Clone troopers were an army of identical, genetically-modified clones, created to serve in the Grand Army of the Republic during the conflict that came to be known as the Clone Wars. Cloned and raised in the cities of Kamino, the clone troopers, trained and drilled since birth, and came to be regarded as one of the most efficient military forces ever to have existed in galactic history. This was not only due to their training, but also to their unwavering loyalty to the Galactic Republic and its leader, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
The origins of the clone troopers could be traced back to the days before the debacle on Naboo, when the army was commissioned by the Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas in the name of the Republic. With the untimely death of Sifo-Dyas, however, the project fell under the supervision of a mysterious man known only as Tyranus.
After a series of stringent tests, Tyranus selected the famed Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett to serve as the army's genetic template. When the Kaminoans suggested creating the army using a Force-sensitive donor, Tyranus quickly squelched the idea. Before initiating the gestation process, the Kaminoans tampered with Fett's DNA, selecting behavioral genes having to do with such qualities as loyalty, aggression, independence, and discipline. This resulted in soldiers that were more obedient, more resilient, and more reliable than unaltered ones would have been. Only a small batch of clones, which came to be the Advanced Recon Commandos, did not undergo these gene modifications.
The Kaminoan's first foray into exploring Fett's DNA resulted in the creation of twelve prototype clones, only six of which managed to survive the gestation process. The clones, which came to be the infamous Null-class ARC troopers, were the results of an enhanced Fett genome. The experiment, however, was perceived as a failure by the Kaminoans due to the low birth-rate and their refusal to follow orders and no further such clones were created. If not for the intervention of Mandalorian Kal Skirata, the Kaminoans would have terminated them as defective units in accordance to Factor H; instead, they became elite units.
As the clones matured, Fett took a hiatus from his bounty-hunting career in order to oversee the training of his soldiers. Fett personalized the clone's training regimen, and even had a hand in designing their armor.
In order to make them available to the Republic as quickly as possible, all of the clones underwent genetic modification designed to hasten the growth process. As a result, each clone aged at twice the rate of a normal Human. By the age of ten, a clone would be physically fit and ready for combat. Clones that displayed an unusual or abnormal amount of individuality or independence, about two percent of the total production, were often reconditioned or reassigned. Clones that did not meet the Kaminoans' exacting standards more often than not found themselves mysteriously disappearing in the late hours of the night. This was the case with a company of clones whose vision was not quite 20/20.
All clone troopers received basic training in core military skills, such as weapons handling, marksmanship, and other essentials. The Advanced Recon Commandos received highly specialized training from Jango Fett himself, while their counterparts, the clone commandos, received training from a group of former Mandalorian mercenaries, which Fett dubbed the Cuy'val Dar. Clones selected to serve as officers were drilled in how to effectively lead their men in the heat of combat. During combat training scenarios, a 2% fatality rate was the maximum allowed by the Kaminoans.
Every aspect of clone trooper behavior was governed by the Command Code.
During their development, Jango Fett made a point of instilling the Mandalorian ethos into each and every one of the clones, presumably as a way to carry on the Mandalorian legacy. This was particularly true of the army's upper echelon and special forces. This quickly spread to include Mando'a, the language of the Mandalorians, the use of which became widespread among the clones. The Mandalorian influence was particularly strong among the Republic Commandos, as nearly all of those who had trained them were once Mandalorian warriors.
Although the Mandalorian culture had a strong impact on the clone commandos, the more common-issued clones, who composed the majority of clones in the Grand Army, were nevertheless devoted to the Galactic Republic without question, thus placing their loyalty to the Republic over all other emotions or interests. When the Mandalorian Protectors, led by none other than the renegade clone Alpha-Ø2, emerged on the side of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, many clones began to reject their Mandalorian heritage due to the fact that the Mandalorians had become enemies of the Republic. It was a major blow to the clone army's "brothers all" affection for each other, as seen when the 2nd Airborne Company made no attempt to hide their dislike for Omega Squad and any other clone that placed their interests in the Mandalorian culture above their loyalty to the Republic.
After clones from different templates and regular Human recruits (both volunteer and conscript) were added to the stormtrooper ranks, it is likely that the influence of the Mandalorian culture on the military was gradually phased out as the Fett clones became a minority in the Stormtrooper Corps.
With the capture of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Senator Padmé Amidala by Count Dooku and his Separatists, the stage was set for the first conflict of the coming Clone Wars. The Grand Army of the Republic made its debut on the barren plains of Geonosis. Within the first hour, the clones, under the command of Jedi Generals such as Mace Windu and Kit Fisto, had pushed the droid army back and had prevented the construction of millions more with the capture of the planet's droid foundries. Soon, the 200,000-strong army had pushed the droids into a full retreat.The Grand Army's success on Geonosis marked the beginning of the Clone Wars, a conflict into which the Republic's clone troops were flung headfirst. As more and more worlds declared their allegiance to Dooku's Confederacy, the troopers of the Grand Army found themselves being shipped off to the farthest and most obscure corners of the galaxy. As their experience increased, so did their prowess. However, their victories more often than not came at a steep price. At the time of the Second Battle of Cato Neimoidia, towards the end of the war, a large percentage of the Grand Army's clones were either dead or too badly injured to ever fight again.
The clones would prove instrumental to Republic victories, with specialized variants such as the ARCs often proving vital to the battle. It soon became clear that civilian conscripts and Jedi alone were helpless without the support the clones provided.
When the Grand Army was first unveiled on Geonosis, the galaxy thought the clone troopers no better than their droid counterparts; faceless soldiers, sworn to lay their lives on the line for a Republic in which they had no stake, cannon fodder with no minds or lives of their own.
This attitude began to change, however, as the casualties mounted. As the Clone Wars raged on, the Jedi formed a sense of attachment to the clones that they led and treated them as individuals rather than the droids they battled throughout the war-torn galaxy. Though this caused confusion for many clones at first, most of whom had grown to believe themselves to be no more than a product, they too began to develop genuine respect and admiration for their Jedi leaders. Many Jedi Generals even befriended clones during the war, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Clone Commander Cody, Aayla Secura and Commander Bly, and Yoda and Commander Gree.
In rare cases, some clone troopers would develop strong emotions which would override their sense of loyalty to the Republic, and later the Empire. This was the case of Mort, a former clone commando who along with his squad had been abandoned on Kashyyyk by their commander, Morkov. Mort witnessed the deaths of the rest of his squad and was severely injured himself. Realizing that clones were generally considered disposable tools rather than individuals gave rise to a strong resentment towards the Empire and pure hatred towards Morkov. Traumatized and disillusioned, Mort eventually escaped Kashyyyk and settled in Dearic on Talus where he, seeking to drown his pain, ended up an alcoholic. So strong was his hatred towards Morkov that he eventually hired an assassin to kill him.
In certain and highly discreet cases, some of the clones even formed romantic relationships. A few examples include Alpha-98 and Sheeka Tull, RC-1136 and Etain Tur-Mukan. Even Null-11 and Besany Wennen displayed some attraction towards each other. Sheeka, Etain, and Besany all believed that using the clones as some sort of "drone army" was wrong, thus creating their feelings of sympathy and compassion for all of the clones in the GAR.
At the behest of their Jedi generals, clone troopers were allowed to adopt names to go along with their impersonal serial numbers, as well as put on different hair styles. In further recognition of the clones being individuals as opposed to battle droids, the clones were allowed to customize their Phase I armor, which greatly increased the morale of the soldiers with a sense of pride and individuality.
However, despite the increasing numbers of attachments between the clones and those outside of the Grand Army, many still viewed the clones with distrust or even contempt. For example, while many Jedi felt a degree of compassion for the clones, Jedi General Rahm Kota was not so easily fooled by their seemingly innocent nature. Under the opinion that clones were unfit to serve as soldiers, Kota recruited his own militia to prove that non-clone soldiers were more creative, more independent-minded, and generally more effective than clone troopers. By the rise of the Empire, Kota's distrust of clones was validated when they ruthlessly gunned down their Jedi officers, many of whom had sympathized and cared for the clones - thus proving once and for all that the clones had always been what they were created to be - a military product for warfare and a disposable army of droid-like Human soldiers.
Aside from Kota, Republic Navy officers (non-clone recruits) and especially members of COMPOR hated the clones and viewed them as inferior or no different than droids.
Two years into the Clone Wars the ranks of the Grand Army began to wear thin. Constant attrition and an ever-increasing demand for troops exceeded the ability of the Republic to breed and train replacements. Or so it was thought.
Through the unsanctioned investigation of Sergeant Kal Skirata, his Null-ARCs and Republic Treasury Agent Besany Wennen, evidence was found showing billions of credits being siphoned through front companies and shadow accounts from the Republic budget to finance what was later learned to be a secret army of clone troopers. Created on Coruscant and it's moon, Centax-2, these troopers were bred by Arkanian Microtechnologies using Spaarti technology, reaching maturity within a year and received a shortened flash-training regime which resulted in the loss of their Mandalorian heritage and less proficiency in key areas such as marksmanship.
Further investigation found several million clones- as well as the accompanying hardware of ships and weapons- were scheduled for completion on a date roughly correlating with the third anniversary of the Battle of Geonosis which began the Clone Wars. However, the first units of suspected non-Kamino clones, such as the 14th Infantry Brigade, 501st Legion and Shock Troopers started seeing action in small numbers months before the Battle of Coruscant.
The rest of the secret army was unveiled during the battle and was essential to the Republic's victory in the week-long struggle. In the days immediately following the battle, thousands of ships and millions of men swelled the ranks of the depleted Grand Army and began to turn the war in favor of the Republic.
Though the clone troopers had grown to respect and even like the Jedi they served under in protecting the galaxy in the name of peace and justice, they had been indoctrinated with absolute loyalty to the Galactic Republic, no matter what the case. Through the ever-increasing emergency powers of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the Chancellor had virtually become the Republic itself, thus all of the clones became ultimately answerable to his authority.
When Order 66 was finally initiated during the end of the Clone Wars, the clones displayed their unwavering loyalty to the Republic by quickly executing their Jedi leaders with cold-blooded efficiency. Every clone had their own reaction to the order. Some thought of it as just another executive order to carry out, but many more were genuinely shocked and even uncertain as to why they had been ordered to turn on the Jedi, but, nonetheless, nearly all of the clones followed the order and turned on their Jedi officers.
Throughout the galaxy, the clones swiftly executed the Jedi, all of whom had grown to trust the clones with their lives; it was a fatal mistake for the entire Jedi Order. The very troops that they led to win the war after countless numbers of battles had betrayed them in cold blood without so much as a second thought. To the clones, Order 66 labeled every Jedi as a traitor to the Republic that had to be eliminated immediately. From the clones' perspective, they were merely carrying out a legal order; they felt no animosity or hatred against the Jedi as they leveled their weapons against their former commanders. This was the sole reason as to why the Jedi could not sense the clones' betrayal until it was too late. However, some commandos, such as Ion Team, who had been gifted with more individuality and morals than the average clone, refused to carry out the order, believing it to be illegitimate.
The clone army's actions, after the execution of Order 66, was an irony unto itself. By the definition and objective laid out by the emergency order, the clone troopers believed that the Jedi had betrayed the Republic, and thus they would be saving the Republic by gunning down the "traitors." But their genuine desire to serve the Republic, combined with their inability to question orders, proved to be the downfall of the Republic and the ideals that they were sworn to defend. Though unwittingly, the clones had aided in the rise of a Sith Lord to ultimate power and thus, it was the clones, rather than the Jedi, that had betrayed the Galactic Republic - and they, in general, never even realized it.
Only after so many Jedi had died were some able to detect the treachery, such as in the case of Jedi Master Yoda. Some Jedi, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Roan Shryne and his friends, managed to escape through luck. Yet, it was too late. By the time Kenobi and Yoda returned to Coruscant, the once mighty Jedi Order had been nearly eradicated to the last Master, Knight, and Padawan.
With the near-total destruction of the Jedi Order and the raid on its temple, the loyal clone troopers of the Republic quickly became known as Imperial stormtroopers. The clones of Jango Fett that originally comprised the Grand Army were reorganized into the Stormtrooper Corps. The military would, for the most part, continue to remain as the exclusive province of the Jango Fett clones for another decade.
Ironically, much had changed for the clones under the Empire and not for the better. While under the Republic, there were those who cared about the clones and sought to promote basic rights for the clones, starting with names to go along with their designations. But under the Empire, no such liberal ideals were taken into account. As the clones transitioned from defending freedom and democracy to terrorizing and installing fear into the very citizens that they had been sworn to lay down their lives for, sympathy changed to fear as the clone troopers changed into stormtroopers. Yet this was no great loss to the clones as a whole. Not long after the formation of the Empire, Clone Commanders Appo and Vill were pleased that they were still fighting battles rather than serving as "glorified policemen," which is what Appo initially feared would happen at the end of the Clone Wars. Overall, the clones would remain as they were always intended to be and what they always were from the start—an army of soldiers with unwavering loyalty, not unlike their droid counterparts.
In 11 BBY, the cloners of Kamino rebelled against the Galactic Empire by using their cloning technologies to launch a war against the Empire. The Empire retaliated with a massive assault on Tipoca City. Boba Fett, with his extensive knowledge of the complex, led the 501st Legion into the corridors of the cloning complex to disable the cloning technology. As the remaining resistance attempted to flee, two of their LAAT/i evacuation transports were shot out of the air.
This uprising provoked Palpatine, who had now made himself Emperor, to decide that an army of genetically identical clones presented too many possibilities of turning against him, just as they had done to the Jedi. Thus, it was through this radical reform that the Fett clones would gradually become overshadowed under a pool of clones from different genetic templates and many more birth-born recruits. Although the Jango Fett template would still certainly be used to produce more clone stormtroopers, the Fett clones would rapidly become lost under the number of recruits, conscripts, and different genetic template-based clones. For all of their loyalty to the Republic/Empire and their unrivaled fighting skills, the Fett clones were "rewarded with the chance" to fight alongside "inferior" and far less skilled soldiers. None of the Fett clones, especially those belonging to the "Fett-pure" 501st would ever truly grow used to fighting alongside the non-Fett stormtroopers that they dubbed as the "new guys".
Ultimately, the cloning program that was used to produce almost 50 percent of the stormtrooper ranks was finally ended with the defeat of the Galactic Empire via the Battle of Endor. After Palpatine and Vader's death, clones became increasingly rare and obsolete as the remnants of the Empire turned to birth-born recruits, both Human and non-Human alike.
The first year of the Clone Wars saw the Republic's army outfitted in what is commonly referred to as Phase I armor. The armor, designed under the close supervision of Jango Fett, closely resembled the armor of the Mandalorian Shocktrooper, the most obvious example being the helmet's distinctive T-shaped visor. The armor itself comprised twenty form-fitting plates made of plastoid-alloy composite, all sealed to a black body glove. All together, the armor weighed just under forty kilograms. In spite of its bulkiness, the armor allowed for a reasonable range of motion.
The Kaminoans see in the ultra-violet spectrum of light, so even though Humans see a clones armor as plain white, the clones' armor could have been designed very intricately. The Kaminoans also took in the fact that the clones were Human, so they added stripes to indicate rank, and various markings to indicate acheivements in combat. Such is the case with captain Fordo.
The armor's principle drawback, no doubt rooted in the Kaminoans' limited knowledge of Human anatomy, was that the armor was intensely uncomfortable to sit down in. Phase I armor was also notoriously ineffectual against sustained shrapnel and concentrated blaster fire. Because of this, the armor was routinely referred to as a "body bucket" by those with close ties to the GAR. In an obvious reflection of the stark sensibilities of its Kaminoan creators, all armor was issued with a pristine-white coat of paint. Officers' and NCO's armor, however, featured colored stripes running the length of their arms and helmets that denoted their rank and position within their units.
Some months into the war, however, armor coloration came to denote unit affiliation as opposed to rank. Whilst many troopers still maintained their armor to be the traditional white, some chose to customize it in its color and design.
In the second year of the war, Phase II armor was implemented. The enhanced version's introduction saw a rise in personalization and the modification of one's armor. The state-of-the-art armor also featured an improved heads-up display in the helmet and put an end to the discomfort that came with sitting down. The armor itself was also more reliable in combat, and could sustain much more punishment from enemy fire, and some commando models had an ablative anti-blaster coating applied to reduce the effectiveness of heavier blasters fired from Super Battle Droids. Even with the introduction and widespread adoption of Phase II armor, however, some units and individual clones continued to utilize Phase I clone trooper armor.
Clone trooper armor was also equipped with and outfitted for many communications devices and similar technologies. The clone trooper's armor formed the foundation of an integrated communications system of which their vehicles, such as the LAAT, and other equipment formed part. Individual troopers could receive command signals and relay their status via this system, and could transmit video imagery from their helmet visors. Their helmets were equipped with a multi-spectral imaging system that could penetrate smoke, fog, and other typical battlefield obstructions. In addition, their blaster rifles could interface with their helmet displays, providing a video gunsight on their helmet's heads-up display. The armor was heat resistant, allowing clones to pass through shields as droids could, as well as deflecting glancing blaster shots and dampening direct hits enough to improve the soldiers chances for survival.
The soldier was issued the DC-15 rifle, or its more compact counterpart, the DC-15 blaster carbine. In addition, clone troopers often carried one or more grenades of varying types, such as the Merr-Sonn V-1 thermal detonator, LXR-6 concussion grenades, V-6 haywire grenades, and/or EC (electro-static charge) detonators. The pouches and compartments of a trooper's highly functional utility belt contained a multitude of equipment, including a grappling hook, spare ammunition, ration supplies and a rudimentary medical kit containing enough synthflesh and bacta to keep a wounded soldier alive until a medic could arrive.
The initial clone trooper units produced included a limited number of soldiers trained for specialized roles, such as piloting or command. As the Clone Wars progressed, the Grand Army became increasingly specialized, leading to the development of units specialized for specific environments, equipment use or combat roles.
Disguised Clones were Clone troopers that from behind looked like Jedi but were actually clone troopers. They were at the Jedi Temple as decoys to fool any jedi who came there that other jedi had survived. This failed to fool Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.
With the development and distribution of Phase II clone trooper armor, clone troopers no longer used color markings to denote rank. Instead, color patterns on troop armor signified legion designation and position.
Troopers with Phase II armor, or at least, Commander Cody, also wore colored stripes along their arms indicating the campaigns they served in.
Clone trooper commanders received the designation CC- or CRC (for clone regimental commander). Null-class Advanced Recon Commando were designated N- or Null-. Alpha-class Advanced Recon Commando were identified with an A- or Alpha- designation, and Clone commandos the RC- (for Republic commando) designation. Clone trooper captains and Clone trooper lieutenants were designated CC- or CL-, respectively. They also had the CT- designation of the Clone trooper sergeants and the rank and file clone troopers.
All of the clone troopers were digitally created in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Their voices were provided by Temuera Morrison, who also provided the faces for Commander Cody, Odd Ball, and Captain Jai'galaar, wearing a blue bodysuit that would be replaced in post production by the character's clone trooper armor. Morrison would also provide the voice of clones in many games, principally Star Wars: Republic Commando (while the regular clones' voices were provided by Roger Jackson) and the Battlefront series. Younger clones were portrayed by Daniel Logan (in Attack of the Clones) and Bodie Taylor (in both Clones and Sith). In the Clone Wars cartoon, the voice of the clone troopers was provided by André Sogliuzzo. In the Revenge of the Sith game, Andrew Chaikin provided the voice of the clone troopers, and Dee Bradley Baker provided the voice of the clone troopers in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
To Humans, the clone trooper's armor appears white overall, but to Kaminoans, clone troopers armor has many colors because they see in the Ultra-violet spectrum of light. This is also the same in the case of their homes and other buildings.
Before the release of Attack of the Clones, it was often assumed by Expanded Universe authors and fans that the clones of the Clone Wars would be on the side against the Republic. This misconception was caused by promotional material portraying the clones as the background for Dooku, Jango Fett, et al. This is half true as the army was really created as part of Palpatine's plot to destroy the Jedi.
In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, enter LEGION as a cheat code to unlock the clone trooper skin.
Clone troopers were soldiers created by the Kaminoans to fight in the Clone Wars. Nathaniel Kenobi, along with other notable Jedi, fought with them in the Clone Wars and after, when he saved them from the Empire.