In July 2020, Disney and Lucasfilm announced Star Wars: The Bad Batch, a new animated series executive produced by The Clone Wars overseer Dave Filoni. The show will be set after The Clone Wars, and will follow a successful seventh and final season of that show on the Disney Plus streaming service.
The official announcement of The Bad Batch revealed a little of what the show is about, and viewers will be familiar with the main characters from the previous Star Wars animated series, where the titular heroes were first introduced. Disney Plus will be the show's exclusive home. In December 2020, we saw a 'sizzle reel' trailer, revealing more about what to expect, and in February 2021, a release date was finally revealed for the show: May 4, 2021.
Below, we've rounded up everything we know about Star Wars: The Bad Batch so far, including its release date and what we know about its story.
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What is Star Wars: The Bad Batch?
Star Wars: The Bad Batch is a new CG animated series which will function as a sequel of sorts to The Clone Wars, which finished its final season earlier this year. It will focus on the Bad Batch, or Clone Force 99, a crew of clone soldiers who possess extraordinary abilities compared to the standard clones of the Star Wars universe.
Characters in Clone Force 99 include Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair and Echo, and four episodes of The Clone Wars season seven focused on the group. Each member of the squad has their own exceptional, individual skill, making them a group of elite specialists.
This series, though, will take place during the Imperial era after the Clone Wars have ended, and see the group take on mercenary missions as they try to figure out who they are in the wake of the war.
The show will debut on Disney Plus, which now appears to be the de facto home of Star Wars animation. That's a particularly good thing for international viewers who want to keep pace with US viewers of the series.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch release date
The release date for Star Wars: The Bad Batch was confirmed in February 2021 – the series premieres on Star Wars Day 2021, May 4, with further episodes rolling out every Friday starting on May 7.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch trailer
Revealed during the Investor Day event in 2020, The Bad Batch now has a trailer. Check it out below:
A sneak peek at Star Wars: The Bad Batch, an all-new animated Original Series from Lucasfilm Animation, coming soon to #DisneyPlus pic.twitter.com/V0jQc4XNIeDecember 10, 2020
Star Wars: The Bad Batch cast: who'll feature in the show?
Little is known about the Star Wars: The Bad Batch cast right now, but all the clones in the series were voiced by longtime The Clone Wars alumnus Dee Bradley Baker, so you can expect him to return in the roles of Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair, Hunter and Echo.
The trailer also revealed that The Mandalorian's Fennec Shand may have a part to play in the series.
What else do we know about Star Wars: The Bad Batch?
That's pretty much it from the official announcement for now, but Kessel Run Transmissions, which successfully reported on the specifics of the series ahead of its official announcement, offered a few more details that weren't in the reveal (via r/StarWarsLeaks). Consider these rumors.
The highlights here are potential limited appearances for popular The Clone Wars characters Ahsoka Tano and Rex.
The show's hosts also believe a sequel series to Star Wars: Rebels (another CG animated series) is in the works alongside The Bad Batch. So you could, in theory, get two Star Wars animated series in the works concurrently.
Star Wars fans have a lot to be excited about on Disney Plus in the coming years, alongside the four confirmed live-action series (The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Cassian Andor and a fourth untitled TV show).
The Bad Batch, though, promises to go deeper into the lives of the Clone soldiers after Order 66 has been called, which is a side of the Star Wars universe that deserves to be explored in more detail.