In the season 7 premiere of The Clone Wars, we're introduced to a whole new set of clones: Clone Force 99, who boast favorable mutations from the standard troopers and call themselves the Bad Batch. One eagle-eyed Star Wars fan has made a pretty compelling case for why they may be key to Ahsoka's escape in the finale.
There's a constant haze of inevitability hanging over the events of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Occurring in the same timeline as the prequels, viewers know the larger historical events in store, but not how they will affect certain characters. With the final season now airing on Disney+, the events are starting to catch up with Revenge of the Sith, when Palpatine implements Order 66: a protocol turning every clone trooper against their Jedi masters.
We know Ahsoka survives Order 66 due to her appearance in Star Wars: Rebels, and rumors of her death before her cameo in Rise of Skywalker may be greatly exaggerated. (We never see her as a ghost, right?) So how exactly does Ahsoka manage to escape that devastating Order 66 massacre?
Reddit user fishg predicts the Bad Batch will have mutated inhibitor chips that allow them to disobey the order and ensure the Jedi's survival. In other words, they'll turn against the Emperor and join the good guys.
There's past precedent for mutations in inhibitor chips. Think back to the Clone Wars Season 6 premiere, when a clone trooper known as Tup has Order 66 initiated accidentally, leading him to kill a Jedi Master. If the protocol can be triggered inadvertently in some clones, surely it may never switch on at all in others.
If the Bad Batch don't turn against the Jedi, this will ensure Ahsoka some much-needed allies in the final fight, the siege of Mandalore, allowing her to escape and lead the charge in Rebels.
Then again, although the Bad Batch clearly have a big role to play in Season 7, the Redditor also acknowledges the chance they could become a formidable adversary for the Jedi at the end of Season 7. However, from a showrunner's standpoint, having the Bad Batch save a beloved character would be a far more satisfying conclusion.
Either way, considering The Clone Wars's troubled path to production, showrunner Dave Filoni will waste little time on filler. These clones surely have a pivotal role to play in the series' twelve-episode final season.
The Clone Wars episodes premiere on Fridays on Disney+.