Undeniable Fact About AOTC #2: Clones, Baby!

The movie is called “Attack of the Clones” after all, so there must be clones! The clones show up at first as trainees on Kamino but we don’t get to see them in action until the Battle of Geonosis. Having viewed the Star Wars saga in release order, it had already been burned into my brain that guys in white helmets and armor are bad. So imagine my surprise on my first AOTC viewing to see the clone army fighting for the good guys. It was pretty surreal! Clone troopers quickly became fan favorites and for good reason. They’re great soldiers, their armor looks cool, and Clone Wars along with the expanded universe made them guys to root for.

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18 Responses to “Undeniable Fact About AOTC #2: Clones, Baby!”

  1. james Says:

    Always liked clones, they’re awesome.

  2. PrinceOfNaboo Says:

    I’ve really been enjoying these 30 Facts, probably more than the ones for TPM.
    AOTC has become a bit of the unbeloved stepchild among fans, so it was nice to see some posititivity (and I’m looking forward to #1).

  3. Keith Palmer Says:

    I remember going back and forth on whether the clones would be “on the side of the heroes” or “against them” right up until I saw the movie (and, of course, things were complicated there in the end…) It also tickled my fancy reflecting on an impression that “cloning” had been in the public mind in the mid-1970s when Star Wars had that little reference to “the Clone Wars,” and “cloning” was back in the public mind in 2002 as well.

  4. susanbowes Says:

    I loved the concept of having the Clones fight along side the Jedi in AOTC, but unfortunately they turned out to be terrible shots. That fact turned out to be good for the Jedi in Revenge due to Order 66 when the Clones switched sides. If not for Darth Vader, the Jedi might have survived the attack at the Temple which would have led to the evil Empire never taking over the galaxy.

    • Tarrlok Says:

      The clones actually kill the vast majority of Jedi in the Temple. They also manage to eradicate all but a truly miniscule number of Jedi in the field when they’re issued Order 66.

      The only time a droideka’s shield is depicted being overwhelmed by small arms fire is when clone troopers descend into the Geonosian arena in AOTC.

      They’re frighteningly effective soldiers, uncharacteristically competent for fictional sci-fi/fantasy soldiers who tend to be either Star Trek-style redshirts or stormtrooper-style pushover enemies. More militarist works of fiction like Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and the Halo games do depict elite sci-fi supersoldiers, and the clones are as close to that as SW has ever got, only it doesn’t glorify them like the above do.

      A whole essay or even book could be written on the political, ethical and philosophical implications of the clone troopers’ overall story through the PT.

      Stormtroopers are obviously less competent than the battle droids, let alone the clone troopers. Dave Filoni, apparently relaying some of Lucas’ final notes, has said that the reason for this is that the Empire shifts from cloning its soldiers to recruiting them. Since there are few formidable (ie. CIS level) foes facing the Empire until the Alliance, the Imperial military doesn’t put its soldiers through the rigorous ten year training regimen that Kamino does with the clone troopers.

      It’s interesting to watch the films in order and hear Obi-Wan’s remark that only Imperial stormtroopers are capable of great precision. He’s likely thinking back to the clone troopers, not fully aware of how far the institution of the white armour has fallen.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Great points! I’d always wondered if the Jango DNA eventually ran out and they either had crap DNA to clone or if they just used lazy recruits or a little of both.

      • Keith Palmer Says:

        I was particularly struck myself by the last point (that Obi-Wan’s estimation of the stormtroopers was based on the clone troopers); I don’t think it had ever occurred to me before, but it’s certainly more satisfying and even amusing to contemplate than just supposing Star Wars started off trying to make the Imperial troopers in their “fascist white armour” threatening (consider the storming of the Rebel blockade runner) before they ran into the protagonists with their that much more effective “plot armour.” The earlier points were also interesting, too.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        “Plot armour,” hahahahahahaha…that’s a good one!

      • buick runner Says:

        Back in the 70s there was a Lucas film article that stated Stormtroopers are clones. While the stormtroopers in a new hope did not have Jango’s voice they still all had the same voice. Both Jango and the stormtroopers bump their heads and Lucas said that the stormtroopers inherited that trait from Jango which indicates they are still clones. Also he stormtroopers did kick butt, on the blockade runner and on Hoth. Plus Lucas did order Hasbro to give Stormtrooper action figures Jango clone heads. Making stormtroopers recruits in Rebels is really going against the grain Lucas was pushing for decades. Maybe he changed his mind? Or Dave is lying since the eu, never adopted the stormtroopers are clones and he is a real eu, fan.

      • Tarrlok Says:

        @buick runner

        Yeah, Lucas did change his mind for some reason.

        http://www.theforce.net/story/front/Rebelscums_NYCC_Star_Wars_Rebels_Panel_Report_154734.asp

        The stormtroopers do well on occasion, such as against the poorly armed rebels on board the Tantive IV and the already shaken and demoralised personnel of Echo Base. However, the clone troopers and the battle droids fight each other to a standstill for years, and both are depicted as being capable of gunning down large numbers of Jedi. The Republic and CIS militaries are very competent indeed, which is why the Clone Wars are so destructive.

      • slicer87 Says:

        Also a horse drawn cart still run fast enough to hit and kill a person, happens it many westerns. The right to travel is a basic right that is supposed to be granted here in the US, UK probably doesn’t have such a thing which is why you can’t believe it, you never had such freedoms to be able to understand responsible self-incriminate dangerous oppress responsible ledgeastrait citizens innocent responsibility appreciate idealogoly protecting heckle purposely stampedes overreact alternator oppression character

        It is weird Lucas changed his mind after pushing clones for so long. Maybe he was pressured into changing his mind like with using the name Coruscant in the PT films, he didn’t want to use that name but marketing pushed him to do so. Just seems many fans have a hard on for the empire to stop using clones and switch to recruits for stormtroopers which just doesn’t make any sense. The Empire would have been popular because it would use clones to do the dirty work so regular citizens would not have to risk their lives. Plus you don’t want your peons to know how to fight. The irony being the clones would be tools of oppression that the people would end up fighting the clones. Clones fits the Empire’s and the Sith’s MO very well, a perversion of life itself to oppress others with while being disposable. Perhaps that is too dark for Disney? Or they just want to cut as many ties to the old clone wars series as they can?

        The problem is the films still do indicate that Stormtroopers are clones. If Lucas feels this strong about this change, he would go back and delete Jango bumping his head and other pro-clone clues. What the films currently show trumps what any new series or even what Lucas says. Quite a paradox with Lucas vs his own films in their current form. Until he revises the films, there are still clones in the stormtroopers ranks, at least in the films. His explanation of clones being less loyal also does not make any sense, clones would be brainwashed from birth to be loyal, only droids could be any more loyal than that. Recruits on the other hand would always have overriding loyalties to families and friends, making them less loyal, (real life militaries have to worry about this).

        Regardless, it is a bad sign with Rebels and the films already butting heads like this. Besides the clone paradox, the new Jedi character doesn’t jive with what ROTS shows of the aftermath of order 66. The film portrays Obi-Wan and Yoda being the only Jedi to survive, yes they go back to the temple to change the message but it is portrayed as wishful thinking on their part. Whenever the series or anything else contradicts the current versions of the films, I will side with the films. If other fans want to side with the new stuff that is fine too, just don’t pretend there are no contradictions like the old EU tried to do. Maybe we might just have to look at the new series as another spin off universe like the old EU was supposed to be?

        http://starwarsverses.tumblr.com/post/82460647418

      • slicer87 Says:

        Oh jeez, ignore my first paragrapgh above. The site kept losing my reply as I was typing it so I had to type it in word, then copy and paste here so I didn’t have to keep starting over. It looks like the first part of it got badly garbled in the process.

  5. Hunk a Junk Says:

    I love that AOTC is the only SW film where the opening shot pans UP instead of the traditional down; a subtle visual clue that the film is about to turn many of the many of the assumptions about the SW story upside-down. Stormtroopers (clones) being “good guys” is one of them.

  6. BansheeGun Says:

    Clones are undeniably cooler than Stormtroopers. (Sorry, not sorry)

    • Tarrlok Says:

      Damn right.

      While some decry the use of CGI to bring the clone troopers to the screen, I actually think it played a huge part in the elevation of the clone troopers’ reputation over the stormtroopers. Rather than some blokes struggling to move around in clearly uncomfortable and obviously compromised plastic suits, ILM were able to create some very convincing fictional soldiers. They could walk, run and essentially do what a person /not/ stuck in a hot plastic suit could do. As characters who have trained their whole lives to wear the armour, that sort of fluidity was exactly what was needed.

      I recall hearing somewhere that they even got a guy with military experience to do some of the motion capture work for the ROTS clone troopers. The slick movements of the clones in ROTS might have been the result of this, adding to their coolness factor.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Yes, it’s true they did hire veterans to make the troopers’ movements more realistic. I remember reading somewhere that the hand signals the clone troopers were doing in one scene were the same signals SEALs use to call for a medic.

      • Tarrlok Says:

        That was during the Battle of Utapau before Cody receives Order 66, right? I recall the airborne trooper crouching over a wounded comrade and gesturing to the clones coming off the gunship behind him.

        Really nice to know it was authentic.

  7. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    [“I loved the concept of having the Clones fight along side the Jedi in AOTC, but unfortunately they turned out to be terrible shots. That fact turned out to be good for the Jedi in Revenge due to Order 66 when the Clones switched sides. If not for Darth Vader, the Jedi might have survived the attack at the Temple which would have led to the evil Empire never taking over the galaxy.”]

    I don’t know if I can agree with that. I think only Lucas would know.

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