With The Clone Wars animated series back on TV after six years, Star Wars fans have a new chance to fill in the blanks left by never-before-seen Prequel era stories like the Siege of Mandalore. In season seven, Star Wars returns to the time just before the fall of the Jedi and the Old Republic turned into the first Galactic Empire.
Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka Tano are all reeling from the latter’s departure from the Jedi Order, and the war against the Separatists rages on. In the first episode, a new squad of quirky clone troopers known as the “Bad Batch” tries to rescue a captured clone soldier and stop the Separatists from pulling ahead in the war. Along the way, we’re treated to a few nods to other corners of the Star Wars universe.
Here are all of the easter eggs and references we found in “The Bad Batch”:
The Original “Bad Batch”
As with any good TV show, The Clone Wars team works well ahead of time. In the case of “The Bad Batch,” they were almost five years ahead of time. Originally created for a seventh season that never materialized after the show was canceled, a four-part arc was eventually screened for fans at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in 2015. The script was completely finished, but the animation was not. The result was an interesting look at what could have been had showrunner Dave Filoni and his team had more time with the show.
Fortunately, fans no longer have to wonder. “The Bad Batch” storyline opens season 7 in revised form, with completely overhauled animations and a tighter script. This isn’t the only concept from 2014 that has been revived for the new season, either. We’ll also get to see more of what Filoni had planned for Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order.
Star Wars fans may recognize Fort Anaxes from the animated show Rebels, a spiritual sequel to The Clone Wars set during the rise of the Rebellion and just at the start of the Galactic Civil War. Hera Syndulla and her crew visit the base and find it abandoned, filled with wild animals and abandoned Old Republic equipment. The base wasn’t destroyed by the war per se. A natural cataclysm made the base uninhabitable, which meant it remained a useful rendezvous point for Rebel spies hiding from the Empire.
ARC Trooper Echo
The Bad Batch troopers suspect the Separatists have captured Echo, a clone trooper who was thought dead since after the Battle at the Citadel in the third season episode “Counterattack,” in order to learn intel on Republic strategy, which is helping the Droid Army gain the upper hand in the war.
Echo’s entire life story has taken place within the confines of the Clone Wars, from his accelerated childhood and military training on Kamino in season one to his surprising survival in season seven. As a cadet he was obsessed with following and repeating rules, which earned him his nickname.
The commander of the droid forces in “The Bad Batch” is Admiral Trench, who has been hounding the Republic for most of the war. In fact, he made his debut in the first chronological episode of the show, season two’s “Cat and Mouse,” during the Battle of Christophsis. Even before his ascendancy within the Separatist ranks, Trench had commanded a corporate fleet that opposed the Republic.
He becomes a cyborg himself after sustaining injuries. His species, the spider-like Harch, have six eyes and eight limbs.