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The Bad Batch Reveals Clone Force 99's Birthplace - and Raises More Questions
Jennifer Roy
2021-08-06T22:01:34
Clone Force 99 and Omega from Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Clone Force 99 and Omega from Star Wars: The Bad Batch
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 1, Episode 15, "Return to Kamino," streaming now on Disney+.
In the first part of the Star Wars: The Bad Batch season finale, Clone Force 99 returns to Kamino. While their mission is to rescue Hunter from Imperial captivity, along the way, they learn a little more about their own pasts, including their origins.
After the team arrives at Kamino, Omega directs them to a secret landing platform, and she reveals that the Kaminoans created a secret tube system throughout the planet. Omega directs the lift to take the team to Nala Se's secret laboratory. Once there, Omega reveals that she was created in that room. She also reveals that the original Experimental Unit 99 was created, or at least enhanced in Nala Se's secret laboratory underneath Tipoca City, a part of their history that the team seems to be unaware of. While this reveal shows that the team was handpicked by Nala Se from the start, it still raises more questions about the unit's purpose and the team's dynamics

How Old Are the Members of Clone Force 99?

Tech Wrecker Omega and Echo in Nala Se's Secret Laboratory in Star Wars The Bad Batch. Omega in particular looks apprehensive.
Tech Wrecker Omega and Echo in Nala Se's Secret Laboratory in Star Wars The Bad Batch. Omega in particular looks apprehensive.
Omega states, "I was there," when she discusses the creation of the Experimental Unit, indicating that she may actually be older than most of the rest of Clone Force 99, at least chronologically, excluding possibly Echo. The fact that Omega was there when the original members of Clone Force 99 were enhanced raises additional questions. Just how old are the other team members? How much does Omega know about their creation?
Omega's age and her presence before the other team members can remember also makes her actions in the Bad Batch season premiere far more poignant. Even though Omega states that they were in the secret lab "only for a short time before you were sent to be with the other clones," she still may have bonded with them before they left. If Omega was very young when they were created or enhanced, then she may have played with them when they were all children together. If she was older, she may actually have viewed them as younger siblings, a dynamic that has now been reversed, which also could be part of the reason why she is so protective of them. Omega may even have been hoping that the rest of the team might recognize her from the shared portion of their childhood.

Did Omega Give Lula to Wrecker?

Omega examines Lula Star Wars Bad Batch
Omega examines Lula Star Wars Bad Batch
In the Bad Batch series premiere, Wrecker reveals that he has a stuffed tooka cat named Lula whom he has a great deal of affection for. Omega looks at Lula fondly when she finds the toy in their quarters, and when Wrecker frantically looks for Lula as the team is escaping, Omega knows exactly what he is talking about. Omega returns Lula to Wrecker at the end of the premiere, but Wrecker gives Lula to Omega when he creates a room for her in "Replacements." From then on, the two seem to swap out who has Lula on a regular basis. At the time, Omega's knowledge of Lula seemed to be a part of her own intuitiveness in regards to the team, but it may have been an earlier indicator of her role in Clone Force 99's creation. It would be a particularly heartwarming reveal if Omega was the one to give Wrecker Lula in the first place, though this possibility may be less likely if Omega was really young.

Who Named The Team After Clone 99?

When the team was first introduced in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "The Bad Batch," Rex said "99, hey? Nice touch," acknowledging that the team probably was named after Clone 99. First introduced in "Clone Cadets," 99 was a clone deemed "defective," and he was not allowed to take the exams or train to become a soldier, but he still supported the other Clones, particularly the Domino Squad, Echo's original team. In "Arc Troopers," 99 died defending his fellow clones from a Separatist invasion of Kamino, and Rex posthumously declared 99 a hero.
At first, it appeared that Clone Force 99 possibly named themselves in 99's honor. However, "Return to Kamino" reveals that the team was named after 99 from their inception, indicating that Nala Se was the one to actually honor 99, not his fellow clones. This reveal indicates that Omega might not have been the only clone that Nala Se cared about, and 99 may have been much higher in her esteem than previously shown.

What Were Nala Se's Intentions When Creating Clone Force 99?

All of the secrecy surrounding the Experimental Unit 99 and these other questions about their creation makes Nala Se's full motivations less clear. She indicates in the series premiere and other episodes that she was attempting to make superior soldiers to keep the Kaminoans relevant, but her own rogue actions since imply that she might have had another purpose. Her affection for Omega and possibly 99 also show that Nala Se may have been guided more by her heart then her head, and the Experimental Unit may have been created in part to protect the supposedly "undesirable" clones from being destroyed as children.
Overall, "Return to Kamino" reveals that there may be more to the team's creation than they realized. Because AZI the droid survived the deactivation and destruction of the rest of Tipoca cities' droids, he could provide at least some answers if his memories of the events have not been deleted. If AZI does not have that information, then with the computers wiped and Nala Se in Imperial custody, it may take the team a long time to learn Nala Se's full intentions for them before the Empire's rise.
The Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 1 finale airs Friday, Aug. 13, on Disney+ and may answer some of these questions.
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