Star Wars Lore – Kamino
Kamino, from the outside looking in, was a rather unassuming and discreet aquatic world. However, looking past its vast ocean floor, it possessed the brains and technology to change galactic history forever; by providing Supreme Chancellor Palpatine with a capable clone army, the Kaminoans inadvertently caused the destruction of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Galactic Empire...
Living in the Unknown (Legends)
Located in the Wild Space region of the Outer Rim Territories, as the fifth of thirteen planets orbiting an ageing star, Kamino was a world shrouded in mystery. In fact, the planet was once home to several continents before climatic change in 19,000 BBY, which melted several extensive glaciers, drowned Kamino under layer after layer of ocean water. So near-cataclysmic was the event that mountain peaks morphed into small islands. It was in part due to cloning technology that saved the native species from complete annihilation. Consequently, the Kaminoans pledged their existence to science and cloning. This began to turn the heads of many in the galaxy, some of whom failed to recognise their presence until 4500 BBY, when Kamino became a member of the Galactic Republic. Ever since, the watery-world became a valuable asset for Jedi and criminals alike, rendering the planet rather morally-ambiguous.
The Clone Wars (Canon)
In 32 BBY, Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas commissioned the creation of a clone army for the Galactic Republic. However, the order was placed against the knowledge of the Jedi Council and at the behest of Count Dooku. From that very point, Sifo-Dyas' days were numbered. Having manipulated the Jedi Master for all his worth, Darth Sidious ordered his death. This, combined with Dooku's efforts to remove Kamino from the Jedi Archives, ensured the project's secrecy. The cloning operation was only discovered ten years later, after Obi-Wan Kenobi tracked a Kaminoan-made saberdart to the watery-world. He was just as bewildered as the Jedi Council to discover hundreds of thousands of battle-ready clone troopers. Despite their suspicions though, the Galactic Republic called upon the Kaminoan creations to fend off the Separatists and their legions of battle droids. Thus, the Clone Wars erupted.
Throughout the pan-galactic conflict, Kamino acted as a training area for clone cadets, as well as a breeding ground for future troopers. This made it a perfect target for the Separatists. As a result, in 21 BBY, Asajj Ventress and General Grievous launched a devastating attack upon Kamino. Admittedly, having received a transmission of their planned assault, a Republic blockade temporarily disabled the cyborg's fleet. However, this did not halt the advance of Ventress and her squad of aqua droids. To make matters worse, Trident-class assault ships began dispersing waves of battle droids throughout Tipoca City. The Separatists' march forward was thwarted by Obi-Wan, Anakin Skywalker, Captain Rex and Commander Cody, to name but a few, forcing the retreat of Ventress and Grievous before they could retrieve samples of Jango Fett's DNA or wipe out developing clones. The victory wasn't without its drawbacks. For example, clones 99 and Havoc perished during the attack, though their sacrifice ensured the survival of countless future clone soldiers.
As the Clone Wars raged on, the Kaminoans continued to meet the demands of their employers, producing around 6.2 million clones over the course of three years. Ultimately, the master cloners were unknowing participants in the Jedi Order's demise, a point only reinforced through Order 66. All along, the watery-world was under the full control of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, as a pawn in his sadistic plan to rule the galaxy.
A Clone Revolt (Legends)
Due to its pivotal role in the downfall of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Galactic Empire, Kamino and its invaluable cloning facilities fell under Imperial rule through force of arms. This continued the production of clone troopers for the Empire, though it also developed a burning desire for change within the Kaminoans. As a result, the master cloners discreetly began work on an entirely new army, one loyal only to Kamino. Their efforts culminated in 12 BBY, having amassed legions of clone and ARC soldiers. However, the Empire soon caught wind of the rebellion, and responded with brute force. Spearheaded by Boba Fett, due to his extensive knowledge of the layout and inner workings of Tipoca City, members of the 501st Legion began to “cleanse” the world. And cleanse is exactly what they achieved. Sure, the anti-troopers were competent warriors, but they were extremely inexperienced and outgunned from the get-go, which only worsened as the battle continued. In fact, the Kaminoan forces were dealt blow after blow. Firstly, the 501st Legion stormed Tipoca City to retrieve and extract a container of Jango Fett's DNA. Secondly, they destroyed the life support systems of developing anti-troopers. And finally, Boba Fett and company ushered the remaining enemy soldiers onto Kamino's landing platforms where they were brutally wiped out.
While the Kamino Uprising confirmed the 501st Legion's loyalty to the Empire, it also displayed how susceptible a clone army was to corruption. Consequently, clone stormtroopers were slowly phased out for highly-skilled Humans, much to their distaste. Commander Cody, for example, grew bitterly resentful of the Imperial Army's decline in operational effectiveness. In fact, the veteran saw his Human counterparts as incompetent and expendable. Either way, through their desire to preserve Jango Fett's DNA, the Kaminoans inadvertently destroyed their very own creations.
Capturing a Sith Lord (Legends)
Shortly after the outbreak of the Galactic Civil War, Darth Vader turned to Kamino in a last-ditch attempt to “revive” his fallen apprentice, Galen “Starkiller” Marek. He began work, in complete secrecy, by utilising an experimental version of Kaminoan cloning technology. The Sith Lord hoped to create a far more powerful version of his former disciple, one which would grow at twice the rate of a normal clone. However, duplicating Force-sensitive beings was an inherently troublesome task, resulting in a grotesquely-deformed and highly unstable first series of Starkiller clones. Vader wasn't prepared to admit defeat, however, and so, after months of painstakingly correcting the process' imperfections, he eventually crafted a worthy specimen. There was only one problem: like his failed predecessors, Subject 1138 was haunted by the memories and emotions of the deceased Marek. He became especially fixated with Juno Eclipse, which drove him rogue. As a result, in an effort to return Starkiller to Kamino, Vader enlisted Boba Fett's help in capturing Galen Marek's former pilot. Not to be outdone, the clone rallied the Alliance Fleet and launched a massive assault on the watery-world. He came face-to-face with Vader, amidst the chaos, and even overpowered the Sith Lord, leading to his arrest. The Assault on Kamino proved to be the Rebel Alliance's first major victory over the Galactic Empire, though they possessed neither the resources nor the manpower to successfully liberate the planet. Moreover, the transport in which Vader was held prisoner was discreetly pursued by Fett.
Following the Battle of Endor and the downfall of the Galactic Empire, Kamino faced an economic collapse, resulting in the discontinuation of clone soldiers. If not for smaller contracts, often for warlords and criminal organisations, the planet would have more or less ceased to exist...
Now it's time for this week's question: do you think we'll ever see Kamino in a future Star Wars movie? Let us know in the comments below.