Star Wars

Star Wars Is Finally Fixing The Palpatine Detail That The Mandalorian Fumbled

What is Project Necromancer anyway?

Star Wars

In 2019, when the world was first introduced to Baby Yoda, he immediately became the most adored fictional alien creature in the entire world. But for hardcore Star Wars fans, the start of The Mandalorian also turned Baby Yoda into a puzzle. For all three seasons of Mando, the reason why the Empire wanted to sample Grogu’s blood seemed somewhat obvious; clearly, Palpatine’s loyal followers wanted to harvest some midichlorians in order to clone their favorite Sith Lord.

By the conclusion of Mando Season 3, it was clear that Palps had nothing to do with Baby Yoda mystery even though Mando Season 3 did hint at the existence of something that felt linked to the Emperor’s return: Project Necromancer. How this secret Imperial operation connected with Palpatine was vague. But now, with the debut of The Bad Batch Season 3, Palpatine’s link to the goals with Project Necromancer is much clearer than anything ever was on The Mandalorian. Spoilers ahead for The Bad Batch Season 3 episodes 1-3.

Hemlock is the key to Palpatine’s comeback

Dr. Hemlock greets the Emperor in The Bad Batch Season 3.


In defense of The Mandalorian, most of the theories that connected the Empire’s need for Grogu’s blood to Palpatine’s eventual resurrection were invented by fans. That said, Moff Gideon was cloning himself all along, and in the first three episodes of The Bad Batch Season 3, Omega is basically in the same position Baby Yoda was at the start of The Mandalorian. Inside the security facility of Tantiss, the Empire is taking blood samples from all the clones, with the hopes of “the reproduction of a genetic M-count.” From the point of view of Omega, the notion of an “M-count” is a mystery. But for the rest of us, it seems fairly obvious. This can only stand for “midichlorian count,” a thing that Palpatine would need a lot of in order to successfully transfer his Force-ful spirit into a clone body.

The Rise of Skywalker implies that this process took forever, and because The Bad Batch takes place in roughly 18 BBY, this puts it right after the prequels, almost two decades away from the classic trilogy, and almost four decades out from the sequels. Either way, the new season only reinforces just how long of a game Palpatine was playing. In Episode 3, “Shadows of Tantiss,” Palpatine personally visits Dr. Hemlock at this secret base, and straight-up says that Hemlock has carte blanche to use all of the Empire’s resources to make sure Project Necromancer works out. This scene essentially makes Dr. Pershing in Mandalorian look like a hobbyist with limited resources, and Moff Gideon a Palpatine wannabe.

Omega is the new Baby Yoda

Omega’s “M-Count” is a big deal in The Bad Batch Season 3.


Unlike in The Mandalorian, if you have Palpatine theories connected to the events of The Bad Batch, you’re utterly right to do so, because Palpatine is actually in this show. Further, The Bad Batch is adding a new wrinkle to Star Wars canon, and its own continuity by revealing that Omega herself — a female Jango Fett clone — has an unusual M-count, which is exactly what Hemlock and Palps are looking for. While this doesn’t exactly confirm that Omega is Force-sensitive, it does provide a much clearer link between her and Palpatine’s schemes.

By the end of the third episode, Omega and Crosshair escape Tantiss and are on the run from the Empire. When Hemlock learns of Omega’s M-count (which Nala Se has been concealing) he wants her brought back alive, no matter what. So, again, just like in Mandalorian Season 1, the Empire wants a child, specifically for the child’s blood, and now, we know 100 percent for sure that Palpatine is behind that very specific ask.

What makes The Bad Batch Season 3 so slick is the way this plot detail is handled — plainly. Because Palpatine appears in the third episode, he and Hemlock almost explicitly spell out to the audience that yes, they need clone blood that can help transfer midichlorians. While Crosshair and Omega are fuzzy on the meaning of “M count,” the audience isn’t. And, even if you’re not totally familiar with all the ins and outs of midichlorian counts (who is really?) the simple fact that Palpatine wants a certain type of clone blood makes his motivations fairly transparent: He wants to clone himself. (Which, by the way, has been a thing Palpatine has been doing since 1991.)

So, by pulling back the curtain on this particular mystery box The Bad Batch Season 3 is refreshingly straightforward with the stakes. We know Palpatine will (somehow) return. The only question now is: Will Omega and The Bad Batch actually escape the long, wicked plan of the Emperor?

The Bad Batch Season 3 is streaming on Disney+. New episodes drop on Wednesdays.

Related Tags