This page collects initial thoughts and reactions to technical issues arising from Attach of the Clones.


This transitional page gathers technical observations about the condition of the self-styled Confederacy of Independent Systems, the Separatists from the Galactic Republic in the Clone Wars. The topics covered here may eventually be divided and integrated with other pages dealing with more general subjects. However the temporary organisation may turn out to be practically semi-permanent.

Thanks are due to, in alphabetic order:

Scope of the Threat

The scrolling prologue to AOTC describes how several thousand star systems have declared their separation from the Galactic Republic. Count Dooku predicts that ten thousand more systems would join his Confederacy immediately, if the great guilds of galactic commerce would support him openly [AOTC novel, p.267]. How can this be an appreciable danger to the order of a galactic civilisation encompassing over one million full member worlds? [ANH novelisation] The indirect threat must be far more significant than the direct threat.

Firstly, there is the issue of political confidence. Even as early as the blockade of Naboo, the political processes of the Galactic Republic had an infamous propensity for total deadlock, and by the time of the Battle of Geonosis its institutions are in even more blatant decline. After centuries of complacent, naive pacifism, the central government has barely any security forces to call upon. Sector and planetary governments have to maintain their own self-defence forces. The benefits of the galactic union must appear theoretical and intangible; traditional loyalty to the Galactic Republic has probably eroded broadly throughout the galaxy. When a minority of systems demonstrate defiance, and escape serious repercussions, they undermine what little confidence remains. Systems that are mor timid or more loyal may be tempted into greater acts of self-interested vanity (if not outright separation) which must exacerbate general insecurity and accelerate the ultimate institutional decay.

Secondly, the separatist systems are likely have strategic value that outweighs their numbers. The whole galactic economy operates like a network, and many worlds must have links of dependency upon the products of other worlds. The inter-connections of small-scale regional alliances comprise another important kind of network, as demonstrated in the Ansion dispute [The Approaching Storm]. The removal of a few vital nodes from a network can have profound and seemingly disproportionate effects upon the efficiency of the remaining system. (On Earth, a strike in a factory that produces just a few minor components has been known to cripple entire nation-wide industries.) Networks that are not organised according to a large-scale plan are mathematically even more sensitive to the loss of key nodes, although the loss of randomly selected nodes is less damaging.

The Separatist systems are probably far from being randomly removed parts of the galactic network. Because of self-interest, they are likely to include some of the most self-sufficient systems in galaxy, and systems that are well positioned to exploit the interdependencies of weaker worlds. Thus the Separatist movement naturally, unconsciously self-selects its members as the key nodes in the economic and political network of the galaxy.

The loss of a few agricultural worlds is likely to plunge many metropolis planets into famine. The loss of major trading centres is likely to create difficulties for neighbouring worlds attempting to sell their primary produce and manufactured goods. The loss of major planets dedicated to administrative and archival functions is likely to sow confusion and reduce the coherence and coordination of galactic affairs. The progessive loss of communications nodes, as Separatist sectors are removed from the galactic HoloNet, is likely to harm the bandwidth to outlying loyal sectors, and to increase the sense of mutual isolation and disaffection between worlds.

Intergalactic Banking Clan

One of the great powers banking Count Dooku's separatists is the intriguingly named Intergalactic Banking Clan. In what sense are they intergalactic? The legal territory of the Galactic Republic encompasses the entire galaxy, although its law is practically unenforceable in some regions (e.g. Tatooine and Hutt Space) during these decadent times. The IBC would appear to be even broader. How far does the banking system extend beyond the galaxy?

Perhaps it is only "intergalactic" in its theoretical claims. Perhaps the bankers declare their policies and contracts to be universally enforceable: binding upon the undiscovered inhabitants of distant galaxies as well as the Galactic Republic. (This would be similar to the presumption that certain contracts signed on Earth may remain legal on other worlds.)

Alternatively, or additionally, perhaps the Bank Clan literally does maintain a presence beyond the home galaxy. They may have outposts or treasuries hidden out in the empty spaces of the galactic halo of the Republic, or in more distant regions that are deemed to be in intergalactic space. They might also have a presence in minor satellite galaxies that orbit around the Galactic Republic (like the Large and Small Megellanic Clouds accompanying the Milky Way). Indeed several satellite galaxies were shown mapped and recorded in the Jedi Archives, in addition to the main Galaxy.

Growth of the Droid Army

Let's consider the output of droid factories line the ones seen on Geonosis. Suppose that Nf = number of factory lines (equal to one conveyor belt in AOTC), Nl = number of labour droids able to build new factory lines, Ni = number of infantry droids, Tl = time taken for one factory line to build one labour droid, Ti = time taken for one factory line to build on infantry droid, Tf = time taken for a labour droid workforce to build one factory line, Wf = workforce of labour droids involved in the construction of each factory line. Suppose that each factory line devotes a fraction of its time (fi) to infantry production and the remainder (1-fi) to labour droid production. Then the construction rates of infantry, labour droids and factory lines are given by coupled first-order differential equations:

dNi / dt = (fi / Ti ) Nf ,
dNl / dt = [(1 − fi) / Tl] Nf ,
dNf / dt = Nl / (Tf Wf ) .

The solution of these coupled equations is exponential growth: the number of each population ( i, l, f ) doubles in some period. [This is a classic characteristic of "von Neumann machines."] The doubling time is ≈ 0.693 te, where we define te = the period during which the population increases by the factor e≈2.71828. It can be shown that

te = [ Tl Tf Wf / (1 − fi) ]½

We know that battle droids, droidekas etc are output at a pace of Ti = 1 second. The build-time of a labour droid should be on the same order of magnitude. But what is the workforce and build-time for a factory assembly line identical to the ones seen in AOTC? We need to choose values for Tf and Wf. Readers are challenged to pick realistic numbers and see what doubling time is implied. It is difficult to find plausible estimates to stretch the doubling time to longer than 20 days. For example the army's doubling time is 12 days if each conveyor belt takes ten thousand labourers 30 days to build, and if each assembly line then spends 99% of its time making battle droids instead of more labourers. If the Techno Union supervisors are intelligent, they would realise the wisdom of producing at least a modest fraction of labour droids. Then their infantry production would be limited only by access to raw materials and transport. Ordinarily, the Separatist army can double its size in very much less than a month, and possibly in as little as a day.

In order to have any hope of winning the war, the clones must increase their own population at an accelerated rate too. They must also manage to detect and destroy enemy factories at almost the rate at which they're built. That will be a heroic task considering the vast number of barren worlds upon which factories may be hidden.


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Last updated 22 June 2004.

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