Galactic Histories: Heroes of the Clone Wars – Clone Force 99

Welcome to the latest instalment of my Galactic Histories series, a series of articles that looks at events and characters throughout the Star Wars canon. Generally speaking, this will often focus largely on characters or events that go beyond the movies, to help people get to know the wider canon a little better and see if there is anything that catches their interest.

Within this series, this will be latest of a miniseries subtitled Heroes of the Clone Wars. In the live action movies, we only get to see the beginning and the end of the conflict, and yet the war raged over 3 years. Now when you hear about heroes of the Clone Wars, I imagine that your mind automatically goes to the Jedi, who are the focus of the movies, but I will instead be focusing on the clones of Jango Fett, who were born to fight and die for the Republic. In this miniseries, I will be looking at many of these clones and their histories, breaking things down by looking at a specific unit per article. Of course, some clones I will be covering will have featured in more than 1 of these units, so I will be specifically focusing on their exploits in the unit I am covering at that time.

This will contain spoilers for The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch


Heroes of the Clone Wars


For this article, I am looking at Clone Force 99. Experimental Unit Clone Force 99, more commonly known as “The Bad Batch” were a unit of clone commandos who operated in the latter stages of the Clone Wars. The original 4 clones were all designed with genetic mutations designed to give them an edge in the field. The unit saw action at Yalbec Prime and played a crucial role in the Republic victory at Anaxes, while their infiltration of the Techno Union facility on Skako Minor and their rescue of the clone trooper Echo (who would go on to join the unit) struck a blow to the Separatist war effort. The unit was involved in combat on Kaller when Order 66 was given, but played a limited role, leading to the escape of the Jedi padawan Caleb Dume. With the transition of the Republic to the Empire, the unit was sent to hunt down a “Separatist remnant” on Onderon that was revealed to be Saw Gerrera and his Partisans. Refusing to go through with their orders, the majority of the unit abandoned the Empire, seeking refuge amongst the criminal underworld, for whom they did jobs, while occasionally aiding those who resisted the Empire.

99

star wars series the clone wars s3e2 arc troopers 99

While not a member of the unit, I would be remiss not to mention 99 in this article, as he was the inspiration for the unit, while their names of “Clone Force 99” and “Bad Batch” both refer back to him. An early clone of Jango Fett, 99 suffered numerous physical and genetic defects, leaving him unable to serve as a soldier and being assigned to maintenance. 99 would watch the other clone cadets through their training and note the individuality of them all, and played a key role in stopping Hevy from going AWOL, which eventually led to Domino Squad coming together as a unit. When Separatist forces attacked Kamino, 99 made his way around Tipoca City distributing weapons and ammo to the defenders. Later in the battle, he assisted Rex, Cody, Fives, Echo and a unit of young cadets in setting up an ambush in the barracks, however he was killed in the ensuing fight as he attempted to resupply the group with more EMP grenades.

Hunter

star wars series the bad batch s1e5 rampage hunter

Sergeant Hunter was the commanding officer of the Bad Batch. His mutations gave him enhanced senses that allowed him to perceive electromagnetic frequencies. As the commanding officer, Hunter developed a working relationship with the clone commander Rex during the Anaxes campaign and mission to Skako Minor. When Order 66 was given, Hunter’s mutations caused his inhibitor chip to fail, and so he allowed the Jedi padawan Caleb Dume to escape, reporting him dead. Hunter continued to lead the unit following their defection from the Empire.

Crosshair

star wars series the bad batch s1e3 replacements crosshair bunk

CT-9904, nicknamed “Crosshair”, was a genetically modified clone whose enhanced eyesight made him an almost unrivalled marksman. Crosshair often came across as rude and condescending, especially towards “Regs”. When the unit received Order 66 on Kaller, Crosshair’s chip was the only one to activate out of all the unit, which led to him making attempts to kill the Jedi padawan Caleb Dume and be the only one who attempted to carry out he orders to kill Saw Gerrera and his Partisans. When the unit was arrested on their return to Kamino, Crosshair’s chip was enhanced, leading to him remaining loyal to the Empire when the rest of the unit escaped and defected. Crosshair was given command of an elite Imperial unit comprised of some of the first non-clone recruits, given the job of hunting the Bad Batch. At some point after this, Crosshair supposedly had his inhibitor chip removed, but remained loyal to the Empire, even after they left him for dead during the destruction of Tipoca City.

Omega

star wars series the bad batch s1e6 decommissioned omega

The only known female clone, Omega was an unmodified clone of Jango Fett (like Boba, whose original name was Alpha), who had a heightened awareness and no inhibitor chip. Omega spent the Clone Wars as a laboratory assistant to Nala Se, but escaped with the Bad Batch when they defected from the Empire, becoming the newest member of the unit.

Tech

star wars series the bad batch s1e1 aftermath tech

A clone commando whose mutations left him capable of improved data analysis, Tech further enhanced this with a computer terminal on the forearm of his armour and a specialised visor, which combined to allow him to perform a number of useful functions. It was Tech’s discovery of Omega being a clone but not a “Reg” that led to the Bad Batch returning to Kamino after refusing orders to eliminate Saw Gerrera and his Partisans, while it was also Tech who discovered that their inhibitor chips had malfunctioned, leading to them not taking part in Order 66. TEch defected from the Empire along with most of the unit.

Wrecker

star wars series the bad batch s1e7 battle scars wrecker

The final original member of the Bad Batch, Wrecker’s mutations saw him have incredible superhuman strength, though he was highly boisterous and excitable, bordering on childish, which led to him forming a close bond with Omega. Wrecker also took on the role of the unit’s explosives expert. Though his mutations stopped his inhibitor chip from working correctly, a series of head injuries saw him eventually react to Order 66 following his and the group’s defection, though the unit had just learned of the danger of the chips in time and were able to restrain him long enough to remove it.

Echo

star wars series the bad batch s1e1 aftermath echo

CT-1409, nicknamed Echo, was a former ARC Trooper within the 501ˢᵗ Legion who was presumed KIA during a Republic mission to rescue Even Piell from the Spire on Lola Sayu. He had in fact survived but been seriously injured. Captured by the Separatists, his lower torso was replaced by cybernetics and his right arm by a SCOMP link, and he was sold to the Techno Union for further experimentation. Held on Skako Minor, Echo’s knowledge of Republic tactics and algorithms were used as Separatist counterintelligence. Echo’s survival and role for the Separatists was discovered by Rex during the Battle of Anaxes, and he was rescued by Rex, Anakin Skywalker and the Bad Batch. Working alongside the Bad Batch, Echo played a key role in the Republic victory at Anaxes, before choosing to join the Bad Batch rather than rejoin the 501ˢᵗ. The trauma caused to Echo caused his inhibitor chip to fail when Order 66 was given, and he defected along with the majority of the unit.


Thanks for reading. Good soldiers follow orders….

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