After their first appearance in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the off-beat clones from the Bad Batch squad are back with their own animated series on Disney+. Genetically modified away from Jango Fett’s original clone mold, the Bad Batch (aka Clone Force 99) members each have unique alterations that make them deadly efficient on the battlefield.
The last we saw of them in the Clone Wars, the Bad Batch added Echo, a clone modified with cybernetic parts by the Separatists, to their ranks and went off to continue fighting on behalf of the Republic. But The Clone Wars finale didn’t show what happened to the Bad Batch after Order 66. This seems to be where the new The Bad Batch animated series picks up.
Check out the trailer below:
Here are some things we spotted in the trailer that might tells us where The Bad Batch is headed:
The Bad Batch’s ship heads toward Kamino, the home world of the clones. It first appeared in live action in Attack of the Clones, and appeared in The Clone Wars many times after that.
Next, we have shots of a couple more planets, possibly Prequel staples Geonosis and Coruscant, or new planets entirely.
The interior shots might be a training room, similar to the one we’ve seen clone cadets test their mettle in on The Clone Wars.
The Bad Batch have always had a bit of a strained relationship with the other clones, so to see them at the head of the army implies some kind of tension between the groups. At least Echo is there to provide a voice of moderation.
The following close-up is of Hunter, the leader of the group. His enhanced senses make him, well, just what his name suggests. He’s known for bringing a knife to a gun fight. Here, he’s facing off against a super cool lightwhip-wielding character. The lightwhip, a variant on the lightsaber, has appeared in Star Wars Expanded Universe material as a variant on the Jedi weapon for decades, ever since the villanous Lumiya wielded it in the classic Marvel Star Wars comics.
This particular take on the weapon might be from the High Republic era, as the gold filigree on the hilt evoke the Jedi aesthetic of that time period. The wielder might be a Zygerrian, a species of slavers who appeared in The Clone Wars — or another cat-like alien.
The next few shots showcase clone action in a variety of settings. This is sure to be a battle-heavy show. And the team doesn’t always work together; in the next shot Hunter seems to be on his own on the lower levels of Coruscant or another built-up planet like Corellia. Note Hunter’s bandana, which was inspired by the character of Billy Sole in Predator.
Next we get a brief shot of Wrecker doing what he does best (wrecking). The biggest member of the squad has a childlike blunt attitude. He also has a fear of heights, so this particular move where he falls from the sky might be a bit of a challenge for him.
While the Bad Batch worked for the Republic before, it seems that they, along with the rest of the galactic government’s clone forces, have been transitioned into the Galactic Empire after the end of Revenge of the Sith. It’s time to be bad guys. The shot of Emperor Palpatine claiming the new regime is ripped directly from Episode III.
There’s a lot of clone hardware showcased in this trailer, from each Bad Batch member’s unique armor to the Nu-class transports. These ships with folding wings are the predecessor to the Imperial Lambda shuttle seen in the Original Trilogy.
A surprise returning face! In a quick-draw contest with Hunter is Fennec Shand, the mercenary from The Mandalorian player by Ming-Na Wen. It seems like decades before she had a run-in with Din Djarin and Boba Fett she went toe-to-toe with one of the deadliest clones and lived to tell the tale.
Next up — it’s unclear whether this is the same battle or not — are some souped-up battle droids.
Now, this crashed ship looks new to me. Is that a Star Destroyer? Is it unfinished or modified? Crashed in the middle of an older battle or a new war wreck of the early days of the Empire? The scouts nearby overlooking the ship graveyard have a visual similarity to the Rebel scouts in A New Hope, but it’s far too early for organized rebellion.
Hunter uses his scope in a forested area before facing off against … a flame trooper? Is this show actually about rebel clones who decided not to join the Empire?
In a war-torn landscape, the Batch flees from a flying animal and its rider. Flying animals like this exist on the planet Polyneus, but since those don’t have a confirmed canon design it’s just as likely this is a different place. The manta ray-like anatomy has appeared several times in the series, including on Kamino itself.
Another battle scene focuses on Tech, the Bad Batch’s brains, and shows the Batch and Fennec facing off against Imperial stormtroopers. Another check mark on the “rebellion against the Empire” speculation list.
Hunter also gets to use his knife skills against stormtroopers, while Wrecker is doing some fighting without his helmet and armor, showing his missing eye.
The show is poised to give us a closer look at the transition from the Republic into the Empire from the clones’ point of view. The new Empire still has plenty of big battles to fight, and they’re deploying their AT-TEs, precursors to the AT-AT and a major advantage for the Empire’s forces.
Their fellow troopers aren’t the only opposing army the Bad Batch has to face. They’ll also have to take down these droids, who look like they might be a rogue’s bodyguards or some Separatist holdouts.
With the sizzle reel almost done, it’s time for tentacles. A monster has a hold of Wrecker. This could be a psychic interrogator like Bor Gullet from Rogue One or a more conventional critter. Either way, it’s liable to either squeeze, eat, or drown him.
The transition to the Empire wouldn’t be the same without Grand Admiral Tarkin. Clearly, the Bad Batch is ingratiated enough with the galaxy’s ruling power in this scene to get some commendations from the commander of the Death Star himself.
As with most Star Wars stories, there’ll be some droid action, too! Here are three astromechs ready to go. They’re new to me, but anyone recognize these folks?
Finally, the action ramps up with those droid troopers, an Imperial march on a planet of people of many species, and some impressive explosions. One of these brief flashes looks like it’s from the same scene earlier in the reel where Tech takes on some big droids.
The Clone Wars may be over, but The Bad Batch follows directly in its footsteps to tell the beginning of the Empire’s story from the troopers on the ground. Catch any details in the sizzle reel we missed? Shout them out in the comments!