In Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the Clone Wars spin-off that looks a bit like the Mandalorian

Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Lucasfilm's next animated series from a galaxy far, far away, will be released on Disney + and Disney + Hotstar on Star Wars Day - it's May 4, as in "May the Fourth". " to be with you. The Clone Wars spin-off takes place in the aftermath of the eponymous war and follows Clone Force 99, a group of elite clone troopers, each of whom has genetic mutations that give them unique skills. The Bad Batch comes from Star Wars veteran Dave Filoni, who previously worked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, created Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars Resistance, and is now co-responsible for the Star Wars Cinematic Universe with the creator of The Mandalorian Jon Favreau.

“We see The Bad Batch as a spiritual successor to The Clone Wars,” Brad Rau, supervising director of The Bad Batch, told reporters of Zoom. “So there is a lot of commonality. When we start our first episode, we step back a bit, in time, from what we saw at the very end of the Clone Wars. This is something Dave Filoni wanted us to do. And it's really exciting to see how things go, like Order 66. Having these characters that we only know a little bit from the final season of The Clone Wars gives us the opportunity to carry on that legacy and narration of The Clone Wars, but through the eyes of the new characters.

In the Star Wars galaxy, Order 66 refers to a Sith plot orchestrated by Sith Lord Darth Sidious - better known as Emperor Palpatine - that saw behavior modification biochips planted in the brains of all deployed Clone Troopers. by the Republic. With the flip of a switch, Order 66 was executed. He called all Jedi traitors and their own allies as clone troopers turned on them, slaughtering the Jedi Order in the process. Star Wars: The Bad Batch begins around this time and finds the titular group now working for the New Empire, as are all of the other unmutated clones.

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“It was one of the most exciting things for us to dive into this series,” said Jennifer Corbett, editor-in-chief of The Bad Batch. “When you talk about the end of the Clone Wars, what it really looks like not only for Clone Force 99, but also for clones in general. And what the galaxy looks like because it's not the Empire everyone is so used to from the original trilogy and Star Wars Rebels, where it was at the height of its dominance over the galaxy.

“These are the first steps in this. [The Bad Batch shows] what the galaxy is going through immediately after the war ends. How some planets and systems are happy that the war is over and embrace the Empire because of it. And others are a little more tired of the Empire and what their reign really means. As far as the Bad Batch went, it was fun to kind of explore their feelings, because with the Republic they had a lot of freedom. But with the Empire. they handle things a little differently, and we really wanted to show how the Batch reacts to that.

“The Bad Batch is again an interesting take on this because they are not 'regs',” Rau added, referring to regular clone troopers as regs. “Even the way they view their brothers. We see how they now find themselves on the opposite side in this growing empire. The regs are suddenly the face of the enemy, as seen in [Star Wars: Episode III -] Revenge of the Sith.

Thanks to its setting and animation style, The Bad Batch looks a lot like The Clone Wars. But that's not the only Star Wars series it looks like. The Bad Batch has elite warriors wearing helmets in mind. There's also a young Omega girl (voiced by Michelle Ang) in the mix, who ends up in the care of Hunter (Dee Bradley Baker), the unofficial frontman of Bad Batch. In the first few episodes - I've seen two - Hunter struggles to deal with Omega and even tries to transfer her to a family, as he believes she will have a more secure life with them. It all sounds a lot like the current Star Wars hit The Mandalorian.

“I think what ties all of these shows together is the idea of ​​change,” Corbett said when I asked him about the similarities. “And I see the similarities to The Mandalorian in how he takes on this new role. And that's really what the lot does. Now that everything has changed, they wonder where they stand and where they belong. Because the war is over, what is their purpose now, if not to be soldiers?

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“And when you add a kid into that mix, all of a sudden those elite soldiers who are used to being able to tackle any mission are completely fished out of the water in terms of how to raise and be the guardian. 'a child. At least with Omega, she's older, she's her own person [as opposed to Grogu / Baby Yoda]. And I think the dynamic between them is so interesting because it's so different in the way it was raised compared to how it was raised.

Rau believes the similarities are due to the fact that virtually everything in Star Wars is about family. “Some of these similarities may seem more common [here] or at least they start more commonly,” Rau added. “Whether you're talking about grizzled warriors and a young girl, as we are in our series, or everything around it, the meaning of how a family works together as a military unit, but more than that, just caring about each other. - [those] are really important themes in this show.

fennec shand mandalorian fennec shand mandalorian

Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand (left) in The Mandalorian
Photo credit: Disney / Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Bad Batch will also share a character with The Mandalorian - Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), an elite mercenary featured in Season 2 when Mando visited Tatooine. Shand was apparently killed in this episode, but she made a miraculous comeback in The Mandalorian season XNUMX, revealing that Boba Fett had saved her. Shand would later help Fett take over the Hutt Palace - which created the spinoff series The Boba Fett Book which will also include him. Since The Mandalorian takes place after the fall of the Empire, The Bad Batch will feature a much younger Shand.

There are at least two other ties to the larger Star Wars cinematic universe on The Bad Batch. Resistance fighter Saw Gerrera (voiced by Andrew Kishino), introduced in The Clone Wars and later played by Forest Whitaker in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is also involved. And then there's Death Star Commander Grand Moff Tarkin - or rather Admiral Tarkin (voiced by Stephen Stanton) in The Bad Batch, as he's yet to reach the role made famous by Peter Cushing. in the original 1977 Star Wars film.

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“What we're trying to do is keep this show true to what Star Wars is at its core, and that's something Dave Filoni is always teaching us and urging us on,” Corbett said. “In terms of similar characters that we can see, it's so tempting to want to use everyone, because we're all Star Wars fans. So we want to play with all these toys. But it's a balance between why we use certain people and the desire to introduce everyone to new characters because it's a big galaxy. So we don't want him to feel too small. We want to discover the views and perspectives of others. "

Rau added, “When we get the chance to bring a character into this story, I mean we panic. It's so fun to talk about it, it's fun to bring it to life. So much effort has been put, technically, into honoring the legacy of any character we know. And it's not just from a casting point of view, but the musical cues that we use, the way it's animated, the lighting, how it all comes together. But we make sure that someone who doesn't know who that character is can still follow him. But if you know who it is, you could cry, you could laugh, maybe both, all that.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch premieres May 4 on Disney + and Disney + Hotstar. It will debut with a special 70-minute episode. New episodes will air on Friday thereafter.

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