Nicknamed after the four fives on his Clone Code, ARC trooper Fives was one of the most important protagonists of The Clone Wars.
However, his proud legacy of loyal service, deep sense of brotherhood for fellow clones and unsung heroism were all maligned in his final days. Allegedly, Commander Fives went crazy, tried to assassinate Chancellor Palpatine and had to be executed for the greater good.
In fact it was one of his own, Commander Fox, who pulled the trigger at Fives and killed him. Fives could have been stunned and taken into custody and his execution raised many questions among other clones, especially Commander Rex.
Commander Rex was present when a delirious Fives tried one last time to tell the secret he had found and was killed instead. Fives said his last words in Rex’s arms.
Rex went on to discover that Fives was actually not crazy and his execution was but a murder at the hands of the Chancellor.
Due to completely unforeseen events, Fives had discovered an evil conspiracy to enslave clones and turn them on their Jedi Generals. Before he could understand the larger conspiracy to overthrow the Galactic Republic, he was declared a mad man.
The Secret That Killed Fives
After being accused of treason and assassination, Fives made one last attempt to share the secret he had uncovered and do his duty to the Republic.
So he asked Rex and Anakin to see him privately and without any weapons. He even trapped them both inside a force field to prevent them from hurting or capturing him.
During the meeting, a still nauseous Fives managed to inject some doubt into Rex’s mind but failed to convince Anakin.
When Anakin accused him of trying to kill Palpatine, Fives lost it and went for the weapon nearby. Just then, Commander Fox, who had sneaked up to Fives along with his team, fired and killed the guy.
Fives passed away in Rex’s arms, with final words that warned of the conspiracy being much bigger than any one individual.
He was of course referring to the organic inhibitor chips inserted into every clone which when activated would turn all clones into robots. They would lose their free will and follow orders without any questions – even if that meant killing their own people.
When Tup shot Jedi Tiplar in Ringo Vinda, Fives was told by the Kaminoans that a virus was the likely reason behind this erratic action. Fives was then made to stay back at Kamino to be checked for the same virus.
However, the longer he witnessed Tup’s treatment, the more suspicious he grew of the real reason behind the err. He even suspected the Kaminoans of having an ulterior motive in treating Tup.
Taking matters into his own hands, Fives conducted a high level scan on Tup’s brain. A tumor-like thing was found, which he removed with help from the droid AZI-3.
On closer examination, he found that the tumor was actually a biochip and underwent the scanner himself. When he found a similar albeit less distorted chip in his own brain, his suspicions were confirmed. Something big was afoot here.
During his meeting with Palpatine in Coruscant, when the cunning Chancellor manages to extract everything that Fives knew, he even confirms everything. But the force seems to have left Fives’ side by this time and he is cornered before he could speak the truth.
Laying the trap for Luke Skywalker. As soon as Darth Vader mentions the young Rebel from the Battle of Yavin to the Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back, you can practically see the wheels turning. Palpatine seemed to know who Luke Skywalker was and started planning. He leads Vader to suggesting that Luke should be turned to the dark side and then during Return of the Jedi, he basically waits for Luke to arrive. He leverages Luke’s feelings about his friends — concern and anger — and pits father against son. Palpatine set himself up to win because either Vader or Luke could serve as apprentice, but for once, things didn’t work out as planned.
The next time you watch the prequel trilogy or Star Wars: The Clone Wars, pay particular attention to Palpatine. When you start tracking the subtle way he guides conversations and popular sentiment, you may find yourself marveling at him. He’s quite impressive in the original trilogy as well, but if you visit earlier periods, you can see his devotion to his twisted plan. Palpatine was a masterful and patient manipulator. Emphasis on the word patient. He put things in motion long before we saw him in The Phantom Menace and carefully played countless people like pianos. His intelligence coupled with his desire for power makes him one of the most formidable villains you’ll encounter in fiction.
Putting Anakin Skywalker on the Jedi Council. Much of Palpatine’s efforts are centered on shaping Anakin into the perfect apprentice. He continually compliments Anakin, insults the Jedi Order both passively aggressively and directly and says they’re fools for not seeing Anakin’s potential, and on and on. His constant stream of praise feeds Anakin’s ego so that by the time Palpatine appoints him to the Jedi Council, Anakin believes he deserves it. Then, when he’s not elevated to the rank of Jedi Master, Palpatine is there to listen. The effects upon Anakin are further compounded when Obi-Wan Kenobi asks him to spy on Palpatine. The Jedi and Anakin played right into Palpatine’s greedy hands.
Telling Anakin about Darth Plagueis. The opera house scene in Revenge of the Sith has galactic repercussions. Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise and hints that the Sith could manipulate midi-chlorians and prevent death (this scene leads many fans to believe Palpatine was responsible for bringing Anakin into existence) and thusly exploits Anakin’s feelings and concerns for Padmé. Palpatine reveals he learned from Plagueis and talks to Anakin about the dark side. He takes Anakin to the edge of a precipice. Which leads to…
Pitting Anakin against the Jedi. When it’s discovered that Palpatine is the Sith the Jedi have been looking for, Mace Windu takes three Jedi to arrest him. Palpatine plays the scene carefully — as usual — and when Windu has him within reach, Palpatine uses the moment to convince Anakin that the Jedi are trying to take over the government. After Windu dies, Palpatine further squeezes Anakin and orders him to wipe out the remaining Jedi because they pose a threat.
Fives continues to push for answers regarding the mystery of the clone contamination, but is framed for attempting to kill Chancellor Palpatine.
Why did Palpatine tell fives?
Did fives know about Palpatine?
What did Emperor Palpatine say?