We know they’re new to being on their own, but how old are the members of the Bad Batch? And were they all born at the same time?
They seem like late teenagers in their behavior and decision-making, although physically, they are full-grown men.
But The Bad Batch is far from Saved By the Bell: The Star Wars Years. It’s not clear if its members were “out of the tube” at the same time or if their aging was synched so that they developed at relatively the same pace.
Star Wars fans are well aware of the accelerated aging to which the clones are subjected.
What we don’t know is how quickly that aging takes place. The Bad Batch could be as little as three years past their birth, but in their early twenties as physical specimens.
Using Omega as a yardstick isn’t useful because she is clearly part of a different project. She could be aging naturally, as Boba Fett did.
It’s also possible that the team’s “desirable mutations” affect their aging at different rates. Tech’s male pattern baldness, for example, is far advanced; Hunter’s glorious flowing locks are those of a younger man.
That’s why Star Wars fans should be cautious in using the normal clones as a baseline. Rex, for example, finished the Clone Wars in what appears to be a near-peak mental and physical condition. When we see him in the Bad Batch, the timeline of the series seems to have advanced little beyond Order 66.
What we know about clone aging
The Bad Batch establishes that Rex is an older “reg” when Omega positively identifies his as a first-generation clone.
By the time he shows up again in the era of the Rebels animated series, however, Rex seems to have succumbed to what seems to be late middle age. His body is thicker, his hair has turned grey, and he seems to struggle in extended physical combat.
These changes took place over a period of fifteen years.
While it’s not canon, many Star Wars fans like the idea that the older soldier seen on Endor in Return of the Jedi is Rex. The actor portraying him looks to be an advanced age, although only a handful of years have passed since Rex was seen on Rebels.
Clues from other Star Wars media
It’s likely that the Kamino cloners assumed most of the clones would die in battle and so took little care to “design” what might happen in a clone’s later years.
Therefore, it’s difficult to judge by Rex, who, along with two fellow clones named Gregor and Wolffe, has removed his inhibitor chip.
We do know that clone production was already in full swing when Obi-Wan Kenobi visited Kamino in Attack of the Clones.
That film takes place 22 years BBY, or Before the Battle of Yavin—the events of A New Hope. All of the clones were physically born later than that, although some might have been brought along earlier as test subjects. The Bad Batch could be among their numbers.
Who was born first?
Given what we know, here’s a stab at what could be the birth order of the Bad Batch:
1) Echo: Echo’s total baldness, likely a side effect from the horrific injuries he received during his time as an “experiment” for the Techno Union, makes it impossible to judge how old he might be compared to his squadmates.
However, the timeline of The Clone Wars makes it possible to target him as an older clone, probably not much younger than Rex. Echo is introduced in Season 1 of Clone Wars, which means he was developed enough for battle not long after Attack of the Clones. He might not be the same generation as Rex, but he’s likely close.
2) Crosshair: His grey hair and moodiness seem to point to a man who’s not only the oldest original member of the Bad Batch, but one who well could have been experiencing a midlife crisis even before his inhibitor chip kicked in.
3) Tech: The deep nature of the “V” on his forehead indicates that Tech has been experiencing hair loss for some time. However, his hair is not yet, like Crosshair’s, grey. While Tech’s nature is far different from the rest of Clone Force 99 in the sense that he is extraordinarily structured, he does not submit to emotional decision-making, which suggests a certain maturity.
4) Hunter: This guy has “middle child” written all over him. His hair is that of an older adolescent, and his advanced emotional intelligence is what likely promoted him over his brothers as the leader of Clone Force 99. Hunter is a calm, effective negotiator and manager of egos, all classic characteristics of a person who was neither born first nor last in a family unit.
5) Wrecker: Wrecker is a kindergartener with a steroid problem. He has the quickest temper and bonds immediately with Omega, probably because he’s emotionally still a child himself. There’s your baby.
What do you think the birth order or age of the Bad Batch is? Are we on target? Let us know in the comments.
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