Disney has revealed the next in their collection of Star Wars properties being released, the further adventures of a commando squadron of the Clone Wars finest… reprobates, Clone Force 99, the self-styled “Bad Batch!”

Who are the Bad Batch?

You would know of them only if you were a devotee of the Dave Filoni-created animated Star Wars series, The Clone Wars. If you were then you knew of them as troubled soldiers who were seeking quiet lives of contemplation. Just kidding. These guys were the high priests of violence during the Clone Wars.

But you need to know a bit of history to understand who they are. Cue the wavy lines…

Do you remember a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a culture with the capacity to clone the genetic material of the Humans of that galaxy and create from them a single genetic template for being a soldier.

Clone troopers were grown on the planet Kamino at the request of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, having secretly commissioned the Kaminoans to build an army for the Republic. After his death, the project was taken over by the Sith.

Clones were modeled on a human template, the bounty hunter Jango Fett, although their genetic structure was modified to make them less independent and more docile than their progenitor. They were also designed to age at twice the rate of natural humans, accelerating their growth and making them ready for combat in a decade’s time.

The Kaminoans refused to question the ethics of cloning and turned it into a banner business model, creating the largest and most effective army the galaxy had ever seen. This soldier was strong, smart, and tactically superior to droids with all of the same advantages as the creation of droids might have with none of the disadvantages.

Alas into every good cloning protocol, there are a few who fail to measure up, genetically speaking. Clone Force 99 was that group.
Divergent from the clones soldiers of Jango Fett, different in temperament and behavior, these soldiers were psychologically strong-willed, and favored with “beneficial mutations” which made them exceptional soldiers, even among the Clone Troopers.

But this also made them less likely to follow orders, more willing to take risks and thus in an army filled with clones who sought to follow orders, this group stood out like a sore thumb. A highly weaponized, sore thumb.

They called themselves “the Bad Batch” a group of clone soldiers unlike any around them. This is their story of almost following orders, destroying everything in sight and general misadventure which made them perilous to work with but a joy to watch.

“Crosshair,” a clone with eyesight and marksmanship that allowed him to excel in long distance firefights. He was said to be able to make a shot from ten kilometers away with accuracy. Taciturn and quiet, Crosshair was best when he was shooting things far away and watching them explode.

“Wrecker” was a veritable giant, reckless with an enhanced musculature and oversized enthusiasm for battle. Loud, a bit vulgar, but friendly enough if you could stand his behavior, he mixed it up in hand to hand with the best of them.

“Tech,” a clone with enhanced mental capacity and intelligence, was known for talking your ear off about any subject of which he knew anything about. His eyesight left something to be desired and he wore a suit of armor tailored to his visual deficiency. His master of technology had few equals among the clone warriors. The clones all wore Katarn-class Commando Armor with a Phase II helmet modified for their particular physiologies.

They were led by Clone Sergeant “Hunter,” a clone with enhanced sensory abilities. Hunter utilized a DC-17 hand blaster, a DC-17m Interchangeable Weapon System (popular with Clone Commandoes) and a knife. He really loved this knife. He would use it routinely and it became his signature fighting style. Hunter would use dual blasters whenever he wasn’t close enough to cut someone.

The brilliant and seasoned ARC Trooper “Echo” would join Clone Force 99 a bit later after they formed when he was revealed to have been extensively altered into a cyborg and more than a little psychologically divergent in his thought process as well from his transformation. He accepted their invitation.

I think this series is going to be great. The dynamic cast of characters, the chance to expand their personalities over time. With the right artists and writers, this has the recipe for ensemble magic. If it just equaled what Clone Wars gave us, I would say we are lucky for the expansion to the lore.

There are so many properties being made. Maybe they will all be great. If we’re lucky it will expand the Star Wars Universe with more personal stories building connective tissue between all of them. This is the stuff of living fandom, watching the Universe unfold before them. Star Wars fandom has been real prickly lately. I hope this new expansion of the Star Wars Universe will have enough diversity to allow a wider array of fans and perspectives, making for a happier fandom.

This clip shows a clean, fast visual format, strong color and dynamic pans giving us more of what made Clone Wars the great series it was. Now, with more technique layered in. I immediately felt at home and knew there would be more than enough mayhem to keep me entertained.


(I love renegades!)


Thaddeus Howze
Thaddeus Howze

Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.