×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Small Details You Missed In Star Wars: The Bad Batch

In the "Star Wars" universe, everything is connected. Ever since 2014, when Disney reset the franchise's continuity, the company line has been that everything counts: movies, TV shows, comic books, video games. Even theme parks. No piece of "Star Wars" media stands alone. It's all part of one giant story, detailing the adventures that take place in a galaxy far, far away.

That includes the "Star Wars" cartoons, which have become famous for pushing the franchise in new directions while telling stories that appeal to fans of all ages, not just kids. The latest animated series, "Star Wars: The Bad Batch," is no exception. Explicitly building on the foundation laid by "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels," "The Bad Batch" chronicles the transformation of the Republic into the Empire by focusing on the experience of four disillusioned soldiers (and one little girl) as they navigate this quickly changing galaxy.

For the most part, "The Bad Batch" stands alone. If you've seen the original three "Star Wars" movies, you should be set (although some experience with the controversial prequel trilogy won't hurt). However, "The Bad Batch" is a love letter to "Star Wars" continuity, and the more you know about the series, the more you'll get out of it — after all, the show is packed with small details designed to get hardcore fans in a tizzy. Here are a few examples.

Our adventure begins with a very familiar voice

Obviously, "The Bad Batch" owes a huge debt to "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," the Lucasfilm animated series that ran from 2008 to 2014, and which returned in 2020 for a brief, 12-episode finale. Not only were Hunter, Tech, Echo, and the rest introduced in the first arc of "The Clone Wars" revival run, but "The Bad Batch" picks up right where the previous show left off, with the introduction of Order 66 and the Clone Troopers' execution of the Jedi.

The "Bad Batch" pilot pays tribute to its "Clone Wars" legacy right off the bat, too. First, the "Clone Wars" logo appears onscreen, only to be burned away and replaced by "The Bad Batch" insignia. The first episode of "The Bad Batch" then launches into a Saturday morning serial-inspired recap, just like the ones that kick off every episode of "The Clone Wars" — a touch that later episodes of "The Bad Batch" don't seem to include.

As on "The Clone Wars," the opening voiceover is performed by actor Tom Kane, who also played Yoda on the older series. However, in late 2020, Kane suffered a stroke, and may have to retire from voice acting. If so, "The Bad Batch" opening isn't just a nice way to bridge the gap between the two shows. It's also a wonderful tribute to one of the "Star Wars" animated series' signature voices, and solidifies Kane's legacy in a galaxy far, far away.

The Bad Batch's real name means more than you think

Officially, the Bad Batch isn't actually called the Bad Batch. In the Republic — and, later, Imperial — records, the group of misfit clones is actually known as Clone Force 99. As "Clone Wars" viewers know, that's a number loaded with significance.

In the Season 3 "Clone Wars" episode "Clone Cadets," which is, chronologically speaking, the first time that we meet Bad Batch member Echo, we're introduced to a clone known as 99. Compared to the other clones, he's a little different. See, something went wrong during 99's creation, and he was plagued by a number of genetic defects that rendered him unfit for duty. He basically became a glorified janitor on Kamino, home of the Republic's cloning facilities. 99's heart, however, worked just fine: Despite staying away from the front lines, 99 considered all clones, particularly those still in training, as his brothers, and ultimately gave up his life to keep them safe.

"Clone Cadets" is actually the first time in "Star Wars" canon that we hear someone use the phrase "bad batch," which is said in reference to Echo and his original team. It also makes sense that the Republic squad made up of divergent clones would name themselves after the most beloved of their number. However, the name Clone Force 99 also has more sinister connotations: If you turn 99 upside down, you get 66, the name of the top secret order that resulted in the Jedi's extinction at the clones' hands.

You've seen that Padawan before

"The Bad Batch" is about trouble faced by everyday soldiers, not the high and mighty battles fought by the Jedi and the Sith, but you'll still see a few lightsabers in the latest "Star Wars" cartoon. The series pilot, for example, gives us an up close and personal look at how Clone Force 99 reacted to Palpatine's Order 66 by detailing the execution of Jedi Master Depa Billaba and the escape of her Padwan, Caleb Dume.

Of course, if you're all caught up on your "Star Wars" animated series, you know Caleb by a different name: Kanan Jarrus, which is the identity he uses in "Star Wars Rebels," where he leads the titular group of freedom fighters. As the Galactic Civil War raged, Jarrus would go on to raise a Padawan of his own, Ezra Bridger, and helped strike many blows against the Empire alongside the crew of the Ghost, a ship piloted by his girlfriend (and, eventually, the mother of his child), Hera Syndulla.

Interestingly, this is actually the second time we've seen Kanan's brush with Order 66. The 2015 Marvel comic miniseries "Kanan: The Last Padawan," written by "Rogue One" scribe Gary Whitta and illustrated by Pepe Larraz, shows us a slightly different version of these events. In the comic, Bilaba tells Kanan that she'll be right behind him as he flees — "It is the first time my master has ever lied to me," Caleb observes — and the Bad Batch itself isn't seen.

Still, it seems like the "Bad Batch" creative team had the comic in mind while designing the scene. The clones hunting Caleb in "The Last Padawan" have red markings that recall the paint on the Bad Batch's armor, while one of the Republic soldiers hunting Caleb utters "Good soldiers follow orders," a line repeated by Crosshair in the "Bad Batch" pilot.

The sinister Easter egg lurking in the Bad Batch's quarters

Once the Bad Batch return to Kamino, but before Crosshair betrays them and they're forced to go on the run, the defective clones spend a little bit of time unwinding in their quarters. There's no doubt that the clones have made the room their own. On Tech's bunk, for example, you can see schematics for some kind of device etched on the wall. Hunter's is decorated with the Bad Batch's skull symbol, while printed out targets featuring battle droids hang by Crosshair's, showing off his prowess as a marksman.

The most curious piece of decorating, however, is right by the front door. As the Bad Batch enters the room, Wrecker assumes the job of updating the team's successful mission count, which is scratched into the wall. A quick camera pan reveals that the Bad Batch has already finished 55 missions, while Wrecker says he's adding 11 more. What does that add up to? Why, 66, of course — which, as we already know, is a very ominous number in "Star Wars" canon.

A tribute to the bounty hunter who started it all

If there's any one clone who's more famous than all the others, it has to be Boba Fett, who was first introduced in "The Empire Strikes Back." Like the rest of the clone army, Boba was cloned from a bounty hunter named Jango Fett, and inherited Jango's face, his voice, and many of his abilities. Unlike the other clones, however, Boba didn't come with any extra changes, like the clone soldiers' accelerated growth cycle, their behavioral modifications, or their genetic enhancements. After Obi-Wan Kenobi killed Jango on Geonosis, Boba took Jango's ship and his armor went into business for himself, and it wasn't long before he became a feared bounty hunter in his own right.

Boba doesn't appear in "The Bad Batch" — or, at least, he hasn't yet — but the new cartoon pays tribute to both Boba and his clone-daddy in a very subtle way. When the Bad Batch heads to Kamino's training room for their evaluation — revisiting a location that played a big role in Echo's origin story, the "Clone Wars" episode "Clone Cadets," by the way — from certain angles the floating training droids look a lot like Jango and Boba's ship, the Slave I. It's not a one-to-one match, but given Clone Force 99's history, the resemblance probably isn't an accident, either.

The critter that connects all of the cartoons

Baby Yoda, BB-8, Babu Frik, the Porgs, the Ewoks, D-O, the Jawas, and so many more: The "Star Wars" universe isn't hurting for unbelievably cute creatures. That goes for the cartoons, too. The Loth-Cat, an adorable little predator native to the planet Lothal, was introduced in the fifth episode of "Star Wars Rebels," titled "Rise of the Old Masters," and has been the animated series' go-to mascot ever since (a few Loth-Cats have also popped up in "The Mandalorian," which is fitting, since "Clone Wars," "Rebels," and "Bad Batch" co-creator Dave Filoni also produces that series).

While the Bad Batch doesn't visit Lothal in the pilot, it's not too surprising that a Loth-Cat makes an appearance anyway. While the clones are getting ready to make their big escape, Omega finds a stuffed animal on the ground. It turns out that the plushie belongs to Wrecker, showing us that the big brute has a softer side. It's also pretty clearly a Loth-Cat, albeit one decked out in the Bad Batch's signature red and black. If the giant ears, round eyes, and scowling mouth don't convince you, the stuffed animal's name, "Lola," should seal the deal.

Why you may think you've seen Omega before

The Bad Batch aren't the only divergent clones on Kamino. "The Bad Batch" pilot also introduces us to Omega, a young girl who is much more than she seems. For one, she's the first female clone we've seen in the "Star Wars" canon. For another, she's the protege of Nala Se, Kamino's chief medical officer — a strange position for a clone. There's clearly something special about her, and while "The Bad Batch" hasn't clued us in to what it is just yet, chances are it's something big.

"The Bad Batch" is the first time we've met Omega, but if you're a longtime "Star Wars" fan, she might look kind of familiar. Squint, and Omega is almost a dead ringer for Cindel Towani, one of the human leads in the Ewoks movies. The wavy blond hair. The stylish headband. The impish grin. In terms of continuity, there's no obvious link between the two characters, but it's hard to imagine the "Bad Batch" crew didn't have Cindel in mind when designing Omega.

In those made-for-TV Ewoks films, Cindel is the youngest daughter of a family of settlers who crash-land on the planet Endor and fall afoul of hungry beasts, marauding warlords, and Force-wielding witches. Thankfully, the Ewoks — particularly Cindel's friend, Wicket — are always there to lend a hand. From what we've seen so far, Omega seems to be fairly different from Cindel, but there aren't many kids who get the spotlight in "Star Wars," and it's not a stretch to say that they're cut from the same cloth.

Where you've seen Saleucami before

In many ways, the "Star Wars" universe is actually pretty small. While there's an entire galaxy's worth of star systems out there, "Star Wars" stories tend to revisit the same worlds over and over. The Saleucami system, the setting for the second episode of "The Bad Batch," is no exception.

Diehard "Star Wars" fans probably knew that the Bad Batch was headed to Saleucamia before the episode, titled "Cut and Run," aired. At the end of the "Bad Batch" pilot, Hunter tells Tech to plot a course for J-19. That's the designation for the Suolriep sector, which contains Saleucami, as revealed in the "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" episode "Grievous Intrigue." In that episode, the commander of the Separatists' droid army, General Grievous, captures Jedi Master Eeth Koth and takes him to Saleucami, forcing Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywaker, and Master Adi Gallia to mount a rescue mission.

The Jedi save Koth, but Grievous crash-lands on Saleucami, setting up the events of the next episode, "The Deserter," in which we meet Cut and Suu for the first time. It's not the last time we'll see Saleucami in the "Star Wars" timeline, either. In "Revenge of the Sith," Saleucami is where the Jedi Stass Allie is killed while on her speeder bike following the issuing of Order 66.

Cut and Suu's farm has changed with the times

As "Clone Wars" viewers know, Cut, Suu, and their family aren't new characters. The modest farmers first appeared in the "Clone Wars" episode "The Deserter," in which Captain Rex, injured in an attack, shelters with the clone deserter and his wife. In exchange for their hospitality, Rex promises not to rat Cut out, and leaves them to live their lives once he's healthy.

Clearly, that happened a while ago, because when "The Bad Batch" reunites viewers with the Lawquane farm, things look very different. Cut now has a gray streak in his hair, indicating how much he's aged. His children, Shaeeah and Jek, have grown as well — their lekku, or head-tails, are longer, and their skin tones have become much more vibrant. The farm itself is now surrounded by a wire fence and other security measures, including battle droid sentries likely cobbled together from pieces of those destroyed during "The Deserter," probably as a response to the attacks that happened during "The Clone Wars."

"Cut and Run" also functions as a minor retcon to Cut and Suu's story. In Chuck Wendig's novel "Aftermath," which details the events that follow the Emperor's death in "Return of the Jedi," a squabbling family on Saleucami references "Old Man Cut," who's presumably still living on the planet. However, we know now that Cut and his family left Saleucami shortly after the Clone Wars ended. It's possible that Cut moved back to Saleucami at a later date, but it's much more likely that the creators of "The Bad Batch" simply forgot about this minor piece of "Star Wars" canon when plotting the episode.

Signs of a galaxy in transition

Say what you will about the Empire, but if nothing else, it's very efficient. Presumably, "Cut and Run" takes place right after Palpatine issued Order 66 and transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire — Jedi bodies were still being hauled out of Kamino when the Bad Batch returned, and they fled almost immediately afterwards — but by the time the clones get to Saleucami, the Imperial machine is already up and running.

You can see this best when Cut and Hunter head into town to get the lay of the land. Instead of the eight-pointed Emblem of the Galactic Republic, all government buildings now sport the six-spoked Imperial crest. The language has been updated, too. The kiosk where the clone troopers issue chain codes and shuttle tickets has been re-named the "Imperial Information Station" (if you can't read the text, that's probably because it's written in Aurebesh, the "Star Wars" universe's fictional alphabet).

The Imperial chain codes that cause Cut, Suu, and the Bad Batch so much trouble are pretty new additions to "Star Wars" canon, too. They were first mentioned in the pilot episode of "The Mandalorian," and have only actually popped up onscreen once: In episode 14 of "The Mandalorian," Boba Fett shares his chain code with Din Djarin in order to prove ownership of his beskar armor.

Captain Rex is on his way

The Bad Batch aren't the only clones who escaped Order 66. In the final episodes of "The Clone Wars," Ahsoka Tano uses the Force to disable Clone Captain Rex's inhibitor chip, freeing him from Emperor Palpatine's mind control. In turn, Rex helps Ahsoka escape the clone army and fake her death, paving the way for her return in "Star Wars Rebels" and "The Mandalorian."

That's why, when Rex gets name-dropped in "Cut and Run," it's a big deal. Rex is a major figure in "Star Wars" lore: Not only was he Anakin Skywalker's second-in-command during the Clone Wars, but he ended up fighting for the Rebellion thanks to the heroes of "Star Wars Rebels." He even fought on the forest moon of Endor, helping the Rebels destroy the second Death Star and bringing the Empire to its knees.

However, we know absolutely nothing about what Rex was up to between "The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels," leaving a huge gap in his history — one that "The Bad Batch" looks like it's going to fill. Not only has Rex been sighted in trailers for "The Bad Batch," but Cut and Suu mention that the Bad Batch are only a day or so behind him. Expect Rex to show up sooner rather than later.

Vice Admiral Rampart

Although Clone Force 99 aren't pitted against the Empire in "The Bad Batch" Episode 3, the show still weaves in an Imperial storyline as Crosshair's new assignment of leading a squad of conscripted soldiers is introduced. But most interestingly of all, spearheading the initiative is Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal), who's properly introduced for the first time in this episode. However, from a conversation he has with Grand Moff Tarkin (Stephen Stanton), it quickly becomes apparent that this isn't the first time audiences have seen Rampart.

When Rampart first arrives on Kamino, Tarkin praises him for the successful rollout of the Chain Codes, which give each Imperial citizen a unique number so that the Empire can register and track every single person under their rule. Cast your minds back to "The Bad Batch" Episode 2 on Saleucami, when Hunter and Cut Lawquane are trying to figure out how to get the Lawquane family off-planet. In the background, there's a huge hologram of Vice Admiral Rampart waxing lyrical about how great Chain Codes are and how they benefit Imperial citizens.

Clearly, the series is cleverly seeding storylines and characters to build upon with each new episode.

Wrecker's stuffed toy

As each episode goes by, Omega is slowly becoming a fully fledged member of Clone Force 99 — and that's made even clearer with the ending of Episode 3. It's fair to say that the ship the team now calls home isn't exactly child-friendly, but after a brief skirmish involving an Ordo Moon Dragon, the Bad Batch realizes they need to make Omega feel safe. In a truly touching moment, Wrecker uses a bunch of spare materials to make a bedroom for Omega.

What makes his efforts all the more heartfelt is that Wrecker gives Omega his Lula stuffed toy, which is designed to look like a Tooka Cat. Since Omega had gone out of her way to find Lula for Wrecker when the Empire took over Kamino, it's a nice gesture from Wrecker to make the newest member of Clone Force 99 feel safe and welcome — even when they're on the run.