• Mattie Stu

Star Wars Top 10: Soldiers Who Defected the Galactic Republic/Empire/First Order

Soldiers of the Galactic Republic and its successor state were conditioned to cope with the tragedies of war. However, even the most unyielding troopers were prone to breakdowns and second-guessing. So, with that in mind, here are the top 10 examples of soldiers and units who deserted their post.

Number 10. The Anti-troopers (Legends)

As the sole supplier of soldiers for the Grand Army of the Republic, Kamino played an integral role throughout the Clone Wars. So, following the conflict's conclusion, the Galactic Empire made a point of securing the watery-world's cloning facilities. They established martial law on the planet to do so, which unsettled a small pocket of Kaminoan cloners. In response, they began a discreet operation to produce a clone army loyal only to Kamino. Yes, the anti-troopers were manufactured against the Galactic Empire's knowledge or consent, meaning they never quite deserted the regime. However, I can't possibly make a list like this and not mention them in some way. Anyway, the Empire eventually caught wind of the operation. Responding with brute force, they dispatched bounty hunter Boba Fett, due to his extensive knowledge of Tipoca City, and the 501st Legion. Such scale and firepower was always going to be tough to topple, though it was inexperience that ultimately decided their fate. The Kamino Uprising was quickly thwarted, as a result.

Number 09. The Kalaan Defectors (Legends)

The Kalaan Defectors were a unit of ten stormtroopers who served under General Brenn Tantor during most of the Galactic Civil War. So intense was their loyalty to him that they coordinated an effort to bust the commander out of incarceration. Yes, Tantor was arrested for failing to kill civilians, which is bizarre enough. Even more bizarre, though, was the decision to have Brenn's former stormtrooper unit guard his outdoor cell. The soldiers were quick to release Tantor, unsurprisingly. Furthermore, they preceded to storm Kalaan prison to also free Luke Skywalker. Both acts firmly established the stormtroopers' defection from the Galactic Empire.

Number 08. Cut Lawquane (Canon)

Cut Lawquane was an incredibly unique clone trooper, in that he served the Republic for a matter of months before abandoning his post in favour of a normal life. To be fair, it was either he fled or perished. That's right, shortly after the Battle of Geonosis, Lawquane's transport was shot down by a pair of Separatist gunships. This act was followed by the systematic killing of each surviving clone, forcing Cut to abandon his colleagues in order to survive. But he wasn't alone for long. Shortly after meeting and marrying the Twi'lek Suu, taking her two children as his own in the process, Lawquane adopted a simple farming life. The Clone Wars, however, soon found its way back to Cut. Around 21 BBY, Republic forces landed on Saleucami in pursuit of General Grievous and his band of droids. One of the ensuing firefights left Captain Rex injured. He was coincidentally rushed to the barn of the nearby Lawquane homestead, where he was nursed back to health. The clones were shocked to encounter one another. Rex even accused Cut of deserting the Republic's Grand Army. Nevertheless, upon viewing the farmer's drive to protect his family, the captain decided against turning in Lawquane. The Republic forces soon departed Saleucami, leaving Cut and his family to live in peace.

Number 07. Faro Argyus (Canon)

It was said that Faro Argyus hailed from a Tepasi family noted for its honour and loyalty, though you wouldn't know it. Yes, even as a captain of the Senate Commandos, Argyus betrayed the Republic. He done so by aiding in the escape of Nute Gunray from the Coruscant-bound Tranquility Star Destroyer. More specifically, after Asajj Ventress failed in her quest, Argyus released the Viceroy from his cell, “bested” Commander Gree in hand-to-hand combat, and killed many of his fellow commandos in cold blood. Argyus then fled with Ventress and Gunray aboard one of the Star Destroyer's escape pods, boasting he would be rewarded handsomely by Count Dooku. He also claimed credit for the mission's success, which did not sit well with Asajj. The Dark Jedi executed Faro without warning.

Number 06. Slick (Canon)

Unlike the previous two entries, the nicknamed “Slick” turned his back on the Republic during the early days of the Clone Wars, believing he and his fellow clones were nothing more than slaves of the Jedi Order. So, when Asajj Ventress offered him credits and freedom from military service, he jumped at the opportunity. All he had to do in return was offer information on the Republic's war effort. Slick began his quest during the Battle of Christophsis, passing on information between Jedi and clone commanders. Unfortunately, his actions did not go unnoticed. The clone was subsequently chased across the Republic's base until his eventual arrest. Jedi Generals Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker soon uncovered why the sergeant had betrayed the Republic, though Commander Cody revealed that if he truly cared for his fellow soldiers, he wouldn't have placed them in danger. Slick was imprisoned with Cody's words ringing in his ears.

Number 05. Havoc Squad (Legends)

So far we've only covered the Rise of the Galactic Empire era. But, of course, the Republic has always utilised soldiers in some capacity. The turbulent years of the Old Republic were no exception, especially due to the emergent Sith Empire. As a result, Havoc Squad played an integral role throughout the conflict, taking part in crucial skirmishes such as the civil war on Ord Mantell and the Battle of Alderaan. Nonetheless, the elite unit's loyalty began to sway after their leader, Jace Malcom, was replaced by Harron Tavus. The soldier wasn't exactly a wolf in sheep's clothing. However, after the Galactic Senate refused to extract Havoc Squad from behind enemy lines on Ando Prime, he knew it was time for change. Their official defection came around 3643 BBY. But Havoc Squad lived on, in a way, as the gutted unit was repopulated with entirely new soldiers. This continued its almost stellar legacy.

Number 04. The Hand of Judgment (Legends)

The Hand of Judgment was a group of five stormtroopers whose loyalty to one another surpassed their ties to the Galactic Empire. So, when their leader, Daric LaRone, faced accusations of insubordination, they all naturally defected their post. In the months that followed, the Hand of Judgment carried out a string of vigilante acts, and even worked alongside rebel soldiers Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. They also caught the eye of Imperial agent Mara Jade, who ironically utilised their skills to apprehend the treacherous Governor Choard. Bizarrely, thanks to Thrawn, the rogue stormtroopers eventually found themselves under Imperial employment once more, as key members of the reconstituted 501st Legion.

Number 03. Atin and Corr (Legends) Aside from kick-starting the Clone Wars, the Battle of Geonosis dealt a significant blow to the Grand Army of the Republic's clone populace. As a result, surviving troopers of desolate units were merged with one another to form entirely new entities. One such creation was Omega Squad, comprised of Niner, Darman, Atin, Fi and later Corr. Each member complemented the next faultlessly, resulting in success upon success. However, their loyalty to the Republic and to one another began to dwindle in the wake of Order 66. You see, Omega Squad became disillusioned with the GAR's treatment of clones, and so plans were placed to defect alongside Kal Skirata and the Null-class ARCs. Their quest fell apart, unfortunately, due to the injury of Niner and the death of Darman's love interest, Jedi Knight Etain Tur-Mukan. This did not halt the escape of Atin and Corr, but the birth of the Galactic Empire did prevent Darman and Niner's defection to Mandalore. Thus, both men combined with survivors of Galaar Squad to form Squad 40 of the 501st Legion.

Number 02. Rex, Gregor and Wolffe (Canon)

Throughout the Clone Wars, Rex, Gregor and Wolffe served as captains and commanders respectively, and displayed their loyalty to the Republic time and time again. Despite this, none of them enacted Order 66. In fact, neither Rex, Gregor nor Wolffe enlisted into the Imperial military. So, how come? Well, all three clones removed their inhibitor chips, the small devices in their heads which dictated their thoughts. Thus, under no such Imperial control, they were free to live a life of solitude in a modified AT-TE on Seelos. Their retirement didn't last for long, however; several years prior to the Battle of Yavin, Rex, Gregor and Wolffe encountered a group of rebels who sought abandoned bases to use against the Empire. Their first engagement with the crew of the Ghost almost resulted in violence. Moreover, Wolffe even alerted the Empire to the fugitives' presence. They quickly made amends, thankfully, and worked coherently to dispatch several AT-AT walkers, despite being outnumbered. This convinced Rex to join the Rebel cause, though Gregor and Wolffe adamantly stayed behind to enjoy their retirement once and for all.

Number 01. Finn (Canon)

Conflict was all FN-2187 ever knew. That's right, after having his childhood robbed from him by the First Order, the boy who would become known as Finn was trained to become a stormtrooper. The cadet outshone the rest of his squad and even the vast majority of his fellow soldiers. Even Captain Phasma, for example, noted that FN-2187 had the potential to be the greatest stormtrooper the First Order had ever seen. There was only one problem; Finn was far too empathetic. Simply put, the faction's callous nature did not mix well with his kind-hearted attitude. The final straw occurred in 34 ABY, when Finn had the displeasure of watching one of his squadmates perish in the heat of battle. This deeply scarred him, so much so that he used the skills of Resistance pilot Poe Dameron to defect the First Order. The decision seemed to backfire at first. However, Finn helped escort BB-8 back to the Resistance Base on D'Qar, and he subsequently aided in the ground operation on Starkiller Base, resulting in the superweapon's destruction. So, while the majority of his life story has yet to be told, no one can deny the extraordinary immediate impact of Finn's defection from the First Order.

So, there we have it; the top 10 soldiers and units who defected the Galactic Republic/Empire/First Order. Who do you think was/were the most justified in their desertion? Let us know in the comments below, as well as any suggestions you have for future countdown videos.

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