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This is a question that always bugged me: Why did they (the Sith, actually) choose to use Jango Fett as the single template for the entire clone army?

OK, in the EU it is explained that there was a kind of casting procedure initiated by Lord Tyrannus which yielded Jango as an extremely talented fighter (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jango_Fett#The_hunt_for_Komari_Vosa). I'm sure he had certain qualities, but isn't it quite a risk to base an army of millions of men on one single individual?

I think there were real practical alternatives: Obviously, the Kaminoans were quite a high-tech people. It should have been easy for them to create a clone that combines the strength of different individuals, maybe even of different species, or even create a new species of uber-soldiers. And there would be some quite good reasons to do so:

First of all, Jango is a Mandalorian, and as such sort of human, and even though humans have some good battle qualities (agile, versatile), there also are some downsides (fragile, no single "super-power"). It would have been a good idea to combine the DNA of at least multiple indiviuals, or even of multiple species. Or why not clone a jedi? Imagine an army of 1'000 Mace Windus. At least, they could have used different species for special tasks which need e.g. special stealth / resistance ability. Finally, it is quite a risk to base that army on such a small gene pool. It would be easy for the Separatists to come up with a virus that would just kill them all. They would also better have taken a DNA donor that is already dead so they at least knew its life expectancy.

Is there any canonical explanation for this?

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    Why not clone a Jedi? That brings up a good question: If a Jedi was cloned, would his Force abilities be the same? (Ignoring special cases like Sidious.) – Plutor May 29 '13 at 12:04
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    Personally, I think this is one of those huge missteps in the prequels that no amount of fictional gyrating can ever make sense of. – Joe M May 29 '13 at 12:52
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    I believe there was something in the EU saying that you can't clone Force-Sensitives (the result will not necessarily be Force-Sensitive). Look at the Dorsk clones. Previous iterations were not force-sensitive, then Dorsk 81 and 82 were – The Fallen May 29 '13 at 13:43
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    @Plutor - Yes, they might. But he'd be insane. Google "Joruus C'baoth" – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 30 '13 at 18:56
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    I thought clones of Force-sensitive people were force sensitive. Luuke Skywalker certainly was. – Greenstone Walker Dec 13 '13 at 2:48
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The Mandalorian Jango Fett was cloned because his genetic material was able to be manipulated by the Kaminoans to create an utterly loyal, fearless, and aggressive soldier. They did not want force-sensitive soldiers because it would take even longer to train them and they might be less tractable. Force sensitives would need to be strong-willed, the last thing you want in your slavishly obedient army.

He was chosen specifically because he was Mandalorian and would be bringing both this genes and his warrior culture ethos to the clones during their training. In addition, with time constraints, it is far easier to work with a genome you are familiar with and modifying it for desirable traits.

Before the gestation process began, the Kaminoans tampered with Fett's DNA to ensure that the clones were primarily dominated by behavioral genes that emphasized certain qualities such as loyalty, aggression, independence and discipline in order to guarantee that the army would be more docile and less independent than their template. Kal Skirata, a former Mandalorian warrior who had been brought to Kamino to assist in the training of a special unit, concurred with the Kaminoans' rationale behind "modified" troopers; an "unaltered" Jango Fett was not the ideal infantry soldier. - Republic Commando, Triple Zero

  • It is far easier to do significant manipulations on a single genome than to work with thousands of genomes for selective engineering of a better soldier.

  • Even if the engineers thought they could create something significantly better, it would take both time and significant research to accomplish with no guarantees of quality, ability to control, tendency toward cooperation or other unexpected side effects from merging such varied genetic characteristics.

  • The genetic potential for a superior soldier was clearly within Jango Fett and with the alterations which included a slavish devotion to the Sith, enabling the execution of Order 66, were included in their genetic make-up. I believe this is the real reason they choose to use the Mandalorian DNA.

  • As soldiers, the Clone Army (at least as depicted in the televised Clone Wars series) seemed quite effective, especially when augmented with Republic Weaponry, tactics and the superior leadership of their Jedi leader/handlers. The reduction in their capability as soldiers lacking in intuition, versatility and somewhat in reduced intellectual capacity is offset (somewhat) by their ability to coordinate and understand each other's thinking.

  • And while there is some risk at using a single genome as a template, at no point in the Clone Wars do we see any technology which attacks at a cellular or genetic level making such worries apparently less of an issue.

Another reason biogenic weapons were not used is even as the Republic is working with the Jedi, the Sith knew eventually the Clone Troopers would be working for them. They would not allow such technology to be used, if it could be helped. Facilities which could create such things were likely to be the first places destroyed or blockaded.

At a logistical level, there is the added benefit of having only one specification for all equipment, all tools, all armors and weapons. Facilities producing these materials could create millions of units, quickly and relatively cheaply in comparison to an army with differing anatomical needs.

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    An elaborate, plausible answer. I see that economical and scientific reasons may have invalidated the reservations I listed above. Thank you. – nikopolus May 30 '13 at 10:30
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    It is interesting how weak willed, servile individuals are so commonly assumed to be ideal soldiers, particularly infantry, in fiction. This clashes with reality to an absurd degree. – zxq9 Nov 7 '14 at 0:09
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    was Fett actually Mandalorian? Pablo says no: vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/2/29/… – NKCampbell Feb 11 at 17:44
  • This answer seems to make a lot of very bold statements but without any substantial evidence to back them up. – Valorum Feb 11 at 21:07
  • Like so much of my other work, bold but meaningless. But thanks for the endorsement. – Thaddeus Howze Feb 14 at 7:11
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The question of why Jango Fett was chosen is answered in Karen Traviss' novel "Order 66". Mandalorian Walon Vau has an epiphany: only an army of Jangos could effectively wipe out the Jedi. This was the chief reason Jango allowed himself to be cloned, apart from wanting a son (Boba). As to who initiated the idea and funded it, of course it was the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who as Chancellor Palpatine caused the Jedi generals to serve individually in far-flung places, so that when the order came through, they could more easily be cut down by their troops.

It was interesting that some of the characters wondered who could have cut down Mace Windu - not a Jango clone, of course!

  • Can you provide a book quote to back this up? – Valorum Feb 11 at 18:31
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Also the technology didnt exist when Lucas was making episode 4 to have alien storm troopers so Im sure thats a big reason why a "human" was used for cloning.

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    Usually in-universe answers are preferred. While this answer is acceptable, maybe it'd be better as a comment instead? – Andres F. Dec 13 '13 at 13:08
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    Since we never see any stormtroopers with their helmets off during the OT, we can't really be 100% absolute that none of them were non-human. – phantom42 Dec 13 '13 at 15:06
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Well in the comics Jango killed 6 Jedi without using weapons (stupid I know) so maybe they wanted a army that came from someone who had proven abilities against the Jedi they would turn against one day.

  • In which comics? – Valorum Feb 11 at 18:31

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