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"The evidence is in here. It's—it's in here. It's in all of us, every clone."
"What is it?"
"Organic chips built into our genetic code to make us do whatever someone wants, even kill the Jedi. It's all in here."
―Clone troopers Fives and Rex — Quote-audio Listen (file info)[src]

Behavioral modification biochips, also known as inhibitor chips, control chips, and behavioral inhibitor biochips, were a type of organic bio-chip capable of dictating or responding to the thoughts of its host. Kaminoan cloners implanted them within each clone trooper in the Grand Army of the Republic. It was implanted into the brain of every trooper at the third stage of their embryonic development. When they were activated the troopers responded to orders without question, allowing the Supreme Chancellor to initiate Order 66. The Galactic Empire later employed these devices to keep in line its enslaved Wookiee population on Kashyyyk.

DescriptionEdit

"We modified their genetic structure to make them less independent than the original host. They are totally obedient, taking any order without question."
―Lama Su, to Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi[src]

Behavioral modification biochips[6] had been implanted in the clone troopers to make them less aggressive than the clone template. They had been suggested by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, who initially ordered the clone army, as a contingency against the clones being given orders by rogue Jedi.[2] However, after the Sith hijacked the project, the chips were also tooled to another purpose: to force the clones to comply with the execution of Order 66, which wiped out nearly all Jedi.[5] The control chips were extremely effective at taking over the minds of people who had been implanted with them, erasing all existing biases and beliefs in the clone troopers to force them to eliminate the Jedi without question,[7] even if the clones in question had loyally served under their Jedi General for years. The chips implanted inside the clone troopers could be activated by voice command, with Palpatine only needing to say "Execute Order 66" to do so.[5]

Clone troopers under the sway of their control chips would prioritize carrying out Order 66 above all else, including their own lives. Although they could still make rational decisions, they could not be reasoned with regarding the order, and would unhesitatingly go after even their own brothers if they realized that other clones were not obeying the order.[8] Clones so brainwashed were also aware of Palpatine's true identity as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, with clone officers who received the order immediately addressing him as "Lord Sidious"[9] or "my lord",[5] and clone troopers who had been completely unaware of the Supreme Chancellor's double identity beforehand referring to him by his Sith name.[8] It was possible in rare cases[10] for some clones to resist the will of the chips and hesitate from executing the order, but the act was extremely difficult, and only removing the chip entirely could free a clone from the compulsion to carry out Order 66.[9]

The chips were later installed in enslaved Wookiees by the Galactic Empire to keep them in line. Imperial Advisor Gallius Rax also had bio-chips installed in Rebel prisoners kept at Ashmead's Lock on Kashyyyk as part of an assassination plan against officials of the New Republic.[1] When the chips were discovered, they malfunctioned in a planned degradation before Republic slicers could learn much about them.[11]

HistoryEdit

Creation of the clone armyEdit

"You must remember the chip is a safeguard against betrayal from rogue Jedi. Master Sifo-Dyas was the only Jedi who knew of this. But with his passing, we alone know of this secret, and we must keep it that way."
―The disguised Count Dooku, to Lama Su[src]

Prior to the Battle of Naboo, former Jedi Council member Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas contacted the Kaminoans to order a clone army for the Republic.[12] He provided them with the control chip to make the clones less aggressive than the clone template[3] and to act as a safeguard against betrayal from rogue Jedi.[2] However, Sith Lords Darth Sidious and his new apprentice, Darth Tyranus, had Sifo-Dyas eliminated[13] and took over his project, keeping it a secret from the Jedi. Kaminoans like Lama Su and Nala Se seemed to believe the chip was still only in case of rogue Jedi.[2]

Order 66Edit

"I already know this report's going to fall on deaf ears, but I owe it to Fives to record what I saw. I'm not sure if I believe it myself, but there's a possibility that the inhibitor chips the Kaminoans put inside of us have a purpose that we don't yet fully understand."
―Clone Captain Rex's confidential grievance report on ARC trooper Fives' suspicions about the "inhibitor" chips[src]
PrematureExecution-TU

Tup prepares to shoot Tiplar due to his malfunctioning control chip.

During the Clone Wars, the control chip conspiracy was nearly uncovered when the Order 66 function of the chip in clone trooper Tup was prematurely activated, causing him to execute Jedi General Tiplar during the Battle of Ringo Vinda.[7] Though the Jedi discovered the existence of the control chips, they never learned of their true purpose, as the ARC trooper Fives, who had been investigating the matter,[3] was killed by Clone Commander Fox of the Coruscant Guard.[4]

Though Fives had warned that the conspiracy went to the highest level and that Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine had tried to stop him from revealing what he knew, Anakin Skywalker stubbornly refused to believe that Palpatine was capable of what Fives was describing. Fives died in the arms of his friend Clone Captain Rex, whom he warned of the chips' existence and that the conspiracy was bigger than any of them. As he died, Fives' last words were that the "mission" and the "nightmares" were finally over. Due to Fives having been covertly drugged into a state of incoherency prior to his death, making him seem insane,[4] Rex mostly did not believe his claims. However, he could not completely dismiss the possibility that the so-called "inhibitor" chips had a hidden purpose. Uncertain as to whether he believed it or not, out of loyalty to his friend, Rex filed a confidential grievance report in which he outlined the theory, although he was aware it was likely to be ignored.[9]

501st Legion medic Kix, who had encountered Fives while he was on the run and who Fives had told he was being framed, eventually grew suspicious of the official explanation for Fives and Tup's behaviour: an alleged Ringo Vindan parasite.[4][14] At some point after the Battle of Anaxes,[15] Kix, doing his own investigating, found out more than Fives had, including not only the true purpose of the chips but that Palpatine was himself a Sith Lord. However, he drew the attention of the Sith and was subsequently captured by Separatist forces sent by Count Dooku. His subsequent denials about sharing any of his knowledge failed to convince his captors, who placed him in a cryo-cycle stasis pod for transit to Serenno so Dooku could personally interrogate him. However, the cruiser Kix was being transported on, the Obrexta III, was attacked by Republic forces en route, subsequently crashing into the remote planet Ponemah, where the wreck would not be discovered until decades after the war's end.[14]

Rex's knowledge ultimately saved his own life and that of Skywalker's former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano: at the end of the war, Rex, by that time having been promoted to Commander, was onboard a Venator-class Star Destroyer en route from Mandalore to Coruscant. Having assisted the Mandalore resistance in winning the recent siege, Tano and Rex were delivering the captured rogue Sith Lord Maul to the Jedi High Council. Tano had a vision of Skywalker's fall to the dark side and, only knowing something terrible had happened, ran to inform Rex. When he received Order 66 from Sidious, Rex realized that Fives had been right, managing to resist his chip long enough to tell Tano to "find" Fives before attacking her. After escaping the initial assault, Tano was able to find Rex's grievance report, leading her to deduce what was going on before capturing Rex with the help of astromech droids to remove his chip, freeing him from the mind control.[9] Maul, released by Tano as a diversion for the clones, subsequently brought down the Star Destroyer by destroying its hyperdrive; only he, Tano and Rex escaped the starship before it crashed.[8] Tano and Rex subsequently went into hiding in the Outer Rim to escape the new Empire.[16]

Age of the EmpireEdit

"It was at the end, the end of the war. Our fellow soldiers, the clones, the ones we Jedi fought side by side with, suddenly turned and betrayed us. I watched them kill my master. She fought beside them for years and they gunned her down in a second! Then they came for me. Later they said they had chips in their heads that made them do it. Said they had no choice."
Kanan Jarrus describing what happened during Order 66 to his Padawan, Ezra Bridger[src]

After Order 66, some clone troopers found out about the chips and spread the word about their existence in order to explain what had happened. Rex, for his part, wound up living on the planet Seelos with fellow clones Wolffe and Gregor, who had also had their chips removed at some point.[17]

In 18 BBY, a former Jedi Padawan named Ferren Barr on the run from Vader's Inquisitors used the Force to activate the control chips of nearby clones, leading them to attack said Inquisitors, whom were former Jedi.[18]

Once the Galactic Empire gained control of the galaxy, it enslaved the Wookiee population of Kashyyyk. Enslaved Wookiees were implanted with inhibitor chips which could be used to cause them extreme pain should they rebel against their captors. The chip could be activated in a rebelling Wookiee, causing pain until the Wookiee either fell back in line or died from the pain. As the Empire became more savvy, a common tactic was to instead subject family or clan members to pain, as the Wookiees would often be willing to sacrifice their own lives but couldn't bear to see the suffering of clan or family members. During the liberation of Kashyyyk, a strike team led by Han Solo disabled the field controlling the inhibitor chips, effectively rendering them useless and allowing the Wookiees to strike freely, though this was met with an orbital bombardment by Star Destroyers from the Galactic Empire.[1]

Ultimately, the Imperial occupiers were defeated when a small New Republic fleet led by Admiral Ackbar and Captain Wedge Antilles entered the Kashyyyk system and forced their surrender.[1] Wookiee Chewbacca's son Lumpawaroo likened the inhibitor chips to a song which sounded like the thrumming wings of a swarm of drriw-tcha blood-worm flies.[11]

Rax also installed inorganic bio-chips in the brain stems of a hundred Rebel Alliance prisoners at Ashmead's Lock prison on Kashyyyk. These prisoners were part of a secret contingency plan to assassinate New Republic government officials and military commanders during the Liberation Day celebrations on Chandrila[1] in 5 ABY.[19] Rax and his undercover agent Windom Traducier used a transponder installed at the Hanna City opera house to transmit signals which activated the agents.[1]

Prisoners installed with the bio-chips included Brentin Lore Wexley, Jonda Jae-Talwar, and Esdo. The unwilling assassins killed several New Republic officials and commanders, including Hostis Ij, but failed to kill Chancellor Mon Mothma. The New Republic authorities managed to subdue the prisoners. Investigations by the New Republic Security Bureau and the slicer Conder Kyl uncovered the chips.[1] However, they malfunctioned as some kind of planned degradation before the New Republic could conduct further investigations.[11]

Behind the scenesEdit

Control chips first appeared in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Conspiracy", of the "Orders" arc of The Lost Missions season.[2] They were first referred to as control chips in the Star Wars Rebels episode "The Lost Commanders".[17]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Aftermath: Life Debt
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Conspiracy"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Fugitive"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Orders"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  6. Helmet Collection logo small Star Wars Helmet Collection 10 (Databank A-Z: Chewbacca–Cloud City)
  7. 7.0 7.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Unknown"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Victory and Death"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shattered"
  10. Kanan 5
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Aftermath: Empire's End
  12. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  13. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lost One"
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku
  15. "The Bad Batch", which features the Battle of Anaxes, is the last episode of The Clone Wars Kix appears in, so his capture as detailed in The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku must have occurred afterwards.
  16. Ahsoka
  17. 17.0 17.1 Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "The Lost Commanders"
  18. Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 16
  19. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Battle of Endor to 4 ABY and the events of Shattered Empire 4, which take place three months after the battle, to 5 ABY. Furthermore, the novel Aftermath states that months have passed since the Battle of Endor, while Aftermath: Life Debt begins two months after the end of Aftermath. Therefore, the events of Aftermath: Life Debt begin at least four months after the Battle of Endor, which corresponds to 5 ABY. Additionally, Galactic Atlas dates the Battle of Jakku, as depicted in Life Debt's sequel, Aftermath: Empire's End, to 5 ABY as well, thereby firmly placing Aftermath: Life Debt in 5 ABY.
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