Top 5 Most Underrated Clones In The 'Star Wars' Universe
Who Would You Choose?
It is an exciting time in the Star Wars world! TT Games' LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has charmed numerous households. The live-action Ahsoka series has begun filming and Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere on Disney+ at the end of the month. With that in mind, a number of people are either reacquainting themselves with Star Wars: The Clone Wars or experiencing the show for the first time in preparation for the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi. One of those people is my father.
One of the things that connected us when I was younger was Star Wars. He did not see any of the cartoon shows but having experienced the reactions to live-action appearances of Ahsoka Tano and Cad Bane (in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett respectively) he understood that there was a good portion of the story that he was missing.
This list is intended to provide a little information on clones that could be overlooked. Some I loved immediately and others it took me time to really appreciate. Clones like Rex, Fives, and 99 are amazing but are not here because they get an appropriate level of recognition in “Best Clones” lists. Here are some clones that I believe deserve a second look.
Leading off the list is a personal favorite of mine: Dogma. It is easy to see why people would be turned off of Dogma. His behavior during the Umbara arc can be frustrating. He is resistant to go along with plans to overthrow Pong Krell, even considering Krell's treacherous actions towards the clones. However, I think what is important to take from Dogma’s story is how he functions as emblematic of some of the larger themes that occur in Star Wars.
One of the great things the Star Wars universe does is illustrate how different beings react to challenges to their beliefs and worldview. Dogma is resilient to commit treason against the Republic. He is ardent, until the conclusion of the Umbara arc, in his belief in following the orders of his superiors. At the end, he ends up destroying the individual that shattered his ideology. This appears to break him at a very deep level, it is this moment that Dogma became one of my favorites.
Watching the pain in his eyes, you understand he wasn’t being stubborn to be stubborn. In the other clone’s eyes, their request was sensical, but to Dogma, their request was violating who he was at the very core of his heart. He hated Pong Krell in those moments because he illustrated to him that his beliefs, his entire world, something he invested his heart into, was tainted.
The next clone on my list is Cut, perhaps better known as “the Deserter.” Cut Lawquane left the Republic, and consequently his brothers-in-arms, for a family and farm. The show takes us along Captain Rex’s journey towards understanding his brother’s actions. In the Clone Wars episode "The Deserter" Cut says this about his family, “I know you think I’m a coward, Rex. But believe me. I’ll fight to my last breath to keep them safe.” This moment allows the whole situation to “click” for Rex. Family, among clones, is everything.
One of the things my father pointed out after watching the first two seasons of The Clone Wars was that he felt “off” about the clones having personalities and characters. This makes sense, they are intended as the second in two disposable armies necessary for Palpatine’s war. He attributed the imposition of character traits, and self-defining actions (like helmet art and tattoos) as something necessary to connect with younger audiences and sell toys. However, I think it is possible for multiple things to be true. Yes, the above are clearly factors, however I think their individual experiences help connect beyond “young age” groups and can be more generalized to the human experience, as is true with the next two clones on my list.
Trauma, in several forms, is present in the Star Wars universe as it is in our own. It often affects who we are and can affect how the world views us all. This is particularly true of two of my favorite clones: Echo and Gregor. Echo may be on a good number of “Best Clone” lists, however, provided that he is now a member of Clone Force 99 (“The Bad Batch”), I think he deserves even more respect and, more importantly, more contextualization. Gregor perhaps is not as known as Captain Rex or Fives but deserves just as much love for his journey.
Echo is a clone who was fundamentally changed by his experiences in the war. He was mutilated as a prisoner-of-war after he was injured by an explosion during the course of a firefight. Echo didn’t appeal to me as much as he does now until I, myself, became disabled. You do not have to be disabled to understand and empathize with his story, but it hits closer to home when you can relate to that feeling of being “out of place” that led to him joining Clone Force 99. Gregor literally lost all knowledge of who he was due to combat trauma and was taken advantage of, being forced to work in a kitchen. I think this can connect to a lot of people, but probably more-so than others, veterans. Not necessarily that his special skill was war, but out of that context, he became underappreciated.
My final clone is known to a lot of Star Wars fans in their 20s and 30s but deserves to have his memory revitalized. Scorch is the explosive expert of Delta Squad. Led by Boss, Delta Squad is the subject of both books and one of the most beloved Star Wars video games of all-time: Star Wars: Republic Commando. Scorch and the rest of Delta Squad, thankfully, remain a part of current canon as Delta Squad cameoed in the The Clone Wars episode “Witches of the Mist,” escorting home the bodies of Jedi that had been killed by Savage Opress.
I hope this list, if nothing else, helps you appreciate and maybe take a second look at these awesome clones. I hope you had fun and may the Force be with you!
Written by Ash Aranda
Syndicated from Culture Slate