Disney has announced a new Star Wars animated series coming for 2021 to their channel. Its name is “Star Wars: The Bad Batch”, which makes it clear that its central characters are going to be the already familiar, genetically “defective” (or, superior, depending on how you look at it) clone squad that introduced itself in the final season of The Clone Wars.
All the names associated with “Bad Batch” have significant history with recent SW TV series: Dave Filoni (The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian), Athena Portillo (TCW, SW Rebels), Brad Rau (Rebels, SW Resistance), Jennifer Corbett (Resistance), Carrie Beck (The Mandalorian, Rebels) and Josh Rimes (Resistance). Jennifer Corbett is the head writer.
Yet Another Clone?
To be honest, this announcement is not surprising at the least. I am sure I was not the only one who thought that the Bad Batch clone characters were a little too well-fleshed out to be used only for four episodes.
The downside? I am not entirely sure how much is this going to be just pinging on the nostalgia string for those who loved TCW and who loved all the clones whose names significant part of the audience probably did not even remember. I have utmost respect for Dave Filoni and his team, and I do not wish to deny hardcore clone lovers to have something to look forward to. But I also think a good creator knows when to quit, because projects like these tend to deteriorate. Then again, nobody is forcing us to watch this.
Broadly speaking, it will likely come down to personal preference whether what seems to be a classic war story is going to be your cup of tea. However, here is the twist. I strongly doubt that “Bad Batch” is going to be just a set of episodes with the plot “the tough guys go, blow up a droid factory while chewing bubblegum, and go home”. Knowing Filoni’s team’s desire for interconnecting things, and given the way his team’s plots tend to go, I predict things like:
-The Bad Batch deal with Order 66 and struggle to secure their own freedom (may very well be the plot of the first few episodes)
-part of the series (if not most) is actually set after Order 66 and we see the Bad Batch struggling with the dilemma of remaining in the service of the Empire (which would absolutely limit their prized freedom) or becoming outlaws (obviously picking the latter)
-among many other cameos, the Bad Batch encounter Gregor, Wolffe or Rex (I’d bet my money on at least one of these)
-in a surprising twist, they might either meet Maul, go to Mandalore, or meet Ahsoka (less likely)
-if the show continues very far, they may even take part in some sort of proto-Rebellion (but not likely out of any systematic conviction)
With these in mind – even though these are only guesses – The Bad Batch might be something to look forward to. Even for those who could not care less about a bunch of cloned Rambos. Let’s keep an eye out for the news on this subject, and we may yet be surprised.