Star Wars: The Bad Batch dropping on May 4 on Disney+

Photo: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 701 “The Bad Batch” .. Image Courtesy Disney+
Photo: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 701 “The Bad Batch” .. Image Courtesy Disney+ /

It’s finally official: Star Wars: The Bad Batch is releasing on May 4 on Disney+!

Disney made the announcement Wednesday, saying the animated spinoff series will have a special premiere on May the 4, a.k.a. Star Wars Day. Then, the second episode will drop on May 7 with subsequent episodes releasing on Fridays.

The Bad Batch series follows Clone Force 99, a group of Clone Troopers who are genetically different from their other brothers in the army. Their names are Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair, Hunter and Echo. The group was introduced in The Clone Wars and is a spinoff sequel to the events of that animated series.

Here’s how Star Wars describes the group:

"They call themselves the Bad Batch, but the motley crew that makes up Clone Force 99 boasts an astounding 100 percent success rate and skills unseen in any other clone troopers. Adept at working together, Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, and Crosshair use their unique talents and specialized physiology to execute extraordinary solutions on the battlefield. And after rescuing the clone trooper Echo from Separatist captivity, they welcome the cybernetic soldier into their fold."

The Bad Batch will feature the voice talents of Dee Bradley Baker (voice of the troopers in The Clone Wars and Rebels) and Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand (The Mandalorian). The Bad Batch is helmed by Dave Filoni, who created The Clone Wars and worked with Jon Favreau on The Mandalorian.

The last time we saw Clone Force 99, the group was adding Echo and continuing to fight for the Republic in the Clone Wars. The finale of The Clone Wars series did not show what the Bad Batch did after Order 66, but it’s like the new series will follow the beginnings of the Galactic Empire.

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In a sizzle reel teaser dropped on Disney’s Investor day, there’s a shot of Emperor Palpatine announcing “the Republic will be recognized into the first Galactic Empire” — a scene lifted from Revenge of the Sith. There’s also an appearance by assassin Fennec Shand, first seen in The Mandalorian and will be seen again in the live-action series The Book of Boba Fett (December 2021).

The Bad Batch will be the first Star Wars TV series to drop on Disney+ following the wildly successful two seasons of The Mandalorian. It’s also a key part of the next phase of Star Wars stories — ones that are post-Skywalker saga and focus more on breakout characters from all along the Star Wars timeline.

Disney’s D23 magazine also promised it will go “behind the blasters” of The Bad Batch series with an interview with Dee Bradley Baker in the spring 2021 issue.

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