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 By the war's end in 19 BBY, the Republic had been replaced by a new government—the Galactic Empire, ruled by Emperor Palpatine who used the clones to betray and exterminate the Jedi Order.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 dark side warrior 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 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 clone project. 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 the clone troopers; and a control chip to ensure the clones' absolute obedience in the event of the activation of Clone Protocol 66. In addition to behavioral modification, the Kaminoans altered Fett's genotype to meet the deadline for the completion of the first generation of battle-ready units. As a result, the clones were designed to age at twice the rate of regular humans, and therefore grown to maturity in one decade.
Ten years after Sifo-Dyas' death, the Kaminoan cloning technology successfully produced 200,000 units and an additional million units close to completion. By then the Jedi Order became aware of the army's existence, as well as Sifo-Dyas' role in its inception. With the galaxy on the verge of civil war as a result of the secessionist movement of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the Republic mobilized the clone troopers against the newly-built Separatist Droid Army.
Throughout the Clone Wars, clone troopers were the backbone of the Grand Army of the Republic. However, the option of cloning supplementary units was a controversial politicial 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 Halle Burtoni whose homeworld, the extragalactic planet Kamino, gained representation in the Senate as a result of her people's role in the creation of the clone army. Seeking to promote the economic interests of Kamino, Burtoni successfully proposed an increase in the clone trooper production.
In the aftermath of the Clone Wars, the surviving clone troopers became the first stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire. In time the clones were decommissioned due to their accelerated aging process. Rather than continuing to rely on the Kaminoan cloning production, the stormtrooper ranks were opened to birth-born human recruits. By the time of the cold war, the Force warrior Kylo Ren—having grown disillusioned with the latest generation of stormtroopers—contemplated the possibility of using the cloning process to create a more capable army for the First Order.
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- (First identified as Cloning)
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