Clone SCUBA troopers, also known as clone subtroopers, were elite aquatic assault clone troopers grown on the planet Kamino for the Grand Army of the Republic. Trained in underwater tactics and outfitted with specialized clone trooper armor and blasters, clone SCUBA troopers were deployed on numerous aquatic battlefields throughout the Clone Wars, allowing the Galactic Republic to challenge marine foes on equal footing. Jedi Master and General Kit Fisto led units of clone SCUBA troopers on several occasions over the course of the Clone Wars, with the aquatic soldiers proving invaluable during two battles with the Confederacy of Independent Systems on the Outer Rim water-world, Mon Calamari.
Born on Kamino and genetically identical to their more common clone brethren, clone SCUBA troopers were an elite group of clone troopers that underwent specialized training in underwater tactics and weaponry for use against aquatic enemies. Outfitted with equipment designed to allow them to wage war effectively while underwater, SCUBA troopers allowed the Galactic Republic to even the odds against aquatic enemies.
Like all clone troopers, SCUBA troopers were clones of the Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett, born on the planet Kamino, a watery world located in the region of the galaxy known as Wild Space. While the clones of Fett were all genetically identical, with the exception of the Advanced Recon Commandos, a few groups were selected to undergo specialized training for combat in specific environments, training supplemented by equally specialized armor. Equipped with state of the art aquatic gear, clone SCUBA troopers were trained within the oceanic combat simulators of Kamino's stilt cities to battle efficiently underwater.
As the Clone Wars broke out between the Galactic Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems in 22 BBY, and the CIS equipped itself with Manta droid subfighters and other aquatic machines—allying itself with marine races such as the Quarren and the Ishi Tib—it became apparent that the Republic would need to make use of its aquatic soldiers and weapons to combat these new foes. One of the earliest engagements that demonstrated the skill of the clone SCUBA troopers, was the Battle of Mon Calamari: the Quarren Isolation League had joined forces with the CIS and it's powerful droid army, exacerbating the longstanding tension between the Quarren and the Mon Calamari race into a civil war which the Republic chose to intervene in on behalf of the still loyal Mon Cal people. Under the command of Jedi General Kit Fisto, several Acclamator-class assault ships descended on the planet and an army of clone SCUBA troopers followed Fisto into the Mon Calamari sea where they met the droid army in battle. The aquatic soldiers engaged battle droids on foot and on Mini-Sub mounts, bringing down numerous manta droid subfighters and at least one Separatist sub-carrier. The battle soon turned in favor of the Republic when General Fisto destroyed the Quarren's massive "Crab cannon", and with it a significant portion of the battle's Quarren leadership. Afterward, Fisto left his SCUBA troops behind on mop-up operations while he personally investigated the presence of the Moappa and instigated negotiations between the newly discovered sentient race and the Mon Calamari.
At a point further in the war, circa 21 BBY, Senator Onaconda Farr of Rodia noticed ecological damage and disturbances to his world he feared was the work of the Confederacy. Requesting a Republic investigation, General Kit Fisto was dispatched to Rodia with a detachment of clone SCUBA troopers. Taking a squad of troopers into the water where the disturbances originated, Fisto ordered another squad of SCUBA troopers to search the surrounding area, led by a SCUBA trooper commander. The commander's men were ambushed by battle droids inside of a nearby abandoned Rodian base, but were able overcome the droids and destroy them. In the water, two SCUBA troopers fell to laser cannon fire when the source of the disturbances turned out to be the bounty hunter, Robonino. During the resulting skirmish, the mercenary's hideout was destroyed and Robonino managed to escape, only to be delivered into the Jedi Master's custody by the grace of luck, courtesy of a native Kwazel Maw.
It was also around this point in time that the planet of Mon Calamari came under attack by Confederacy forces for the second time in the war. Directed by the Karkarodon commander, Riff Tamson, the Confederacy again supported the Quarren people in their attack on the Mon Calamari, while several Grand Army units under Jedi Generals Anakin Skywalker and the returning Kit Fisto came to the Mon Cals' aide. SCUBA trooper clones under the leadership of Commander Monnk found their skills in just as high demand as they had been during the previous battle on the water world, but victory proved harder the second time. The Republic took heavy casualties during the battle, with the SCUBA troopers requiring support and reinforcement from the Gungan Grand Army of Naboo. Even still, it took the death of Confederate leader Tamson at the hands of Mon Calamari prince, Lee-Char, to finally turn the tide away from what seemed like certain victory for the CIS.
Clone SCUBA troopers were issued specialized clone trooper armor, lighter in weight than the standard armor made up of a plastoid-alloy composite, which was worn by the Grand Army's ground infantry soldiers. These unique suits were outfitted with aquatic propulsion packs worn on the trooper's back, feet-worn fins, and maneuverability jets built into the armor's shin plates for increased agility while underwater. The SCUBA troopers' helmets possessed powerful lenses and sensors that allowed the wearer to pierce through potentially murky water and offered a clear image of underwater enemies, though the internal communications system amplified even the slightest breath for anyone on the frequency. The helmets also featured built in miniaturized oxygen scrubbers, able to extract viable air from the surrounding water once the wearer was submerged, though external oxygen tanks could also be attached. This effectively eliminated the need for the wearer to come to the surface for air, allowing SCUBA troopers to remain underwater for lengthy periods of time. Though the SCUBA armor had been developed for, and was primarily used by clone SCUBA troopers, suits of the armor were also available to members of the Grand Army's special forces for use on aquatic missions, and the clone commandos of Delta Squad utilized the armor during their mission to Dorumaa in search of the rogue Kaminoan scientist Ko Sai. Additionally, clone SCUBA troopers were equipped with specialized blaster rifles, similar in design to the clone army's standard DC-15 blaster, that possessed a modified collimator barrel array, responsible for reducing the speed of blaster bolt diffuse in a water environment. SCUBA troopers were also issued explosive ordnance designed to capitalize on water's ability to transmit concussive shock.
Behind the scenes
Clone SCUBA troopers first appeared in the fifth chapter of the Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series, which first aired in 2003. Details about these aquatic troops were later provided in the Star Wars Databank entry for the SCUBA troopers on StarWars.com, in addition to receiving mentions in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia and The Clone Wars Campaign Guide. SCUBA troopers were mentioned several times in the Republic Commando novel, Republic Commando: True Colors by author Karen Traviss, and their armor was utilized by several of the clone commando protagonists. In 2011, the clone SCUBA troopers would appear in a prominent role again in the opening trilogy of episodes for the fourth season of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series, comprised of the episodes Water War, Gungan Attack, and Prisoners.
The word "SCUBA" is a real-world acronym, meaning Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 5" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Clone Wars PhotoComic
- Star Wars: Clone Wars: Planetary Forces
- "Fierce Currents"—Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 1
- The Clone Wars: Hunting the Hunters (Part II)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Water War"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Gungan Attack"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Prisoners"
- "Colony Crisis"—Star Wars: The Clone Wars Comic UK 6.48
- Republic Commando: True Colors (Mentioned only)
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Comic UK 6.26
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Shop" (Set: Clone Diver)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6
- ↑ The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic"—Star Wars Insider 84
- ↑ The New Essential Guide to Droids
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 5"
- ↑ "Fierce Currents"—Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 1
- ↑ Star Wars Annual 2011
- ↑ The Clone Wars: Hunting the Hunters (Part II)
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Water War"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Prisoners"
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Republic Commando: True Colors