- "And as my first act with this new authority, I will create a grand army of the Republic to counter the increasing threats of the Separatists."
- ―Sheev Palpatine
The Republic military comprised the military forces—the Army, the Navy, and the Starfighter Corps—of the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. It consisted of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Republic Navy, and the Republic Starfighter Corps. The Supreme Chancellor was the Commander-in-Chief of the military; the Jedi High Council and the Republic High Command were principle organs by which military policy was carried out. Republic Intelligence served as the Republic military's intelligence-gathering and covert operations branch.
At the time of the Republic military's inception, the Galactic Republic presided over an era of peace that lasted for a millennium. During the Republic's final years, however, the galaxy was on the verge of civil war as a result of the Separatist Crisis. After discovering that the Confederacy of Independent Systems—a confederation of star systems in rebellion—formed a droid-based military, the Republic acquired an army of clone troopers to serve as the backbone of its own military. Bred from the genetic template of the human bounty hunter Jango Fett, clone troopers fulfilled various functions in every branch of the military, from infantry soldiers, navigation officers and starfighter pilots, to the elite ARC troopers and clone commandos. Next to the chancellor, the highest-ranking officers in the Republic military were the Knights of the Jedi Order, who were commissioned as Jedi Generals and served by a cadre of Clone Commanders and non-clone Republic officers.
The Republic and Separatist militaries fought across the galaxy for three years, from the Battle of Geonosis in 22 BBY to the Outer Rim Sieges in 19 BBY. During the final days of the Clone Wars, the Jedi were betrayed by their troops due to a Sith conspiracy to liquidate the Order and take over the Republic. Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, who was in fact the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, commanded the clones to initiate Order 66—a secret protocol that compelled the clones to summarily execute their Jedi generals as enemies of the state. With the Jedi removed as an obstacle, Palpatine supplanted the old democracy of the Republic with the fascist New Order, proclaiming himself Emperor of the First Galactic Empire. The Republic military was consequently transformed into the Imperial Military.
- "As always, I shall leave the strategy to you, Master Jedi."
"Our thanks, Chancellor."
- ―Sheev Palpatine and Obi-Wan Kenobi
In light of the Jedi Order's insufficient numbers compared to the far more numerous military of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the Jedi accepted the responsibility of leadership in the Galactic Republic's new military. The title of Jedi General was bestowed on the Knights and Masters of the Order; Padawans were granted the lesser rank of Jedi Commander. Assisting the Jedi in their new role as military leaders was a cadre of clones specially trained for command. Their ranks ranged from the low positions of sergeant and lieutenant to the higher commissions of captain and commander. Regardless of their place in the Republic military echelon, clones were outranked by both the Jedi and non-clone commissioned officers. In addition to receiving support from clone navigation officers, high-ranking Jedi were assigned a Republic Navy officer who served in a subordinate capacity as part of a wartime bargain struck early on between the Jedi High Council and Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine. The Strategic Advisory Cell was also created to oversee various operations during the war. Among their members were Vice Chair Mas Amedda, Doctor Gubacher, Lieutenant Commander Orson Callan Krennic, the director of the Commission for the Protection of the Republic, and representatives of Republic loyal corporations like Rendili StarDrive, Corellian Engineering Corporation, and Kuat Drive Yards.
- "The Republic is doing what it can with what it has, but the designers of the Grand Army failed to prepare for every eventuality, and in many cases we've found ourselves outnumbered or outgunned. Right now we have a finite number of clone soldiers going up against what sometimes seems an infinite number of droids."
- ―Orson Krennic
The Grand Army of the Republic composed the ground forces of the Galactic Republic from its inception and throughout the Clone Wars. Entire legions of clone troopers were grown and trained on the planet Kamino to serve as infantry units in addition to other roles in the military. Initially consisting of 200,000 units prior to the start of the conflict, the Grand Army's ranks swelled with an additional million units at the beginning of the war. During the early period of the war, Phase I clone trooper armor served as the standard battle armor for the average clone, whereas variant units, such as clone pilots and ordnance specialists, wore a specialized version to suit their function. As the war progressed, Phase II clone trooper armor was gradually introduced into the Grand Army and eventually replaced Phase I as the standard armor for clones.
The Republic Navy was the naval warfare branch of the Republic military. It therefore possessed an array of military warships—in particular, the Venator-class Star Destroyers and Acclamator-class transgalactic military assault ships. Making its debut at the Battle of Geonosis, the Acclamator-class assault ship was used as a troop transport ferrying thousands of clone troopers across the galaxy. The Venator-class Star Destroyer was not only used as a transport vessel for the Republic army; its primary function was ship-to-ship combat. In addition, the Venator was developed to act as a carrier for various starfighters and Low Altitude Assault Transport gunships. The Venator-class also came to be closely associated with the Republic military's Jedi leaders and thereby gained the alternative name of "Jedi cruiser."
- "This is a crisis. The Senate must vote to give the Chancellor emergency powers. He can then approve the creation of an army without a vote."
- ―Mas Amedda
Much of the known galaxy was governed by the Galactic Republic, a democratic union that existed for over a millennium without the need of a standing army, in an era predating the Age of the Empire. Despite the lack of a permanent, pan-galactic military, the Republic remained secure due in part to the peacekeeping efforts of the Jedi Order—the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. However, by 22 BBY a growing secessionist movement threatened to divide the galaxy between loyalist worlds and those that sought independence from Republic rule.
With thousands of star systems attempting to leave the Republic, the Galactic Senate deliberated the Military Creation Act—a bill that, if passed, would authorize the formation of a Republic military force. Upon learning that the newly-formed Confederacy of Independent Systems had secretly engineered a massive droid army on Geonosis, the Senate voted to grant emergency powers to Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, thereby allowing the Republic to quickly adopt the Kaminoan clone army. As a result, the Republic military became fully established with the formation of both the Grand Army of the Republic and the Republic Navy.
- "The war left its scars on all of us."
- ―CT-7567, reflecting on the Clone Wars' effect on the Republic's soldiers
The Republic's new military—consisting of soldiers cloned from the genetic template of the human bounty hunter Jango Fett—first engaged the Confederate battle droids in the Battle of Geonosis. The battle not only marked the start of the first full-scale conflict since the formation of the Republic, but also provided the clone troopers with an opportunity to display a military might never before seen in the history of the galaxy. Upon securing the first victory of the civil war, which came to be known as the Clone Wars due to the clones becoming symbolic of the times, the Republic military deployed across the galaxy with the ultimate objective of putting an end to the Separatist rebellion. As the ancient protectors of the Republic, the Jedi were sworn to defend the government that united much of the galaxy under the rule of democracy for more than a thousand years, and therefore accepted a leadership role in the Republic's armed forces.
Throughout the Clone Wars, the Republic and Separatist forces engaged in numerous battles across the galaxy. Many clone troopers sacrificed their lives out of loyalty to the Republic, as well as their Jedi Generals and the Supreme Chancellor. After three years of constant fighting, the Confederacy was on the verge of defeat as the Jedi-led Republic forces escalated the beseigement of the Outer Rim Territories. Unknown to both the Jedi and the clones, every clone trooper had been engineered with an organic chip that rendered them incapable of disobeying Order 66, a secret protocol that called for the immediate execution of all Jedi. In the waning days of the war, Chancellor Palpatine—now known to the Jedi as Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith—issued Order 66 to the entire clone army, compelling the clones to slaughter their longtime allies without hesitation. In the end, the Republic military was instrumental in the downfall of both the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic, consequently resulting in the restoration of Sith dominance through the rise of the Galactic Empire.
- "Look on our new military not as trespassers or interlopers, but as gatekeepers, here to shore up the Emperor's vision of a pacified and prosperous galaxy."
- ―Wilhuff Tarkin, outlining his vision for the Imperial Military in the Tarkin Doctrine
At the start of Sidious' reign as Galactic Emperor, the Galactic Empire inherited the armed forces of the Old Republic and reorganized it into the Imperial Military. The clone troopers, who had once served as the defenders of the Republic, came to represent the first generation of the Imperial stormtrooper—elite enforcers of the Emperor's regime. Wilhuff Tarkin, Nils Tenant, and other ambitious officers who made their careers in war gained even more opportunities for advancement in the Empire. Although the Clone Wars officially concluded with the Confederacy's defeat, numerous Separatist holdouts persevered in their resistance to the New Order, particularly in the Western Reaches of the galaxy. Their continued existence was used to justify the Empire's massive militarization effort, enabling the Imperial Military to grow larger and more advanced than its Republic precursor.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Republic military first appeared in the 2002 theatrical film, Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. It was seen again in the 2005 film, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, and subsequently appeared throughout the 2008 animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
- Star Wars: Rogue One: Rebel Dossier (First identified as Republic Military)
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Star Wars: The Clone Wars film
- ↑ Star Wars: On the Front Lines
- ↑ Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Hidden Enemy"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Ambush"
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3
- ↑ 16.0 16.1
- ↑ 17.0 17.1
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Tarkin
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars