The bad lot arrived today as the last Star wars Disney Plus spinoff series. It is a different and smaller show than previous animated shows like The clone wars or Rebels, focusing on a single squad of clone troopers, Clone Force 99 – the titular “Bad Batch” – and its struggle to find a place in the galaxy following the Empire’s rise to power.
Unlike other clone troopers, members of the Bad Batch were cloned with an emphasis on specific genetic abnormalities. Hunter, for example, has improved his senses, while Wrecker is much bigger and stronger than the average clone.
The Bad Batch was first introduced in the resurrected seventh season of Dave Filoni’s animation The clone wars series (which was brought back after its initial cancellation in 2013 following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm) into an episode that was practically designed as a backdoor pilot for further spinoffs.
Knowledge of the previous seven seasons of Clone wars or the four seasons of Rebels is not essential to enjoy The wrong lot, at least for now. The show takes a long time to reintroduce the team at the start of the extended first episode. Although familiarity with the major events of Revenge of the Sith and the fall of the Republic are useful. Knowing the show creator Dave Filoni’s preference to benchmark his other series, it’s almost guaranteed that The bad lot will eventually intersect with characters and events from Clone wars, Rebels, or even The Mandalorian at some point on the line.
And that’s sort of the point. The bad lot is a preview of the next wave of Star wars shows: a round of spin-offs from spin-offs, each interweaving with and building on previous shows and films.
It’s something we’ve already seen the first glimpses of from the live-action side. The success of The MandalorianThe second season of the season has already spawned not one but three different spinoffs (Ashoka, Rangers of the New Republic, and Boba Fett’s book), which will eventually lead to a Avengers– a picturesque crossing in the years to come.
If this all sounds familiar to you, it’s because Disney already uses a virtually identical tactic with its Marvel Studios movies and Disney Plus shows: to create an interconnected storyline that spans a wide range of shows and movies to engage viewers and keep them Disney subscribers. More and headed to theaters.
Disney has already tried something similar with their first breakup attempts Star wars Skywalker Saga mold, but cinematic spinoffs like Thief one or Solo didn’t quite turn into a breakout hit on par with more mainstream movies. However, these films were meant to be connective tissue, to fill in the missing links between episodes, or to shade the backstory of characters we had previously met. Instead of doing Star wars feel like a bigger universe, they had the ill effect of making it smaller.
The bad lot seeks to address this issue by placing more emphasis on a relatively new group of clones that stand out on their own. This is not the vast scope of the high-profile conflict of the entire Clone Wars or the start of the budding rebellion, which means he will hopefully be able to carve out a new area of the Star wars the universe instead of just rehashing the old ones.
Much depends on the independence of a series The bad lotcreators want to do. The Mandalorian, for example, seemed to be on a similar trajectory to begin with, but its second season saw the show fall back squarely into the mainstream. Star wars path with Luke Skywalker cameos, Boba Fett guest episodes, black saber duels, and more. It’s easy to imagine The bad lot take a similar path. (The first episode, for example, already sees an appearance of Thief one‘s Saw Gerrera and a more subtle Rebels cameo.)
Fortunately, however, The bad lot will be the first of a new wave of Star wars spinoffs that trace its own course in the universe with new stories. Because with the number of Disney Plus shows and movies on Disney’s registry, it will be essential to branch out into new parts of the galaxy – after all, there are still plenty of galaxies to explore.