Gah. The whole clone thing in The Clone Wars is SO FUCKED UP. These are supposed to be the good guys and what they’ve done is the same thing that the First Order is doing to stormtroopers, essentially.

In the episode I’m watching now, Rex says they took an oath, but like, how did they possibly have a choice to take any oath?

Am I missing something, or is the Republic just that fucked up?

The Republic is sort of that fucked up, but I don’t think they got there by themselves.  Look who’s in charge!  Really, keep an eye on Palpatine, especially the speeches he gives.  Every time he gives a speech, your stomach should curdle because something really bad is about to happen, and it’s going to happen because he’s about to emotionally engage people to be terrible sentient beings.  A significant portion of how bad the Republic gets–not all of it, but a meaningful chunk–is ol’ Darth Sidious basically fucking with everybody’s minds.  Not in a Dark Side way, but in a worse way.  He wedged the Republic into this rock and a hard place with this war he created, and then he says to them, “Isn’t making clone soldiers better than sending our own people out to die?”

“And you know what,” he then says to them, “let’s put the Jedi in charge!  Because they’re MERCIFUL.  Because they’re HONORABLE.  Because THEY, you can be sure, will not abuse people or engage in violence beyond what’s necessary or throw lives away needlessly or commit all those horrors you inevitably see in war.”

And everybody up to and including the Jedi nod, because doesn’t that seem wise and compassionate?

And then he points to devastated colonies as horror stories about what happens each time they fail, and lets them scare themselves into justifying everything.  He lets the war itself convince them that they HAVE to win, by any means necessary.  He just sits back and lets the Republic, even the Jedi, learn how to dehumanize–depersonify–their enemies (when it’s robots and clones you see doing most of the shooing, it’s so easy to forget that actual people are dying, isn’t it? Even for the audience).  All he has to do is stand up and give an occasional speech, and let them all get swept away in the “us versus them” and “whatever it takes.”

And so they all convince themselves that the right thing to do is have the Kaminoans breed clones for them to train up and send off to die in a war the poor guys never asked for.  As the series goes on, the clones and everyones’ reactions to them are really kind of the living breadcrumb trail of how far the Republic is falling as things go on.  Palpatine effectively turns the entire galaxy to the Dark Side.  And he doesn’t even have to actually use the Dark Side to do it.  Dude earns his Sith name.


And everybody up to and including the Jedi nod, because doesn’t that seem wise and compassionate?

Dude, the Jedi couldn’t even SAY NO to Palpatine or the Senate. The Jedi were there to protect and defend the Republic and the Republic WAS the Senate since the Senate was the voice of all the planets in the Republic.

I mean, look at Sheev, talking to Mace in Anakin and Obi-Wan #1

“Well, I’m the Chancellor, so you guys have to do what I say!!!!” 

Now, let’s say the Jedi did say no to the Clone Wars. A lot of people say the Jedi went back on their teachings and should have declined to fight, but they couldn’t. If they did, then most likely they would be branded as traitors to the Republic. “The Jedi will not fight for the Republic they claim to defend and love! The Jedi would rather see Coruscant in ashes than fight!” And the Jedi Order gets shunned out of the Republic, leaving Palpatine free to take over. His whole goal for the Clone Wars was to destroy the Jedi so he can take over the Galaxy, right? If the Jedi are banished, they won’t be able to touch him. What are 10,000 Jedi going to do against my Clone Army and all these people in the Republic who love me? Or maybe he’d just let the CIS win and rule through a puppet leader like Dooku. 

So, no matter what the Jedi do, Palpatine is going to fucking win. 

Putting the Jedi in charge was a great idea because it made people start associating the Jedi with war. Despite the fact that for AT LEAST a thousand years, the Jedi were known as peacekeepers who most likely just did diplomatic missions and helped out people, all that seems to fall away when they are shown on the HoloNet News leading armies. 

Palpatine drags that war out so long that people are now thinking the Jedi are in charge of it all. They are the ones leading it all. So the public opinion of the Jedi becomes tainted. 

So when Palpatine claims the Jedi are traitors and tried to kill him, people actually believe him. He was able to make a religious group of space wizards who were known for at least a thousand years as ‘the good good GOOD guys’ into the bad guys. He was able to corrupt the Jedi Order in the minds of the galaxy without the Jedi Order being corrupt. 


Annnnnnd don’t forget the whole amorality of the existence of the clones themselves.

They are manufactured and perceived by many (not all) to just be wetware battle droids, expendable and replaceable, to spend their whole brief lifespan fighting for the safety and freedom of Republic citizens, while never knowing safety or freedom for themselves or their brothers.

And you can see them start to doubt their purpose – Cut deserting, Slick’s betrayal, Fives desperately trying to reveal the truth to someone who can help – and it hurts. A lot.

“So, no matter what the Jedi do, Palpatine is going to fucking win.”

Literally most important note ever. For all the terrible things the Jedi were accomplices to, it’s all because Palpatine rigged the game from the start. If they had refused to fight under the moral ground that using the clones is unethical, Palpatine would have just labeled them traitors a decade earlier, fabricated some evidence that they were scheming with the Separatists all long, and the clones would have just marched right into the Temple. 

That hallmark of a Xanatos Gambit (tv tropes) is that All paths lead to a win. 

The Jedi refuse to be the generals in war, upholding their beliefs? They end up branded traitors and unfeeling and monsters in the eye of the Republic. Palpatine wins. 

The Jedi accept the position as generals, rendering them heavily in the public eye as warriors and military, giving credence to the lie that they are traitors? Palpatine wins. 

The Jedi lose so many over the course of the War that their numbers dwindle, forcing Palpatine to instate non-jedi generals? Palpatine wins. 

The Jedi come to kill him and fail? They get branded traitors against the Republic. Palpatine wins. 

The Jedi come to kill him and succeed? They’ve just murdered the Supreme Chancelor! Palpatine wins. 

The only way I can see that the Galaxy is saved is if Palpatine goes down in a rescue mission, along /with/ his Jedi protectors. (Anakin and Obi-Wan go into hiding somewhere.) Then the Jedi can say that the Separatists are at the doorstep of the center of the Galaxy, and can rally votes for their senator. Amidala is elected Supreme Chancellor, and she uses Palpatines powers for good. 

Even then, that’s so convoluted and out there that it’s not likely to happen. The one thing that Palpatine is good at is setting the Jedi up to fail. 

Say what you want about him, but Palpatine is a hell of a villain, and I’d dearly love to plant a couple explosives right between his eyes. 

And people say there’s no depth to the PT.