The bad batch has arrived today as the latest Star wars spinoff series for Disney Plus. It’s another, smaller show than previous animated shows like The Clone Wars or Rebels, which focuses on a single group of clone troops, the Clone Force 99 – the title “Bad Batch” – and its struggle to find a place in the galaxy after the rise of the empire.
Unlike the other clone troops, the Bad Batch members were cloned with emphasis on specific genetic abnormalities. Hunter, for example, has improved senses, while Wrecker is far larger and stronger than the average clone.
The Bad Batch was first introduced in the resurrected seventh season by Dave Filonis animated The Clone Wars series (which was brought back after its original cancellation in 201
Knowledge of the previous seven seasons of Clone wars or the four seasons of Rebels is not essential to enjoy The Bad Batch, at least for now. The show takes a lot of time to reintroduce the team at the start of the extended first episode. Though, familiarity with the broad events in Revenge of the Sith and the downfall of the Republic are useful. Knowing show creator Dave Filoni’s preference for referring to his second series, it’s almost guaranteed it The bad batch will eventually cross over with characters and events from Clone wars, Rebels, or even Mandalorianen at some point along the line.
And that’s kind of the whole point. The bad batch is an early preview of the next wave of Star wars shows: a tower of spinoffs of spinoffs, each connecting with and building on previous shows and movies.
This is something we have already seen the first glimpses of on the live-action page. The success of Mandalorianensecond season has already created not one but three different spin-offs (Ashoka, Rangers of the New Republic, and Boba Fett’s book), which eventually culminates in a Avengers-design crossover for years to come.
If any of that sounds familiar, it’s because Disney already uses an almost identical tactic with its Marvel Studios movies, and Disney Plus shows: building a coherent story that spans a wide range of shows and movies to draw viewers in and keep them subscribed to Disney Plus and led to theaters.
Disney tried something similar before with its first attempts at breaking Star wars out of the Skywalker Saga form, but cinematic spinoffs like Rogue one or Solo did not quite breakout successes on par with the more common films. However, these films were aimed at being connective tissue, filling in the missing connections between episodes or shadow in the stories of characters we had already encountered. Instead of making Star wars feeling like a larger universe, they had the adverse effect that it became smaller.
The bad batch seems to solve this problem with a tighter focus on a relatively new group of clones that strike out alone. It is not the widespread extent of the widespread conflict throughout the clone wars or the start of the burgeoning uprising, which means it will hopefully be able to carve out a new area of Star wars universe instead of just dishwashing old ones.
Much of it depends on how independent a series is The bad batchcreators want to make. Mandalorianen, for example, seemed to be on a similar track to start, but the second season saw the show fall all the way back into the mainstream Star wars path with Luke Skywalker comedians, Boba Fett guest episodes, darksaber duels and more. It’s easy to imagine The bad batch follows a similar route. (The first episode, for example, already looks like a look from Rogue oneSaw Gerrera and a more subtle Rebels cameo.)
Hopefully though The bad batch becomes the first of a new wave of Star wars spinoffs who map their own course in the universe with new stories. Because with the number of Disney Plus shows and movies on the Disney dock, it will be important to branch out into new parts of the galaxy – after all, there is still a lot of galaxy left to explore.