‘Star Wars’ Confirms Palpatine’s Biggest Mistake, Ends 14-Year-Old Story Arc

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Palpatine telling Anakin about Darth Plagueis

Credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars has just confirmed Emperor Palpatine’s biggest mistake and one that will end a story 14 years in the making.

Emperor Palpatine's terrifying smile
Credit: Lucasfilm

Three years ago, Dave Filoni brought Clone Force 99, AKA the Bad Batch, back into the Star Wars canon. After appearing at the end of The Clone Wars, Filoni’s series–aptly titled Star Wars: The Bad Batch–found the eponymous group of misfits, Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Echo, and Crosshair (all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker), navigating the new Galactic Empire in the aftermath of Order 66.

Now in its third and final season, Filoni and Jennifer Corbett’s animated series not only revealed what it was like in the early reign of Emperor Palpatine but has also spent ample time exploring the Empire’s cloning experiments. Ever since Ian McDiarmid returned as Palpatine in the final act of Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019), Disney has been retroactively laying the groundwork for his return.

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

From hints in The Mandalorian involving Grogu (“Baby Yoda”) to the more clear plan laid out in The Bad Batch, Star Wars is slowly explaining how Force-sensitive clones were created. There have always been signs that Omega–the young female member of Clone Force 99 played by Michelle Ang–is intrinsically connected to Palpatine’s plans, and Season 3 has officially confirmed why.

In the latter half of the third season, Filoni confirmed that Omega’s blood was invaluable to the success of the cloning mission, AKA Project Necromancer, which involves taking the blood of individuals with a high M-count and binding it with Omega’s. But in the most recent episode, “Flash Strike,” which was directed by Nate Villanueva and written by Brad Rau, Omega discovers that the Empire is holding and testing on another being: the Zillo Beast.

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

Locked away in Mount Tantiss, Royce Hemlock’s (Jimmi Simpson) Advanced Science Division (ASD) has captured the Zillo Beast to continue its experimentation on the mythic creature. But as Omega points out in the final moments of the episode, the Zillo Beast may just be her and the other stolen children’s way out of imprisonment.

Not only will the Zillo Beast likely be set free and run rampant on Tantiss, but its potential release from captivity will mark two other big steps forward for the Star Wars franchise.

The Zillo Beast Strikes Back Star Wars The Clone Wars
Credit: Lucasfilm

The first seemingly being Omega’s use of the Force to interact with the Zillo, as hinted in the episode “Harbinger” when Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman) connects with an attacking sea creature. The second is the conclusion to a 14-year-old story arc, which will–if it occurs–prove to be Palpatine’s biggest mistake.

The Zillo Beast first appeared in the Star Wars canon in the 2010 The Clone Wars episode, “The Zillo Beast.” The legendary creature was first seen on the planet Malastare, where Jedi Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker took on the beast and discovered its armor was impervious to lightsabers.

Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker looking at the Zillo Beast
Credit: Lucasfilm

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After finally being subdued, the Zillo Beast is transported to Coruscant, with the following episode, “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back,” seeing the creature go full Jurassic Park over the planet. Once again, the Zillo Beast is bested, but in the final moments of the episode, Chancellor Palpatine orders the Zillo Beast to be cloned.

The Zillo Beast returned in the second season of The Bad Batch, in the episode “Metamorphosis,” where the clone was powered by absorbing energy and growing to gargantuan size. The Zillo Beast was eventually captured by Imperial forces, with Emerie Karr (Keisha Castle-Hughes) telling Hemlock that the creature is secured in Tantiss.

Seemingly interested in utilizing the lightsaber-repelling armor for his future clone, or stormtrooper, army, Palpatine’s obsession with the Zillo Beast will seemingly bring about his downfall in the initial wave of his self-cloning experiments. After seeing the Zillo Beast inside of Tantiss, Omega returns to the other children and says, “I have a plan, and I’m going to need your help.”

Omega (Michelle Ang) in 'Star Wars: The Bad Batch' (2021). Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

The setup suggests that the Zillo Beast will be set free to run rampage around Mount Tantiss, just like it did in Coruscant years ago. While it is only a handful of years since its first appearance in The Clone Wars, behind the scenes, the Zillo Beast potentially destroying all of Palpatine’s cloning facility will end a 14-year-old story arc.

The final episode of The Bad Batch, titled “The Cavalry Arrives,” will likely see Hunter, Wrecker, Echo, and Crosshair reunited with Omega now that Clone Force 99 has infiltrated Tantiss with the help of former Vice Admiral Edmon Rampart (Noshir Dalal).

Being the finale of not just the season but the series, audiences should also expect the unmasking of villainous clone CX-2, who has been rumored to be the apparently dead Tech, and maybe even hints at the future of the greater Star Wars story.

Omega (Michelle Ang) and the Bad Batch (Dee Bradley Baker). Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

Next up for Star Wars is Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian & Grogu (2026), which is leading the movie slate for Lucasfilm. No other Star Wars film has a release date confirmed, but many are in the works.

From Dave Filoni’s Mando-Verse/Heir to the Empire movie to James Mangold’s Force origin film and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s New Jedi Order movie starring Daisy Ridley (Rey Skywalker), fans are hopefully going to get an abundance of Star Wars big screen content over the next five years.

Assembled Jedi on a cliff in Star Wars: The Acolyte
Credit: Lucasfilm

As for the small screen, Lucasfilm will next release Star Wars: The Acolyte, which stars Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give) and Matrix alum Carrie-Anne Moss. Long-rumored to appear in the galaxy far, far away, Keanu Reeves is also reported to maybe appear in The Acolyte–interestingly, Keanu Reeves starred in a movie called The Bad Batch back in 2016, directed by Ana Lily Amirpour.

Regarding Star Wars animation, Tales of the Sith will begin airing on May the Fourth, AKA Star Wars Day.

Dave Filoni talking to Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka
Credit: Lucasfilm

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It was confirmed early on in The Bad Batch that Omega was the sister of Boba Fett. With Filoni bringing together various characters from the Mando-Verse, that is, from shows like The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Ahsoka, then a live-action older version of Omega may make an appearance, especially after also being connected to the mercenary Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) in the animated series.

Regarding Clone Force 99, all will be revealed in next week’s Disney+ finale. Palpatine’s cloning experiments may have started on Tantiss, but as later installments in the canon reveal, they continued long into the future and throughout the original trilogy and beyond. In 2021, it was explicitly revealed why and how Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) was created, adding yet another thread to the story of Emperor Palpatine’s survival.

Do you think the Zillo Beast is about to change everything during the finale of The Bad Batch? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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