By Nicholas Haberling and Lexor Adams
“Just like the simulations!” - Anonymous Clone Trooper
We started this series with the goal of estimating the cost of creating the Clone Army in Star Wars Episode II and determining if it would be possible to hide such a large cost in the galactic economy since the Clone Army was created in secret.
Today we close this out, combining our various previous cost estimates to look at the entire cost of creating the Clone Military and placing this next to the total size of the galactic economy.
A quick review:
In Part I: we estimated the number of clones in the entire Clone Army and the cost of raising and training these clones.
In Part II: we estimated the Republic Navy’s (Space Fleet, whatever you want to call it) ship composition and how many of each type of ship, as well as ground vehicles, would be in the entire Clone Fleet.
In Part III: we estimated the cost of each type of ship and ground vehicle.
Troop and Ship Costs:
This week we began by combining all the previous numbers. We combined the number of ships and ground vehicles from Part II with our ship and ground vehicle costs from Part III to come up with the total cost of all the clone military’s vehicles. We then added the cost of the Clones from Part I through the Battle of Geonosis, when the clones became public knowledge. Important to note we also added an additional $17,500 dollars per clone for classes eight, nine, and ten to cover their equipment costs (body armor, blaster rifles, etc). You will find the summary for these numbers in the table below with full calculations in the attached Excel File.
We see the total estimated cost is: $423,626,218,516,872. That’s $423.6 trillion dollars.
This number may seem astronomical (pun intended...kill me), especially considering US GDP is somewhere around $18.5 trillion. That said, the US economy, in fact, all of earth’s economy, is miniscule compared to the galaxy-wide economy in Star Wars.
Could it be hidden?
In a previous article Nick estimated the Gross Galactic Product (it’s like GDP but cooler…). This was done by creating a population distribution of the Star Wars galaxy divided into regions. On Earth, a disproportionate share of the economic activity is generated in high income countries with smaller populations. In Star Wars the majority of the galaxy resides on high income worlds. Once a reasonable population map was created we assigned GDP per capita for each region based off economic indicators found on Earth. We first took into account the categories of High Income, Upper-Middle Income, Lower-Middle Income, and Low Income countries. We then added the ten countries with the largest GDP per group and found their corresponding GDP per capita. After that we looked at the five countries with the highest GDP per capita in their group and averaged them out. For example to get the GDP per capita for the High Income parts of the Star Wars galaxy we took the GDP per capita of the US, Germany, the UK, Canada, and Australia, which resulted in an average GDP per capita of $46,789. After walking through these steps with each Galactic region the estimated GGP was $4,068,770,000,000,000,000,000 or 4.069 sextillion dollars.
Suddenly the cost of creating a Clone Military Force isn’t quite so large. As a percentage of GGP our estimated cost came out to 0.00001041%.
We can conclude numerically the Clone Military’s development could have been easily hidden in the galactic economy. However, even organizations that make up a small factor of the greater economy can be discovered by nosy government bureaucrats, which is why the Sith went to great lengths to hide the development of the clone army.
The Clone Army was initially ordered by a Jedi Master, who foresaw the dangerous future facing The Republic. This was done in secret due to the Jedi Council's disagreement with the need for an army. The Sith, who intended to eventually turn the Clone Army against the Republic, murdered this Jedi Master. With the only notable figure in the Republic who knew of the clone army dead, the Sith were able to use their own private funds to pay for the army, thus avoiding the Republic bureaucracy. In Star Wars Legends, Damask Holdings (owned by Darth Plagueis) footed the bill; but, in the new canon it appears Count Dooku’s family fortune was used. Next, the Sith erased all records of Kamino from the Jedi Archives, effectively making the planet unknown to the wider galaxy. Finally, corporate giant Kuat Drive Yards used a subsidiary group called Rothana Heavy Engineering to build the Republic fleet deep in the Outer Rim territories. Using uncharted hyperspace lanes they were able to ferry warships and vehicles throughout the galaxy, away from the public’s eye. In truth this sounds like a secret government program. But, instead of little green men, they were trying to hide lethal blaster wielding badasses (personal opinion). When considering a vast galaxy, not fully mapped and explored, with near instantaneous transportation, hiding becomes a lot easier.
It's plausible that the cost of the Grand Army of the Republic up to the Battle of Geonosis could have been hidden in the galactic economy. Are these numbers accurate? It's impossible to tell, but probably not. Next week a Star Wars author could publish a book throwing our calculations into disarray (although we hope that Disney's tighter control of the canon will prevent the inconsistencies that became prevalent in the now-Legends). We will be go out on a limb and say this is likely the most accurate depiction of the clone army's cost yet.