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Before discovering the EU, I always thought that the Stormtroopers were all clones. Now I know that they're actually all regular human recruits, at least in the current canon, but then why did Lucas in the PT decide to make Clone Troopers almost identical to the Stormtroopers? I've been thinking about this for years, but I've never found a satisfactory answer. Is it because they are the same thing for Lucas? What's the "Lucas canon" answer for this?

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    The clonetroopers were the predecessors to the stormtroopers. When creating something "new" (read: altering something) do you always start from scratch or do you improve upon what you have? – TheLethalCarrot Jul 15 at 10:23
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    It's a case of 'the tail wagging the dog'. Lucas knew he needed to include something about clones in the Prequel Trilogy because of the throwaway line from Leia about Ben Kenobi serving her father during The Clone Wars – Valorum Jul 15 at 11:43
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Clone troopers were originally a clone army created on Kamino. They formed the basis of the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars, created after Chancellor Palpatine was granted emergency powers to create an army for the Republic in order to combat the growing threat of a Separatist army of battle droids.

The Republic eventually became the Empire and started replacing clones with recruits. After the fall of the Empire, the First Order launched Project Resurrection to train children from birth to be soldiers, filling out their ranks with a new generation of stormtroopers - this is how Finn came to be a stormtrooper.

So, Clone Troopers and Stormtroopers are so similar because one is a direct descendant of the other.

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