In Attack of the Clones, Lama Su says that 200,000 clone units were ready, and a million were on the way. Now I am assuming one unit means one clone trooper. Considering that there were a million planets in the Republic, these numbers are too small to make a difference. A million troops can't even overwhelm a single Earth-sized planet. Did the Republic use other troops or droid or something?

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    Would love to hear an answer for this, there are so many inconsistencies between the Original Trilogy and the Prequels as well as blatant logical errors (such as this, unless there's a real explanation and not just Expanded Universe cover ups) Jan 27, 2016 at 4:10
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    There aren't a million planets in the Republic. There are 20,000ish. Even at its height, the Clone Wars represent just a few hundred contested systems.
    – Valorum
    Jan 27, 2016 at 7:54
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    Maybe a unit is actually like 100 troops (maybe it’s their word for “division” or “garrison”). Even so, Lucas missed an opportunity for a callback: “Aren’t you a little small for a clone army?” Jan 27, 2016 at 8:20
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    "The Galactic Empire's territory at its peak consisted of some one and a half million member and conquered worlds, as well as sixty-nine million colonies, protectorates and puppet states spread throughout the entire galaxy" Jan 27, 2016 at 9:02
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    Keep in mind that numbers in science fiction are often fudged so they sound reasonable to the average layperson. In Star Wars and other sci-fi we often see spacecraft dogfighting at ranges in the tens of meters, because it's difficult to wrap your brain around the idea of ships engaging each other from tens of thousands of kilometers apart.
    – user45623
    Jan 29, 2016 at 4:39

6 Answers 6


The military term "unit" does not mean one individual. In fact, a single unit can contain several hundred soldiers. The relevant factor is the number of people in command.

For instance,

A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–250 soldiers and usually commanded by a major or a captain. Most companies are formed of three to six platoons, although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure.

Source: Wikipedia.

If we go by these numbers, we could be talking about 40,000,000 soldiers ready and 200,000,000 on the way. However, considering that clones are quickly produced, better trained, and far more easily controlled, we can assume that clone units can potentially contain much larger numbers of soldiers.

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    It can probably mean either in this case. For someone who clones and effectively sells humans, referring to them as a "unit" (of sale) makes sense: they're products. One unit in this case could be anything - a single individual, a squad of whatever size is deemed one unit, or the more military term of unit which again varies significantly in size.
    – MPF
    Jan 27, 2016 at 7:41
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    @MPF Yes, but there is certainly no particular reason to be sure that unit here refers to a single soldier - in part, because that would make for an oddly small army. Considering that they were talking about the military, it makes sense to assume that they were using the term unit as the military does. Also, since clones are particularly easy to produce, train, and control, the unit sizes for them would likely be larger than those in today's military.
    – Misha R
    Jan 27, 2016 at 7:47
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    I agree that there's no reason to think it absolutely must mean a single soldier, I was just providing a reason why that would be a perfectly reasonable way to refer to an individual: a cloner discussing a sales arrangement. Thus unit could mean a single soldier, even though they're also discussing military/army matters, where unit means something else :)
    – MPF
    Jan 27, 2016 at 7:51
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    After a few hundred thousand clones, the genetic pattern starts to fade, so we take a fresh supply. If they only have 200,000 and will soon have 1 million, then there would not be much point in Jango living on site for how infrequently his presence would be needed. Also, Lama Su primarily refer to an individual as a clone, though she also use the term "items" once. As such, the "unit" term makes sense as being a military unit, the size of which should be defined somewhere like the TV show.
    – Trisped
    Jan 27, 2016 at 18:40
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    @SergioTulentsev That's the way military hierarchy works. You don't usually see an entire platoon trying to push their way into a general's office whenever he has an order to give - just the leaders.
    – Misha R
    Jan 28, 2016 at 12:46

Lama Su was likely referring to the number of units that could be deployed immediately.

Here is Lama Su's original dialogue to Obi-Wan Kenobi from Attack of the Clones.

And now to business. You will be delighted to hear we are on schedule. Two hundred thousand units are ready, with another million well on the way.

Given that clones can be fully grown in nearly half of the time when compared to normal humans and that the order was placed nearly ten years ago, it is very likely that Obi-Wan Kenobi was looking only at the first "batch" of clones.

What we are not provided is the number of "batches" or "generations" that had been ordered, only that a million more units were well under way.

Please tell your Master Sifo-Dyas that we have every confidence his order will be met on time and in full. He is well, I hope?

This is reinforced through Lama Su's reference to the order. She implies that it has yet to be fulfilled and that it will be in the future. Thus, both figures provided are only initial estimates.

Cloning Facility

We are also shown clone troopers in all stages of life, indicating that the clone army is still being developed and that the final numbers are likely far greater than what is provided by Lama Su.

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    Great point about the fact we see the clones at different stages +1
    – user46509
    Jan 27, 2016 at 10:55
  • @zzzzBov This was taken directly from the original script. It has now been corrected.
    – Ghost Koi
    Jan 27, 2016 at 18:35
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    Indeed, even in the case of real life consumer electronics, when a new product is delivered to the stores for the first time, it is just a very small percentage of the total number of products which are still being shipped, being manufactured, or the materials being prepared for manufacture.
    – vsz
    Jan 27, 2016 at 20:10
  • @vsz True, but real-life consumer electronics don't take over a decade to build. :)
    – reirab
    Jan 27, 2016 at 21:40

The number of Republic and/or Separatist planets isn't what's important -- it's the number of droids faced by the clone army. If there was no Separatist Droid Army then 200,000 clones would be more than enough for the Republic to force its will upon the Separatists. Conversely, had the Senate continued to be deadlocked over the Military Creation Act and the clone army hadn't already existed, the Separatists could have have easily defeated the Republic with its droid army. Imposing its will across the entire galaxy would be difficult for either the Republic or Separatists (the Republic struggled to control the outer regions of the galaxy even in peacetime) but whichever side had an unopposed army would have been able to depose its opponent's seat of government (e.g. Coruscant).

Wookieepedia's Legends article claims that there were 1 million B1 battle droids, 100,000 B2 battle droids, and 3,000 droidekas at the first Battle of Geonosis, but these figures are not well sourced. Assuming they are true, however, that puts the clone army at about a 5-to-1 disadvantage. Nonetheless, the clones had the element of surprise and over two hundred Jedi on their side. Furthermore, the clones are touted as much better than droids:

They're immensely superior to droids, capable of independent thought and action.

Lama Su, Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones

These advantages were apparently enough to overcome the clone army's numerical disadvantage since the clone army literally routed the droid army at the first Battle of Geonosis (in that the Separatists fled in disorder).

Building droids takes less time than growing clones, so one would think that the Separatists' numerical advantage would increase over time. However, the Separatists were not prepared for full-scale production at the beginning of the Clone Wars since the Separatists didn't even know of the existence of the clone army. Furthermore, the clones are age-accelerated so that they only take half the normal time to reach adulthood. And, again, don't forget the huge advantage offered by the Jedi.

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    Also the clones have a huge advantage in as much as the separatist cause is always set up to fail as they are being manipulated and led by the Sith... Who are also leading the republic. Nothing the separatists do can be a surprise but the republic will always know what the separatists are up to Jan 27, 2016 at 7:35
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    How would 200,000 clones be able to force its will upon the Separatists? Assuming even a single reasonably populated separatist planet really wants to be separatist, they should have no problem to have a million or ten million reasonably trained troops simply by imposing some conscription. They would be less effective than clone warriors, but they would have 'home ground' and an immense numerical advantage.
    – Peteris
    Jan 27, 2016 at 11:50
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    @Peteris you are forgetting that the Separatists are being led and manipulated by the Sith. Therefore the Separatists would not employ conscription or anything that would give them too much of an advantage because the Separatists are designed to fail eventually. Jan 27, 2016 at 13:57
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    @Peteris You can't just raise an army in a day. Even if you somehow managed to mobilize "a million" troops in short order and ignored the fact that they wouldn't be trained, what weapons would they fight with? How would they have any ammunition to use with their weapons? How would such a force be transported? Their numbers would count for nothing.
    – Null
    Jan 27, 2016 at 14:40
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    @Null recruitment and training of troops can be done with haste over ~3 months and easily over 9-12 months, much shorter than the timeframes set in the story for developing both the droid and clone armies. Over the same time, producing a million of SW-universe-equivalent of Kalashnikov's is trivial on any planet with basic industry. If it is able to clothe and house a billion people, then it can also arm a million. Interstellar transport is different, but it's not required - any planet with such a force is immune to attempts "to force its will upon the Separatists", Republic can't invade them.
    – Peteris
    Jan 27, 2016 at 15:17

The Kaminoans wasn't selling individual soldiers, so the soldier wasn't the unit. If it was, all you would have would be clones, and likely their armor and weapons. But when Yoda deployed them on Geonosis within hours of receiving them, they already had assault vehicles which they were piloting, implying that they were trained to do so. It's also unlikely that Yoda swung by Crazy Eddie's Correlian Cruisers en route to Kamino, swiped his Galactic Express card, and bought those vehicles on the spot.

The clones were delivered with the vehicles, which implies that they came with all sorts of other equipment, maybe even the interstellar transports themselves. So a "unit" was likely similar to a military unit, consisting of a group of clones and their heavy equipment.

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    I believe from watching the clone wars that the clone troops are equipped during training and not by the Republic thereafter
    – Sammaye
    Jan 28, 2016 at 13:27

The Clones were the elite assault force of the Republic, a military arm concentrated entirely on the purpose of fighting.

Obviously each member planet had it's own military, because they're well, planets. Each one has billions of people at least and they'd need militaries to regulate their own planetary scale conflicts. Imagine a planet is a planet..like ours. Just like we have towns-cities-states-countries and accompanying levels of conflict. For Star Wars, they add on top of that "Systems" and then "Galaxy."

The GAR and the Seperatists were Galactic scale armies, a fighting force that could fight all across the galaxy. As you'd imagine, moving a whole army across the galaxy would consume far more resources than just having 10 armies sit on a planet somewhere. I mean, think about it, every country in the world has an army, only about a dozen have an honest to god space program.

These forces were capable of subjugating whole planets because of orbital support. Think about it, all they'd need to do is pinpoint weak points in the enemy defenses, target it with a highly advanced strikeforce, and then mop up the incoming reinforcements with turbolaser or even asteroid strikes. A single space crusier could destroy many armies by just throwing a giant space rock near them.

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    @Mithrandir I think the gist is that they didn't need to be a large clone army if there were local militaries. It's not sourced, but it's an attempted answer to the title question.
    – Milo P
    Jan 27, 2016 at 17:00
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    I'd say it corrects a mis-assumption of the question: that if you interpret "unit" to mean "soldier" the army is way too small to have an effect. This is incorrect, as this answer indicates: the army is the elite, mobile strike force that enables its commanders to tip the balance in any conflict in the galaxy.
    – Wayne
    Jan 30, 2016 at 18:01

According to star wars wiki there are about 1,000,000,000 clones since a unit is about 500 troops and they get 3 more million

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    Can you provide the source of this? Specifically, which article on Wookieepedia provides this information?
    – amflare
    Jan 8, 2018 at 21:31

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