Spaarti cloning cylinders were devices used for the creation of personal clone armies by those wealthy and/or well-connected enough to acquire them. To create clones from Spaarti cylinders was the fastest known form of cloning.
Kaminoan cloning had a single clone grown safely at maturity in ten years. With a Spaarti cloning cylinder, a fully-mature adult Human could be grown in a staggeringly quick one standard year. However, Kaminoan cloning was much more effective, for ten years of growing in constant learning and training resulted in creating perfect warriors despite the long wait. Spaarti clones did not receive any training, instead they had their personalities formed by a process known as "flash memory", which involved writing the memories of another person to a fresh clone's brain. Spaarti clones grown in less than a full year had the dangerous side effect of possible clone madness. However, Thrawn discovered that using ysalamiri to cut off the clone's connection to the Force would enable the creation of the clone within 15 to 21 standard days.
They were built by Spaarti Creations, on the planet Cartao. They seem to have their origins in Khommite cloning technology, which had for a millennium been developed to a level far surpassing that of the rest of the galaxy.
Cloning cylinders were thought to have been destroyed during the Battle of Cartao, but many units survived. The Galactic Republic used Spaarti clones to complement the Kaminoan clone army. At the near end of the Clone Wars, all but a few were unaware that Supreme Chancellor Palpatine had secretly commissioned a second clone army, which differed from the Kamino-bred Fett clones in two primary ways: they were grown to maturity in roughly one year as opposed to ten years, and they were created on Centax-2 instead of Kamino. Omega Squad noticed this, adding to their suspicions about Chancellor Palpatine's intentions. The clone troopers of the 14th Infantry Brigade were among the first generation of Spaarti-grown Fett clones and vanguard of what was to come in Palpatine's New Order.
While the Spaarti Fett clones numbered in the billions, and were thus possibly far more numerous than the depleted numbers of their Kaminoan-bred Fett brethren, the Spaarti clones were given only flash-training on the basics of being a soldier, such as how to fire a rifle. When first sent into action, the clones of the 14th did not bother to take cover from enemy fire, and their weapons accuracy was surprisingly pitiful, as noted by the commandos of Omega Squad. Also, they were completely unaware of all things Mandalorian, thus indicating that the Mandalore culture was never introduced to the Spaarti clones.
Ultimately, the clones of the 14th Infantry were a sign of a new breed of clones to come: the clone stormtrooper. While the amount of clone stormtroopers, from all genetic sources and not just the Fett template, was far greater than the GAR, clone soldiers bred for the Galactic Empire generally exhibited poor marksmanship and lacked in tactics. Their strategy basically involved charging towards the enemy, weapons blasting, until all targets were neutralized - regardless of clone casualties. They were even known to refuse to follow orders and fire on their own allies because of the clone madness. As a result, the Empire eventually abandoned the technology and pursued the process of recruiting troopers in more traditional ways.
Emperor Palpatine also kept several private stores of these devices, which he used both to clone dark versions of powerful Jedi and to clone new vessels for his dark essence. Grand Admiral Thrawn discovered thousands of cylinders in the Emperor's secret storehouse in Mount Tantiss on Wayland and used them to create an army of clones to man his Dreadnaught fleet. Grappa the Hutt also used Spaarti cylinders as part of his plan with Black Sun to replace members of the Imperial Interim Ruling Council with clones.
Known sites of Spaarti cloning facilities
- Hero of Cartao
- Republic Commando: Order 66
- "Only Droids Serve the Maker"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 10 (Mentioned only)
- Heir to the Empire (First mentioned)
- Dark Force Rising (Mentioned only)
- The Last Command (First appearance)
- Crimson Empire II: Council of Blood
- Dark Apprentice
- Specter of the Past
- Vision of the Future
- Crosscurrent (Destroyed)
- Riptide (Appears in hologram)
- Heir to the Empire Sourcebook
- Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
- Star Wars Gamemaster Screen
- Star Wars Gamemaster Handbook
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Last Command Sourcebook
- The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- Diplomatic Corps Entrance Exam
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Handbook 2: Crimson Empire
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Essential Reader's Companion