Photo credit: Lucasfilm/The Clone Wars
Some of the very best Star Wars storytelling isn’t found on the big screen, but rather on the small, and one of the most compelling characters many people have never heard of is CT-5555, the Clone Trooper who had taken the name “Fives.”
The Clone Wars animated series I think is at its best when it is exploring these millions of soldiers who should be exact copies of one another, but all manage to show that they are individuals, fighting for individual recognition.
Fives is a character we get to see develop from an unruly Clone newly minted into a troubled squad in training on Kamino. We later see him earn his way into the ARC Troopers in the 501st under General Anakin Skywalker. We see him raid a Separatist fortress known as “The Citadel,” his brothers dying around him, to save a captured Jedi general.
He stands up to another Jedi, one who believes the Clones are cannon fodder no better than droids in the Umbara story arc. And finally, we come to his greatest moment: When one of his Clone brothers seems to have a breakdown and shoots down one of the Jedi in cold blood, Fives escorts the other soldier back to Kamino to find out what is wrong.
Here he discovers that all of the Clones have a bioware chip implanted in their heads, and his friend Tup’s chip has activated early, causing him to gun down a Jedi. Fives realizes he must warn the Republic, but in doing so finds himself declared an outlaw, by none other than Chancellor Palpatine. Shot down by his own brothers, he dies in Captain Rex’s arms, but not after imparting a warning.
It’s the end of a great character, but also the portent of darker things on the horizon, and the type of character development and somber plot that makes The Clone Wars far greater than just a simple tie-in cartoon.