Star Wars: The Bad Batch is a sequel to Star Wars: The Clone Wars - and here are all the episodes you need to watch to catch up with the characters. On May 4, 2021, Lucasfilm launches its next Star Wars animated series. Set shortly after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Bad Batch follows an elite group of Clone Troopers who are decommissioned from military service and wind up on the run in a suddenly hostile galaxy.
The titular heroes, the Bad Batch, were introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7, and they're essentially the superheroes of the Grand Army of the Republic; mutant clones whose mutations were deemed to be beneficial. They were joined by Echo, a Clone Trooper who served with distinction as a member of the elite 501st but was captured and weaponized by the Separatists before being freed by the Bad Batch. What's more, there are other returning characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars as well - notably freedom fighter Saw Gerrera and a rising star in the Imperial ranks, Tarkin.
Viewers may well want to catch up on these returning heroes and villains ahead of the show's launch. Of course, because Star Wars: The Clone Wars wasn't told in a strictly chronological order, that task isn't necessarily an easy one. So here's your definitive viewing guide.
This is the origin story of Echo, one of a group of five clones who are being assessed by the Kaminoans; they're all unusually headstrong, and the cloners fear they may be a so-called "Bad Batch." This episode is important for introducing Clone Trooper 99, a defective clone who serves as a janitor on Kamino and who will ultimately become a war hero.
Sticking to a loose chronological order, viewers next want to move to Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 1 episode 5 and season 3, episode 2. This essentially serves as a two-part story that sees the Separatists launch an unsuccessful attack on the Rishi moon in order to position themselves for a full-scale strike on Kamino. Echo is one of a handful of new clones stationed on the Rishi moon, and he is inducted into the 501st Legion for his service. Unfortunately the victory at the Rishi moon doesn't prevent the Separatists from getting to Kamino, but the hero of the day is Clone Trooper 99. He proves that even supposedly "defective" clones can be valuable, leading the Kaminoans to reassess their approach to mutations. There would be no Bad Batch without this story.
Fast-forward to Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3, and a superb three-part story in which Anakin Skywalker and the 501st are assigned to infiltrate a Separatist prison in order to free a group of high-ranking prisoners. One of these prisoners is Wilhuff Tarkin, a skilled military strategist who swiftly bonds with Anakin Skywalker, and has intelligence he desperately needs to pass on to the Chancellor himself. The rescue is a success, but sadly Echo is believed killed; in reality he is captured by the Separatists, who will weaponize him against the Republic.
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