Top 10: Clones

Welcome to Top 10. In this series, I will pick a subject in Star Wars and pick my top 10 rankings within that category. I initially began this ahead of Solo: A Star Wars Story by ranking the first 10 Star Wars films and enjoyed doing it so much, I thought it would be fun to make into a more regular series. Today I will be going through my Top 10 Clones.

Now I wanted to make some clarifications on how I will be choosing my Top 10. I have tried to rank my personal top 10 with a heavy weighting on who my favourites are but also accounting for their impact on the stories they have and their impact on the canon.

I am a big fan of The Clone Wars for a number of reasons, but one of the things that I love most about the show is how it takes thousands upon thousands of clones of the same person and yet make each of them feel like individuals, through a combination of slightly modifying their appearance through tattoos, hairstyles and designs on their armour to Dee Bradley Baker managing to give each clone their own voice while still clearly being based on the same man. So without further ado, lets get to the top 10…

SW Clone Trooper Kamino Hallway
Image by 501 Captures

10: Kix (CT-6116)

“Sir, as the team medic, when it comes to the health of the men, including you, I outrank everyone.”

A member of the 501st, Kix was a medic during the Clone Wars, serving on a number of different worlds including Saleucami, Umbara and Anaxes. On Saleucami, Kix’s medical abilities helped save Rex after he was shot in the chest by a droid sniper and was the one who deduced the team were on farmland, so there must be a homestead nearby where he could recover. Kix was kept busy due to Pong Krell’s high-casualty tactics on Umbara and was one of the troopers more vocal against the general’s plans, helping Fives’ mutiny by preparing the commandeered Umbaran starfighters that Fives, Jesse and Hardcase used on an unsanctioned mission. Kix was part of the unintentional firefight between the 501st and 212th and joined Rex in the arrest of General Krell. After Tup murdered General Tiplar during the Battle of Ringo Vinda, Kix was unable to figure out what was wrong with him and suggested he be sent to Kamino for a full examination. This led to Fives discovering the biochip conspiracy and after being framed for the attempted murder of Senator Palpatine, Fives found Kix and warned him that the Jedi were in danger, before giving him co-ordinates to pass to Rex. Following Fives’ death, Kix began looking into what had happened to Tup, which led to him also learning about the biochip conspiracy and Order 66, however he was captured by the Separatists and put into stasis to be transported to Count Dooku. The ship was ambushed and the droid pilot made an unplanned hyperspace jump, leading to the ship crashing on Ponemah Terminal, where it lost power. The ship was found 50 years later by Sidon Ithano and Kix was awakened from stasis. After learning that he was too late to save the Jedi and his brothers, Kix joined Ithano’s crew, likely the last remaining Jango Fett clone.

There are a number of reasons that Kix makes this list. First of all, his role as a medic allows him to stand out from the crowd as he will have different motivations that his brothers at times, shown often during the Umbara arc where he was often unable to help all of his wounded brothers. I also really like how his role as the medic and his interactions with Fives lead to him being one of the few troopers to find out about the biochip conspiracy and how he tries to save the Jedi much like Fives did, while his survival into the time of the war between the New Republic and First Order means that we could still get more content around his story as the last clone trooper.

9: Boil

“Oh, you made a friend. Mission accomplished.”

Boil served in the 212th as part of Ghost Company. Often serving alongside Waxer, Boil participated in the liberation of Ryloth and the Second Battle of Geonosis, while he later accompanied Generals Skywalker and Kenobi on Christophsis as they chased after Quinlan Vos, Asajj Ventress and Count Dooku. On Ryloth he, along with Waxer, found the orphaned Twi’lek girl Numa and helped protect her until they got back to the rest of the army. They then accompanied Kenobi in freeing the Twi’lek prisoners and destroying the proton canons that are stopping the larger Republic transports landing. On Geonosis, he and Waxer were charged with pushing beyond the 212th’s defensive lines to Kenobi’s crashed LAAT/i, where they were able to rescue Kenobi and the only surviving clone, Trapper, getting them back to the safety of the Republic lines.

Boil makes the list courtesy of his double act with Waxer, where especially in their first episode “Innocents of Ryloth” he comes across as a grumpy individual, giving some appropriate comic relief despite the often serious situations. That is one of my favourite episodes from the early seasons of The Clone Wars and I love watching how his attitude changes the more time he spends with Numa – who clearly has an impact on his as he adds an image of her onto his armour – while he appears to have an impact on her too as Rebels shows her to have joined Cham Syndulla’s Free Ryloth movement and wears a section of 212th clone armour with the name “Boil” written on it.

8: Hardcase

“Live to fight another day boys. Live to fight another day.”

Part of the 501st, Hardcase was shown to have served on Mimban, Saleucami – where he was one of the 3 troopers to accompany Rex during the search for General Grievous – and Umbara. On Umbara, he joined Fives in destroying and Umbaran supply base before stealing an Umbaran fighter and using it to destroy the Umbaran forces that had been causing the platoon heavy casualties. Hardcase was another of the clones who did not agree with General Krell’s orders and joined Fives’ mutiny, flying captured Umbaran Starfighters along with Fives and Jesse into the hangar of a supply ship in an attempt to destroy it from the inside. With the ship’s main reactor protected by a ray shield, Hardcase sacrificed himself by removing one of the missile launchers from his fighter and running it into the reactor, destroying the supply ship.

Though he barely featured in The Clone Wars, Hardcase was so memorable to me due to his wilder persona, supposedly caused by a leak in his growth chamber, while he is also one of the few troopers to use heavy weaponry in the form of his Z-6 rotary blaster cannon. The Umbara arc is my favourite from the show so it is no surprise that his actions during the first 3 episodes of that arc stick with me, especially as he willingly sacrifices himself for his brothers as opposed to being killed in a battle where the odds are against him surviving.

7: Hevy (CT-782)

“Do we take prisoners?”

“I don’t.”

Hevy was a clone cadet on Kamino, one fifth of Domino Squad. Trigger-happy and impatient, he would often push forward regardless of how his brothers were faring, leading to Domino Squad almost being assigned to maintenance. About to desert, he was stopped by 99 and came back to lead his squad to pass their test and graduate. Their first assignment was the listening post Rishi Station. When the station was attacked by commando droids, Hevy was one of only 3 clones to escape and survive. Joining up with Cody and Rex, they retook the station but were unable to turn off the “all clear” signal. With more droids arriving to take back control of the base, the clones chose to use the stored liquid tibanna to destroy the base, however the remote detonator would not work, so Hevy stayed behind to manually detonate the explosives, sacrificing himself in the process.

SW Clone Trooper Phase 1
Image by 501 Captures

Hardcase was a character I really enjoyed, but Hevy was the original scrapper of the series, so had to come above him. Hevy may not have been as wild as Hardcase but they have a lot of similarities: both use a Z-6 rotary blaster canon and one more trigger-happy clones who were always up for some excitement, while both also sacrificed themselves to help their brothers gain the victory. What also puts Hevy just above Hardcase is that despite only featuring in 2 episodes of The Clone Wars, his character grows so much, with him becoming a leader in “Clone Cadets” and he clearly has an impact on his brothers, with Fives and Echo both adding tributes to him onto their armour. The story of Domino Squad is one of my favourite sub-stories throughout the show and without Hevy’s (admittedly bad-ass) sacrifice, the story would have had a quick end.

6: Waxer

“We thought they were wearing our armour. But…it was…you…”

Part of Ghost Company in the 212th Attack Battalion, Waxer served alongside Boil during the Liberation of Ryloth and the Second Battle of Geonosis (as mentioned above), while he also took part in the Battle of Umbara, where he led a platoon of Ghost Company that due to general Krell’s subterfuge were attacked by the 501st. Mortally wounded in the battle, Waxer managed to tell Rex that they – like the 501st – had been sent after a group of Umbarans who were supposedly wearing clone armour and would be at the co-ordinates where they had found the 501st, before succumbing to his injuries.

As I’ve already mentioned, the Umbara arc is my favourite in The Clone Wars, so despite having such a small role in this arc, Waxer’s input is not just crucial to the story but so memorable and I would argue one of the saddest clone death’s in the entire show! On top of that I love the more light-hearted moments we get from his pairing with Boil on Ryloth and Geonosis and also the way he shows a more compassionate side when the pair find Numa.

5: 99

“I’m a soldier, like you! This is what I was bred for.”

Born disfigured, 99 was deemed unfit for military service so was assigned to janitorial and maintenance duties. When Hevy was about to desert Domino Squad, it was 99 who talked him out of it and helped him become the leader of the team. When the Separatists invaded Kamino, 99 supplied the clones on the front lines with weapons and ammo from the supply room, before joining with Rex, Cody, Fives, Echo and a group of cadets to take down a group of droids that had made it inside the facility. With a large number of droids attacking the group and supplies low, 99 rushed to get more ammo, but was shot down and killed.

Oh man, 99! When I originally wrote this list a few months ago, I had him so much lower, but when I finally came to write this, I found him shooting up the list. 99 is such a sweet but sad tale of someone who has not become bitter about his disabilities stopping him from getting involved with the other clones, instead he takes it upon himself to look after the cadets and troopers on Kamino, while he is also the one who rally pushes onto Hevy the idea that each clone is an individual – with clones becoming more individual as the war went on, I can’t help wonder how much of this was 99’s influence! 99 is another contender for one of the saddest clone deaths in the show but has a great legacy with Clone Force 99 – a squad of clone commandos who all have genetic mutations – being named after him.

SW clone phase 1 battle droid kamino
Image by 501 Captures

4: Echo (CT-1409)

“Personally, I like that it’s so quiet out here. I can catch up on the reg manuals.”

A member of Domino Squad, Echo was one of the survivors from the attack on Rishi Station. Joining the 501st, he and Fives fought in the defence of Kamino, where they took up a sniping position before taking on a group of droids inside the facility as mentioned above. Following the Republic’s victory, Echo was made an ARC Trooper, alongside Fives. Echo was part of the task force sent to rescue Master Even Piell from the Citadel, however during the attempted escape, the shuttle he was attempting to secure was destroyed, apparently killing him. He did in fact survive and was taken into Separatist custody and given cybernetic replacements for much of his body. He was put in stasis and forced to remotely give the Separatists information that would help their military campaigns. After Rex deduced that his own strategic algorithm – known by Echo – was being used against the Republic, a task force was put together that tracked the source of the Separatist success to Echo, who they took out of stasis and rescued. Echo played a key role in the Republic victory at Anaxes, before becoming a member of Clone Force 99.

The second member of Domino Squad to make the list, Echo may not have as much of a character arc as Hevy, but I really like how his is portrayed as being a stickler for orders and regulations, while he makes a good partnership with Fives. The loss of Echo at the Citadel would have ranked so high on my list of top 10 clone deaths at the time, until it was revealed that he had in fact survived. I really enjoyed the Bad Batch story reel and would love to see a finished version of it, following which I would love to see more stories featuring Echo and the Bad Batch, as this was something that had initially been planned pre-cancellation but is not likely to be seen in the 7th season of The Clone Wars due to the small amount of episodes.

3: Cody (CC-2224)

“I concur with Captain Rex, sir. This is personal for us clones.”

A Marshal Commander in the 212th Attack Battalion, Cody served in the Grand army of the Republic for much of the Clone Wars as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s second-in-command. His services involved battles on Christophsis, Ryloth, Saleucami, Kamino, Umbara, Geonosis (for the Second Battle), Anaxes and Utapau, where his units were involved in ending the war by helping Kenobi track down and kill General Grievous. Shortly after Grievous’ death, Cody received Order 66 from Palpatine and ordered a nearby AT-TE to blast Kenobi, though they were unable to kill him and stop him escaping the planet.

SW 212th clone trooper
Image by 501 Captures

The only clone on this list to have appeared in live action, I can’t help but wonder if that helps him rise on this list. In terms of his personality, he is similar to Echo in so far as he is much more by the book than many of the troopers we see through The Clone Wars. This may make him sound boring, but he is tactically astute and proficient in combat both with and without blasters, while I really enjoy how we see the effect of the biochip conspiracy most keenly in Cody as we see how easy it was for him to turn on Obi-Wan despite their close relationship. Beyond that, I love how Cody was clearly a highly respected clone in the Grand Army of the Republic as Rebels shows that years later, the Empire is still using a number of emergency protocols that he and Rex introduced.

2: Fives (CT-27-5555, later ARC-5555)

“I’m sorry, I cannot just follow orders when I know they’re wrong, especially when lives are at stake.”

Initially a cadet in Domino Squad, following the skirmish at Rishi Station, Fives was assigned with Echo to the 501st. His role in the Battle of Kamino saw him promoted to ARC trooper along with Echo. Fives was part of the task force that attempted to rescue Master Piell from the Citadel and was one of the troopers who successfully made it off planet. Fives fought alongside the 501st during the Battle of Umbara but was vocal against General Krell’s tactics as they caused high numbers of casualties. Fives led a mutiny, stealing a trio of captured Umbaran Starfighters along with Jesse and Hardcase to destroy an orbiting supply ship, but he and Jesse were arrested and scheduled for execution, thought he firing squad could not bring themselves to kill their brothers, so they were imprisoned. Rex released them following the battle with Waxer’s platoon and they helped arrest Krell. Following Tup’s murder of General Tiplar, Fives escorted his friend to Kamino and remained with him during his tests. Through his own investigations, Fives discovered the biochip conspiracy but was drugged to make him appear mad and framed for the attempted murder of Chancellor Palpatine. He managed to get Kix to deliver a message to Rex to meet him, but his agitated state meant that Rex and General Skywalker did not believe him about the Chancellor’s plot to destroy the Jedi. When Commander Fox and the Coruscant guards arrived, Fives was shot as he reached for a blaster to defend himself.

The 3rd and final member of Domino Squad to make the list, Fives is a character I really find myself gravitating towards whenever I watch the show. One of the more proficient members of Domino Squad, he is one of the earliest to show signs of individuality with the insistence on using his nickname Fives rather than his trooper designation. As time goes on in the show, it becomes more clear how he is not just a trooper who will do what he’s told but is instead someone who will to what is right, which leads to conflict in the Umbara arc, yet it also helps him have the close personal relationships with his brothers that makes so many of the arcs he features in even better. I really don’t think Echo’s “death” on the Citadel would have been half as impactful were it not for Fives’ reaction, and I am sure his death would be in or close to the top 3 if I were to put together a top 10 clone deaths (I’ve mentioned this so many times, I’m going to have to do it now!). Away from his own actions and character, very few clones have had a bigger impact on the wider story, as Five’s investigations and death are what puts not just Kix, but also Rex on the path to discovering the biochip conspiracy, allowing Rex to remove his chip and help Ahsoka survive Order 66.

1: Rex (CT-7567)

“In my book, experience outranks everything.”

An ARC trooper who commanded Torrent Company and the whole of the 501st as second-in-command to Jedi Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, Rex served throughout the Clone Wars. He was at both the First and Second Battle of Geonosis, the Battle of Christophsis, the Battle of Teth, the Battle of Mimban, the skirmish at Rishi Station, the defense of Maridun (where 3 Jedi and 2 clones held off the Separatist forces to protect the Lurmen village), the Battle of Orto Plutonia, the raid on Dr Nuvo Vindi’s laboratory, the Battle of Kamino, the attempted rescue of Evan Piell from the Citadel, the Battle of Mon Cala, the Battle of Umbara, the Battle of Anaxes and the Siege of Mandalore, among other engagements, while he also took part in the initial training of the Onderon Rebels. During the campaign on Umbara, Rex tried to act as a go-between for General Krell and the clones unhappy with his tactics, but eventually led the attempts to arrest Krell after his treachery was revealed. Fives’ death and prior warning of a plot against the Jedi led Rex to discover the truth about the biochips and he removed his. When Order 66 was issued, Rex was able to help Ahsoka Tano escape Mandalore, with both of them faking their deaths and going off separately. The Spectres found Rex on Seelos a few years before the Battle of Yavin, living with the clones Wolffe and Gregor, and they convinced the clones to join the Rebellion. Rex stayed with Phoenix cell. In his time with Phoenix Cell, he helped infiltrate an Imperial Interdictor to rescue Ezra Bridger, Commander Jun Sato and the crew of the Liberator, while playing a key role in the establishment and later evacuation of Chopper Base on Atollon, while also helping find Saw Gerrera on Geonosis after the Rebellion lost contact with him. Following the Battle of Atollon, Rex and the remainders of Phoenix Squadron joined the Massassi Group on Yavin 4, however he and a selection of other rebels and pirates (including Wolfe, Gregor, Alexsandr Kallus and Hondo Ohnaka) helped take part in the liberation of Lothal. By the time of the Battle of Endor, Rex had returned to the larger Rebellion and he served at the battle in a currently unspecified role.

Rex is arguably the lead clone character in The Clone Wars so the sheer amount of time he has on screen was always going to help him appear on this list. But his positioning here at number 1 is due to much more than screen time as he does so much when shown. Through the whole run of the The Clone Wars we see him develop from a captain that follows orders to one who does what he feels to be right, while he also reacts well to Anakin’s unconventional plans and it can be argued that he takes this on board when looking at some of his own plans in later seasons. Rex grows so much as a character through his interactions with others, such as Cut Lawquane, Anakin and Fives and I loved seeing his story continue in Rebels with him continuing to fight for what he believed in. I love the fan theory that Rex is the bearded Pathfinder in Han’s team on the moon of Endor in Return of the Jedi and while I understand the reason it has not been explicitly canonised as that character (Nik Sant) had his own history in Legends, I love the tease that Rex was at the battle of Endor leaving it open for future material to make this theory canon. I will always be up for more Rex content so I’m really looking forward to season 7 of The Clone Wars as the novel Ahsoka has already shown that he has a key role in her escaping Order 66, while I would also love a story showing him, Wolffe and Gregor coming together (I doubt we will see this in the show) and I would never turn down a confrontation with Cody at some point that sees these two formerly close allies on opposite sides – something that was apparently considered for Rebels.

 

So that’s my list, how does it compare to yours? Thanks for reading and May the Force be with you…

SW 501st clone trooper
Image by 501 Captures

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