Star Wars: The Bad Batch release date, trailer, cast, poster and latest news

Star Wars: The Bad Batch
(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney Plus)

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is a new series is coming to Disney Plus. The streaming service ordered Star Wars: The Bad Batch, an animated show that is a spinoff to the recently-concluded The Clone Wars.

The Bad Batch follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch, who were first introduced in Clone Wars. The unique squad, who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army, are finding their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the aftermath of the Clone War. 

Members of Bad Batch each possess a singular exceptional skill — such as enhanced eyesight or increased strength — which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose. That means Star Wars: The Bad Batch takes place between Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels.

The Mandalorian's executive producer Dave Filoni is one of the Bad Batch's EPs. Filoni has become a key part of shepherding Star Wars storytelling. Brad Rau (Star Wars Rebels) will be the show's supervising director and Jennifer Corbett (Star Wars Resistance) will be head writer.

"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,” said Agnes Chu, senior vice president, Content, Disney+.  “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 is Disney Plus' newest Star Wars television project. The Mandalorian season 2 is due out this fall. Plus, a Cassian Andor spinoff of Rogue One and an Obi-Wan Kenobi show are in the works. There's also a female-centric Star Wars series being developed by Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland.

Here's everything we know about Star Wars: The Bad Batch:

Star Wars: The Bad Batch latest news (updated April 15)

  • We just got the poster for The Bad Batch, you can see a preview above (and it's embedded below)
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch has the perfect release day: May 4 (Star Wars Day).

Star Wars: The Bad Batch release date

Unsurprisingly, Star Wars: The Bad Batch is arriving on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 — what a way to celebrate Star Wars Day!

The second episode will premiere on Friday, May 7, with following episodes dropping on Fridays. It's unclear how many episodes there will be. IMDb only lists 3.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch trailer

Hunter, Echo, Tech, Wrecker and Crosshair make a new friend in the trailer for The Bad Batch: a young clone they kidnap while going AWOL. Along the way, they meet bounty hunter Fennec Shand, fight some beasts and show that they're "nothing but trouble."

The sizzle-reel trailer for The Bad Batch debuted at the Disney 2020 Investors Day event, and is heavy on action. 

As we see here, the group fight alongside Fennec Shand (yes, your eyes aren't deceiving you), and seem to still be working with The Republic — at least at the start. By the end of the clip, the Batch and Fennec are fighting Imperial Stormtroopers, so expect this series to take us on a ride.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch cast

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

We have three announced cast members: 

The show will have a lot of Dee Bradley Baker, who is voicing all of the Clone Troopers. Ming-Na Wen will reprise the role of Fennec Shand and Stephen Stanton is Admiral Tarkin.

Since the show is set between Clone Wars and Rebels, it's possible that actors from either series makes an appearance. 

That could include Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker, James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano, Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan Jarrus and Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera. 

Star Wars: The Bad Batch poster

On April 15, we got the first cast poster for The Bad Batch, which shows that the spirit of Emperor Palpatine looms large over the 'Batch.'

See more

Star Wars: The Bad Batch plot

The Bad Batch focuses on Clone Force 99, who were introduced at the beginning of Clone Wars season 7. Each of the elite clones has been genetically modified with enhanced skills.

"The Bad Batch themselves, that was all right from [George Lucas]," Filoni told Entertainment Weekly. "He wanted to explore this idea that there were clones that were a little bit more unique from one another that were like a special forces unit that had enhanced skills. And so the trick for those characters is really making them feel special in what their abilities could be, but not making them superheroes. Wrecker should not be the Hulk, even though we love the Hulk and those types of stories. That's not what Star Wars is. So we had to keep it all kind of within the reality of Star Wars."

A team of elite fighters with unique and special skills? Sounds like Lucasfilm took a page from corporate sibling Marvel's book.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.