With such a large, ever-expanding universe, it’s inevitable that familiar details will start to show up during new Star Wars productions, especially with something like The Bad Batch being heavily tied to The Clone Wars. Some details are more interesting than others, but we found ten references in Star Wars: The Bad Batch, episode 3, “Replacements”.
Hunter hands out supplies to the rest of the crew, and while he may be forced to ration their supplies, Star Wars fans might have recognised the food container he takes their food from. The lunchbox is a grey, metal rectangular case with a handle on the outside and dividers on the inside. It’s exactly the same as the one seen in The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke stops for a rest while looking for Yoda on Dagobah.
Project War Mantle
One of the fascinating references is Tarkin mentioning “Project War Mantle” to Rampart. During Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jyn Erso infiltrates the Empire base on Scarif and steals the Death Star plans. Whilst searching for the plans, she comes across something called Project War Mantle. Nothing was known about the operation; it was never explained or given any more context until now… Tarkin asks about the initiative, and Rampart replies with an update about the new, non-clone recruits into the Empire’s ranks, giving us some back story to the mysterious project.
The Asteroid Scene
During The Empire Strikes Back, whilst being chased by Imperial Tie Fighters, Han Solo hides the Millennium Falcon inside an asteroid. While fixing their ship inside what they think is a foggy cave, the rebels are attacked by huge bat-like creatures before realising that the cave is the mouth of a monster. The main plot of Bad Batch’s episode 3 is lovingly lifted straight from the Falcon sequence in Empire’. Everything from landing on a dark shadowy location to carrying out repairs using a fusion cutter. Even the use of respirator masks feels just like a throwback to one of the original trilogy’s iconic scenes.
Before the Bad Batch crash on a remote planet, Tech is seen working on a device to test the clones’ inhibitor chips; the tool he is seen using is a fusion cutter. Although these devices have appeared throughout the Star Wars franchise, they are first seen during The Empire Strikes Back, when the Millennium Falcon was grounded and needed repairing.
Get Off This Rock
Whilst referring to planets as “rocks” isn’t exclusive to Star Wars, a line that Hunter says in episode 3 seems too familiar to be an accident. After Clone Force 99 crash lands, they discuss the best course of action; Hunter says, “we need to find that capacitor and get off this rock.” In the original Star Wars movie, Luke Skywalker replies to C-3PO’s offer to help with, “not unless you can alter time, speed up the harvest or teleport me off this rock.”
Dropping Out of Hyperspace
Something that Star Wars has done well during both its animated and live-action television series’ is recreating the familiar visual effects from the original trilogy. One such effect is the bright blue ‘whoosh’ that comes from travelling at hyperspeed. “Replacements” adds the well-known, authentic visual when the team drops out of hyperspace after arriving at Onderon. What makes this a fantastic detail is the way the animation matches the jerky quality of the original effect.
At the start of The Bad Batch episode 3, we see Omega using a GNK droid as her bunk. The robot is known as Gonky and was introduced in Clone Wars season 7. Previously Gonky was seen being used as a barbell by Wrecker.
Peter Cushing’s iconic performance as Tarkin in Star Wars: A New Hope was the first time we see the character. During that film he holds the rank of Grand Moff; however, when the villain appeared in The Bad Batch, he was just an Admiral. By episode 3, his Imperial plaque has been updated with yellow, which matches the movies. The design change indicates an off-screen promotion for Tarkin, who now holds the rank of Governor.
Padmé’s Medical Droid?
AZI-3, the medical droid from The Clone Wars, has already been introduced into The Bad Batch, but he has a familiar co-worker this week. Whilst not exactly the same, the GH-7 medical droid looks pretty similar to the one that claimed Padmé had “lost the will to live” in Revenge of the Sith.
A bit of a stretch, perhaps, but go with me on this one. When Omega chases the Ordo Moon Dragon to retrieve the capacitor, she uses her torch to distract the creature and escape. The sequence looks just like the scene in Jurassic Park where Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neil distract the rampaging T-Rex with a flare, waving it than tossing it away to send it in a different direction. While this one could be a coincidence, Steven Spielberg has always been closely linked to Lucasfilm and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace famously included aliens from E.T., So The Bad Batch may have included this a nice little Easter egg to another Spielberg movie moment.