I had a brief thought this week that I wanted to mull over. This will be short because I want to go to bed within 20 minutes, so please excuse the rushed-ness and lack of proofreading.
I noticed, after watching the first few new episodes of TCW on Netflix, how much I enjoy the storylines with the clone troopers. And then I realized the reason was because they explore the individuality of the clones. But are the clones even meant to have individuality? No, not really. Not so much as an unaltered human. As Lama Su says in AOTC, “You’ll find they are totally obedient, taking any order without question. We modified their genetic structure to make them less independent than the original host.”
That’s what makes the episodes so interesting. It explores the feeling of being someone, while being one in a million. It takes what we took for granted, and turned it on it’s head by forcing us to realize that just because they all look and talk the same, it doesn’t mean they are all the same.
Do I agree with this viewpoint? Not really. I think the extent to which they show the clones having personalities in TCW is not correct with the continuity of the saga, but I do love watching them.
As we look over the entire saga, we see that the droids seem to have more personality than the stormtroopers/clone troopers. The only time I can remember that the stormtroopers showed any real personality was the brief moment in ANH, when Obi-Wan went to decommission the tractor beam. The two stormtroopers on duty started talking about the latest speeder or something (I actually can’t find the lines in the script so it must have been ad libbed) and it sounded just like a couple of guys at work, killing time. After ANH, they show no emotion and almost no dialogue.
The Prequels are a bit better with the clones joking around a little with the Jedi, but I still don’t think they have defined personalities. It was probably on purpose, as you couldn’t show them being too close as they had to turn on the Jedi when Order 66 came around. Close enough, that it made it more dramatic and painful to see them turn, but not enough that it would be questioned.
Reviewing all these thoughts in my head, I came to realize that the droids in the saga really do show more emotion than human stormtroopers.
When Threepio thinks Luke is dying in the trash compactor, he starts cursing his metal body, clearly upset. He gets angry at Artoo when Artoo refuses to play all of Princess Leia’s message. Threepio complains, a lot, through a lot of the movies. Artoo is feisty and sassy, and though he can’t speak Basic, makes his feelings clearly shown. But they’re droids…so how do they have feelings or emotions? They can’t.
But, yet, somehow they do and they are somewhat relatable – even the droid that speaks no Basic.
I found that fascinating. Stormtroopers, who are actually humans, albeit clones, have very little emotion and are more like robots. Droids, who are made up of wires and metal, have more human emotion in one of them than 20 clones put together.
And that’s it. Okay. 30 minutes spent on this post. Good night!