Star Wars Lore – 99 and the Bad Batch
The cloning operation on Kamino was a remarkable technological achievement. Just the thought of producing hundreds of thousands of disciplined soldiers at the peak of their physical conditioning is almost unbelievable. However, the process was far from perfect, and every now and again a clone or two was left deformed or unfit for military service. So, what ever happened to these soldiers? And what kind of legacy did they leave behind? Well, let's find out...
Welcome to TheCancrizans' Star Wars Lore Episode 178 – 99 and the Bad Batch
No Ordinary Clone
99 was just like every other clone trooper, in that he was produced on Kamino from the DNA of bounty hunter Jango Fett. What set him apart, however, was a malfunction in the cloning process which left him physically deformed, genetically defected, and unfit for service in the Grand Army of the Republic. 99 was left with no other choice than to stay behind on Kamino as a rapidly ageing janitor, though he didn't seem to mind. In fact, as menial as it may have been, he took pride in his work and in his connection to some of the Republic's greatest heroes. 99 was also rather gentle, thoughtful and wise, which made him an unlikely yet irreplaceable comrade. Cutup, Droidbait, Echo, Fives and Hevy of Domino Squad found this out during their final exam to become clone troopers, as – without his guidance and friendly advice – they would have failed to graduate. But Hevy managed to lead his squad to success and promotion with relative ease in the end. He was even grateful enough to award 99 with his very own graduation medal.
Despite the conscious efforts made to safeguard him from the Clone Wars, 99 found himself caught in the middle of a war zone in 21 BBY, when the Separatists launched an assault on Tipoca City. This somewhat forced the clone out of retirement, but not in the way most would expect. Rather than picking up a blaster and gunning down any battle droid in sight, 99 began work smuggling weapons to the likes Captain Rex and Commander Cody, as well as the aforementioned Fives and Echo. However, 99's efforts made him as much a target as any other clone trooper. And during a quest to retrieve explosives, he was mortally wounded by a battle droid. 99's comrades rushed to his side, only to realise it was already too late. All 99 wanted to do was finally prove his worth, to show Kamino that he truly was a clone trooper. Instead, he passed away with regret in his heart.
Clone Force 99
The passing of 99 was a tough burden for his fellow brothers to take, but his legacy would forever live on in the form of Clone Force 99 – a group of four clone commandos named in his honour. Crosshair, Hunter, Tech and Wrecker were all born with “desirable” genetic mutations that made them the ultimate soldiers. Such meddling afforded them unorthodox battle tactics and a gung-ho behaviour, so much so that they were nicknamed the “Bad Batch”. And while they did work alongside Commander Cody on several occasions, they were very much an independent unit free from any one person's authority. Ultimately, they and the fallen 99 were perfect examples of the success genetically mutated clones could bring to the Galactic Republic...
Now it's time for this week's question: how would you have utilised defective clone troopers? Let us know in the comments below.