The inhibitor chip ensures that Clone Troopers of the GAR will unquestioningly execute Order 66 when it is given, denying them free will in that crucial moment. How does it do it though? More specifically, does the chip execute its function via temporary mind control or a permanent change to their brains?

The implications are that, for the former, the clones will eventually regain full control of themselves, thereafter realising what they have done and will most probably regret their actions since, in such a case, the Jedi's trust in their loyalty are not unfounded in a sense. For the latter, I feel that there may be various ways it is achieved. The chip may either permanently override the clone's brain, taking control for life, or it may reconfigure the clone's brain altogether, such that while the clone is still in full control of himself, he is literally no longer the same person he was prior to the Order.

As such, how the inhibitor chip executes its intended functionality affects the nature of the chip's design and how it is implemented.

  • It very probably is NOT on a forever base (at least not planwise) as we have seen in trailers for the second part of the rebels series that some old clones in modern times DONT kill ashoka despite knowing who she is....and what.
    – Thomas
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 6:45
  • I didn't watch Rebels. Can you describe in more detail? If you're referring to Rex, what I know is that they had their inhibitor chips secretly removed, most probably before Order 66 was issued, so in such circumstances you can't say that since there's no inhibitor chip to begin with. Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 12:29
  • @ thegreatjedi Not up on all the clone wars animated stuff, but are you saying that after "Tup's" chip prematurely activated and he killed Jedi Tiplar and subsequently tried to kill his sister Tiplee, the removal of the tumor (which turned out to be a chip.), gave Rex and the others the idea to remove their chips?
    – Elefym
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 12:57
  • @Elefym If you're up for the spoiler, here's the long story of what happened. The clone who investigated Tup's chip suspected (correctly) that it has to do with a plot to destroy the Jedi. He insisted on reporting it personally to Palpatine, but later suspected (correctly) that Palpatine is involved, and chose instead to attempt a failed assassination. Interesting where a clone's loyalties lie without the chip's control huh? He was thus branded a traitor (and covered up as malfunctioned as well) and hunted down, but not before he warned Rex etc (the three who survived into Rebels season 2 Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 13:07
  • @Elefym Rex, on his part, had some profound events happen to him as well over the Clone Wars. First, he met a deserter who wanted to stop fighting and start a family. Second, he had the misfortune to serve under a fallen General Krell and subsequently had to turn on him, hunt him and reluctantly execute him, all against protocol. This subsequently also had him thinking of what would happen after the war. And finally this. One thing he made very clear that he learnt in the war is the concept of free will and choice. He did a lot of thinking so no surprise he cut the chip out in the end. Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 13:12

3 Answers 3


It is temporary mind control... kind of. (SPOILERS) In the comic book Kanan: The Last Padawan, Depa Billaba's clone troops turn on her and her Padawan when Order 66 is given. The Padawan, Caleb Dume, survives and goes into hiding. He later encounters those troops again, and reminds one of the commanders of his friendship with Billaba. The clone thinks about it for awhile and realizes that he killed her for no reason. The other clones don't seem to remember. The commander then ensures that Dume is safe by killing the other clones and helps destroy a ship that Dume was kept on at one point. This shows that the clones had some control over their actions after the order was given. That's all I have.

  • 2
    Not completely correct. The clone only remembers after he hits his head....thus implying that the chip got damaged and only THEN he remembers not before
    – Thomas
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 6:07

It is mentioned in the Clone Wars TV series that the inhibitor chip when malfunctioning in Tup was blocking neurological pathways. This makes me believe it causes the same thing when activated. If this is the case, then the chip is a more permanent change. Unless the chip is removed or damaged, the chip should continue to block neurological pathways, possibly even redirecting pathways or re-connecting pathways directly into the inhibitor chip, using it's own programming and tricking the brain into accepting that those orders are of free will because of the organic parts of the chip. This can remove free thought and even personality depending on what parts of the brain it reprograms. This, if set to a universal trigger (the command to execute order 66), would easily force the troops to comply, under the complete thought that it was their free will. This is why in the movies it feels more like free will, versus the more drawn out executions in the comics and TV series making it clear it is not free will. The symptoms show more the longer they look at their target without killing them.

  • Do you have any specific sources for this information? Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 17:40

The change as indicated in the Kanan comics and the clone wars TV series seems to be permanent. At least as long as the inhibitor chip works, the clone sees the jedi as enemies and traitors and has no quarrels killing them or anyone helping them.

On the other hand when the chip ceases function, the normal personality of the clone comes to the forefront immediately (leading to the clone rebelling against his comrades in the kanan comics).

Thus its a semi permanent personality change for as long as the chip works and is active.

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