Bad Batch: Why were several important clones not in the series finale?

Several fan-favorite clones were absent from The Bad Batch series finale.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3 "Extraction." Commander Wolffe. Image Credit:
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3 "Extraction." Commander Wolffe. Image Credit: /

Warning: This article contains spoilers from The Bad Batch season 3, episode 15, "The Cavalry Has Arrived."

When Star Wars: The Bad Batch was first announced in July of 2020, I wrote about how the series could address unanswered questions from Star Wars Rebels. While Captain Rex played a prominent role in Rebels, the series didn't reveal much about what happened to him after The Clone Wars, why he gave up on being a soldier, how he ended up settling down on the planet Seelos with only Gregor and Commander Wolffe, or what happened to Commander Cody and other clones after Order 66.

The Bad Batch is largely an in-depth exploration of the clones' lives after Order 66. Rex has been a recurring character since Season 1 and a close ally of Clone Force 99. He built up a network of rebel clones, which Gregor joined, and this network was actively working to locate Mount Tantiss and free their imprisoned clone brothers. Cody and Wolffe also appeared in the series and played important roles.

Given all these elements, it seemed that The Bad Batch would answer the lingering questions from Rebels not only about all the clones but about Rex, Gregor, and Wolffe specifically. This made it all the more surprising when Rex, Gregor, and their clone network didn't join the fight at Mount Tantiss in the series finale, nor did Wolffe.

During my first viewing of the episode, I will admit that the absence of these characters bothered me. For almost four years, I'd been expecting and waiting for The Bad Batch to neatly connect all the dots between The Clone Wars and Rebels, with Gregor defecting from the Empire and Wolffe questioning the Empire seemingly setting up this endgame. The Bad Batch isn't just about Clone Force 99 but has been about all the clones.

After watching the finale a second time, these absences don't bother me as much. It was most important to provide satisfying conclusions for the core characters of Omega, Crosshair, Hunter, Wrecker, and Echo, along with the antagonist, Dr. Royce Hemlock, and the recurring characters of Dr. Emerie Karr, Nala Se, and Edmon Rampart. The series finales for The Clone Wars, Rebels, and Star Wars Resistance all prioritized emotional payoff and the arcs of their central characters, and it only makes sense for The Bad Batch to continue this trend.

When Rex, Gregor, Wolffe, and Cody appeared in The Bad Batch, they were primarily there because of their impact on the members of Clone Force 99. It's also not as if they've been completely forgotten. Hunter tells Omega that he's working with Rex to find the parents of the children who were kidnapped and held in Mount Tantiss so these families can be reunited. Echo is still working with Rex's network, and they are helping the clones who were freed from Tantiss.

Thanks to Rebels, we know that Rex joins Phoenix Squadron and the Rebel Alliance and that he, Wolffe, and Gregor participate in the Liberation of Lothal. Where Cody ends up after The Bad Batch is not confirmed, but it doesn't need to be. Going AWOL as Cody did in season 2 and hopefully living a happy and peaceful life is a good ending for him, with his final legacy being the important impact he had on Crosshair's journey to redemption.

I do think that at some point, there needs to be a story explaining why Rex leaves the fight behind and temporarily retires on Seelos, as his attitude in The Bad Batch is a far cry from his attitude when the Ghost crew first meets him in Rebels. Why only Wolffe and Gregor are with him and why Wolffe is so much more paranoid than Rex and Gregor should also be addressed.

There are still many years in the timeline between The Bad Batch finale and the clones' debut in Rebels, leaving plenty of opportunities to tell this story one day. It didn't need to be shoehorned into The Bad Batch's last episode, especially since the answers behind Rex, Gregor, and Wolffe ending up on Seelos may be a tragic tale and wouldn't have fit with The Bad Batch's mostly happy ending.

All of this is a reminder to focus on the story being told instead of focusing on what you want or expect the story to be. The Bad Batch as a whole was not what I expected it to be, which is for the best, as it ended up being more surprising and fulfilling than I ever anticipated.

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