May the 4th be with you: Disney+ celebrated Star Wars Day with a brand new “Star Wars” series.
Now streaming, “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” is an animated series centered on a unique group of clone troopers introduced during the final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
“The Bad Batch” follows the members of Clone Force 99 — an experimental unit of highly skilled “defective” clone soldiers — in the aftermath of the Clone Wars, as the Galactic Empire, led by Emperor Palpatine, is coming into power.
Here’s a quick refresher on everything you need to know before checking out “The Bad Batch.”
Who are ‘the Bad Batch’?
The Bad Batch is a group of misfit clone soldiers introduced during the seventh season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” Considered “defective” because they are not identical to the rest of their clone trooper brothers, each one has a unique mutation that gives them an edge over others.
Remind me about the clones
The war between the Galactic Republic and the Separatists who broke with the Republic was called the Clone Wars (introduced in the prequel films, expanded on in the animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” series). Fighting for the Republic were the clone troopers led by the Jedi.
Secretly commissioned in the name of the Republic by a rogue Jedi, these clone soldiers were created on the planet Kamino and based on the genetic material of the bounty hunter Jango Fett (the father of Boba Fett, also a clone).
These clones were loyal to the Jedi and the Republic for years, but they were all part of the Sith’s plan to destroy the Jedi and take over. All clones were secretly programmed with a protocol that would turn them against the Jedi once initiated.
What was Order 66?
This top secret protocol, programmed into a chip inside each clone’s brain, was called Order 66. When Palpatine (a.k.a. Darth Sidious) executed this directive, the clones immediately identified all Jedi as traitors to be executed.
Most of the Jedi were killed once Order 66 was activated, including the young children training to become Padawans, and the Jedi Order was eradicated.
Those who survived — such as Ahsoka Tano, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Kanan Jarrus (from “Star Wars Rebels”) — had to go into hiding because everyone suspected of being a Jedi was killed while the Galactic Empire was in charge.
Will ‘The Bad Batch’ have anything to do with ‘The Mandalorian’?
Maybe. “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” is an immediate sequel to “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which means it takes place shortly after the events of “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” (2005). “The Mandalorian” is set a couple decades later, after the events of “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi” (1983).
It has already been confirmed, however, that a young Fennec Shand will be appearing in “The Bad Batch.” A bounty hunter who was introduced during the first season of “The Mandalorian,” Fennec (portrayed by Ming-Na Wen) returned in Season 2 working alongside Boba Fett.
Do I need to watch other ‘Star Wars’ shows to understand ‘The Bad Batch’?
Technically, no. Although “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” is a direct continuation of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” viewers should be able to follow the story without having exhaustive knowledge of every “Star Wars” film and TV series.