Dave Filoni’s new animated series, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, debuts on May 4, 2021 on the Disney+ streaming platform, and, boy oh boy, are you in for a treat.
The series picks up where George Lucas’s and Filoni’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars — which introduced fan-favorites like Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan Ahsoka Tano — left off. From the first moment, Star Wars fans are thrust into the fray as the newly-minted Emperor Palpatine executes Order 66.
Only one faction of clone troopers — Clone Force 99 — doesn’t obey the order to kill their Jedi Generals. This group, comprised of Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Echo, and Crosshair, first appeared in a four-episode Clone Wars story arc in Season 7. Now, they’re back — and they have a brand-new friend.
Omega (the little girl at the bottom of the image above) is introduced early in the premiere episode of The Bad Batch, “The Aftermath”.
She has an affinity for Hunter and his crew that none of the troopers quite understand — they’re the odd ones out on Kamino, the kids nobody wants to sit with at lunch, if you will.
During a recent press conference for Star Wars: The Bad Batch, one astute attendee noticed the remarkable similarities between Hunter’s emerging relationship with Omega and the fatherly bond another Dave Filoni character has with his own foundling.
If you guessed Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu in The Mandalorian, you’re correct! No prizes, but bragging rights.
Voice actor Dee Bradley Baker, who voices the entire Bad Batch, addressed the issue when it was noted that the show has “Mandalorian, Baby Yoda-like, reluctant dad in armor vibes.”
“…it’s a fascinating relationship that unfolds. Because at first, of course, the team is not-they’re kind of their own sealed unit.
And they’re not-they’re certainly not used to having anybody else along or working with anybody else. Um, although, they did-they did bring along Echo. And brought Echo on board after he kind of proved himself to them, and they-they-they-they, uh, came together on that. But, um, yeah, I mean, it-it-it-it’s interesting, uh, in terms of the-of the story and the writing, to have this kind of personal relationship with the younger character.”
“Because it’s more of like a-an uncle/niece, or a-or a father/child, uh, dynamic, but not entirely.Because Omega…is her own interesting, um, uh, potential of-of powers…so it’s interesting to see all of that unfold…I think it connects you to-to the story in-in a personal way.So it’s not just an action story.
Uh, as Star Wars never is.That there’s-that there’s a personal story that’s also playing out as well, that-that, uh, that connects you to the, uh, to the entire story.”
If this sounds an awful lot like the emotional subtext of Filoni’s hit live-action series, helmed, of course, by Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau, you’re on the money.
The similarities between the relationships in these two very different kinds of Star Wars tales are immediately striking.
And, if you’re a Mandalorian fan waiting to find out what happens with Djarin and the Darksaber — or if we’ll even see Grogu in Season 3 (he could very well be off with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker) — The Bad Batch is a surprising, and excellent, placebo for the Star Wars-shaped emotional void in your life.
At this time, the interconnected series The Mandalorian Season 3, Ahsoka, and Rangers of the New Republic do not have official release dates. Showrunner Jon Favreau has confirmed that a third Mandalorian spinoff, The Book of Boba Fett, will debut in December 2021.
Are you going to be tuning in to watch Star Wars: The Bad Batch?