Now we know why those first few episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars‘ final season focused on brand new characters.
TVLine reports Disney+ has ordered a new Star Wars animated series called Star Wars: The Bad Batch. It will follow a squad of off-model clones with heightened skills and specialties as they navigate the early days of Imperial rule. The group first appeared in episodes 701-704 of Clone Wars as part of Captain Rex’s (Dee Bradley Baker) support team during one of his final missions before the events of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. In the post-Clone Wars timeframe, the squad will work as mercenaries in search of a new purpose.
Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni will serve as executive producer alongside Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Star Wars Resistance veterans Athena Portillo, Brad Rau (who will also be the program’s supervising director), and Jennifer Corbett (who will also be The Bad Batch‘s head writer). Carrie Beck, another familiar name from Star Wars television programs, is onboard as co-executive producer while Josh Rimes will produce the series.
The series is expected to debut in 2021 and join Disney+ other original Star Wars content like The Mandalorian.
And, as we said earlier, it explains why Clone Wars took four of its final episodes to introduce the characters. All voiced by Baker, they were an interesting bunch, but had no relation to the season’s big stories involving Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) and Maul (Sam Witwer). To a certain extent, a backdoor pilot so late in the program’s run feels fitting as so many other series do the exact same thing. The only peculiarity here: fans waited years for the final season.
Nonetheless, the period immediately follow Revenge of the Sith is ripe for exploration and we can’t wait to see what sort of stories the Bad Batch find out in the galaxy.