‘The Bad Batch’: Is Snoke a Clone From Kamino?
The Star Wars universe is an ever-evolving thing. While the movies have cooled down for the time being, the franchise’s TV entries continue to introduce new and exciting things that help fill out the story and lore. As one of the shows — Star Wars: The Bad Batch — comes to a close on Disney+, fans are left with a lot to think about regarding its many revelations about the Galaxy at the start of the Empire’s reign.
Some have even started to theorize that one key detail about the story’s clones might shed some light on a plot point from one of the recent movies.
What is ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’?
The Bad Batch follows a group of Republic Clone Troopers with specialized mutations known as Clone Force 99, affectionately referred to as the Bad Batch. While they originally fought as loyal soldiers of the Republic, things took a turn when the events of Episode III — Revenge of the Sith happened at the start of the series, causing all clone troopers to turn on their Jedi comrades.
With all but one of the Batch unaffected by the hypnotic Order 66, Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, and Echo (all played by the unbelievably talented Dee Bradley Baker) defect with another deviant clone known as Omega (Michelle Ang) to begin life anew as soldiers of fortune, all while being hunted down by their brainwashed brother, Crosshair.
The series shows us the fate of the Republic’s clone troopers
One of the main discrepancies between the prequel Star Wars films (Episodes I, II, and III) and the original trilogy (Episodes IV, V, and VI) has to do with the main army in each era. During the prequels, the Republic uses cloned warriors to fight their battles, but by the time of the original trilogy, the Empire (which the Republic was turned into following the end of the war) use soldiers known as Stormtroopers who are normal recruits.
In The Bad Batch, we get to see how the Empire, motivated by saving money, decides to end their contract with the Kamino aliens who created their clones throughout the war. To this end, they begin to enlist regular people from around the Galaxy, using the clones that remain to train them.
It’s a clever way to explain how what’s essentially the same group of people went from all being proficient clone soldiers to the bumbling cannon fodder we see characters like Han Solo mow down like nothing.
Kamino’s cloning technology might explain Snoke in the new trilogy
In the penultimate episode of The Bad Batch, the Empire steals the cloning technology and its technicians from the planet Kamino. Their goal was to prevent anyone else from raising an army of clones that could oppose them, as well as to quash any thoughts of rebellion among the Kaminoans themselves. As a result, the Empire became the only people in the Galaxy who could reliably clone someone.
Fast-forward to 2015 and the release of Episode VII — The Force Awakens. In this film, we get our first look at the imposing Sith villain known as Snoke. We knew little about him at this time, with any questions about who he was and where he came from left unanswered with his death in Episode VIII — The Last Jedi. Then, upon the premier of Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker, we finally learned the truth; that Snoke was a genetically-engineered puppet controlled by Emperor Palpatine all along.
This revelation came as both a shock and disappointment to many, as plenty of fans felt it was an unnecessary explanation for a character who ultimately didn’t matter compared to the real villain of the new trilogy, Kylo Ren. Some also balked at the explanation itself due to the fact it didn’t seem to make much sense given that Snoke and Palpatine look nothing alike. There was also a bit of grumping about how it didn’t live up to people’s theories (Darth Jar Jar, anyone?).
With what we’ve now learned from The Bad Batch, though, the twist is easier to believe. Being reminded of both the Republic’s clones as well as the people who made them, plus the series’ focus on the deliberately augmented DNA of the Bad Batch themselves, it seems likely Snoke could have been a mixture of both Palpatine’s and Kaminoan DNA.
One user on Reddit added, “I like the idea that he’s based on the remnants of Kamino cloning tech, so he might have a bit of [Kaminoan] in him alongside the human that’s probably from Palpatine.” While the “why” of it all is still left hanging (“Why would Palpatine make his clone look so unlike himself?”), the “how” of it is a bit easier to swallow now.