- "Millions of us were wiped out when the seas rose and engulfed Kamino. We survived as a species because we were willing to think the unthinkable. Some genetic characteristics helped us survive the starvation and overcrowding, and some did not, and there was no room for sentiment or for weaklings. We culled; we refined; we selected. The prospect of extinction forged us into the species we designed ourselves to be, the purest expression of the Kaminoan spirit, and at a level of social maturity that weaker mongrel species will never attain, because they lack the courage to cull. We are the masters of genetics and sole arbiters of our fate, never to be at the mercy of chance again."
- ―Ko Sai
Kaminoans were a tall, thin species with pale skin from the isolated watery planet of Kamino. The Kaminoans lived in large stilted cities that rose above the ocean surface, such as Tipoca City. Many important or high ranked Kaminoans wore a large, pale collar around their necks. The Kaminoans are best known for their abilities as cloners. They were the creators of the Grand Army of the Republic that fought against the Separatist Droid Army during the Clone Wars - a galaxy-wide conflict named after the clone troopers the Kaminoans made for the Galactic Republic.
Biology and appearance
The species' evolution from aquatic creatures in the vast oceans of Kamino was reflected in their tall shape, glassy coated eyes, near luminescent skin, and long, thin necks. There were several peculiarities about the particulars of Kaminoan physiology: digitigrade and slender legs, once adapted for firm seabeds, eventually only saw use in the hallways of their science facilities. The almond-shaped eyes of Kaminoans were also able to see color in the ultraviolet spectrum. Therefore, what appeared as white dwellings were actually colored with shades that humans and a number of other species could not see.
Kaminoans matured quickly, reaching full adulthood at 11 years and remaining at their adult physical prime until roughly the age of 40. They began to show signs of their age around 80 years, but one genetically altered Kaminoan who was designed to survive long hyperspace journeys, Kina Ha, lived over 3,000 years. Female Kaminoans were bald, while males possessed headcrests and fin ridges along the rear of their small, bulbous skulls.
After the disastrous end of an ice age on Kamino known as the Great Flood, Kaminoan society was pushed to the brink of extinction. Only through the development of a mastery over selective breeding, genetics, and cloning were the Kaminoans able to survive. The calculating instincts of survival required of the Kaminoans produced heavy marks upon their late forming culture. Kaminoans were minimalist in their designs; perfectionists to the point of intolerance. The impact of the harsh adaptations the Kaminoans were subjected to was also viewable in their inward focus and isolationism. Kaminoans focused on little else than their cloning and interacted with offworlders as little as possible.
It was with great trepidation, therefore, that the Kaminoans began to offer their cloning services and genetic proficiency in exchange for essential imports. The select few clients that received the work of Kaminoan geneticists received perfect clones to suit their needs. The Kaminoans took great pride in their scientific breakthroughs, but gave little thought to the ethics of their work or the consequences of their deployment. While Kamino-made clones slaved away in the mining colonies of Subterrel or the private armies of intergalactic mercenaries, the Kaminoans thought nothing of it, continuing to toil toward gaining more scientific honor. The earmark of a high-ranking officer on Kamino was thick, black cuffs on the sleeves of their tight white uniforms; the wider the cuff, the higher the rank.
The most infamous work of the Kaminoans was their design and development of the Galactic Republic's clone army. Using the Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett as the template, the Kaminoans produced and trained a massive army of clone soldiers for the Republic at the behest of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas. Their work eventually brought them to the brink of destruction again, as their world was targeted by the Separatists to end the supply of clone soldiers. The Kamino Defense Force, manned by specially trained clone troopers, which included ARC troopers, defeated the Separatist forces.
When the Kaminoans first started experimenting on the Fett genome, they produced 12 specimens, six of which did not survive incubation. However, after two years of flash learning, the Kaminoans realized that the clones, which they then classified as "Null", were far too independent and unpredictable to be reliable soldiers in the Republic's new military. The Kaminoans were planning to terminate the children, but with the intervention of Kal Skirata, the six were trained and raised as intelligence units. However, Kal Skirata would not be able to save all of the clones; the Kaminoans would later terminate any "batch" of clones that did not meet their high standards. This included singular clones that didn't fit their mold or showed any deviant behavior.
Due to their actions in the creation of the clone army, the Kaminoans were awarded a seat on the Galactic Senate and Senator Halle Burtoni was chosen to represent the people of Kamino. She along with her people supported the continued production of clone troopers for use in the war against the Separatists and thus fell into political conflict with Senator Padmé Amidala's coalition.
After the successful defense of their world at the First Battle of Kamino, the cloning facilities continued to produce and train more troops for the Grand Army of the Republic. However, after Order 66 was initiated, the facilities on Kamino were commandeered by the Empire in an effort to keep the important art of cloning out of the hands of those who would use it against them. Fed up with Imperial rule, some Kaminoans began to build another clone army in secret, even more deadly and proficient than the Grand Army. Becoming aware of this plot, Darth Vader sent the 501st Legion, commanded by Boba Fett, to Kamino to eliminate this army and bring the Kaminoans in line.
After the destruction of the Galactic Empire at the hands of the Rebel Alliance the Kaminoans decided to join the New Republic. The Kaminoans thought that if they joined the New Republic they would be spared from any further battles. In the New Republic, the species flourished and even aided the fight against the Yuuzhan Vong.
Society and culture
The Kaminoans saw themselves as a superior form of life, but nevertheless remained polite to the outsiders. To them any species seeking self-improvement was worthy of respect, but those who did not were obviously inferior.
Not much was known about internal Kaminoan society; however, there was a dance known as Nahra, where Kaminoans would display their emotions—which was a rare sight. Because of their long history of isolation, Kaminoans were xenophobic against other life forms, but most just saw them as outwardly humble. They also showed great skill and care in their creations but still treated them like a product.
There also appeared to be a caste distinction between certain Kaminoans, which could be determined by the color of the Kaminoan's eyes. The highest-level caste members in Kaminoan society had gray eyes, the middle classes had yellow eyes, and the lower classes had blue colored eyes. Eye color was directly related to the type of work a Kaminoan would be used for. Gray eyed individuals handled administration, yellow eyes handled the skilled work and blue eyes performed manual labor and other menial tasks.
Although it was extremely rare, Kaminoans were sometimes born with green eyes. They were viewed as genetically inferior and a threat to the Kaminoans' well ordered society and as such were exterminated shortly after birth.
Furthermore, there appeared to be some varying groups within their society with different views, such as the monk-like Kaminoan Ascetics. One organization tasked with designing armor and weapons for the species or for clients were the Kaminoan armorsmiths.
It is also known that Kaminoans could, contrary to popular opinion, be Force-sensitive. This was confirmed when Kaminoan Jedi Master Kina Ha sought out protection from Kal Skirata via a courier. Though it was widely believed, due to Ko Sai's demand for Jedi blood, that a Kaminoan had never been Force sensitive, it was later believed to be Kaminoan arrogance that stopped them experimenting on their own kind.
Behind the scenes
The original plan made by the writers regarding the Kaminoans featured in Attack of the Clones was to make their voices sound androgynous. This idea was scrapped.
At one point, design notes hint of the possibility of the Kaminoans being luminescent, though that was never firmly established.
In the video game LEGO Star Wars, three Kaminoans can be seen working down the hall from Jango Fett's quarters. If you activate the floor of the room by stepping on the lit circles, the room can be triggered to become a disco dance floor, and the three Kaminoans will run over to the floor and begin doing the disco. The music played is a disco form of the Star Wars Main Title.
The Kaminoans in Attack of the Clones were entirely CGI creations, designed by Doug Chiang.
- Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga