Fives is not a redshirt

Echo, Fives, and Cody. Screenshot from the Clone Wars episode "Citadel."
Every clone’s death is felt. To call them a clone is almost an insult, and that is why I am so impressed with Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I was expecting an exciting and fun show for kids, and while it succeeded at that, the show evolved into so much more. It deals with themes of war, peace, trust, friendship, betrayal, and maintains that every life (clone or otherwise) really matters.

Captain Rex, Cody, Waxer, Fives (a.k.a. my favourite), Tup, all of them… I had originally expected they might be treated similar to stormtroopers: available for sacrifice by the truckload, expendable, and replaceable. But this is not the case.

“I followed your orders; orders that I didn’t necessarily agreed with. Orders that cost us men, not clones, men!” —Captain Rex

Each clone has his own personality and is treated as a unique individual by each other and by the Jedi. They call one another by name rather than their ID numbers, and some troopers are even the focal points of a handful of episodes. All of this is crowned by a single point: EVERY clone’s death is felt. They are not just redshirts. The Jedi conduct funerals when they die; they are mourned. They are missed. Their identical genetic makeup makes no difference. They matter. Ultimately, they are loved.

In episodes seven to ten of Season Four, Anakin is called back to Coruscant and has to leave his troopers in the charge of another Jedi, Master Krell. Unlike the way we’ve seen Obi-Wan and Anakin behave towards their clones, Krell treats them like bantha fodder and sends them out on suicide mission after suicide mission. I could just feel Fives’ frustration at being treated like less than a droid and wanting to yell at Krell for not seeing how brilliant and amazing these clones are.

We discover that Krell was trying to sabotage the Republic all along in the hopes of joining the Sith ranks; the clones’ quick thinking and refusal to mindlessly obey orders save the day. These episodes make me proud to be a Star Wars fan as the clones fight for what is right and to be treated equally.

It can be so easy to think of us in our world as nothing more than a number, a dime a dozen, expendable, and replaceable. How often do I feel that way in giant crowds or wonder if I died, who would miss me? That’s not what life is supposed to be like, though. I am more than a number. I matter. You matter.

Speaking of… welcome to Geekdom House. Where even if you’re a clone, you matter.

Allison Barron

Allison Barron

Commander at Geekdom House
Allison is like Galadriel, offering wisdom where needed but turning treacherous as the sea when competitive games are involved. She is the executive editor of Area of Effect magazine, co-host of the Infinity +1 podcast, and staff writer for Christ and Pop Culture. When she’s not writing, designing, or editing, she is often preoccupied in Hyrule, Middle-earth, or a galaxy far, far away.
Allison Barron

Latest posts by Allison Barron (see all)