The Bad Batch: What is the Zillo Beast?

(L-R): Wrecker, Cid and Omega in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Wrecker, Cid and Omega in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

‘Metamorphosis’, the eleventh episode of the Bad Batch’s second season has just released, and the Batch come up against a terrifying creature that’s almost impossible to hurt. While it’s the first time the creature has been seen in the series, it has appeared in Star Wars before, during season two of the Clone Wars when the creature rampaged across Coruscant.

During the Clone Wars, the planet of Malastare was vital to the Republic for its fuel production operations. When the Separatists launched an invasion, Republic forces acted quickly, using an experimental electro-proton bomb against the droid army. While the bomb didn’t harm living beings, it caused a large sinkhole to open in the planet’s surface, swallowing up clone troopers and droids.

While searching for survivors, the Jedi discovered that an ancient creature had been woken by the explosion. The enormous beast possessed scales that couldn’t be pierced by blasters or lightsabers, and was almost indestructible.

It’s revealed that the Dugs used to be terrorized by the Zillo Beasts, and had hunted them to extinction during their mining operations. A prophesy said that if one ever returned, it would destroy Malastare. Eager to prevent this, the Dug leader, Nakha Urus, used their toxic Malastarian fuel to try and kill it. Uneasy at the prospect of destroying the last Zillo in existanse, Mace Windu brought in Stun Tanks, using their cannons to knock out the beast and allowing it to be transported off world, to Coruscant, where Palpatine was keen to experiment on the creature’s scales, hoping to make a new armor for the army.

Once on Coruscant, Republic scientist Dr. Boll tried to remove the scales for examination, but was unsuccessful due to the creature’s near-indestructible nature, causing Palpatine to order its destruction to allow for easier experimentation. Boll used a gas made from Malastarian fuel to try and kill it, but only enraged the beast, causing it to break free from the lab and begin a rampage across Coruscant.

While the Zillo Beast was treated as non-sentient, it appeared to feel some kind of animosity towards Palpatine, as it targeted him specifically, moving across the city to the Senate building and attacking the Chancellor as he tried to escape in his private shuttle.

Eventually the Zillo was killed by gunships carrying Malastarian fuel, and its body was recovered by the authorities. Palpatine promised that the beast’s death wasn’t in vain, giving Boll new orders to clone the beast, an assignment that eventually came to fruition with the help of Kaminoan cloning technology.

It’s unclear if the Zillo Beast encountered by the Bad Batch was an exact clone, or whether it was engineered by the Kaminoans to exhibit different characteristics. This could explain the creature’s rapid growth rate, and it feeding off of energy, as neither of these features appeared in its predecessor. Whatever plans the Empire has for the cloned Zillo isn’t clear yet, but it’s likely that it will be making another appearance before the series end.