top of page
  • Dylan Kling

A human only Empire explained (Part 2)

In the last part of this article I talked about the history of the Stormtrooper corps from the Clone Wars to the Empire as well as just how many of them would be needed to maintain the massive empire they ruled over. Leaving of with the question of what does this have to do with the Empire being human only?

Well the answer is relatively simple as around 7 years into the reign of the Empire the Kaminoans who were growing their clones became unhappy with the current situation and breed their own clones to fight back against the Empire. This became known as the unofficial “Clone Rebellion” of 12BBY. The clones were soundly defeated and the Rebelling Kaminoans punished by the Empire but it’s lasting effects saw the decline of cloning to fill the ranks of the Stormtrooper corps. Now due to the life cycle of the cloning and the fact that a majority of clones in various stages of development were not part of the rebellion the Empire still had about 10 years before the reserve stock of growing clones would run out, but once that 10 year period ended they would have no new additions to the Stormtrooper corps. As such they began immediately started expanding to new cloning methods and recruiting non genetically enhanced humans into the ranks of the Stormtrooper corps as a measure to begin breaking their dependence on the Fett Kamino clones. This was done so that when the stock ran out they would be ready and still be able to field an army large enough to hold their territories. And this strategy was effective as by 0ABY (2 years after the Fett clone stock ran out) only a third of the Stormtrooper ranks were made up of Fett clones.

Now the Empire experimented with other forms of cloning and some of these other measures did also make it into the ranks of the Stormtroopers. I also personally think that the long term solution was to find a new more sustainable method of cloning as evidenced by the events of the Thrawn and Dark Empire trilogy show that the Emperor was looking into better cloning and wasn’t far off with the Spaarti Cylinders to begin again using clones as the bulk of their forces. This would mean that the introduction of humans was a short term measure to fulfill the need in the interim.

So why Humans then?

Well at the time of the Clone Rebellion there had been 20 years of research, design and production invested in making weapons, armor, equipment and vehicles optimized for human use. Not only this but a big factor in the utilization of the Stormtrooper was the instantly recognizable armor that was meant to intimidate and strike fear in anyone who would oppose the Empire. It is why Stormtroopers had to polish their armor daily and were not allowed to make modifications outside of Imperial law, as the look alone was part of the package of what made Stormtroopers effective. As such those who would be replacing the clones would have to be able to wear the armor and use the equipment and be indistinguishable from those who wore it before. That means humans as all of the gear has been specialized for their use.

But why not nonhumans? The Empire needed a massive force and by only taking humans weren’t they denying a large portion of their manpower to be able to serve that need? Well this one comes down to logistics. Opening up recruitment to all species would be problematic as now their weapons and equipment has to be changed in order to suit the needs of those who would use them. Helmets would have to be remolded in order to protect the Lekku of a Twi’lek, the breastplate of the armor would now have to have increased plating in the area of a Zabrak’s second heart, the breathing devices and filters would have to be reworked to produce hydrogen for Kel Dor and so on. This also includes equipment, rations, medical supplies which would all need to be changed to include the needs of non-humans.

If these changes were applied it would create a logistical nightmare as certain supplies and equipment would need to be specially made for certain species, then sent in the correct quantities at the correct times to the units that needed them. Considering again they have nearly 70 million systems to govern this becomes a nightmare and it is simply easier to only have to create supplies, weapons and armor that only needs to be compatible with one species than all or even just a few. Since the Empire had also invested 20+ years of research and design behind a military designed for one species and had planned on using clones of that same species in the future, it only makes sense that they would not want to develop equipment for a multitude of species just to have all that new tech be discarded once the new clones arrived.

The logistical problems mentioned before isn’t even factoring in the nearly 30 different varieties and specializations for the Stormtroopers which would already be taxing the logistical capabilities of the Empire. Adding more specialized equipment on top of this would only make things worse. Sure you could just give species that ae close enough to humans, human equipment but they would fail to use them as optimally as their human counterparts and would thus decrease the combat effectiveness of the Empire’s forces.

While I am not denying that there were anti-non-human sentiments in the empire that played a part in the decision to only allow humans into Imperial service I hope I made a good case for why it made sense to implement such a policy even to non-xenophobic Imperial higher ups. I have not talked about other branches but the underlying reasons I have laid out can be applied to these branches in much the same way quite easily. Yes there are exceptions to this rule and the Empire didn’t stay this way forever but I hope I at least helped explained some of the behind the scenes reasons for why the Empire opted to be Human only.

If you guys would be interested though I could do in depth analysis of the other branches of the Imperial Military or look into why other governments were able to successfully incorporate a diversity of species into their militaries. So if you have any requests please put them in the comments. In the meantime though I think I will get back to my series analyzing ships from the EU so until next time.


To see more from Dylan, click here!

bottom of page