Star Wars has revealed a key piece of Emperor Palpatine's clones were created, as part of the continued effort to backfill some of the big story leaps that were made in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The canon timeline surrounding when and how Darth Sidious learned to clone himself and transfer his dark essence into new bodies has become very muddled, with auxiliary books, comics, and even series like The Mandalorian all offering up parts of the puzzle. Now Star Wars: The Bad Batch's season finale has offered up another key piece to have Palpatine managed to cheat death.
Warning: Star Wars: The Bad Batch Finale SPOILERS Follow!
The finale of Star Wars: The Bad Batch lives up to its title, "Kamino Lost". Under orders from Tarkin and his subordinate Rampart, the Kamino cloning facility is annihilated by Imperial ships. Unfortunately, Clone Force 99 and their young charge Omega are all still inside the cloning facility as it collapses into the sea.
Most of the pulse-pounding finale is spent seeing the Bad Batch and Omega make the death-defying escape from the sinking facility; however, a final scene reveals exactly how the Empire got the means to begin experimenting with cloning Palpatine (or anyone else they want).
While the Kamino cloners were wiped out by the Empire, geneticist Nala Se is revealed to have been captured by Rampart and brought to a secret Imperial facility. Nala Se is of course the pioneer in cloning who helped turned Jango Fett's DNA into the Republic's Clone Army - as well as mutating clones like the Bad Batch and Omega to possess uniquely enhanced skills.
The inclusion of Nala Se in the backstory of Palpatine's clone program says a lot with just that one scene. Recently a member of the Star Wars Story Group recently did a lengthy explanation of how Palpatine resurrected himself through clones, using an initiative called "The Contingency." Palpatine's contingency plan contained multiple levels of "resurrection," from the plans to build a new Empire (The First Order), to plans for different ways for Palpatine to cheat death.
In The Mandalorian season 2, we saw how Moff Gideon helped advance some of those contingency programs, including a cloning facility and the Dark Trooper program. Now we know Nala Se knowledge and mutation designs were the foundation of Gideon's cloning program - and why Palpatine's clones could be varied enough to both produce the altered clone who is Rey's grandfather, as well as the line of "Snoke" variants, and, eventually, an altered clone "vessel" that could actually hold Palpatine's essence. The existence of The Bad Batch and Omega is an example of just how powerful (and independent) Nala Se's enhanced clones could be. Exactly why Sidious had his eye on her since the days of the Clone Wars...
Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 1 is now streaming on Disney+.