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In The Attack of the Clones film, the Jedi find out about an army that was apparently ordered by a mysterious Jedi, without authorization of the Jedi Council. They don't know what he ordered it for, or how it was paid. That definitely should sound strange. Besides, the Jedi know someone else was involved (Jango tells Obi Wan that he was recruited by someone called Tyranus).

Weren't those reasons enough to make the Jedi suspicious about that army? Why did they just grab the army and use it right away? I'm not saying they could have anticipated Order 66 specifically. And it's true that the Jedi were in a position in which they needed an army. But they should have known to be very careful about something with such a dubious origin, right? How is it that they just took the army without hesitation?

TL;DR

Why did the Jedi take an army whose creation had not been approved or even supervised by the Jedi Council? It was obvious that an army with such unclear origin might have some catch.

  • 5
    Because they're a bunch of schmucks. – Valorum Jun 7 '15 at 12:18
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    That may be so. But I'd like to think there's a more specific, in-universe explanation :-) – Luis Mendo Jun 7 '15 at 12:19
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    Actually, the linked quote is wrong (as confirmed in the comments below it), Jange only tells Obi-Wan that he was recruitet by "someone called Tyranus", therefore the Sith involvement is not that apparent. Then again, the guy calls himself Tyranus, which is of course as cheery and fluffy as Sidious, Maul, Plagueis or Vader, so someone definately should have sensed something fishy. Then again, maybe the Kaminoans were reallllly convincing when Yoda himself visited them to inspect the clones... – BMWurm Jun 7 '15 at 12:27
  • Possible dupe of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/82689/…? – Valorum Jun 7 '15 at 12:35
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    If you've seen the critic Confused Matthew's reviews of the prequels, he addresses this problem extensively. I would say that whatever the answer is from the EU/novelisations, it definitely does not make sense from within the context of the movie. They spend most of Episode II uncovering an obvious conspiracy, and once they've done so, they simply go along with it for no apparent reason. The Republic acting in fear or from necessity I understand, but the Jedi? Perhaps they decided to help in order to prevent another Darth Revan-type scenario (as in KOTOR)? It all makes little sense otherwise. – Wolfie Inu Oct 15 '15 at 5:17
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The very essence of the Clone Wars is that it was a gigantic hoax, designed to garner Senator Palpatine great power and to place the Jedi into a position where they would be at their weakest and most vulnerable for a millennium.

When the extent of the Separatist's 'Droid Army' (e.g. millions of droids) becomes apparent, the Senate panics and decides that they'll use the Clone Army to defend themselves. Note that at this point, although the Jedi are mightily confused about who ordered the army, they're under no illusions about the loyalty of the Clones (who they see have been indoctrinated from birth to blindly serve the Republic).

The Attack of the Clones novelisation gives us some behind the scenes info about what was happening back on Coruscant while we were watching Anakin, Padme and Obi-wan:

Everyone listened carefully to Mace Windu’s summary; then Bail Organa shook his head. “The Commerce Guilds are preparing for war — there can be no doubt of that.” Yoda’s ears twitched. Listen, these Senators did not. They feared, and reacted. They did not think.

“Now we need that clone army!” Senator Ask Aak burst out.

But everyone knew the Senate would never give its approval for that — not until it was too late. And there were not enough Jedi to hold off an army of droids.

“Through negotiation, the Jedi maintains peace,” Yoda said pointedly. “To start a war, we do not intend.” There might, even yet, be time to talk a way out of the conflict … but he sensed no patience in the room, only fear and urgency as the Senators discussed what to do.

“The Senate must vote the Chancellor emergency powers,” Mas Amedda suggested at last. “Then he could approve the use of the clones.”

Obviously, we now know that Tyranus was in fact Darth Tyranus (AKA Count Dooku), that the army was in fact ordered by the Sith as a trap for the Jedi and that they were implanted with bio-chips that made them utterly obedient to the Chancellor. But at the time, none of this was in the least bit apparent to the Jedi or the Senate.

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    "none of this was in the least bit apparent to the Jedi or the Senate." But they did know the army had been created without any control form the Jedi. It's as if a Formula 1 pilot is given a car from unknown engineeers outside his team. Would he just get into the car and drive at 250 km/h? – Luis Mendo Jun 7 '15 at 12:38
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    @LuisMendo - It was apparent (based on what Lama Su was saying) that the army was 100% loyal to the Republic. This worked fine until Palpatine unexpectedly announced that the Jedi were now enemies of the Republic and had them all killed. – Valorum Jun 7 '15 at 12:39
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    @LuisMendo - To take your metaphor forwards, the vast majority of Formula 1 racing teams do not build or design their own engines, they use standard engines from well-known manufacturers. Including those made by their competitors. iPhones use Samsung components. Xboxes use Sony components, etc etc – Valorum Jun 7 '15 at 14:52
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    @LuisMendo - A maniac is chasing you wielding a knife. You come across a car with the keys in and the engine running. Do you complain about the paint-scheme or just get in and drive? – Valorum Jun 7 '15 at 15:12
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    You have a point there. But you are making it seem more trivial than it really is. The analogy would be "would you complain that the car might have a time bomb attached"? Alluding to its paint-scheme makes it seem insignificant. Back to the story, the Jedi needn't worry about the clone trooper's uniform or helmet (analogous to paint-scheme). But they definitely should have worried about a "time bomb", that is, hidden features in the clones' training – Luis Mendo Jun 7 '15 at 20:52
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Two things:

For one, Obi-Wan in AOTC only hears the name "Tyranus", with no indication that this person is a Sith. Sure, it sounds like an "evil" name to our ears - but in general, and especially in a vast, pluralistic society such as the Republic, comprising many different cultures and races, you really wouldn't be able to judge someone's character by the presumed evilness ( or lack thereof ) of the sound of their name. I mean, you don't get to pick your name. Well, some people do, but you know what I mean. For all we know the kindergarten classrooms on Coruscant are filled with little Tyranuses.

In what is now Legends-canon, circa 2005, Yoda believed Tyranus to have been on the side of the Republic:

"By someone on the side of the Republic, chosen he was on Bogg Four to be the clone template." ( Yoda, Labyrinth of Evil )

Also, from the Jedi POV, Sifo-Dyas - one of their own - might have been involved in the creation of the army, or at least in making the initial contact with Kamino and placing an order. That this would have to have been done in "rogue" fashion is certainly significant, but we have precedent in Qui-Gon for Jedi sometimes acting independently of the Council or going against the Council's wishes. It's not unheard of. And for all we know Sifo-Dyas might have done something like this before, in response to Force visions or whatever other reason. Certainly the Jedi in AOTC seem doubtful but it is important to remember that Sifo's involvement is never disproven during the film, Obi-Wan's impressions notwithstanding.

Going back to Labyrinth of Evil, it was revealed in that text that Yoda returned to Kamino and found apparent evidence of Sifo's involvement:

Obi-Wan turned to face Yoda. "Master, did Sifo-Dyas order the clone army?"

Yoda nodded. "Contacted the Kaminoans, he did."

"Without your knowledge?"

"Without it, yes. But exists, a record of his initial contact." ( Labyrinth of Evil )

By the time the Jedi learned of the existence of this army, they needed it. The clones came to the rescue of many high-ranking Jedi on Geonosis and thus hardly looked like a threat to the Jedi at the time.

[ Of course, as is its wont, The Clone Wars made the situation significantly more problematical, by revealing to the pre-ROTS Jedi that Tyranus was Dooku, that Dooku was involved in the creation of the clones, and that the clones had a secret implanted chip prone to potential malfunction! Not to mention Yoda getting a vision that showed clones attacking Jedi! SMH. ]

  • The rescue of the Jedi on Geonosis was also a test of the clone army. Yoda went to inspect this army, not to guarantee he would call it into action, "visit I will the cloners on Kamino, hmm... and see this army they have created for the Republic." It was Yoda who then decided to start using them bringing them into Geonosis, not that he had many other options at that point, either ~200 Jedi become one with the force or he comes with the clones. – ewanm89 Jun 5 '16 at 16:25
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    I believe the plural is Tyranni :) – Samuel Jan 4 '17 at 0:10
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You have to remember the Jedi were some what blind to what was going on. They couldn't even sense the Sith on their door step. So even though it's all perfectly clear to us it wasn’t to them.

  • As I explain in my question, I see their move as dumb, rather than blind. Even not knowing what was going on, taking an unknown army seemed too risky – Luis Mendo Jan 7 at 19:21
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Qui-Gon Jin made it clear that the mission of the jedi was peacekeeping, not soldiering. It seems the Jedi Council made an error of judgment for a jedi to assume the role of high-ranking soldier (that is, a general) once open war had broken out.

That's what the Tarkins are trained for. After the Battle of Geonosis, Yoda should simply have said no.

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