Star Wars: The Bad Batch wrapped up its first season this past week, and in doing so further cemented the show’s place in the overarching story of the saga. Centering on the destruction of the clone homeworld Kamino, the thrilling season finale wrapped up any lingering plot threads of the prequel era. What’s more, it also revealed a sly connection to The Mandalorian that may put The Rise of Skywalker in perspective. And it’s all to do with a familiar uniform.
The very end of the episode sees Kaminoan geneticist Nala Se, having been forced to work for the Empire, being escorted into an Imperial cloning facility on an unknown forest planet. The scientists within all wear the same white uniform as Dr. Pershing in The Mandalorian. Fans immediately noted the small, and yet key, link to the live-action series.
Pershing was the amoral doctor hired by Grand Moff Gideon to take samples of Grogu’s blood as part of an effort to clone the adorable yet powerful being. The series was the second entry of the Disney era to reveal the Empire was utilizing cloning for its own nefarious designs.
Though Nala Se isn’t a willing conscript, the intention of her last scene in the finale is clear. As the highest-ranking Kaminoan scientists, following the death of Taun We earlier in the episode, she will prove instrumental in the Empire’s efforts to master the secret of cloning. And her appointment at this time reveals that the Empire’s cloning experiments began about thirty years prior to The Mandalorian and about 55 years before Episode IX.
It’s unknown exactly when the Emperor began his backup plans in the event of his death, but it’s very possible that the hunt for Grogu was already on at this point. We know that Baby Yoda was rescued from the Jedi Temple of Coruscant around the time of Order 66, so Imperial forces may be looking for him even as early as the events of TBB.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch will return for its second season in 2022.