Who Is Caleb Dume, the Padawan in the Bad Batch?

Star Wars Rebels and The Bad Batch Animated Series caleb dume

Who is the padawan in the Bad Batch? Those tuning into the Bad Batch might have picked up on a familiar face in a padawan from the past. Caleb Dume appeared in the premiere of The Bad Batch, but most Star Wars fans, particularly fans of the animated series, knew straight away who the young Padawan was. While he may have been known as Caleb Dume during childhood, fans known him as the man he grew into, Kanan Jarrus.

The animated series Star Wars Rebels premiered on Disney XD in 2014 and ran until 2018, though it has perhaps gained an even more loyal fan base once it became widely available on Disney+ in 2019. The first introduction to Rebels came in a forty-four-minute two-part animated television movie, Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion, which premiered on WatchDisneyXD.com.

Freddie Prinze Jr. voices Kanan Jarrus, who also voiced Caleb Dume during his cameo in Aftermath.

Who Is Caleb Dume in Star Wars?

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Animated Series (2021)
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

Caleb Dume escaped the purge of Order 66. Other notable Jedi who survived Order 66 include Ahsoka Tano, Cal Kestis, Yoda, Grogu, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, whose post-Order 66 adventures are explored in the Kenobi series on Disney+.

Following the death of his master, Depa Bilaba, Caleb Dume fell into a life of thievery and smuggling alongside Janus Kasmir. After this time with Kasmir, Caleb Dume adopted the name of Kanan Jarrus and came into his own as a man. The Empire's rule over the galaxy forced him to hide his past as a Jedi, and it is clear that Kanan struggled as he drifted from port to port.

When audiences first meet Kanan in Rebels, he has become jaded, but everything changes for him when he becomes the leader of the Ghost crew. He has a purpose, waging war against the Empire, and he has a family in Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, Zeb Orrelios, Chopper, and Ezra Bridger, who becomes his Padawan.

When Kanan and Ezra first met, Ezra stole Kanan's lightsaber. After tracking him down again, Kanan gives Ezra two options: keep the lightsaber or become his Padawan. Ezra chooses widely and is taken in by the Ghost crew. Like the Jedi who trained him when he was Caleb Dume, Kanan instructs Ezra and puts him through the trials of becoming a Jedi. He has Ezra track down the Jedi Temple on Lothal to retrieve the kyber crystals necessary to construct a lightsaber.

A pivotal moment for Kanan occurred in the Season 2 finale when Maul blinded Kanan during a mission to Malachor. Without sight, the Jedi finds himself forced to see things differently through the Force, making him learn to rely on his other senses.

In a now-deleted tweet, a Lucasfilm Story group member stated that the decision to make Kanan blind drew inspiration from the Zatoichi samurai films, which makes sense, considering much of Star Wars drew heavy influence from Akira Kurosawa's samurai films.

Tragically, Kanan Jarrus sacrifices his life in the tenth episode of the finale season of Rebels. After his death, it is revealed to audiences that he and Hera had a son together named Jacen. The name choice is an obvious ode to Jacen Solo, one of the Solo twins in the Expanded Universe.

Following his death, Kanan became one with the Force, as all Force users do, but he also manifested as a loth-wolf named Dume, which appeared to Ezra several times during the final season of the series.

Who Is the Jedi Padawan in the Bad Batch Premiere?

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Animated Series (2021)
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

In the moments before Order 66 turns the clone troopers against the Jedi, Jedi Master Depa Billaba and her Padawan Caleb Dume await reinforcements in their fight against legions of battle droids on Kaller. Their reinforcements come in the form of Clone Force 99, a unit of highly advanced clones that easily wipe out the remaining battle droids.

Depa Billaba and her Padawan Caleb Dume previously appeared in a hologram in “Old Friends Not Forgotten” during the final season of The Clone Wars, in a scene that leads up to the moments witnessed during the premiere of The Bad Batch. Fans heard about Depa Billaba's sacrifice to ensure Caleb's survival, but now we see that Hunter was pivotal in ensuring that Caleb Dume survived Order 66.

The Bad Batch doesn't retell what viewers already know about Caleb's life after Order 66. He remains on the run and teams up with Janus Kasmir to avoid being found by the Empire. In the act of leaving his Jedi life behind, he cuts off his Padawan braid, destroys his Jedi comlink, and changes his name to Kanan Jarrus.

Kanan Jarrus's past became a major topic in Star Wars: Rebels and in the comic series Kanan: The Last Padawan, but for fans of the character, this appearance in The Bad Batch premiere filled in missing elements of his story and strengthens what they already know.

One of the strengths of Star Wars is how the stories can connect all of its series, bringing in familiar faces to introduce us to new characters. While we've met Hunter and The Bad Batch before in the arc of The Clone Wars, seeing them interact with a character like Kanan Jarrus opens up exciting new avenues for the series to explore.

Author: Meredith Wilshere


Meredith Wilshere is a freelance lifestyle writer who spends her time trying to thrift the perfect coat and meet her yearly Goodreads goal. She is an author, infrequent marathoner, and pop music apologist. 

Meredith has been published in Business Insider, Senior Executive, and Hubspot.