The Instigator
Seanyboy
Pro (for)
The Contender
levi_smiles
Con (against)

The Clones Used By The Republic Are Far Superior To The Empire's Stormtroopers

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Seanyboy has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/14/2016 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 3 weeks ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 257 times Debate No: 97003
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Seanyboy

Pro

First off I would like to say that yes, I have done this debate before, however I did not make it from the start that we are only talking canon universe, if this was EU I would be all for the stormtroopers. We will be comparing training, equipment and basic vehicles, however we will not be accounting for the entirety of the Republican and Imperial forces such as the Death Star, The Jedi, The Emperor's Royal Guard, etc. Simply the Clones and the Stormtroopers.

If you accept this debate I'd appreciate it if you actually took part, not naming any names.

The format for this debate will be as follows:

Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Opening Arguments
Round 3 - Rebuttals
Round 4 - Defence and Closing Arguments
levi_smiles

Con

I accept Pro's challenge. Pro's formulation carries a substantial burden of proof. After all, Imperial stormtroopers evolved out of the Republic's clone army and stormtroopers were designed and trained by that earlier generation. Naturally, we would expect the later army to build on the successes of the former, improve on weaknesses, and increase in technological sophistication. Unlike the clones, stormtroopers were clearly the dominant military force in their generation. When the First Order set about reviving old traditions, they revived the stormtrooper model rather than the earlier clone army. One assumes this is because their history viewed the stormtrooper as the more successful iteration.

I expect to generally refer to Wookipedia as a primary source and delineator of canon information.

Star Wars Insider defines CANON as:

"'Gospel,' or canon as we refer to it, includes the screenplays, the films, the radio dramas and the novelizations. These works spin out of George Lucas' original stories, the rest are written by other writers. However, between us, we've read everything, and much of it is taken into account in the overall continuity. The entire catalog of published works comprises a vast history"with many off-shoots, variations and tangents"like any other well-developed mythology."

I hope we can also agree that Phase II armaments were used by both the late clones and early stormtroopers- at a time when the one was evolving into the other, so Phase II improvements should not be exclusively attributed to one army or the other.

Pro has a difficult task ahead - I'll look forward to the argument in round 2.
Debate Round No. 1
Seanyboy

Pro

Clone Troopers are FAR superior to the Stormtroopers in almost all ways. Their armour and vehicles are the only thing weighing them down (in the armours case, quite literally). Because of what you pointed out about the similarities between phase 2 clone armour and stormtrooper armour, I have decided to compare them using phase 1 armour, which was used for most of the war. Lets not forget first of all that technology wise, the storm troopers may be advanced only because a lot of their weapons are vehicles are based off the clone army"s technology. For example the AT-AT is based off the clone armies AT-ET. The clone armies are put into their own squads and trained to hold each other up and work as a team. In the stormtroopers training they are trained to leave an injured man behind and continue with their mission. The influence of the clone armies efficiency is even carried forward into The Force Awakens where the First Order troopers are essentially as close as you can get to having a clone army without actually cloning. In fact the First Order troops are criticised in the movies I believe and somebody even recommends a clone army before the idea is immediately dismissed. However this debate is about the Imperial stormtroopers and the clone army not the first order. The Imperial forces are almost completely comprised of technology stolen from either the separatists or the republic. The clones are quite literally together in squads for life. They are cloned in pods of 32, these 32 then trained, ate and fought together, having literally been together since birth the clones formed a very strong bond with one another. also the training they were put through was formulated by Jango Fett and other elite mandalorian troops. After the fall of the republic Vader continued to fight with the clone armies 501st Legion (nicknamed Vader's Fist), whenever you see Vader with stormtroopers chances are quite a few of them are actually clones. Even though they would be old aged at that point it shows Vader still preferred clones to normal humans. However, when it comes to technology the stormtroopers will always be more advanced than the clones.
levi_smiles

Con

NARRATIVE BIAS

Let's begin by acknowledging that the Star Wars canon has an inherent narrative bias favoring clones. The character arc of the clones intentionally echoes the arc of Anakin Skywalker- tragic heroes of the Clone Wars who ultimately become instruments of the dark side and bring about the downfall of the Republic they meant to defend. Unlike stormtroopers, the Star Wars universe has gone on to tell the tales of many individual clone troopers and so invested that army with a good guy aura, while stormtroopers are depicted as the bad guys. But the question before us is not, "who do you like better, clones or stormtroopers?" That question has already been settled by the storyline. Our concern is which army was tactically superior.

To this end, we need to consider the overall capabilities and effectiveness of both armies. For example, many historians argue that German esprit de corps and morale was far superior in WW1 compared to WW2 but few historians would submit that the Deutches Heer could withstand the Wehrmacht's blitzkrieg. Likewise, we need to purge our analysis of natural favoritism or narrative determinism. We can root for Texas at the Alamo but Santa Ana's Mexicans were objectively superior nevertheless. Washington won at Trenton but it would be a mistake to conclude that the Continental Army was therefore superior to the British Army.

Objectively, the answer to our question is easily determined. Stormtroopers are clone troopers. They are soldiers for the same army, loyal to the same man (Palpatine). Stormtroopers are simply at a more advanced stage of development after learning from past mistakes, adapting new technologies and refining strategy. Stormtroopers are clone troopers, minus the mistake of using clones.

CLONES

The Republic's reliance on clones as manpower for the Grand Army was almost exclusively strategic rather than tactical. Sifo-Dyas required an army that could be recruited and trained quickly and secretly.[1] Clones offered a solution to these problems but with some obvious tactical disadvantages.

A: Sameness: The clones all shared the same genetics: the same personality pulling from the same set of experiences. This weakness may have proved adequate in combat against droids who were even less capable of original thought than clones but would certainly prove maladaptive next to the capacity of unique humans to pull from a wider variety of experiences and impulses; if a clone platoon fell for an ambush on Geonosis a different platoon would likely fall for the same tactic on Kashyyyk. Predictability is a disadvantage on any battlefield.

B:GMO: Worse, most of the clones were genetically modified to be less aggressive and independent than their original, Jango Fett. [2]

C: Shelf Life: Worse still, clones were designed to age at twice the human rate, making them rapidly obsolescent. Although Skywalker & Kenobi were older than the clones they commanded at Geonosis, those Jedi were still effective fighters at Yavin 22 years later while their troopers were virtually extinct.

D: Bad genes: Jango Fett was a demonstrably weak choice for a genetic template. Dooku & Sifo-Dyas could have cloned themselves or chosen another effective fighter with a high midi-chlorian count (force-sensitivity, after all, is apparently the single most determinative fighting attribute in the Republic). Instead, they chose to clone a bounty hunting drifter who, however formidable his reputation in the non-canonical literature, comes off as fairly inept in canon.

D1: Bad Assassin: Jango failed two assassination attempts on Senator Amidala. He subcontracted the hits to his associate Zam Wessel, who clumsily blew up the wrong ship and then weakly followed up with killer space centipedes. Jango killed Zam to keep her from squealing but shooting her Jedi captors with poison darts would have proved far more effective. Better yet, Jango should have just shot Amidala himself.

D2: Bad Spy: Not only does Jango leave behind a traceable poison dart, he lets Kenobi track him a second time as he flees from their first encounter. After taking countermeasures, he fails to check whether he"s actually killed Kenobi. This trail of screw-ups actually exposes both of his employers and both of the secret plots in which he conspires, not to mention getting himself killed in the bargain.

D3: Bad Warrior: We don't get many opportunities to see how clones fight without a Jedi vanguard but if the Fett"s fighting prowess is any indication, they probably suck eggs.

When confronted by Kenobi on Kamino, Jango stupidly sacrifices his advantage: he has the high ground behind cover, armed with ranged weapons, flanked by Boba armed with lasers, missiles, and an ion cannon on Slave 1. What does Jango do? He jumps down to stand in front of Kenobi, immediately losing his blaster, his jet pack, and all strategic advantage. [3] The next day on Geonosis, Jango does it again- standing on high ground, under cover, flanked by a Sith Lord, Jango gives up every advantage for no apparent reason by jumping down into the arena to close with Mace Windu. Not surprisingly, he is instantly trampled by a space rhino & beheaded for his stupidity. [4]

In case we're wondering whether the clones inherited Jango's suicidal incompetency, Boba Fett makes the exact same senseless maneuver on Tatooine- well positioned on the deck of the sail barge with available cover and freedom to fire ranged weapons at will, Boba hops over onto a skiff to close with an armed Jedi, apparently learning nothing from his father"s death. He quickly loses his blaster, his balance and gets hit with a stick from behind wielded by a blind guy, activating his jet pack and causing him to die by comically rolling into a man-eating sand hole. [5]

We are supposed to believe these guys are tough but in every canonical battle they prove to be total bunglers.

E: Jedi: Jedi leadership and force-enhanced fighting probably made the clone army look a lot better than they were.

F: Easily Hacked: Let's not forget that trusting clones is how the Jedi lost the war. Every clone was fitted with an organic chip that compelled the clones to kill their Jedi commanders with a simple voice command. That"s quite a bug. Treason on demand should definitely be considered a design flaw- a flaw that ended the very Republic the clones were supposed to defend.

HARDWARE

Pro has essentially conceded the technological upgrades, so I'll keep this brief. As Pro notes, early clone armor was heavy (40kg, 88lb) and ill-fitting. As armor advanced, it fit better, weighed less, and sported many more optional mods. Stormtrooper helmet improvements included heads up targeting and motion sensors, multi-spectrum binoculars and an independent air supply. [6]

Pro points out that the AT-AT troop transport is based on the AT-TE but improved upon would be a more accurate verb. Better armored & armed & with greater carrying capacity, the later model's primary advantage was height- it's better to shoot from the back of an elephant than the back of a turtle. [7]

We might also note that artillery had advanced to interplanetary range by the time of Stormtroopers: Death Stars had the capacity to take whole planets out of the fight- a tech unavailable during the clone wars.

TACTICS

Going by the tactical deployments we see in the clone wars vs. the one major deployment we get to see from the Civil War, stormtroopers had significantly improved their ground game. Clone troopers fought out in the open, in bunches, easy targets in an artillery rich battle like Geonosis or Kashyyyk. [8] At Hoth, we see 5 troop transports carrying a complement of 40 troopers each force an entrenched Rebel force of thousands (at least) to flee.

RESULTS

Ultimately, we must judge each army by their achievements: only one these armies was instrumental in the collapse of its society & by that standard alone, clones are the lesser force.
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