With their former home on Kamino cut off from them in more ways than one, the Bad Batch now call information broker Cid’s cantina their home base…until an aspiring crime lord tries to take it over in “Infested.” They quickly hatch a plan to put Cid back in power and dive deep beneath the surface of the planet Ord Mantell.
It’s a pretty self-contained episode, with a brand new villain and without the many connections to the rest of the franchise that came with the Ryloth episodes before it. But there are still some easter eggs and references that show how the episode fits into the wider Star Wars galaxy…
– Criminal Roland Durand is a brand-new character, as is his mother, the crime lord Isa Durand, in whose footsteps he follows. His species, the Devaronians, hail from the planet Devaron and have an obvious “devil” theme with their horned heads and pointed teeth. This species first appeared in A New Hope.
He’s voiced by Tom Taylorson, who also played a minor character in Resistance, a First Order stormtrooper named Agent Raith. He has also lent his voice to video games such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Mass Effect: Andromeda.
– He looks a bit like a younger Cikatro Vizago, a crime lord of the same species who appeared in Rebels and some of its tie-in material. They both have yellowish green skin and brown eyes with a red tint, but they aren’t related or canonically connected in any way. However, there is another point in favor of the idea that they might be connected. Vizago’s gang is called the Broken Horn Syndicate, a moniker that could apply to Roland by the end of the episode.
– This versatile organic material, with uses from medicinal to recreational, is a catch-all term for some drugs in Star Wars. It’s been a sought after resource since Han Solo’s introduction, when his loss of a cargo of spice got him into trouble with Jabba the Hutt in A New Hope.
– Although it’s tricky to find a straight answer in regards to whether George Lucas took inspiration for A New Hope (1977) and the rest of the sprawling saga from the novel Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert, there are enough comparisons that fans tend to connect the dots. Spice in particular is also used as the term for a multi-purpose drug in Dune called melange, which can unlock prophetic visions and enables long-distance space travel.
The site of Cid’s bar has a long history in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, particularly when it comes to the adventures of semi-legal adventurers like Han Solo. It’s always been known as a hub for bounty hunters and other criminals.
The Pyke Syndicate gang are recurring villains in The Clone Wars, often affiliated with the spice trade. A wealthy gang, they clashed with Ahsoka Tano and were temporarily allied with Maul. While not all Pykes are criminals, canon has focused on the Pyke Syndicate rather than the species as a whole.
Their homeworld, Oba Diah, first appeared in The Clone Wars.
“Infested” marks the first appearance of the irlings, the nocturnal insects that live in Ord Mantell’s caverns and mines.
Gundarks are often used as a metaphor or comparison in Star Wars to indicate someone or something is dangerous. A large creature native to the planet Vanqor, they were first mentioned in The Empire Strikes Back in the phrase “looked strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark.” The Clone Wars showed them in the flesh decades later, in a story also explaining an Attack of the Clones reference to Anakin and Obi-Wan falling “into a nest of gundarks.”