- “Sir, yes sir.”
- ―The clone trooper response.
Clone Troopers are cloned soldiers originating from the Star Wars prequel trilogy, first introduced as the titular army in Attack of the Clones. They were created in secret on Kamino, and discovered by Obi-Wan Kenobi when he followed a clue to a murder. These clones, being genetically engineered for battle, with accelerated growth, were all cloned from Jango Fett, a well-known and feared bounty hunter.
Clones served in the GAR, the Grand Army of the Republic, alongside the Jedi. When Darth Sidious commenced Order 66, the control chips within the troopers activated and the clones fired upon and killed the Jedi.
After the order, the clones either became stormtroopers or were replaced by them for the first Galactic Empire. Almost immediately, Sidious phased out the clone troopers as his soldiers during his reign as Emperor due to the activation of the inhibitor chips rendering them inferior fighters (as it took away their creativity and improvisation and rendered them more bloodthirsty), the expense of the cloning process, and their vulnerability to genetic diseases that could render them useless. Within a few years, all of the clones were removed from active service except for a select few. They were instead replaced by normal human recruits, which were eventually replaced by children kidnapped from families throughout the galaxy and programmed from birth.
The clone troopers are loyal and obedient, and they usually follow orders from high-ranking officials, such as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Despite this, most clones, like Rex, have individual traits and personalities, and do not always follow orders without question.
Unlike the stormtroopers, the clone troopers are skillful soldiers, being very good at aiming for their targets and have been trained in hand-to-hand combat.
Due to the clone troopers having inhibitor chips implanted into their brains during their growth cycle, the moment they hear the words "Order 66", their individual identities will be completely overridden, and they will unwillingly turn against their Jedi comrades and kill them, having no control of their actions.
The activation of the inhibitor chips permanently altered the clones after carrying out Order 66. While they still retained their personalities to an extent (seen when the normal clones got into a food fight with the Bad Batch), they became blindly loyal to Palpatine. When Palpatine ended the Republic and replaced it with a totalitarian Empire, the clones all cheered for the new Emperor despite the fact that the galaxy then erupted into chaos.
The clones themselves then became much more aggressive and violent than before. They became a sort of police force and returned to wearing all-white armor without any markings, discarding the individual appearances and personalities that they developed during the war.
- Marksmanship: Clone troopers are trained at very young ages to be skilled in utilizing blaster pistols and blaster rifles. Many clone troopers are very good at shooting their targets, especially compared to the infamously bad aim of their Imperial successors.
- Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Clone troopers are trained at very young ages to be skilled in unarmed combat. Many clone troopers are very effective unarmed fighters.
Attack of the Clones
The clones were an army being made on Kamino for the Galactic Republic. Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi found them while looking for a bounty hunter, who was their genetic template named Jango Fett. Later on the army were collected by Jedi Master Yoda, who brought them to Geonosis to assist the Jedi in a rescue attempt. They fought the Battle of Geonosis, in which they won, and the Clone Wars began.
Revenge of the Sith
Near the end of the Clone Wars, the Clones were assisting all Jedi on different planets. After Anakin Skywalker's turn to the dark side and the death of Mace Windu, Darth Sidious ordered them via hologram to execute Order 66: kill all Jedi. Most Jedi were wiped out successfully and the Clones became Stormtroopers under the newly formed Galactic Empire.
- “With the Fall of Coruscant and the elimination of the traitorous Jedi, Palpatine's rise to power was complete. In recognition of our service and loyalty to the Emperor, the 501st were placed under the direct command of Lord Vader. Armed with deadly new weapons, blazing new ships, and shiny new armor, our presence let the galaxy know that the days of the Old Republic, were well and truly over. We were establishing a new era. An era of order and peace.”
- ―Journal entry from a member of the 501st Legion following Order 66
The clone troopers played a major part in the series, appearing in nearly every episode. The two main clones in the show were Captain Rex and Commander Cody—Rex was created for the show while Cody was the most notable clone in the movies. Other clones were also introduced such as Fives, Echo, Heavy, Bly, Fil, Jesse, Waxer, and Boil. The Clones were known to be killed a lot such as Heavy, who sacrificed himself in an explosion, and Fives, who was executed after finding out about Order 66.
The final two episodes of the series take place during and immediately after Order 66. Following the Siege of Mandalore, Ahsoka and Rex are returning to Coruscant with Darth Maul as their prisoner. Palpatine issues Order 66 to Rex, who tries to resist the programming but succumbs to it and is forced to fire at Ahsoka. She escapes and frees Maul so that the clones will try to kill him instead of her. Rex orders his men to find and kill them both, but Maul effortlessly kills several clones with only the Force and destroys the ship’s hyperdrive, while Ahsoka learns about the inhibitor chips from a report filed by Fives before his death. Ahsoka corners and captures Rex to have his chip surgically removed. Rex, no longer controlled by the chip, explains to Ahsoka that every single clone trooper has been affected by this order. The clones, aware that Rex is now disobeying the order, decide that he must die as well.
The pair are then forced to team up against an entire army of clones (led by Jesse, one of Rex’s long-time men) aboard the ship. In the confusion, Maul steals a shuttle to escape and Ahsoka tries to pull it back, but Rex is injured, forcing Ahsoka to choose between recapturing Maul or saving Rex. She picks the latter and Maul escapes. With their Star Destroyer heading towards a moon due to damage caused by Maul, Ahsoka and Rex abandon ship in a Y-wing as the cruiser crashes into the moon, killing all of the clones.
The clones’ corpses are recovered by Ahsoka and Rex, who bury them out of respect (as they had no control over their actions) and place their helmets on stakes as grave markers. The pair then go their separate ways and into hiding.
Taking place in the immediate aftermath of Revenge of the Sith, Clone Force 99 (Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Echo, and Crosshair) witnessed Order 66, with most of the squad being unaffected by their bio-chips. Only Crosshair, the squad sniper, was affected by Order 66, and was later brainwashed by Wilhuff Tarkin into trying to eliminate his squad for failing to execute innocent refugees led by Saw Gerrera. As a result, Clone Squad 99 was forced to go rogue and flee Kamino without Crosshair, taking a young female clone named Omega with them as they deserted the Imperial Army.
The Bad Batch visit their and Rex’s old contact Cut Lawquane, a clone deserter, on Saleucami for help. Cut reveals that due to the fact that the Empire is evil, he and his family are planning to leave the planet. However, they learn that Palpatine has introduced “chain codes”, essentially government-issued IDs, which are now required for all public transport. The normal clones are overseeing public transportation; they have become a military police force and are now stormtroopers. The Bad Batch forge 4 chain codes for Cut, his wife, and their kids, and attempt to send Omega with them due to believing she needs a family, but she decides to stay with the Bad Batch.
Tarkin, looking for an excuse to get rid of the clones due to his personal vendetta against them, is introduced to four non-clone human recruits picked by Admiral Rampart to be part of a new elite squad led by Crosshair. They are sent to Onderon to murder Saw Gerrera and the refugees that the Bad Batch refused to kill, but after arriving they learn that Saw is already gone and only the refugees remain. One of Crosshair’s recruits (who has been repeatedly insulting Crosshair for being a clone and insists that human conscripts are superior) protests and says the refugees should be brought in for questioning. In response, Crosshair kills his own soldier before ordering the rest of his squad to slaughter the civilians. After completing the mission and returning to Kamino, Crosshair reflects on his actions and the clones’ future.
The Bad Batch reunites with Rex, and after he learns that they have not had their inhibitor chips removed he takes them to a downed Star Destroyer on Bracca so their chips can be removed like his. They succeed, although Wrecker’s chip is accidentally activated and he tries to kill the others before it is removed. Admiral Rampart learns of this and Crosshair is sent to kill them. He outsmarts the group because he is familiar with their strategies, but when he tries to incinerate them with the Star Destroyer’s engine, the plan backfires and he is horribly burned. Meanwhile, his men capture the Bad Batch’s ship but are killed by an unknown assailant, who reveals himself to be Cad Bane. Bane explains that he is here for Omega, leading to a tense stand-off with Hunter. Bane shoots Hunter in the chest, seriously injuring him before kidnapping Omega and leaving. Crosshair, meanwhile, shakes off his injuries quickly. Shortly after, the Bad Batch recovers Omega from Cad Bane and Fennec Shand.
Following the Empire’s occupation of Ryloth, Hera Syndulla is spying on the Empire when she is caught by Clone Captain Howzer and his squad. Howzer, unlike the other clones, has retained his personality and morals after Order 66. He brings Hera back to Cham Syndulla and promises to not report the incident to his superiors. Howzer acts as an advisor and right-hand man to Cham, trying to talk him out of shooting corrupt senator Orn Free Taa. However, Crosshair snipes Taa, injuring but not killing him, therefore making it look like an assassination attempt by Cham. He and his group are arrested, but Hera manages to escape.
Howzer continues to question his loyalties. While the Bad Batch and Hera free Cham, Crosshair sends his recruits and a battalion of clones to Ryloth’s capitol building. Howzer sees this and tips the Bad Batch and Syndullas off about the trap. Deciding he can no longer take part in the Empire’s tyranny, Howzer helps them escape out the back before confronting his and Crosshair’s men by himself. He tells them all that even though they have fought to free Ryloth from the Separatists, they are now oppressing the people of Ryloth just like the Separatists did. Several of the clones think about this and have a change of heart, breaking free of their brainwashing and dropping their weapons. Crosshair then orders his Elite Squad Troopers and the remaining clones to arrest Howzer and the defectors for treason.
Afterwards, Crosshair asks Rampart for permission to hunt down and kill his brothers. Rampart grants him permission and Crosshair prepares to depart.
The Bad Batch receives a message from Rex, who tells them that another clone defector has been captured by the Empire and needs help escaping. The defector, revealed to be Gregor, is saved by the Bad Batch (minus Wrecker and Omega) from an Imperial base. They learn that Gregor and the other commandos were assigned to train the new generation of stormtroopers, who are not clones and therefore less effective but able to be deployed in larger numbers. Though they manage to escape, Hunter misses the jump into the shuttle and falls to the forest below, where he is found and captured by the clones and stormtroopers. In his cell, he is greeted by Crosshair, who is displeased that Hunter has not brought the others but decides killing Hunter will be enough.
The Kaminoans, meanwhile, have had their cloning operation cancelled by the Empire since their contracts were with the Republic, which is now gone. Realizing the Empire plans to kill them all, Lama Su orders Nala Se to prepare to leave Kamino. However, she is found out by Crosshair’s squad, and Admiral Rampart admits that while he never liked the clones, he does not hate them like Tarkin does. Rampart decides that while the Empire has use for a scientist like Nala Se, they have no need for a politician like Lama Su. He then leaves Crosshair’s troopers to kill Lama Su in his own office.
A few clone troopers appear in the second season of Star Wars Rebels, led by Rex. Kanan at first didn't trust the clone troopers, thinking there wasn't really a difference between them and the Stormtroopers and still not having gotten over his master's death during Order 66, but he learnt to trust them. After the clones' reintroduction, Rex becomes a main character in the series, while Wolffe and Gregor return in the three-part series finale. Gregor was killed during the battle of Lothal, leaving Rex and Wolffe among the few known clones left in the galaxy.
- Since the Clone Wars film, all of the clone troopers are voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, with the exception of a young Boba Fett and the younger clones, who are all voiced by Daniel Logan instead (who also played them in Attack of the Clones). In the prequel films, they were all played by Temuera Morrison, who also played their host Jango Fett and later took over the role of Boba.
- Unlike both generations of stormtroopers, the clones in the films were entirely computer-generated, with Morrison’s head superimposed when necessary.
- In addition with same name, the Grand Army of the Republic was founded near Chicago, in Springfield Illinois in 1866 and grew to include hundreds of "posts" (local community units) across the nation (predominantly in the North, but also a few in the South and West). It was dissolved in 1956 at the death of its last member,
- Media set after Order 66 has avoided showing the clones’ faces unless they remain on the side of good. This is done to dehumanize them and cement the fact that they are now villains.