- "Clones can think creatively. You will find that they are immensely superior to droids."
- ―Lama Su
Cloning was the process of creating a genetically identical or purposefully and specifically modified copy of an original organism.
- "With the same genetic structure plus a flash-learning pattern taken directly from the template, a clone should theoretically be completely identical to the original person. But despite that, they're never exactly the same. Maybe some of the mental subtleties get blurred over in transition, or maybe there's something else unique inside us that a flash-learning reader isn't able to pick up."
- ―Luke Skywalker to Mara Jade.[src]
In order to create a clone, a sample of a subject's cells were taken and its genetic code was duplicated. This in turn was implanted into a cell where it was allowed to grow and develop into an exact duplicate of the cell donor. An important aspect of this process was the use of vats for the clone to gestate which was artificial wombs that were filled with nutrients as well as organic catalysts. One of the reasons for this was to prevent any external influence from interfering in the growth of the developing clone. It was possible to alter the attributes of a clone's physical appearance by varying the intake of the nutrients into the vat and by altering the catalyst solution. This equally allowed for individuals to accelerate the cloning process by many times the normal rate. At its peak, this allowed for a fully formed adult clone body being produced in a matter of weeks. However, one of the problems with this forced acceleration was the fact that these clones were often mentally unstable. Many theories were postulated as to why this was the case with some believing that the cloning process interfered with the normal natural life forces. There were some methods used to prevent this clone madness from occurring during mass cloning processes. The genetic material was required from an organic subject and were typically referred to as a Prime clone. Through this template, it was possible through a number of different techniques to create an exact physical replica of the subject. The process was capable of being used to create only a single copy or multiple ones. Furthermore, genetic engineering was capable of further altering the subject to either improve different traits.
Though mass cloning was useful, another noted problem with this technique on a larger scale was the fact that the individual clones lacked the personality of the original. As such, they often needed to be taught from scratch as environment proved to be an important factor. in an individual's development. This meant that whilst clones were genetically similar to their donor, they were capable of diverging from their personality and even developing distinct identities of their own. A long standing argument in regards to cloning in addition to flash memory was whether the clone retained the thoughts, memories and thinking of its prime clone. Some believed, that in theory, the clone was identical to the original while others argued that experiences as well as perceptions differed amongst the clones.
Aside from these forms of cloning, other methods were used across the galaxy. Some cultures fully embraced the possibilities of cloning, most notably the natives of Khomm, who engineered a clone society, entirely eliminating natural reproduction. Khommite clones from the Dorsk lineage were active in the New Jedi Order.
Notable races that made use of cloning technology include:
- Polis Massans
- Yuuzhan Vong
- "What can you teach a clone in a few months that a man takes a lifetime to learn?"
- ―Emperor Palpatine to Darth Vader[src]
Young clones of Jango Fett being educated in the Tipoca City Military Complex.The art of cloning technology was developed by a number of civilizations in the galaxy. Some noted species that possessed the technology included the inhabitants of the worlds of Khomm, Lur, Ithor, Columus, as well as Arkania. One of the more infamous species to possess a great deal of knowledge of cloning were the cloners of the planet Kamino who were renown for their skill in the field. This species later taught their skill in cloning to the inhabitants of Polis Massa who used it to help develop an advanced medical and genetic research station on their homeworld. The insectoid people of the Roche asteroid field also made use of cloning to propagate their worker castes.
One of the largest acts of cloning was conducted by the Kaminoans who were responsible for the creation of several million clone troopers from the DNA of bounty hunter Jango Fett that made up the Grand Army of the Republic, prior to and during the Clone Wars. Maintaining a vast facility within Tipoca City, the soldiers were grown within cloning chambers and trained at the city's Military Complex. The first prototypes of these clones, known as the Null-class Advanced Recon Commandos—numbering twelve in all—were the subject of the Kaminoan's attempts to enhance Fett's genome. While the clones would possess photographic memory and perfect recall, and substantially bulkier frames as adults, half of the twelve did not survive the gestation period and the six who did were deemed uncontrollable by their creators. Only due to the intervention of Cuy'val Dar sergeant Kal Skirata, were the clones spared from being reconditioned—a fate which in this case would mean death. Noting their perceived failure, the Kaminoans would go on to create one hundred Alpha-class Advanced Recon Commandos who possessed the exact same genetic makeup as Fett without any modifications except age acceleration. In addition, they also took DNA samples from Jedi Knight Falon Grey which they used to create twin Force-sensitive clones called X1 and X2. Adult clones eating a meal in the Tipoca City Military Complex.The standard troopers, though, were altered in ways that made them more susceptible to obeying orders (supplemented with rigorous behavior modification to instill and ensure loyalty to the Republic), more generally docile than Fett, and grow at an accelerated rate. Although the exact rate at which clones aged is unknown, it appears to be nearly twice as fast a naturally born human and it is theorized that this rate increased as clones aged—especially under stress—leading to a dramatic shortening of the clones' life expectancy. Despite these modifications, the clone troopers could still think and act creatively and possessed a level of individuality unexpected by their Kaminoan creators. By the second year of the Clone Wars, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine had established a secondary cloning facility in secret on Coruscant's moon, Centax-2. Under the supervision of an unknown clonemaster, the facility was operated by Arkanian Microtechnologies and used Spaarti cloning cylinders to produce fully matured clones within a year. Meaning that the clones were deployed when only 1 years old and no training at all.Boba Fett was also cloned from Jango Fett by the Kaminoans as part of the bounty hunter's price for becoming the army's prime clone. Viewed and treated as a son by Jango, Boba was completely unaltered in any genetic way, making him an exact physical duplicate of his father. Despite receiving none of the modifications his clone trooper "brothers" possessed, he would still experience the degradation of his DNA later in life due to the fact that he was a clone. At some point during the Clone Wars, Zeltron bounty hunter Vianna D'Pow commissioned a single clone of herself to be made by the Kaminoans.
The Galactic Senate would later issue Decree E49D139.41, confining all military-purpose cloning to specifically licensed Republic facilities and banned all non-military cloning of sentients with the exception of the medical cloning on Khomm, Lur, Columus, and Arkania, although even they required a license and a case-by-case evaluation. The ban also prohibited the sale of cloning equipment, the hiring of cloning or genetic engineers with the intention of cloning, and the purchase of any cloned sentients. Bok and the Morgukai Shadow ArmyThe Separatists also attempted to create their own version of the Grand Army of the Republic which led to the Nikto Morgukai known as Bok being selected as a prime clone. This led to the creation of the Morgukai Shadow Army which were grown on the Outer Rim world of Saleucami. The Shadow Army was created to serve the Confederacy of Independent Systems, presumably grown from Spaarti cylinders, these clones were trained by Anzati assassins to counter the Republic's clone army. They would never make it off-planet, however, as the facility was destroyed following the Siege of Saleucami.
Reign of the EmpireEdit
With the rise of the Galactic Empire, there were strict laws placed on cloning technology which led to attempts at seizing the examples of the science from civilizations. This included an attempt to confiscate agricultural as well as cloning technology from the Ithorians which led to a public act of terror against them. Later, Momaw Nadon used his knowledge of cloning to create a clone of Captain Alima after the Imperial Prefect was killed and Nadon decided to obey the Ithorian Law of Life where he created a clone replica of the Imperial officer.
The newly rechristened Imperial Army—specifically the Stormtrooper Corps—began to have clones made from several other genetic templates following a revolt on Kamino in which they unleashed a secret army of Fett clones trained to combat the Empire. Emperor Palpatine felt as though a group of genetically identical soldiers were too susceptible to corruption and thus the army became rapidly more diverse. Among the new additions were clones of Emperor's Hand Sa Cuis, General Maximilian Veers, and later Baron Soontir Fel. By 9 BBY, the Stormtrooper Corps ceased using exclusively clone stormtroopers and they were joined in service by birth-born recruits and conscripts. Spaarti cylinders would remain the preferred method of cloning for the Empire even after Palpatine's death. A cloning center operating during the Galactic Civil WarIn 1 ABY, cloning technology was discovered in the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. Similar to Spaarti cylinders in that they produced mature clones in a very short period of time, the cloning tanks were tended to completely by droids. The facility appeared to indiscriminately clone any being who entered it, collecting genetic material and even scanning the minds of those beings so that the clones could be implanted with memories. As a result, the clones were completely under the illusion that they were the individuals that they had been cloned from. The exact purpose behind this facility was not discovered. Darth Vader himself came to believe the technology found was what remained of research done by the ancient Jedi into cloning, however, it is unknown if there is any truth to this.
Palpatine as well made several clones of himself that his spirit possessed after he was killed on the second Death Star. Before that, his clones were ravaged by the dark side and not the nurturing power of the Force. Each clone would age and die more quickly than the last. It wasn't until his plunge into the Death Star core that he enters energy state and emerged into another body. Four years later, during the World Devastator crisis, Luke made attempts to destroy Palpatine's clones, but only one remained until destroyed at Pinnacle Base. But there was an auxiliary facility, which dark side adepts attempted to kill, again, leaving only one.
Post Endor PeriodEdit
A clone of Grand Admiral Thrawn.A Grand Admiral known as Thrawn rediscovered stockpiles of Imperial cloning technology at Mount Tantiss on Wayland that consisted of Spaarti cloning cylinders and used them as part of his campaign against the fledgling New Republic. This led to the start of the Thrawn campaign where he used the technology to create armies of soldiers to fight the Republic. In addition to this, a further plot by the Chiss Grand Admiral was attempts at creating potent soldiers for his forces which initially led to the creation of a clone of Grodin Tierce in order to merge an excellent physical specimen with Thrawn's own tactical brilliance but the experiment was a failure leading to only the creation of a intelligent soldier. In addition, Thrawn also secreted a hidden clone of himself placed in a secure region in the Hand of Thrawn on Nirauan. He placed a timer on the mechanism to realize the clone in a ten year timeframe and placed a flash learning program designed to impart his own thoughts into the clone thus giving him the opportunity to be reborn in case he died in battle. During the Thrawn Crisis, Joruus C'baoth cloned Luke Skywalker using the hand Luke had lost on Cloud City. The clone was named Luuke Skywalker and was armed with Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber.
In addition to cloning C'baoth and Skywalker, Thrawn also experimented with cloning several Force-users whose DNA was available to Palpatine's Empire. This group of clones were developed and raised by Empire of the Hand scientists on a Frozen moon in the Unknown Regions, and rebelled against their creators. They remained isolated until Jedi Knight Jaden Korr was drawn to the moon. Korr killed Alpha, a mentally unstable clone of Kam Solusar, but the remaining clones and their children escaped the moon. The escaped clones may have been cloned from Mara Jade, Lassin, Lumiya, or other force users known to the Galactic Empire.
Shortly after the crisis, the reborn Palpatine staged his return on the planet Byss where he attempted to destroy the New Republic. However, he faced problems as each of his clone bodies began to decay slowly after they were decanted. In addition, the Master Cloner was involved in an Imperial conspiracy orchestrated by Carnor Jax and his fellows to sabotage the cloning tanks used by the Emperor thus ending Palpatine's return. At the time of the Caamas Document Crisis, Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade discovered the hidden clone of Thrawn that was approaching maturation. However, the clone was killed during a flooding of the hidden chamber it was located in thus preventing his rebirth.
Ysanne Isard also produced a clone through unknown measures. She did this in order to be able to supervise the Lusankya prisoners herself and to be able to continue her leadership over Thyferra. The characteristic "pressure" caused by having a clone grown too rapidly may have contributed to her declining mental stability during the waning days of the Bacta War. Later, Grappa the Hutt along with the Black Sun created a clone of Feena D'Asta in order to influence the politics of the Imperial Ruling Council. During the long conflicts with the Empire, many of the Imperial cloning facilities were destroyed which brought about a slow extinction of the Stormtrooper Corp and nearly brought about an end to their reign in the galaxy.
Later, during the Yuuzhan Vong War, the extragalactic invaders created Jedi killer beasts known as Voxyn and mass produced the creatures through cloning. The production of the creatures was conducted on a Worldship in orbit around Myrkr but was destroyed by the Jedi Myrkr strike team thus destroying the prime clone and ending any attempts at propagating the beasts.
By the time of the Second Galactic Civil War, much of the Kaminoan information had dispersed by the defections of scientists such as Taun We who fled to Arkanian Micro where they continued research on cloning.
|Kamino Clone Tanks.*Star Wars: Battlefront*Star Wars: Republic Commando*Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones*Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Senate Murders" (Appears in flashback(s))