- "We take the palace, and this whole conflict ends right here, right now."
- ―Commander Clutch, during the Battle of Thustra
TK-571, originally known by the nickname "Clutch", was a clone trooper commander in the Grand Army of the Republic. He and millions of other clone soldiers from the same template served in the Clone Wars, a galaxy-wide civil war between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Over a year after the start of the war, Clutch was sent to the planet Thustra with an army of clones under the command of Jedi Generals Tyffix and Tyr. Their mission was to prevent the native Sephi from joining the Separatist rebellion.
The mission ultimately ended in catastrophe. Although the Republic army inflicted many casualties on the rebels and overran the enemy's capital city, the martyrdom of King Alaric galvanized opposition in the Sumitra sector, and thus Thustra was able to secede from the Republic. In the aftermath of the defeat, Clutch returned to Coruscant where he witnessed the arrest of Senator Navi, a Sephi politician whose duplicity indirectly caused the Republic to lose Thustra.
Created on the ocean-covered world of Kamino, Clutch was a clone of the bounty hunter Jango Fett. Using Fett's DNA as a genetic template, Kaminoan scientists engineered millions of clone troopers for the purpose of creating a vast army for the Galactic Republic. The clones were officially commissioned as the Grand Army of the Republic by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in 22 BBY. By that time, the Separatist Crisis had escalated into full-scale rebellion; various planetary and sectoral governments seceded from the Republic and formed the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
The Battle of ThustraEdit
- "The worst of it was that they were using themselves as weapons—throwing themselves at us and detonating their explosives. Very difficult to defend against. A brilliant strategy, if it can be maintained."
- ―Commander Clutch, reporting on the Sephi's suicide tactics
Approximately seventeen months after the First Battle of Geonosis, Commander Clutch and an army of clone troopers were dispatched to the planet Thustra with orders to suppress a growing secessionist movement amongst the native Sephi race. It was believed that the presence of a military garrison would be sufficient enough to dispel further notions of insurrection. The assumption was proven false when the Sephi launched several surprise attacks against Republic troops. By dawn, the Republic sustained many casualties, including the deaths of Jedi Generals Tyffix and Tyr. With both Jedi Masters dead, command fell to their padawans, Jedi Commanders Cal and Pix respectively.
Unwilling to accept the repercussions of Thustra's alliance with the Separatists, Grand Master Yoda of the Jedi Order journeyed to the rebellious world in hopes of renewing its allegiance to the Republic through diplomacy. Shortly after Yoda's arrival, he and Cal made their way to Thustra's capital city to negotiate with King Alaric; Pix was left in command of the clone troopers with explicit orders to avoid a fight with the Sephi. During Yoda's absence, Commander Clutch remained at Pix's side as her second-in-command.
Both Clutch and Pix were ultimately manipulated into disobeying Yoda's orders. Loyalist Senator Navi of Thustra sought to foil his homeworld's rebellion by forcing the Republic to take action. Hence, he secretly traveled to the Republic base and falsely claimed that Yoda and Cal had been executed by the order of King Alaric. The deception worked; Pix launched a full-scale assault on the Sephi capital. Clutch remained at the Jedi Commander's side during the Battle of Thustra and oversaw the fighting from an LAAT/i gunship on the frontlines.
As the Republic stormed the capital city in full force, Clutch directed the clone troopers to concentrate their efforts on capturing the King's palace. According to Senator Navi, the capture of the palace and its main occupant would destabilize the rebels' cause, thus ending the conflict on Thustra with a decisive victory for the Republic.
The attack ultimately backfired, as Yoda anticipated. Clutch and Pix had not expected that King Alaric's suicide, combined with the Republic's assault on the capital, would invigorate the Sephi to double their efforts at resistance. Furthermore, neighboring systems within the Sumitra sector became motivated by Alaric's martyrdom to send armies in support of the Sephi's cause. The combined resistance of various systems within a sector forced the Republic out of Thustra, hence resulting in its alliance with the Separatists.
On Coruscant, Senator Navi was reporting the events on Thustra to his peers in the Galactic Senate when Yoda and Mace Windu arrived to reveal Navi's deceitfulness. Clutch and Pix were both present as the Senator was arrested for treason by two Senate Guards.
Armor and equipmentEdit
As a clone trooper in the Grand Army of the Republic, Clutch was outfitted with the standard Phase I battle armor and armed with a DC-15A blaster rifle. Although Clutch held the rank of commander, his armor sported the red color patterns of a clone trooper captain. During his time on Thustra, the clone used electrobinoculars to spy on Sephi troop movements.
Personality and traitsEdit
- Clutch: "Strategically, our best chance to hit them is now, before they can fully form up."
- Pix: "We can't do that. Master Yoda's orders were—"
- Clutch: "I know… But we can't wait here indefinitely. Soon we'll have to choose between following General Yoda's orders… And saving our own lives."
- ―Clutch and Pix[src]
As with the other clones of Jango Fett, Clutch was created to be an efficient soldier, programmed with absolute loyalty to the Galactic Republic. He displayed a keen attention to the details of a battle, as demonstrated when he took note of the specific causes behind the Sephi's successful tactics. He was particularly impressed by the enemy's willingness to resort to suicide via Kamikaze bombings. In Clutch's opinion, it was an effective strategy, so long as it could be maintained.
Although Clutch was a loyal adherent to the command structure of the Grand Army, he possessed enough independent thought to suggest circumventing a superior officer's order if absolutely necessary. While serving under Pix, Clutch advised the young Jedi Commander that a preemptive strike—in defiance of General Yoda's instructions—on the enemy was the only efficient way to end the conflict with minimum casualties on the Republic's side. Nevertheless, Clutch's ingrained sense of obedience prevented him from acting without the consent of his immediate Jedi superior officer.
Behind the scenesEdit
In the MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies, there was an Imperial Stormtrooper identified as TK-571 taking part in the Empire Day festivities of 2009 through 2011. This stormtrooper had not been explicitly identified as Clutch.
- Jedi: Yoda (First appearance)