Lucasfilm is seriously bolstering its Star Wars animated offerings this year. Not only did the studio announce two new animated series — Young Jedi Adventures and Tales of the Jedi — but it also confirmed that The Bad Batch is coming back for a second season later this year.
At Star Wars Celebration we even got our first look at the epic adventures Clone Force 99 will embark on in season 2. Check out the trailer below:
While the short trailer doesn’t give too much away — Omega has a helmet now, Hunter’s rocking a very cool scarf! — we did notice a few things that have us very excited for the return of this Clone Wars spinoff. Here are the major things you should pay attention to in this trailer:
The Emperor’s shadow loomed large over the show’s first season, as the Bad Batch reckoned with the aftermath of Order 66, which saw most of the clone army betray their Jedi generals. Instead of falling in line with their mind-controlled comrades (secret bio-chips inside the clones’ heads is how Palpatine so easily swayed the Grand Army of the Republic to turn on the Jedi), Clone Force 99 decided to escape their home on Kamino and abandon the Empire, effectively going AWOL.
But Order 66 was only the beginning of the dark times for this batch of “enhanced” clones. Forced to live as fugitives, and taking on mercenary work to make ends meet, the Bad Batch watched as the Emperor executed the next phase of his plan: replacing the aging clone troopers with a more obedient and reliable volunteer army of Imperial stormtroopers. By the end of the season, the Empire had all but destroyed the cloning facility on Kamino, setting the stage for the end of the clone era.
“It is time for the new era,” says Emperor Palpatine in the new trailer. Omega watches from behind cover as the Emperor rises in a repulsorpod. Are we back inside the Senate chamber on Coruscant? And if so, what is Omega doing there? Behind the Emperor seems to be a screen showing the final destruction of Tipoca City, the capital of Kamino, which sank to the depths of the planet’s raging ocean after an Imperial bombing.
It remains to be seen just how much of a presence the Emperor will have in the second season, or if this is just a cameo similar to the one in the very first episode of the series.
The first season marked the return of clone commandos, an elite trooper unit best known from the video game Star Wars: Republic Commando. Recognized as the deadliest clone troopers, rivaled only by the special operatives of Clone Force 99 themselves, the clone commandos now serve the Empire. We see them back again in the trailer for season 2, as they’re deployed for an undoubtedly nefarious purpose. Does it have to do with Mount Tantiss, the secret Imperial cloning installation that was re-introduced to canon at the very end of season 1? That’s where we last saw the clone commandos (as well as chief Kaminoan cloning scientist Nala Se).
Captain Rex played a pivotal role in the first season of The Bad Batch. He’s the former Republic officer who revealed the truth about the bio-chip inside every clone trooper’s head to Clone Force 99 and showed them a way to remove it. But his mission to take down the Empire is far from over. “Let’s get to work,” Rex says in the trailer for season 2.
Because the members of Clone Force 99 were mutations of the standard strain of clones that made up the Republic army, most of them didn’t fall under the sway of the Order 66 bio-chip. Except elite sniper Crosshair, who turned on his former squad mates to become another cog of war for the Empire. He was the show’s primary antagonist in season 1, chasing his former brothers in arms across the galaxy after they defected.
Crosshair was left in an uncertain place at the end of the first season. Although he spent all season trying to take them down, Crosshair offered the rest of the Bad Batch another chance to join him in the Empire during the destruction of Kamino. They refused, but he still helped them escape a watery grave, anyway. Clearly, he still cares about his brothers, even if they’re now on opposite sides of a very different kind of war. Needless to say, it’ll be interesting to see this storyline continue to develop season 2. In the trailer, we see him back in action, taking aim at someone who is likely soon to be dead.
You likely remember Commander Cody best as the officer who fought alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi on Utapau in Revenge of the Sith and later betrayed him during Order 66, but he played an even bigger role as a recurring character in The Clone Wars. While we don’t know what became of Cody after the Prequel Trilogy, we know he fell under the sway of the bio-chip just like the rest of the clone army. So if the Bad Batch encounter him in season 2, it’s very likely it’ll be as enemies on the battlefield. That said, could this also pave the way for Clone Force 99 to remove Cody’s chip and convince him to defect from the Empire? Well, the trailer seems to be teasing as much: “We’ll take all the allies we can get,” says Hunter, just as Cody pops up on screen…
Last but definitely not least is the return of Gungi, a Jedi student who was first introduced in The Clone Wars. It seems the Wookiee survived Order 66, but how does he fit into the Batch’s own adventures? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Spot anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!