The Galactic Republic clone troopers were programmed and trained the same way in skills and had the same appearance, but a few were designed different from the masses. The ultimate in the clone trooper ranks were the Advanced Recon Commandos,
or ARC troopers, elite infantry units, who were personally trained by Jango Fett in the early times. The ARC troopers were used for only the most dangerous
missions that required independent thought. Though these troopers undergo growth acceleration like the standard clones, their docility and independence has not been at all altered.
ARC troopers carry heavier weaponry or mission-specific gear such as reverse-polarity pulse grenades or PLEX-1 portable missile launchers. They have an advanced version of the clone trooper armor, too. The ARC trooper armor was a
specialized variant of Phase I clone trooper armor. The armor was lighter and offered more protection than standard clone trooper armor and could be fitted with specialized attachments, such as a jetpack, rocket dart launchers, miniature
flamethrowers, and a rangefinder, binoculars, or even a lamp. The ARC Trooper,
Fordo, also had a taser that could be shot from his gauntlet which he used against Durge at the Battle of Muunilinst in the Clone Wars cartoon. ARC trooper armor was usually worn with a blast dampening kama and rank signifying pauldron. Also, they liked to have some unique
accessories, like a skirt, beltpack, unique paintings on the armor.
By the Battle of Coruscant, it was show that the armor presumably had a Successor, as Fordo was wearing Phase II clone trooper armor.
Recon Commandos, also known as Advanced Recon Clone troopers or simply ARC troopers, were elite variants of clone troopers in the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. However, they were less numerous than other clones they were among the most skilled soldiers in the galaxy; and soon became the well-known, and respected heros of the Clone Wars.
The background story of the ARC troopers
During the early stages of the
clone army's development, Jango Fett and his Mandalorian military advisors advocated the creation of a new clone service which would be capable to handle covert missions too delicate for the standard clones. To achieve the desired results, the Kaminoans did not apply the standard behavior correction and enhanced the prime clone's genetic sample to increase physical prowess. The first attempt often end in failure in the scientific experiments. So the Kaminoan genetic alterations were unsuccessful first, resulting in the Null-class ARC troopers. Learning from the lesson, the Kaminoans succeeded in their second attempt, generating the first 100 ARC troopers, designated the Alpha-class. After completing standard flash training and accelerated growth, these clones were placed under the direct tutelage of Jango Fett. Under Fett's strict discipline they learned to use their fierce independence, innate creativity, and physical superiority in combination with their training in advanced weapons and vehicles to become virtual one-man armies. After completing their training, the ARC troopers were locked in stasis on Kamino until they were required.
ARC troopers against General Grievous
Two months after the Battle of Geonosis, a Confederacy assault on Kamino prompted their early activation. As droid detachments closed in on Tipoca City, Prime Minister Lama Su activated the
Advanced Recon Commandos and authorized their deployment on Kamino to save the planet's important cloning facilities. The ARCs worked with a force of Jedi to repel the droid forces, eventually winning the battle. Following the First Battle of Kamino, the ARCs were integrated into the Grand Army of the Republic. As the ARCs took their place in the larger world, they developed distinct personalities due to their unaltered nature; some gave themselves names, others formed relationships outside the GAR. Once integrated,
Advanced Recon Commandos worked as solo operatives or in small squads led by ARC captains, either performing self-contained missions or
supplementing larger Republican operations. It is possible that they trained ordinary clone troopers ARC techniques and commanded them in squads; due to the limited number of
ARCs, it is unlikely that the teams would be comprised only of them. One notable exception was the aftermath of the
Battle of Hypori, where a twenty-man ARC trooper team under the leadership of Captain Fordo engaged General Grievous in combat, what could be watched in the Clone Wars cartoon, and were released by
Hasbro as a figure set named "Hunt for Grievous". As the Clone Wars progressed, some battles were won by the Republic largely thanks to the ARC troopers, their reputation spread among the Grand Army of Republic and throughout the whole
Galaxy, the Advanced Recon Commandos proved time and time again as to why they
were they regarded as the best of the best in the Grand Army. As perfect
soldiers, the ARCs and Jango were almost exactly alike; in fact, the leader of
the Muunilinst 10, Fordo, had adapted the same blaster-spinning routine as
thinking and feeling ARC troopers
However, because of their
training as independent soldiers, they were more prone to questioning orders. In one unforgettable incident on Deko Neimodia, ARC trooper Climber disobeyed an order from the Emperor and risked his- and Ion squads'- life to fight for his truth against Darth vader to protect his Jedi Generals, Roan Shryne,
Bol Chatak, and padawan Olee Starstone. The Advanced Recon Commando tradition did not end with the death of Jango Fett. Alpha, one of the earliest ARCs, returned to
Kamino to train the second generation clone trooper commanders as Fett had trained him. These new generation commanders, like Bacara and Cody, adopted the individualized practices of the ARCs and brought a new sense of creativity to the Grand Army of the Republic, however these new clone commanders still proved to be prior loyal for the Emperor without questioning his orders.
the Clone Wars, all surviving ARC troopers were offered either retirement or the option to train the
stormtroopers, passing on their combat experience. These new ARC troopers were also rumored to have undergone intensive deep core programming. Some even defected to the Alliance to Restore the Republic while
others went rogue, following in Jango Fett's footsteps by becoming bounty hunters and assassins. The ARC trooper
first appeared in the Star Wars: Republic comics series from Dark Horse Comics, and also can be seen in the Clone Wars animated shorts and Hasbro toyline. There were an animated and a realistic issue. The animated were mainly based on the Clone Wars cartoon, which was broadcasted on the Cartoon Network Channel. The realistic figures had two versions in the "Clone Wars" series, a grey-blue one, and a red commander. I made my custom red ARC commander from a simple grey one, only needed to be painted some small areas.
Please take a look at my custom ARC trooper figure!
Custom ARC trooper figure front
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written by: Norbert Rostas