Star Wars: The Bad Batch
|Star Wars: The Bad Batch|
|Created by||Dave Filoni|
|Based on||Star Wars|
by George Lucas
|Directed by||Brad Rau (supervising)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Running time||23–75 minutes|
|Distributor||Disney Platform Distribution|
|Original release||May 4, 2021 –|
|Preceded by||Star Wars: The Clone Wars|
Star Wars: The Bad Batch is an American animated series created by Dave Filoni for the streaming service Disney+. It is part of the Star Wars franchise, acting as both a sequel to, and spin-off from, the series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The Bad Batch is produced by Lucasfilm Animation, with Jennifer Corbett as head writer and Brad Rau as supervising director.
Dee Bradley Baker stars as the Bad Batch, a squad of elite clone troopers with genetic mutations. He also voices other clones in the series, reprising his role from The Clone Wars. Michelle Ang stars as Omega, a female clone who joins the squad. The series was officially ordered by Disney+ in July 2020 as a spin-off from The Clone Wars, with Filoni, Corbett, and Rau attached.
The first season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiered on May 4, 2021, and ran for 16 episodes until August 13. It received positive reviews from critics. A second season is set to premiere in 2022.
Clone Force 99, also known as the Bad Batch—a group of elite clone troopers with genetic mutations that were first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars—take on daring mercenary missions in the aftermath of the Clone Wars.
Cast and characters
- Dee Bradley Baker as the Bad Batch:
A squad of elite clone troopers also known as Clone Force 99, consisting of Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair, and Echo. Star Wars creator George Lucas wanted the Bad Batch to be more unique than other clones, with each having special abilities, but he did not want them to be superheroes. Baker also voices the other clones in the series, including Cut Lawquane and Captains Rex, Howzer, and Gregor.
- Michelle Ang as Omega:
A young female clone working as a medical assistant on Kamino. She is an unmodified replication of Jango Fett, but is genetically deviant from standard clone templates and therefore feels a kind of kinship with the Bad Batch.
- Ben Diskin as AZI-3: A medical droid on Kamino.
- Bob Bergen as Lama Su: The prime minister of Kamino.
- Gwendoline Yeo as Nala Se: The Kaminoan scientist in charge of the cloning process.
- Noshir Dalal as Vice Admiral Rampart: An Imperial officer responsible for the new chain code registration system and Imperial army recruitments.
- Dahéli Hall as ES-04: An Imperial Elite Squad Trooper.
- Rhea Perlman as Cid: A Trandoshan and former Jedi informant who provides mercenary work to the Bad Batch.
- Liam O'Brien as Bolo: An Ithorian regular at Cid's parlor.
- Sam Riegel as Ketch: A Weequay regular at Cid's parlor.
- Tina Huang as ES-02: An Imperial Elite Squad Trooper.
- Ness Bautista as ES-03: An Imperial Elite Squad Trooper.
- Archie Panjabi as Depa Billaba: A Jedi Master to Caleb Dume.[a]
- Matthew Wood as battle droids and Bib Fortuna.
- Freddie Prinze Jr. as Caleb Dume: The padawan of Depa Billaba, who escapes Order 66 on Kaller.
- Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine / Darth Sidious: The Emperor of the Galactic Empire, as well as the Dark Lord of the Sith.
- Tom Kane as the narrator
- Andrew Kishino as Saw Gerrera: A freedom fighter with ties to the Rebel Alliance.
- Stephen Stanton as Admiral Tarkin: A high-ranking Imperial officer.
- Nika Futterman as Shaeeah Lawquane: The daughter of Cut Lawquane and his wife, Suu.
- Kath Soucie as Jek Lawquane: The son of Cut Lawquane and his wife, Suu.
- Cara Pifko as Suu Lawquane: The wife of Cut Lawquane.
- Emilio Garcia-Sanchez as ES-01: An Imperial Elite Squad Trooper.
- Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand: An elite mercenary and sniper hired to retrieve Omega from the Bad Batch.
- Brigitte Kali as Trace Martez: An ex-smuggler turned freedom fighter and Rafa's younger sister.
- Elizabeth Rodriguez as Rafa Martez: An ex-smuggler turned freedom fighter and Trace's older sister.
- Corey Burton as Cad Bane: An infamous bounty hunter hired to retrieve Omega. Burton also voices Gobi Glie, Hera's uncle and Cham Syndulla's subordinate.
- Seth Green as Todo 360: A service droid owned by Bane.
- Rena Owen as Taun We: Lama Su's aide.
- Alexander Siddig as Avi Singh: A senator from the former Separatist planet of Raxus Secundus.
- Sian Clifford as GS-8: Avi Singh's protocol droid.
- Vanessa Marshall as Hera Syndulla: Cham Syndulla's daughter, an aspiring pilot and freedom fighter. Marshall, who also voiced an older version of the character in Star Wars Rebels, used a French accent for the younger Hera to match the native Rylothian Twi'lek accents heard from other characters.
- Robin Atkin Downes as Cham Syndulla: A famed Twi'lek freedom fighter.
- Ferelith Young as Eleni Syndulla: Cham Syndulla's wife and Hera's mother.
- Phil LaMarr as Orn Free Taa: The corrupt Imperial representative of Ryloth.
- Chopper as "Himself": Hera's irritable astromech droid.
- Tom Taylorson as Roland Durand: A Devaronian crime boss.
|No.||Title ||Directed by||Written by||Original release date |
|1||"Aftermath"||Steward Lee, Saul Ruiz, and Nathaniel Villanueva||Jennifer Corbett and Dave Filoni||May 4, 2021|
|Before the end of the Clone Wars, while the Bad Batch—defective clones Hunter, Tech, Crosshair, and Wrecker plus cyborg clone Echo—are assisting Jedi Master Depa Billaba and her Padawan Caleb Dume on Kaller, Order 66 is issued and Billaba is killed by her clones. The Bad Batch receives the order too, but only Crosshair feels compelled to obey it, and Hunter lets Dume escape. Returning to Kamino, the Bad Batch learns that the war is over, that an Empire has replaced the Republic, and they meet a young girl, Omega, who is another defective clone. Admiral Tarkin arrives to evaluate the clones' viability and sends the Bad Batch to eliminate a group of insurgents on Onderon. When they discover that these "insurgents" are fugitives under Saw Gerrera who refuse to submit to the new Empire, Hunter has his men abandon the mission and return for Omega. They are arrested for treason, and Tarkin has Crosshair's inhibitor chip enhanced, turning him against his squadmates and forcing the Bad Batch and Omega to flee without him.|
|2||"Cut and Run"||Steward Lee||Gursimran Sandhu||May 7, 2021|
|The Bad Batch and Omega seek refuge on Saleucami with clone deserter Cut Lawquane, who tells them about the inhibitor chips which programmed the regular clones and Crosshair to be loyal to the Empire after Order 66. With increased military presence from the Empire, Cut plans to escape with his family, but they discover that newly introduced chain codes are needed to book public transport. Knowing Cut would be arrested if he tried to get one, Tech and Echo steal some chain codes, and Omega helps deliver them to Cut and his family in time for them to board the transport. Hunter attempts to send Omega with Cut as he thinks she needs a family, but she decides to stay with the Bad Batch.|
|3||"Replacements"||Nathaniel Villanueva||Matt Michnovetz||May 14, 2021|
|The Bad Batch and Omega are stranded on a moon after their ship was damaged on Saleucami, and an Ordo Moon Dragon steals the part they need to repair it. Hunter and Omega set out to retrieve it, but Hunter is incapacitated. Omega continues alone and tracks the Dragon, retrieving the part without a fight. On Kamino, Tarkin and Admiral Rampart put Crosshair in command of a new unit of conscripted soldiers that are sent to Onderon to wipe out Gerrera's camp. Gerrera is already gone, and Crosshair kills one disloyal recruit, but the rest comply and are otherwise successful. Tarkin sees potential for conscripted soldiers, concerning Kaminoan Prime Minister Lama Su.|
|4||"Cornered"||Saul Ruiz||Christian Taylor||May 21, 2021|
|On their way to a proposed hiding-place on Idaflor, the Bad Batch is forced to stop on the nearest planet, Pantora, so they can gather supplies and Tech can modify their ship's signature since it now appears on the Empire's wanted list. A landing bay attendant on Pantora identifies the Bad Batch and informs Fennec Shand, a mercenary who has been hired to retrieve Omega. Hunter, Echo, and Omega search for supplies while Tech and Wrecker work on the ship. Omega is approached by Shand, which leads to Hunter chasing Shand throughout the city. Hunter and Omega lose Shand, and after the modifications are completed the Bad Batch departs from Pantora.|
|5||"Rampage"||Steward Lee||Tamara Becher-Wilkinson||May 28, 2021|
|Hoping to discover who hired Shand, the Bad Batch goes to Ord Mantell where Echo knows of a Jedi informant named Cid. She offers to find out about Shand in exchange for their help: slavers have kidnapped a child named Muchi, and Cid will receive a reward from Jabba the Hutt if the Bad Batch helps her rescue the child. The Bad Batch finds and fights off the slavers, rescuing Muchi, who is a young rancor. Taking her to Cid, Muchi is then given to Jabba's right-hand man Bib Fortuna in exchange for the reward. Cid gives some of the reward to Hunter but is unable to learn who hired Shand. She offers to give the Bad Batch more mercenary work in the future.|
|6||"Decommissioned"||Nathaniel Villanueva||Amanda Rose Muñoz||June 4, 2021|
|Cid hires the Bad Batch to retrieve a Separatist tactical droid for its battle intel before it is destroyed at a Corellian decommissioning site. They encounter police droids guarding the facility, as well as Trace and Rafa Martez who are also after the droid. Wrecker accidentally hits his head and his inhibitor chip begins to activate. Tech and the sisters program the tactical droid to turn on the police droids, allowing them to escape, but the tactical droid is destroyed in the process. The sisters explain that they were retrieving it for a client who is fighting the Empire. Hunter gives them a copy of the droid's data that Tech made during the fight, and the sisters later tell their client how to find the Bad Batch.|
|7||"Battle Scars"||Saul Ruiz||Jennifer Corbett||June 11, 2021|
|After they fail to return with the tactical droid's data, Cid tells the Bad Batch that they will need to do a big job to pay off their debt to her. They are interrupted by Trace and Rafa's mystery client, their old friend Captain Rex, who is alarmed to learn that the Bad Batch have yet to remove their inhibitor chips as he has. They go to Bracca, a starship graveyard planet controlled by the Scrapper Guild, and sneak onto an old Jedi cruiser to use its medical bay. Wrecker's agitation activates his chip and he attacks his teammates, but he is subdued and the chip removed. Rex takes his leave once the extractions are completed; as they say goodbye, Hunter is seen by members of the Scrapper Guild.|
|8||"Reunion"||Steward Lee||Christian Taylor||June 18, 2021|
|The Scrapper Guild informs the Empire of the Bad Batch's location, and Crosshair is sent to kill them. Concerned that Omega will not be returned safely, Lama Su hires a second bounty hunter to retrieve the girl. Crosshair cuts the Bad Batch off from their ship, so they attempt to escape through the cruiser's ion engine. Crosshair pins them inside and has the engine turned on, but they use explosives salvaged from the cruiser's armory to escape, and Crosshair is injured by the engine's ignition. Hunter and Omega are confronted by bounty hunter Cad Bane, who shoots Hunter in the chest and kidnaps Omega. The rest of the group catch up, carry the injured Hunter onto their ship, and escape.|
|9||"Bounty Lost"||Brad Rau and Nathaniel Villanueva||Matt Michnovetz||June 25, 2021|
|While chasing after Bane, the Bad Batch learns from Tech that Omega is an unmodified replication of Jango Fett, making her the only available source for fresh cloning material. En route to an old Kaminoan cloning facility on Bora Vio for her delivery, Omega tricks Bane's droid aide Todo into releasing her and is able to signal the Bad Batch. Lama Su sends Taun We to retrieve Omega and orders Nala Se to eliminate the girl after extracting genetic samples from her. Concerned for Omega's safety, Nala Se sends Fennec Shand to rescue Omega. Shand kills Taun We and duels Bane, allowing Omega to escape and be retrieved by the Bad Batch.|
|10||"Common Ground"||Saul Ruiz||Gursimran Sandhu||July 2, 2021|
|On Raxus, which was the seat of the Separatist government during the Clone Wars, the Empire institutes new curfew laws with the support of local senator Avi Singh. While addressing the public, Singh speaks out against the Empire instead and is arrested. His protocol droid GS-8 hires Cid to help rescue Singh, and she sends the Bad Batch who are reluctant to help after fighting against the Separatists in the Clone Wars. Omega is left behind due to the multiple bounty hunters that are targeting her, and she wins Cid enough money playing dejarik to pay off the Bad Batch's debt. With the help of GS-8, the Bad Batch rescue Singh and take him to Cid for payment.|
|11||"Devil's Deal"||Steward Lee||Tamara Becher-Wilkinson||July 9, 2021|
|When Senator Orn Free Taa announces a new Imperial refinery on Ryloth and encourages Twi'lek freedom fighters to disarm, resistance leader Cham Syndulla publicly supports the Empire. His lieutenant Gobi Glie takes Cham's daughter Hera on a secret mission to retrieve new weapons that are delivered by the Bad Batch, during which Hera befriends Omega. Crosshair tracks them, and the Empire arrests Glie and Hera for treason. Cham attacks the Imperial convoy to rescue them with his wife Eleni and other freedom fighters, but Crosshair shoots Orn Free Taa, which enables Rampart to frame Cham for Taa's attempted assassination. Cham, Eleni, and Glie are arrested, while Hera escapes.|
|12||"Rescue on Ryloth"||Nathaniel Villanueva||Jennifer Corbett||July 16, 2021|
|Hera contacts Omega and asks the Bad Batch to help rescue her parents. Hunter does not think such a mission would be worth the risk, but Omega convinces him to intervene. Hera, Omega, Tech, and Wrecker attack the new Imperial refinery on Ryloth as a distraction while Echo and Hunter free Cham, Eleni, and the other freedom fighters. Crosshair discovers this and sets a trap for them, but clone Captain Howzer—who is loyal to Cham—warns the escapees of the trap and then confronts his fellow soldiers. Howzer is arrested, but the Bad Batch and freedom fighters escape. Rampart realizes that he has underestimated the Bad Batch and gives Crosshair permission to hunt them down.|
|13||"Infested"||Saul Ruiz||Amanda Rose Muñoz||July 23, 2021|
|The Bad Batch return from a mission to find Cid's Parlor under the ownership of crime boss Roland Durand. They find Cid outside, and she reveals a plan to take back the parlor by stealing a shipment of spice from Roland that is intended for the Pyke Syndicate. The Bad Batch and Cid enter her office via underground tunnels infested with a hive of Irlings. They successfully retrieve the spice, but are chased down by Roland's guards who awaken the hive. The group escape from the tunnels, but the spice is taken by the hive. They are caught by the Pykes, who take Omega hostage while the Bad Batch and Cid retrieve the spice from the hive. The Pykes then let Cid reclaim her parlor.|
|14||"War-Mantle"||Steward Lee||Damani Johnson||July 30, 2021|
|The Bad Batch are contacted by Rex, who asks them to help clone commando Gregor who is sending a distress signal from the planet Daro. At the source of the signal, they find an Imperial base where conscripted troopers are being trained by clone commandos to replace the clone trooper army. Hunter, Tech, and Echo infiltrate the base while Omega and Wrecker stay in the ship as backup. The Bad Batch rescue Gregor, but Hunter is captured during the escape. On Kamino, Lama Su and Nala Se plan to escape after the Empire cancels their clone army contracts, but they are caught by Admiral Rampart, who has use for Nala Se as a scientist but not for Lama Su.|
|15||"Return to Kamino"||Nathaniel Villanueva||Matt Michnovetz||August 6, 2021|
|Hunter is taken to Tipoca City on Kamino, where the Empire has evacuated critical personnel and eliminated the rest. Crosshair activates Hunter's comm-link, luring the rest of the Bad Batch into a trap. Omega shows the others a hidden entrance into Nala Se's secret laboratory, where they were all originally created and where they find the friendly droid AZI-3 in hiding. They find Hunter, who tries to convince Crosshair to have his inhibitor chip removed, but Crosshair reveals that it has already been removed and he is willingly working for the Empire. Hunter stuns Crosshair as Rampart, under the orders of Tarkin, begins destroying Tipoca City with the Bad Batch and Crosshair still inside.|
|16||"Kamino Lost"||Saul Ruiz||Jennifer Corbett||August 13, 2021|
|When the wreckage of Tipoca City begins to sink into the ocean, Rampart and the Empire depart while the Bad Batch aim to escape the city before it fully submerges. Omega and AZI-3 save Crosshair when they are trapped in a flooding room. Once the wreckage settles on the ocean floor, the group make their way to the tube that leads to their ship, but find it damaged. AZI suggests that he guide them to the surface inside lab capsules but runs out of power on their way up. Omega tries to save him at the risk of drowning, until Crosshair saves them both. When they reach the ship, Crosshair chooses to part ways with the Bad Batch. Elsewhere, Nala Se is brought to an Imperial facility.|
By September 2016, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels supervising director Dave Filoni had stepped back from that position on the latter series so he could focus more on the series' writing as well as the development of future animated series for Lucasfilm. In July 2018, Filoni announced that a final season of The Clone Wars would be released on the streaming service Disney+ in 2020. The season includes a four episode arc introducing a squad of clone troopers with genetic mutations known as the Bad Batch; the episodes previously existed as story reels for an earlier, unfinished season of the series, and came directly from the plans of Star Wars creator George Lucas.
Disney+ officially ordered a new series from Lucasfilm Animation in July 2020 titled Star Wars: The Bad Batch, a spin-off from the final season of The Clone Wars following the Bad Batch clones in the aftermath of the Clone War. The announcement described the series as Dave Filoni's vision, and he serves as executive producer alongside Lucasfilm's Athena Portillo, supervising director Brad Rau, and head writer Jennifer Corbett, with Lucasfilm's Carrie Beck and Josh Rimes as co-executive producer and producer, respectively. Filoni described the series as "very much in the vein" of The Clone Wars and said it would stay true to Lucas's vision for that series of telling epic, exciting adventure stories. In August 2021, before the release of the two-part first season finale, the series was officially renewed for a second season.
The first trailer for the series, which released in December 2020, confirmed that Dee Bradley Baker would return from The Clone Wars as the voice of all the clone troopers in the series, including the members of the Bad Batch and Captain Rex. It also revealed that a younger version of the character Fennec Shand from The Mandalorian would be appearing in the series, and actress Ming-Na Wen soon confirmed that she would reprise her role as Shand. Additionally, Stephen Stanton and Andrew Kishino reprised their roles as Admiral Tarkin and Saw Gerrera, respectively.
Kevin Kiner was confirmed to be scoring the series in January 2021, after previously scoring The Clone Wars and Rebels. He wrote the Bad Batch Theme for the final season of The Clone Wars, and described his score for The Bad Batch as an evolution from its predecessor with a mix of electronic and orchestral elements. Kiner was inspired by the soundtracks of The Guns of Navarone (1961) and The Dirty Dozen (1967), which both feature a band of characters similar to The Bad Batch.
Kiner's score for the series is being released digitally by Walt Disney Records in two volumes: music from the first eight episodes was released on June 25, 2021, and music from the last eight episodes was released on August 20. A track from the albums, "Enter the Bad Batch", was released digitally as a single on May 13.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy promoted the series at Disney's Investor Day event on December 10, 2020, revealing the first trailer for the series. Jacob Oller of Syfy Wire felt the trailer made the series look like a more action-heavy version of The Clone Wars, and compared it to the 1980s television series The A-Team.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiered on Disney+ on May 4, 2021, Star Wars Day, with a special 70-minute episode. The second episode was released on May 7, with subsequent episodes releasing weekly for a total of 16 episodes. The second season is set to premiere in 2022.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 88% approval rating with an average rating of 7.20/10, based on 14 reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "The Bad Batch's beautifully animated adventure may be too lore heavy for casual viewers, but fans will enjoy diving deeper into this dastardly cast of characters." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 67 out of 100 based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Jesse Schdeen of IGN gave the premiere episode an 8 out of 10 rating, stating that the series is "a worthy successor to The Clone Wars, so much so that it could easily be rebranded as an eighth season" and that "it uses a loose end from that show to build a brand new story about the plight of clones after the war's end, and it's one that immediately resonates". He also added that the show "captures a lot of what made The Clone Wars so great (including the slick animation style and the vocal talents of Baker), but it doesn't entirely escape that show's flaws, either".
Joel Keller of Decider gave the show a positive review and stated that it "should satisfy Clone Wars fans." Marty Brown of Common Sense Media gave the show 4 out of 5 stars and a '10+' age rating, stating, "This series delivers on precisely what fans would expect from a Star Wars story: world building, unique new characters, and big action sequences with a moral allegory at the center." Joshua Rivera of Polygon gave the show a positive review and stated, "The prequels are just as full of rich potential as the original Star Wars trilogy, and The Bad Batch, like The Clone Wars before it, is set to do a lot of slow, careful work to tease out that potential." Julian Lytle of idobi.com gave the show 8 out of 10 stars and stated, "The Bad Batch feels familiar but also starts a new journey with new characters in a cool setting. I can't wait to see what happens with this group in the Empire." Vincent Schilling of Indian Country Today gave the show 8.5 out of 10 stars and stated, "I'm not a superfan of Star Wars animated series, but I am impressed with this one, a team of certifiable rejects, each with their own skillset, is a winning formula for me - excellent actually." Wenlei Ma of News.com.au gave the show a positive review and stated, "The Bad Batch is catnip for the dedicated Star Wars fans. It's an animated action-adventure series with thrills, relatable characters on the right side of the war, blaster guns and enough lore and easter eggs to invoke a few excited squeals."
Niv M. Sultan of Slant Magazine rated the series 1.5 out of 4 stars and stated, "The show's attempt to individualize its protagonists largely reduces them to predictable, banal archetypes." Jonathan Roberts of The New Paper gave the show 2.5 out of 5 stars and stated, "The Bad Batch is good to dip into, but it can make for a bad binge."
- Panjabi is credited as a starring actor in the series premiere, the one episode in which Billaba appears.
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