Written By Geoff Lo
Clone troopers are the rank and file of the Galactic Republic. Bred for combat with unquestionable loyalty, the valiant soldiers served on the battlefield as guardians against the Separatists and their droid army, striving for an advantage of skill over numbers. First introduced in Attack of the Clones, the warriors' diversity and individuality were further fleshed out in the Clone Wars animated series, showcasing numerous individual clones that stood out amongst their brothers for their particular skills and/or personality, becoming fan-favorites as the show progressed.
10. Clone Commander Fox
Starting off the list with the infamous Coruscant Guard Commander may be a controversial take, but his place on the list is justified by his sense of duty, no matter the circumstances. Notorious for his role in the capture of Ahsoka Tano and his killing of ARC Trooper Fives, Fox is one who demonstrates unwavering determination in executing his duty, even to the extent of standing his ground in upholding Admiral Tarkin's orders when facing a furious Anakin Skywalker who demanded to see his Padawan in custody. As much as he is hated by fans, his dutiful character undeniably makes him a good soldier (who follows orders).
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9. Clone Trooper Hevy
Nicknamed after his expertise of heavy weaponry, Hevy was one of the first named clone troopers introduced in Season 1 of the Clone Wars series. Initially a rebellious clone who preferred to act on his own, rather than relying on teamwork, the trooper grew into a strong team member with a sense of leadership. He was best known for, sadly, his sacrifice on the Rishi Moon outpost, during which he gave his life to save his fellow clones, by manually detonating the bomb that blew up the outpost when a Separatist strike force attempted to capture the base to initiate an assault on Kamino.
8. Clone Commander Thorn
While only appearing in one episode of the Clone Wars series, the Coruscant Guard Commander stood out as one of the top clone troopers in canon for his fearless last stand in protecting Senator Padmé Amidala on Scipio. Initially on an escort mission to the InterGalactic Banking Clan homeworld, Thorn and his shock trooper garrison faced a sudden Separatist invasion that caught them off-guard. Unable to reach the senator in time, Thorn advised her to escape while he did his best to buy her as much time as possible, fending of hordes of super battle droids and commando droids. Even after being wounded, he led his troops in fighting to the very last man till he finally collapsed after taking four blaster shots.
7. Clone Captain Keeli
Serving under Ima-Gun Di at the Battle of Ryloth, Captain Keeli was known for his fierce combat determination, even when knowing the mission would be his last. In order to buy time for the Twi'lek freedom fighters and refugees to retreat from Separatist forces, Keeli and his garrison fought alongside their general in a last stand. Even after being knocked out by a thermal detonator and seeing his comrades die to Separatist fire, he got back to his feet and fought with Ima-Gun Di back-to-back against the droid aggressors to his last breath, enabling the Twi'leks to live and fight another day.
"I'm not finished yet, sir. We can do this, General!" - Captain Keeli
6. Clone Trooper Waxer
Also first appearing on Ryloth, the 212th Attack Battalion veteran stands on the list not only for his bravery in combat, but more notably the empathy his character demonstrated towards the victims of war. In a brief recon mission alongside clone trooper Boil, the two came across a little Twi'lek girl named Numa who was hiding in the rubble of her village after the Separatist invasion. While his partner was initially skeptical in fear of her slowing them down, Waxer was the first to befriend Numa, offering her a ration bar and accompanying her back to her ruined home, where he comforted the heartbroken child. Upon liberating the Twi'leks and reuniting her with her uncle, Waxer was seen by Numa as her brother and clearly was an inspiration for her as a rebel fighter in the Imperial era.
5. Ninety Nine
While not strictly a 'clone trooper' in terms of active combat duties, Ninety Nine was a true soldier and brother to his fellow clones. While being a defective clone and physically unfit to serve as an ordinary clone trooper, Ninety Nine nevertheless demonstrated the valor of a soldier during the Defense of Kamino. Assisting his brother-in-arms by supplying rifles, ammunition, and explosives, Ninety Nine notably worked with Rex, Cody, Fives, Echo, and a group of cadets in diverting and destroying a group of droid forces in Tipoca City. His sacrifice in trying to return to the armory for more thermal detonators cemented his heroic character, earning the respect of his brothers. His legacy was further evidenced by the naming of Clone Force 99 (a.k.a. the Bad Batch), an experimental elite clone unit with members having desirable genetic mutations.
4. Clone Commander Cody
The Marshal Commander is easily one of the most well-known clone troopers in canon. Serving under Obi-Wan Kenobi, Cody is a veteran who played decisive roles in numerous Republic victories. Most notably, he coordinated his troops in an uphill battle against the well-prepared Separatist forces in the Second Battle of Geonosis, even after things went South rapidly when Obi-Wan's gunship was shot down and other generals faced their own struggles when landing at Point Rain. Just like his general, Cody is a steadfast and by-the-book leader which makes him an excellent trooper in the Grand Army of the Republic.
3. ARC Trooper Echo
ARC Trooper Echo is the leading embodiment of resilience and tenacity among clone troopers. Beginning his days as a member of Domino Squad, Echo grew from a strict order-abiding clone to an adaptable warrior, later being recruited into the famed 501st Legion and promoted to ARC Trooper after his valiant service in the Defense of Kamino. While thought to be killed in action during the Citadel rescue mission on Lola Sayu, it was revealed in Season 7 of the Clone Wars series that Echo was still alive, but captured by the Separatists, becoming an experiment subject of the Techno Union. Even after his severe injuries and prolonged period of torture, Echo was never broken and his loyalty to the Republic never wavered, returning to combat quickly after being rescued and playing a decisive role in the Republic's victory on Anaxes, after which he joined the Bad Batch and continued to navigate his life during the Imperial era.
2. ARC Trooper Fives
ARC Trooper Fives is easily one of the best clone troopers in canon, not only for his skill in combat and strategy, but most importantly for uncovering the sinister plot behind the clones' inhibitor chips that nearly led to him single-handedly foiling Darth Sidious' plan in overthrowing the Republic via Order 66. A Domino Squad veteran that served in battles from Kamino to Umbara, Fives is known for his independent mindset that enables him to be fiercely loyal but not blindly follow orders, as demonstrated from his actions in disobeying Pong Krell's suicidal orders and obtaining a Republic victory with minimal casualties during the Battle of Umbara. Following Clone Trooper Tup's inhibitor chip malfunction that caused his execution of Jedi General Tiplar during the Battle of Ringo Vinda, he embarked on an investigation into the nature of the inhibitor chips while on Kamino. While his findings appeared to have died with him following his tragic death at the hands of Commander Fox, it was later revealed in Season 7 of the Clone Wars that his efforts were not in vain, as it aided Ahsoka Tano in saving Captain Rex during the events of Order 66.
1. Captain Rex
It is no surprise that the Captain tops the list, being a fan favorite, but his place is well justified aside from his popularity and likeable nature as one of the key protagonists in the Clone Wars series. Serving under Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, Rex is both a fierce soldier and a dutiful leader, charging the frontlines with strategy while caring for and being an inspiration to his brothers. While not being a by-the-book trooper, he certainly is one that all clones should strive to be like for his loyalty, bravery, and willingness to constructively question authority. His close bond with Ahsoka Tano, developed throughout the war, also enabled him to briefly resist the influence of the inhibitor chip, leaving behind a clue for her to investigate that guided her in removing his chip and surviving Order 66. Even after the rise of the Empire, Rex never ceased his efforts in "restoring" the Republic, aiding in the inhibitor chip removal for the Bad Batch, reuniting with other clones such as Commando Gregor and Commander Wolffe, and lending his expertise to the Rebel Alliance, notably during the Battle of Endor in which he contributed to the final defeat of the Empire.
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Written by Geoff Lo
Syndicated from Culture Slate
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