The Bad Batch begins with one of the most traumatic events in the history of the Galaxy far, far away. As we watch a Jedi master and her Padawan work alongside Troopers, we hear the rumblings of a rumor. Obi-Wan Kenobi has defeated General Grievous and the Clone Wars are over. But before our cast of characters can begin to understand what that means, we hear a new voice. The chilling tones and ghastly visage of Palpatine appears, demanding them to “execute Order 66.” And everything changes. While we know the horrors of the Empire’s order to kill all Jedi, here we see them through new eyes. Well, new to the world of The Clone Wars.
Spoilers for the premiere episode of The Bad Batch.
That’s because that Jedi is Depa Billaba and the Padawan is none other than Caleb Dume, otherwise known as Rebels’ Kanan Jarrus.
The Bad Batch witnessing Order 66 made a lot of sense to the creative team. But it was a long path to deciding the best way to showcase it. “A lot of talk went into that moment,” head writer and producer Jennifer Corbett told Nerdist. “Obviously, Order 66 is pivotal for the Star Wars universe.”
As the story began to take shape, the crew came up with an idea. Introducing a young Padawan who would shape Hunter’s journey through the series, especially when it comes to a new addition to the canon in a young girl named Omega. “The more we started talking about how the episode progresses and Omega, we saw this opportunity to have the Batch interact with a Padawan who’s a young kid. And when Hunter tries to help him, it doesn’t go the way that he hopes. But then later he can correct his mistake by doing right by Omega.”
But as you know if you’ve watched the show, that’s not just any old Padawan. So who came up with the idea that the kid hunter tries to help was none other than Caleb? Of course it was Dave Filoni. “That was the thinking going into Hunter’s interaction with a Padawan. But when Dave brought up the idea of Caleb, it was like, ‘Yes, of course!’ He’s awesome. And since fans got to see him on Rebels, I think getting to witness Order 66 from his perspective adds a whole other layer to his character.”
While it seems like for now we won’t see Caleb again, this gives us a huge insight into the rogue Jedi’s childhood. Troopers he thought were his allies killed his master, and his close friendship with the Bad Batch was destroyed by the Order. Even though Hunter wanted to help, Caleb was just a scared child and sure that his friends would turn on him. It’s a tragic but powerful origin for the fan favorite character. And we can’t wait to see what other canon-shifting surprises The Bad Batch has in store.
You can watch the first episode of The Bad Batch on Disney+ now.