The Bad Batch is set to sequel the hugely popular Clone Wars TV show which concluded in 2020 with Season 7. The opening arc of the final season introduced Clone Force 99, a group of clones who have desirable mutations for special combat. In the show are new and returning characters in what is an unprecedented time in the Star Wars timeline. The Republic has become The Empire and these clones will get the choice to stay or go.
Possible spoiler alert! Something has surfaced that could offer an incredibly unexpected twist before the show has even aired, so if you don’t like spoilers, beware of the final paragraph of the ‘story’ section.
Synopsis and Characters
Let’s start with who we will be following throughout the show. Hunter is the leader of the group and has enhanced senses. Wrecker has enhanced physical abilities, Crosshair is a crack shot sniper, Tech is extremely intelligent and Echo is a clone soldier turned cyborg while in Separatist captivity. Some would argue that this is not the most creative or compelling group of characters, but fans of The Clone Wars will know a key detail. Clones may look the same, but they all have unique traits and quirks that provide interesting stories and character development.
These clones stand out from other clones, but their personalities are shown to be typical in relation to their mutations. The Nerd, the tough guy, the quiet one, the battle-scarred guy and the strong leader. In order to make these characters loved, they need to be more than what we see in their debut arc.
Governor Tarkin from The Original Trilogy, Clone Wars and Rebels looks to be a primary character, fan-favourite Captain Rex will also return and Saw Guerrera from Clone Wars and Rogue One will also make an appearance. Fennec Shand was introduced by The Mandalorian and is also due to appear in this show. We know and love her as a former Imperial sharpshooter, and this show could show us how she ended up becoming an Imperial bounty target years after the prequel era. However, the attention has turned to a new character revealed in The Bad Batch official trailer:
A scene on the clone home-planet Kamino introduces a young female character with a New Zealand accent. This is crucial considering that the live-action actor of all clones, Temuera Morrison, hails from NZ, with his voice being an iconic feature of the prequel films. The girl resembles the character Boba Fett, an unaltered clone who would become a famous bounty hunter in future films. Fans believe that this new character is the one-and-only female version of a clone trooper. We’re yet to learn much else about her character, apart from the fact that she will be tagging along for this adventure. She could bring about a really interesting dynamic to the story, as such a unique character could add to the larger Star Wars story.
While we need to have strong character archetypes, we also need a compelling storyline, and this is what viewers can be really excited about. The story takes place after the events of Revenge of The Sith and Clone Wars Season 7. The Jedi have been destroyed, and The Empire has risen, and now Clone Force 99 is met with a big moment. It is unknown if these clones were ever given inhibitor chips, which were planted into every clone in order for The Empire to take control of them when the time came. From what we’ve seen in the trailer, The Bad Batch don’t have inhibitor chips and will spend Season 1 on the run from The Empire, who wants to terminate the rogue group of clones.
Bespin Bulletin on Instagram has revealed that a toy has revealed a huge spoiler for the show. Super-sniper Crosshair is set to turn against his brothers in Clone Force 99 to stick with The Empire and could be part of the party that hunts The Bad Batch across the galaxy. This adds one hell of an archetype to The Bad Batch story. Why did Crosshair stay loyal to The Empire? Could there be a double-cross? How will this impact the rest of the clones?
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Another big plot point that will be very interesting is the transfer from The Republic to The Empire. What happens to the clones? How does Palpatine build on his power? How do people react? Some of these questions are answered in the comics, but those who aren’t avid comic book readers would benefit from seeing some content transferring from page to screen.
On top of this, we could see the return of other characters that might impact the story. Considering that Captain Rex is already a confirmed character, perhaps we’ll get to see fellow clone Gregor and Wolffe, who featured in Star Wars: Rebels. We may also get to see Saw Gerrera‘s crew before the events of Rogue One, in which he makes his only live-action appearance.
The biggest question on the minds of many Star Wars fans is ‘will we get to see Darth Vader?’ The iconic villain appeared just once in The Clone Wars TV show at the very end of Season 7. This incredible scene was perhaps the perfect way to end the show, and viewers really felt the link between the former Anakin Skywalker that they had followed for 7 seasons and what he becomes.
Should Darth Vader return in The Bad Batch? Maybe. On the one hand, whether you enjoyed Rebels or not, the Darth Vader scenes were some of the best in the show. On the other hand, the end of The Clone Wars is arguably the perfect place to leave his character in the hands of the films and Rebels series. This show takes place in the 10 years before the upcoming Kenobi show, which will likely deal with Vader’s story in great detail. Therefore, this may stop any possibility of The Bad Batch developing his character at all.
Other characters could also make interesting cameos. Darth Maul, Ahsoka Tano, Quinlan Vos, and other survivors of Order 66 could play their part in this story.
Episodes and Cast
The Bad Batch’s pilot episode will last for 70 glorious minutes before every other episode is released every Friday on Disney+. Therefore, the series will begin with a super-long opening episode before we get episode 2 just three days later in a blockbuster opening week. We have yet to find out how many episodes will make up the first season, but we can probably expect somewhere between 15 and 20 episodes judging by the number of episodes The Clone Wars had when it aired.
Dee Bradley Baker is the voice of the entire Grand Army of The Republic and is set to return to his role of talking to himself in the same voice in an empty room for a little while longer as he plays all of Clone Force 99 plus any other clones who feature. Ming-Na Wen will also come into the cast as she plays her role as Imperial sharpshooter Fennec Shand, who was introduced in The Mandalorian series.
Grand Moff Tarkin will also have a returning performer as Stephen Stanton takes his role from Rebels to the new show. Freedom fighter Saw Gerrera is voiced by Andrew Kishino, who also voiced the character in The Clone Wars while Emperor Palpatine is also rumoured to appear, but it is not yet clear if Ian McDermid (live-action) or Sam Witwer (Clone Wars/Force Unleashed).
This show not only has a high ceiling as a show but also in terms of other products, primarily gaming. Not only would Bad Batch characters make for great heroes on Star Wars Battlefront 2 (a man can dream), but a next-level Bad Batch single-player/co-op game would have great potential. On the run from The Empire, exploring new worlds and interacting with interesting characters that we know and love, as well as the variety of each character with their special abilities.
Or perhaps they could appear in Ubisoft’s upcoming Star Wars title as a side quest or full-on adventure! Either way, The Bad Batch absolutely has what it takes to transfer into a great gaming experience likened to classic Lego Star Wars games and Jedi: The Fallen Order.
This show has great potential, but you already knew that. The Bad Batch could bring some interesting twists and new stories about the clones, The Empire and their people, Vader and Palpatine, maybe even the survivors of Order 66 as seen in Revenge of The Sith. But the creators have a big job on their hands in order to make this work, especially when it comes to character development and world-building as we get a glimpse into the early days of The Empire. All I can say for now is that this one should be a lot of fun.