What episodes to watch before Star Wars: The Bad Batch

STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH key art. Photo courtesy of Lucasfilm.
STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH key art. Photo courtesy of Lucasfilm. /
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The 70-minute series premiere of Star Wars: The Bad Batch is quickly approaching. Soon, on May 4, we’ll see Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, Echo, and Crosshair back in action, trying to flee from a post-Order 66 world. Before diving into Lucasfilm’s brand-new adventure, there’s still plenty of time to watch key episodes from Star Wars canon that introduce, flesh out, or give some kind of background to the new and familiar faces we’ll see in the near future.

There’s no doubt The Bad Batch takes new viewers into consideration, much like the Star Wars animated shows from the past, but just in case you want to prep yourself before the series debuts (or if you’re a longtime fan and want a refresher), here’s what to watch.

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

Episodes based on Clone Force 99

The clone troopers and their tragic stories are an essential part of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. When it comes to understanding the clones, including Clone Force 99, these three arcs are a good place to start.

The Cadets Arc, The Clone Wars

Episodes: “Clone Cadets” (season 3, episode 1), “Rookies” (season 1, episode 5), and “ARC Troopers” (season 3, episode 2)

From training with Domino Squad to becoming a full-fledged ARC trooper, this three-episode arc captures Echo’s early days on Kamino and fighting for the Republic before falling into the hands of the Separatists. It also features bad batcher 99, a maintenance clone and the inspiration behind Clone Force 99’s name.

The Clone Conspiracy Arc, The Clone Wars

Episodes: “The Unknown” (season 6, episode 1), “Conspiracy” (season 6, episode 2), “Fugitive” (season 6, episode 3), “Orders” (season 6, episode 4)

The Bad Batch series will undoubtedly touch on the aftermath of Order 66, but some viewers might be wondering why the clone troopers turned on their Jedi leaders in the first place. It all starts with an inhibitor chip, an organic implant that forces the clones to do whatever someone wants, like killing the Jedi. This arc explains how a select few discover its existence and how one clone does everything he can to bring awareness to the problem.

The Bad Batch Arc, The Clone Wars

Episodes: “The Bad Batch” (season 7, episode 1), “A Distant Echo” (season 7, episode 2), “On the Wings of Keeradaks” (season 7, episode 3), “Unfinished Business” (season 7, episode 4)

Of course, the best way to prepare for the series premiere is to watch the four-episode arc that introduces Clone Force 99. You get a clearer idea of how these genetically-mutated clones  operate and how they perceive the “regular” clone troopers around them. The arc also establishes a link between Clone Force 99 and Captain Rex, a fan-favorite character who briefly shows up in the trailer.