‘Begun the Clone Wars has,’ Master Yoda solemnly declares at the end of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. With clones making their live-action debut in both The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+, these characters are finding new ground (or should that be high ground?) and new fans. However, they have a very long history in LEGO sets, churned out of plastic faster than at Kamino, with the latest set finally bringing the 187th Legion to minifigure life.
How many different troopers are there? Which is the most unusual? What clone armour is entirely blue? Blocks is using the Force to delve into the history of the Galactic Republic and the evolution of LEGO Clone Trooper minifigures…
The first Clone Trooper appeared in 2002 to tie-in unsurprisingly with the release of Attack of the Clones. They were even more basic than the first stormtroopers, the minifigures only boasting a very simply printed torso featuring some armour detailing. The moulding for the clone trooper helmet, based on the Phase I appearance, has its signature fin and not much else. It’s this helmet that’s changed the most over the years, coinciding with how the design actually evolved throughout the films and television.
It didn’t take long for the Clones to improve though, with Revenge of the Sith in 2005 providing more source material and variation. Pilot clones have differently shaped helmets and these finally had better printing, the cog insignia of the Republic stamped on both sides. Each battalion is differentiated by colour and a rainbow of clones was included in the sets from that year, from the eye-catching orange of Obi Wan’s 212th Battalion to the bright green of the 41st Elite Corps.
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LEGO Clone Trooper minifigures really saw their heyday from 2008 to 2012. During this time The Clone Wars animated series brought humanity and personality to these characters who had more-or-less been anonymous in the films, with fans finding favourites like Captain Rex or being introduced to totally new clones like Fives. While Captain Rex may be extremely popular he’s only got 4 minifigures, most uniquely his older Rebels appearance from 75157 Captain Rex’s AT-TE. Meanwhile Commander Cody’s last minifigure was in 2011 and fans have been calling out for his Phase II armour ever since.
One of the more unusual stand-outs from this Clone Wars era are the ARC Troopers exclusive to 9488 Elite Clone Trooper & Commando Battle Droid Battle Pack. The set name basically explains it all: they’re more elite versions of Clone Troopers, so the minifigures come with unique fabric elements for the shoulder- and knee-pads. Bringing a much bolder and bluer look are the Senate Commando, clones specifically tasked to guard senators, and they debuted in 8039 Venator-Class Republic Attack Cruiser.
Surely there should have been a lull in LEGO clone production when the television show was cancelled? Absolutely not. Clone minifigures have been released almost every year since their creation. It was an exciting time in 2014 when 75035 Kashyyyk Troopers brought extensive camouflage printing across clone armour, the greens and browns meant to help them blend in on the Wookiee homeworld. Fans also got the greys of the Wolfpack (Plo Koon’s battalion) in 75045 Republic AV-7 Cannon, and the helmets even featured the wolf insignia. These more detailed clones then continued into 2015, as 75089 Geonosis Troopers brought some dusty red camouflage.
When The Clone Wars was brought back for a final season in 2020, the Clone minifigures honoured Ahsoka just like in the show, and the 322nd Company feature orange and blue printing to match the Togruta’s markings.
Most recently Mace Windu is finally getting his 187th Battalion in the brick in 75342 Republic Fighter Tank. These Clones have a completely new look not limited to their purple accented armour. A newly moulded helmet designates the Clone Commander, while the extremely detailed leg and torso printing proves just how far these minifigures have come.
With so many Clone Troopers, squadrons, and battalions, there’s a real grand army of LEGO clone minifigures. Which is your favourite? Come join the conversation on any of the Blocks social media channels.