New The Bad Batch clip reveals clone cadets returning in season 3

The young clones are back in The Bad Batch season 3.

Kaminoans and clone troopers on Kamino. "War Mantle." The Bad Batch. Courtesy
Kaminoans and clone troopers on Kamino. "War Mantle." The Bad Batch. Courtesy /

A lingering question in Star Wars: The Bad Batch is what happened to the clone cadets after the destruction of Tipoca City on Kamino. A group of the young clones were last seen in the season 1 episode "War-Mantle" as they prepared to leave Tipoca City for the first time in their lives.

One of the clones questioned Kaminoan scientist Nala Se about what was happening since it was against protocol for them to leave the facility. She informed the clones that their training would continue elsewhere and assured them that they would still become soldiers as that was what they were made for. The clone cadets have not been seen since this scene.

A new clip released ahead of The Bad Batch season 3's three-episode premiere reveals what happened to the clone cadets since their last appearance, and shows two of them crossing paths with Hunter and Wrecker. Check out the clip below:

The clip explains that after the cadets were transported offworld from Kamino, they were imprisoned by the Empire, who took blood samples from them. The two former cadets in the clip escaped the Empire's clutches and used their military training to survive in the wilderness.

Beyond tying up loose ends, the return of these clones is important for the show on multiple levels. In terms of the plot, the young clones' imprisonment and the blood samples taken from them are likely connected to Mount Tantiss and the various cloning projects overseen by Dr. Hemlock. These two clones may be able to use what they know and what they experienced to help Hunter and Wrecker find Omega and Crosshair, who are currently imprisoned at Mount Tantiss.

While these two were fortunate to escape, the majority of former cadets are still likely being held at Mount Tantiss. This raises the stakes for the final season as it's no longer just about rescuing Omega and Crosshair, but also about rescuing all the clones being experimented on by the Empire. The two boys lament how they were supposed to be soldiers, but they and their brothers still can be, with all the clones uniting and using their training and experiences to rebel against the Empire.

The Bad Batch has been an exploration of identity, and of what the clones do with their lives after fulfilling the purpose they were created for, and being discarded despite their loyalty. This aftermath and its tragic consequences applies to all of the clones, but perhaps none so strongly as the former clone cadets, who never even got a chance to do what they'd been looking forward to and training for since birth.

It is exciting and meaningful to see their return and that they seem to be playing an important role as the clones' story comes to an epic conclusion.

The Bad Batch's final season kicks off with a three-episode premiere on February 21, only on Disney+.

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