The stories that Star Wars tells come in a lot of varieties. While many fans will have in their minds what they consider a Star Wars story, at its heart the franchise has always been willing to present narratives about hope that also grapple with difficult subjects. The first Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order does this well, exploring the complicated emotions and trauma that two different Jedi went through at drastically different points in their training. It’s likely that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 will also follow in its predecessor’s steps. By doing so Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 would have an opportunity to continue to explore the effects of the Republic’s fall as well as how some of its residual members engaged with the galaxy.
Most notable would be the Clone troopers that the Republic used as its primary military force throughout the Clone Wars. While Star Wars TV shows like The Bad Batch have had Star Wars’ Clones as a focus their complicated story should be discussed in other narratives. Much of The Bad Batch focuses on the troopers of Clone Force 99 and how they’re able to survive during the Empire’s rise, but tackling the history of Clones in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 could provide a deeper way to look at their relationship with the rest of the galaxy.
Clone Troopers in the Empire
By the time fans see the Empire at full strength in Star Wars, most of the Clones that fought for the Republic have been retired. While Clone Commandos continued their service as shock troopers and other Clones were used as enforcers throughout the galaxy during the early days of the Empire the increased rate at which they aged had them deemed a liability. This resulted in many Clones either being retired or recruited as instructors for Stormtroopers within the Imperial hierarchy as they aged. Despite how the Clones were being phased out as well as Imperial military leaders like Grand Moff Tarkin labeling them an unneeded expense their training and inhibitor chips kept many of them loyal to the Empire.
Even without these chips, some Clones like Crosshair and Wolffe struggled or outright refused to completely abandon their duties to the Empire. Tackling this in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 would provide a way for the game to explore the other difficulties that come with Cal Kestis and Cere Junda surviving Order 66. The Star Wars Rebels TV show touched on this in the past when the former Padawan Caleb Dume, later known as Kanan Jarrus, encountered Captain Rex, Gregor, and Wolffe. The traumas of his past combined with his mistrust for Clones paints a clear picture of what many Jedi are likely going through or feeling.
The Clones that the Jedi General and Commanders served with were often trusted and loved members of the team. The relationship that former Jedi Ahsoka Tano shared with Captain Rex or Obi-Wan Kenobi’s trust in Commander Cody are clear examples of this. Just like these Jedi and the Clones with them at the time of Order 66, Cal and Cere were also betrayed by those close to them. While news of the inhibitor chips may have gotten to them, that doesn’t mean either would be able to trust any troopers they might encounter following the Republic’s fall both because of their trauma as well as the possibility of those Clones still being loyal to the Empire.
These tense interactions and relationships could help to tell one of Star Wars' most important stories. While the overarching narrative, for Star Wars movies and shows at least, has largely been focused on the Skywalker Saga there are other important subjects to consider. The Republic’s use of Clones and even the way Jedi trained children from a young age is questionable at best. The success of Emperor Palpatine’s conspiracy was hinged on aspects of the Republic like this with the fall of the Jedi requiring them to act in ways many would consider out of character.
The Problem with Clones in Star Wars
Throughout installments, like The Clone Wars TV show, others recall a more peaceful time with many discussing the fact that the Jedi are not generals. Even as Cal grows more skillful as a Jedi the approach of him and the Mantis crew in the first Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game is focused on the recovery of a Holocron rather than directly fighting the Empire. Protection is a major part of how the Jedi had historically engaged with the galaxy, which makes their leadership of the Clone Army an almost hypocritical task.
The nature of war and violence isn’t the only reason that this should be explored though. One of the key pieces to the Clone Army and Clones that would ultimately serve the Empire is their inhibitor chips. Most Clones were bioengineered and given an implant meant to guarantee their compliance to orders. This is what made the execution of Order 66 so swift and guaranteed the rise of the Sith Lords, Darth Vader and Darth Sidious, following the Clone Wars. However, the inhibitor chip also highlights how the Clones in Star Wars were used as military slaves.
While the relationships that they established between themselves and with many of the Jedi were friendly, at the end of the day they were soldiers with no alternative options. Despite this, each clone was an independent person with The Book of Boba Fett likely showing just how different they can be. Still, the existence of the Clones and their lives depended on the Republic and Separatists being at war with one another and their inhibitor chips reinforce this. Different Clones have addressed their situation in the past with some even deserting, but it’s a topic that should be explored more. Intertwining such a narrative with Cal in Cere in Star War Jedi: Fallen Order 2 could provide a way to look at the multiple questions that arise from the characters' circumstances.
How should surviving Jedi react with key knowledge they didn’t have when they were betrayed? How do they look back on their involvement in a war where those that served them had no other choice? Both of these questions could help Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 deliver an incredible story that deals with some of the hardest what-ifs in Star Wars. Despite the hero status that most Jedi maintain they were not perfect, and even some of the most legendary Jedi Masters like Yoda came to understand that despite the Jedi Order’s best efforts it had been blinded by the power of the Dark Side. In the end, even Jedi like Cal and Cere engaged in the war as soldiers rather than peacekeepers and there were Clones who ultimately died having to follow orders, that like Order 66, they couldn't refuse.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 is reportedly in development.
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