With the Bad Batch hitting TV (or whatever screen you watch on) soon, lets take a refresher course on just what a Clone Trooper is and why they rule.
Clone Troopers are one of the more tragic figures in the galaxy–they were built for a war that was engineered by dark forces, they were heroes and saviors for a Republic in dire need, and they were also the instrument of one of the greatest betrayals of the galaxy. Given lives that are much shorter than most sapient species in the galaxy, and modeled in the image of one man, Clone Troopers have proved that though they might be bred for war, their real strength is making the most of a bad hand.
Clone Troopers, or Republic Troopers as they’re sometimes known, were a familiar sight during the latter days of the Galactic Republic. These highly trained soldiers made up the backbone of the Republic army during the Clone Wars and were bastions of heroism during some of the most desperate, pitched battles the galaxy had ever seen. But where did they come from? And what, exactly, led them to betray the Jedi? Let’s take a look.
The story of the Clone Troopers is a story of heroism and tragedy, but it all begins–as many things do–with a Jedi Master. Master Sifo-Dyas, a human from Minashee, is one of the most important figures in galactic history, which is high praise for the humble son of a fisherman. Sifo-Dyas’ life is an incredible tale, but the part that interests us today is his ascension to the rank of Jedi Master. His powers of Foresight led him to believe that the galaxy was due for a massive conflict and he advocated for the creation of an army.
Though the Jedi Council, including Mace Windu, regarded Sifo-Dyas’ ideas as too extreme, the lone Master nevertheless went behind the council’s back and placed an order with the Kaminoans in secret to commission an army in secret without authorization from the Jedi Council or the Galactic Senate.
Sadly Sifo-Dyas underestimated the Sith, and Darth Sidious sent him to die at the hands of the Pyke Syndicate and claimed Sifo-Dyas’ plans for the Sith. Darth Tyranus, or Count Dooku, as many knew him recruited the infamous bounty hunter Jango Fett to become the genetic template for the new Clone Army, requesting that the Kaminoans would modify his genome in very specific ways.
As a result, Fett’s Clone Troopers grow and age at twice the rate as a normal human, and were genetically programmed to be more docile and obedient–following orders is literally in their genetic code. Hyper-aggressive and volatile tendencies were curbed, but the clones were also designed to be capable of creative thinking, which gave them a leg up on battle droids.
Though Darth Sidious in the guise of Sheev Palpatine pitched the Clone Army as something meant to serve the Republic, they were intended truly as a secret weapon against the Jedi Order, and under the guise of ensuring loyalty, made sure that the Kaminoans implanted an organic inhibitor chip in their brain during one of the latter stages of their development, which would ensure that the troopers would execute a secret protocol, Order 66, that would cause them to turn on the Jedi Order.
The inhibitor chip is only one of the many marvels that contributed to the development of the Clones. The Kaminoans developed an accelerated training and aging program. Every Clone endured nonstop training, simulations, and testing, in order to prove themselves. Letter and number identifications were meant to remove any sense of identity, as the Kaminoans did not regard these troopers as merely machines, but the Clones were adaptable. Though they had intense classes day in and day out, and were organized into squads from a young age in order to breed military training into them from day one.
It’s a testament to life and the indomitability of the human spirit that these Clones also distinguished themselves. They were able to forge personalities and identities, and some even proved to excel–the most successful would become ARC Troopers. And as the war progressed, clones developed their own hobbies and recreation to help improve morale and recovery–as a certain scientist once observed, life…ahh…finds a way.
Even with Clones.
May the Force be with you