Following months of rumors, Lucasfilm and Disney announced today that Star Wars: The Bad Batch, a spin-off of the hit Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series will debut on Disney+ next year. The new animated series will focus on the Bad Batch, an elite unit of clone troopers, after the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire.

The Bad Batch, with their genetic modifications and unique talents, never necessarily “fit in” to the Grand Army of the Republic in the first place. After Order 66, though, with the Empire switching to primarily recruited stormtroopers over clone troopers born to serve, their role is even less clear. The series will see their transformation from elite commandos to hardened mercenaries as they explore their place in a galaxy that no longer needs them.

Agnes Chu, senior vice president, Content, Disney+, told StarWars.com:

“Giving new and existing fans the final chapter of Star Wars: The Clone Wars has been our honor at Disney+, and we are overjoyed by the global response to this landmark series. While The Clone Wars may have come to its conclusion, our partnership with the groundbreaking storytellers and artists at Lucasfilm Animation is only beginning. We are thrilled to bring Dave Filoni’s vision to life through the next adventures of the Bad Batch.”

The Bad Batch, as seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The Bad Batch were initially a creation of George Lucas during his time executive producing The Clone Wars. While their introduction was finally brought to the screen when The Clone Wars returned for its long-awaited final season this year, Lucas had developed one further story involving the Batch. In that untold tale, they would have traveled to Kashyyyk with Yoda, where they would aid him and the Wookiees as they tried to fight in their sacred forests without sacrificing the trees to the ravages of war. This series promises to tell different stories, but Lucas’s creative spark in these imaginative characters remains.

While the earlier animated series Star Wars Rebels showed retired clone troopers long after the transition to Imperial rule and several novels have explored the idea, Star Wars fans have never seen the clone troopers respond to the galactic upheaval on-screen before. Centering the series on the Bad Batch, as unique in appearance and demeanor as in talent, allows for an array of nuanced emotion and dynamic personality in this story. The Clone Wars humanized the clone troopers in a way the movies never could, but it was still a story of the Jedi in many ways. This is the first time the clones will truly take center stage.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is executive produced by Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Athena Portillo (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels), Brad Rau (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Resistance) and Jennifer Corbett (Star Wars Resistance, NCIS). Carrie Beck (The Mandalorian, Star Wars Rebels) serves as co-executive producer, with Josh Rimes as producer (Star Wars Resistance). Rau is also the series supervising director and Corbett is head writer.

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