It is official, Clone Force 99 will be back for one final mission. During Star Wars Celebration it was announced that The Bad Batch would return for its final season in 2024. Of course, with the way things ended in Season 2, a third season is not a surprise. But the revelation that this will be the final season is a bit of a shock. Ever since their appearance in season seven of The Clone Wars, the members of the Bad Batch have quickly become fan favorites. With news of the series ending, many fans are understandably disappointed their journey is coming to an end. However, while the announcement seems to be closing the door on one chapter, could it also be opening another?
THE BAD BATCH FINAL SEASON
Before we get into any speculation on the future, let’s start with what we know. Season 3 will air in 2024 and it will mark the end of Star Wars: The Bad Batch animated series. We also know that a teaser trailer already exists and was screened for fans in attendance at Celebration. This would seem to indicate that the series is already well into production and may arrive earlier next year as opposed to later. It is perhaps even likely that initial development on season three began while season two was being produced. This would help provide an overarching connected story across the two seasons and could also explain the Season 2 delays. Unfortunately, the trailer was not made public, but a synopsis was shared on StarWars.com.
From what we know about the trailer, it seems clear that the Empire’s cloning operation will continue to be a primary focus in the final season. With that focus in mind, it would not be surprising to find out that this operation ties into or leads directly to the cloning projects involving Moff Gideon, Grogu, and Dr. Pershing featured in The Mandalorian. All of which ultimately, may help add some context to that infamous line from The Rise of Skywalker, “Somehow Palpatine returned.”
THE FUTURE OF THE BAD BATCH
It was inevitable that the story of the Bad Batch would ultimately come to an end. The stories and timeline of the Clone Troopers have always had an expiration date built in. Knowing that the Empire will fully phase out the Clones by the time of A New Hope, there was only so much that could happen. That is one of the consequences of a series that takes place wedged between established canon. Although a full seven seasons of The Clone Wars and ultimately three of The Bad Batch, have given fans more Clone-centric stories than we would have ever expected or hoped for. These animated series’ brought a magnitude of depth and development to the Clone Troopers and arguably some of the best and most emotional Star Wars story-telling out there.
But perhaps there is a silver lining hidden in the news of the end. It is worth pointing out the wording that was used in the article on StarWars.com for the season three announcement. The final line of the first paragraph states; “it will be the final season as Lucasfilm finishes telling this part of the story.”. This part of the story is interesting. It does not say; finishes telling the story of the Bad Batch. Does that leave us to believe there are more parts to the story? Could it be alluding to future stories involving characters of The Bad Batch? I believe it does.
At this point, I don’t expect the original members of The Batch to make an appearance in post-original trilogy series’ like The Mandalorian or Ahsoka. It is always possible they do, but unless we have a cryo-freeze scenario, I’m not sure I’m too interested in seeing an elderly Hunter or Wrecker. With the sacrifice of Tech, it appears the process of removing the characters and avoiding the “where were they during the Original Trilogy?” question may already be beginning. While I’m not expecting a Rogue One-type ending to the series, it would not shock me to see a few characters not make it out of Season 3.
JUST THE BEGINNING FOR OMEGA?
With all that being said, there is one character from the team that I do believe is likely to make a future appearance. That of course is Omega. Omega is young enough, and just like Boba Fett, an unaltered clone. This makes her roughly the same age as Boba Fett and more importantly, aging at a standard rate. Now, let’s take that one step further, as we complete some quick Star Wars timeline math. Omega is 12 years old at the start of The Bad Batch, which takes place in 19 BBY. Then take into account that The Mandalorian begins in 9 ABY. This would put Omega at approximately 40 years old at the time of The Mandalorian.
This makes it a very realistic option for Omega to still be out there adventuring in the galaxy during the Mando-Verse timeline. One additional piece of information to throw in as well, Emmy-nominated New Zealand actress Michelle Ang, the voice actress for Omega will turn 40 this year. Interesting how it works out that way.
OMEGA INTO THE MANDO-VERSE
As far as connecting Omega to the Mando-Verse storylines, that’s pretty straightforward. It was revealed in The Bad Batch that Boba Fett was code-named Alpha, the first unaltered clone, and Omega was the last. This forever links them together, even if they don’t yet know about one another. If it’s done right, and not forced, which Star Wars has had its struggle with as of late, Omega making her way into Boba Fett’s life could be an interesting turn of events. Especially as the former Bounty Hunter has grown to understand the importance of family and having a tribe following his time with the Tuskens.
Boba Fett has already played a key role in The Mandalorian story and there is still potential for season two of The Book of Boba Fett. It would not be a shock to find Omega making the jump to live-action at some point in the future. But, if Lucasfilm decided to go another route, there is also the cloning angle that Omega fits into. I do think the Boba Fett connection would be the better approach, as I don’t believe it was brought up in The Bad Batch season one to just be ignored going forward. Also, the secret cloning project plot device is starting to wear thin in my opinion.
Ultimately like all speculation, only time will tell if any of this comes to be. But Dave Filoni does have an extensive, and only growing, track record of bringing animated characters to live-action.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Sound off and tell us what you think. What do you think of the impending end of The Bad Batch? Do you think we’ll see Omega or any other characters make the jump to live-action?
You can tell us your thoughts by leaving a comment below or finding me on Twitter @TheIndianaSlone. You can also join me on the Midwest Star Wars Fanatics Facebook page to chat about all things Star Wars. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Star Wars news by following us at ThatHashtagShow.com.