Although led by the Jedi, the Grand Army of the Republic was mostly made up of clone troopers. But just how many were grown for the Clone Wars?
A massive number of clone troopers fought alongside the Jedi against the Confederacy of Independent Systems in Star Wars’ Clone Wars. First appearing in 1977’s Star Wars, stormtroopers, the anonymous armored soldiers of the Galactic Empire, became one of the earliest, most iconic images to emerge from the series. Decades later, the prequel trilogy would go on to explore their origins in the form of clone troopers.
The Clone Wars were so named for the Grand Army of the Republic, which was largely composed of a force of artificial, genetically identical clone soldiers. Grown by Kaminoan scientists from the DNA of bounty hunter Jango Fett, they augmented the ranks of Jedi Knights, who were otherwise greatly outnumbered by the Separatist Droid Army. Although the unsanctioned order for the army by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas was ultimately part of Darth Sidious’s plot to eradicate the Jedi Order, the clones were instrumental in the Republic’s eventual victory in the war.
Star Wars has yet to show a proper invoice for the clone army in any film or television show, but some concrete figures have been given. 200,000 soldiers (referred to as units) were ready when Obi-Wan Kenobi visited Tipoca City in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, with a million more in production at the time, in addition to the output of other facilities across Kamino. This was all in pursuit of Sifo-Dyas’s initial order of 3 million clones. Of course, in the wake of casualties, reinforcements were eventually required. Most significantly, a bill calling for the production of 5 million additional soldiers is passed by the Galactic Senate in an episode of The Clone Wars series.
Sifo-Dyas’s vision of an army for the Galactic Republic was already a cloning project of unprecedented scale, so the Republic’s subsequent request for 5 million additional units – more than a hundred percent increase, to be produced in a third of the time – was an extreme demand. The first wave of clones was already subjected to an intense training regimen during their accelerated growth period, so these additional troops would have likely seen an even more rigorous life prior to joining the war effort, which, by the time of their maturity, would come to mean serving the Galactic Empire as stormtroopers.
There are many figures suggesting the total amount of clone troopers produced for the Republic, but they on such a scale that they are difficult to absorb. And while there logically was some specific quantity, providing only a series of numbingly massive numbers seems in keeping with the essence of the clones, whose faceless hoards became symbolic of the Republic war effort and, in retrospect, foreshadowed the brutal totalitarianism of the Empire, a multifaceted legacy that is enabled by the decades-long scope of the Star Wars series.