The Bad Batch, the latest show from Lucasfilm Animation, contained a major cameo from another Star Wars animated show – and no, I’m not talking about The Clone Wars.
It was very obvious how this show – even right from the opening logo – was going to be picking up where The Clone Wars left off while also establishing its own feel. In fact, during the opening scene we are thrust right back into the War, seeing Jedi Master Depa Billaba and her clone forces fighting against the Separatists on Kaller during the final moments of the Clone War.
Then her apprentice shows up, named Caleb Dume. He brings in the Bad Batch as reinforcements, only to watch his master killed by her clones during Order 66. Devastated, Dume runs off into the forest, understandably distrusting the Bad Batch, and winds up escaping. He went into hiding, giving up his Jedi ways for a while, and began going by a different name: Kanan Jarrus.
That’s right, the same Kanan Jarrus who is one of the main characters of Star Wars Rebels. Serving as the father figure to the Ghost crew and as the Jedi teacher for Ezra Bridger, Kanan became a fan-favorite through Rebels, proving himself to be a truly great Jedi. In fact, in The Rise of Skywalker, as Rey hears the voices of various Jedi, she hears the voice of Kanan as well, speaking to her through the Force, giving her strength to stand and fight against Palpatine.
He’s voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr. in both Rebels and The Rise of Skywalker, and Prinze came back to voice the character for this cameo appearance in The Bad Batch. The story of Depa Billaba’s death in Order 66 was previously told in the Kanan comic, and while this show did change some of the details and circumstances of that, the main emphasis of him watching his master gunned down by clones while she tells him to flee was the same.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, head writer Jennifer Corbett and supervising director Brad Rau, who both serve as executive producers on the show as well, explained how Caleb Dume’s appearance came to be. They explained that they always wanted to start the show with Order 66, and they quickly came to want the crew – and particularly Hunter – to encounter a young Jedi, setting up him meeting Omega before long. He couldn’t help Caleb, but he could help Omega. And then they mentioned that it was executive producer and series creator Dave Filoni who suggested using Caleb Dume, and they were excited to do it.
In some strange yet poetic way, then, the very first scene of The Bad Batch includes an ending to The Clone Wars and a beginning to one of the heroes of Rebels. It looks back on The Clone Wars, and ahead to Rebels. It’s a way to tie these three shows together, which is pretty neat.
So yes, there you have it. Caleb Dume later goes by the name of Kanan Jarrus, becoming one of the great Jedi to ever live, as told in the series Star Wars Rebels.