In The Rise of Skywalker we learn that

Snoke was cloned by Palpatine.

This shows that it's possible to clone Force-sensitive beings. We also know, thanks to the Clone Wars show, that it's possible to Force complete obedience of a clone with a bit of tinkering.

With those two pieces of information in mind, why didn't


create a full army of Force-sensitive beings bent to his will?

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    Palatine doesn't want the competition maybe? – Valorum Jan 2 '20 at 9:33
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    How would that affect the Rule of Two? – user62584 Jan 2 '20 at 12:48
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    @Jeeped It would'nt they would be at the same level as the inquisitors, dark side users, but not really Sith. – user3399 Jan 2 '20 at 13:07
  • Perhaps clones are like photocopies or analogue tape recordings, where the quality drops with each generation. We've not yet seen any force sensitivity in clone troopers. – Criggie Jan 2 '20 at 22:48
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    @Criggie that is also what the games 'Force Unleashed 1 and 2' suggested. I know they are not canon, but Starkiller got cloned many times and most of those got either crazy or so unstable they didn't live long. – Mixxiphoid Jan 3 '20 at 6:40

As mentioned in this answer, Snoke was simply a puppet built/controlled by Palpatine and used to foster Kylo Ren's development. When it wasn't needed anymore, it was disposed of (i.e., allowed itself to be killed by Kylo in the same manner that Sith kill their masters). Snoke's powers came from Palpatine, so Palpatine couldn't make limitless copies of the clone without spreading himself thin.

  • Yes, this makes total sense. Making an army of clones would have killed him considering how weak he was. – Modo Jan 3 '20 at 7:09

I'm guessing that it proved too difficult - the host body was too unstable. You saw how falling-apart Snoke's body was. He was powerful (we saw that when confronted by Rey and Ren in TLJ) but also extremely slow and fragile.

Just a guess though.

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    This might be supported by the shots of tanks of partial Smokes as he entered, clones that never became viable. – FuzzyBoots Jan 2 '20 at 11:06
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    My guess is that Palpatine was killed by Vader, not out of hatred, but self-defence/love for his son, and therefore, he could not possess Vader's body, as Plagueis had his, so he used the knowledge he gained from Plagueis to resurrect his broken body and then attempted to clone himself so he'd have a new vessel, but the cloning process was imperfect for whatever reason (possibly because he was trying to clone from dead tissue and not a living subject). In the end, because Rey and Ren were of age, he just had to go with the next clone created, no matter how imperfect. – Paul Childs Jan 2 '20 at 11:07
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    and use that clone as a means to draw Rey and Ren together, rather than reveal himself too early – Paul Childs Jan 2 '20 at 11:13

In the spirit of the Sith is the hunger for power. It's not unusual that the apprentices eventually kills their masters and take their places. Although this is something that they accept as part of their vision of the Force, it has to form part of a greater plan.

It would be too difficult for the Emperor to control such an army, and avoid that one of the clones decide to kill him and take his place before his vision had reached a point of no return.


The Force is not a power you have. It's not about lifting rocks. It's the energy between all things, a tension, a balance, that binds the universe together.

You can clone a Force sensitive and get a clone with a lot of midichlorians. That doesn't mean the clone will be strong in The Force.

There is some evidence that The Force itself chooses who will be powerful, such as the Virgin Birth of Anakin. If it was simply down to genetics, those clearly beneficial space wizard genes would have long ago spread throughout the galaxy and everyone would have Force powers.

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    Nothing can convince me that the "virgin birth" of Anakin was not done on purpose by some Sith, manipulating the force... I'm just waiting for the movie that explains this to be released, around 2073. ;) – msb Jan 3 '20 at 2:11
  • @msb Yeah, that's controversial, some say Plagueis did it. My point about the lack of Force sensitives after thousands of years still stands though. – James Hollis Jan 3 '20 at 3:11

Throughout Star Wars history, the Sith used to have armies of force sensitive beings (their numbers rivaling the Jedi). But they always lost, because it's the nature of the Sith to turn on each other. Multiple weaker Sith would join together to defeat their master, weakening the order. The rule of two fixes this, since now an apprentice only defeats the master if they are stronger; this preserves or strengthens the order.

This is one reason Palpatine wouldn't want many force sensitives working for him. During the Empire he did have inquisitors, but there weren't many of them and they were far weaker than him. If Vader had betrayed Palpatine and fought him with the help of the inquisitors, they would be a non-factor. Meanwhile, an army of Snokes could be a different story.


It would appear that creating a form sufficiently stable for Palpatine to inhabit was well beyond the capacity of the Sith Eternal. This lack of ability presumably includes building an army of dark side Force adepts.

The heretics of the Sith Eternal toiled, splicing genes, bolstering tissue, creating unnatural abominations in the hope that one of these strandcasts would succeed and become a worthy receptacle. The heretics would do anything, risk anything, sacrifice anything, to create a cradle for their god-consciousness.

Nothing worked. But their efforts were not entirely in vain.

One genetic strandcast lived. Thrived, even. A not-quite-identical clone. His “son.” But he was a useless, powerless failure. Palpatine could not even bear to look upon such disappointing ordinariness.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition

One of the central conceits of the Star Wars universe is that while cloning is possible, doing so without having the original donor around is extremely challenging. We also see (mostly in Legends stories and video games) that cloning someone with Force powers is doubly difficult.

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