Having aired episodes on Disney+ since May the 4th, The Bad Batch follows experimental Clone Force 99 as they navigate the galaxy in the wake of the events of Revenge of the Sith and the changes that follow.
Much like The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels that came before, The Bad Batch has its own story to tell but still finds a way to connect itself to other Star Wars stories.
EPISODE 5 OF THE BAD BATCH ECHOS HAN SOLO STORY
In the latest episode of the series titled "Rampage," Clone Force 99 find themselves accepting a mission on the planet of Ord Mantell in exchange for information on bounty hunter Fennec Shand.
Ord Mantell has appeared in comics and in Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, but it was first mentioned by Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back.
Before the Battle of Hoth, Han plans to leave the Rebellion due to the fact that Jabba the Hutt has a price on his head. When Leia questions him about this change of course, Han answers, "Well, the bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell changed my mind."
Fans know that Han and Leia do encounter another bounty hunter commissioned by Jabba later in the film who proves to be successful. That, of course, is Boba Fett.
Now The Bad Batch are the ones finding themselves dealing with a bounty hunter on Ord Mantell who just happens to be Fennec Shand. Voiced and performed by Ming-Na Wen, Fennec Shand appeared in both seasons of The Mandalorian and will appear in The Book of Boba Fett releasing on Disney+ later this year.
In the post-credits scene of The Mandalorian's Season 2 finale, Shand accompanies Boba Fett to Jabba's Palace where they kill Bib Fortuna and take over Jabba's throne.
Shand's involvement, and the fact she's a bounty hunter, indicates that she and Jabba have a history. And ironically enough, Bib Fortuna and Jabba's Gammorean Guards also made an appearance in the latest Bad Batch episode.
IS HAN SOLO CONNECTED TO FENNEC SHAND?
It's certainly ironic, if not intentional, that Jabba, Fortuna, and Shand, all of whom are connected to Boba Fett, had a presence in "Rampage."
In recent years specifically, Lucasfilm has a trend of using one Star Wars project to lay a foundation or provide context for another.
And with The Book of Boba Fett releasing later this year, it seems likely that the events of "Rampage" and Fennec Shand's role in The Bad Batch will contribute to the new live-action series in some way.
It also seems likely that The Book of Boba Fett will also involve some sort of reference to Han Solo considering he was why Boba Fett fell into the sarlaac pit on Tatooine.
One possibility is that Lucasfilm retcons the identity of the bounty hunter on Ord Mantell to be Fennec Shand. Not only would it further connect her to Boba Fett, but her failure to capture the scoundrel and what followed could explain why she too is out for revenge at Jabba's Palace.
Time will tell. But in the meantime, The Bad Batch is giving Star Wars fans plenty to speculate until Boba Fett's solo series debuts later this year.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch airs on Fridays on Disney+.