The animated series has given fans a greater understanding of the fallout from Order 66.
Over the past two decades, the downfall of the Republic had been well-documented in a variety of movies, television shows, comics, and books. In Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, for instance, we first saw the covert holograms of Darth Sidious ordering Order 66, Palpatine declaring himself Emperor in front of the Senate, and the construction of the first Death Star. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we learned more about inhibitor chips, the plans for the clone army, and more of the Sith lord’s machinations.
And now, in Star Wars: The Bad Batch, there is a previously un-glimpsed look at what comes immediately after: the first days of the Galactic Empire. It is told with fascinating moments of world-building and a deeper look into the larger galaxy. As its second season unfolds on Disney+, StarWars.com now takes a look at The Bad Batch and the insights that it has brought so far into that tumultuous time.
1. What happened right after Order 66?
Many points of view during Order 66 have been shown, including the plight of Jedi apprentice Caleb Dume and his master, Depa Billaba in the opening moments of The Bad Batch. It was the ultimate tragedy of the Jedi Order. But what happened after the infamous order was executed?
The immediate post-Order 66 aftermath (shown in the premiere episode of The Bad Batch, appropriately entitled “Aftermath”) covers the clones’ point of view, with Hunter, Echo, Tech, Wrecker, and Crosshair returning to their home planet of Kamino. Upon landing (and after un-customarily being asked to give a clearance code), they were quickly informed by a red-striped shock trooper commander that General Grievous had been killed on Utapau and that the war was officially over.
Attending a mandatory meeting in the staging area, they watched as a sneering hologram of the newly ascended Emperor Palpatine delivered his speech to the whole galaxy, reflecting his ominous words in Revenge of the Sith. The thunderous applause echoed through the staging area of Kamino, as well as in the Senate chambers on Coruscant. The Galactic Empire was here to stay, in order to ensure a “safe and secure society.”
Quickly, the warmth and individuality of the clone troopers disappeared, with the colors and defining markers stripped from their armor. Now in all white uniforms, the clones marched down the stark halls of Tipoca City in silence. It was the first (but definitely not the last) instance of the uniformity expected from this new Empire.
2. Rebellion rising.
Clone Force 99’s first mission after the events of Order 66 found them sent to the planet Onderon by their new Imperial commanders, in order to track down a group of insurgents. Led by Saw Gerrera, this insurgent group was the Batch’s first encounter with the post-Empire rebellion. The Clone Wars might have ended, but a civil war was about to begin.
As seen throughout the series, there were many pockets of insurrection and disapproval that quickly grouped together in the early days of the Empire. Gerrera and his Partisans were a good example, later seen more fully formed in Andor and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but the Bad Batch also encountered many more dissenters during their missions for Cid. The Martez sisters, in the Season 1 episode “Decommissioned,” were also on the hunt for a Separatist Tactical Droid head, which had now become a vital piece of post-Clone-Wars intel: it could tell enemies of the Empire how to defeat the clones.
And, with more and more clones defecting (like Commander Cody in the Season 2 episode “The Solitary Clone”), former Clone Commander Rex, a leader of these early rebels, put the thinking rather eloquently at the end of “Battle Scars”: he had spent his life defending the Republic, so he was not going to stop now.
3. Citizens of the Empire.
After the rise of the Empire, the lives of everyday citizens were drastically and quickly changed, as well. As seen in the Season 1 episode “Cut and Run,” a looming hologram of Vice Admiral Rampart announced to the citizens of a now peaceful Saleucami that they must begin exchanging their “invalid” currency for new Imperial credits. The citizens were also urged to register for a chain code, in order to travel “freely” across the galaxy.
As revealed later in the episode, this chain code initiative was vital to “laying the foundation of the new Empire” and was of the upmost importance to the new regime. In The Mandalorian, it was seen just how widespread the implementation of this chain code system was, both when Din Djarin first received his mission to find “the Child” and later when Boba Fett had to prove his father’s Mandalorian heritage.
Across the galaxy, planets began to feel the ill effects of the new regime. Whether a confederacy planet like Raxus Secundus (the former CIS capital), Count Dooku’s homeworld of Serenno (ransacked by the Empire in the Season 2 premiere episode, “Spoils of War”) or the Separatist holdout of Desix, senators and local leaders were pressured by the Empire to ensure peace among their citizens.
The conniving Senator Orn Free Taa even recommended that all Twi’leks step down from their military posts and turn over their weapons (thus making them defenseless against Imperial rule). On Ryloth, a doonium refinery was being built, in order to supposedly bring jobs to the Twi’lek people. In reality, it was specifically built to fuel the Empire’s “defense” effort, and Ryloth became one of the first in an eventually long list of planets that would have their natural resources exploited and stripped away by the Empire.
4. The future of the clone army.
Once the Empire was formally established, the future of the clone army was almost immediately called into question. Rampart and Admiral Tarkin quickly began to debate the need for a clone army, preferring the conscription of loyal civilian soldiers. While the skill and accuracy of the clones were greater, the endless supply of these new “TK troopers” was tough to compete against, especially at half the cost. Rampart insisted that the most optimal strategy would be getting these recruits trained by skilled clones.
The Season 1 episode “War-Mantle” revealed the full extent of this strategy, which took place on the planet Daro. When rescuing a defecting clone named Gregor, the Batch discovered an Imperial military base with 50 clone commandos training 1,000 new TK troopers, which would eventually become some of the first Imperial stormtroopers. These new enlists swore their loyalty solely to the Empire.
As Season 2 has demonstrated, the “Defense Recruitment Bill,” formally proposed by Rampart, was the Empire’s way of growing the ranks of this conscripted military (and discarding the remaining clones with no further benefits). After a fiery debate in the Senate chambers, Emperor Palpatine emerged to solidify the proposal, fully implementing the stormtrooper initiative in the episode “Truth and Consequences.”
5. Kamino lost.
The evacuation and destruction of Kamino at the end of The Bad Batch’s first season marked the tragic closing of a major chapter in the Clone Wars. The Kaminoans paid the ultimate price for their trust in their contract with the Republic, as evidenced by the death of Taun We and the arrest of Lama Su (the Kaminoan Prime Minister). And, as seen in the last moments of the season, lead geneticist Nala Se was taken to a mysterious Imperial base on the planet Wayland, to continue her work.
Tipoca City may have been destroyed, but that did not mean that the Empire was stopping any of their cloning experiments. These tests continued to be a great priority for Palpatine, as evidenced by the murky green tanks on Bora Vio in the Season 1 episode “Bounty Lost” and in Nala Se’s ultimate fate on Wayland.
While initially presented to the public as a “cataclysmic storm,” Vice Admiral Rampart’s command logs were eventually recovered by Clone Force 99, proving to the public that the destruction of Kamino was done purposefully, leading to Rampart’s arrest. Even so, Palpatine found a way to use this to his advantage, pushing through the Defense Recruitment Bill.
As Season 2 of The Bad Batch continues, we will no doubt receive more glimpses into this fascinating time in the galaxy’s history, as well as see the brave groups who heroically opposed the changes…because, with the rise of the Empire, also came the rise of the Rebel Alliance.