Sunday, January 11, 2009

Clones and More Clones (again...)

While listening to the Voice of the Republic podcast, an old debate has returned. During Episode III, Emperor Palpatine calls on Order 66 and the clones murder every Jedi they can get their hands on with no qualms or regrets. We all assume that in the end, the clones were flesh droids. However shortly after, Lucas Arts releases “Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader” in which a few clone commandos refuse to kill Jedi Master Roan Shryne. The question is whether Order 66 was a program implanted into the clones or not.

We assumed that it was a program that was conditioned and that the clone commandos in Luceno's post Episode III book were clones that somehow overcame their programming. Enter Karen Traviss' “Order 66,” and the debate is once again on. In “Order 66,” the clone commandos, Null Arcs, and the other clones that Kal Skirata picks up do not obey Order 66. Even Captain Maze hesitates to kill Jedi Master Arligan Zey and even offers to let him escape. We also learn that the clones were conditioned to memorize 150 contingency plans that included other orders such as arresting the entire Senate in case they decided to wrest power from the Supreme Chancellor. So it's a mix up, right?

In “Order 66,” we learn that Commander Cody thought the world of Obi Wan Kenobi. We see this affection in the Clone Wars new series on Cartoon Network and in the early part of Episode III. Ironically, the clones under Kal Skirata have no love for the Jedi. This seems to stem from Mandolorian culture. Yet they refuse to partake in the killing of the Jedi. Yet we realize that several clones dislike Kenobi and ridicule Commander Cody's affection for Kenobi. Yet in Episode III, Cody not only unflinchingly gives the order to kill Kenobi, he refers to Palpatine as “My Lord.”

We also realize in “Order 66,” that most clones had no love for Jedi. Here are some of the reasons discussed in Traviss' latest book:

a. No one has questioned how the Clone army came about. Some Jedi have asked and other Jedi have left the Jedi Order. Yet no one has specifically debated the Senate, Palpatine, or the Jedi Council on this.

b. In several books and even on the tv show, Clones have asked their Jedi caretakers what is going to happen to them after the war. I have yet to see a Jedi answer that question. Some Jedi have discussed this amongst themselves but nothing has come of it.

c.The Jedi Council hasn't said a peep about this.

d.Some Jedi, such as Quinlan Vos, have expressed their disdain for the clones. In “Order 66,” they even name names.

What do you think?