May the 4th, also known as Star Wars Day, marks a full year since the final season of The Clone Wars animated series aired on Disney+.
But for fans of The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Lucasfilm Animation in general, Star Wars animation is back with a whole new series — Star Wars: The Bad Batch!
This new series focuses on Clone Force 99, an elite group of clones that fans were first introduced to in Season 7 of The Clone Wars, as they navigate the post-war and post-Republic galaxy.
The series is set to air on this year's May the 4th; and for fans looking for a refresher course or to acquaint themselves with this group of Clone Troopers, help has arrived!
HOW TO PREP FOR STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH
StarWars.com shared a new article breaking down which episodes to watch before The Bad Batch's Disney+ premiere on May the 4th.
For those looking for an introduction to Clone Force 99 and where audiences last left the group, Star Wars suggests checking out the first arc of Season 7 of The Clone Wars which includes:
- Episode 1: "The Bad Batch"
- Episode 2: "A Distant Echo:
- Episode 3: "On the Wings of Keeradaks"
- Episode 4: "Unfinished Business"
But keep in mind that this arc doesn't just introduce the Bad Batch troopers.
This particular playlist also involves the series' main characters, a special group of clones, and a significant clone trooper from the show's earlier episodes, all while touching on hallmark themes of The Clone Wars.
So to get the full picture, and not just a certain point of view, Star Wars assigned some additional viewing homework.
- Season 3 - Episode 1: "Clone Cadets"
- Season 1 - Episode 4: "Rookies"
- Season 3 - Episode 2: "ARC Troopers:
- Season 3 - Episode 18: "The Citadel"
- Season 3 - Episode 19: "Counterattack"
Now it's no secret that Lucasfilm intends to further interweave characters in upcoming projects as already evidenced in the cameo-fest that was The Mandalorian's sophomore season.
And from The Bad Batch's trailer, fans already know that familiar faces ranging from Grand Moff Tarkin to Fennec Shand to Saw Gerrera are set to make appearances in the series.
So for those looking to familiarize themselves with these additional characters and their own stories, Star Wars suggests watching the following from both The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian.
- Season 5 - Episode 2: "A War on Two Fronts"
- Season 5 - Episode 3: "Front Runners"
- Season 5 - Episode 4: "The Soft War"
- Season 5 - Episode 5: "Tipping Points"
- Season 1 of The Mandalorian - Chapter 5: "The Gunslinger"
THE BAD BATCH'S POTENTIAL LEGACY
The Bad Batch is Lucasfilm's first new animated series created for Disney+ and the first released following the slew of Star Wars news out of the December 2020 Disney Investor Day Event.
The investor event, of course, is when Lucasfilm first revealed their intention to pursue more interconnected storytelling.
While it's true cameos and crossovers in Star Wars animated series are nothing new. The question is how these cameos will translate now that they're part of Lucasfilm's new direction, and not present solely for the sake of storytelling.
In addition to The Bad Batch's unique cast of characters in Clone Force 99, the timeline of their story is also rich with storytelling potential.
The gap between the events of The Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One has remained largely unexplored, and it will be interesting to see how these unique clones cope with the end of the war, the rise of the Empire, and each other.
The Bad Batch debuts on May the 4th on Disney+.