The expanding Star Wars universe continues to delight audiences of all ages throughout the entire universe. While many tropes appear in the numerous plot lines throughout Canon and beyond, there is one interesting writing device that pops up to significantly alter history – cloning.
Clones are one of the most controversial aspects of Star Wars. Some fans view the introduction of clones as “too easy” or “lazy” storytelling. However, when you consider that Star Wars is wildly science fiction first, it makes it easier to accept this introduction of ideas in the greater university of lightsabers, Force pushes, and who shot who first.
What is Cloning?
Cloning is a process of creating a genetically identical copy of an organism.
Clones are usually created in two ways: by splitting the cells of an embryo and growing them into complete organisms or by taking DNA from one cell and injecting it into another cell, which then divides to form an exact genetic replica. Cloning has been used to make copies of plants, animals, and humans.
In Star Wars, the clearest example of cloning is during the final years of the Galactic Republic when an army of clone troopers was effectively grown on the plant Kamino. The specialists on this planet used the human bounty hunter Jango Fett as a template for creating the Clone Army (which later became troopers).
The critical difference was these modified clones were made to be more docile, making them perfect because:
- Clones are soldiers.
- Clones are slaves.
- Clones have no free will.
- Clones cannot be distinguished from each other.
- Clones act relentlessly.
- Clones are disposable.
All of this made the trooper clones way more malleable, so any hidden Sith Lord could use them to their advantage.
The Clone Exception
While Jango Fett was happy to accept the role of lead ingredient to a clone army, he was also smart enough to request an exception be made. As a result, an unmodified clone was created on Kamino for Jango to raise as a son. Eventually, this clone would become one of the most critical bounty hunters the Star Wars universe had ever seen – Boba Fett.
It can be argued Disney Plus is experiencing an increase in viewership on the backs of clones. The Mandalorian and Book of Boba Fett would not have their Western feel without the strong source material of the bounty hunter cloning his DNA from the prequels. An odd way to be grateful for those three moves!
Then There Was Darth Sidious
When the Empire ultimately fell to the New Republic, the world accepted that the Emperor’s (Darth Sidious) death was final. However, that was far from the truth.
The exception here is this was not pure cloning as it was with the troopers or Boba Fett. Instead, Darth Sidious used a combination of cloning technology and the Dark Side of the Force to transfer his evil spirit into a new host that had been cloned from his DNA.
This experiment produced a bunch of different “Strand-Casts” including the Supreme Leader Snoke we see in the most recent trilogy. Unfortunately, all of them lacked the capability to manage enough Force power through their bodies, which led to the final showdown between Rey and the Emperor after Ben Solo’s rejection of the dark side.
Clones Create Fantastic Storytelling
As we have seen from the previous episodes, clones create fantastic storytelling in the Star Wars universe. They are an excellent way to introduce a large cast of characters and give them a sense of history and purpose. Clones are also great for creating conflict and drama because they all look alike, so it is easy for one clone to pretend they are another.
The fact that clones exist in the Star Wars universe means we get to see a lot of interesting stories told through them. They have been used as soldiers, slaves, and even fodder for an evil empire's bid for power.
It will be interesting to see if there are any lightsaber-wielding clones in the future of the franchise as we venture beyond the Skywalker series.
That will mean we at Sabers Pro can build new and unique lightsabers themed around exciting characters the world is sure to enjoy for generations to come.