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The Bad Batch Series Finale, Explained


The Bad Batch Series Finale, Explained


Summary

  • The Bad Batch series finale saw squad members survive against the odds, tying up loose ends in the Star Wars universe.
  • The conclusion reveals how Palpatine’s resurrection in The Rise of Skywalker was connected to ongoing cloning research.
  • Omega chooses to join the Rebellion, setting up potential crossovers and future storylines in the Star Wars universe.



Star Wars: The Bad Batch has finally come to a close. The series premiered on May 4, 2021, as Disney+’s big Star Wars Day offering. After three seasons, the series came to a close on May 1, 2024, almost three years to the date of the series premiere. Over the course of the series, fans have followed the events of Clone Force 99, a.k.a. The Bad Batch, as they navigate a galaxy changing over from the Galactic Republic to the Galactic Empire. The series has explored a variety of topics, from the place of the Clones in the franchise following the conclusion of The Clone Wars to explaining Palpatine’s resurrection in The Rise of Skywaler, but at the heart of the series has always been the story of the clone Omega and her bond with her clone brothers of Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Echo, and Crosshair.


The Bad Batch has seen some highs but also some big losses, like when one of their squad members, Tech, gave his life in the season two finale. The third season has been building to a climactic showdown between the Bad Batch to save Omega from the clutches of Imperial Science director Royce Hemlock, all while Omega shows she has become a capable member of the Squad herself. Given that Clone Force 99 is not present or mentioned in any subsequent Star Wars media like the original or sequel trilogy, fans were certainly nervous to see if they would make it out alive. Here is the ending of Star Wars: The Bad Batch explained.


Everybody Lives

Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 3 Poster Showing a Painted Battle Damaged Clone Helmet

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Release Date
May 4, 2021

Seasons
3

Creator
Jennifer Corbett, Dave Filoni


Easily, the biggest surprise of The Bad Batch was that the entire squad lived. After the Season 2 finale saw Tech give his life, fans have been conditioned to expect anyone to die in the episode. The creators certainly played on those expectations, as throughout the episode, Wrecker was getting visibly weaker after the wound he received in the previous episode. Meanwhile, due to the nature of former villains turning good, like Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, which typically leads to death, many were expecting the series’ former antagonist, Crosshair, to sacrifice himself to find redemption heroically. Yet, in the biggest twist of all, the entire squad lived.

The Bad Batch was able to kill Hemlock, free all the prisoned clones and the force-sensitive children, and destroy all traces of the cloning research to ensure the Empire would no longer be seeking Omega for the rest of her life. They arrive back on the peaceful planet of Pabu. An adult female clone, like Omega, named Emerie Karr, turned on the Empire to save the Force-sensitive children and joined her clone brothers. She and Echo go off to continue the good fight to free and liberate former Clones while fighting for their rights.


The Bad Batch tells Omega they will find and return the Force-sensitive children to their families once they track them down. Omega asks what will happen to the rest of the Clones, and Hunter informs her they are now free to do whatever they want: either rest on Pabu, join a Rebellion, and keep fighting, or pursue any life they want. The choice is theirs, and the same goes for the Bad Batch. Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Omega all sit down beneath a tree, knowing that they can rest; their days of fighting and running are over. They can be whatever they want.

This shot effectively puts a bow on the Clone Wars era of storytelling. The clones were introduced in 2002’s Star Wars: Attack of the Clones as soldiers who would take any order without question, but in 2008’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars, they decided to explore the nature and humanity of the Clone Troopers as their own distinct people. This always created a certain tragedy for the story as audiences grew attached to the Clone characters, knowing they would eventually turn on the Jedi and become the villains. While some clones did remain loyal to the Empire, others did not. Fans have now seen how the Empire transitioned to the listed Stormtroopers of the original trilogy.


The Bad Batch‘s final episode arrives 16 years after the premiere of The Clone Wars. For an entire generation, this was a major part of Star Wars. While there certainly can still be more stories set during this period, this feels like a sweet ending to the story that began nearly two decades ago. The clone storyline finally has an ending, and it is a peaceful one.

Palpatine’s Clone Project Goes Back to Formula

Ever since The Bad Batch premiered, it was clear that part of the reason behind the story was to explain the unresolved plot point of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and how Palpatine was able to return. While first hinted at in The Mandalorian, The Bad Batch is a Clone Wars set series that aired after The Rise of Skywalker, providing the perfect chance to explain this detail and retcon it, being part of Palpatine’s plan from the very beginning. Each season introduced a new layer to Palpatine’s scheme, with season three finally revealing what exactly “Project Necromancer” was.


Project Necromancer was a secret clone research project developed by Hemlock and was so secretive that Admiral (not yet Governor) Tarkin did not know anything about it. Set up at the secret base of Mount Tantis, the project involved researching M-count (Midichlorians) transfer, which would be an important part of Palpatine’s plan to transfer his consciousness into a new body. The Emperor considered this to be one of the most important elements of the longevity of the Empire, as it would give him the ability to rule long past any normal human.

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To achieve this, they used an imprisoned Kamino scientist, Nala Se, to help develop the research. Nala Se knew how dangerous this would be in the Empire’s hands, particularly if they discovered the secret of Omega, who was a clone with a high M-count. She gives her life to destroy the Imperial databanks containing all the clone information, including any information about Omega being a special clone. With none of the data salvageable and Tarkin unaware of the exact importance of Project Necromancer, he orders Tantis to shut down and divert all the funds to Project Stardust, a.k.a. The Death Star.

With all the information destroyed, Omega and the rest of the Bad Batch are no longer being hunted because their importance is no longer known. They are just like every other Clone in the galaxy to the Empire. Meanwhile, with all the information gone, including the key cloning Kamino scientist, Palpatine is now forced to restart his cloning process with no basis on which to build. This sets up the storyline in The Mandalorian, where the Imperial remnants are trying to secure Grogu for his high M-count so they can bring Palpatine back.


Omega Joins the Rebellion

With the Empire no longer pursuing them and the Bad Batch finally free, the series closes with a fade to black with everyone together, but that’s not where the story ends. It soon cuts to Pabu years later. Now, an adult Omega, she gets ready to sneak off on a ship to join the Rebellion as a pilot. She is stopped by Hunter, much older and with a hunch in his back. He does not want her to go alone, but Omega tells him that he, Hunter, and Crosshair have earned their rest. This is the choice she is making, as she wants to help.

The two share a sweet goodbye. Before she leaves, Hunter tells Omega if she ever needs them, they will be there for her. She then flies off into space, ready to join the Rebellion. It is a great mirror to the ending of the very first episode of the series, where Omega saw space for the first time; now she is off flying into her own adventure.


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When this ending exactly takes place is unclear. Omega is about 13 years old for most of The Bad Batch, and here she appears to be a young woman. The Rebellion forms in earnest about five years before the events of A New Hope, so 14 years after the formation of the Empire, but given she appears to be in her early 20s, it is likely this is even before then. Omega might be one of the first true members of the Rebellion. This means she could have crossed paths with the likes of the crew of the Ghost from Star Wars: Rebels, Cassian Andor, or even Luke Skywalker. She could have been a pilot at the Battle of Scarif in Rogue One or even Endor in Return of the Jedi.


How The Bad Batch Sets up the Future of Star Wars

The ending of The Bad Batch opens the possibility for many different crossovers. Seeing how The Bad Batch creator Dave Filoni is also directing the upcoming movie The Mandalorian and Grogu, an adult Omega could appear in that film, making the leap to live-action. There is a chance Omega will become a member of the New Republic and its formation, so she could appear in other projects set in that timeline, like Ahsoka season two. It feels like only a matter of time until she crosses paths with her fellow unaltered clone brother Boba Fett, which means Omega might play a role in the massive crossover film between The Mandalorian, Book of Boba Fett, and Ahsoka that is rumored to be titled Heir to the Empire.


The conclusion of The Bad Batch also means there is no animated Star Wars series on the air. It was only four months after Star Wars: Rebels ended that Lucasfilm announced Star Wars: The Clone Wars final season. The Bad Batch was announced two months after the series finale of The Clone Wars in 2020. This means that with the conclusion of The Bad Batch, there is likely a new announcement for the Star Wars animated series on the horizon if it follows a similar pattern. If and when this show is announced, it could follow an adult Omega during the Age of Rebellion and could see her interact with many famous Star Wars faces during that time period.

The creators of The Bad Batch have certainly left the door open for Omega and Clone Force 99 to return, but it also does serve as a great conclusion to the series. After years of combat, audiences know that they finally have to lay down their weapons and rest. The Bad Batch is not so much a goodbye but a see you again soon because, in a galaxy far, far away, you never know when your favorite character will show up again.

Stream all episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch on Disney+.


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