The newest show from Lucasfilm Animation, The Bad Batch, premieres on Tuesday, May the 4th!
We were first introduced to this squad of elite clones in the final season of The Clone Wars, and now they are the focus of their own show. There’s a lot to look forward to, but here are four things I’d love to see from the series. I’m not insisting that these things must happen in order for me to enjoy the show, as I’m sure whatever direction it takes will be fascinating, but these are four things I’d be really curious and intrigued by.
1. Clones dealing with their new fate
This is, to me, the biggest reason why I’m excited for the series. It very much seems like at least one of the themes of the show will focus on the clones having to face their new fate. This is set right after Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars, and it might actually overlap a bit! So think about it: the clones were bred and raised for war, served their Jedi faithfully… and then they betrayed the Jedi, murdering them, and were faced with no more war to fight. So how do clones deal with being made literally for war and now not having a war to fight? With the Empire phasing them out in favor of stormtroopers? That’s an existential crisis waiting to happen, and that means that this show is perfectly positioned to build off of The Clone Wars, which gave incredible characterization, personality, and emotion to the clones. With their purpose fulfilled, what now? But it’s not only that: are the clones aware of the atrocities they committed against the Jedi they served with for years? That would be another very interesting avenue to explore, with clones who did execute Order 66 later coming to regret it and faced with the consequences of their actions.
In short, the reason I’m so excited for this show is because, building off of the strength of The Clone Wars humanizing the clones, this show has tons of potential to add even more depth. I can’t wait.
2. Clones we already know
Along with this, it looks like in the transition to the Empire the clones we see are far more generic than the squads introduced in The Clone Wars. Perhaps that’s because these men aren’t yet battle tested (maybe they’re “shinies”), or perhaps it’s because the Empire is attempting to squash originality. Whatever the case, I’m hoping that this show will take us back to clones we already know. An indication that this will happen was given in the trailer, when we saw the most familiar and iconic of all clones: Rex! So he’s going to appear in the show, which opens all sorts of doors for others to follow. We don’t exactly know any specifics of what Rex was up to in the immediate aftermath of Order 66 (as depicted in the Siege of Mandalore), but we know that by the time of Rebels he had settled down with two other clones, Wolffe and Gregor – clones who had also removed their inhibitor chips. So those two clones seem like possibilities to see in this show, if Rex is searching for others to help save – just like he was saved. Another possibility to me seems like Cut Lawquane, who surely could help Rex and/or the Bad Batch as they process what it means for soldiers bred for combat to no longer be at war.
But obviously the biggest desire of most fans, including myself, would be to see Cody show up again. We simply don’t know what happened to him after he turned on Obi-Wan Kenobi on Utapau, and if Rex really is going searching for other clones to help, of course he’d go to Cody. Many fans have speculated for a while that Cody would remain loyal to the Empire, which could really raise the emotional stakes – both on a personal level for Rex, but even perhaps as a foe for the heroes, if it should come to that. But regardless, seeing Cody’s story continue – and gain some closure – would be fantastic, particularly if it’s with Rex. It’s one of the things I’m really hoping happens at some point down the line.
3. The transition to the Empire
The Republic has been reorganized into the first Galactic Empire. But that transformation didn’t just happen overnight. That includes the transition from clone troopers to stormtroopers, and from the looks of this show, we’ll get to explore that. It looks like this show picks up right after (or possibly right before) Order 66, and we see clones all throughout the trailers. So this takes place while the Empire was still using the clones to carry out its purposes, but before long that would transition to stormtroopers, enlisted recruits. Honestly, we haven’t seen much of how the clones felt about this, nor have we seen much of this transition happen.
So we’ll probably get to see how the clones process being phased out, we’ll probably get to see just how this process happened, and we’ll also probably get to see the galaxy at large transitioning to Imperial rule. There’s tons of potential here.
4. Bounty hunters
The Bad Batch seems to go rogue on the Empire and instead try to find their way in the galaxy, taking odd jobs trying to survive. Everything about that suggests that they might cross paths with bounty hunters, and we know that happens at least once, with Fennec Shand. So what’s to say that there won’t be more? Seeing someone like Cad Bane again would be really cool, and maybe this is even an opportunity to do the tale that appears in one of the unfinished arcs for The Clone Wars, where Bane fought against Boba Fett. That would be cool. And speaking of Boba Fett, he’d be the most exciting – and most interesting – bounty hunter to show up. He appeared in The Clone Wars and was a very interesting character there, and there are a lot of different avenues to explore with him on a show like this. He’s a young bounty hunter trying to forge his way in the galaxy, so encounters like this wouldn’t feel too forced. It would also keep up a reinvigoration of the character recently, and could give us the opportunity to show us when Fett and Shand first met, in advance of this December’s The Book of Boba Fett. But perhaps most significantly for this show’s purpose, the fact that Fett is also a clone creates other avenues to explore, particularly as it pertains to the Bad Batch.