The “Star Wars” franchise began with a simple idea — a rebellious group trying to bring down a tyrannical empire. It leads to a ragtag group of heroes, like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, taking on the Empire. We see the Rebels win out the day, destroying two Death Stars and defeating the Sith Lords of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader.

Years later, we learned more about the formation of that Empire. We saw Sen. Palpatine rise to chancellor and then his climb into becoming emperor. We learn how Anakin Skywalker, a famous Jedi, became Darth Vader — one of the most feared men in the galaxy. For the most part, we learned how the Empire came to be and how Palpatine manipulated everything to become the controller of the galaxy.

2020 was a big year for the ‘Star Wars’ franchise

And then, in “The Clone Wars” series, we learned a little bit more about how the Clone Army operated. We saw more of the battles, the fights and the hidden legends of the Clone Wars.

But it’s “The Bad Batch” that shows us something we never learned before — what it was like for the galaxy to go from a republic to an empire. Why did the Empire stop using Clone Troopers and implement the Stormtroopers? How did the galaxy react to its entire way of life changing?

In the trailers, “The Bad Batch” seems like a “Clone Wars” spinoff that will only attract “Clone Wars” fans. But I can promise you it is much more. The series is essential viewing for anyone who’s ever seen “Star Wars.” It’s something you’ll want to see if you want to understand the rest of the franchise.

The first episode of “The Bad Batch” — which has been billed as a spinoff/sequel series to “The Clone Wars” — begins right at the beginning of “Revenge of the Sith” and the end of “The Clone Wars.” We see the scenes of Chancellor Palpatine declaring himself emperor. We hear the details about the Empire being formed from the soldier’s point of view. And we start to see how Grand Admiral Tarkin has started to build his army.

These are the moments we never knew about before, and it’s why “The Bad Batch” is essential viewing for any “Star Wars” fan.

Sure, some people won’t want to watch this series because it’s an animated series. There were plenty of “Star Wars” fans who avoided “The Clone Wars” because they saw it as a cartoon and only a cartoon. The people who watched the show understood that the series actually had a lot of details about the canon and “Star Wars” lore.

The first episode of “The Bad Batch” — aptly titled “Aftermath” — dives right into that idea, providing answers for many of the questions we have always had as “Star Wars” fans.

The episode focuses on the Bad Batch — a group of five soldiers, who have defects and appear different than other Clone Troopers — as they navigate the post-Republic, early-Empire galaxy. They have direct interaction with Grand Admiral Tarkin, who is looking to replace Clone Troopers with real-life recruits. Right off the bat, we’re treated to an idea about how the Clone Troopers get replaced with Stormtroopers, and we learn about Grand Admiral Tarkin’s role in the growth of the Empire.

We meet a new character named Omega, who is an unknown assistant to the Kamino leaders. Omega seems to be the show’s emotional core, acting as the moral compass to judge the Bad Batch’s actions on.

At the same time, the series has plenty of action scenes and battles — similar to what we saw in “The Clone Wars.” In fact, this is how the series ends up being so similar to “The Clone Wars.” The animated style is exactly the same so fans of the artistry will be impressed. The style of the show overall feels like “The Clone Wars.”

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The difference lies in the timeline. We’re getting an entirely new batch of information to a timeline we’ve rarely explored. All of the previous “Star Wars” projects that explored the pre-Original Trilogy, post-Prequel Trilogy era often deal with events closer to the Original Trilogy. The Empire is established. Darth Vader is in full force.

But “The Bad Batch” gives us an immediate look into what’s happening to the galaxy after the Empire. We’ve never been here before. And it’s exciting to know that we’re going to learn so many new details about how the Rebellion began, what the Empire was like and what the fall of the Jedi appeared like to the rest of the universe. There is so much unexplored territory the series will dive into.

The beauty of this series also comes in the references and Easter eggs. I’ll confirm that the opening episode offers at least two major references to two separate “Star Wars” projects. That’s awesome, and I’m sure this will happen more.

“The Bad Batch” offers us a chance to understand the franchise a little bit more, giving us a deeper understanding of the “Star Wars” galaxy. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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