When Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett volunteered to be the template of the clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic, he only viewed the clones as “livestock bred as cannon fodder” but also guaranteed to Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi that they would “do their job well.”
However, while Fett likely knew that his clones would play a huge role in the galaxy, he probably did not know that one of his clones could have drastically changed the course of history with his individualism.
Enter CT-5555, or as he preferred to be called: “Fives.” Like all the Clone Troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic, Fives was bred for one purpose: to fight the Galactic Republic’s war against the Separatists.
Like his clone brothers, Fives was conditioned to follow orders to the letter. He would start out as a cadet alongside fellow Clone Trooper (and future Bad Batcher) Echo while under Domino Squad and quickly rise through the ranks as a clone trooper in the 501st Legion and eventually become an ARC Trooper.
But aside from his accomplishments and accolades as an exemplary ARC Trooper in the 501st Legion, Fives had a strong sense of individualism that wasn’t subtle. One could argue that his outside-the-box thinking rivaled that of fellow clone Cut Lawquane, who deserted the Clone Army shortly after the Battle of Geonosis and became a farmer and a family man. However, unlike Cut, Fives’ individualism would be one of the things that could have a huge impact on the galaxy and possibly save the Jedi Order and the Republic.
One notable example of Fives’ individualism was seen in the Clone Wars Season Four where he and 501st Legion were under the command of Jedi General Pong Krell while fighting the Separatist on the planet Umbara. While Captain Rex followed Krell’s orders, almost without question, Fives was the first clone trooper to question the general’s tactics. Krell’s tactics involved having the clones march on to the airbasel without rest, having the clones march on regardless of the resistance they met, and not commanding at the front like the original Jedi General Anakin Skywalker. Despite costly victories against the Umbaran Separatists and capturing their aribase, Fives was still distrustful of Krell’s tactics.
Not only was Fives the first clone trooper to question Krell but he was also the first to confront him about his strategy. He would also question whether Rex believed in following orders and laying his life for the Republic or if he was engineered to think so.
Fives went as far to tell Rex that he could not “just follow orders when he knew they’re wrong. Especially when lives are at stake.”
Fives would disobey the Jedi General’s orders by recruiting Jesse and Hardcase to commandeer the enemy starships to destroy the droid supply ship. Fives was inspired by General Skywalker’s actions during the Battle of Naboo where he destroyed the droid control ship from the inside decades earlier. While the mission would cost the life of Hardcase, who willing sacrificed himself, Fives’ plan was a success. However, when the ARC Trooper and Jesses returned, Krell ordered their court martial and their eventual execution.
When Fives and Jesse were about to be executed, he appealed to the humanity of his clone brothers by telling them that “this was wrong and they all knew it.” He told them that the Jedi general needed to be called out for his mistake and that no clone deserved to be mistreated. Fives told the clones that they were men, not “a bunch of unthinking droids” and that they “must be trusted to make the right decisions, especially when the orders” the clones were “given are wrong.”
This prevented the clones from executing Fives and Jesse. However, this angered Dogma, a clone trooper who was passionately loyal to Krell. Rex told Dogma that the clones were doing the right thing and if clones were to be executed for heroic actions, then every clone would meet that fate.
Krell would eventually be discovered to be an acolyte of Dooku and would be executed by Dogma who felt betrayed by the rogue Jedi. After the successful siege of Umbara, Fives would comment that the war would eventually end with Rex questioning what would happen to the clones since they were only soldiers.
Had it not been for Fives, it is very likely that the 501st would have met its end on Umbara and the Republic would have been severely crippled. It also would have been likely that Krell would be a power acolyte under Dooku.
One notable instance where Rex’s individualism could have had a greater impact on the galaxy was when he would discover that he and his clone brothers were implanted with inhibitor chips used to control them. When the clones were created, Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas originally wanted the clones to have the inhibitor after the death of Sifo-Dyas, Dooku and Darth Sidious got a hold of his plans for a clone army and reengineered the chips to have the clones execute the Jedi who would command them. This protocol would become Order 66.
Season Six of The Clone Wars, would shoe Fives getting mixed into the inhibitor chip conspiracy when his friend Tup started acting strange and eventually killed Jedi Master Tiplar in front of her sister Triplee. Tup’s strange behavior would catch the attention of Dooku who ordered the Separtatist to capture Tup only for Fives, Rex, and Anakin to recapture him and take him to Kamino for examination.
Tup was originally believed to be suffering under an anti-clone virus created by the Separatist. As a result, Jedi Master Shaak Ti, who was stationed on the rainy planet, ordered Fives to stay on the planet since he might have been exposed to the virus.
While examining Tup, Shaak Ti and medical droid AZ suggested a radiocative brain scan while Kaminoan CHief Medical Officer Nala Se suggested terminating Tup and examining his body (since she was secretly in league with Dooku and Sidious who were nervous about the Jedi finding out about the inhibitor chips).
When Fives and AZ performed Tup’s brain scan and discovered the inhibitor chip implanted in both his head and the head of his dying comrade Tup, he was horrified. When confronting Nala Se about his findings, he would declare his humanity and tell the Chief Medical Sceintistt that he was “not a piece of hardware.” Shaak Ti, who was compassionate towards the clones, ordered Fives to be sent to Coruscant to speak to Chancellor Sheev Palpatine (Secretly Darth Sidious) at the medical facility on Coruscant.
When FIves was summoned to speak to Palpatine about his investigation of the inhibitor chips. Due to being drugged, he would attack Palpatine and his guards after discovering that the chancellor was in on the plot to destroy the Jedi.
While on the run, Fives, with the help of Clone Medic Kix would lure Anakin and Rex to the under levels of Corsucant where he would tell them about the chips and Palpatine’s involvement. Both the Jedi and the clone captain were initially skeptical, much to Fives’ frustration. Before the clone could reveal more of his investigation, he was interrupted by clone shock troopers led by Clone Trooper Fox. Fives tried to defend himself but Fox would kill him before he could reveal more of his investigation.
It can be argued that had Fives survived, the ARC Trooper, with his individualism and creative thinking, would have eventually revealed more of his investigation to the Jedi Order. Jedi Masters like Shaak Ti, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, and Yoda would have at least been curious about these findings and demand answers. It can also be argued that Palpatine would have very little room to maneuver from this evidence leading to him and Dooku. However, it can also be argued that the Chancellor could have noted the Jedi Order’s role in the plot since Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas originally commissioned the clones.
Nonetheless, there would have been an outcry from the public and possibly from both side of the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Like the Jedi, the Senate and the holonet news would have been all over Fives’ investigation. Journalists from Coruscant to the rest of the galaxy would want to interview Fives or other clones and Jedi alike to get the story. Politicians like Senator Padme Amidala, Mon Mothma, and Bail Organa would want to pass legislation to further investigate the inhibitor chips and their effect on the clones. Even politicians from the Separatist side would have wanted answers also.
It is very likely that the future of the galaxy would be at least slightly different from what we have seen in the original Star Wars trilogy. Anakin probably would have still wrestled with the Light and Dark Sides of the Force due to the knowledge of the Jedi and Sith involvement in creating the clones. The Republic would probably still be the dominant government in the galaxy while still deteriorating due to corruption.
And with the Republic still remaining, Palpatine’s plans for a Galactic Empire would not go to fruition like they did. Which begs the question: would there have been a Death Star? Possibly (since it was initially a Separatist weapon), but now with the public (from both sides) questioning the inhibitor chips, it would be uncertain.
And there is definitely no question that the clones would want to fight for their humanity and their rights under the Republic they swore to protect. They would want to have their chips removed and start their own lives after the war, like Cut Lawquane. And like Fives, they would want to be recognized as human beings and not second class citizens.
But sadly, little did the clones know, they would be discarded after the war’s end by the leader they swore allegiance to: Palpatine. Shows like The Bad Batch and Obi-Wan Kenobi showed how post war life affected the clones. Some, like Clone Force 99 turned to mercenary work to make ends meet, few decided to remain in service to the Empire they unwittingly put in place, other clones, like Captain Rex, were on the run, and many became homeless who would beg for food. All of this because nobody listened to Fives, except for Rex and Kix.
Arguably, Fives’ actions would be one of the many catalysts to the birth of the Rebel Alliance to Restore the Republic. Had it not been for his discovery of the inhibitor chip, Captain Rex, Gregor, Wolfe, and the Bad Batch would have not been able to remove their inhibitor chips. That would mean that Ahsoka Tano would have not survived Order 66 aboard the Star Destroyer Tribunal, Clone Trooper Tech would not have taught Hera Syndulla how to scramble her ship’s, The Ghost , signature to evade detection from the Empire so that she can help the Rebellion win key missions, Captain Rex would not been able to find potential Rebel bases or ships to help the cause.
But had the entire galaxy knew about the actions of ARC Trooper CT-5555, Fives, they would have acknowledged that he was a hero. And had people stopped to listen to him, he would have saved the galaxy from a doomed fate and made life better for his brothers. He would have been a martyr to the clones for their right to not live as property of the Kaminoan government or the Republic, but as human beings.