This Star Wars: The Bad Batch article contains spoilers.
Rumors of a big cameo surrounded The Bad Batch in the days leading up to its eighth episode and “Reunion” doesn’t disappoint. The show has thus far worn its ties to The Clone Wars on its sleeve, down to its very protagonists, characters who were first formally introduced in season 7 of the Prequel era-set animated series. But it’s this cameo that solidifies The Bad Batch‘s place as a straight up sequel to The Clone Wars.
“Reunion” is a race against time to escape the Republic scrapyards of Bracca. Crosshair and a platoon of stormtroopers have the Bad Batch cornered inside the wreckage of an old Jedi cruiser and there’s little chance of an escape this time. But this is Star Wars, which means the heroes pull off the impossible by blowing up part of the cruiser’s engine, sending the nozzle tumbling through the scrap, a daring escape that should end with the heroes being crushed. But again, this is Star Wars.
Unbeknownst to Hunter, there’s one last twist waiting for them by their ship, though. It’s Clone Wars bounty hunter Cad Bane (voiced once again by Corey Burton), the Duros Western-themed gunslinger who worked for the Separatists and Darth Sidious throughout the war with the Republic. This time, he’s been hired by the Kaminoans to bring Omega back to the cloning facility. Why they need Omega back and what’s they’re hiding still isn’t clear, but the fact that they’ve sent such a skilled bounty hunter to retrieve her means that she’s very important to Lama Su and Nala Se.
So, what do you need to know about Bane besides the fact that he’s a much faster shot than even a mutated super-clone like Hunter? During the Clone Wars, he had a reputation as the best bounty hunter in the galaxy, the mercenary you called for the most dangerous (and top-secret) missions. It’s why he became Darth Sidious’ gun of choice during the war. At one point, Bane even broke into the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to steal a list of all of the known Force-sensitive children in the galaxy.
He also worked for Jabba the Hutt, alongside fellow bounty hunters Aurra Sing and IG-86, on a mission that led to a hostage situation in the Republic Senate building. Bane completed his mission — to free another Hutt gangster from a Coruscant prison — while subduing Anakin Skywalker with his team. Indeed, Bane is one of the few bounty hunters who could go toe to toe with powerful Jedi like Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Quinlan Vos.
In an interesting precursor to Revenge of the Sith, Cad Bane was also the villain originally hired to kidnap Supreme Chancellor Palpatine before General Grievous ever led an assault on Coruscant. But his mission to take Palpatine hostage while on a visit to Naboo was foiled by Obi-Wan just in the nick of time.
But how did Bane become such an elite bounty hunter in the first place? Well, he had a very good mentor: Jango Fett. The foremost bounty hunter of the Prequel era, whose DNA was used to create a massive Clone Army of the Republic, trained Bane in the ways of bounty hunting before the Mandalorian was killed on Geonosis.
In fact, Bane has a strong ties to both members of the Fett clan. When Boba Fett struck out on his own to become a bounty hunter like his father, it was Bane who took it upon himself to train the young clone as a way to return the favor to Jango. The name Boba Fett likely wouldn’t be as feared across the galaxy without Bane showing him the ropes.
But The Clone Wars once planned to pit Bane and Boba Fett against each other before the show ended its original run in 2014 (it returned in 2020 for 12-episode final season). An unproduced four-episode arc would have seen the two bounty hunters team up on a rescue mission to Tatooine. But this would have led to Bane and Boba Fett turning on each other, leading to a duel fans have been waiting to see since the storyline was first teased by showrunner Dave Filoni.
An early animated version of the duel was finally screened at a Star Wars Celebration 2017 panel:
As you can see, this scene would have explained how Boba Fett’s helmet got its signature dent, with Bane literally leaving his mark on the bounty hunter’s life. Meanwhile, the clip leaves Bane’s own fate open to interpretation. And to this day, fans continue to debate whether Bane dies in the scene…or somehow survives being shot in the head.
Now that Bane is on The Bad Batch, there’s an even better question to ask: does the bounty hunter’s reappearance mean we’ll finally get a fully-realized version of his duel with Boba Fett? Could the show even adapt part of that unproduced Clone Wars arc, making Omega the kidnapped kid Boba Fett is hired to rescue with the Bad Batch?
Either way, Cad Bane’s return brings up some very interesting possibilities, and we can’t wait to see how this all plays out.