Cloning was the process of replicating the genetic code of an original host in order to create a clone. Approximately thirty-two years before the Battle of Yavin, an army of clone troopers was mass-produced on the planet Kamino at the request of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, who foresaw that the Galactic Republic and Jedi Order would have need of a military in the years to come. Using genetic modifications such as growth acceleration and increased docility, the clones of Jango Fett were fully grown and programmed for absolute loyalty within a decade of their inception. In 22 BBY, the Republic officially went to war against the Confederacy of Independent Systems with the clone troopers serving as the backbone of the newly-formed Grand Army of the Republic. The clones displayed a military might unseen in the history of the galaxy; as such, the pan-galactic conflict that they fought in came to be known as the Clone Wars.
Throughout the war, the Kaminoan cloning production continued to churn out more clones for the Republic army. By the war's end in 19 BBY, the Republic had been replaced by a new government—the Galactic Empire, ruled by Emperor Palpatine who used the clones to betray and exterminate the Jedi Order. Although clone soldiers served as the first generation of Imperial stormtroopers, over time the clones were retired and supplanted by birth-born humans. Despite the shutdown of the cloning facilities on Kamino, the advantages of using a clone army, such as programmed loyalty, were not forgotten. During the waning days of the cold war, the First Order warlord Kylo Ren expressed dissatisfaction with the latest generation of stormtroopers, believing that clones were more reliable than indoctrinated conscripts.
Cloning was the scientific procedure of growing a clone from the genetic template of a living organism. The original source's genetic code could be altered through modifications to the cloning process for various purposes, including growth acceleration and greater docility. Without alterations to the genome, a clone would be the exact duplicate of its template at the genetic level.
- "Two hundred thousand units are ready, with a million more well on the way."
- ―Lama Su, to Obi-Wan Kenobi
The science of cloning was critical to the creation of the Kaminoan clone army in the waning years of the Galactic Republic. Prior to the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Kaminoan cloners—natives of the extragalactic planet Kamino—were commissioned by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas to engineer an army of clone soldiers for the Republic. However, Sifo-Dyas died shortly thereafter, allowing for the Sith to secretly take over the cloning operation.
As the Kaminoans' new benefactors, the Sith provided them with the means to create and modify the clone army—specifically a template, the human bounty hunter Jango Fett whose genetic code served as the baseline for all clone troopers. At his request, the Kaminoans provided the mercenary with an unaltered clone that stood apart from the rest of its kind, having received none of the clone army's modifications. In addition, the Sith designed a control chip that the Kaminoans implanted into every clone at the earliest stage of their development, mainly to ensure their absolute obedience in the event of the activation of Clone Protocol 66. The Kaminoans also altered Fett's genotype to meet the deadline for the completion of the first generation. As a result, the clones were designed to age at twice the rate of regular humans, and therefore grown to maturity in one decade.
The first generation was ready for deployment by 22 BBY, approximately ten years after the death of Sifo-Dyas. By then millions of clones were being grown within the facilities throughout Kamino; the cloning production line in Tipoca City alone engineered 200,000 battle-ready units with a million more nearing completion. When the Jedi Order discovered the late Sifo-Dyas' secret army, the Republic mobilized the clones for war, having been unsuccessful in resolving the Separatist Crisis that gave way to the formation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Throughout the Clone Wars, clone troopers were the backbone of the Grand Army of the Republic. However, the option of growing supplementary units was a controversial political issue in the Galactic Senate of the Republic. While Senator Padmé Amidala and other like-minded politicians favored diplomacy as a means to end the conflict, others advocated for the escalation of war—including the Kaminoan senator Halle Burtoni whose homeworld gained representation in the Senate as a result of her people's role in the clone army's creation. Seeking to promote the economic interests of Kamino, Burtoni successfully proposed an increase in the clone trooper production.
As the Republic's successor, the Galactic Empire inherited the remaining clone troopers following the new regime's rise to power in the aftermath of the Clone Wars. The clones, having served their true purpose to the Sith, briefly served as the first wave of Imperial stormtroopers before being quietly phased out and replaced by an army of human volunteers and conscripts. Although clones could be programmed for unconditional loyalty, the Empire discovered that a more uniform, malleable soldier could be produced through the fervent patriotism of the young than the genetic duplication of a single template. Kamino's cloning operation was consequently shut down; however, the Empire did bring the last generation online as an expendable death squad to be used against survivors of the Jedi Purge.
Clones were remembered long after the Clone Wars, having made an impact on galactic history, well past the fall of the Empire and throughout the era of the New Republic. During the cold war, the First Order warlord Kylo Ren had an argument with his rival, General Armitage Hux, concerning the newest generation of stormtroopers. Ren openly criticized Hux's soldiers, convinced that they were all capable of treason due to the actions of a single traitor in the ranks, and declared that Supreme Leader Snoke should consider the advantages of using a clone army.
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- (First identified as Cloning)
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Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Conspiracy"
- ↑ Star Wars: Complete Locations
- ↑ 5.0 5.1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Senate Murders"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Pursuit of Peace"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
- ↑ Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 16
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens