At the end of the most recent episode of The Bad Batch, a new bounty hunter arrives, after Omega.
He’s hired by the Kaminoans, who have apparently hired a number of bounty hunters to go after the young girl, continuing to hint at her importance to the cloning efforts and future of Kamino. Earlier this season, we saw Fennec Shand hunting Omega, and while the Bad Batch found out her name, neither they nor we found out who she was working for. But we seemed to get the answer in the most recent episode, “Reunion,” where the Kaminoans talked about hiring bounty hunters to retrieve her. As Crosshair is sent by the Empire to kill the Bad Batch, however, the Kaminoans recognize the urgency and decide to call in more help.
Enter Cad Bane.
As Hunter and Omega arrive back at the shuttle they discover that the clone troopers have already been dealt with, alerting them that someone else is there. Cad Bane then reveals himself, accompanied by Todo 360, and he’s after the girl. He and Hunter have an old-fashioned Western duel, and Bane’s shot hits Hunter square in the chest, leaving him unconscious. Bane then stuns Omega, taking her before the rest of the squad can arrive and before Hunter wakes up.
Cad Bane isn’t a newcomer to the Star Wars galaxy, as he showed up and had a significant role in The Clone Wars, but some fans might be wondering who this mysterious – yet clearly formidable – bounty hunter is.
As a bounty hunter, Bane was working before the Battle of Naboo, as he happened to work a job alongside the shadowy Sith apprentice Darth Maul, but Bane really rose to prominence around the time of the Clone Wars, being regarded as perhaps the best bounty hunter in the galaxy after Jango Fett’s death. He worked a number of high-profile jobs during the War, often coming directly into play in the war between the Jedi and the Sith.
On one occasion, Darth Sidious hired Bane to retrieve a holocron from the vault in the Jedi Temple that contained information about Force sensitive children in the galaxy. He snuck into the Temple and retrieved the holocron from under the Jedi’s noses, and then made his escape. He then captured a Jedi Master, Bolla Ropal, and demanded that the Jedi open the holocron. But Ropal died from Bane’s torture before he opened it. An opportunity presented itself when Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano led an attack against Bane’s forces, and Bane devised a plan to trap the Jedi and force them to open the holocron. He did so with the padawan, Ahsoka, and forced Anakin to open the holocron to save his apprentice’s life. Bane then faked his own death and escaped, disguised as a clone trooper.
The next phase in Bane’s mission was to kidnap Force sensitive children and deliver them to Sidious on Mustafar – but before he could complete this, the Jedi found him. Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Mace Windu all engaged in the operation and wound up foiling Bane’s plot (and Sidious’s plot behind it), but the bounty hunter managed to escape.
His work would bring him into conflict with the Jedi again, however. The Hutts hired him to break Ziro the Hutt out of the Republic prison on Coruscant, and to do this Bane planned to infiltrate the Senate building. He downloaded the schematics of the building from C-3PO and R2-D2 (wiping this from their memory to avoid detection) and then took hostage a group of senators in the Senate building, including Padmé Amidala. With the Senate on lockdown, Anakin Skywalker just so happened to be in the Senate on leave, visiting Padmé, and he tried to stop Bane’s plot. But Bane forced Chancellor Palpatine to free Ziro, and then made his escape. As Bane fled with Ziro, the Jedi gave pursuit – and in the ensuing skirmish, a transport was hit and crashed, killing the parents of Trace and Rafa Martez. The Jedi continued their pursuit of Ziro the Hutt, sending Obi-Wan Kenobi and Quinlan Vos to hunt down Bane. They met up with him and engaged him in a fight, but Bane escaped and the Jedi discovered that Ziro had been murdered.
Kenobi would later find himself working alongside Cad Bane – though unbeknownst to Bane. Hearing rumblings of an kidnapping plot against Chancellor Palpatine, the Jedi took drastic measures. Known only to a select few Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi faked his own death and then went undercover as the bounty hunter that ‘killed’ Kenobi, Rako Hardeen. He infiltrated the Republic prison, appearing as a prisoner, and managed to get himself onto a team that was led by Cad Bane – who was also a prisoner at the time, having been captured by the Republic at some point. The group of bounty hunters, which included Bane and Hardeen, escaped the prison. Bane clearly distrusted Hardeen and tried to ditch him, but to no avail. They came to a tournament of bounty hunters, organized by Count Dooku and Moralo Eval (who had hired Bane in the first place) to choose the team that would carry out the mission on Palpatine. Bane and Hardeen were two of the select few who made it out of the tournament alive, and so they were chosen for the mission, with Bane as the leader.
The plan took place on Naboo, and Bane managed to kidnap Palpatine. But as he made his escape, Hardeen – who was actually Obi-Wan Kenobi – gave pursuit and called the Jedi to help. They apprehended Bane and saved Palpatine, and the Jedi led Bane away, imprisoned.
But he wouldn’t stay imprisoned forever, as he continued to work throughout the Clone War – and even shortly therafter, as we see in The Bad Batch.
That’s what we know about Cad Bane from a canon perspective, but there was an unfinished and unreleased arc of The Clone Wars that involved Bane mentoring Boba Fett that culminated in a duel between them. In that duel, Fett received the dent in his helmet, but Bane was apparently killed. People have since assumed that the story is still canon, but the latest events of The Bad Batch suggest that it’s not. We might still see a confrontation between Bane and Fett, but it seems like they’re going to tell a different story, and I’m all for it!