Star Wars confirms that even if the Empire had wanted to keep clones as their primary military force, the clones themselves would have been a problem.
Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2, episode 3Star Wars has confirmed that even if the Empire had wanted to keep the Republic’s clone army, soldiers like Commander Cody would have proven the core challenge, as seen in The Bad Batch season 2. While they were genetically created to be more obedient and follow orders with loyalty to the Republic, the reign of the Empire caused many clones to question the new order while struggling to adapt to its cruel oppression.
Star Wars has been unveiling more about the transitional era from the Galactic Republic to the Empire, and The Bad Batch animated series is particularly focused on the impact the change had on the clones. While the majority of Clone Force 99, Captain Rex, and a few others chose to go rogue, Crosshair remained loyal to the Empire. Likewise, The Bad Batch season 2, episode 3 features Crosshair joining a mission led by Cody, formerly Obi-Wan Kenobi’s clone commander prior to the Jedi Purge. However, this episode clearly shows Cody’s struggles with his role in Order 66 as well as his continued service to the Empire.
Clone Troopers’ Free Will & Individuality Didn’t Fit With The Empire
Cody also proves the Empire didn’t do itself any favors with the clones. Although leaders such as Vice Admiral Rampart proposed replacing the clones with enlisted stormtroopers almost immediately with Project War-Mantle, its treatment of the clones in the interim was quite problematic. Case in point, the secondary colors and personal decals many clones would use to express their individuality were taken away, confirmed with Commander Cody’s basic gray and white armor (rather than the orange he used to have along with his own designs).
Likewise, Rampart refuses to call Cody or any clone by their chosen names. Instead, he refers to them by their identification number, another example of removing their unique expression that many of the Jedi encouraged, setting the clone army apart from the droids they fought during the Clone Wars. It’s no wonder clones kept questioning the Empire beyond its general oppression of the galaxy. The dark new regime took away what little freedom and personal individuality they had.
Why The Empire Could Control Stormtroopers Better Than Clones
Beyond taking away everything that made the clones unique, Commander Cody also shows how continued service to the Empire was never going to work in the long term for most clones. Case in point, Crosshair’s mission with Cody to save an Imperial governor from a Separatist holdout saw the commander managing to talk down the Separatist leader from killing the governor, promising a peaceful negotiation. However, the governor demanded the Separatist’s execution immediately after he was freed, an order Crosshair followed despite Cody’s protests.
Considering Cody’s decision to go AWOL upon their return to Coruscant, it’s evident that the majority of clones were not created to look the other way in the face of the Empire’s corruption and cruelty. It’s a dark reason why the Empire wanted stormtroopers whom they could manipulate much easier going forward in the Star Wars timeline. As such, here’s hoping Commander Cody will be able to reunite with Captain Rex and the rest of Clone Force 99 as The Bad Batch continues.