Following the hit run of Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 1 in 2021, the sleeper-hit spinoff to The Clone Wars is back with another season. The second season dropped on January 4, 2023, and will have its last episode stream via Disney+ on March 29.
While the first season of the animated series acts as a spinoff to The Clone Wars, it may address the most viral criticism of the recent Star Wars franchise. Of course, the criticism refers to the “Somehow Palpatine Returned” line, as mentioned in Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. However, it may take further seasons for the show to thoroughly explain the return of Palpatine if the fan theories are valid in the first place.
Warning! The following part of the article will include spoilers for Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 1.
Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 1 Recap: All That Transpired Before Season 2
The first season showcased the aftermath of Order 66, as featured in 2005’s Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. The Bad Batch featured the Clone Force 99, a group of genetically different clones that were mostly unaffected by the inhibitor chips used in Order 66. That meant that Clone Force 99’s original members, like Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, and Echo, were able to disregard the order by Sith Lord Darth Sidious (Palpatine) to target Jedi individuals.
He is the leader of the Clone Force 99 (Bad Batch) and has heightened senses due to his mutations. Hunter’s ability makes him an excellent tracker and master strategist.
His abilities make him an excellent sharpshooter. As a marksman and sniper, Crosshair is basically the Deathstroke equivalent to the team. However, unlike his teammates, he remained loyal to the Galactic Empire. Though initially, his choice may have been reflected by the inhibitor chip and the effect of Order 66, it was later revealed that he had his chip removed. That essentially meant that Crosshair pledged his loyalty to the Empire of his own free will.
Due to his mutation, Wrecker has enhanced strength. He acts like the Hulk of the group with his bulky stature. However, it is unclear if the character possesses additional durability compared to the regular clones.
As the name suggests, Tech is essentially a highly intelligent member of the Bad Batch, who is an expert in technological stuff. However, as part of the nerdy stereotype, Tech seems to be less capable in terms of physical feats as compared to his teammates.
This character has many cybernetic enhancements that make him the Cyborg-equivalent of the group. Like R2-D2, Echo is able to use his mechanical parts to hack into computer interfaces and droids.
As hinted throughout Season 1, the teenage clone Omega is also the first female one to have been created on planet Kamino. She was created from the source genetic template of Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett, which makes her a sister of sorts to Boba Fett. The latter was also cloned from Jango Fett’s genetic template. Omega and Boba Fett remain the only two original clones created from Fett.
The teenage clone and adopted member of The Bad Batch, Omega, is also expected to have a Force sensitivity. This yet-unconfirmed ability of Omega may carry great significance in the future seasons of The Bad Batch.
Timeline of Star Wars The Bad Batch (19 – 18 BBY, So far)
The Bad Batch follows the events of The Clone Wars (Series) and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Meanwhile, it predates the events of 2018’s Solo – A Star Wars Story, Disney Plus’ Obi-Wan Kenobi, and 1977’s Episode IV – A New Hope, amongst other spinoffs.
The event of Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is set three years (19 BBY) after the events of The Clone Wars. This translates to The Bad Batch Season 1 being set in 19 BBY as well. However, Season 2 is possibly set a few months later in 18 BBY, as hinted by series producer Jennifer Corbett. According to her statement to Deadline, “When we first meet her (Omega), it’s been a couple of months since the end of Season 1, and she’s a little more trained, has her helmet, has a new look, and she’s really just blending in with them (Bad Batch).”
Events Leading To The Bad Batch Season 2
Bad Batch Quits The Empire
Following Palpatine’s execution of Order 66, all of The Bad Batch members except Crosshair did not pledge their allegiance to The Galactic Empire and chose not to target Jedi generals.
As the Clone Force 99 was tasked with the assassination of Saw Gerrera and his associates, the group (barring Crosshair) walked away from their mission. Gerrera’s survival would ultimately make him a crucial figure in the Rebel Alliance, especially in the Onderon Rebels.
Upon their reunion with Captain Rex, the group learned of the inhibitor chips in their skulls that could potentially activate. Thus, Rex helped remove The Bad Batch’s inhibitor chips which ensure the group’s safety for upcoming seasons.
Meanwhile, in Episode 15 of Season 1, Crosshair revealed that he had already removed his inhibitor chip. Therefore, as mentioned before, Crosshair’s allegiance to The Empire was his own decision.
Friends and Foes
The Bad Batch engaged in mercenary works, sourced from Cid, the well-connected Trandoshan broker of Ord Mantell. While Cid initially appears to only care about monetary gains, she is later revealed as a former ally to the Jedi Order. Furthermore, Cid has a clear distaste for the tyranny of The Galactic Empire. This essentially means that The Bad Batch has found themselves an ally in Cid.
Meanwhile, the clear fallout of Crosshair from his former group sets him up as one of the primary antagonists of future seasons. Interestingly, Omega saved Crosshair during the bombardment of the cloning facility at Kamino (as ordered by Admiral Rampart). Later, Crosshair returned the favor and helped save Omega’s friend, droid AZI-3. However, it is unlikely that the former member of Clone Force 99 will change his allegiance to The Empire and re-align himself with The Bad Batch.
Additionally, Admiral Rampart of The Galactic Empire will unquestionably remain the primary antagonist in the series. However, the lack of his reference in other projects that are set ahead in the timeline does not bode well for his survivability in the upcoming seasons of The Bad Batch.
The Bad Batch also set a precedent for the phasing out clone troopers from The Empire. Though this reason was previously unconfirmed, the series established that Palpatine and co. decided that clones were more difficult to control, even with an inhibitor chip. While the exact reason as to why normal clones could still maintain individuality and free will remains unexplained, it is expected that future seasons will carry further clarifications.
As mentioned earlier in the article, throughout Season 1, several moments hinted at Omega being more important than she appears on the surface. In the first season, Kaminoan scientist Nala Se hires Fennec Shand (Boba Fett’s ally in The Book of Boba Fett ahead in the timeline) to safeguard Omega from being killed by order of Lama Su. This is when Omega learns that her pure genetic template as a clone of Jango Fett is valuable to Kaminoans.
While Omega’s genetics may hold the clue to create further enhanced versions of clones, some fan theories suggest that it may also help Palpatine’s resurrection in the future. If true, this may finally explain how “Palpatine somehow returned,” as per Poe Dameron’s infamous quote in 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker.
With these points in mind, the recently premiered Season 2 may clarify the true importance of Omega and the fate of The Bad Batch, as well as the Rebellion.
- This article was updated on January 5th, 2023