- "DNA? Clones or a bioweapon, then."
- ―Khedryn Faal
DNA was a genetic substance located in the cells of plants, animals, and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In animals, it was found in every individual and with the exception of unaltered clone units and identical twins, was considered unique to each individual. The presence or absence of certain DNA segments could influence the appearance and physical health of an individual, and may even cause some natural mutations to occur in individuals or in populations. Manipulation of DNA was used as the basis in many different types of procedures, most notably cloning, gene therapy, and in the development of bioweapons.
In animals, DNA was a genetic substance in the body that contained the genetic information of an individual, and was inherited from the parents. Except for unaltered clones and identical twins, DNA was unique to each individual. Depending on what genetic material was inherited from the parents, the presence or absence of some genetic material could influence the appearance of an individual, with certain segments influencing hair (or fur ) color, eye color, height, body type, the ability to use the Force, and the aging process, among other things.
The structure of DNA differed from species to species. In humans, it appeared as a double helix pattern when viewed.
Applications of DNA
There are many uses of DNA; listed are some of the most common.
Cloning was the process in which one or more copies of an individual are created from the genetic material of the donor. Sometimes, the donor may not have consented to giving their genetic sample and are thus unaware that they have been cloned. Depending on the facility's production methods, the clones may be genetically modified to have some of their genetic traits accelerated or suppressed, or the clone may have been just a unmodified, direct copy of the donor.
Gene therapy is the use of using modified DNA to treat or cure an illness. This is done by modifying the genetic material of an individual to correct a mutation causing the illness, or to shut off or accelerate the development of a particular gene. Gene therapy was used to correct the aging process of the clones from Clan Skirata, which later on also allowed for Boba Fett to be cured of his cloning-related ailments via a bone marrow transplant taken from from Jaing Skirata.
In some cases, the DNA of an individual or a species may be reverse engineered and combined into a virus to target that specific group but leave other groups alone.
During the Yuuzhan Vong War, a pathogen named Alpha Red was developed in 28 ABY by Chiss biotechnicians working with agents from the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. This pathogen was supposed to target and kill all Yuuzhan Vong and their associated biots, but despite Chiss assurances to the contrary, the Alpha Red pathogen mutated and started to kill off some of the local wildlife on the test planet Caluula. The plan to deploy Alpha Red on a galaxy wide basis was cancelled after a Yuuzhan Vong coralskipper escaped the GFFA imposed quarantine of Caluula and Supreme Overlord Shimrra tried to use it to kill off the sentient planet Zonoma Sekot. After Shimrra's defeat, all test samples of Alpha Red and the blueprints for its creation were believed destroyed.
Over a hundred years later, in 137 ABY, a Sith scientist named Darth Maladi discovered a copy of the Alpha Red blueprint that somehow escaped destruction. From this, she created Omega Red, a pathogen based on Alpha Red that would kill all non-Sith. After she had been captured by Emperor Roan Fel, Maladi used Omega Red as a bargaining chip during her interrogation, but instead of stating its true intentions, she lied to Fel and told him that it would wipe out the Sith. Fel considered using it, but refused to do it after comparing his potential actions to those of Palpatine. A while later, Fel, frustrated by all of the losses suffered during the Second Imperial Civil War, fell to the dark side and decided to use Omega Red, but was killed by Imperial Knight Antares Draco before he could give the order to deploy it.
FG36 was a bioweapon that had its roots in the Clone Wars. Developed by Separatist scientist Ovolot Qail Uthan in 22 BBY, the virus was based on the DNA of Jango Fett and was meant to wipe out all of the clone troopers in the Grand Army of the Republic. Her virus unfinished due to not having narrowed down the gene responsible for accelerated aging, Uthan was captured by Republic forces before the virus could be deployed. After her capture, Palpatine acquired some samples of the unfinished virus and used it on Uthan's homeworld of Gibad in 19 BBY when they refused to comply to his demands. Since the virus was unfinished, it infected and killed everyone on the planet. After having been removed from her prison cell by members of Clan Skirata, who brought her to Mandalore on the condition that she finish Ko Sai's data on reversing clone aging, Uthan developed an antidote to FG36. In an effort to prevent Mandalore from suffering Gibad's fate if the Empire's attention ever fell on them, Clan Skirata made sure that the antidote was distributed to everyone on Mandalore.
Years later, at least three variants of FG36 were developed and refined during the Second Galactic Civil War when the Imperial Remnant obtained genetic samples from three captives: a Verpine soldier, Prince Isolder of Hapes, and Mirta Gev, the granddaughter of Mand'alor Boba Fett. From these three prisoners, three different strains were created: one targeting the Verpine soldier caste, one targeting the Hapan Royal House, and the third targeting Clan Fett. This was done by taking several genetic samples from a specific individual, and then isolating specific sections of that individual's DNA. Once the DNA has been isolated, it is combined with the virus and is let loose on the population to target specific individuals with that DNA segment. The deployment of these specific strains led to the deaths of a lot of the Verpine soldier caste, the deaths of all the Hapans on Queen Mother Tenel Ka's flagship Dragon Queen that were related to the royal house, and the atmosphere of the planet Mandalore being seeded with the Fett virus, preventing Boba Fett and his granddaughter from returning. However, due to the antidote to FG36 spread years earlier by Uthan, the effectiveness of the Fett strain on those with Fett DNA living on Mandalore may have been little to none.
- See also: Mutant
Some random mutations occur when some of the genetic material being passed on by the parents is corrupted in some form. Mutations seen via cloning, where the genetic material is otherwise intact but the clone turned out deformed or the clone gained a new ability the original template did not possess, are also otherwise inexplicable.
Other uses of DNA
There were readers that could scan DNA to identify persons.
Behind the scenes
In real life, the substance known as Deoxyribonucleic Acid serves as natural identification between all organisms, but especially between Humans in society. It is found through various means such as saliva, blood, skin cells, or hair and is often used to establish the whereabouts of a person during a criminal investigation.
- Red Harvest (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Darth Plagueis (Mentioned only)
- Boba Fett: Crossfire (First mentioned)
- Boba Fett: Maze of Deception (First appearance)
- "One of a Kind"—Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 8
- The Clone Wars: Decide Your Destiny: The Lost Legion (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Clone Cadets"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "ARC Troopers"
- (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
- Star Wars Galaxies
- Crosscurrent (Mentioned only)
- Riptide (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)