The Bad Batch TV series is set to launch on Disney+ as part of their extensive streaming strategy, giving fans of The Clone Wars something to cheer about.
Taking place during and after the galaxy-wide civil war known as the Clone Wars, The Bad Batch is pitched to track the exploits of this motley team as they make their way through the Star Wars universe.
There’s a lot to be excited for here, with the squad providing a unique outlook on Order 66.
We know that troopers such as Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor were able to come out the other side (as seen in Star Wars Rebels), but this is the first opportunity fans have had to explore the immediate aftermath exclusively from the perspective of a clone division.
With that said, let’s take a look at what role the Bad Batch will have in the upcoming series…
The Bad Batch’s First Appearance
The Bad Batch first appeared in the seventh (and final) series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, featuring prominently across a four-episode arc, starting with ‘The Bad Batch’ and ending with ‘Unfinished Business’.
As with all clone troopers depicted across the animated show, each member of the team was individually voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
Conceptualised by none other than George Lucas himself, the team was intended to be a unique special operations clone unit.
Dave Filoni (supervising director on The Clone Wars) brought this idea to life by introducing Clone Force 99 (the Bad Batch’s official title) — named in honour of a malformed clone who died during the Separatist invasion of Kamino during earlier episode ‘Clone Cadets’.
Despite debuting officially in 2020’s final series of The Clone Wars, the episodes were previously screened as storyboards at 2015’s Celebration Anaheim and released as story reels (before the show was renewed for a final series).
Informally referred to as the ‘Bad Batch’, the team comprises of four clone troopers born with genetic mutations that make them superior to your average soldier: Crosshair, Wrecker, Tech, and Hunter (later joined by ARC trooper Echo).
Crosshair is gifted with expert marksmanship and eyesight, allowing him to perform with lethal efficiency in long range combat; Wrecker is abnormally large and strong; Tech has advanced intelligence, making him proficient with technology; and they are all led by Sergeant Hunter, a clone with enhanced senses.
Fan-favourite clone trooper Echo — who was turned into a cyborg by the Separatists — joined the team after being rescued in season seven. Despite being born as a conventional clone trooper, he felt out of place amongst his old allies after his physical change.
What Did The Bad Batch Do After Order 66?
The Bad Batch TV series will act as both a sequel and spin-off to The Clone Wars, immediately following the purge of the Jedi during Order 66.
Relieved of their soldierly duties, Clone Force 99 will embark on mercenary missions as they try to find new purpose after the collapse of the Republic.
It has not been confirmed yet how the Bad Batch are immune to the influence of the Emperor, which caused their fellow troopers to turn on the Jedi. But it can be assumed that their in-built control chips are faulty due to their genetic abnormalities.
Watching the trailer, it appears they may be coming to blows with their brainwashed brothers, no doubt taking issue with the mindless (quite literally) slaughter of their Force-wielding Jedi commanders.
We already had a glimpse of this carnage during the climactic episode of The Clone Wars, where former Jedi Ahsoka Tano managed to free her friend and ally Captain Rex from the chip’s control.
Encounters With Other Star Wars Characters
Hidden within all the action of the trailer, you may have been able to point out some familiar faces from the established Star Wars mythos.
One of these characters was the Imperial Grand Moff Tarkin. Not much is given away, but he does prove quite complimentary to the Bad Batch: “That was quite an impressive display”.
However, Tarkin will likely prove to be an enemy in the long run due to his close association with the Galactic Empire.
Additionally, the team are set to encounter a younger iteration of assassin Fennec Shand, who you might recognise from her prior live-action appearance in The Mandalorian.
Ming-Na Wen is set to return to the role, this time providing voice-over work.
It awaits to be seen whether Fennec’s interactions will be friendly or antagonistic, but it will be fun to find out how this served to influence her partnership with the bounty hunter Boba Fett. As you may know, Fett was himself a clone.
The Future Of The Bad Batch
As we all know, anyone not confirmed dead — and even some who are (Boba Fett, we’re looking at you) — can return at any moment.
Therefore, it is possible that we could see the Bad Batch appearing in future projects down the line.
With there being a connection to Fennec, and with Wen already a star of the show, this could open the door to a live-action appearance for Clone Force 99 in The Mandalorian.
Filoni has already shown a desire to cross his characters over, namely with the appearance of Ahsoka Tano (portrayed by Rosario Dawson), so there is more than enough precedent.
Not to mention that Temuera Morrison is already playing the role of Fett, so it is not out of the question for him to change outfit and give the Bad Batch a go.
When Is The Bad Batch Coming Out?
The Bad Batch is due to release at some point in 2021, exclusively on the Disney+ streaming service. However, we do not yet have an official date.
Luckily, as it is entirely animated, the show is unlikely to be affected by delays in the same way as its live-action counterparts — which have become increasingly common nowadays with the pandemic.
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