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"You want to clone me?"
"Imagine, an army of clones; the training of which you will oversee. They will be modified to grow at twice the rate of ordinary men, and will be programmed for absolute loyalty. They will be magnificent; perfect warriors, like you."
―Jango Fett and Darth Tyranus[src]

Jango Fett, genetic template of the Republic clone troopers

A prime clone, also known as a clone template, was the source of genetic material that was essential in the process of cloning.

Overview[edit | edit source]

"I have memories… are they mine?"
"You were cast from the mold of a dead man. You have inherited his skills, but also his weaknesses."
―Dark Apprentice and Darth Vader[src]

A clone observing the corpse of his template alongside his creator

A prime clone was the designation[1] of an organic subject—the original host—whose genetic code provided the basis for single or multiple clones.[2] The first step in the process of cloning was the extraction of cells from the prime clone.[3] The cells could then be artificially manipulated to grow either an exact or modified version of the original subject. Under a stable and unmodified cloning process, a clone was physically identical to the prime clone.[2] Unstable procedures, however, resulted in physically deformed copies, which were generally termed as genetic failures.[4]

A prime clone's psychological traits could also be copied and implanted—in the form of memory flashes—into a clone subject.[4] By scanning and duplicating the original host's brain patterns,[5] a clone could essentially inherit the identity of its template, although some personality traits could be more dominant than others. According to Ni-Ke-Vanz, an expert on Khommite cloning processes, clones were psychologically different versions of their genetic donor.[6] However, the use of memory flashes could also produce mental instability, ranging from confusion to insanity, thus causing the clone subject to suffer from an identity crisis. A clone could only successfully absorb the memory flashes if it was able to compartmentalize them, thus allowing it to distinguish its own experiences from the genetic template's memories.[7]

History[edit | edit source]

"As practically everyone knows, cloning is the science of taking a cell from a living organism, duplicating the genetic code, and growing the cell into an exact duplicate of the cell donor."
―Darth Sidious, a gatekeeper of the Telos Holocron[src]

Jango Fett accepts Darth Tyranus's offer to become a clone template.

The creation of a clone army, programmed with absolute loyalty, was first conceived by the Order of the Sith Lords as part of their agenda to exact vengeance on the Jedi Order and reassert Sith hegemony over the galaxy. The Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Plagueis chose the planet Kamino as the covert site for the new army, mainly because its native species—the Kaminoans—were regarded as expert scientists in the field of cloning. Although Plagueis originally intended to use a Yinchorri host as the basis for the clone army, the Dark Lord was ultimately convinced by the Kaminoans that a Human template was easier to duplicate and modify.[8]

After Plagueis was killed and succeeded by Darth Sidious in 32 BBY,[8] the new Sith Master proceeded with the plan for the clone army's creation. He instructed his Sith apprentice, Darth Tyranus, to provide a genetic template for the cloners on Kamino. Tyranus invited several of the galaxy's most dangerous mercenaries to join a contest; the objective to capture or kill the Dark Jedi Komari Vosa for the reward of five million credits. The victor of the contest was a former Mandalorian-turned-bounty hunter named Jango Fett, who agreed to become the clone army's template in exchange for a considerable amount of money, and under the condition that the first clone would be his to keep.[9]

Jango Fett lived on Kamino for roughly a decade where he served as both the prime clone and a close adviser in the training of the clone troopers. Fett was given an unaltered clone—neither modified for growth acceleration or tampered with for greater docility—whom he named Boba Fett. The rest of his clones were engineered to physically grow twice as fast as real Humans, thus allowing them to reach adulthood at a faster rate. By and large, the clones were produced with a diminished sense of individuality to better ensure that they would be loyal to the Galactic Republic; completely susceptible to executing orders without question. By 22 BBY, two hundred thousand units were combat ready,[2] followed by millions more by the near end of the Clone Wars.[10]

Sa Cuis, template of Force-sensitive stormtroopers

Fett's progeny fulfilled the true purpose behind their creation when Darth Sidious, in his public guise as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, issued Order 66, hence causing the clones to betray and execute their Jedi officers.[11] Under the era of the Galactic Empire the successor state of the Old Republic, the Fett template was retained as a source for clone soldiers, although new prime clones were later selected, which in turn led to the production of different clones that supplemented the original Fett-based clone troopers.[12]

It was generally assumed that Force-sensitive beings were incapable of becoming clones.[8] Although the exact reason was unknown, experts like Ni-Ke-Vanz believed that the Force somehow interfered with the cloning process, thus making it virtually impossible to create a stable clone from a genetic source with a significantly high percentage in midi-chlorians.[6] The creation of Force-sensitive clones was ultimately achieved by Kaminoan technology on two occasions; first in the last years of the Republic;[13] and then during the time of the Empire.[4] The first successful attempt was conducted by the Kaminoans in addition to the production of Jango Fett's clone troopers. Genetic samples of the Jedi Knight Falon Grey, taken without his knowledge, were used to produce two prototypes: X1 and X2.[13] In 1 BBY, the Sith Lord Darth Vader attempted to clone a new secret apprentice after the death of his redeemed disciple, Galen Marek.[4]

Although Marek was dead, Vader brought the body to Kamino and preserved it within a cold chamber located in the Timira City Cloning Facility,[14] thus preventing the genetic material from being destroyed by decomposition. Around the same time, Kaminoan technology had been modified by Imperial scientists to create the "accelerated cloning process," an experimental procedure in which clone subjects could be grown to adulthood in the span of a few weeks.[5] However, the process was highly flawed and led to the production of numerous aberrant monstrosities, both physically deformed and mentally deranged. More stable versions were eventually produced,[7] including a renegade clone who fled from Kamino.[4] Yet they too were dismissed as imperfect because of their inability to successfully absorb the memory flashes.[7][6] However, such failures ultimately led to the creation of a single clone who exceeded all of the Dark Lord's expectations. Vader judged him to be the only perfect clone in the entire endeavor, and thus allowed the clone to see the corpse of his template.[14]

Palpatine, a clone of the original Emperor and the vessel of his soul

After the fragmentation of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn engineered his own clone army for the purpose of reconquering the galaxy from the New Republic. The Chiss Imperial officer extracted genetic material from multiple templates, including Corporal Terkuss, Lieutenant Creb, Baron Soontir Fel, and General Maximilian Veers. With Spaarti technology at his disposal, Thrawn's clone stormtroopers were fully grown and combat ready in roughly a year after their creation.[15]

Before Darth Sidious's demise at the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, the Dark Lord of the Sith used his own genetic code as a template for a series of Spaarti-generated copies; clones meant to serve as a vessel for his spirit in the event of his original body's destruction.[16] Through the Force, Sidious had the ability to transfer his own essence into another living organism. Without a host, however, his spirit could not remain in the corporeal plain of existence.[17] Furthermore, years of over-reliance on the dark side of the Force caused Sidious's soul to have a cancerous effect on his clones, effectively causing them to age at a rapidly accelerated rate. Hence, none of the subjects were able to house their template's dark essence for more than a short period of time.[16]

List of prime clones[edit | edit source]

For armed forces[edit | edit source]

For single clones[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Jango Fett: Open Seasons
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  3. Dark Empire Sourcebook
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II comic
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II novel
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II databank
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Darth Plagueis
  9. Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
  10. Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel
  11. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  12. 12.0 12.1 Star Wars: Battlefront II
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Distant Thunder cutscenes
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Dark Empire
  17. Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
  18. Star Wars: Republic: Trackdown
  19. 19.0 19.1 SWInsider.png "A Two-Edged Sword"—Star Wars Insider 85
  20. Visual Guides
  21. Databank title.png Oicunn, Lieutenant in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link)
  22. HyperspaceIcon.png Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji on Hyperspace (article) (content removed from and unavailable)
  23. SWG logo sm.png Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
  24. 24.0 24.1 Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood
  25. 25.0 25.1 Heir to the Empire
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 The New Essential Guide to Characters
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Riptide
  28. "Resurrection"—Star Wars Tales 9
  29. Crosscurrent
  30. Vision of the Future
  31. Specter of the Past
  32. Star Wars: The New Droid Army
  33. Galaxy of Fear: Clones
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