Star Wars: The Bad Batch will detail the lives of the rebellious and mysterious Clone Force 99, and possibly answer some questions that fans have had ever since their introduction. One question I have is why we're getting a story specifically about these characters, and I recently had the thought it's because this force has ties to Baby Yoda, a.k.a. Grogu.
Now, I don't know anything or have any insider information, but I do have a strong suspicion that the beloved Baby Yoda will play some role in Star Wars: The Bad Batch. There are a number of reasons I believe this is true, and how I believe that before the series ends, the squad will cross paths with one of Star Wars' cutest new characters.
Baby Yoda And Clone Force 99 Both Have Questions Surrounding Order 66
One hotly-debated topic amongst the Star Wars fandom ahead of Star Wars: The Bad Batch is whether or not Clone Force 99 were participants in Order 66. Arguments have been made in either direction, with no clear consensus on which went down. Given this long-standing speculation, is there a chance the series would address this in some way?
The Mandalorian has revealed Baby Yoda was on Coruscant and trained in the Jedi Temple, and obviously survived Order 66. With that being said, there's a big question as to how that went down and who managed to smuggle Grogu out of such a crisis situation when so many other Jedi perished that day. It seems like a strange coincidence that this assortment of new-ish characters would have blank spots during a major Star Wars event, right? More on that in a bit.
The Bad Batch Trailer Featured Scenes From Before And After The Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Bad Batch is said to be set directly after the events of the Clone Wars, but that doesn't seem to mean it's all forward from there. Scenes from the trailer clearly show clone troopers fighting resistance droids, so one would reckon that scenes set during the Clone Wars will be shown at some point.
If scenes during the Clone Wars will be shown, and Star Wars: The Bad Batch takes place during the immediate rise of the Empire, is it wrong to hope Order 66 will be shown? It's a piece of the story we don't have on Clone Force 99, and while Bad Batch creator and Star Wars animation legend Dave Filoni could've excluded an extensive rundown of what these characters were up to during Order 66, I just don't think he'd miss something that big.
There's Evidence To Support Clone Force 99 Didn't Obey Order 66
While it can't be explicitly confirmed, there is evidence in the Star Wars: The Bad Batch trailer that suggests Clone Force 99 didn't execute Order 66. At the start, Grand Moff Tarkin pointed out that while the force was effective, their "concerning level of disobedience" and "disregard for orders" almost made him consider having them destroyed.
Clone Force 99 is, to use some modern slang, built different. Perhaps their favorable genetic defects made inhibitor chips less effective, or they simply removed them before they were used. Why does this matter? Well, if Clone Force 99 executed Order 66, then it complicates my theory that the crew would cross paths with Grogu. Baby Yoda is strong, but I wouldn't think he'd be strong enough to take out these guys.
How Clone Force 99 And Baby Yoda Could Cross Paths In The Bad Batch
As I've mentioned, Clone Force 99 doesn't have a known story about their time during Order 66 at this point. I've also mentioned that Grogu escaped Order 66, but that the details of how aren't exactly clear. How would a young child escape an impossibly deadly event and make it to safety? My theory is that Clone Force 99 had a hand in Baby Yoda's escape and that it will be shown at some point in Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
I'm on the fence about whether their help directly leads to The Child's escape, or if they just go hog wild and present an opening. It really comes down to what capacity the group is around Fennec Shand, as she never seemed to react to Baby Yoda during The Mandalorian. Obviously, I'm not completely sure how it all comes together, but there is one big thing that has me feeling confident that Baby Yoda will have an appearance in Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Star Wars Loves Connections
Remember when we learned that C-3PO was actually built by Anakin Skywalker? What about when Rey was actually the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine? If there's one thing the Star Wars franchise loves, it's connections. This trend hasn't stopped in Star Wars television either, as The Mandalorian couldn't help but have its own new badass Mandalorian bounty hunter come in contact with the old badass bounty hunter Boba Fett. As improbable as it may seem that two characters in a vast galaxy would cross paths, Star Wars has often felt compelled to make it happen.
The same will be true of Star Wars: The Bad Batch as we already know the series will feature Boba Fett's buddy bounty huntress Fennec Shand. Baby Yoda was seemingly written out of The Mandalorian, all before we learned how he managed to survive so long prior to Din Djarin discovering him. Now we have a Disney+ series set during the exact time Ahsoka Tano wasn't able to pull out of his mind? It's a strange coincidence, as well as an absolutely golden opportunity for Star Wars to make a connection between characters.
Will Clone Force 99 and Baby Yoda meet? I think there's enough potential overlap between their stories that they may very well cross paths before the series is up. After all, after Order 66, there's a very limited number of powerful people fighting for the rebellion who could keep that thing alive. Wouldn't it make sense that this crew played some part in why he was eventually sent off to train with Luke Skywalker?
Star Wars: The Bad Batch premieres on Tuesday, May 4 on Disney+. Stay hyped for the upcoming series by continuing to read up on the latest happening in Star Wars television, such as the reason why Rian Johnson may not direct an episode of The Mandalorian Season 3.