth? If you keep finding more and more Jedi who survived Order 66, doesn’t it take away from its impact? The short answer is that you’re right and it does take away if we find out that dozens of Jedi survived. However, it does make sense that a dozen Jedi out of hundreds were able to make it out alive and one of those could have joined a certain pirate crew.
While Vader’s attack on the Jedi Temple was most certainly ruthless and thorough, it stands to reason that a youngling could have escape. After all, Vader and the clones all marched in from the same direction and made a heck of a lot of noise with their killing people. That could have given Katooni enough time to make her way out. She’s small enough that the ventilation shafts are a possibility and I don’t doubt that the Jedi Temple has at least one if not more secret ways out. Plus, she’s just a youngling… barely a blip on anyone’s radar. Her escape wouldn’t be as nearly as noticed as Shaak Ti’s.
So let’s assume she escaped and, with enough time, made her way off Coruscant and eventually ran into the pirate gang of the one and only Hondo Ohnaka. Most people would think that Hondo’s first instinct here would be to err in the side of credits and sell Katooni out to the Empire… for the right price. Hondo’s smarter than that though and he has a little bit of a soft spot for her after the battle on Florrum.
It wouldn’t be unprecedented. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Hondo offered to let her join his pirate gang and while he had no problem attacking a ship with kids, he wasn’t terribly inclined to take children into battle. We’ve also seen that Katooni can be very persuasive and convince him to do the right thing, which, in this case, is to not turn a child over to be murdered. More importantly though, Hondo could see the opportunities that having a Force user on his side would present especially when it’s a secret. It’s unlikely that smugglers would be fond of the Empire with its oppressive crackdown making their jobs even more difficult than under the Republic. When have smugglers been fond of any government?
So let’s assume that Hondo had a compassionate moment and brought Katooni into the fold, letting only his most trusted lieutenants in on the secret if even them. Probably not even them. To everyone else, she was a street kid that he took a liking to and who quickly earned her place amongst the group. And come on: Hondo’s an eccentric person to begin with. Adopting a stray is probably not the weirdest thing he’s done.
In the latest episode of Rebels, we learned that Hondo’s a bit down on his luck. No crew, no fancy ship, no base. Peace under the Empire has not been kind to him. One might think that the lack of crew or anyone seemingly on Hondo’s side would shoot this theory in the face. One would be wrong! At this point, Katooni would be a grown woman and she’d both need and want to branch out and try out being her own person. So she’s been off doing her own thing. Maybe she’s joined another crew. Maybe she’s leading her own crew. Either way, her path would definitely cross with Hondo’s again and then in turn with the crew of the Ghost.
Katooni could be a great example of yet another completely different path that the escaped Jedi have taken. In a way, she’d be like an alternate universe version of Kanan except instead of being brought around to the rebellion side of thinking, she’s completely abandoned the Jedi way of life and embraced being a smuggler who just happens to have the Force. Just think about it for a minute: an escaped Jedi who doesn’t have a lightsaber stashed away somewhere. Imagine how Kanan, Ezra, and eventually Ahsoka would react to her once they figured out her secret… and all this with patented Hondo wisecracks in the background.
Admit it: you’re on board with Pirate Jedi Katooni just for that last one.