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Inspired by the question "Why is Luke's cybernetic hand superior to the one Anakin receives?" I got to wondering why Anakin and Luke were fitted with cybernetic hands. With such advanced cloning technology available it would seem to make more sense to fast grow custom limbs and organs as necessary, rather than to outfit people with cybernetics. If the answer is that cybernetics are vastly superior to organic organs why don't more people have elective surgery to "upgrade" themselves?

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  • 17
    My first thought when I read the title was that they were fresh out of hooks.
    – Kevin
    Dec 4, 2011 at 4:03
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    I doubt you'll ever get a canon source for the answer to this. I'd guess it has the most to do with cost - a cybernetic is going to be substantially cheaper than regrown flesh. As far as Anakin goes...pre-emptive wrangling on Palpatine's part to make Anakin intentionally weaker? Dec 4, 2011 at 5:37
  • For Luke, my initial thought was the limited finances and resources of the Rebel Alliance. But that doesn't fit with Anakin, since the Jedi Knights had near unlimited resources.
    – BBlake
    Dec 4, 2011 at 5:49
  • growing a new hand is probably also slower than fitting an off the shelf mechanical one, and certainly the procedure on Luke was a rush job as he was needed back on the front lines.
    – jwenting
    Dec 5, 2011 at 6:45
  • Both the Empire and the Alliance health plans coverage required large premiums for organic limb replacement...
    – yrodro
    Nov 13, 2014 at 5:06

3 Answers 3

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Ther's some ethic, legal and safety concern to Cloning a human body for replacement part:

Excerpt from Cybernetics Wookieepedia article

Cloning was expensive and, given the horrors of the Clone Wars, illegal on most planets after the era. Some limited regeneration of limbs was considered acceptable but there were medical dangers involved with a science that had, for obvious reasons, not seen much development in later decades after the Clone Wars. For the majority of galactic citizens, cybernetic replacements were the cheap, effective, legal, and safe solution to unfortunate and severe physical injuries.

As for why more people don't have elective surgery to "upgrade" themselves, it look like there was some side effects :

For those willing to make the sacrifice of flesh and expense, the body could be "upgraded" to allow for additional skills and abilities. Some were very innocuous, the Shepherd chip issued to military service members for instance. Others involved modifying the limbs and internal systems of the potential patient. As with everything in the galaxy, this came at a potential price, in credits and in the potential loss of self. Someone could easily go too far in attempting to be "more human than human."
[...]
Enhancements put more of a drain on the body's resources, and recipients frequently suffered debilitating physical or mental side effects.

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    Given the Kaminoans' advanced skills I'd think they could clone just one body part. Much like when Doctor Pulaski installed that cloned spine in Worf in Star Trek.
    – eidylon
    Jul 24, 2012 at 19:06
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    @eidylon : I'm certain that was a Crusher episode. There was a visiting physician, an acquaintance of Crusher's, who wanted to try experimental techniques on Worf that were not fully vetted.
    – Praxis
    May 14, 2017 at 17:30
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There is no mention in-Universe that there existed technology to clone just human parts as opposed to alive beings, AFAIR.

I have a strong suspicion that a Jedi would have a minor Ethical quibble with growing a human being (even a clone) only to murder him to harvest a missing limb.

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    Last Night: I should answer this question. Nah, I'm tired, I'll do it in the morning. DVK: reads my mind Me, this morning: I'll answer that question now...crap.
    – Jeff
    Dec 4, 2011 at 17:51
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    @Jeff - there are fringe benefits to being woken up at 4am by a young child :)))) Dec 4, 2011 at 19:13
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The cloning technology seem to be quite rare in the Starwars universe, and had a relatively long time to work. Growing an adult hand would have probably taken about 10 years, and who would want to wait for that length of time? It's possible that a cybernetic hand could have been used initially, and later it could be replaced by a cloned hand, but it seems to be rather unlikely.

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    The technology exists to grow a mature human within a year - it's just not a good idea, they tend to be unstable.
    – Jeff
    Dec 4, 2011 at 17:52
  • IIRC, all remaining Spaarti cloning cylinders were in locations unknown to the Rebellion (at the time) and the schematics were unavailable.
    – Mazura
    Aug 5, 2015 at 1:09

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