In the second season of The Bad Batch, we’ve seen how the Empire views clone troopers, treating them as obsolete, even expendable. Yet the clones are still good soldiers, and the Imperial military needs far more troops than the Republic, so what are the reasons behind the Empire’s desire to decommission them?
The clones are some of the best soldiers in the galaxy, but that effectiveness comes at a high price, and they are much more expensive than regular recruits. Not only are clones created through the advanced Kaminoan cloning facilities, but they also have to be raised for up to a decade until they become fighting age, with the clones requiring food, education, and accommodation during that time, something that isn’t a problem with regular recruits, who join the army as adults.
Another big problem related to the way clones are grown is numbers. While the lengthy period of training from early childhood is a good way to make excellent soldiers, it also takes a lot of time. With the Empire’s desire to take over new worlds in the Outer Rim and provide garrisons on troublesome Republic planets, they need a much bigger army, and quickly. It simply takes too long to grow and train a clone, and the Empire can’t afford to wait.
Throughout the war, the clones proved they were skilled fighters. Their genetic engineering was designed to make them fit for war above all else, and their bond as brothers made them work smoothly as a team. After the war, the Empire no longer has the threat of a strong Separatist military to contend with. Rather than fighting thousands of droids, their new stormtroopers mostly have to deal with with small groups of rebels and pirates. It’s difficult to justify an army of clones for garrisoning small outposts and enforcing the Emperor’s will on occupied planets, which leads to another problem.
While the clones follow orders, it becomes clear over the course of The Bad Batch that they’re disillusioned with the Empire’s tactics, resulting in more mutinies and desertions. To combat this, the new Imperial Academies use brainwashing and propaganda to instill an unquestioning loyalty in their new recruits, and also work to destroy any sense of individuality among their soldiers, making them more agreeable to following their officers orders, no matter what they are.
The Clones’ future
While most regular clones are being decommissioned, the Empire still has use for some. Clone Commandos are still used as an effective elite force, and also for training the new TK troopers. There are also the Purge Troopers used alongside the Inquisitors to hunt down survivors of Order 66. These come from the last batch of clones and didn’t enter service until after the war ended, but are still more cable than stormtroopers at finding former Jedi. Some other clones were also offered roles as instructors at Imperial Academies, using their battlefield experience to train stormtroopers. For regular forces, however, the Empire no longer needs clones, considering them a relic of the Republic era, with far too much loyalty to their former leaders and each other, and as a result, they are moving quickly to end their reliance on them.