[UPDATED – Contains spoilers for The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch – read on at your own risk.] When it comes to Star Wars canon, the fan base generally breaks down into two categories. First there are those that embrace the greater cannon, including the animated series and written works. Then there are those taking the position that if it didn’t happen in the films, it didn’t happen at all. If you fall within the latter category, you’re missing out on a lot of great content. Included in that is perhaps the best bounty hunter of them all: Cad Bane.

Cad Bane; Bounty Hunters
Image: Lucasfilm ltd.

On screen we met Vader’s team of bounty hunters, including Bossk, Dengar, IG-88 and 4-LOM. The only one we get to see in action, however, is Boba Fett. (Of course, that was only in limited action in the films.) Granted, Boba Fett returned and annihilated a squad of Stormtroopers in The Mandalorian. He’s also getting his own show this winter. Still, as far as bounty hunting goes… Cad Bane, on the other hand, features prominently in Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Over the course of five-plus seasons, Bane proved to be one of the darkest, most ruthless, and diabolical characters in all of Star Wars.

Is Cad Bane the Best?

Following Jango Fett’s death, Cad Bane became the bounty hunter in the galaxy. He was certainly the best among them during the Clone Wars. The indigo-skinned Duros was so good at his craft that even Darth Sidious hired him to infiltrate the Jedi temple in the episode “Holocron Heist.”

Cad Bane
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “Holocron Heist” (Image: Lucasfilm, ltd.)

During that mission, Bane kidnapped, tortured and killed Jedi Master Bolla Ropal. That made Bane one of the only bounty hunters, if not the only one, to kill a Jedi. Sadly, Master Ropal would not be the last to fall at Bane’s hands. Cad Bane would later go on to hold Galactic Senators hostage, conduct a prison break on Coruscant, and participate in a bounty hunter version of The Hunger Games in the episode “The Box”. The tournament’s prize (besides survival)? A job: kidnap Chancellor Palpatine.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “The Box” (Image: Lucasfilm ltd.)

Despite being an animated feature, The Clone Wars was very much adult-oriented. Dark themes permeated the series, the darkest of which often focused on Cad Bane. The character quickly became a Clone Wars favorite, making the show’s cancellation all the more difficult for fans. Bane’s story remained unfinished, a fact Dave Filoni admitted at Comic-Con International several years ago. There he showed concept art of a proposed four-episode arc featuring Bane and Boba Fett. Originally that would have been part of The Clone Wars’ final season.

Photo: Junior Felix, That Hashtag Show

The Bane of the Bad Batch’s existence

Sadly, even though The Clone Wars did return for a final, seventh season, we didn’t get to see that story arc. But… We learned recently that Dave Filoni wasn’t done with the character, after all. Cad Bane has finally returned to Star Wars, and his return was nothing short of spectacular.

The Duros bounty hunter, of course, appeared in in the latest episode of The Bad Batch. In “The Reunion,” Bane reminds us just how tough and ruthless he can be. After quietly taking out a squad of Imperial clone troopers, Bane waited for Hunter and Omega to return to the Marauder. As good as Hunter is, he wasn’t going to best the best of the bounty hunters. In an epic, western-style shoot-out, Bane proved once again what makes him one of the best characters in Star Wars.

Cad Bane; Star Wars; The Bad Batch
Cad Bane returns to Star Wars in The Bad Batch. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

We’ve always thought that Cad Bane was too compelling of a character to leave his tale unfinished. Thankfully, so did Dave Filoni. If you haven’t seen Bane in The Clone Wars, I highly suggest you catch up with the series on Disney+. Then turn your attention to The Bad Batch. You won’t be disappointed.