The Bad Batch is a glimpse into the future of Star Wars spin-offs

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The bad party arrived last today Star Wars spinoff series for Disney Plus. It’s a different, smaller show than previous animated shows like The Clone Wars or Rebels, targeting a single squad of clone troopers, Clone Force 99 – the title “Bad Batch” – and his struggle to find a place in the galaxy after the rise of the empire.

Unlike the other clone troopers, the members of the Bad Batch were cloned with an emphasis on specific genetic abnormalities. Hunter, for example, has enhanced senses, while Wrecker is much bigger and stronger than the average clone.

The Bad Batch was first introduced in the resurrected seventh season of Dave Filoni’s animated feature The Clone Wars series (which was brought back from its original cancellation in 2013 following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm) into an episode practically designed as a backdoor pilot for further spin-offs.

Knowledge of the previous seven seasons of it Clone Wars or the four seasons of Rebels is not essential to enjoy The bad party, at least for now. The show takes a long time to reintroduce the squad at the start of the extended premiere episode, although awareness of the wide-ranging events of Revenge of the Sith and the downfall of the Republic are beneficial. However, knowing that the show’s creator has Dave Filoni’s preference for referencing his other series is almost guaranteed The bad party will eventually intersect with characters and events from Clone Wars, Rebels, or even The Mandalorian at some point along the line.

And that’s actually the whole point. The bad party is an early preview of the next wave of Star Wars shows: a tower of spin-offs from spin-offs, each connected to and building on the previous shows and movies.

It’s something we’ve already gotten the first glimpse of the live-action side of. The success of The MandalorianThe second season has spawned not one but three different spin-offs (Ashoka, Rangers of the New Republic, and The Book of Boba Fett), which will eventually turn into one Avengers-like crossover over the next few years.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because Disney is already using a nearly identical tactic with its Marvel Studios movies and Disney Plus shows: building an interconnected storyline spanning a wide variety of shows and movies to attract viewers. and get them to subscribe to Disney Plus and went to theaters.

Disney previously tried something similar with its first attempts at breaking Star Wars from the Skywalker Saga mold, but cinematic spin-offs like Rogue One or Solo didn’t quite turn into the breakout successes comparable to the more mainstream movies. However, those films were meant to be a connective tissue, filling in the missing links between episodes or shadows in the history of characters we had already met. Instead of making Star Wars feel like a larger universe, they had the negative effect of making it smaller.

The bad party seems to be solving that problem with a tighter focus on a relatively new group of clones hitting on their own. It’s not the breadth of the sweeping conflict of the entire Clone Wars or the start of the fledgling rebellion, which means it will hopefully be able to bring a new slice of the Star Wars universe instead of just repeating old ones.

Much of that depends on how independent a series is The bad partythe makers want to make. The Mandalorianseemed to take a similar trajectory to begin with, but in the second season, the show fell right back into the mainstream Star Wars pad featuring Luke Skywalker cameos, Boba Fett guest episodes, darksaber duels and more. It’s easy to imagine The bad party follow a similar route. (For example, the first episode already looks like an appearance Rogue One‘s Saw Gerrera and a more subtle one Rebels cameo.)

But hopefully The bad party will be the first of a new wave of Star Wars spin-offs that set their own course in the universe with new stories. Because with the number of Disney Plus shows and movies on Disney’s reel, branching out into new parts of the galaxy will be essential – after all, there’s still a lot of galaxy left to explore.