Star Wars Day is right around the corner and we’re expecting some big announcements. Personally, I’m hoping for sneak peeks at the many upcoming series (especially Obi-Wan Kenobi), and updates on how the various film projects are progressing. But while the future is looking promising, the present is appearing to be pretty damn good, too, as May the 4th also sees the feature-length premiere of The Clone Wars spinoff Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
This new animated show follows the adventures of Clone Force 99, a unique squad of troopers who each have special skills that make them especially effective and deadly. The stories will be set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and will include several well-established characters, with The Mandalorian‘s Fennec Shand, Rogue One‘s Saw Gerrara and A New Hope‘s Grand Moff Tarkin all confirmed to make appearances.
But with them already having debuted in another show, some viewers might feel they need a catch-up to bring them up to speed. Thankfully, the official Star Wars site has delivered, providing a comprehensive list of episodes to watch. These are divided into three categories – ones that are essential, some that flesh out the setting, and others with a more tangential connection that they describe as “extra credit.”
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Most important is the arc that introduces The Bad Batch, which comprises The Clone Wars season 7 episodes “The Bad Batch,” “A Distant Echo,” “On the Wings of Keeradaks,” and “Unfinished Business.”
Beyond that is a smattering of earlier outings about the Clone that inspired The Bad Batch. To learn that story, watch The Clone Wars season 3 installments “Clone Cadets,” “ARC Troopers,” “The Citadel,” and “Counterattack,” as well as season 1 episode “Rookies.”
And if you really want to get into the weeds to see the backstories of secondary characters, they advise you to check out season 5’s “A War on Two Fronts,” “Front Runners,” “The Soft War” and “Tipping Points,” along with The Mandalorian‘s season 1 episode “The Gunslinger.”
All of the above are available to stream on Disney+, so there’s your homework for the next couple of days. Hop to it, folks, as you don’t have much time before Star Wars: The Bad Batch premieres on May 4th.