With The Bad Batch about to premiere, I thought now is a good time to pull this article from the archives and re-post it, highlighting who this clone squadron actually is!
This elite clone unit, Clone Force 99, was originally created by George Lucas for The Clone Wars, as he wanted to explore clones who were different from others. Lucas and Dave Filoni planned to feature the squad in at least a couple different arcs (one on Anaxes and one on Kashyyyk), but the series was cancelled before any of that came to be. The first such arc was released via unfinished storyboards online, but then was finished for the seventh and final season of the show.
In-universe, Clone Force 99 is named in honor of 99, a loyal and kind-hearted clone with severe genetic mutations that made him unfit for fighting. He instead was a janitor at the cloning facilities on Kamino, but gave his life in the defense of the planet when the Separatists launched an attack. So this clone force, which was made up of other clones with genetic mutations, was named in honor of 99.
The unit featured four members – Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Tech – but added Echo as a fifth member after rescuing him and fighting alongside him in the Battle of Anaxes.
Hunter – Hunter was the leader of the group, and though he appeared to be like regular clones, he had such heightened senses that he could feel electromagnetic pulses, making his senses even more accurate than any map the clones could have.
Wrecker – Wrecker possessed incredible strength and size, which allowed him to take on enemies with his bare hands. One of the most impressive displays of his strength came when the gunship the clones were on crashed and left Commander Cody trapped, until Wrecker lifted up the entire gunship and freed Cody.
Crosshair – A quiet and distant clone, Crosshair was an expert marksman. He often served as a sniper for the group, but was also quite capable in close combat through his remarkable accuracy and precision with his rifle.
Tech – Tech wore specialized armor that aided his skills with technology, as he could hack and slice and translate at ease. He used his calculations and abilities to be smarter about fighting rather than rushing into a fight absent-mindedly.
Echo – A later addition to the Bad Batch, Echo was a “reg” who served under General Anakin Skywalker in the 501st. He was later captured by the Techno Union, however, and turned into an algorithm to aid them in their battles. Skywalker, Rex, and the Bad Batch rescued Echo, and he used his cybernetic implants to turn the tide of the Battle of Anaxes, leading to a Republic victory.
The Bad Batch was a part of the Grand Army of the Republic but operated outside of any particular authority structure, as they didn’t report to anyone but were known to work with Commander Cody. They preferred to work alone (as opposed to working with “regs”), but a prominent exception was at the Battle of Anaxes, as shown in the seventh season of The Clone Wars.
We’ll see the Bad Batch return, this time trying to figure out how to fit in despite a changing galaxy – and their entire purpose as clones called into question. It seems like the squad will take some personal hits early on that will spur on the plot of the show, but they’ll also add a member in Omega, a young girl who comes under their protection and joins them on their travels.
Editor’s Note: The bulk of this article appeared in a post last summer in connection with the announcement of The Bad Batch series. It has been edited and re-posted here.