The most recent episode of The Bad Batch, “Cornered,” introduced viewers to a very formidable and dangerous foe for the heroes, a bounty hunter hired to track down Omega who is able to hold her own in a fight against both Hunter and Wrecker.
She’s not directly mentioned by name in the episode (until the credits, that is), but Star Wars fans should recognize her: it’s Fennec Shand, making her animation debut.
Fennec was first introduced in The Mandalorian, and we get some of her history filled in there.
By the time of The Bad Batch (which takes place in 19 BBY), Fennec Shand is already a bounty hunter, but in the years following she developed a reputation as an elite mercenary, who according to Din Djarin “made her name killing for all the top crime syndicates, including the Hutts.” This presumably made her one of the most dangerous and deadly assassins in the galaxy during the era of the Empire.
Once the New Republic rose in place of the overthrown Empire (in 4 ABY), they began trying to crack down on criminal syndicates who had been running rampant in the galaxy. Though the government would get bogged down in politics and wouldn’t completely succeed at this, they nonetheless managed to put all of Shand’s top employers in lockdown, meaning that she had no one left to work for. So, by around 9 ABY, Shand was on the run, with bounty hunters trying to track her down.
That included a young rookie bounty hunter named Toro Calican, who tracked her all the way to Tatooine, beyond the Dune Sea, where she had already killed another person hunting her. Calican enlisted the help of Din Djarin, who was reluctant to help given Shand’s reputation, but who was desperate for credits. The two of them tracked her down and, after quite a fight, captured her. Djarin left to find transportation back to town while Calican kept watch, but Shand convinced him to instead go after the bounty on Djarin and the Child. Calican listened, though not as Shand hoped; Calican shot her in the stomach, leaving her for dead in the Tatooine desert.
“But fate sometimes steps in to rescue the wretched.” As Shand lay dying, Boba Fett approached and saved her. Feeling indebted to Fett, Shand joined him in his effort to retrieve his armor – which led her back to Djarin, who was in possession of Fett’s armor (getting it from Cobb Vanth). Fett and Shand tracked Djarin and the Child to Tython, but their conversation was interrupted by an Imperial attack. Together the three bounty hunters fought against the Imperial ranks, but the Child was taken by Imperial Dark Troopers.
Since Fett got his armor back, he and Shand pledged Djarin that nothing would harm the Child, so together they launched a rescue effort. This first took them to Morak, where Djarin learned the location of Moff Gideon’s cruiser. As Djarin and Mayfeld, an old convict, escaped the Imperial facility, Shand and Cara Dune (who had agreed to join them once she learned the Child was in danger) served as snipers providing cover. Next, the group enlisted the help of Mandalorians Bo-Katan Kryze and Koska Reeves. A strike team of Djarin, Kryze, Reeves, Shand, and Dune infiltrated Gideon’s cruiser, rescuing the Child, defeating stormtroopers, and capturing Gideon. But they were then rescued themselves by the Jedi Luke Skywalker, who showed up to turn the tide of the battle and take the Child.
Some time after that, Shand returned to Tatooine with Boba Fett. She stormed Jabba’s Palace, paving the way for Fett, who killed Bib Fortuna and ascended to the throne, with Shand sitting at his right hand. She will thus return in The Book of Boba Fett, starring in the newest live-action show, which will release this December.