‘The Clone Wars’: The Bad Batch Chose Their Name, Clone Force 99, To Honor a Fallen Brother

The Clone Wars‘ Season 7 premiere is creeping closer and closer. With just one week away, the series’ social media accounts posted a minute-long teaser about the Bad Batch in preparation for the debut on Disney+. The separate arcs of the season were already announced since the remaining two seasons were planned out before the show was canceled. So, how did the Bad Batch get their name and what’s their story?

A still from 'The Clone Wars' Season 7 showing the Bad Batch squad.
A still from ‘The Clone Wars’ Season 7 showing the Bad Batch squad | Lucasfilm/Disney+

‘The Clone Wars’ returns Feb. 21 and concludes the series

Fans of The Clone Wars are gearing up to experience the first new episode of the series since Season 6’s Lost Missions came out on Netflix. There’s a lot of ground that this season has to cover before the events of Revenge of the Sith, finally bridging the gap between Episodes II and III.

Since it was never guaranteed that the series would come back after being canceled, Dave Filoni — Supervising Director — has shared what his plans were to conclude the series. One arc revolved around Ahsoka’s time in Coruscant’s Underworld, and another showed what happened to Maul after Sidious (sort of) took him hostage. And another has a major climax on Mandalore, which happens at the same time as the Jedi purge, aka Order 66. And one of the most-anticipated arcs is “Bad Batch.”

The Bad Batch arc has fans really hyped for the new season

Revealed in 2015 at Star Wars Celebration that year, the “Bad Batch” arc was described as a mission to “recover a combat algorithm from Separatist forces.” Captain Rex is in charge of an “elite squad of experimental Clones” that went by “Bad Batch.” Their official name is Clone Force 99. In the newest clips from Season 7, they’re called “defective Clones with desirable mutations.” 

Those “mutations” made them appear different than all of the other soldiers and they were far superior as well. They gained unique abilities because of these mutations, which allowed them to have unorthodox fighting techniques as well, and they were pretty ruthless. They were sent on missions that might be too dangerous or volatile for regular Clones, and they’re described as having “gung-ho behavior.”

The Bad Batch consists of Wrecker, the strongman of the group; Tech, a “hyper-intelligent” tech expert; Cross Hair, the sniper for the Batch; and Sergeant Hunter, the team’s leader. As seen in the new teaser, and shared before at panels, Rex is also accompanied by Jesse, Kix, and Commander Cody.

The Bad Batch is named after a beloved, fallen, brother

While the “Bad Batch” has its reputation to match their nickname, their official title has a special meaning among the Clones. Officially dubbed Clone Force 99, their squad was named after Clone trooper 99. Back in Season 3, when Separatist Forces took over the Clone production base on Kamino, 99 took center stage. 

99 was an aged, “defective” Clone that malformed in the cloning process. He wasn’t able to serve in the field because of his defects and was put on janitorial duties. During the battle on Kamino, he rallied soldiers and helped until his death, bringing ammunition to those fighting. He was honored after that and Clone Force 99 took up his number in their name since they also suffered from mutations. Their “defects” had the opposite effect on their fieldwork, but the sentiment still stands. 

Catch The Clone Wars on Disney+ starting Feb. 21, with new episodes airing weekly after that.