We have seen in the Island many of the theorized uses clones could have. We even see customers of Dr. Merrick using clones to give birth to a child for them. This brings up the slightly unsettling concept of using clones as children and in this case using clones specifically to bear children for you. But what if you could raise your own clone? What if you were technically your own son? How would you raise yourself? Different from how you were raised the first time around?
In one of my favorite clone movies of all times, Star Wars- Episode II: Attack of the Clones, this issue actually comes into play (and has significant impact on the next chapter of the series Episodes IV-VI, what up Star Wars nerds). We are introduced in this movie to the character Jango Fett, and his son, Boba Fett. Jango Fett, we learn was the person whose DNA was used to create the entire Grand Army of the Republic, who are all clones. However I digress, because we also learn that his son, Boba, is actually in fact a clone as well. Of Jango.
My source for the intricacies of the vast Star Wars universe is the renowned Wookieepedia.com, if you want to check it out:
What this essentially means is that Jango, this fictional bounty hunter, chose one of his clones to become his own son and decided to raise him. So while the rest of his clones were brought up in the same environment and taught to do the same thing(fight a war), Boba was taken under his father/ his own grownup self’s wing, and taught other aspects of life. This brings up two interesting points. First is the issue of nature vs. nurture, and the second is would anyone ever do this same thing in real life if cloning ever becomes a real life situation?
As to nature vs. nurture, I think that this situation makes an argument that it is nature that will determine the outcome of the lives of young ones. All of the clones on the planet Kamino have the same genetic build, yet there are several quotes from the movie in regards to how they can think creatively and are never the same as their source.
“With the same genetic structure plus a flash-learning pattern taken directly from the template, a clone should theoretically be completely identical to the original person. But despite that, they’re never exactly the same. Maybe some of the mental subtleties get blurred over in transition, or maybe there’s something else unique inside us that a flash-learning reader isn’t able to pick up.“- Luke Skywalker to Mara Jade
However, it is only Boba, who was raised by Jango who becomes a renowned bounty hunter like Jango. I think that this is likely because he was the only one allowed freedom to become something other than a soldier, but it is clear that Jango’s raising of Boba made him unique.
And finally, is raising your own clone as a child something that would ever come up outside of the movie realm. It certainly, at least to me, seems like a disturbed thought, but isn’t the fact that our (potential) children are in part identical to us part of what makes raising them intriguing? Who would know how to raise you the second time around better than yourself? No doubt complex emotional attachments would result of this and I think that it would be nearly impossible not to try and live vicariously through your clone, but it is an intriguing thought none the less. Yet I’m sure there are some people out there who would be intrigued by the thought of making themselves live on, maybe even forever, by continuously raising themselves.
It is an eerie thought indeed, and just another one of the humanistic issues that arises from the topic of cloning. At least we can catch a glimpse of what it might be like through the window of Star Wars. Thanks Jango.