With the premiere of The Bad Batch just two weeks away, fans have been speculating how Order 66 could have affected the troopers of Clone Force 99. Did Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, Crosshair and Echo obey the orders to execute the Jedi at the end of the Clone Wars? Details from the show’s trailer suggest they did not turn on their Jedi generals.
At the end of the Clone Wars, public love and support for the Jedi Order were at an all-time low while Supreme Chancellor Palpatine remained popular despite his little-known secret identity as the Sith lord orchestrating the conflicts. Palpatine’s long con also included being one of the Sith behind the creation of the Republic’s clone army and the inhibitor chip that activated Order 66.
As embryos, each clone had the chip implanted into his brain. When activated, the chip stripped the clones of their free will and orders them to execute their Jedi generals, who Palpatine deemed traitors to the Republic.
The Bad Batch and Order 66
The Bad Batch series takes place after the fall of the Republic and the beginning of the Galactic Empire, formed by now-Emperor Palpatine. The Jedi Order has been destroyed, most of the Jedi have been killed per Order 66 and “chosen one” Anakin Skywalker has become Sith lord Darth Vader.
The more rebellious clone troopers of the Bad Batch likely could have refused Order 66 through several different means. When the troopers of Clone Force 99 were introduced in the first four episodes of The Clone Wars season 7, fellow clone Commander Cody said they were born with mutations and unique abilities that proved useful to the Republic’s army. Some of those abilities include enhanced strength, tracking abilities, genius-level intelligence and superior sniper skills.
And, the self-named Bad Batch clones are fiercely independent and balk at the rigidity of traditional clone troopers, dubbed “regs.” In The Bad Batch trailer, we see Tarkin describing both the military prowess and disobedient nature of Clone Force 99. The trailer also shows the group fighting regular clone troopers as they escape Kamino while Tarkin is heard ordering the Bad Batch to be hunted down and destroyed.
The Bad Batch’s genetically engineered independence and disobedience is reason enough to assume the troopers were able to resist or fight back against Order 66. The quick cameo by fellow clone Captain Rex, who was able to regain his free will and helped former Jedi Ahsoka Tano after Order 66 in The Clone Wars series finale, all but confirms Clone Force 99 did not succumb to Order 66.
Whether the Bad Batch’s mutations made them incompatible with the inhibitor chips or the troopers had them removed before the order was called, it’s clear the Disney+ series is going to delve more into the aftermath of Order 66 and the dark beginnings of the Galactic Empire.
It’s also clear that the troopers of Clone Force 99 have no love for Tarkin or the new fascistic Empire, which eventually replaces the clone troopers with stormtroopers.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch has a special premiere on Star Wars Day, May 4, on Disney+. New episodes will air weekly on Fridays.