Every Star Wars Easter Egg In The Bad Batch Episode 1
Here are all of the Star Wars Easter eggs from a bumper-length premiere episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch. First introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Clone Force 99 are a band of mutated Kamino-bred troopers that differ from the usual Jango Fett carbon copies. Following their debut in Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7, Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair and Echo now have a spin-off series of their own – Disney+’s The Bad Batch. Initially, Clone Force 99 were a crack squad taking on the toughest Separatist suppression missions, but after the emergence of the Galactic Empire, the Bad Batch have mostly gone rogue, breaking away from their former controllers.
The current wave of Star Wars streaming content was spearheaded entirely by The Mandalorian. Not only has Jon Favreau’s series attained mammoth success over the course of its two seasons so far, but The Mandalorian finally united Star Wars fans under a common banner by chronicling a whole new period in the franchise’s timeline. The Mandalorian married together the past, present and future of Star Wars, and this approach meant plenty of Easter eggs, from recognizable planets and reused quotes, to obscure returning aliens and original trilogy props.
Thankfully, The Bad Batch upholds that fledgling tradition. Across the course of Clone Force 99’s first foray into an Imperial galaxy, The Bad Batch episode 1, “Aftermath,” offers a wide array of knowing winks for the Star Wars faithful. Here are all of the Easter eggs we found in The Bad Batch‘s series premiere.
“Aftermath” begins with the title card from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which quickly burns into the brand new The Bad Batch logo. Not necessarily an Easter egg in the traditional sense, but an excellent way of acknowledging how the new series is a continuation of its animated predecessor.
The Bad Batch begins concurrent to the final act of Revenge of the Sith, and several live-action prequel trilogy moments are recreated in animation. The catch-up montage shows Obi-Wan Kenobi liberating Chancellor Palpatine after his “capture” while General Grievous escapes in his ship, heading for the Outer Rim. Later in the episode, Palpatine’s Revenge of the Sith proclamation speech is played to the clone troopers of Kamino, as the Bad Batch watch on with concern.
The Bad Batch narrative begins proper on the planet of Kaller, where the icy surface plays host to one of the last battles between Republic and Separatist forces. Kaller was briefly glimpsed in Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7, but first appeared in the Kanan comic book series, which explains its presence in The Bad Batch‘s opening.
Clone Force 99 are doing their thing on Kaller when Palpatine hands down Order 66, and they witness the final moments of Jedi Master Depa Billaba. The Bad Batch are recruited to aid Billaba by her padawan, Caleb Dume, who later becomes known as Kanan Jarrus. “Aftermath” reveals how Hunter was responsible for allowing Dume to escape, and the fleeing youngster eventually goes on to play a major role in Star Wars Rebels. To get away from the prowling Crosshair, Caleb uses a Force jump – a long-standing technique of the Jedi Order.
During the battle on Kaller, Clone Force 99 easily take down a entire unit of battle droids. As the enemy numbers rapidly deplete and their tanks are shoved off a cliff by Wrecker, one of the droids glumly mutters “I guess I’m in charge now.” This fun reference calls back to “Downfall of a Droid” from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, where a battle droid “assumes” command after General Grievous ignores him. The line became somewhat of a meme, and The Bad Batch responds in self-referential fashion.
When Clone Force 99’s work is done, Tech calculates that the end of the war could be nigh, noting that General Kenobi is engaged in combat with General Grievous on Utapau. This is the very same battle that transpired in Revenge of the Sith, where the robotic lightsaber collector met his timely demise.
Tensions begin to emerge between Hunter and Crosshair over the survival of Caleb Dume, with the group’s leader reluctant to obey, and his sharpshooter pal thirsty for Jedi blood. Trying to win over his superior officer, Crosshair asserts “good soldiers follow orders,” and he repeats this sentiment throughout The Bad Batch‘s first episode. This line will be familiar to Star Wars: The Clone Wars viewers, having been used previously by Tup in season 6’s “The Unknown.” In this offering, Tup keeps slipping into a trace-like state, leading him to execute a Jedi called Tiplar. Crosshair using the same phrase suggests he perhaps isn’t an independent as his comrades.
Given the origins of our titular heroes, it’s no surprise that The Bad Batch drops by Kamino, the cloning planet where Clone Force 99 and the rest of the Republic army were bred. Returning to base following the Kaller incident, Clone Force 99 are flanked and their clearance code requested. Although surprised at the extra security, they comply, and the accompanying ships concede. The vessels seen accosting the Bad Batch are V-Wings, which have appeared in a variety in Star Wars media since debuting in Revenge of the Sith. Other returning vehicles in the episode include Republic landers during the opening scene, and the tanks used by the Separatists on Kaller, models of which were introduced in The Phantom Menace.
As Tech tries to explain why the five Clone Force 99 troops didn’t fritz out and start slaughtering Jedi when a blue projection of Palpatine appeared, he points out how regular clone troopers are fitted with inhibitors to stop them questioning commands or thinking independently. Later in the episode, the same principle is explained to a typically cold Admiral Tarkin as he assesses whether to continue Kamino’s cloning operation. Inhibitor chips first appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 6, extrapolating upon a concept explained to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Attack of the Clones by the Kaminoans.
Since Echo isn’t technically a mutated clone, Hunter and the others question why he wasn’t affected by Order 66. Tech explains that the incident on “Skako Minor” left Echo more machine than clone, rendering him as immune to coercion as the defects he hangs around with. These events, unsurprisingly, played out in The Clone Wars. Echo was presumed dead after an explosion in season 3, then resurfaced as a cyborg, having been kept alive by Separatists exploiting him as an intelligence source. As a transformed prisoner, Echo was taken to Skako Minor, where the Bad Batch rescued him.
The Bad Batch follows the forces of the Republic as Palpatine’s transition to an Empire begins in earnest, and naturally, the familiar spoke-wheel logo of the Galactic Republic can be seen scattered around “Aftermath.” One of the clearest shots comes courtesy of Clone Force 99’s living quarters, where the symbol is painted on the side of a crate being used for an improvised table.
Star Wars TV shows have often utilized elements of John Williams’ iconic movie scores to call back to key moments from the big screen, and The Bad Batch continues in that same vein. When Palpatine is giving his ominous speech to herald the dawn of the Galactic Empire, a few bars of the iconic Imperial March from the original trilogy are heard, underscoring the historic importance of the moment.
The Bad Batch offers another callback to the old-school Empire when the animated Admiral Tarkin arrives on Kamino. Greeted by two regimental lines of clone troopers, Tarkin’s ship opens to a puff of steam and ominous trumpets, and he marches between the soldiers with utmost authority. The grand (moff) entrance is intentionally reminiscent of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader’s respective hanger arrivals in Return of the Jedi.
Omega’s friend and the droid assigned to look after Echo following his mess hall mishap is known by the catchy title of AZI-345211896246498721347. This isn’t the chirpy med droid’s first appearance in the Star Wars universe – he debuted in Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 6, responsible for evaluating Fives following Tup’s “good soldiers follow orders” incident.
As Clone Force 99 bemoan the arrival of Admiral Tarkin on Kamino, they namedrop the “citadel rescue” in which Echo was transformed into his current cybernetic state. This is a reference to Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3’s Citadel Station arc, and the events on Lola Sayu, in which Echo sacrificed himself so that his comrades might escape. Although presumed to have died in the fiery blast, Echo was actually captured by Separatists.
At the behest of Admiral Tarkin, Clone Force 99 are thrown into a battle simulation in the Kamino training facility, fighting against special droids with training rounds, before the future Grand Moff slyly switches to live ammunition. This battle simulation exercise, like much in The Bad Batch, derives from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, specifically season 3’s “Clone Cadets,” which first introduced Echo.
When Tarkin ramps up the battle simulation and orders live rounds be used against the Clone Force 99 quintet, a small unit of droids are deployed, looking suspiciously like the Dark Troopers most recently seen in The Mandalorian. These are obviously early versions of the same design, nowhere near as powerful and not especially dark, but the resemblance is clear, proving the Dark Trooper design was sat on the Empire’s “to do” pile for some time before they were eventually perfected by Moff Gideon.
Pinned down by the formidable new Dark Trooper-esque “training” droids, Hunter gives the command his team to use the “Felucia” strategy. A recognized planet in Star Wars geography, Felucia is briefly glimpsed during Revenge of the Sith‘s montage of Order 66 Jedi deaths, but has since appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, various comic books, and even a handful of video games. It’s not exactly clear what the Bad Batch did there, but the mission obviously involved rewiring a droid into firing on its own masters.
As Admiral Tarkin views an infant clone being cultivated on Kamino, Nala Se (another character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars) utters the line, “extraordinary, aren’t they?” This acts as an overt reference to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Attack of the Clones. While Kenobi is being shown the Republic Army in its full glory for the very first time, Lama Su says to the Jedi “magnificent, aren’t they?” In a quirk of fate, Lama Su is actually standing next to Nala Se when she appropriates his line for Tarkin. The Kaminoans apparently have Easter eggs among themselves now.
To test the loyalty of Clone Force 99, Tarkin sends the team to Onderon to weed out some insurgents, which ultimately turn out to be harmless civilians… and Saw Gerrera. A regular location in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Onderon is where Gerrera and the Jedi sow the seeds of rebellion against the Empire. Onderon was liberated from separatists during the Clone Wars, but immediately fell into Imperial hands following the rise of the Empire, the beginnings of which are seen here in “Aftermath.”
Tarkin sends a probe droid to keep an eye on Clone Force 99 during their Onderon mission. These little metal scouts have made big screen appearances in both The Empire Strikes Back and The Phantom Menace, serving to bolster the Empire’s intelligence. Some gadgets never go out of style.
After finding the Republic runaways on Onderon, Tech recognizes Saw Gerrera as the man trained by Captain Rex and General Skywalker. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Rex and Anakin did indeed train the people of Onderon, including Gerrera, to strike back against the occupying Separatists forces. It’s a cruel twist of irony that Anakin himself would be involved in oppressing the planet not long after.
Escaping from the cell on Kamino, Clone Force 99’s Tech stuns one of the guards with a familiar round, blue blaster beam. This effect was first used on Princess Leia in 1977, knocking her out ready to take to Vader. The familiar blue sleepy-circles have been a recurring visual of the Star Wars franchise, most recently used on Grogu in The Mandalorian.
Throughout “Aftermath,” Crosshair dissents against Hunter and the Bad Batch defects, showing a compulsion to follow Imperial orders. Tarkin seizes upon this and amplifies the commands in Crosshair’s clone programming, turning the sharpshooter fully against his friends. When Crosshair returns to the battle and tries to stop the remainder of Clone Force 99 escaping, he dons a black clone trooper outfit. Potentially, Crosshair could be among the first Death Troopers produced by the Empire.
After a rough few days, Hunter has few places of refuge left for he and his team to hide. In the final moments of The Bad Batch‘s premiere, he mentions J-19, otherwise known as the Suolriep sector. Their destination is most likely Saleucami, where they’ll find Cut Lawquane – a clone trooper who left the war behind to settle down for a quiet family life.
More: Every Star Wars Character Returning In The Bad Batch