Happy Star Wars Day Eve Geeklings or as Mark Hamill refers to it, “May the Third Be Absurd”. I don’t know about you, but I am lakes of Mustafar levels of fired up for Star Wars Day tomorrow. I know it’s not a real holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Chewie isn’t going to help tear apart a turkey and Jabba the Hutt isn’t going to slither down our chimneys (thank the Maker), but it’s still one that’s close to my heart. It’s a day that I can sit in my chair, holding my SideShow Collectibles Grogu, and fire up as many Star Wars properties as I want. Not that I can’t do that any other day but it just feels right on May 4th.
Last year, we celebrated Star Wars Day in the very height of quarantine and boy did it deliver a much-needed escape. I remember waking up close to six o’clock in the morning so I wouldn’t be spoiled, curled up in my chair, and watching the very last episode of The Clone Wars. That feeling from that conclusion has stayed with me since last May 4th last year like a Force Ghost popping up from time to time to remind me how truly magical and wonderful Star Wars is. I know I’ve spoken at length about those final four episodes but… damn, they are some of my all-time favorite Star Wars and made for a hell of a way to celebrate the holiday that comes to us from a galaxy far, far away.
Now the question becomes, how do you top that? Well, how does a seventy-minute long first episode of a new Disney+ series sound because to me, it sounds freakin’ awesome? The Bad Batch is arriving tomorrow and it’s basically coming in the shape of an animated movie to kick off what is supposed to be a sixteen-episode season. Happy Star Wars Day to us!
The Bad Batch takes place after Order 66 (insert heartbreaking Order 66 theme here) and will explore the Empire immediately after the ending of the Clone Wars and follows a group of clone soldiers who aren’t like the clones we’ve seen prior. They’re special. They’re different. They kick a lot of ass and have a leader that looks like Rambo. They will be leading us through an area of Star Wars history that has yet to be fully explored as they try to outrun the Empire, and knowing what we know about Star Wars animated projects, I expect this to speak greatly to the wider canon. The Clone Wars and Rebels, which might be my favorite Star Wars anything, did such incredible jobs of expanding what we know about these stories and not only enhanced the mythology but made these stories resonate even more profoundly. That’s no easy task but it’s why we celebrate these animated stories so greatly. Going into tomorrow’s premier, I expect the same from The Bad Batch and I’m stupidly excited.
(insert Salacious B Crumb laugh here)
In fact, I’ve been giving it some thought over the last couple of days and there are a few things I’d love to see The Bad Batch hit on specifically. Being in uncharted territory like this really opens the doors to fill in some gaps leading into the main trilogy and can help highlight the start of the rebellion while expanding the histories of characters we’ve already grown to love. That’s the beauty of these Star Wars animated projects, they somehow take what’s come before and make it better. Deeper. More emotional. It takes the gift of Star Wars and makes it even more special.
With that being said, here are five things I’d love to see The Bad Batch tackle. Starting with…
What Happens To the Clone Army- We know from our Star Wars history that after the Clone War the Empire does away with the clones and starts “recruiting” soldiers. Thanks for all your hard work and betrayal but now you gots to go. I fully expect The Bad Batch to explore this theme further. We already know based on the trailers that the premise of this series will be Tarkin and the Empire looking to eliminate Clone Force 99, a group that was already operating outside the lines of regular clone armies. What if we get a scene where the Empire rounds up the clones and then wipes them out. Think of it as Order 66 2.0. It might not be that extreme, it could just be the Emperor pushing a button that causes the chip in their heads to melt their brains, but I expect something showing us why the clones mostly vanish by the time Rebels comes along.
Also, looking at the trailer, it certainly looks like Kamino is a location we’re going to be visiting and maybe that’s to see the Empire shut down the factory. Perhaps we can even meet a young Pershing from The Mandalorian. All and all though, I expect some sad clone moments. Although, I don’t expect all of them to be wiped out. Looking at you Cody. I know we’ll be seeing you in Kenobi. Speaking of which…
Lay the Ground Work For Kenobi– If The Mandalorian has taught us anything, it’s that Star Wars is working its best when it’s referencing its larger history. When it’s connecting stories through multiple mediums. I would love to see The Bad Batch lay some groundwork for Kenobi. Hear me out.
There’s no way that a series like this can exist without Darth Vader. It just can’t. It’s too close to the end of The Clone Wars and would lead to his introduction to the galaxy. I’m not saying we’re going to get some Rogue One Vader ass kickery, but I do think we’ll see him. His presence will be felt. If Tarkin is asking for Clone Force 99 to be hunted down then we know his favorite tool to use. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vader joins the pursuit at some point and this leads to the knowledge that Obi-Wan is still alive.
If the rumors are true, then we know that Obi and Vader’s paths are going to cross again. What we don’t know are the whys and the hows. It almost seems like an impossibility that these two would have met before A New Hope buuuuuut if anyone could make this work it would be my guy Dave Filoni. In him I trust.
I’m not saying we see Obi in The Bad Batch, despite how badly I’d love to hear James Arnold Taylor’s voice work, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we got a moment that when we’re watching Kenobi we all turn into Leonardo DiCaprio memes and point at our screens going “oh crap!”.
More Maul- This one is pretty self-explanatory. The more Maul the better and it would make sense that he would pop up in The Bad Batch because there’s a pretty large gap in his story from when he escapes Ahsoka to when Ezra finds him in the Sith temple. How does he get there? Show us Maul running the underground crime circuit. What is his initial response to the rise of The Empire and Darth Vader? The Bad Batch could be an excellent opportunity to expand an already iconic character. Not asking for a ton of Maul, but maybe the Batch cross paths with him while on the run. Unlikely team-up ensues. Maul mutters Kenobi. We’re all happy.
Cad Bane Closure- It’s time. The fate of Cad Bane has been something that fans have been clambering for years. It was a story that was omitted from the final season of The Clone Wars and was not included in Rebels but we know he’s still out there… timeline-wise. With The Bad Batch taking place so closely on the heels of The Clone Wars this would be a great time to finish the story of the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunter. Give us the showdown with Boba Fett! Show us how Fett’s helmet gets dented! Show us what happens to Bane! Show us what happens to his hat (it belongs in a museum!)! With the Book of Boba Fett coming out later this year and the inclusion of Fennec Shand in this series the timing feels right. Not only will this make Fett even more of a badass but it’ll give fans closure and could possibly enhance the Boba/Fennec relationship. It’s a win win-win situation.
Ahsoka/Enfys Nest/Start of the Rebellion- Listen, this is a Star Wars animated project, I’d be willing to be your house that we see Ahsoka Tano in some shape or form. Remember in Rebels, she’s the one who leads the Ghost crew to the surviving clones. How did she know they were there? She has to have met up with Rex, who we’ve seen in the trailer, at least one more time. And how does she become Fulcrum? This could be her first steps into her larger role in the Star Wars canon. And I’m from the camp where the more Ahsoka stories we get the better. Top Two Star Wars character for me… Vader is number one.
And if we’re going to show the rise of the rebellion, then maybe we can bring back Enfyst Nest at some point. I know, that the start of the series is years before her arrival but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for the seeds to be planted. Saw Gerra shows up in the trailers so we know we’ll be catching a glimpse of some form of rebellion and with the clone squad on the run, they’ll be looking for friends where ever they can find them. I could see a group like the Cloud-Riders finding a birth place within this story. I’m a Solo fan and those characters deserve to be seen again. This would be the perfect place for them.
All and all, I’m just excited to have new Star Wars in my life again. Tomorrow is going to be a wonderful day, especially if my Black Series Mando helmet finally arrives, and I’m excited to take this journey with you Geeklings. I don’t know, I’ve got a feeling that The Bad Batch is going to have some of those Rogue One feels to it. Dark. Gritty. And heartbreaking. But I’m here for it all.
How about you? What do you want to see in the upcoming The Bad Batch? Are there any characters you’re hoping to meet again? Any stories you want to be expanded? Sound off in the comments or throw me a line over on Twitter @iamgeek32. And since it’s Star Wars Day Eve, don’t forget to let your favorite Wookie win any games you play. Hate to see you without arms come tomorrow.