For quite a while now, Star Wars fans have noted that we haven’t seen any canon story about Kamino after the prequel era. Nothing. And, well, if you’re familiar with Star Wars storytelling, you know how odd that is.
The planet featured significantly in Attack of the Clones and The Clone Wars, and it has been a very popular and fan-favorite planet in the years since it was released, for example appearing in plenty of Star Wars video games. But no canon story has touched the planet after the fall of the Republic… until now.
The first season of The Bad Batch has featured Kamino quite significantly as well, and it has now given us the answer as to why we don’t see it after the prequel era. And that’s because, as seen in the most recent episode of the show, the first part of the two-part season finale, the Empire destroyed Tipoca City not too long after the fall of the Republic.
The episode, “Return to Kamino,” saw the members of the Bad Batch return to Kamino to try to rescue one of their own, Hunter, who was captured. But some of the season storylines also began to converge and culminate. The season has shown us glimpses at Project War Mantle, which was under the supervision of Admiral Rampart and involved the transition from clone troopers to enlisted recruits. Pretty much immediately following the fall of the Republic, the Empire began working toward this end, phasing out clone troopers. They sent elite clones, like Clone Commandos, to train these new enlisted recruits. And as this was happening, the Empire also began moving the cloning operations off of Kamino.
They pulled out all the remaining troopers, took the chief Kaminoan scientist Nala Se captive, and secured Kaminoan cloning equipment, taking all of this away from the facilities on Kamino and placing it all in the hands of the Empire. This ensured that they could continue whatever cloning operations they needed without Kamino. Kaminoan Prime Minister Lama Su knew this would happen, reading between the lines, and knew that the Empire would not just move on and let the Kaminoans take on other cloning contracts, as had been typical of other clients in the past. The Empire seemingly executed Lama Su, and by the time of the most recent episode, everything the Empire needed was out of the city.
In light of all that, Rampart contacted Grand Moff Tarkin to inform him, who subsequently told Rampart, “you may fire when ready.” Rampart ordered his cruiser and the others with him to move into position, lowering into the atmosphere and targeting Tipoca City. The Imperial ships rained down fire on the capital city, destroying it.
So there you have it. That’s why Kamino hasn’t been seen after this era, because Tipoca City – the only place we think of when we think of the planet – was destroyed. Knowing Star Wars, I’d guess this isn’t the last we’ll see of the planet, but it is nonetheless a monumental and tragic reveal that tells us what happened to the iconic location in the wake of the prequel trilogy.
Just like the clone troopers they made and the Republic they made them for, Kamino wound up being a casualty of the ruthless rise of the Empire.