After suffering a major blow in the series premiere of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the remaining members of Clone Force 99 and Omega escape Kamino and head off into space. They’re now on the run with no access to resources and a shortlist of contacts to rely on for help. Hunter quickly comes up with a solution and tells Tech to plot a course for J-19, but what is J-19? Who’s this individual Hunter has in mind?
As far as we know, it’s not Captain Rex. In the final episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Rex accompanies Ahsoka Tano on the journey from Mandalore to Coruscant. Things turn for the worse when Darth Sidious contacts Rex and has him execute Order 66. Rex eventually regains his senses with Ahsoka’s help, but their ship suffers critical damage, forcing them to crash land on an unidentified moon. This all happens at the same time as The Bad Batch. Hunter has no knowledge of Rex’s situation, so it makes sense he’s thinking about someone else.
What is J-19?
Earlier in The Clone Wars, General Grievous and his Separatist forces capture Jedi Master Eeth Koth in “Grievous Intrigue.” During a transmission, Koth secretly communicates with hand signals, tipping off the Jedi Council in the process. Obi-Wan Kenobi translates the message and says, “Saleucami system, sector J-19.”
In the follow-up episode, “The Deserter,” Rex leads a search party on Saleucami to find Grievous. Commando droids interrupt their efforts by shooting Rex in the chest, forcing him and his group to find a place to lie low. They find shelter in a farmer’s barn, but Rex eventually discovers the farmer is also a clone.
Cut Lawquane left the Grand Army of the Republic during the First Battle of Geonosis, found his way to Saleucami, and created a family and an ordinary life for himself. Rex calls him a deserter, but Cut says, “I like to think I’m merely exercising my freedom to choose: to choose not to kill for a living.” After a few insightful conversations and near-death experiences, Rex comes to an understanding. Instead of reporting him to the Republic, Rex keeps Cut’s secret to himself.
What if Hunter’s contact is Cut? What if they know each other from back in the day? Whatever the case may be, the upcoming episode title is “Cut and Run.” Not only does it describe Clone Force 99’s current situation, but it’s a clever way of hinting where they might be going and who they might meet once they get there.
Stream the next episode of The Bad Batch exclusively on Disney+ starting Friday, May 7.