Star Wars is a big favourite in our house. I have loved it since first seeing it in 1977, and that has been passed on to Daniel, who is really into it now. His best friend at school is also a fan, so Daniel has been caught in the middle, and has also become a fan. We will often watch the movies, and the Clone Wars. Daniel has so many questions over it, and he and I will have some quite interesting discussions over it. His constantly asks questions when we watched, which makes it a bit difficult to follow the dialogue, but secretly I’m delighted.
Yesterday, we discussed the Grand Army of the Republic, the Stormtrooper Corps and whether or not the admission of non-clones to the Corps weakened it to the point where it was a contributory factor to the eventual defeat of the Sith. The GAR was made up entirely of Jango Fett clones, and was bred for discipline. It was effectively a slave army as clones weren’t allowed leave or rest. The constant fighting made them a tough army, and they were on the verge of decisive victories at the time Sidious/Palpatine assumed executive control of the army from the Jedi, and issued Order 66. But as Sidious strengthened the Sith grip on power and the GAR became the Stormtrooper Corps, to increase the size of the corps, non-clones were admitted. It seems that they lacked the discipline of Fett clones and their dedication too. For example when Cody – a more than able commander under General Kenobi – assumed control of the Imperial Battalion in Timira City on Kamino, he was “disappointed” in the enlisted Stormtroopers who didn’t like his drills, or patrolling. That laxity in any army should ring alarm bells in any army.
Then there’s the individuality that came with enlisting non-clones. Clones would blindly follow orders, giving no thought to any alternative. But non-clones? They have their own ideas, and with that comes the risk that they may no longer follow orders. When that happens, there’s no guarantee that the next Stormtrooper over will cover his colleague’s back. That happened when Luke, Obi-Wan, Han, Chewie, 3PO & R2 escaped from Tattooine and trooper Davin Felth shot his commanding officer in the back, allowing Luke to escape.
The Clone Army had no thought for their own safety, and that made them absolutely ruthless. Sidious failed to see how much weaker the Stormtrooper Corps had become. I suspect that when he laid a trap for the Rebels at Endor, he had counted on the Corps being as the GAR had been. Turned out he was completely wrong of course, and the failure of his troops on the Forest Moon contributed to a decisive victory for what became the New Republic. This all came from Daniel and I having a chat as we watched Revenge of the Sith. He’s a deep little thinker at times, and its fascinating to raise an issue with him to see what he thinks. Sometimes his conclusions are fairly straightforward. When we were watching Revenge of the Sith, and it came to the scene where Mace Windu attempts to arrest/kill Sidious, I asked Daniel what would have happened if he had, and the GAR had won the Clone Wars and the Jedi order had survived. He simply said, “They wouldn’t have made your favourite movie” (The Empire Strikes Back)! How true I suppose, but maybe it would have ushered in a era of peace and justice as the Republic continued! occasionally I get a deep thought and answer, sometimes an obvious one.
Its all part of the fun that sharing my love of Star Wars with Daniel. Who knows what well talk out next?!