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Star Wars announce Clone Wars spinoff The Bad Batch: release date, more

by Isaac McIntyre

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The story of The Clone Wars is far from over. Star Wars showrunner Dave Filoni is officially set to helm yet another animated series, The Bad Batch, which will follow the actions of the Clone commandos following Order 66. Here's everything we know, from characters and plot, to release date, and more.

There’s been rumors on the Star Wars grapevine for some time that Filoni and Disney weren’t quite done with The Clone Wars, despite heralding the resurrected seventh season as a final outing for the 2008 animated series.

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Soon after the short twelve-episode run concluded on Disney Plus, however, whispers began to reach fever-pitch. The main theory was the new stars of the first season arc, Clone Force 99 (aka, the Bad Batch) would get their own show.

The Bad Batch stand at attention in Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Lucasfilm
Clone commando group "The Bad Batch" first appeared in a four-episode arc in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

The rumors have now been confirmed; Star Wars production company Lucasfilm announced an initial one-season order of ‘The Bad Batch,’ for the Disney Plus streaming service. 

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Here’s everything we know about The Bad Batch series so far, including when the Clone Wars spinoff's Disney Plus release date, what the plot of the first season will be, and if old Star Wars characters will appear in the show.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch release date

Star Wars fans may have a bit of a wait until the next blockbuster feature, which won't hit cinemas until 2022, but the Clone Wars spinoff won’t be that far away; The Bad Batch has been handed a 2021 release date.

The seventh season of The Clone Wars began airing on February 22, and had a twelve-episode run through to its conclusion in “Victory and Death” on May 4 (the unofficial Star Wars day). The Bad Batch will likely have a similar calendar run.

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Unfortunately, Lucasfilm has yet to confirm how many episodes the debut season will have. The Clone Wars Season 7 carried a million-dollar price tag per episode. Fans should expect a similar run-length for The Bad Batch, which will have the same animation style.

Anakin Skywalker talks to The Bad Batch in the Clone Wars
Lucasfilm
The Bad Batch will reportedly have the same animation style as The Clone Wars' seventh season.

What will The Bad Batch be about?

Clone Force 99 ⁠were certainly some of the whackier Republic soldiers introduced during the Clone Wars’ staggered twelve-year run. The commando team, made up of Hunter, Crosshair, Wrecker, Tech, Wrecker, and new recruit Echo, became instant fan favorites.

The team debuted in Season 7’s opening episode, “The Bad Batch,” and spent a four-episode arc fighting alongside main characters like Anakin Skywalker and Captain Rex. In the end, they headed back to the frontlines.

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That left some major question marks, however. Palpatine and a fallen Anakin Skywalker enacted Order 66 soon after the episode arc, and The Clone Wars ended. Fans were left wondering what had happened to the Bad Batch post-war.

Darth Maul and Ahsoka Tano cross lightsabers.
Lucasfilm
The final four episodes of The Clone Wars showed the Siege of Mandalore and Order 66.

According to the release Lucasfilm wired to media outlets, the new Disney series will explore exactly that. The first season will “follow the experimental clones of the Bad Batch as they find their way in a rapidly-changing galaxy.”

From the sounds of things, the new series could take on an episodic adventure-of-the-week format like Filoni’s original Clone Wars run. The story will be set in “the post-Clone Wars era”. The team will reportedly “take on daring mercenary missions” and “find new purpose.”

All 'The Bad Batch' rumors

According to Kessel Run Transmissions, a popular Star Wars insider channel on Youtube, the Clone Wars characters Ahsoka Tano and Rex are “likely to appear,” with the latter on the hunt for other clones post-Order 66.

Both will only be in the show “in a limited capacity,” however. KRT suggested Rebels clone Wolffe will also be involved in a few episodes. He will likely appear "by the end of Season 1". Famous clone commander Cody may also cameo.

Less likely cameos include Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is hiding in exile on Tatooine. Master Yoda likely also won't appear. Fallen Order hero Cal Kestis can also be ruled out, due to when Fallen Order falls in the timeline.

Ahsoka Tano and Rex in The Clone Wars.
Lucasfilm
Ahsoka Tano and Rex will reportedly appear in The Bad Batch's first season.

The Bad Batch isn’t the only Star Wars series on the Disney Plus slate. The Mandalorian will also have another season released later this year. Ahsoka is rumored to be joining the cast for Season 2 of the live-action show.