Four Years Later, ‘Star Wars’ Is Changing Disney’s Sequel Trilogy

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Daisy Ridley as Rey

Credit: Lucasfilm

In the next couple of years, Star Wars will completely reset the sequel trilogy, changing everything we know about Disney’s divisive movies.

Rey wielding a blue lightsaber as she listens to Jedi spirits
Credit: Lucasfilm

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It’s not a secret that the Star Wars universe is one of the world’s most beloved franchises.

George Lucas launched the galaxy far, far away over 40 years ago with Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977). What followed was four decades’ worth of stories from Lucas’s own prequel trilogy to the sequel trilogy and streaming shows that came from Disney and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s leadership, not to mention the hundreds of novels and comics that continue to release today.

Kathleen Kennedy at an earlier Star Wars Celebration. Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

2012 marked a massive moment for Lucasfilm after Lucas sold his company to The Walt Disney Company. Three years later, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015) was released in movie theaters and became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

Starring Star Wars newcomers Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Adam Driver as Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren, respectively, the sequel trilogy also saw the return of original trilogy icons Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), and Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa).

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
Credit: Lucasfilm

But the early excitement for Disney’s sequels would end with the most prominent fissure in franchise history. Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017) and Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019) would split the Skywalker Saga fandom so significantly that it would take Pedro Pascal and a little green puppet to unite fans once more.

One of the significant issues with the sequels was the abrupt return of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) in The Rise of Skywalker following the death of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) in the previous movie.

Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) in 'Star Wars: Episode IX - Rise of Skywalker' (2019)
Credit: Lucasfilm

And the backlash that followed regarding Palpatine’s cloning antics in the Star Wars movie is now being retroactively hinted at in projects like The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch.

Last year, Star Wars confirmed in canon that Snoke was a clone of Palpatine, giving the evil Force-user an origin story for the first time. Now, The Mandalorian, over the course of its three seasons, has teased some form of cloning experiments with the inclusion of Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) and Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) obsession with Grogu.

Grogu being held by Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) in 'The Mandalorian'
Credit: Lucasfilm

But it would be in The Bad Batch that Star Wars has really focused on cloning. Amid the execution of Order 66, and the arrival of the Galactic Empire, The Bad Batch has explored clone politics in a way that made The Clone Wars successful.

Using locations like Kamino’s Tipoca City, and characters like Nala Se (Gwendoline Yeo), Omega (Michelle Ang), and even Clone Force 99 (Dee Bradley Baker) themselves, The Bad Batch has continued to allude to a more profound and significant cloning plan. And a plan that points to the cloning experiments of Palpatine.

(L-R): Mas Amedda and Emperor Palpatine in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", season 2 exclusively on Disney+. © 2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: Lucasfilm

At the end of The Bad Batch Season 1, fans were shown Nala Se being transported to a secret mountainous base, Mount Tantiss. Fans of the Star Wars Legends stories will know that Mount Tantiss was one of Palpatine’s secret locations and one that housed old cloning equipment.

Its inclusion now in canon as well as The Bad Batch placing cloning aficionado Nala Se at the location, seemingly confirmed a nefarious plot could be underway involving the Emperor himself.

Mount Tantiss in 'Star Wars: The Bad Batch'
Credit: Lucasfilm

And after a sneak peek at Season 3, that could not be more clear.

Sharing to the crowd at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023, just under four years since the release of The Rise of Skywalker, The Bad Batch Season 3 teaser features a look at Palpatine heading to Mount Tantiss for the first time and explaining to the Imperial forces there that the cloning work on Tantiss is imperative to the Empire’s future and survival.

The Bad Batch in the fight of their lives. Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

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It was also confirmed that The Bad Batch Season 3 would be the third and final outing for Clone Force 99, so it would make sense that this climactic season could be the place where Star Wars finally addresses the cloning efforts of Palpatine and perhaps even a tease to the future creation of Supreme Leader Snoke.

And it is not just TV shows like The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch that are dropping retroactive hints about Palpatine and his survival; canon comic book series like “Darth Vader” and novels like Adam Christopher’s “Shadow of the Sith” (2022) have also been alluding to the Emperor’s chilling plot.

Michelle Ang voices Omega in 'Star Wars: The Bad Batch'. Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

The Bad Batch’s second season just wrapped on Disney+. There is currently no release date for the third and final season of Dave Filoni’s animated series.

Also at Celebration, Kathleen Kennedy revealed that a new movie taking place after the sequel trilogy and starring Daisy Ridley’s Rey is in the works. It will focus on the new Jedi Order.

Do you think The Bad Batch will officially confirm Palpatine’s cloning experiments? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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