The second season of Bad Batch will land early in January, so it’s time to brush up on the events of the first season before diving back into the wild adventures of Clone Force 99 as they try to outrun the Empire and make a life for themselves. What kind of trouble did Hunter, Wrecker, Echo, Tech, and Omega get into last season?
For those who missed the seventh season of The Clone Wars, Clone Force 99 was first introduced in a four-episode arc that started that season and explained the team’s unique genetic mutations. The Bad Batch picks up where that show left off, explaining how the team survived throughout Order 66 and into the Age of the Empire.
As explained during The Clone Wars, Clone Force 99 possesses genetic alterations that make them distinct from their identical clone brothers. In a sense, they’re mutants. This made their inhibitor chips function improperly, so when the Emperor issued the lethal Order 66 against the Jedi, Clone Force 99 was stunned to see their brothers mercilessly gunning down their generals.
The group hesitated to execute Caleb Dume, the young Padawan who would become Kanan Jarrus. One of their members, the sniper Crosshair, was frustrated with Hunter’s indecision, driving a wedge between the two. The team’s “adopted” member, Echo, seemed to avoid falling under Order 66’s behavioral compulsion due to his cybernetic augmentations from his time as a prisoner of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
The group met Omega, a young clone of Jango Fett, shortly after the events of Order 66. In a short amount of time, the newly-formed Empire realized that the Bad Batch had somehow avoided falling prey to their own inhibitor chips and ordered them to go to Onderon to execute a group of rebels who were trained in insurgency by the Jedi Order–a group led by Saw Gerrera.
On Onderon, Hunter once again hesitated to pull the trigger on gunning down opponents who didn’t strike him as a threat. Crosshair, again, became furious with his superior officer, finding his inability to follow direct orders troubling. The two split, and Hunter and the team quickly rushed back to Kamino to rescue Omega and get clear of the Empire.
After going on the run, the group takes on a series of odd jobs. They start working for an underworld fixer named Cid. Cid serves as the team’s liaison to various criminal organizations and resistance cells, and the Batch’s early adventures seem to set a precedent for the Rebellion.
These odd jobs are mostly episodic, allowing the middle of the first season to serve as something of a “mosnter of the week” TV series. One notable development during this period is that the group teams up with Clone Captain Rex, their old ally, to visit an old Republic ship in a junkyard to utilize its medical facilities and remove all of their inhibitor chips.
The final story arc of the first season involves the group returning to Kamino to rescue Hunter from the clutches of their former ally, Crosshair. Crosshair contacted Cad Bane, a notorious bounty hunter, to kidnap Omega and lure Hunter and the gang out of hiding, allowing him to get the drop on his former commanding officer. As the group returns to their home planet to handle Crosshair, the Empire begins destroying the cloning facilities that dot Kamino’s surface, ending the era of the Clone Wars for good.
In the chaos, Crosshair has to briefly work together with his old friends to escape the crumbling Kaminoan city. During this escape, the group learns that Crosshair had his inhibitor chip removed but still wants to work forth the Empire. He’s chosen evil, despite having the freedom to choose to leave with his brothers.
The season ends with the Bad Batch flying away from Kamino for the last time into an uncertain future. Finally, the season finale hinted that Nala Se, a veteran cloner from Kamino, could be instrumental in helping clone Palpatine–setting up the events of the sequel trilogy, in which Rey and the Resistance square off against a Palpatine clone named Snoke.