Jedi discover a clone army on Kamino bred for a single purpose…war.
Jedi never condemn it, they embrace it.
Jedi never question it, they encourage it.
Jedi don’t hesitate to use the army on Geonosis, despite deciding the fate of countless lives in the war to follow.
Chapter 10 of my novel discusses something that I feel was a grave misstep in the Star Wars saga. Can you create a race simply to fight and not justify their existence?
So what are we left to think? In Episode II: Attack of the Clones, it is astonishing just how quickly LucasFilm glosses over such ethic problems. The Jedi are “guardians of peace and justice” and yet they have no problem seizing this clone army with virtually no questions asked.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Yes, Master. They say that a Master Sifo-Dyas placed the order for a clone army at the request of the Senate, almost ten years ago. I was under the impression he was killed before that. Did the Council ever authorize the creation of a clone army?
Mace Windu: No. Whoever placed that order did not have the authorization of the Jedi Council.
Yoda: Into custody, take this Jango Fett. Bring him here. Question him, we will.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Yes, Master. I will report back if and when I have him. [hologram fades]
Yoda: Blind we are, if the creation of this clone army we could not see.
Mace Windu: I think it is time we informed the Senate that our ability to use the Force has diminished.
Yoda: Only the Dark Lords of the Sith know of our weakness. If informed, the Senate is, multiply, our adversaries will.
We see that Yoda and Mace are FAR more concerned with Jango Fett and their Force ability than they are about the clones themselves. They aren’t worried about WHO created the army. They don’t care that Master Sifo-Dyas’s name was used AFTER he was killed. The Jedi seem to adopt a very selfish attitude. Yoda and Mace immediately focus on the Jedi and overlook the ethics of cloning.
There were 192,000 clones used on the Battle of Geonosis on the ground (not taking the starships into account). The casualty lists thousands of clones killed, nearly 5,000 clone commandos killed (including 3/4 of Theta Squad), with 12,000 clones seriously injured and another 8,000 lightly wounded. Not one Jedi bats an eye.
Are these clones “people”? True, they were created for combat, but what if they wanted to have other aspirations? What if the war was over and the clones had no enemies left to fight? Would they be allowed to pursue those dreams? Are the clones simply cannon fodder? Most importantly…
Do the clones have RIGHTS? Can they vote in elections? The voting age in the United States was lowered from 21 to 18 during the Vietnam War because the primary argument was that an 18 year old draftee should be allowed to vote for their Commander-In-Chief as well as representatives who made laws that directly affected their draft status. What about Star Wars clones? Shouldn’t they be afforded the same rights? I mean, they are people…aren’t they?
This reminds me of a wonderful Star Trek: The Next Generation episode entitled: “The Measure of a Man”. In that episode, Lieutenant Commander Data (an android) is told that because he is a machine, he has no rights. Therefore, he must submit himself to dangerous, and potentially lethal, experiments. The goal of the experiments is to create more androids like him. Data, naturally, refuses to undergo the procedures. However, since he has no rights, what can he do?
A special hearing is called to determine two things. 1) Is Data sentient? 2) Does he have rights?
Captain Picard argues that in order to be a sentient being you must be intelligent, self-aware, and have consciousness. That’s a pretty fair assessment of sentience. The dictionary defines sentience as the ability to feel, perceive or be conscious, or to have subjective experiences.
Clearly, the clones are intelligent. They can adapt to changing situations, they can learn and understand new ideas. They also are self-aware. The clones understand they’re fighting in a war to save the Republic. Surely they possess at least a SMALL degree of consciousness since they can feel and have experiences that influence their future. Thus, they can be considered sentient beings and thus they are entitled to rights.
The Jedi Order, a group of the wisest beings in the known galaxy…didn’t care about the lives of millions of clones. They never investigated the mysterious Master Sifo-Dyas order of the army. Not ONE member of the Council or the Senate stood up and even questioned (let alone protested) the use of these beings. The clones are a race of slaves that the Jedi use to prove one point:
Sometimes the ends do justify the means…from a certain point of view.