Warning: This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Star Wars fans have certainly had their fix of clones in recent years.
Last year's final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars saw the conclusion of a story that gave more individuality to the clones, headlined by Captain Rex. Season 7 introduced experimental Clone Force 99, saw the return of former ARC Trooper Echo, and featured the reunion of Ahsoka Tano and her loyal soldiers for the Siege of Mandalore. Unfortunately, the story had a tragic end when the clones succumbed to their inhibitor chips and executed Order 66.
Lucasfilm animation's new series, The Bad Batch, carried those events forward immediately, diving into Clone Force 99's efforts to stay afloat as fugitives as the Empire reigns. The show has already seen the return of Rex and Cut Lawquane, and has also introduced a new clone in the young female Omega. But for those thinking the days of meeting new soldiers are over, a new action figure set would argue otherwise.
MEET CLONE CAPTAIN BALLAST
Hasbro has revealed via Toyark a new four-pack of The Vintage Collection action figures based on soldiers from Star Wars: The Bad Batch:
The figures in their unpackaged glory:
Revealed for the first time is Clone Captain Ballast, a trooper who will presumably debut later in Season 1:
Ballast rocks nifty aqua paint on his armor:
He's sporting some classy slick-backed hair:
It wouldn't be a set of clones if Captain Rex weren't included:
Poncho Rex, hearkening back to the deleted scenes of clones pretending to be Jedi in Revenge of the Sith:
He's got himself a visor too:
Clone Captain Grey, a previous point of controversy, is present as well:
A pose that screams imminent betrayal:
He's a decent guy when he's not shooting at Jedi:
Rounding out the set is one of the new Elite Squad Troopers:
He may not be a clone, but good soldiers still follow orders:
The Vintage Collection - The Bad Batch 4 pack will be available in the Fall and retail for $59.99.
WHEN WILL FANS MEET BALLAST?
For those caught up with The Bad Batch, Clone Captain Ballast is an unfamiliar name.
The series has strayed away from non-Bad Batch clones as the story has progressed, with Rex's recent appearance being the one notable exception. But with the introduction of Ballast in The Vintage Collection line, it's clear that the clones are far from finished with their involvement in the growing narrative.
Rex has clearly been up to something since the end of The Clone Wars and helping his brothers remove their inhibitor chips would seem to be at the forefront of his priorities. At some point, clones like Ballast and Grey will likely be seen with their free will restore, and Rex and the Bad Batch would have a heavy hand in that.
The possibility for a clone revolt against the Empire has already been discussed at length, and Rex's recent appearance has only strengthened those odds. With the captain still active and working to restore the Republic, it will take a dramatic course of events to force him into his retirement on Seelos as seen in Rebels.
With the recent leak of several forthcoming episode titles, it seems as though things are going to get dicey between the clones and the Empire. The Kaminoans have already been planning to ensure their survival as Tarkin has become more and more compelled to pursue an enlisted soldier program, with the Elite Squad Troopers serving on a trial and error basis.
History proves that that trial wins out in the end, and things likely won't go well for the clones when the Empire chooses to sack them. An uprising would be their last chance for freedom, and Rex, Ballast, and Grey could lead the charge alongside Clone Force 99 in an effort to save their brothers and point a quick end to the Empire's rule.