I have very little data to go off of, but the Wookieepedia page for the Grand Army of the Republic says that the Grand Army started with 1.2 million clones, and 3 million added later on.

We saw in the Clone Wars series that clones commonly, if not exclusively, served as the pilots for star-fighters and warships.

This leads to my question:

How did (at maximum) 4.2 million clones man the Republic Navy and army?

The Battle of Coruscant had 1,000+ Venator star destroyers, which have a crew of 7,400, plus 2,000 troops, for a total of 9,400 per ship, not counting pilots for the hundreds of star-fighters per ship.

1,000 x 9,400 = over nine million clones, in one battle.

Is an explanation for this ever given somewhere?

  • 69
    Ohh, you did the math on a Sci-Fi/Fantasy movie and was disappointed huh? Can't blame you :)
    – Möoz
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 3:36
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    Brandon's answer is quite good. There's also another popular explanation - it is never said the army had 1.2 million clones; rather, they speak about units. Each unit could plausibly mean a single soldier, or a company, or a single Venator's crew (the army really seems closer to a spacenavy than a literal army), or a full army of its own. In-universe, something like this would definitely make sense; out-of-universe, I just assume Lucas never quite understood the scope of a galactic-wide government :D
    – Luaan
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 15:38
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    Also, there's trillions of people in the Star Wars galaxy and thousands of thousands of planets. Even a standing army of 10 million would not be enough for most of the galaxy to even notice. I'm not exactly a war strategist student, but to maintain military control over this kind of territory while also at war, I'd estimate that a minimum of 1 billion would be needed. Then there's attrition, so you'd also need a constant influx of new soldiers. Then there's the admin demands. How many people does it take exactly to move a clone battalion across the galaxy, battle, then return/occupy?
    – user15742
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 17:52
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    Hot-on-network on your first question? Impressive, Most Impressive. Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


Yes, there is an explanation if you read a few pages on the starwars.wiki. The Grand Army of the Republic(GAR) was the main fighting force at the beginning of the clone wars, it was comprised entirely of Jengo Fett clones made by the kaminoans, which took about ten years to mature.

enter image description here

However, after years of war Palpatine turned to Spaarti cloning cylinders to complement the Kaminoan cloned army. From starwars.wikia.com:

"At the near end of the Clone Wars, all but a few were unaware that Supreme Chancellor Palpatine had secretly commissioned a second clone army, which differed from the Kamino-bred Fett clones in two primary ways: they were grown to maturity in roughly one year as opposed to ten years, and they were created on Centax-2 instead of Kamino."

This also shows why the stormtroopers we know and love from the original movies are so terrible at their job compared to the original clone troopers in the prequels.

"While the Spaarti Fett clones numbered in the billions, and were thus possibly far more numerous than the depleted numbers of their Kaminoan-bred Fett brethren, the Spaarti clones were given only flash-training on the basics of being a soldier, such as how to fire a rifle. When first sent into action, the clones of the 14th did not bother to take cover from enemy fire, and their weapons accuracy was surprisingly pitiful, as noted by the commandos of Omega Squad."

When the clone wars ended and the empire was formed, the original Fett clones were folded into the new Stormtrooper Corps, which also included the Sparti clones. However, though unwaverlingly loyal to the Emperor, Sparti clones had several problems beyond poor training, such as clone madness which could cause the clone to refuse orders and fire on their own troops.

enter image description here

In response, the empire moved away from clones and began to rely heavily on birth-borne human recruits to fill the ranks. With Kamino bred troopers being slow and expensive to create and Sparti clones being subpar soldiers, regular recruitment of human soldiers became the preferred method.

enter image description here

In addition, concerning the crews of Venator star destroyers and other ships, they would not consist entirely of clone troopers, but instead have a mix of clones, human officers, and assorted other beings to perform more menial tasks.

I hope this provides a viable answer to your question! Links to the star wars wiki where I got my info below! May the force be with you!

Also See:

  1. Grand Army of the Republic
  2. Stormtrooper Corps (Legends)
  3. Spaarti Cloning Cylinder
  • 4
    Great answer. Keeping in the tradition of a wall of text, sprinkled with splashes of colour to distract the eye from the wall of text and drizzled with links to support your claim. If I could give you more points for this answer I would! Keep ut the good work!
    – Cherubel
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 6:23
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    Readers may want to note that this is a mix of canon and non-canon info. Spaarti cylinders, for example, are only found in the EU.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 6:29
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    The original question was based off of EU content (1,000 Venators at Coruscant is not mentioned in any of the "new" canon).
    – RallyToMe
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 13:05
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    There is no need for Sparti clones to explain the "bad" aiming: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/4059/769
    – Zommuter
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 16:45

In the army my definition for a unit was the company. Companies ranged in size depending on their roll. The average infantry unit/company in WWII was 80 to 250 so 200k units could represent 16 to 50 Million. "A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–250 soldiers and usually commanded by a major or a captain." Wikipedia 70th Inf Div Assc "Twelve infantrymen formed the rifle squad, the basic combat unit of the Army." 2.4 mil "Three rifle platoons, a weapons platoon, and a company headquarters formed an infantry rifle company of six officers and 187 enlisted men, commanded by a captain. 203 men for a company." 40.6 million.

In one of the scenes with clones marching around there are 91 troopers per formation as they load onto ships. Then there are the larger units marching on Coruscant. 625 per formation. 18.2 mil to 125 mil.
1.2 mil units could mean 14.4 mil to 750 million. For a galactic government that 750 million sounds more likely then the smaller 14.4 million.

For a galactic military I am more likely to use unit to describe a number of people/clones.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. You appear to be arguing that "unit" is a formation of clones rather than an individual, but you spend all your post explaining the bigger numbers that creates, without providing any evidence that the word "unit" is intended to be understood that way. Can you show us a canon source that supports that usage of "unit?"
    – DavidW
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 4:02

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