The next chapter in the Star Wars saga is upon us. Star Wars: The Bad Batch, a brand new animated series, has debuted on Disney+. The super-sized premiere episode picked up in the aftermath of The Clone Wars and offers a glimpse into the early days of the Galactic Empire. One particularly interesting thing the first episode does is set the table for the transition from Republic Clone Troopers to Stormtroopers.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Proceed with caution. The series picks up with the execution of Order 66. We follow Clone Force 99, aka The Bad Batch, while this all goes down. They, interestingly, due to their unique programming that differs from the rest of the clone army, largely ignore the order. Though they watch as the Jedi are all but extinguished. The show then becomes about this group adjusting to post-war life inside the Imperial ranks. And, as it just so happens, this skilled group of soldiers may serve as the inspiration for Stormtroopers replacing clones.
We learned in Attack of the Clones that Jango Fett was used as the genetic source for the Clone Army. These soldiers are, more or less, identical to one another. They are loyal, easily replaceable and are made for one thing and one thing only. Yet, Clone Force 99 differed from the bunch. Introduced in the final season of The Clone Wars, this group, though different, was special. These differences helped to set them apart and make them arguably far more productive than their clone brethren. This gets the attention of none other than Tarkin before his days as a Grand Admiral within the Imperial ranks.
Tarkin then decides to put Clone Force 99 through some tests to see what they can do for himself. Tarkin explains that he feels having soldiers within the Empire that are not identical genetically might be beneficial. The Bad Batch, as they’re known, planted that seed of an idea. It’s easy to see how this seed will grow to enlist young people from across the galaxy into the Empire’s military machine. Oddly enough, a special batch of clones seemingly will be responsible for the demise of the Clone Army and the rise of Stormtroopers.
Stormtroopers were among the first things Star Wars fans ever saw on screen in the opening minutes of A New Hope all those years ago. They’re an enormous part of the franchise. Yet, they rarely get much depth on-screen. They are, more or less, cannon fodder. This new show, it seems, will provide more depth to this hugely important element of the franchise.
While this is just one episode, it does give us an idea of where the story may be going. We have explored, at times, how Stormtroopers operate and how they came to be. But never in detail. It appears this new show has the opportunity to fill in some gaps and show us, in great detail, what this period of transition was like. How we moved away from democracy and into the galactic dictatorship led by Palpatine known as the Empire. Star Wars: The Bad Batch is available now on the TA1llCCGt6ed42|Disney+ streaming app.
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