At the 2020 Disney Investor Day event, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced a number of new projects within the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars fans have at least 11 streaming series and four confirmed movies — Patty Jenkins’s Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (2023), Taika Waititi’s untitled project, Marvel President Kevin Feige’s foray into Star Wars with Loki writer Michael Waldron, and a newly announced J.D. Dillard film — to look forward to over the next several years.
For fans of the animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, one of the most exciting Investor Day announcements was a brand-new Lucasfilm animation project — Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Recently, it was confirmed that the Bad Batch premiere date will be Star Wars Day 2021 (May 4, 2021). Here, we dive into everything you need to know before the Bad Batch debut.
The premise of Star Wars: The Bad Batch
As previously mentioned, the clone troopers known as Clone Force 99/The Bad Batch were first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The four-episode story arc involving The Bad Batch begins with Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 1, aptly titled “The Bad Batch.”
The official introduction of these rogue Star Wars troopers is summarized as:
[Captain] Rex recruits ARC Trooper Jesse and medic Kix while Cody enlists the help of an experimental Clone Commando squad, Clone Force 99. Their genetic mutations and brash attitudes are a source of mistrust and conflict between themselves and the regular clones, but Cody convinces them to work together on this mission. As they enter approach the Separatist cyber station, their gunship is shot down by enemy fire, severely injuring Cody in the crash.
Wookieepedia describes the four members of Clone Force 99 as:
…Sergeant Hunter, the team’s leader; Wrecker, the squad’s brash strongman and assault specialist; Crosshair, the team’s grim, sarcastic sniper; and Tech, the hyper-intelligent and knowledgeable tech specialist.
The upcoming series Star Wars: The Bad Batch is expected to pick up where the Clone Wars storyline left off. StarWars.com provided some information about what fans can expect when the show premieres:
The series follows the elite and experimental troopers of Clone Force 99 (first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Members of Bad Batch, as they prefer to be called — a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army — each possess a singular exceptional skill, which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew.
Who is starring in Star Wars: The Bad Batch?
Complete casting information for Star Wars: The Bad Batch has not been revealed at this time. However, here’s what we know so far.
Ming-Na Wen in The Bad Batch
One voice actor who has been confirmed for the new Star Wars series is Disney Legend Ming-Na Wen. Wen will be reprising her role as sharpshooter and elite mercenary, Fennec Shand.
Wen confirmed the role in a StarWars.com interview after the first Star Wars: The Bad Batch teaser trailer released:
Everybody is saying they just want the confirmation. So, yes, it is Fennec! It’s a younger Fennec and she is voiced by me and I’m thrilled and beyond happy that Dave [Dave Filoni] wanted to create more of a backstory for her.
The voice of Mulan first played Shand in live-action in Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s hit Disney+ series, The Mandalorian. Shand first appeared in The Mandalorian Season 1, Episode 5 (Chapter 5: The Gunslinger”). The strong female character went on to return in The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 6 (Chapter 14: The Tragedy).
Shand was then featured in the two final episodes of The Mandalorian Season 2, as well. These were titled “Chapter 15: The Believer” and “Chapter 16: The Rescue”.
She — alongside original trilogy bounty hunter Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) — assisted Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) in rescuing Grogu from Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) after his Dark Trooper squadron kidnapped the infant on planet Tython.
Wen will also appear as Shand in live-action Mandalorian spinoff series, The Book of Boba Fett, in December 2021.
It is not yet known precisely how Shand will factor into this new animated Lucasfilm project, but it is certainly possible that she will join the experimental clones on various mercenary missions.
Dee Bradley Baker in The Bad Batch
Longtime Star Wars voice actor, Dee Bradley Baker, will return in The Bad Batch. Per IMDb, he will voice “Clone Troopers”.
Baker has previously voiced a number of clone troopers in the Star Wars franchise, including in the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (2020) and in Star Wars: The Clone Wars between 2008 and 2020 — Baker voiced various troopers, including fan-favorite characters, Captain Rex and Commander Cody.
It is not known at this time if Baker will voice all four members of the formidable crew that comprises Clone Troop 99 –Sergeant Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Tech — or if they will have unique voice actors.
Baker has also voiced Tatooine-based crime lord Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars Detours and served as the voice actor behind both Frog Man and Frog Lady in The Mandalorian Season 2.
Stephen Stanton in The Bad Batch
The final voice actor who has been confirmed for Star Wars: The Bad Batch at this time is Stephen Stanton as Admiral Tarkin.
Stanton previously voiced Tarkin — famously portrayed in live-action in the Star Wars original trilogy by the late Peter Cushing — in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2010-2020) and in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), when a CGI version of Cushing appeared.
What to expect in Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
While we do not know much for sure about the plot details of The Bad Batch at this time, it seems likely that Disney+ subscribers will see Clone Force 99 navigate new missions in a rapidly changing galaxy in every episode.
StarWars.com shared these details about the Lucasfilm creative team behind the new Star Wars story:
Star Wars: The Bad Batch is executive produced by Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Athena Portillo (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels), Brad Rau (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Resistance) and Jennifer Corbett (Star Wars Resistance, NCIS) with Carrie Beck (The Mandalorian, Star Wars Rebels) as co-executive producer and Josh Rimes as producer (Star Wars Resistance). Rau is also serving as supervising director with Corbett as head writer.
With all of these groundbreaking storytellers involved in the project, the Star Wars fan community can undoubtedly expect more of the amazing Star Wars tales they’ve come to expect from popular animated series like Clone Wars and Rebels.
As the Bad Batch spinoff premiere date approaches, perhaps will learn more about the upcoming story due to inadvertent Bad Batch merch “leaks” and spoilers — this recently happened with some Funko POP! products when Marvel Studios’ WandaVision was airing on Disney+!
When Star Wars: The Bad Batch will air on Disney+.
As a reminder, Star Wars: The Bad Batch will debut on May 4, 2021, exclusively on the Disney+ streaming platform.
The official Bad Batch trailer released on March 30, 2021. You can view the full trailer, which heavily showcases Tarkin and Clone Force 99, below:
Are you looking forward to Star Wars: The Bad Batch? Tell us what you’re hoping happens in the comments!