Star Wars Confirms the Bad Batch Change We All Feared

Echo's leave of absence from the Bad Batch may be permanent, but he'll always be a member of Clone Force 99 in our hearts.

Hunter, Crosshair, and Echo in Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Photo: Lucasfilm

This Star Wars: The Bad Batch article contains spoilers.

Clone Trooper Echo may not have been created as a member of Clone Force 99, but that didn’t stop them from accepting him as one of their own after his rescue from the Separatists during the Clone Wars. But with the rise of the Empire and their growing mistreatment of clones, enhanced and otherwise, Echo decided to leave Clone Force 99 in season 2 of The Bad Batch to join Rex’s squad of resistance fighters. Of course, that didn’t stop fans from hoping he would eventually return to this motley found family, especially after the loss of Tech. Unfortunately, the official Star Wars website has finally confirmed that Echo’s leave of absence from the Bad Batch is permanent.

His character description now reads, “Echo, formerly of the 501st and the Bad Batch, has joined his old friend Captain Rex on a new mission to help his clone brothers.” And while this change isn’t unexpected, as the show has been pretty clear about Echo being a member of Rex’s team now, that doesn’t mean that fans aren’t saddened by the website making this official.

Echo has been doing his own thing with Rex for a while, but some fans expected that he would eventually return to them, even if it was in retirement. He even popped up earlier in season to temporarily work alongside the Batch once again while they were searching for the secret location of Tantiss Base. But it turned out to be just that: a temporary team up before heading off on a new mission for Rex’s resistance group. Knowing what Echo has been through, and what the Empire is now doing to other clones, it makes sense that he would want to fight to liberate them just as Rex and the Bad Batch did for him.

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Lucasfilm officially dubbing Echo a former member of the Bad Batch and emphasizing his connection to Rex has also sparked speculation that Star Wars is paving the way for an animated Rex and Echo spinoff, the same way that the final season of The Clone Wars set up The Bad Batch. Especially with the reappearance of Wolffe, who we know ends up leaving the Empire and joining Rex at some point, a new clone show focusing on Rex’s crew doesn’t seem entirely outside the realm of possibility.

But even though Echo may no longer be an official member of the Bad Batch, that doesn’t mean he’ll be absent from the final episodes, of course. He and the Bad Batch both want to see Mt. Tantiss fall. As much as Hunter, Wrecker, and Omega want to settle down on Pabu and live out their days free from the Empire’s influence, that’s not possible until Dr. Hemlock and his experiments are stopped. Echo wants to protect Omega and free his brothers held in the mad scientist’s clutches.

As Crosshair’s return proves, once you’re a member of the Bad Batch, you’re family for life. Family doesn’t always get along or see eye-to-eye, but it’s clear that Echo will always care for his former teammates, as they will for him. Echo will always be a Batcher in our hearts, and isn’t that what really matters?

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is streaming now on Disney+.