Star Wars has hinted at Force Cloning in future stories, and the perfect explanation was secretly introduced as far back as 2017. Emperor Palpatine returned in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker thanks to cloning, and the recent Star Wars TV shows have focused heavily on Imperial cloning projects. The Mandalorian season 3 finale even confirmed that Moff Gideon wanted Grogu’s blood to create Force-sensitive clones of himself, which Palpatine proved is possible. However, if Star Wars is to continue exploring the concept of Force Cloning, then it must provide a reasonable explanation for how this is possible.
Cloning is featured prominently throughout the Star Wars franchise but is rarely explored in great detail. How exactly Palpatine survived his apparent death was only explored in The Rise of Skywalker‘s novelization, which didn’t fully explain how Force Cloning was possible. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace introduced midi-chlorians and showed that there was a biological side to the Force, but the mystical aspect of the energy field would be hard for science to replicate. The number of variables demonstrates how challenging Force Cloning would be, but fortunately, the franchise already teased the perfect explanation.
Ysalamiri Were The Key To Cloning Force-Sensitives In Star Wars Legends
Ysalamiri were the key to successful Force Cloning in the Star Wars Legends timeline, and they could also be essential in canon. The creatures were native to the planet Myrkr and were hunted by Force-sensitive vornskrs, so over time they evolved to repel the Force. Ysalamiri created Force-neutral bubbles in which Force users had no effect, something Grand Admiral Thrawn used to protect himself against the mad Jedi clone Joruus C’Baoth. While the Ysalamiri Force bubble didn’t get rid of the Force itself, it did prove useful for temporarily limiting its influence, and this made the creatures key to creating Force-sensitive clones.
Growing clones too quickly, especially ones that were Force-sensitive, was dangerous because of how the Force affected the mind in all beings. The Kaminoans originally took 10 years to grow successful clones of Jango Fett, and they later struggled with creating a Force-sensitive clone of Starkiller in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. By placing Ysalamiri in his cloning facility on Mount Tantiss, Thrawn could prevent the possibility of madness and grow a massive army in less than a year. C’Baoth was even able to create a Force-sensitive clone called Luuke Skywalker, grown from the hand that Luke lost on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back.
How Star Wars Rebels Set Up Cloning Force-Sensitives & The Ysalamiri
Although the Ysalamiri’s ability to repel the Force has not appeared in canon, the creatures themselves were set up in Star Wars Rebels. Thrawn had sculptures of the ysalamiri in his office, and the way they appeared to stand on his shoulders was a clear nod to Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. While the sculptures may simply be an easter egg, as well as representing Thrawn’s fascination with art, the ysalamiri could appear in the Ahsoka TV show or another future Star Wars project. Perhaps Thrawn eventually found the ysalamiri on Myrkr, just as he did in Legends, and will use them to create a clone army or a Force-sensitive clone.
Considering how many aspects of the Thrawn trilogy have already been set up in canon, it would also make sense for ysalamiri to be used. Even though Rebels co-creator Dave Filoni said that he felt the ysalamiri went against George Lucas’ view on the nature of the Force, that doesn’t make their appearance impossible. Their ability could be slightly altered, or a new species could be created to serve as the ysalamiri’s canon equivalent. Only time will tell whether the ysalamiri return to Star Wars, but they are currently the franchise’s best Force Cloning explanation.