Celebrate Star Wars Day with an explosive premiere of 'The Bad Batch' on Disney Plus

The latest animated venture on Disney Plus begins today with the arrival of "Star Wars: The Bad Batch," an explosive 16-episode spinoff from "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" centered around a notorious band of mercenary clones and their lawless exploits in a galaxy far, far away.

To prime you for all the rowdy outer space adventures, let's strap in a for a little primer on what to expect from "The Bad Batch" as part of a festive Star Wars Day roundup.

Spawned from the seven-season "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," this new series takes place near the same time period between the prequel films "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith." That original show, executive produced by "The Mandalorian's" Dave Filoni, ran from 2008-2020 and centered around Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and assorted Jedi protectors as they clashed in the epic conflict of the Republic versus Count Dooku's Separatists.   

"The Bad Batch," a Star Wars: Clone Wars spinoff, premieres on Disney Plus on May 4, 2021. (Image credit: Disney Plus/Lucasfilm)

"The Bad Batch" follows Clone Force 99, the enhanced band of clones initially seen in the first few episodes of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" season seven. As the Grand Army of the Republic's prime clones were exact genetic copies of bounty hunter Jango Fett, this experimental commando unit has been genetically altered with certain special abilities. 

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Their four-trooper squad is composed of:

  • Hunter: The lead clone imbued with electromagnetic tracking skills. 
  • Wrecker: A clone with superhuman strength. 
  • Tech: A trooper who's a technology genius. 
  • Crosshair: A clone whose enhanced vision makes him a lethal marksman.   

A fifth member named Echo is a standard clone soldier captured by Separatist forces during the Clone Wars and reconfigured into a cyborg. Rescued by the Bad Batch in season seven of "The Clone Wars," Echo became uncomfortable with his normal clone colleagues and eventually joined the ranks of Clone Force 99. All clone characters will again be voiced by actor Dee Bradley Baker, who voiced every clone in "The Clone Wars."

Heralding from "The Mandalorian's" Dave Filoni, "The Bad Batch" kicks off as the Clone Wars are concluding, with the Jedi Knights wiped out and Emperor Palpatine stealing control of the galaxy, with a major concern rising of where these misfit, mutated clone warriors belong in a new galactic world order.

"Star Wars: The Bad Batch" premieres on Disney Plus today, May 4, with a special expanded 70-minute episode. Regular episodes resume streaming on Friday, May 7, and subsequent chapters will roll out weekly every Friday through Aug. 13.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.