The Bad Batch explores the earliest days of the Empire from the point of view of the clones. It’s an unexplored story getting fleshed out for the first time.
The series focuses on Clone Force 99 witnessing these changes firsthand. These specialty clones struggle to survive when branded traitors by the Empire. What starts as stock archetypes develop into interesting characters growing into their own. Here are 25 reasons we love The Bad Batch.
1 – Omega
Omega is such a sweet ray of sunshine! Her discovering every new planet reminds fans to appreciate the little things. While this wholesome girl loves meeting new faces, she learns quickly that the galaxy can be dangerous. Thanks to her brothers’ guidance, Omega becomes a vital team member, acting as the group's moral compass and sometimes the voice of reason.
2 – Hunter
Hunter has a fascinating, if not also frustrating, journey throughout the show. His development comes from a place of fear which is why his change is slow. As the leader of Clone Force 99, he takes the weight of Crosshair’s betrayal on his shoulders to justify his more cautious nature. No one can run forever from the Empire, something Echo constantly reminds him of. The slow burn of Hunter’s character arc is worth the wait when he finally decides to fight the Empire.
3 – Crosshair
Crosshair is the best-written character in the show. Leaving the Bad Batch and joining the Empire provides instant drama and sets up a series-long story. He also gives the audience an inside look at how the Empire phases out clone troopers for stormtroopers. Crosshair slowly realizes that just because he’s a specialty clone doesn’t mean the Empire values him.
4 – Echo
One thing to know about The Bad Batch: Echo is always right. As the only regular clone on the team, his path has been dramatically different from his brothers. He immediately sees the dangers of the Empire and pushes Hunter to fight back. There is no safety for Omega in the galaxy as long as there is a fascist government around. His choice to leave the group feels incredibly earned and is one of the most emotional moments of the series.
5 – Tech
Tech is historic as being the first on-screen neurodivergent character in the franchise. He might seem like the nerdy one, but his journey with Omega is a highlight of the series. Season two heavily focused on Tech, culminating in the episode “The Crossing,” where he and Omega finally connect. Afterward, Tech is incredibly present for her as a supporting figure through the end of the season.
According to GLAAD, in 2021, 3.5% of characters in media are either physically or mentally disabled, making Tech some vitally important on-screen representation.
6 – Wrecker
Who doesn’t love Wrecker? He is the fun-loving big brother of the group who is here to have a good time and blow stuff up. As a constant source of comedy, Wrecker provides a heaping helping of levity in the series. He’s often considered “the dumb one,” which is a mistake. He’s a weapons engineer who can craft a makeshift canon from random parts. Don’t ever count Wrecker out of a fight!
7 – Cid
By far public enemy #1 in The Bad Batch fandom, Cid gets a bad rap. The wily Trandoshan is the very definition of Scum and Villainy, setting up one of the show's biggest but easily broadcasted betrayals. She warned the Batch not to bring the Empire to her doorstep, and they didn’t listen. Acting like Lando Calrissian or Han Solo, she responded like any suitable Scoundrel type and looked out for herself. Like the two Original Trilogy characters, Cid is now prepped for a nice character arc.
8 – Captain Rex
Everyone’s favorite clone captain returned to The Bad Batch, which is always a delight. Rex makes sense in this series after serving under Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. Anakin taught Rex to think outside of the box and break regulations. Ahsoka is one of the earliest leaders of the Rebel Alliance. With his history and friendship with Echo, Rex allowed the Batch to enter the fight against the Empire if they chose to take it.
9 – Cut Lawquane
The return of Cut Lawquane and his family was an incredible early surprise in the show. The original deserter clone, Cut guides the Batch, who are newly on the run from the Empire. With the Batch essentially adopting Omega and having no clue what to do with a child, Cut’s knowledge as a father is just as crucial as how to hide from Imperial eyes. He and his wife Suu show his clone brothers some of the basics of parenting.
10 – Fennec Shand
The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett tackled the later years of deadly assassin Fennec Shand. The Bad Batch explores her just starting her career. While skilled, Fennec is a greenhorn and nowhere near as perfect as she is in the later series. Ming-Na Wen returns to voice the character, which is always a delight.
11 – Cad Bane
In a move that no fan saw coming, the return of Cad Bane was some peak Star Wars content. Along with his “not a butler” droid Todo 360, Bane won a shootout with Hunter and kidnapped Omega. The Clone Wars fan-favorite character was a deadly new threat, and his showdown with Fennec was an incredible brawl of bounty hunters while setting up implications for The Book of Boba Fett.
12 – Hera Syndulla
One joy of The Bad Batch is seeing younger versions of Star Wars Rebels characters. The opening episode has a cameo from Kanan Jarrus, but the Ryloth two-parter steals the show with young Hera Syndulla and Chopper. Hera and Omega’s immediate friendship is cute, as Omega truly needs to be around people her age. Hera’s early rebellious tendencies begin to come out, as well as her love of flying.
It’s also wonderful to finally see Hera’s mother, Eleni, for the first time. Eleni is ready to throw down with the Empire invading her planet, and it’s clear she’s an inspiration for her daughter.
13 – Howzer
During its run, The Bad Batch introduced many new characters, and the internet collectively agreed that Commander Howzer was a favorite. #HotHowzer trended on social media for two weeks, with the clone becoming the new internet boyfriend.
Howzer plays a significant role in the series too. He’s an essential key in Hunter’s character arc. As a specialty clone, Hunter didn’t see himself or the Batch on the same level as “Regs” or regular clones. With Howzer’s rebellion on Ryloth, Hunter realizes all clones are in the same fight.
14 – Kevin Kiner’s Score
Since his debut with The Clone Wars movie, Kevin Kiner has become a beloved composer in Lucasfilm, with some of his pieces rivaling John Williams. Along with the team of his son and daughter, Sean and Deana, The Bad Batch is by far some of his best work.
Sean and Deana would also post obscure memes and references the night before an episode would drop for the audience to guess what would happen. The composers always found fun ways to interact with fans.
15 – The Destruction of Kamino
While it might seem strange to say the obliteration of a city and loss of life is a thing to love, the destruction of Tipoca City is a major turning point in the show. It’s a symbolic moment that the Prequel Era is over, and it’s the time of the Empire going forward. The attack hits the Bad Batch emotionally, witnessing their home decimated in moments. This powerful action piece is one of the high points of the show.
16 – The Transition to Stormtroopers
With Kamino removed from the picture, season two of The Bad Batch hones in on the transition from clone troopers to stormtroopers. Much of this is from Crosshair’s point of view with his episodes “The Solitary Clone” and “The Outpost.” All the Regs around him voice their fears of being phased out. They don’t have representation in the Senate, they’re framed for the destruction of Kamino, and they’re left to fend for themselves. Seeing these heroes of The Clone Wars tossed out like used objects when the Empire has no use is heartbreaking.
17 – Commander Cody
If Rex is the favorite from The Clone Wars, Commander Cody is the OG clone of the Prequel Trilogy. He was the only clone besides Boba Fett in the movies given screen time as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s commander and one of the first to participate in Order 66.
His return is perfect for this kind of series, as he is breaking through the programming of the inhibitor chip in all clones. He regrets Order 66 and fears for all clones losing their place in this new galaxy. As the only friend left for Crosshair, he challenges the ex-Bad Batch member on his journey.
18 – Phee Genoa
Wanda Sykes splashes into Star Wars animation, portraying the delightful Indiana Jones-type of archeologist Phee Genoa. While Phee does toe the line of Scum and Villainy, her focus is saving history that the Empire is decimating. She becomes a valuable ally for the Batch, and her budding romance with Tech is charming.
19 – Gungi’s Return
Following the previous series, The Bad Batch constantly answers major leftover questions from The Clone Wars. One question came from the Youngling Arc of Clone Wars, where fans met a plucky group of young Jedi. Whether or not those kids survived Order 66 had been a point of debate.
Fans cried out in consolation when the season two trailer dropped to reveal Gungi, the Wookiee Jedi of the group. He had survived the Jedi Purge with the episode “Tribe,” focusing on getting him safely to Kashyyyk. While it is still unknown if the other kids made it out okay, knowing that one survived was a relief.
20 – Senator Riyo Chuchi
Riyo Chuchi began as a young, inexperienced senator in The Clone Wars. Years later, Riyo is back in The Bad Batch and picking up the fight that Padmé Amidala would be proud of. Riyo represents the voice of the clones in the Senate since they have no representation. With Bail Organa guiding her from afar, it would be no surprise if Riyo one day becomes a significant member of the Rebel Alliance.
21 – Admiral Rampart’s Fall
Admiral Rampart has always been an Adventure of the Week Villain posing as a Big Bad. He was a stooge acting like some great evil as all the power and authority went to his head. This is why it’s such delicious Schadenfreude when Emperor Palpatine personally shows up and publicly has Rampart arrested. Rampart spent a season and a half dismantling the rights of clones. His horror when he realizes he is just as disposable in the Empire is worth the wait.
The fact that clones arrest him is the cherry on top.
22 – Doctor Hemlock
Now Hemlock is a real Big Bad. This Josef Mengele-inspired doctor is a chilling addition to the series, showcasing the behind-the-scenes dealings of the Empire. He only sees the clones as objects and has no problem experimenting on these men. Doctor Hemlock is a powerhouse baddie who brings real danger in the wake of Rampart’s ousting.
23 – The Zillo Beast
Another lingering question from The Clone Wars was what happened to the Zillo Beast. The kaiju-like monster returned in the episode “Metamorphosis” to highlight the depths of Hemlock’s villainy. The innocent creature escapes and goes on a rampage near a village. Once the beast is recaptured, the Empire arrests (and probably kills) all the villagers to keep Hemlock’s work a secret.
24 – The Outpost
“The Outpost” is by far one of the best episodes of the entire show. When Crosshair is assigned to a frozen outpost, he meets a clone commander named Mayday. Mayday challenges Crosshair mentally and emotionally, breaking through Crosshair’s pain of leaving the Batch. The two clones realize they are worthless to the Empire, and it culminates in Crosshair’s turning point. With the mountains behind him framing his body like wings, Crosshair shoots his horrific commanding Imperial officer and finally rebels. It’s an earned and critical moment for the show.
25 – Emerie Karr
Emerie Karr was one of the biggest surprises of the show. Beginning as a background character, she’s one of Hemlock’s assistants with her research. She lingers for several episodes, not really doing anything of note.
Slowly, the show begins to nudge Emerie into the forefront with her interacting with a captured Crosshair. He spares her life, putting her front and center for the rest of the season. With Omega also taken hostage by Hemlock’s men, Emerie then drops one of the biggest cliffhangers of the show: She is also a clone and Omega’s older sister, setting up some intriguing storylines for season three.
Hope Mullinax is a freelance writer with over ten years of experience working for various publications. She’s the Site Expert at Dork Side of the Force, a Freelance News Writer for Collider, and the Animation Staff Writer at The Geeky Waffle. When she’s not writing, she loves on her cats, collects Pokémon cards, and rolls dice on For Light and Dice, a Star Wars TTRPG podcast.