This Star Wars: The Bad Batch article contains spoilers.
While the Star Wars Original Trilogy has been explored thoroughly for more than 40 years, the period between the Prequels and the Originals is less well-trodden. Following in The Clone Wars and Rebels‘ footsteps, The Bad Batch takes a deep dive into the rise of the Empire. This means we get to see familiar characters, planets, ships, and technology in a moment of transition, as a Republic becomes something more twisted and sinister in the hands of the Sith.
Unsurprisingly, “Aftermath,” which is directed by Steward Lee, Saul Ruiz, and Nathaniel Villanova, and written by Jennifer Corbett and Dave Filoni, is full of connections and nods to other parts of the Star Wars universe.
Here are all of the Star Wars easter eggs and references we spotted in this episode:
Caleb Dume/Kanan Jarrus
– Jedi Kanan Jarrus was introduced and starred in the animated series Star Wars Rebels, where he was a maverick Force-user fighting for the good guys while rediscovering what it means to be a Jedi in a time when they’re persecuted. His previous name, before he changed it to hide from the Empire, was Caleb Dume.
– The character’s origin story was first explored in the 12-issue Marvel comic book series Kanan by Greg Weisman and Pepe Larraz. While “Aftermath” only gives us the very early part of this story, the comic series goes into way more detail about how Caleb eventually became Rebel hero Kanan Jarrus.
Interestingly enough, The Bad Batch‘s version of events is slightly different to the opening of Kanan. However, the broad strokes are the same, including the presence of his Jedi Master Depa Billaba. In the comic, Caleb, Depa, and their clone troopers are resting around a fire when the Order 66 call comes in, not fully engaged in battle as they are in The Bad Batch. In both, master and Padawan become separated such that Caleb doesn’t know what became of Depa, which enables an early plot point for Rebels.
– Kanan is once again voiced by well-loved Star Wars voice actor Freddy Prinze Jr.
– Since she was first introduced in the trailers, mysterious new clone character Omega has been the subject of much speculation. Is she a new kind of clone? Does her name signify that she’s the final clone? No to the latter, since we see Tarkin examining a lab growing more clones in the episode.
But what we do know is that she’s the last of the enhanced clones. Like Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, and Crosshair, she was born a bit different, and we see that she’s ostracized by the other clones for it. The episode also suggests that Omega’s “genetic mutation” might be something the Kaminoans are trying to keep a secret. On the surface, she is simply Lama Su’s “medical assistant.”
The locket on her head contains something of importance, but we don’t yet know what is.
Order 66 and Revenge of the Sith
– “Aftermath” overlaps with events first established in Revenge of the Sith. The episode mentions Obi-Wan Kenobi’s final fight with General Grievous on Utapau, and even recreates part of the scene where Palpatine creates the Galactic Empire. Based on this timeline, we know the first episode of The Bad Batch also takes place around the same time as the series finale of The Clone Wars.
– The episode also directly addresses Order 66 and its aftermath. Order 66, which saw the Clone Army turn on and exterminate their Jedi commanders, is one of the most tragic events of the Star Wars saga. We wrote way more about Order 66 and how it worked here.
– The inhibitor chips that force the clones to execute Order 66 and become more aggressive in the aftermath don’t affect Hunter, Tech, Echo, Wrecker, or Omega. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for team sniper Crosshair, who quickly turns into the villain of the episode, as he tries to first kill Caleb and later betrays his friends at Tarkin’s behest.
These control chips were explored in season six of The Clone Wars. Clone trooper Fives discovered their true nature but was killed before he could foil Palpatine’s plan. Captain Rex and Ahsoka Tano also discovered the chips and removed Rex’s in the final arc of season seven.
Shaak Ti’s Lightsaber?
One of the darkest scenes in the episode happens when the Bad Batch arrive back on Kamino. As they’re walking through the halls of their base, a group of clones pass by carrying a stretcher, a dead Jedi’s body covered by a sheet. Out of the stretcher falls a lightsaber, which some fans have speculated belongs to Jedi Master Shaak Ti, who died on Coruscant during Order 66.
The lightsaber doesn’t really look like Shaak Ti’s, but we don’t know who else might be in that stretcher. Let us know what you think in the comments!
Kamino and the Clones
– The Bad Batch are also known as Clone Force 99, named after 99, a clone with “genetic mutations” who eventually gave his life in the war.
– Kaminoan Prime Minister Lama Su and administrative aide Taun We both appeared in Attack of the Clones as representative of the cloning industry, while Scientist/doctor Nala Se debuted on The Clone Wars. Their primary motive in their conflict with Tarkin in The Bad Batch is financial, but it does seem like Nala Se might also be trying to protect Omega.
– They’re still making young clones, as evidenced by the kids visible in the background. It’s unknown whether Omega ages at a normal rate or has the accelerated growth that brings most of the clones up to fighting form unnaturally fast.
– We see many different ranks and roles among the clones in this episode, including the green-armored sergeants and red-armored captains.
– In one scene, we see clones working on an E-Web heavy repeating blaster, which appears throughout the franchise, and was recently called out by name in The Mandalorian.
J-19 and Other Locations
– The Bad Batch come up with a plan to meet an old friend in Sector J-19. That sector is also known as the Suolriep sector, which is largely populated by desolate planets. Unsurprisingly, it is located in the Outer Rim of the galaxy. The sector first appeared in Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars.
– While Kamino is front and center here, the episode also visits the lush (and dangerous) jungle world of Onderon, Kaller, and briefly mentions Felucia, a beautiful planet that first appeared in Revenge of the Sith during the grim Order 66 montage.
– Wilhuff Tarkin, later Grand Moff, has appeared in animated form before. He showed up in The Clone Wars and Rebels. Whether his CGI iteration in Rogue One counts as animation may be up for debate, but he’s certainly there.
The villain first appeared in A New Hope, where famous horror actor Peter Cushing played the man who “held Vader’s leash.”
– Saw Gerrera, who also appeared in Rogue One, The Clone Wars, and Rebels, is a radical freedom fighter who will go on to have a tenuous but helpful relationship with the mainstream Rebel Alliance. He previously helped his home planet of Onderon shake off Separatist rule with Republic help.
– Darth Sidious appears briefly in a hologram, as he declares the formation of “the first Galactic Empire, for a safer and secure society.”
– Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and General Grievous all appear in flashbacks in the episode.
– Grey is the clone commander who executes Order 66 at the start of the episode, killing Depa Billaba and attempting to do the same with Caleb. He first appeared in the Kanan comic series.
– Comic relief medical droid AZI-345211896246498721347 first appeared in The Clone Wars.
Ships and Technology
– The Imperial probe droid that stalks Clone Force 99 in the episode is derived from the Republic ones also seen in The Clone Wars. They’re already more outwardly ominous by the time of The Bad Batch, with more oddly-placed eyes and insectoid limbs instead of the rounder Republic version.
– The Batch’s ship is a modified Omicron-class attack shuttle named the Havoc Marauder.
– Wrecker’s stuffed animal is a tooka, the cat-like species of which the Loth-cat that features often in Star Wars Rebels is one variety. They first appeared in The Clone Wars (also several cat-like species mentioned in various corners of the Expanded Universe preceded them) and were named after Star Wars animation executive producer Dave Filoni’s late cat.
– At one point, you can also see a Pikobi, a half-reptilian and half-bird species native to Onderon, Naboo, and Dagobah. The Pikobi first appeared in The Phantom Menace.