The Bad Batch: What It Means To Be More Than Your Flaws

CLONE FANS, CUT THE CHATTER! 

This past week, in a rush of news announcements from some of our favorite creative powerhouses (mostly Disney and Lucasfilm, let’s be real), we finally received a premiere date for Star Wars: The Bad Batch: May the 4th. This long-awaited announcement finally scratched the itch many of us suffered from, giving us an end-date for our wait. We can finally watch some of the immediate aftermath of the end of the Clone Wars and, notably, we can watch it through the lens of clones themselves. According to StarWars.com, the series “will debut on May the 4th, a.k.a Star Wars Day, exclusively on Disney+, with the second episode premiering on Friday, May 7. Subsequent episodes will premiere on Fridays.” For the weeks following this premiere, we’re going to be blessed with seeing how the intriguing Clone Force 99 (named for one of the best clones out there) handles the GFFA after the Empire comes into power after the Clone Wars finally come to an end. The timeline of events between the end of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith has been a little unfulfilled, but this show offers a new opportunity to see more about how the shift from Republic to Empire impacted life for the clone troopers who so loyally (or maybe not so loyally?) served in its name. 

We had the pleasure of being officially introduced to The Bad Batch in the Season 7 reboot of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, when this unique group of clone troopers arrived on the scene to help in the Battle of Anaxes in 19 BBY, one of the last major events that occurred in the Clone Wars. Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Tech each have desirable mutations that make them beneficial to the goals of the Republic, and they provided some necessary back-up for what ended up being a rescue mission. With the help of the Bad Batch, Captain Rex was able to bring back CT-1409 — the beloved ARC Trooper Echo who had previously been assumed dead during the rescue at the Citadel. After all was said and done, Echo joined the ranks of the Bad Batch. As a result, Echo is set to play a pivotal role in Star Wars: The Bad Batch, fleshing out the story of this important clone even more. 

Other familiar faces have popped up in the glimpses we’ve received in the preview during the Disney investors meeting. Most notably, Fennec Shand has made a thrilling appearance in the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Bad Batch, and fans (it’s me, I’m fans) are thrilled. Shand first appeared in The Mandalorian, establishing herself as a strong supporting character and now appearing in further stories both before and after the events of the recent season. These interconnecting threads that link all the different parts of the GFFA together are a huge part of my personal enjoyment with Star Wars stories. 

With hype for the Star Wars: The Bad Batch rapidly growing, we checked in with the Project Stardust team to hear about what we’re most excited about…

(C) Lucasfilm/Disney via StarWars.com

Favorite Bad Batcher?

Anna: Tech. I just love him. He’s the whole package, IMHO. Super smart. Extremely capable. Wears glasses. He’s also a little awkward. He’s my perfect man, honestly!

Barbara: I’m going to have to say Wrecker is my favorite member of Clone Force 99. I connected with him because I too have a fear of heights and he seems like he has a pretty nice side, if you can look past all of the explosions.

Stephenie: I think Echo, just because he’s the one I feel like we know the best at this stage. But I also love Wrecker, because who doesn’t love good explosions? 

Nessa: Just one?! If I have to pick only one (which is nearly impossible), I’d have to say that Hunter is my favorite. Even as my brain is like, wait, what about– Echo is a very close second. All of the others are. But I’m fascinated by Hunter’s ability to wrangle his Bad Batch brothers, and I can’t wait to see more of that.

Jamm: In trying to pick my favorite clone, the easy answer is the entirety of Domino Squad. But when I need to pick just one, the true answer for me is really Fives. We have that beginning, middle, and end of Fives’s story. And it’s one of the most heart wrenching ones at that. From the early days of “Rookies” to one of the best arcs in the series with Tup and the biochip conspiracy. Fives consistently shines amongst all of the clones of the 501st. One thing that would absolutely break me if it happens in the upcoming Bad Batch show is if Rex passed along his holo-photo of Cody, Echo, Fives, and himself onto Echo, the last surviving member of Domino Squad. 

The Best Trailer Moment? 

Anna: FENNEC SHAND OMG MY GIRL IS GOING TO BE IN THE BAD BATCH. Seriously, I love Fennec, and I can’t wait to see what she is going to bring to the show. I love the ship over planet flashes. I just really enjoyed it overall.

Barbara: I’m pretty excited about all of the Clone vs. Clone action. As I mentioned before I am thrilled about more Fennec Shand and the potential to learn more about her, lastly I need to know where Wrecker got that hat.

Stephenie: Fennec Shand!! Tarkin! The Clones! Okay, well, everything. I’m really looking forward to seeing not just more of this moment in Star Wars history, but the nitty gritty of it: from the ins and outs of the Empire’s early days to the internal struggle the Clones have once they realise

Nessa: Clones, clones, clones. I love seeing these glimpses of moments where the Bad Batch is interacting with other clones. I love seeing clones interact with other clones. So seeing all of those little moments of the Bad Batch interacting with their reg brothers, who now aren’t behaving how they used to? I love it. I can’t wait to see more. (Also Wrecker and his hat.)

What Am I Most Excited About? 

Anna: I love how Rogue One this trailer feels. The animation is fantastic. The music is great—perfectly evocative, just like the Daft Punk soundtrack from Tron: Legacy. Will they stay in the Empire? Will they defect to the Rebellion? I am really interested to see what becomes of Clone Force 99 after Order 66.

Barbara: More Fennec Shand! I’m looking forward to learning more about her character, who she knew and when she knew them. I also have always been curious about what happened to the Clones after Order 66. It appears, based on the fact that Echo is with them, that the Bad Batch will take place where the Clone Wars left off.  This timeline is mostly a mystery to me, so I can’t wait to fill in some gaps.

Stephenie: Definitely seeing familiar faces in the unfamiliar moment! It feels like it will be familiar and yet a new introduction to Star Wars

Jamm: Out of all the upcoming projects to come out this past year, The Bad Batch is my most anticipated one. My hype about Clone Force 99 has not ceased ever since we received the first episode of them in Season 7 of The Clone Wars. The clones have consistently always been my favorite part of The Clone Wars. Another huge reason I hold so much anticipation for this show is the fact we’re launching in an era that hasn’t been explored in this era of new canon. The only things we’re aware of in this time is everything that happens in Solo, the main plot set about 10 or so years after the Clone Wars, Jedi: Fallen Order, about 5 years after the Clone Wars and the Vader comics in which he works with the Inquisitorius. Bad Batch is the immediate after effects of the Republic becoming the Empire. All of these other things we’ve seen so far are well into the Empire’s reign. I am ready for this transitional period, and very excited to see where it is truly going to take us. I’m also very interested to see the characterization of the clones in this post-Order 66 world.

Nessa: Honestly, all of it. I’m looking forward to seeing another part of the galactic timeline filled in with new information, new data, new events. There are so many things we don’t know yet and I really hope we get new revelations in the course of the show. But, unsurprisingly, I’m so geeked to see more about the clones themselves. I’m a huge nerd for the clone troopers and I really hope this show is going to give us even more new insight into the culture of clones and the impact that Order 66 has on how clones interact with one another and their surroundings. I’m also hoping that we might get some more backstory on the Bad Batch! Just. So much, I’m so excited to see it all!

(C) Lucasfilm/Disney

With the Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere both rapidly approaching and entirely too far away, it’s difficult to contain my excitement. I know a great many clone trooper fans who are very keen on seeing what insights the show can provide for us when it comes to how the troopers themselves experienced Order 66 and the rise of the Empire. We’ve had the chance to see Rex and company later on in Star Wars: Rebels, but the events of that series take place way later in the galactic timeline. I know we’re all looking forward to the new things we’ll learn from what Star Wars: The Bad Batch has to offer. There are so many questions to be answered. What are the immediate effects of Order 66 and the loss of the Jedi? How will the clones experience their change in loyalty– will they have memory lapses, maybe total personality changes? Will they remember their Jedi before and after? What’s really going to be going on with these soldiers who have been rewritten to serve the Empire? 

So many questions, and barely any time to answer them all! Hopefully, we can finally fill in the gaps of the timeline. Even more hopefully, we can maybe get more closure on what really happens to the clones, including those we love so dear.

Watch for more from Project Stardust when Star Wars: The Bad Batch premieres in May of 2020! 

Editor’s Note: Thanks to all of our participants in this, but special thanks goes to Nessa for helping us frame and organise everyone’s thoughts and to Jamm for helping with the conclusion, too!