This Star Wars: The Bad Batch article contains spoilers.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the new animated series airing on Disney+, picks up where The Clone Wars left off. Order 66 has left the Jedi Order in shambles and the Republic has been re-organized into the Galactic Empire, with Palpatine declaring himself the ultimate ruler of the galaxy. For the Bad Batch, a squad of clones with genetic mutations, life with the Clone Army will never be the same.
Those wondering what happened to the Bad Batch after Order 66 got their answer in the series premiere. But while “Aftermath” revealed a few things about the state of the galaxy directly after Revenge of the Sith, it also introduced quite a few mysteries that need answers. Fortunately, we can answer a few of them, while others remain elusive.
Here’s what we know as well as some theories as to what might happen in the next episode:
Who Is the Padawan?
While most fans will likely recognize Jedi Master Depa Billaba in the opening scene of The Bad Batch (since she first appeared all the way back in The Phantom Menace), some might not be clear on who her padawan is or why he’s significant. We meet him in the episode as Caleb Dume, a loyal student whose life with the Jedi Order is completely shattered. By the time he jumps across a waterfall and into the snowy woods beyond where the clone troopers are searching for him, Caleb has been irrevocably changed.
This is why fans first met Caleb as a resistance fighter named Kanan Jarrus on the animated series Rebels, which takes place more than a decade after The Bad Batch. We learn on Rebels that the Jedi padawan formerly known as Caleb was forced to change his name and go into hiding, keeping his Force abilities a secret in order to evade the Empire. It’s only after he meets a young Force-sensitive orphan named Ezra Bridger that Kanan begins to come to terms with his Jedi past. He eventually takes Ezra on as his own apprentice, but that’s a story for another time.
Who Was the Dead Jedi?
The mystery behind the dead Jedi on the stretcher persists, even a day after the show’s premiere. Some viewers speculated that the lightsaber that falls out of the stretcher looked a lot like Jedi Master Shaak Ti’s weapon, but that’s not the case. The truth is we don’t know who that Jedi is or if she will ever be named. For the moment, it seems the scene’s main purpose is to illustrate just how much things have changed on Kamino when the Bad Batch return to home base.
Who Is Omega?
The mysterious new clone known as Omega is introduced as Lana Se’s medical assistant, but it’s clear from the very first episode that she’s special. Revealed to be the last of the genetically enhanced clones, Omega naturally fits in with the Bad Batch, who are themselves the product of mutations. But while we already know the abilities that make Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Tech different (Echo doesn’t count as a clone mutation since he wasn’t born that way), Omega’s enhancement remains a secret.
“Aftermath” does drop some clues about Omega’s enhancement, at time suggesting that she might be Force-sensitive, but that seems like a red herring. The one thing we do know is that Nala Se and prime minister Lama Su want to keep Omega’s true nature a secret.
You also likely noticed that Omega looks very different to the other clones. For one thing, she’s female. She also has blonde hair. While The Bad Batch hasn’t directly addressed why Omega looks so different, there is a canon pseudo-scientific explanation for it already. Apparently, as the years have gone by, it’s become harder to maintain the purity of the original genetic template provided by Jango Fett. The more clones the Kaminoans create, the more spread thin the genetic template gets. Don’t think about this bit too much. The point is that years of cloning have inevitably resulted in mutations such as the Bad Batch and Omega.
We wrote way more about Omega here.
Why Did Crosshair Betray His Friends?
By the end of “Aftermath” Bad Batch team sniper Crosshair has been positioned as one of the villains of the series. But why did he betray his friends so easily? It all comes down to the inhibitor chip implanted in his brain.
Like the rest of the Clone Army, the Bad Batch were all born with chips in their heads that the Emperor could use to control them. Fortunately for Hunter, Tech, Echo, and Omega, their mutations counteract the effect of the chip, which is why they aren’t brainwashed into killing Jedi or the innocent civilians on Onderon.
It’s a different story for Crosshair. He does fall under the influence of the inhibitor chip. When he is instructed to execute Order 66, he’s the only member of the team who tries to kill Caleb, and later it’s clear he doesn’t mind murdering Saw Gerrera’s group. The mind-controlled Crosshair is just interested in following orders, which is why Tarkin decides he’s the perfect weapon against the more insubordination-prone members of the Bad Batch.
Who Are the Bad Batch Going to See at the End of the Episode?
The Bad Batch and Omega escape Kamino just as Crosshair and the other clones are about to capture them. But where are they headed next? Hunter plots a course for Sector J-19 to see an old friend, but it’s unclear just who that friend is.
One possibility is that they’re on their way to rendezvous with Commander Rex, who previously worked with them in The Clone Wars. Thanks to the trailers, we know Rex is set to appear on the show, so he’s as good a guess as any. But how would Hunter know where to find Rex so soon after Order 66? After all, Rex is likely thought KIA after the chaos of Order 66 caused the Republic cruiser he was on to crash land on an unknown moon. (We know he escaped the crash with Ahsoka’s help, but there’s no way for the Bad Batch to know that.)
It’s more likely Hunter’s old friend is another character we’re not expecting or someone we’ve never met before. Either way, we’ll find out when The Bad Batch episode 2 airs on Friday on Disney+.