Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Ahsoka Episode 5.
The Big Picture
- The clones in Star Wars: The Clone Wars were initially seen as disposable, but they proved their individuality and importance to their Jedi Generals, we see their close connection in Ahsoka.
- Anakin Skywalker’s 501st battalion embraced creativity and unorthodox methods, which led to their success in battles against the Separatist Droid Army.
- The friendship between Ahsoka and Captain Rex highlights the tragedy and expendability of the clones during the war, as they fought against Order 66 together.
One of the many great things that Star Wars: The Clone Wars series achieved was highlighting the importance of the clones. Yes, they were scientifically conceived and the purpose of their conception was to fight in a war, and while many saw them as disposable, the clones were living, breathing human beings with intelligence, emotions, and exceeding amounts of loyalty and courage. In the very beginning of the Clone War, the clones shared the belief that they were bred for one sole purpose – to win the war. Their individuality went as far as their different identification numbers, such as CT-7567. But as the clones became more familiar with their Jedi Generals, they came to embrace their individuality. Various Jedi such as Plo Koon and Obi-Wan Kenobi (voiced by James Arnold Taylor), Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lanter), Shaak Ti (voiced by Tasia Valenza), and Kit Fisto (voiced by Phil LaMarr) valued every single one of their clone comrades, seeing each clone as unique and important, not disposable. The clones greatly appreciated this, so it was goodbye to identification numbers and hello to new nicknames, tattoos, hairstyles, and personalities that made every clone become their own person.
‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Reveals the Differences Between the Clones
The very first episode of The Clone Wars titled ‘Ambush’ showed the humble beginnings of the promising relationship between the clones and the Jedi. In the episode, Jedi Master Yoda (voiced by Tom Kane) goes on a mission with three clones – Lieutenant Thire, Jek, and Rys (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker). When the mission becomes difficult and overwhelming, the clones lose faith in themselves and reveal their shared mentality that as clones, they are meant to be disposable. However, Master Yoda refutes this belief, and he describes how Thire, Jek, and Rys are all different from one another and how they each exhibit different and vital skill sets. Master Yoda points out that their strengths and their individuality are all they need to prevail. Thire, Jek, and Rys’s spirits are lifted by Master Yoda’s show of appreciation, and they all go on to succeed in their mission.
Anakin Skywalker’s clone battalion known as the 501st was arguably a collection of the most eccentric and unorthodox clones. Such eccentricities and unorthodox methods were undoubtedly inspired by their Jedi General, but nevertheless, despite Anakin’s often impulsive and daring way of doing things, he and his 501st battalion were a force to be reckoned with, winning numerous battles against the Separatist Droid Army. Anakin inspired creativity in his clone battalion and encouraged them to be expressive in their ideas. Evidently, it was one clone from the 501st, called Fives (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker), who came extremely close to discovering the real truth about the clone’s purpose. Fives’ avid pursuit of the truth about Order 66 perhaps would not have occurred if he hadn’t been inspired by his Jedi General’s leadership, who always inspired his clones to do things their way.
Indeed, Darth Sidious greatly underestimated the Jedi’s ability to inspire individuality among the clones. Sidious’s plans in regard to Order 66 were compromised when Fives came close to discovering the secret. As the Clone Wars raged on, the clones began to share their Jedi General’s questions about why the war was even created. Which of course, makes the occurrence of Order 66 that much more heartbreaking, most especially after seven seasons of The Clone Wars that illustrated the strong bonds of friendship between the Jedi and their clone comrades. Within the war, friendships were forged and trust and dependency was continually exchanged between the Jedi and the clones.
‘Ahsoka’ Highlighted the Tragedy and Expendability of the Clones During War
The most recent episode of Ahsoka brought a snippet of the Clone Wars to live action, and as Anakin’s Padawan – Ahsoka (voiced by Ashley Ekstein) also shared fierce friendships with the clones of the 501st. The most important of which would be her friendship with the 501st Captain – Rex (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker). During Order 66, Ahsoka managed to remove Rex’s inhibitor chip from his brain, these inhibitor chips were placed in the clone’s brains during their infancy and when activated, would force the clones to turn on the Jedi. But Ahsoka liberated Rex from his inhibitor chip and they survived Order 66 together. Ahsoka and Rex’s friendship is one of the strongest in the Star Wars saga, having endured very many hardships together – their bond is founded on trust, reliance, loyalty, and respect.