Star Wars reveals tragic impact of stormtrooper replacement for clones

Palpatine chose to abandon the clone army after the prequels, and Star Wars finally showed why their replacement by the stormtroopers was so tragic.

This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2, episode 9.

After the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Palpatine didn't hesitate to replace the clone army with Imperial stormtroopers, and the team finally revealed the tragic repercussions of his decision. By the time the prequel saga began, generations of the Old Republic had realized the need for a real army. The Republic had trusted the Jedi to protect its interests, but a growing Separatist crisis -- secretly egged on by the Sith -- led the Republic to discuss forming a new army. One comes from an unexpected source; the Kaminoans were secretly commissioned by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas to create an army of clones, who arrive in time to fight the Separatists, led by the Jedi himself.

The so-called "Clone Wars" were the perfect Jedi trap, designed to turn Jedi into soldiers rather than servants of the Force. War is about domination, and by serving as a general, the Jedi find themselves less and less able to see the bright side of the Force, a notion that the Force rejects. The Jedi did their best, but they weren't warriors at heart. They became increasingly dependent on the clone armies they led, and many Jedi Masters came Think of clones as their friends. They don't know that the Sith have infiltrated the cloning program, implanting suppression chips in the clones, and when Chancellor Palpatine - the secret Sith Lord himself - issues Order 66, the clones become Become an assassin. The Jedi trap is suddenly closed, and the clones are its teeth. With the trap, Palpatine no longer needs a clone army.

The Stormtrooper Program Means There Is No Place For The Clones

As seen in Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2, the Empire introduced a new stormtrooper program to replace the clones. Palpatine may have preferred this option, as it would have allowed him to establish academies throughout the galaxy, choosing classes as publicity. His military leaders deemed the clone army unnecessarily expensive, and were unimpressed when the effects of Order 66 began to wear off, and the clones regained their true thoughts and began to question the orders they had received.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2 Episodes 8 and 9 reveals that Palpatine's decision means clones now have no place in his new order. Clones have no representation in the Imperial Senate, no one to speak for them. They may have fought alongside the clones, but the Jedi Failing to defend clone rights, the rise of the Empire means they are very vulnerable. The clone army retired, and the clones were destitute, without even a pension. As seen in the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ TV show, some of them - who had fought and risked their lives for the Republic, obeying Palpatine's orders to the letter - were left behind begging on the street.

The Bad Batch Reveals Soldiers Adapt... But The Soldiers Cannot

A key moment in Season 2, Episode 9 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch highlights the tragedy. Clone Trooper 99 is a group of rogue mutant clones that remain a team even after the Clone Wars. In one conversation, their leader, Hunter, noted that soldiers had to adapt to changing circumstances. He was referring to the recent loss of a squad member, Echo, who opted to join the nascent Rebel Alliance. Bad Batch was shaken by the Echo's departure, and they found the adaptation process difficult. Still, those words speak to a deeper problem—one that exists in the very nature of the clone army.

The sad truth is that clones don't adapt. Most want to stay in the soldiers, even the clone troopers 99 is still active as a squad. The galaxies have changed, but the clones have not, simply because they were designed for a very specific environment. That's the real tragedy of the Star Wars clone army; not only are they replaced, but they're completely incapable of functioning in the galaxy they were replaced. Palpatine's ruthless decision to retire the clones left them impoverished and depressed.

New episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch release every Wednesday on Disney+.

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