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PT Do Clones Dream of Electric Banthas?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Slicer87, May 15, 2016.

  1. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012

    Or at least - that may be the perspective most people in-universe have - even if it's not entirely accurate.
     
  2. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Yet there is something decisive to consider, IMHO, and that's the fact that unlike robots / droids they are living beings - and as such contribute to the creation of the Force.
     
  3. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2013

    I would not say it is underestimated, more like suppressed. A clone army is a very interesting and disturbing concept which has similar themes to both THX1138 and Blade Runner. A social construct of not viewing human beings as human beings much like in the South during slavery and Jim Crow. The grand clone marching scene at the end of AOTC is supposed to be the death of the Republic and the birth of the Empire (which is why Organa was looking away in disgust and shame), as it is not the nature of the Republic to use a clone army, but it is very much the MO of the Empire to perverse life like that.

    Sadly like how Jar-Jar was suppressed in AOTC and even more in ROTS, it seems Lucas also backpedaled concerning the clones and made them more "good guys" in TCW. Maybe like with Jar-Jar, it was a response to negative reactions from so called fans. I have read many basher complaints stating how they view the clone army and the droid army as boring toy armies that removed the horror from war. Completely missing how a clone army is even more horrifying and that it is the supposed good guys using them! That they wanted gritty "real people" recruits who would have their own personal stories and histories, IE a typical WW2 film set in the GFFA. Typical Fan rewrites of the PT often involve a teenager Anakin and the Jedi leading a army or recruited soldiers against a army of clones lead by the Sith from beyond the GFFA. Then later the recruits would turn on the Jedi and become stormtroopers. Through I think some of this involves the various authors' power fantasies of joining a super badass army and becoming badass. It really seems to me this is why the FO in TFA went down this route despite the lines in the film indicating they could have used cloning too. Why not use both to build up as large a force as possible to whipe out the new Republic? Oh yeah, angry fanboys don't like clones.

    Lucas has stated how disturbed he was about negative online comments towards him and his films, I even read an article where he stated he did the Star Wars Robot Chicken skits as an apology to fans he disappointed with his work (personally I don't think he has anything to apologize for). If the microchips are really his idea, (I don't really trust second hand word, especially from Lucasfilm employees who are likely interjection their personal fanon), then Lucas could have been reformatting the clones into a generic "cool badass space army" to appease fanboys. Just look at AOTC, not only did Lucas cut down Jar-Jar's part in that film because of fan reaction towards him in TPM, but he also cut out a Nsync cameo because of fan bitching.

    Alot of Lucas detractors try to paint him as a control freak who ruled his staff like a dictator, but from all the accounts I have heard he was a pretty open guy that allowed others to have a say and maybe too concerned about what they thought at times like with the angry fanboys. Personally I found the clones as they are portrayed in the films to be much more interesting than the watered down clean cut nice clones in TCW. Frankly I found TCW not holding a light to the PT in general, IMHO. Perhaps the film version of the clones just simply isn't for everybody, and Lucas decided for TCW to change them into a more likable and marketable characterization. Then again, maybe another way to look at it is the PT shows the harsh "reality" of the clone wars while TCW series shows the war through a much more idealized "propaganda" lens from how the war really was?
     
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  4. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Slicer87 wrote

    I have read many basher complaints stating how they view the clone army and the droid army as boring toy armies that removed the horror from war. Completely missing how a clone army is even more horrifying and that it is the supposed good guys using them!

    Especially since, IMHO, the Kenobi history lesson in ANH perhaps suggested that "Clone Wars" was originally an "idealistic crusade" of the Jedi against cloning techniques... ;)

    But also, IMHO, Lucas should have illustrated the moral and ethical ramifications of using clones more explicitly in the PT. Instead he focused upon how corruption and selfish interests erode democracy and pave the way for a dictator.

    When the Jedi learn about "their" clone army, there are many other things distracting them at the moment, but they never really revisit the issue.
     
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  5. Tonyg

    Tonyg Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 16, 2016

    All this bashing is ridiculous, of course, as we discussed in many other threads. After all, the director is the one who is directing and that is his/her movie. We can like it or dislike it, but that's it. This is art, not democracy elections and it is how it works. Anyway, I think Lucas has shown enough about his attitude towards war using the visuals in AOTC (I'm not a big fan of TCW but anyway it looks more like military memories of the heroes there, the episodes of the Saga are a bit different). I agree with you that the clone problem here is not emphasized, it looks more like a periphery problem, still when I said underestimated I has in mind that it is not discussed at all by the fans, even by the bashers. If something is discussed is how the faculty of Kamino looks artificial, too clear and sterile. But of course, it should look like that! This is gigantic laboratory. All there is artificial and sterile. The clones are not considered as living beings that's why they are created as experiment in a biochemical laboratory and let's not forget, they are created for death and not for life. I think this is the main reason that there is no female clones (not because the prototype is male, they easily could find a female one, someone like Zam, for example). There is no life because they are made as tools for war. Even Jango Fett himself thinks about them as tools for war, the only clone that he consider as living being is Boba and that's why he call him 'my son'. Boba is not one of them: he is unaltered, real living being. So, still in AOTC and even in ROTS there are some very important little details about the clones that pass almost unseen or ignored by many fans and it is real pity.
     
  6. Valiowk

    Valiowk Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 23, 2000
    Admittedly I haven't watched much of TCW, but the impression I received is that for Lucas, it was more important that TCW succeed on its own as a cartoon, than as part of the Star Wars saga (as opposed to the six films where the connection to the whole was more important than the success of an individual part). In my opinion, this arises from Lucas' outlook regarding the different media that constitute the Star Wars universe.

    I realise that this may be a disappointment for those who stuck firmly to the different levels of the old canon, but I think Lucas made a conscious choice to let fans have some details the way they would like in TCW. I don't see this as backpedalling for the reason I mentioned above - Lucas does not necessarily have the same outlook on the media that constitute the Star Wars universe in the same way that another does. I think for Lucas, everything he truly wanted in the Star Wars saga is in the films and so he was willing to let fans have things more the way they would like in TCW, since his six-part saga was already complete, so its unlikely that TCW would affect a viewer's perspective of the saga if the viewer doesn't want it to (as opposed to if the saga had yet to be completed and the cartoon would influence speculation), and if TCW lets some fans be better able to come to terms with the ideas presented in the PT, it's a win-win situation in certain ways.
     
  7. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2013
    That is a likely scenario, but it seems some fans consider TCW to be a overrite, retcon, fix, or correction of what Lucas "got wrong" in the films. Especially with how he stated he considers TCW the same canon as the films, which IMO means he just considers it just as official but not necessarily the same continuity. People seem to confuse canon with continuity. Also I forgot that awhile ago, Filoni claimed to be the one who came up with the bio chips. That he thought Sid's plans for taking over were too unstoppable and needed weak points to make it fragile, and that is why he came up with bio chips that can go haywire. I don't know or really care who is telling the truth, Filoni or Hildago.

    It is indeed a pity, through some I think chose to ignore it rather than just not seeing it. The clones not being considered proper life forms probably is why they were so easily adopted by the Republic, the Jedi weren't leading real men to war, the politicians weren't sending their own people to fight and die, etc. For Palps this would keep local security forces small and weak as he has a central army that is much more powerful than them. Later on with the Empire, they could promote how the clones do the dirty work so the citizens don't have to, that they will protect (and subjugate) you. Plus this would keep the peasants from being well trained in mass for combat as there is a manufactured warrior class that does the fighting instead, for both protecting the serfs and keeping them in line (mostly the latter). If the deleted Biggs scene from ANH is to be believed, then Palp's ultimate plan is too take over everything, not just the government.
     
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  8. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Found some interesting clone / Fett image comparisons from the films.

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  9. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Interesting article. I do not, however, agree with the conclusions drawn therein.
     
  10. Cmndr_Thire

    Cmndr_Thire Jedi Master

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Fascinating stuff - thanks for posting this Slicer, it really does raise some really deep and profound questions both in universe and in reality. Probably could ponder all of this indefinitely and never truly have a final opinion, but there a couple of valid observations that I think the article doesn't touch upon enough.

    Firstly there is the unaddressed matter of the fundamentally psychopathic nature of the prime clone - Jango - and how much of his psyche is represented, even in a diluted form, within his clones, and how that therefore contributes to their brutal efficiency as an elite military force. Jangos inherent martial skills - gunning - flying - unarmed combat - pragmatism - decisiveness etc - are all very present in the Clone Army, and rightly so as that’s what you need in your military. However the article then makes the point that the heartless/cold/automatic mannerisms of the clones in Eps II & III are therefore indicators of a lack of humanity, even sentience:



    But you cannot judge the clones as "unnatural" if you do not also offer some character analysis of their genetic link to the "natural" - IE the normal-born Jango, and how much of his cold-blooded militaristic ruthlessness is inherited by them. As a renowned bounty hunter of the highest order it goes without saying that he has killed many, many sentient beings without remorse or regret, he wouldn’t do what he does so well if he did allow any ‘normal’ degree of humanity and compassion to live within him. However he was chosen as the prime clone not just for his supreme martial skills – any number of other hunters or warriors across the galaxy could fight on that high tier level - he was clearly also chosen by Dooku/Tyrannus for his psychopathic mindset.

    Jango himself acts in a manner not too dissimilar to the clones throughout AoTC; he's all pragmatic business when sub-contracting the spiralling assassination attempts on Padmes life and then eliminating Zam without missing a beat when she gets captured. When we see him again he's formal and taut during Obi Wans visit to his apartment, succinct with his answers, the threat of violence appearing to be never far from his mind – i see echoes of this in the passive aggressive “I’m sorry sir its time for you to leave..” directed at Bail by the 501st troopers in RoTS.
    The moment in the arena at Geonosis where it looks like Padme might actually escape being torn to shreds prompts Gunray to bark an order at Fett: "This isn’t how it’s supposed to be! Jango, finish her off!" Just like the clones Jango has no qualms about doing just that – he starts to move on that command with no change of expression – until Dooku stops him with his pre-arranged Droideka maneuver. When Windu first heralds the arrival of the Jedi at the arena in Dookus viewing balcony he has his sabre mere inches from Jangos neck, yet the bounty hunters expression shows no panic or concern just calculating contempt directed at Mace, and within seconds of that he’s blasting flames and in full-on combat mode, some beings are just that hardcore – and therefore ideal in many ways as a template for an entire army.
    The only shred of selflessness he appears to show is when he shouts at Boba with a sense a of paternal urgency to get on board Slave 1 when Obi Wan confronts them on the Kamino landing platform. Other than that his actions and mannerisms could be viewed as pretty much devoid of humanity and almost robotic, certainly when seen through the lens of our world and society. Yet Jango has a soul and was not (as far as we know) animated through dark science; he’s clinical, ruthless and shares many traits with what we define as a psychopath - the same traits that are all too evident in the Clone Army - and certain soldiers and military corps in our civilisation too, extremely well trained and motivated for warfare - but still humans.

    A second debatable issue is that a lot of the articles examples of the so-called de-humanity shown by the clones that equates to them therefore being more like droids than humans could easily be replicated with natural born humans/sentient beings - if they too are utterly brainwashed and conditioned from birth to act in the purely militaristic way that the clones are. In theory you could eventually create an entire army of natural born “clones” who follow any order without question - it would just take far longer to create each batch. But would that make them less human? Hard to draw a fast conclusion on that as it raises another hugely complex debate along the 'nature' vs 'nurture' lines I guess.

    I also found the use of the Cody/Obi professional relationship to be questionable in terms of assessing the clones humanity or lack thereof. The article suggests that because Cody immediately takes Order 66 on board and issues the kill command on Obi that he is therefore more like a robot than a human, but that to me is quite a reductive viewpoint as it does not look at the big picture of military respect and subservience for hierarchy - even without being brainwashed from birth its a sad fact that many sentients would have acted in the same way. Cody received a direct order from his Commander-in-Chief, an order that explicitly informed him that Kenobi was a traitor to the Republic and that the only action at the clones disposal for that treason is execution, so because Cody and the other clones dutifully observed the chain of command doesn’t necessarily diminish their humanity, it just displays their ingrained discipline as soldiers, soldiers who never had the virtue of being raised with a moral compass.

    With regards to Order 66 as shown on screen, I've always found it intriguing that there is a subtle yet telling difference in the way in which Commanders Bly and Bacara enact the command: Bly and his 327th Star Corps execute their apparently beloved General - Aayla Secura - with immediate effect, hell she barely gets time to look over her shoulder before they unleash wave upon wave of blaster fire into her back - almost seems as though they couldn't bare to face her one last time. Commander Bacara and his Galactic Marines however line up and and actually appear to let General Ki-Adi Mundi turn around and face the firing squad head on, its a slight yet strange difference to Blys approach, and this could be seen as either a sign of respect or the complete opposite.

    Perhaps this is reminiscent of Palpatines speech to Ani at the Galaxies Opera House, but the article seems to put forward a rather narrow view of what defines humanity -a somewhat narrow and dogmatic approach of evaluating a beings humanity from the limiting perspective of our modern world sensibilities, when it would arguably be wiser to adopt a wider more encompassing view of the evaluation of humanity by looking at how humans have developed over the centuries through many great yet ultra-violent cultures - each of which is equally entitled to claim that the beings who inhabited those times and cultures had humanity.
     
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  11. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 18, 2013
    In the film version of Frankenstein monster, the monster was partly a monster by accident. Besides the dark science and perversion of life, Dr. Frankenstein wanted a perfect brain but Fritz bungled and grabbed the wrong brain. A criminal's brain who's life was marked with violence and murder. Dark science was not responsible for the criminal's brain to be abnormal, but by chance natural evil was accidentally enhanced by dark science into a unnatural monster. The Sith on the other hand wanted a criminal brain on purpose, they wanted an army of monsters. This IMO explains why the clones act so similar to Jango in the films. The Sith used dark science to enhance Jango's natural evil into unnatural levels by multiplying it from a single individual into a army of copies. That is the Sith made Jango unnatural by expanding and enhancing his abnormal personality into a whole army.

    It is clear from the films the clones do not have a normal life. Besides being copied from a seedy thug with an abnormal personality, we are told they are genetically engineered to be less independent and more docile than normal humans. Then raised and brainwashed from birth to be soldiers and nothing else, likely they have even more abnormal personalities than Jango himself. So the clones are unnatural. Their ingrained discipline is further used to reduce their humanity. Solider, while in service do not live normal lives. In fact, a good warrior does not expect to live a normal life nor desires it.

    With Cody, he displays no remorse or regret with 66, it was still all business as usually. With Bly, I do not see him shooting Aayla in the back as a sign of regret or that she was beloved by the clones. It was simply a good opportunity to catch her off guard and use surprise to increase the chance of success. The fact they keep blasting her body after she is dead which is called overkill, suggests the clones may have held resentment toward her and the Jedi. Killing a woman and shooting in the back are both considered extra bad and extra low acts of murder which is telling of the crooked nature of the clones. Bacara and his men intended to shoot Ki-ai in the back but he just happened to turn around before they shot him. Again they kept overkilling by blasting his dead body over and over. In fact during order 66, most of the clones kill their Jedi targets from behind, using and betraying the Jedi's trust as a effective weapon of surprising them. Sharing the same low and dishonorable nature as Jango.
     
  12. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    I think Mia Mesharad might have some interesting things to say about the article - how clones can be dehumanised by watchers without ever having done anything particularly "inhuman".

    EDIT: Apparently I've already mentioned that before. Still, the basic idea is sound - that the article makes a lot of assumptions.
     
  13. Cmndr_Thire

    Cmndr_Thire Jedi Master

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2005


    With the amount of firepower Bly and his troops had at their disposal her death was fait accompli from the mili-second they received O66. In the grand scheme of things whether Aayla had an extra half a second or not to turn and fully comprehend the horror of her betrayal (like poor Ki-Adi had) is irrelevant, the only positive to draw from the speed of the 327th’s blaster fire was that it was all over mercifully quickly for her. By its deceitful nature Order 66 was always going to catch the Jedi off-guard, and as despicable as the O66 executions were - they were not arbitrary murders that were only made possible due what you describe as the crooked nature of the clones, they were all the result of a direct executive order from the C-in-C, and in the military this is the be all and end all of the chain of command.

    I’m not in any way trying to condone the slaughter of the Jedi - on the contrary I love their Order and Aayla has always been one of my favourites - an all round awesome character both from her brief yet memorable moments in AoTC & RotS and also from the EU – particularly the Ostrander & Duursema storylines. I’m just pointing out that blame being squarely laid on the soldiers who receive a direct kill order from above is a murky and morally grey area, and when you factor in the brainwashing and genetic meddling that the clones had to endure its even more debatable.



    The clones did indeed share many/nearly all of Jangos dark character traits, hardly their fault as they were not given the chance to be anything other than a slave army, and that does not negate their claim to humanity, if anything they deserve pity as much as the Jedi do as like them they were merely pawns in the Siths grand betrayal and evil enslavement of the entire galaxy. That betrayal cost the living breathing clones the right to a full and free life as much as it did any of those poor souls who the Sith manipulated and killed. Were the clones so dishonourable when they were selflessly dying in their hundreds of thousands to protect/secure Republic worlds and beings from the droid hordes of the Seps – often due to the direct and sometimes flawed commands of their Jedi Generals?
     
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  14. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 18, 2013
    The clones know full well how dangerous opponents the Jedi can be so they use the element of surprise combined with overwhelming violence to defeat the Jedi. Tactically it is a good plan despite being immoral and dishonorable. The crookedness stems from the Sith themselves as order 66 is a long term mass murder plan. They were mainly created to ultimately genocide the Jedi, that was always one of their main purposes. In war crime trials, " I was just following orders" is not accepted as a excuse or defense and order 66 could certainly be considered a war crime. I wasn't talking so much about Aayna's comprehension but the very fact of murdering a woman in the back is low. Even in Blade Runner, Rick Deckard who job is to retire replicants still dislikes shooting a female replicant in the back as she was running for her life. This makes me wonder if Anya's death is a intentional reversal of the Blade Runner scene by Lucas, replicants retiring real living beings in a sense.

    Much like the Frankenstien monster, it is not the clones' fault that they were created the way they are. But that does not fully resolve the horrors they would commit. Post 66, we see clones subjugating people in the background. Such as on Utapu where Cody has many of the locals handcuffed and detained. Without the Jedi, the clones are more free to be themselves which is not a pretty picture. I agree there is greyness with the clones but I believe this is used to make the concept even more disturbing. As for honourable dying defending the Republic, again they did not have the choice to serve like normal borns, and they are following orders without question like they are made to do so which is part of the horror, and all for a sham war that is nothing more than a power play. Later many of the same clones as well as future generations of clones would subjugate the people they are supposed to protect under the Empire.
     
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