How did the Empire replace Clone Troopers

Why are Canon Clone Troopers being replaced?

Out of Universe, Pablo Hidalgo stated that the production of clones ceased at the end of the Clone Wars, and since the clones age twice as fast as normal humans, they are too old to serve as stormtroopers. They have been replaced by non-clone volunteers who are "fervently patriotic and loyal to the Empire". The video evidence can be found on Youtube (from around 2:56 a.m. in the video).

In the universe, the canon novel supports Tarkin Hidalgo's claim that the clones in this incident where stormtroopers load Darth Vader's meditation chamber onto Tarkin's ship are too old:

When the stormtrooper operating the equipment accidentally let the flattened bullet hit the edge of the retracted hatch of the hold, Vader stomped forward with clenched hands.

"I warned you to be careful!" he yelled at the soldier.

“I apologize, Lord Vader. Wind shear of ... "

"Excuses won't be enough, Sergeant Crest," Vader interrupted. "Perhaps you are aging too quickly to remain on active duty."

Tarkin couldn't understand the remark until he realized that Crest's was a face he'd seen countless times during the war - the face of an original Kamino clone soldier. The naked others that made up Vader's squad were regular human beings who had volunteered after the war.

Tarkin , p.94

Tarkin occurs 5 years after the Clone Wars ended, so the clones have obviously aged too quickly to be useful within a few years of the Empire's creation.

I am not aware of any Canon source (either in-universe or out-of-universe) that explicitly explains why clones have ceased to be produced. Presumably because the end of the Clone Wars meant that war production - including the expensive production of clones - was no longer needed. Palpatine could not justify such war expenditures for a war-weary population. The existing clones could serve as the Empire's military, at least until they got too old (which didn't take long, like Tarkin indicates). After that, the Empire was able to recruit volunteers, with the added benefit of being "fervently patriotic and loyal to the Empire" (in fact, some clones protested their Conscription while the Clone Wars).

Andres F.

Is there any reason to believe that clone production was prohibitively expensive? The Galactic Empire appears to have a war-oriented economy. We see that fighters, large ships, superweapons, and general war machines are made there. Why should the population in particular Clones be tired?


I think you put it this way: salaried recruits at least make their living that goes into the galactic economy. Clones are a purchase: the money goes to the Kamino coffers.

Zero ♦

@AndresF. Clones must be raised, fed, trained, etc. from birth. They have an accelerated rate of growth, but that's still about 10 years. Disabled adult recruits only need military training.

Andres F.

A standing army of ordinary people is also expensive. Stormtroopers are definitely considered an elite. I'm assuming the reason they use clones is because they are more effective than humans, which should translate into savings (even if they are more expensive per unit). And why are savings suddenly important when you are building large ships and super weapons on the left and right? I would think the population would tire of another star destroyer sooner than clone troops ...