Whatever Happened to…Sionver Boll and the Zillo Beast Clone Project?

Like most loose ends in The Clone Wars, Sionver Boll is only in a few episodes (The Zillo Beast and The Zillo Beast Strikes Back in season two). Boll’s role in the arc and where they left her leave some questions that still need answers.

In the season two arc, Chancellor Palpatine wants to drop an untested electro-proton bomb on the planet, Malastare, to turn the tide of a battle. This inadvertently unleashes a dormant creature onto the Jedi and the native Dugs. The creature, the Zillo Beast, is an ancient being whose armor is impenetrable, even from a lightsaber. Naturally, this piques Chancellor Palpatine’s interest, and he orders that the creature be subdued and brought back to Coruscant to study. Palpatine then orders Boll to convert Malastarian fuel to toxic gass and euthanize the creature. 

Lucasfilm ltd created a Godzilla-inspired poster for their Godzilla-inspired arc | credit Lucasfilm ltd.

This goes poorly. The Zillo Beast escapes, and King Kongs Coruscant before the Jedi, working with Boll, successfully kill the creature. It is a sad ending for the Zillo Beast, apparently the last of its kind. However, Palpatine gives Dr. Boll one last order before the arc ends: To clone the Zillo Beast.

Palpatine gave the Jedi the impression that he wanted to study the creature under the guise of learning the secrets of its invulnerable armor for the clone army. But the Clone troopers definitely did not have armor that protected them from lightsabers during Order 66, and neither did the Stormtroopers during the Original Trilogy. So what was the true purpose of cloning the Zillo Beast? And did this plan ever come to fruition?

And Sionver Boll, being both a scientist of weaponry and cloning was valuable to Chancellor Palpatine, but was she of value to Emperor Palpatine?

Andor 

Boll’s services were possibly used in the Imperial era as different iterations of the electro-proton bomb after The Clone Wars. A superweapon called the electro-proton bomb/defoliator was referenced in The Rebel Files by Daniel Wallace. This combination of technology from Boll’s weapon and Separatist technician Pune Zignat’s defoliator from the episode “Defenders of Peace” was rumored to be developed by Orsen Krennic’s weapons division. 

Sionver Boll’s weapons like the electro-proton bomb could be referenced or make an appearance in other canon materials like Andor | credit Lucasfilm ltd.

One area that the upcoming Andor series could explore is the Imperial Weapons Division. By the time of Rogue One, Cassion Andor is a seasoned Intelligence Officer for the Rebel Alliance and has some familiarity with Krennic’s division. So Orson Krennic is someone who could most certainly make their way back into Star Wars with Andor. The Imperial Weapons Division could have a strong presence in the first season without a Krennic appearance, and one of the ways is with Sionver Boll. We know that the Empire prefers the human species in their officer ranks, but they seem more open to employing other species when it comes to science. Even though they destroy Kamino, they do take several scientists, including Nala Se into custody. Maybe employ is not the correct term.

But even if Boll herself does not make an appearance, weapons influenced by her can appear, including the electro-proton bomb as Andor takes place four years after Obi-Wan Kenobi and when the Galactic Senate is still around. As the Emperor is working to consolidate power, the technology developed under the Republic will surely find new life under Imperial control. 

Or Boll could have walked away from the Republic since she did have a moral compass, wanting to treat the Zillo Beast humanly. But she also caved to pressure from Chancellor Palpatine when he threatened to replace her. Emperor Palpatine is even more intimidating, so Boll could have stayed with the Empire. Or perhaps she was replaced by Nala Se. 

The Bad Batch

And speaking of Nala Se, as of the final episode of season one of The Bad Batch, Kaminoan scientists are now at an Imperial facility on Weyland. What they are working on is highly suggested to be a cloning project that will ultimately lead to reveals in the Sequel Trilogy. Like Kaminoans, Bivalls are also a generally regarded scientifically-minded species in the Star Wars universe (their homeworld was a major producer of bacta). And Boll having cloning experience opens the door for other discoveries of projects within the Republic and Imperial files. 

There are many directions that the cloning facility on Weyland can go in between this era and the Sequel Trilogy, so a nod to the Zillo Beast and its invulnerable armor could show up on special troopers. Star Wars is always looking for opportunities to sell more toys, and troopers open wallets for collectors. Even if it would make no sense as by the time we get to A New Hope, the armor for the Stormtroopers is practically useless. 

But the Empire does gradually gets more frugal in its spending on armor and aircraft for the Imperial army and spends more on weaponry. So could the Zillo Beast armor show up on new weapons?

The Zillo Beast sees Palpatine for what he truly is | credit Lucasfilm ltd.

To introduce a weapon that is impenetrable from a lightsaber during this time and suddenly not have it around during the time of the Original Trilogy stretches believability. Still, the Zillo Beast cloning project is an open thread from The Clone Wars, and as Filoni continues to bring his characters and storylines from animation into live-action, loose threads have continued to be tied. Cad Bane returned in The Bad Batch and The Book of Boba Fett. It was rumored that Commander Cody was supposed to be in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Quinlan Vos was revealed to be still alive in Part Three of the show. And we likely will find out what happened to Ezra and Thrawn in the upcoming Ahsoka series.

Sionver Boll is not top-of-mind for most fans of The Clone Wars, but a Zillo Beast clone possibility is something that does make the rounds in discussion threads. And having another scientist on the other side of the fight from the Kaminoans and Imperial Scientists would be a change of perspective as most of the science/weaponry skillsets we see in television or film have been from the Imperial side.

Scientists and their culpability in war is an aspect that is being explored more within Star Wars. Sabine Wren built weapons as an Imperial Cadet on Mandalore that were used against Mandalorians. Galen Erso decided to stay with the Empire to sabotage the superweapon he helped build, the Death Star. In The High Republic, a scientist named Doctor Zadina Mkampa works with the Nihil because they fund her projects that allow for her to make weapons, which is all she cares about. But all of these instances are people working within the Empire, so Boll could come back as a scientist for a rebel cell and use that cloning technology to aid them.

If the Zillo Beast has succeeded in killing Palpatine, it would have been the unsung hero of Star Wars history | credit Lucasfilm ltd.

It is hard to believe that the Zillo Beast cloning project will remain a mystery as it seemed so important to Palpatine at the time that he was willing to drop his caring facade to bring the beast to Coruscant and risk damaging his reputation. Even if the curiosity was a stepping stone toward what we see in The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker, it would bring some closure to the last of the Zillo Beast and the scientist ordered to clone the creature.