Star Wars Canon

I Will Make It Legal! How Palpatine’s Return To Star Wars Addresses An Old Canon Debate

Begun, the real Clone Wars, have.

Early Stormtroopers in 'The Bad Batch.'

In 2008, just three years after we saw Clones coldly execute the Jedi during Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas wanted us to believe that every single member of the clone army was unique. The unfinished business of the prequels became the TV series The Clone Wars. Now, 15 years later, one of the biggest unanswered questions in Star Wars canon — what happened to the Clones? — is getting an epic answer. Here’s why two episodes from The Bad Batch Season 2 change everything. Spoilers ahead for The Bad Batch Season 2, Episodes 7 and 8.

On February 8, 2023, The Bad Batch Season 2 broke with its tradition of dropping one episode a week, instead releasing two. Like the earlier episode “The Solitary Clone,” the first of these episodes — “The Clone Conspiracy” — didn’t feature any members of the Bad Batch, instead focusing on the lives of out-of-work and frustrated Clones Cade and Slip on Coruscant. The scope of the episode soon widened when we met Senator Chuchi, who’s intent on speaking out for the Clones. As she says in Episode 8, “Truth and Consequences,” there are “some who only view clones as military assets.”

But, as The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch have made clear over and over again, the Clones are people, and although they were created by the orders of Palpatine and the plots of Count Dooku, the morality of the Clones post-Order 66 isn't clear-cut. Some are questioning the orders that led to the creation of the Empire, while some are very loyal. In fact, the final moments of “The Clone Conspiracy” reveals a new type of Clone who’s a hardcore “believer” in the Emperor’s cause. There’s seemingly no record of when he was created, although his face looks pretty much the same as the other Jango Fett-based clones.

What does this all mean?

Clones wonder about their future in The Bad Batch.


How the Stormtroopers were created

Echoing Palpatine’s infamous Phantom Menace line — “I will make it legal!” — the events of “The Clone Conspiracy” and “Truth and Consequences” finally explain the previously murky events that led to the formal elimination of Clones and paved the way for their permanent replacements in similar white armor, the Stormtroopers. Since the finale of The Bad Batch Season 1, the character of Admiral Rampart has been positioned as among the most important people in the history of the Empire. He’s the one who ordered Imperial ships to destroy the cloning center on Kamino and then falsify it as an accident.

But in “Truth and Consequences” we learn that Rampart is a pawn, someone Palpatine set up to be the fall guy. When Omega helps Senator Chuchi present the Senate with evidence that Rampart destroyed Kamino, Palpatine flips it brilliantly. He uses it as proof the Clones follow orders too blindly, and need to be replaced with a conscripted army. The irony is that the Clones, other than the “believers,” are the ones beginning to think more independently, while the stormtroopers will follow orders without question.

Palpatine in The Bad Batch.


Palpatine closes a Star Wars plot hole

For years, Star Wars fans have wondered exactly how all the Clones were rendered useless and suddenly replaced by recruits. In “Truth and Consequences,” Palpatine essentially does what he did in the prequels: make problems he orchestrated seem like problems only he can solve. In the prequels, Palpatine created a conflict so the Empire could end it. In The Bad Batch, he created the “The Clone Conspiracy” to shut the cloning process down and get what he really wants. With Ian McDiarmid back as Palpatine in all of his creepy glory, he says, “We shall usher in a new era, heralded by the Imperial stormtrooper.”

Although many episodes of The Bad Batch Season 2 have felt like standalone adventures, there’s no going back to normal after these two episodes. The Clones have all been fired, and Palpatine will make sure his new employees, the stormtroopers, follow orders.

The Bad Batch streams on Disney+.

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