The New Star Wars Heroes, Explained

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[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 7 finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “Victory and Death.”]

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is the latest show to enter the pantheon of a galaxy far, far away. The Disney+ show’s protagonists — the titular Bad Batch — are five members of the elite Clone Force 99. But they aren’t your average clone troopers. First introduced during the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch are a highly skilled group with a flawless success rate. They’re called in for highly specialized missions, instead of aiding the Grand Army of the Republic’s war against the Separatists. If you’re wondering why, it’s because they don’t fit the bill.

As seen in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the clone troopers are genetic replicas of their donor, Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison), engineered for battle and compliance. The Bad Batch do not look the part, nor do they behave anything like their cloned brothers, because the squad was experimented on to give them desirable mutations. As a result, each member has a unique skill and personality. Let’s just say that when they enter a battle, Clone Force 99 stands out. Dee Bradley Baker will return to voice all the clones, including the Bad Batch. No small feat given how varied the squadron is.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch follows this elite team as they grapple with the galaxy following the aftermath of the Clone Wars. From the trailers, we see them working with everyone from Governor Tarkin, Captain Rex, and even Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen, reprising her role from The Mandalorian). The Jedi are gone, and the war is supposedly over, so now the squad must take on mercenary missions to “find a new purpose.”

With the first episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiering on Disney+ today, May 4, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with our newest heroes, especially if you’ve never watched The Clone Wars before.

Hunter

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Image via Lucasfilm

The leader of the Bad Batch, Hunter is the most conventional-looking clone among the team. If it wasn’t for his mullet and his distinctive skull-shaped face tattoo, he’d fit right in with his brothers.

But Hunter is unlikely to get lost in a crowd. He’s abrasive, chafes against authority, and has a general air of arrogance lacking in the rest of the clones. All of this is backed up by his heightened battle skills. Hunter is a keen tactician and has uncanny tracking abilities, as seen in Season 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Hunter is the cool guy who is likely to be the biggest draw for viewers on Star Wars: The Bad Batch. He’s essentially stepping in to fill the hole left by Ahsoka Tano.

Wrecker

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Image via Disney+

In pop culture, there’s always that one dumb brute character who starts of as little more than a wrecking machine before stealing your heart with their kindness and charm. Star Wars has plenty of them already, including Chewbacca, Zeb Orrelios on Star Wars Rebels, and now Wrecker. The official Star Wars website literally refers to him as a ‘boisterous bruiser’; what’s not to love?

Wrecker towers over his clone brothers, and has distinctive facial scarring rendering him blind in one eye. He is unflappable in any situation, which is understandable given he can lift just about anything. This clone is a muscle man through and through. The writers of the show just need to be sure to give him a rounded personality.

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Tech

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Image via Lucasfilm

In quintessential storytelling style, there’s the smart one, the strong one, and the geeky one. Tech is the resident nerd on Anaxes, home of the Bad Batch. With his penchant for science and technology, Tech is an invaluable member of the team.

Tech looks exactly like a nerd: He wears large owl-like glasses and is never seen without a bunch of gear by his side. All of his tech is necessary, of course. Technology is everywhere during the Clone Wars, and Tech knows how to hack into every system. He could probably rewire a droid here and there, were he given the chance. (Show writers, please give him the chance.)

Crosshair

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Image via Lucasfilm

No military squad is complete without a sharpshooter. Crosshair is cold and calculating, to the extent that he actively dislikes working with the ‘regs’—regular clones. Of course, Crosshair is great at his job. He’s engineered to never miss a shot, but who can put up with him for an extended period of time?

Crosshair is easy to spot, with his close-cropped white hair, gaunt stature, and the graticule tattooed over his eye. Usually, these markings can be found inside an eyepiece on a gun or weapon, but Crosshair’s design reminds you that he is the weapon.

This character is going to be the hardest to root for; the writers will need to work overtime to win fans over.

Echo

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Image via Lucasfilm

Echo wasn’t an original member of the Bad Batch: He was part of the Domino Squad in the Clone Army, before being promoted to becoming an ARC trooper. Aside from his sarcastic nature, Echo was similar to his clone brothers, until he was presumed dead during an attempt to free detainees from the formidable Citadel, a Separatist prison.

Held captive by the Separatists, who used his knowledge to glean the combat strategies and secrets of the Grand Army, Echo was rescued from his long imprisonment when Captain Rex recognized his voice and launched a mission to free Echo.

Unfortunately, Echo’s time as an organic computer turned him into an emotionless cyborg. He didn’t look or act like his old self. Some clone troopers also doubted his affiliations considering how long Echo had been “working” with the Separatists. With nowhere to go, Echo found a home with his fellow outsiders in the Bad Batch.

Echo’s story arc was heartbreaking, but in Star Wars: The Bad Batch he is likely to team up, albeit briefly, with his longtime friend Captain Rex. Perhaps he will find his way back to humanity again.

99

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Image via Lucasfilm

This feature would not be complete without mentioning Clone 99. Though technically not a member of The Bad Batch, Clone Force 99 is purportedly named after 99, a genetically divergent clone. Instead of being inducted for service in the Clone Army, 99 spent his existence cleaning after the clone troopers on Kamino.

He was frequently humiliated by his brothers, who considered 99 a failure. But 99 kept the clone facility in top shape and even advised notable Clone Wars heroes like Hevy, Fives, and Echo, who passed their recruitment test thanks to his advice.

Of the many character deaths that occurred during Star Wars: The Clone Wars, none hit harder than 99’s. He showed himself to be a true, unsung hero up until his last breath. 99 was posthumously venerated as a true soldier, and it’s no wonder that a squad of mutant clones chose to honor him by taking his name.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch streams on Disney+ from May 4, 2021.

KEEP READING: Here’s How to Watch the Star Wars Movies in Order (Chronologically and by Release Date)

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Monita Mohan
(6 Articles Published)

Monita is a copywriter by day and an entertainment writer by night. Her bylines have appeared on Fansided websites Bam Smack Pow and Show Snob, as well as on Vocal and Women Write About Comics.

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