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The Clone Troopers in the prequel trilogy were genetically engineered to fight the Clone Wars. This question establishes that each trooper was individual and some excelled at different things. The cloners boasted about how the troopers were immensely superior to droids due to their autonomy and individuality.

If a trooper decided that they didn't want to be a solider any more and wanted to retire could they? Were they slaves to the republic or were they free to make their own choices?

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Given the genetic manipulation used to modify their personalitys presumably they would never want to leave – user20310 Jul 30 '14 at 12:01
Very related: Are clones allowed to retire? – phantom42 Jul 30 '14 at 12:34
Helpful resource: the first arc of Season 6 deals heavily on the nature of the clones as property. – Keen Jul 30 '14 at 15:17

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Not very many, unfortunately.

Freedom from Slavery / All are Born Free: False

The clones were "born" into a life where they were meant to serve whatever purpose they had been commissioned for - in this case, as soldiers. They were property of the Republic, bought for money from the Kaminoans. According to Star Wars: The Clone Wars: New Battlefront, they were considered the flesh and blood / mentally superior equivalent of battle droids, when it came to value of their lives. Of course, this is not how the Jedi who fought with the Clones thought of them, but the Senate's and the public's view of them was as living objects.

Freedom of Thought: False

Despite their greater individuality as compared to droids, the genetic tampering that had been part of their creation, did mean that most of them were born with severe limitations when it came to being able to exercise free will - even the more autonomous of the non-ARC troopers, such as Captain Cody, were unable to disobey Order 66, even when it meant trying to kill General Kenobi - someone he personally respected and was a friend of.

ETA: In addition to genetic tampering, the clones' lack of freedom to thought (especially as related to Order 66) was enhanced by Inhibitor Chips. Supposedly, meant to 'just' modify thought and behaviour by preventing clones from being overly independent and aggressive, the true purpose of these chips was to ensure unthinking obedience of Order 66.

As seen in the opening episodes Season 6 of The Clone Wars Tv-Series, a malfunctioning chip caused the clone 'Tup' to prematurely execute his Jedi General Tiplar; and he did not seem to remember his actions afterwards. This led the clone 'Fives' to discover the existence of the programmed order, but he was executed on framed charges before he could reveal his discovery to anyone else.

Freedom of Speech and Action: False

While we can't make any statements regarding the freedom of speech allowed to the Clones, we do know that at least during the course of the Clone Wars, retirement was not an 'official' option allowed to them, as mentioned in the question linked by Phantom42.

So, as per canon, they don't seem to have many choices, or rights.

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Per the Order 66 comment - the order stated that the Jedi had done something that made them a threat to the Republic. It's not so hard to believe that they didn't question that, and not because of genetics – SSumner Mar 2 at 0:25
@SSumner I beg to differ. A being with full mental freedom of thought would not fatally turn on a trusted commander in seconds due to a vague generic 'the organization your friend & commander belongs to is a threat to your country, execute immediately'. Adding more info regarding the series of orders that Order 66 was one of. – Shisa Mar 2 at 5:20
that edit makes it clearer & better. My point is the genetics alone would not make them that way. Outside Outside the chips, it was more a result of training than genetics - following orders being drilled into them – SSumner Mar 2 at 10:16

To expand on the good answer given by @Shisa, the Clone Wars Season 2 episode 10 "The Deserter" shows that clones are not allowed to leave Republic service, although they do have the capability of choosing to do so.

Captain Rex: You're a deserter.
Cut Lawquane: Well, well... I like to think I'm merely exercising my freedom to choose: to choose not to kill for a living.
Captain Rex: That is not your choice to make. You swore an oath to the Republic. You have a duty.
Cut Lawquane: I have a duty. You're right. But to my family. Does that count, or do you still plan to turn me in?
Captain Rex: Do I have a choice?


their ability to choose is confirmed when Captain Rex ends up not reporting the deserter.
Suu: Captain Rex, are you going to turn in my husband?
Captain Rex: I'm sorry, Suu. It's my duty. But in my condition I probably won't remember any of this.

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