Star Wars fans have known that the Clone Army commissioned to fight during the Clone Wars would one day go away, replaced by the Stormtroopers that served the Galactic Empire during the era of the Rebellion. Star Wars: The Bad Batch has been foreshadowing this transition, from Tarkin griping about the cost of such soldiers in the show's first episode to showing the definitive end of the prequel trilogy era with Kamino's destruction in the first season's finale. That latter event plays a role in deciding the fate of the Clone Troopers, as revealed in the two episodes of The Bad Batch that debuted on Disney+ on Wednesday. SPOILERS for the Star Wars: The Bad Batch episodes "The Clone Conspiracy" and "Truth & Consequences" follow.
Vice Admiral Rampart has been unquestionably loyal to the Empire, destroying the planet of Kamino without a second thought and covering the act up. He's also the chief proponent of a bill that would decommission the clone army and replace it with an army of conscripted soldiers. This bill has the Emperor's support. However, this being early in his reign, the Imperial Senate's approval is still needed to put the plan in motion.
Thanks to the activities of "insurgents" in the outer and mid-rims, implied through lines of dialogue from Senator Bail Organa to be early factions in what will eventually become the Rebel Alliance, the bill has gained support from several Senators. However, Senator Chuchi of Pantora opposes the bill, pointing out that it offers no plan to support the clones after their retirement. She suggests that the clones deserve a voice in the debate and seeks their counsel to understand what they need from the Senate.
It's here that Chuchi first becomes aware that something isn't right. Reports state that storms leveled Kamino. Rampart was assigned there and somehow survived. She digs deeper, finding a clone whistleblower, which leads her to Captain Rex. There's only one way to prove that Rampart orchestrated Kamino's destruction. They need to get the data from his ship. Rex knows just who to call.
Enter the Bad Batch. They retrieve the data needed to bring Rampart to justice, but things don't proceed as planned. Upon presenting this evidence to the Senate, the Emperor makes an appearance. Those trying to expose Rampart have been played. The Emperor casts Rampart as a lone actor with selfish motives and the obedient clone troopers as complicit, further proving the need for conscripted soldiers. The bill gets the support it needs. The clones will be phased out, and the Stormtroopers will become the staple of the Imperial Army.
The two-part story asks what becomes of soldiers when their long war is over and paints a damning picture of a government that doesn't have time for its soldiers once the (relative) peace is secured. At the same time, the next generation of soldiers, likely to meet the same fate, are already being put in the system.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch streams new episodes on Wednesdays on Disney+.