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KungFuFerret

Question about Clones and Stormtroopers

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So, growing up with the OT, I always just assumed the Stormtroopers were everyday, Imperial citizens who enlisted into the military, just like you would expect for any society, that a percentage of the population would gravitate towards military service as a career.

And then, I seem to recall re-watching one of the OT after the prequels, and they redubbed the voice lines for the troopers to be Jango Fett's voice.   Implying that the Empire is STILL using nothing but clones for it's trooper division of the military?   Wasn't part of the problem with the clones in the cartoon, that it was so expensive to keep churning them out like that?  I seem to recall an episode where Palps was talking to the protagonists, and urging them to go try and do something specific, because cloning was a huge drain on the republic's resources, and wasn't sustainable long term.

...and yet, decades later, they're still churning out clones apparently.    This just doesn't make any sense to me?  Narratively it just conflicts with previously established bits from the cartoons and stuff, but also it just flies in the face of convention, in that it's usually pretty easy to get people to join the military.   I mean they apparently have recruiting stations on every major Imperial planet, according to the Solo film.   

So if cloning has been continued to the level needed so that all Stormtroopers are still clones in the Rebellion Era, then cloning technology shouldn't even be a surprise to anyone at that point right?   I mean, that would elevate it to the level of everyday, mundane details about life in the Star Wars galaxy it seems.

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Hmmm...I've heard Boba's voice redubbed by Temuera Morrison, but not the stormtroopers. It's always seemed to me that the previous interpretation that the clones were retired and replaced with volunteers/conscripts is still accurate. This seems to be supported by information in Rebels, Solo, and the Solo Official Guide.

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I think the current take is that the stormtrooper corps are mostly non-clone conscripts by the time of the Rebellion Era, with Dave Filoni having said during season one of Rebels that the majority of the clone troopers had been taken out of active duty by the time the series began.

That being said, there's probably elite units of stormtroopers that are clones, but given that stormtroopers are in the current canon are pretty much the equivalent of regular army grunts being used for things like patrols and guard duty.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

I think the current take is that the stormtrooper corps are mostly non-clone conscripts by the time of the Rebellion Era, with Dave Filoni having said during season one of Rebels that the majority of the clone troopers had been taken out of active duty by the time the series began.

That being said, there's probably elite units of stormtroopers that are clones, but given that stormtroopers are in the current canon are pretty much the equivalent of regular army grunts being used for things like patrols and guard duty.

There are a few clones that stick around. As I recall, in “Lords of the Sith,” there is an older clone sgt. in Vader’s stormtrooper detachment. Sorry that I don’t have more details, but it’s been some time since I read that one.

Just to add, but after Solo, where we saw normal Imperial army grunts, I believe that stormtroopers are more of a mix between traditional marines and Nazi SS. They are assigned to Star Destroyers (ships) and high security/vital/morally questionable tasks (Endor/Luke’s Aunt and Uncle). The movies just happen to typically focus on these types of scenarios moreso than your typical ground engagement.

Edited by AnomalousAuthor

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They were clones at first. Clones (though I believe that would now be all Legends) were slowly phased out as attrition, costs and age took their tolls. Besides:

latest?cb=20130318061027

If these were all clones, some of their height DNA was certainly damaged or degraded in the cloning process, wasn't it?

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Xcapobl said:

They were clones at first. Clones (though I believe that would now be all Legends) were slowly phased out as attrition, costs and age took their tolls. Besides:

latest?cb=20130318061027

If these were all clones, some of their height DNA was certainly damaged or degraded in the cloning process, wasn't it?

I’m sure that guy in the middle is so tired of hearing “aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” 😁

Edited by AnomalousAuthor

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Clones made up the original stormtrooper corps.  But after the birth of the Empire, the cloning efforts were shut down.  Cloning is expensive, and with the Jedi out of the way, unnecessary.

Clones had accelerated lives (they aged at roughly 2x the pace of normal humans), so as they aged out of military service, they were replaced with standard troops.  Some of these troops are volunteers.  The Empire did keep peace and order in the core (at a price), and this along with the propaganda machine convinced many people to join the military.  The Empire also accepted child recruits, so lots of poor/destitute families would cull their personal herds by shipping off a child or two to the Empire.  Fewer mouths to feed and they were promised that the kids would be cared for, fed, and given a good job serving the Empire.  The Empire was not adverse to conscripting soldier though.  Usually conscripted soldiers filled the more standard Imperial Army ranks instead of the Stormtrooper corps, but if they were conscripted at a young enough age were they could be brainwashed into being totally loyal, they could end up in the white laminate armor also.

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Far as I know, the Empire first continued to use the clones as stormtroopers.  In the now Legends material, the Empire did continue to create new clones for a while, but not clones made by the Kaminoans, but rather some other process refered to as the "Sparti Cloning process".  These clones were grown much faster than the Kaminoan ones, and had most of their training and other memories and skills artificially implanted into their brain.  The process worked, but led to a high rate of mental problems with the troopers, which eventually lead to regular recruiting.

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On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 6:51 AM, KungFuFerret said:

And then, I seem to recall re-watching one of the OT after the prequels, and they redubbed the voice lines for the troopers to be Jango Fett's voice. 

Just Boba's line were dubbed to match Jango's (though I personally felt it wasn't really necessary, Jango was dead so unless Boba was hangin around on Planet Kiwi, Boba would have taken on his own accent over time.) 

But yeah, the Stormtrooper still sound like Stormtroopers. 

If the are volunteers, conscripts, or brainwashed is still debatable.

Resistance had some hints about how FO troopers are "recruited" so it's possible that the Mando and Cassian Andor Live may also drop some clues.

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17 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

Just Boba's line were dubbed to match Jango's (though I personally felt it wasn't really necessary, Jango was dead so unless Boba was hangin around on Planet Kiwi, Boba would have taken on his own accent over time.) 

But yeah, the Stormtrooper still sound like Stormtroopers. 

If the are volunteers, conscripts, or brainwashed is still debatable.

Resistance had some hints about how FO troopers are "recruited" so it's possible that the Mando and Cassian Andor Live may also drop some clues.

It's not really debatable.  It's clearly spelled out across multiple media sources.

We've seen child training bases.  We're talking young teens (12-16) being trained to join the Imperial army.  We see different academies that accept a wide age range of volunteers (Ezra 14 in Rebels, Han 19 in Solo for a couple examples).

While my earlier comment about brainwashing might be a little harsh, it's not totally incorrect.  The cadets/soldiers joining the Empire were heavily reconditioned and assaulted with pro-Imperial propaganda.  They were trained to ignore their fallen, and refer to each other by number instead of by name.  Even the various personal touches that the Clones used (painting armor, giving each other nicknames, etc) were conditioned out of them.

I'd say what the First Order is doing to their stormtroopers might actually cross the line to brainwashing, and it seems that they draw their recruits at an even earlier age than the Empire did.

Conscription is a common theme in Legends material.  While I haven't seen any hint of it in new canon material yet, more and more legends material is being drawn upon, and almost all of the basic tenants of various factions has eventually been returned to canon.  While we haven't seen hints of conscription, there is no reason to believe that it wouldn't exist in an Empire embroiled in a galaxy wide civil war, especially an Empire adept with mental reconditioning techniques.

The official 'reason' for the dropping of clones is that the clones presented a unique threat due to their identical DNA.  There was concern that a weapon to specifically target the clones could be created.  More than likely though this was just a cover story based on some element of truth.  Sure, there was a threat, but it was minimal, however it did make a great excuse.

More likely you have a combination of issues.

Weapons that can specifically target clones is one.  Attacking the cloning facilities, or infiltrating them and implanting a new order into the training that could be triggered by rebellion forces would be another.  Cost is certainly a factor.  Longevity would be as well (you get only half as many good service years from a clone).  But poverty is a big problem in the Empire.  There are a lot of impoverished people, worlds, communities, etc.  By offering jobs as Imperial soldiers, you give people a chance to earn their way out of poverty through service.  It reduces poverty, reduces strain on those communities, makes the Empire look better.  That's all speculation however.

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5 minutes ago, kmanweiss said:

It's not really debatable.  It's clearly spelled out across multiple media sources.

Depends on your definition of "clear." While there's certainly some implied activity, I don't think we've seen much hard evidence of anything, at least not in Imperial structures. 

There's been stuff that could have been for stormtroopers, but also maybe not, or maybe stormtrooper was merely an option of several. We haven't seen a dedicated Stormtrooper boot camp yet. Han was more old-school Imperial Army than trooper. Again we don't know if the Army was phased out as in retired/replaced, or phased out as in retrained and restructured, or if Stromtrooper is a requestable career option (assume it is, but we don't know). 

Honestly the best example of Stormtrooper origin has actually been from the First Order, who we know from the films and Resistance are recruited/conscripted at a young age and are mentally conditioned through some artificial means, and that conditioning can be broken. But that's the FO, so no telling if the Empire does that as well.

And yeah, clones being genetically identical does present a viable vulnerability. They'll all suffer the same effects and diseases as they age, so should they be susceptible to a specific condition or something, they'll all have it. And a concerted effort to wage biowar would allow the clones biology to be targeted specifically.

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3 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

Depends on your definition of "clear." While there's certainly some implied activity, I don't think we've seen much hard evidence of anything, at least not in Imperial structures. 

There's been stuff that could have been for stormtroopers, but also maybe not, or maybe stormtrooper was merely an option of several. We haven't seen a dedicated Stormtrooper boot camp yet. Han was more old-school Imperial Army than trooper. Again we don't know if the Army was phased out as in retired/replaced, or phased out as in retrained and restructured, or if Stromtrooper is a requestable career option (assume it is, but we don't know). 

Honestly the best example of Stormtrooper origin has actually been from the First Order, who we know from the films and Resistance are recruited/conscripted at a young age and are mentally conditioned through some artificial means, and that conditioning can be broken. But that's the FO, so no telling if the Empire does that as well.

And yeah, clones being genetically identical does present a viable vulnerability. They'll all suffer the same effects and diseases as they age, so should they be susceptible to a specific condition or something, they'll all have it. And a concerted effort to wage biowar would allow the clones biology to be targeted specifically.

My definition of 'clear' is canon media sources and interviews with the people that create those pieces of media.  We have books and cartoon episodes that revolve around the young cadet corps.  We see them training with Imperial gear.  We hear them talking about becoming troopers.

We have NOT seen a stormtrooper boot camp.  That much is true, but we've seen everything leading up to the actual stormtrooper training.  The Imperials clearly have multiple avenues of recruitment.  They clearly identify candidates for both stormtrooper and officer service (this training we do have direct evidence of) from the individuals in these various paths.

Brendal Hux (Daddy of Ep7 Hux) had a secret program that he was working on.  Basically he determined that the recruited stormtroopers were weaker and less effective than the clones.  He wanted to start a program to raise children from birth to be loyal to the Empire and to be better than recruited soldiers.  They would begin training at an even earlier age.  He couldn't find anyone to support this idea though, so he started personally selecting and training officers while showing them the virtues of his plan.  The long con being that he would then have a cadre of officers that would back his plan allowing him to put it into effect.  After the fall of the Empire, Brendal fled to the unknown regions where he clearly hooked up with the First Order and put his plans in place as we see with the First Order.

While never spelled out in black and white with a specific passage saying "Normal people join the academies at age 14 and the best are selected to be stormtroopers.", the creators of various SW media have straight up said that the clones were replaced by recruits and conscripts.  We've seen the recruit path up and to the point of the stormtroopers.

I have a book entirely devoted to stormtroopers at home.  Haven't had a chance to read it yet.  I'll consult that tonight to see if it has any other hints.

Another drawback to clones that I just considered.  Maturation.  Even though the clones have accelerated aging, it's only at 2x.  If you consider service age as 18 to 40, it would take clones 9 years to get to age 18 and be ready for service (keep in mind that they'd only be able to serve for 11 years instead of 22 like a normal recruit).  A recruit, even starting at age 14 only takes 4 years to train/develop into a soldier.  4 years of training to get 22 years of service is much more efficient than 9 years of growing/training to get 11 years of service.  4 years of training is quite excessive also (and likely only for the most elite...think of it like military school where all graduates move to officer ranks immediately), and I'd bet that your standard Imperial Army officer had something more akin to a US army boot camp scenario (10-16 weeks of training...dear lord, is it really that quick?).  9 years to grow an elite soldier compared to 4 months to train a front line grunt makes it pretty easy to see why clones were no longer used.

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