PT The morality and ethics of using a clone army: The Official Thread

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by MrFantastic74, May 5, 2011.

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  1. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9


    To be fair, it's only Bail that strenously objects on-screen; from what we see onscreen the vast majority of the Senate is totally down with creating proto-Emperor Palpatine.
  2. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    What I was more saying is that the Jedi are supposed to be decadent in this movie, along with the rest of the Republic. I mean, one of the big things is the Not So Different aspect of the war: The Separatists use droids, and the Jedi use clones. The clones are straight from the Uncanny Valley, though.
  3. obi-rob-kenobi4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4
    ^^^ THIS!!! A Thousand times.
  4. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    The morality of forming clone armies was neglected in the movies for reasons I don't understand. In itself, making clones, especially an ARMY of them, is a massive moral dilemma.


    I disagree. I don't think it was neglected. Not one bit. I think the saga's creator was expressing his own views on cloning and nature, through the use of clones in the story.
  5. Drewdude91 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2011
    star 2
    I think that the saga greatly questions the morality of cloning. After all, the clones were literally the downfall of the Jedi and Republic.
  6. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    A lot of these issues are touched upon from the clone and Jedi PoV in the EU; for those quite interested I'd recommend the Republic Commando series, which deals with this issue quite well, albeit it is open-ended currently as the final book in the arc has been cancelled.
  7. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    The first book handles it well; after that it's a swift decline into emo melodrama. :p
  8. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 3
    Yeah, and the music playing when we first see them in rows, and again at the end of the movie, isn't subtle.
  9. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    It really does come down to the circumstances of the time. The Republic didn't have a force to match the Seperatists and needed one fast. It goes basically back to the atomic bomb debate. Use the atomic bomb to create enough fear to make Japan surrender, or enact a land assault that would've killed even more massive numbers on both sides. Neither was a good answers, so the moral answer was the one that caused the less harm. The Jedi couldn't defeat the Seperatists by themselves and had to use them for lack of options.
  10. CoolUsernameHere Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2011
    I honestly wouldn't have enjoyed an in-depth exploration of the morality of cloning. It wouldn't have felt like a very "Star Warsie" thing to do, if you will.
  11. janstett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2004
    star 3
    Agreed with the OP. When I saw Obi-Wan walking the catwalk with his Camino-an hosts, I was expecting a moment of horror as he looks over the rows and rows of embryos. Kind of like in the Matrix when Neo busts out of his pod and looks at the thousands of other pods, it's sheer horror. The imagery of the clone growing facilities was clearly influenced by it.

    Nope, move on to a fight with Jango and pew-pew.

    Somewhere deep, at some point in time, you'd think Lucas was trying to make some kind of point about being willing to fight your own battles (which the free Republic did not do, but the Rebels of the OT did at great risk).

    On top of that, the clones are consistently treated as disposable people, yet at random times they seem to treat them as actual human beings (such as when Anakin wants to go back to save one in the ARC). Intentional or not they are dehumanized, and treated not all that differently from the droids they fight.

    For what it's worth, the debate in the films seems to be over the creation of the army, not the fact that the army is constituted of clones. I don't think the argument would be any different if these were unique individual volunteers in the army.

    Maybe there actually is a point to all this. The Republic didn't care there is still slavery; the Jedi can't be bothered to free Anakin's mother in 10 years; they don't care that an army of slaves is being bred. They don't care that the Jedi take children away from their parents.
  12. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5

    They don't care that the Jedi take children away from their parents.


    GIVEN to the Jedi, not taken. There is a huge difference there (regardless of the morality argument which is whole 'nuther kettle of fish to endlessly argue - uh, debate).
  13. janstett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2004
    star 3
    I like it (aside from the fact the term goes back to WW I and was brought to prominence in WW II).
  14. janstett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2004
    star 3
    TFU2, Emperor in the EU...
  15. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
  16. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    The clone armies are not all that different from the conscripted armies that still exist even these days. The main argument against the draft in the US was that it was too much like slavery, albeit short term.

    Pretty much what happened to the Republic: down the drain it went.
  17. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4


    Yes, it was questioned. Lucas questioned the Jedi and Republic's use of the Clones. Their use of the Clones led to the downfall of the Jedi and the Republic. Lucas questioned the use of clones through symbolism and storytelling . . . not with a speech from a character.

    Are you now saying that someone had to verbally express disapproval of the Clones in order for Lucas to make a point?
  18. MrFantastic74 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2010
    star 4
    No, Lucas may have made a point in his own awkward way, but I would have expected the Jedi characters in the films to take the moral high ground and not resort to desperate immoral measures.
  19. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Morally speaking it's not quite as cut and dried as you might think.

    The clones were bred for war. You could say it's their reason for existence. The Kaminoans allude to having made other clone armies. If rejected by the Jedi/Republic the clones would most likely have still ended up as willing soldiers in some conflict. Furthermore, the alternative to accepting the army was letting the Separatists split the Republic in two, as Palpatine said.
  20. MrFantastic74 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2010
    star 4
    and


    The "they're going to fight in a war regardless, so we may as well use 'em" rationale, although arguable true, does not make the decision to use them any less immoral.

    The use (or abuse) of people that were grown in test tubes and brainwashed to know nothing but soldiering is just as immoral as capturing peoples of free will and forcing them to fight.



  21. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    Agreed with the OP. When I saw Obi-Wan walking the catwalk with his Camino-an hosts, I was expecting a moment of horror as he looks over the rows and rows of embryos. Kind of like in the Matrix when Neo busts out of his pod and looks at the thousands of other pods, it's sheer horror. The imagery of the clone growing facilities was clearly influenced by it.

    Nope, move on to a fight with Jango and pew-pew.




    I'm sorry, but this sounds very exaggerated. My memory of the movie does not recall the shift in scenes THAT FAST. He did meet Jango and Boba Fett and contact the Jedi Council in between.



    Furthermore, the alternative to accepting the army was letting the Separatists split the Republic in two, as Palpatine said.

    Why was the separation of the Republic such a bad thing, when the Senate was failing to serve the needs of the Republic's citizens?



    No, Lucas may have made a point in his own awkward way, but I would have expected the Jedi characters in the films to take the moral high ground and not resort to desperate immoral measures.


    To me, it sounds as if you wanted the Jedi to live up to some expectations of perfection. The Jedi were never perfect. If they were, there would be no story. I exaggerate. What I meant to say is that I believe it would have been a piece of poor characterization, if Lucas had portrayed the Jedi as all knowing, all powerful beings, who always knew the right thing to do. To me, that is fantasy of the one-dimensional kind, not good storytelling.
  22. MrFantastic74 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2010
    star 4
    Agreed. And is avoiding separation of the Republic worth the lives of thousands of brainwashed s
    laves?

    No, I wouldn't say that. I would not expect anyone, Jedi included, to be "perfect, all knowing, all powerful beings who always knew the right thing to do". However, I do not think that one needs these characteristics to see that using an army of slaves is wrong.

    Heck, Rain Man would have recognized that it was wrong. "Stay with Charlie Babbit. Yeah. Go back to Walbrook. Yeah. Slavery is wrong. Yeah."
  23. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    No, I wouldn't say that. I would not expect anyone, Jedi included, to be "perfect, all knowing, all powerful beings who always knew the right thing to do". However, I do not think that one needs these characteristics to see that using an army of slaves is wrong.


    It was the Senate who had decided to use the Clone army, not the Jedi. The Jedi decided to follow the Senate's orders and use the army. Now, the Jedi could have refused to do so, but that would mean undermining their position within the Republic. And from what I have seen, the Jedi were not prepared to do this. I'm not saying what they did was right. I'm just trying to point out what led them to this point - namely their willingness to be used by the Senate for political, diplomatic and military means. And like the Senate, they saw the Separatists as a political evil.
  24. Nordom Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2004
    star 4
    Technically the senate did not decide to use the clones, the gave lots of power to Palpatine so he could order their use. Which is slightly odd, if the senate can argee to give Palpatine enough power to approve the clone army why not just approve the clone army?

    There are a number of dodgy and odd things in this.
    1) Kamino have made other clone armies before. These clones would be slaves so the Republic anti-slavery laws would apply. Now it is possible that ALL of their previous clients were outside the republic but it seems odd. Would the kamino people know about this law? Most likely. So when they get an order for a slave army for the republic wouldn't they think it is odd?
    2) The seps want to leave the republic and in response the republic wants to create an army to stop them. Is this really the republics motto? "Stay in the republic or we'll get army on your ***" Even before the senate knew of an impending attack by the seps there was talk of getting an army to use against the seps. If the seps only want to leave then let them. Using military force to keep the republic together can do quite a bit of harm.
    And would the Jedi be ok with using military Force just to keep the republic intact?
    3) Why are the Jedi made generals? By their own words they are not soldiers. Have they any tactical training? Have they any experience leading armies into battle?
    They are good fighters yes but a good fighter need not make a good general.
    Are there really NO other people with military experience in the republic?
    4) We know that it was some time since a large scale war but smaller wars seemed to have happened. The TF army in TPM is called "battle hardened" and Kamino have made other armies before. So how come the republic have no military forces what so ever other than the Jedi who are not even soldiers?
    5) The staggering number of fishy things around the clone army. Who ordered it, why were the Jedi archive tampered with and by who. The Dooku-Jango connection. The very convinient timing, the army was ordered ten years ago and is ready within days of it being needed.

    Lastly about the clones themselves. Their DNA have been modified, how much is not clear but if you alter human DNA enough then it would no longer be human. The DNA difference between humans and or closests relatives is only a couple of %. Their DNA have been altered to make them less independent and docile and unable to refuse or question orders. So their free will have been greatly reduced or perhaps removed entierly.
    Boba is just a copy of Jango and has not had any DNA tampering.
    Could a clone want to leave, would they ever consider this option?
    Could a clone ever not obey an order, could they even consider not obeying?
    In essence they are programmed much like droids, they are made to obey orders, any orders and seemingly can not do other than follow their programming.

    Regards
    Nordom

  25. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Because Palpatine is the figurehead of the Republic? Because no individual senator or group of senators wants to feel solely responsible for authorizing it? Because when it all goes mammary glands up, the wise and trusted leader of the Republic can take all the hurt and blame?

    The Republic's anti-slavery laws are never really expounded on. From what little we're shown, the law(s) would only seem to apply -- and even then, somewhat weakly (remember: laws are always open to interpretation, liable to amendment and amenable to corruption) -- to citizens of the Republic. The clone army is created beyond the Republic; beyond, even, the Outer Rim. It's not even clear, in the finished film, the Kaminoans know all that much about the Republic to begin with. And any fears or concerns they might have had would, doubtless, have been allayed by all that money that came their way.

    OBI-WAN: Are they friendly?
    DEX: That depends....
    OBI-WAN: Depends on what, Dex?
    DEX: On how good your manners are. And how big your ... pocketbook is.

    The basic idea communicated in this exchange -- congruent with every last use of "good" and "friend" in the SW saga, in my estimation -- is that people are considered friendly when they're willing to do something for you; and what makes people friendly is often how cultured/reassuring you seem and how much you can offer them by way of payment (monetary or otherwise). Thus, the Kaminoans are willing, in theory, to make anything for anyone, provided their client is credible enough and rich enough. Laws are implicitly of no (or less) concern to mercenaries and those who operate with some level of impunity outside the law (which is literally and figuratively true of the Kaminoan cloners, positioned as they are, outside of the main Star Wars galaxy -- and not even the Jedi have heard of them).

    If secession is fearfully rationalized as symbolizing disloyalty, leading to insecurity, instability, and ultimately, disorder and anarchy, then it is only "reasonable" to "attack" the situation with -- how do military people sometimes put it? oh, yeah... -- "great prejudice". Using force to stop people from leaving and/or disobeying is not all that unusual in this world. In fact, it's something of the norm. It is even taught as the norm: as integral to normal societal functioning, as faithfulness to a sovereign ruler (ditto), as God's will (ditto). Add in not-altogether-unfounded fears of some kind of early reprisal by the "disloyal" side (as in the political situation shown in AOTC) and military action becomes both a moral and logical duty. In AOTC, we actually learn (if his words are to be trusted) that, according to Sio Bibble, the Republic was, essentially, founded in the afterglow of a full-scale war. The Republic's formation may well have had something to do wi
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