- "We modified their genetic structure to make them less independent than the original host."
"And who was the original host?"
"A bounty hunter called Jango Fett."
- ―Lama Su and Obi-Wan Kenobi
A clone template, also referred to as a donor, an original host, or the Prime Clone, was the genetic source upon which a clone was created. During the late era of the Galactic Republic, the human bounty hunter Jango Fett became the template of an army of clone troopers secretly built on the planet Kamino.
Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith and Emperor of the Galactic Empire, engineered a clone of himself to serve as a vessel for his essence, thereby allowing him to survive his own death. Sidious was also the template of his cloned son, a failed strandcast who was engineered by the Sith Eternal cult on Exegol.
- "The sample doesn't match anything found in the Jango Fett genotype. Furthermore, it is not even completely organic. It is foreign to the body. Someone implanted it there."
Cloning was the process of using a living organism's genetic code as a template in order to create one or more clones of the original source. Without alterations to the template, the clone would be an exact duplicate of its progenitor. By manipulating the genetic structure of the template, a clone's genotype could be modified for various purposes such as growth acceleration and greater docility.
A single genetic sample taken from an original organism was sufficient to grow millions of clones. Host samples degraded over time, however, making the donor essential for replacement samples. The cloning process could be sustained without the original host, but only by rationing the last viable samples of DNA. Eventually a new template would have to be selected in order to grow more clones.
The cloning of a human template was an imperfect science despite the Kaminoan's efforts to perfect their craft as cloners. It was rare, but possible to find genetic and physical defects in their specimens, resulting in either desirable or undesirable clone aberrations. Furthermore, cloning a Force-sensitive template did not guarantee that the clone would share its source's connection to the Force. Darth Sidious retained the use of his Force powers despite being confined to an imperfect cloned body of himself, while his cloned son was a healthy but powerless specimen. Nevertheless, it was possible for the genetic donor's Force-sensitivity to pass to the next generation in their bloodline, as was the case with Rey, Sidious' biological granddaughter.
A clone army
- "I do believe that this army will be our finest creation yet. Not a single clone unit has fallen below combat parameters. You must be very proud."
"What do I have to be proud of? Livestock bred as cannon fodder? Like you said, they're your creations."
- ―Taun We and Jango Fett
During the final years of the Galactic Republic, the Sith Lord Darth Tyranus recruited Jango Fett—a human bounty hunter—as the genetic template of a secret army of clone troopers. Fett would come to live on the planet Kamino where the Kaminoans, a species of skilled cloners, extracted samples of his DNA in order to create the first generation of clone soldiers for the Republic. In addition to the mercenary's financial compensation, Fett requested the creation of an unaltered clone of himself. The result was Boba Fett, a clone whom Jango regarded as a son.
The Kaminoan government's scientists modified Jango Fett's genotype for the purpose of producing loyal clones at an accelerated rate. With the exception of Boba, who was grown through pure genetic replication, the rest of Jango's clones were designed to age at twice the speed of birth-born humans. To ensure loyalty and obedience in the clones, the Kaminoans installed an inhibitor chip within the brain of every Fett clone. The chip's official purpose was to diminish the aggressive traits of the clone template so that the clones would be more compliant with orders. Although the Kaminoans believed that the chip was actually meant to serve as a contingency against rogue Jedi, the true nature of its design would compel the clones to execute Order 66—a secret protocol conceived by the Sith in their plot to destroy the Jedi Order.
In spite of Taun We's confidence in the clone army's training, Fett was indifferent to them, referring to his cloned progeny as "livestock" bred to fight and die as "cannon fodder." He dismissed the Kaminoan aide's assumption that he would be proud of his clones, and reminded Taun We that they were the Kaminoans' creations.
During the Separatist Crisis, Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi discovered the clone army on Kamino while investigating an assassination plot against Senator Padmé Amidala. Prime Minister Lama Su and Taun We took him on an inspection tour of the cloning facility in Tipoca City, believing he had been dispatched at the behest of the Jedi High Council and the Galactic Senate. During the tour, Kenobi learned the identity of clone army's template, Jango Fett, who was also the would-be assassin who tried to kill Amidala. Kenobi reported his findings to his superiors, Grand Master Yoda and Jedi Master Mace Windu, who ordered him to bring the hunter to the Jedi Grand Temple on Coruscant for interrogation.
- "However, I have noticed this unit of clones have been…"
"Deficient? My only thought is for you to search the galaxy and find a suitable donor for your future clones."
- ―Shaak Ti and Lama Su
Following the death of Jango Fett in the First Battle of Geonosis in 22 BBY, the Kaminoans were forced to conserve their remaining samples of the Fett genome in order to grow more clones for the newly-formed Grand Army of the Republic. As a result, the new clones were less efficient according to Lama Su, who recommended to Jedi Master Shaak Ti that the Order should procure another template due to their waning supply of Fett DNA. As the Clone Wars continued to spread across the galaxy, the Confederacy of Independent Systems invaded Kamino with the aim of halting the world's cloning production. The Republic Military successfully defended Tipoca City from the Separatist Droid Army while Jedi General Anakin Skywalker prevented Asajj Ventress from stealing the last supply of Fett's genetic samples.
Shortly after the discovery of the Zillo Beast on Malastare, the Republic Military transferred the creature to the Republic capital for scientific study. In the aftermath of the beast's escape and subsequent death, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine ordered Doctor Sionver Boll to utilize its corpse as a clone template.
A premature execution of Order 66 led CT-5555 "Fives," an Advanced Recon Commando with the 501st Legion, to investigate the cause of Jedi General Tiplar's death at the hands of CT-5385 "Tup." Aided by the medical droid AZI-345211896246498721347, Fives learned that the "tumor" in Tup's brain was not part of the original Jango Fett genome; it was in fact an artificial construct that had been implanted in every clone during the initial phase of their development. To protect the secrecy of Order 66, Doctor Nala Se claimed that the devices were inhibitor chips designed to guarantee the troopers' docility by suppressing their inherent aggression as clones of Fett.
- "This armor belonged to my father."
"Don't you mean your donor?"
"You are a clone. I've heard your voice thousands of times."
- ―Boba Fett and Bo-Katan Kryze
Jango Fett's clones were decommissioned shortly after the proclamation of the Galactic Empire, replaced as stormtroopers by natural-born recruits during the early Imperial Era. After the New Republic came to power, the Mandalorian Din Djarin—working with Boba Fett—sought the help of Bo-Katan Kryze in his quest to rescue the foundling Grogu. Kryze denounced Fett, declaring that he was not a Mandalorian but a clone who disgraced the Mandalorian armor he wore. Fett told her that his armor once belonged to his father, Jango, whom Kryze referred to as Boba's donor. She recognized Boba's voice as that of the late Jango, having heard it thousands of times through the clone troopers who were modeled on the same genetic template.
Darth Sidious—Dark Lord of the Sith and Galactic Emperor—was the template for multiple genetically engineered clones created on Exegol by the Sith Eternal. After Sidious' death in the Battle of Endor, his consciousness was thrust into cloned body of himself. His new body was flawed, however, as was the transference, leaving Sidious trapped in a weak and decaying vessel. The Sith cultists who served him sought to create a more stable host for their master's essence, resulting in various failed strandcasts. The Jedi apprentice Rey was a byproduct of the Sith Eternal's experiments, being the natural-born daughter of Sidious' cloned son. Though she inherited her grandfather's connection to the Force, Rey rejected the dark side and was instrumental in the destruction of Sidious' cloned vessel during the Battle of Exegol.
- Star Wars Battlefront II (Mentioned only) (DLC)
- Age of Republic - Jango Fett 1 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (First appearance)
- "Sharing the Same Face"—The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "R2 Come Home" (Mentioned only) (First identified as Clone template)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Clone Cadets" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Bounty Lost" (Mentioned only)
- Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure (Mentioned only)
- Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure audiobook (Mentioned only)
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 16: The Rescue" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition audiobook
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 2 (Helmets: Boba Fett–Notorious Bounty Hunter)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 15 (Databank A-Z: Dooku–Dwarf Spider Droids)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 16 (Helmets: 501st Legion Stormtroopers)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 17 (Databank A-Z: Ewoks–Finn (FN-2187))
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 22 (Helmets: Phase I Clone Trooper) (First identified as Prime Clone)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 41 (Helmets: Jango Fett; Highlights of the Saga: The Secret of Kamino)
- Rise of the Separatists
- The Star Wars Book
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
- The Star Wars Book
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Clone Cadets"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "R2 Come Home"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Fugitive"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Conspiracy"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Orders"
- Age of Republic - Jango Fett 1
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "ARC Troopers"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Zillo Beast"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 16: The Rescue"