Star Wars Just Settled a Decades-Old Debate About Clones Versus Stormtroopers

It helps to be bred for battle.


Kylo Ren was probably right. In The Force Awakens, the Dark Side edge lord flippantly suggested, “Perhaps Leader Snoke should consider using a clone army.” In context, Ren was concerned about stormtrooper loyalty. But when it comes to efficiency, it’s tough to argue that stormtroopers — in any era — were good replacements for Clones.

As part of the long-running saga of the clone army being replaced by stormtroopers, the latest episode of The Bad Batch just brought back a man who made it all happen: Admiral Rampart. But now that Rampart is teaming up with the renegade Batch clones in Season 3, Episode 12, “Juggernaut,” it’s clear his best idea wasn’t so great.

Rampart’s Return

Rampart, in Bad Batch Season 1, with his pro-stormtrooper buddy, Tarkin.


Throughout the first two seasons of The Bad Batch, Admiral Rampart was the loudest voice when it came to supporting a new Imperial army. In Season 1, with Tarkin’s approval, Rampart pushed for the Imperial Defense Recruitment Bill, and even enlisted Crosshair to help take out rogue clones. Under Tarkin’s orders, Rampart also destroyed Tipoca City on Kamino, effectively wiping out the home of all clones created since the program was secretly started between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.

As public opinion turned in support of veteran clones and the “accident” on Kamino was revealed to have been an attack, Palpatine let Rampart take the fall for the fiasco. But in a classic Palpatine move, the Emperor managed to get the Recruitment Bill passed anyway. Fast-forward to Season 3, and Rampart is a disgraced Imperial prisoner who might have some vital information the Batch needs about the location of Tantiss Base. And when the Batch goes to break Rampart out, the episode makes a clever statement about the state of the galaxy’s security under the Empire.

Stormtroopers versus Clones

You can’t escape Clone Troopers, even in Andor.


Because The Bad Batch depicts the earliest days of the Empire, we also see the earliest versions of non-clone stormtroopers. The helmets on these troopers are reminiscent of early Ralph McQuarrie concept art for the original Star Wars in 1977, which solidifies the idea that we’re not seeing the real-deal Imperial stormtroopers from the classic trilogy. In fact, in a flashback in Andor Season 1, we see clone troopers still being used by the Empire. The events of The Bad Batch Season 2 and 3 are concurrent with this flashback, meaning clones are still in use.

So in the first decade of the Empire — from the end of Revenge of the Sith through the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Solo — there was still a great deal of overlap between clones and stormtroopers. All three seasons of The Bad Batch have demonstrated, in granular detail, how and why the change happened. But what’s ironic in “Juggernaut” is how Rampart’s support of stormtroopers over clones was so clearly misguided.

Because the Bad Batch has to break Rampart out of an Imperial prison facility, they have to fight stormtroopers. This has been happening more and more on The Bad Batch, but it’s particularly interesting when it’s happening in front of Rampart. The reason Rampart is even in prison is that he bombed Kamino and began putting an end to the clones, but now clones are easily defeating stormtroopers right in front of him.

In nearly every Bad Batch battle, the only advantage stormtroopers have over heroic clones is resources. Otherwise, the troopers appear inferior, and the man who argued otherwise just got busted out of jail by a bunch of clones he claimed were incompetent. The lesson from the early days of the Empire and the problems of the First Order are clear. If you want an efficient army that makes fewer mistakes, you don’t recruit anyone who can point the blaster the right way. Instead, the Empire probably would have been much more terrifying if they’d simply made more clones.

The Bad Batch streams on Disney+.

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