How The Bad Batch Explains Why The Empire Stopped Using Clones

How The Bad Batch Explains Why The Empire Stopped Using Clones

Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the animated series about a commando squad of mutated Jango Fett clones, deeply explores several of the main reasons why the Empire stopped using Clone Troopers. Long considered a mystery, the reason why the Empire switched to regular troops after Order 66 can be attributed to not just one but several factors. Obi-Wan Kenobi, which comes shortly after The Bad Batch in Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ chronological order, further explores the aftermath of Order 66 from this lens – as seen in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Clone Trooper scene. However, before Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Bad Batch already revealed many of the factors that forced the Empire to drop its Clone Trooper program.


Also known as the “Bad Batch,” Clone Force 99 is an elite group of clones unlike any other produced on the planet Kamino. Using Jango Fett as a template, the cloners of Kamino created thousands of soldiers to serve in the Grand Army of the Republic. The problem with cloning is that even in a hi-tech sci-fi galaxy far, far away, mutations are inevitable. Clone Force 99 is composed entirely of these so-called “mutant” clones, whose mutations were deemed potentially useful to the Republic. There’s a sense in which Clone Force 99 could be considered the superheroes of the Republic military. Each one possesses unique gifts beyond those of their brothers, and as a result Clone Force 99 is essentially as effective in battle as an entire army. Hunter is the leader of the Bad Batch, possessed of heightened senses. He works alongside Wrecker, a remarkably strong warrior; Crosshair, a gifted marksman; Tech, a genius who can make technology do exactly what he wants; and Anakin Skywalker’s old friend Echo, a cyborg who has added a new level of strategic expertise to the team.

Related: Why Obi-Wan Kenobi Is So Weak In His Star Wars Show

The Bad Batch’s most crucial member is Omega, who is introduced as another genetically defective drone but is later revealed to be a complete genetic replica of Jango Fett – making her the most important recipe in the Empire’s hopes of resurrecting the Clone Army. In The Bad Batch season 1, episode 16, “Kamino Lost,” Omega and the rest of Clone Force 99 escape the Empire’s clutches, and the planet of Kamino gets destroyed by the Empire. Moreover, though Crosshair ultimately sides with the Empire, he’s also the one who saves Omega. These events illustrate why a Clone Army is simply unsustainable, even for a galaxy-spanning evil empire. In order to better put these events into perspective (and to more easily follow the correct Clone Wars watch order) it’s important to look back at the events that set up “Kamino Lost,” beginning in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

The Empire Stopped Using Clone Troopers After Order 66

Star Wars Republic Clone Army Troopers

In theory, the Clone Army should have been perfect for Palpatine’s purposes. He had successfully established the Empire, but he was well aware there would be resistance. A number of high-profile senators, such as Bail Organa and Mon Mothma, were no doubt of particular interest to the new regime; some tie-ins have already suggested the Emperor swiftly sent Darth Vader after potential political opponents, particularly those who have signed a petition calling on Palpatine to give up his Emergency Powers shortly before the fall of the Republic. Given this context, the Clone Troopers should have been irresistible to the Emperor. After all, he had already proven they can be controlled through judicious use of control chips, even forcing them to turn on the Jedi who had commanded them for years.

And yet, for all that is the case, instead the Emperor chose to decommission the clones and replace them with an intensive recruitment operation that spanned the galaxy. What is more, he appears to have begun doing this pretty much straight away. Charles Soule’s Darth Vader #2 is set shortly after the Empire was founded, and a conversation between two Clone Troopers reveals the cloning facilities on Kamino were swiftly shut down. The Empire trained one last batch of clones and then ended the entire project. While there were several theories as to why this happened, series such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Bad Batch provide many answers for why the Empire abandoned Clone Troopers.

Clone Force 99 Disobeyed Order 66 And Caused Too Many Problems

Star Wars The Bad Batch Poster Characters

Star Wars: The Bad Batch begins with Clone Force 99 disobeying Order 66, and the series ends with the Empire destroying the entire planet of Kamino where the clones are produced, which means that the infrastructure to resurrect the Clone Army has been lost. Moreover, even though Omega is still alive and the Empire can still find her to establish a new Clone Trooper program, there’s always the risk of the rise of another rebellious mutant group, as Omega’s DNA essentially provides the same ingredients as the original Clone Army. In short, using Clone Troopers again is too risky for Emperor Palpatine. Unlike Hayden Christensen’s Darth Vader, Palpatine’s primary weapons against the surviving Jedi, Clone Troopers. are much less predictable and prone to disobedience. This is why the Empire willingly paid the price of destroying its own cloning facilities just to try and put an end to Clone Force 99. That said, while Palpatine has abandoned the project, the Empire clearly isn’t done with cloning yet, as the Kaminoan cloning program’s Chief Scientist, Nala Se, is last seen being forcibly taken to an Imperial facility.

Related: Obi-Wan Kenobi Cast Guide: Every New & Returning Star Wars Character

The Empire’s Omega And Clone Force 99 Problems Continue In Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2

commander cody bad batch reveal

The trailer for Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2 implies that Clone Force 99 will be more involved with rebel activities, further proving to Emperor Palpatine that Clone Troopers are more trouble than they’re worth. In fact, it looks like Clone Force 99 will be working with the surviving Jedi, who at this point in the Star Wars timeline are still being hunted by Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Grand Inquisitor. Notably, the trailer for The Bad Batch season 2 doesn’t reveal much about the future of Omega, which could mean that big things are in store for the special clone.

Apart from being the key to creating a new Clone Army, Omega’s genes are capable of so much more. While the ending of The Bad Batch season 1 is more than enough to convince Palpatine not to pursue the Clone Trooper program again, the Empire could instead use Omega to try and develop their own Clone Force 99. Armed with data from how the inhibitor chips malfunctioned, Clone Force 99’s genetic profiles, and Omega’s rare genetic makeup, the Empire’s scientists could conceivably create its own mutated commandoes – this time, more loyal than ever to Emperor Palpatine. That said, as seen in one of the darkest Obi-Wan Kenobi easter eggs, even if the Empire succeeds at this endeavor, the resulting clones could be bound for an arguably even more terrible fate than serving the Emperor.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Shows How The Empire Treated Clone Troopers After Order 66


Obi-Wan Kenobi, which in Clone Wars’ chronological order follows The Bad Batch, reveals that some Clone Troopers ended up becoming beggars in the streets. Unable to find Leia nor contact his former master Qui-Gon Jinn through the Force, Obi-Wan frustratingly mutters to himself, demanding guidance from his master. Immediately, an unseen person asks Obi-Wan for credits, and it’s revealed that the beggar is a former Clone Trooper, still wearing the armor of a lieutenant in the army that changed the course of the galaxy. Apart from implying that Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Qui-Gon Jinn is somehow still in touch with Obi-Wan, this shows the dark fate of potentially thousands of other clones who stopped being useful to the Empire after the war.

Star Wars’ Galactic Empire never had a viable plan for ensuring that its veterans don’t end up begging in the streets, reflective of how real-world governments treat their own war veterans. This underscores another key reason why the Empire stopped using clones and switched to a regular army. The rest of the galaxy is not entirely in agreement with the Empire that clones are expendable, and former Clone Troopers seen begging in the streets only fans the flames of resistance. This not only threatens the Empire’s illusion of united peace but also supports the cause of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s surviving Jedi. While The Bad Batch tackles how creating another Clone Army isn’t worth the risks to the Empire, Obi-Wan Kenobi foreshadows the inevitable results of Palpatine’s ongoing experiments with clones, more of which could be revealed in Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2.

Next: Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2 Ending Explained: Where Is [SPOILER]?

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Thomas Bacon
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Tom Bacon is one of Screen Rant’s staff writers, as well as a Peer Mentor for new writers and a member of the Care Team, offering support and a listening ear to members of the Comics group. A lifelong fan of major franchises including Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Marvel, Tom is delighted his childhood is back – and this time it’s cool. You can find him on Twitter @TomABacon.

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