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‘Star Wars’ fans express backlash over Bad Batch whitewashing

Did the Bad Batch change their skin tone?

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‘The Bad Batch’ is on Disney+.

“Star Wars: The Bad Batch” — set after the events of “The Clone Wars” focuses on elite experimental clones called the Bad Batch, who appeared in the first few episodes of “The Clone Wars” finale season.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

“Star Wars: The Bad Batch” has been criticized recently for changes the show made to the skin tones of the Bad Batch troopers.

The clone trooper backstory

All clone troopers in the “Star Wars” franchise are based on actor Temuera Morrison, who starred in both “Attack of the Clones” and “The Mandalorian.” Morrison played Jango Fett, who was cloned to create the troopers. Morrison was born in New Zealand, but he also has levels of Māori, Scottish and Irish descent.

So all the clones in “Star Wars” — including the Bad Batch — have a resemblance to Morrison. Or at least, they should.

Clone trooper whitewashing backlash, explained

According to io9, “Star Wars” fans have started to call out “The Bad Batch” for changing the skin tone and color of the “Bad Batch” characters, especially when they’re compared to the original troopers that still appear in the show. And, in this show, the original clone troopers now act as stormtroopers, who are the villains.

  • “Some characters, like Wrecker and Hunter, trend to a darker skin tone, while characters like Crosshair and Tech — who also have significantly lightened hair colors compared to the black hair of usual clones — are presented as much lighter-skinned,” according to io9.

Similarly, the newest character in the show, Omega, is supposed to be a defective clone of Morrison’s Jango Fett. But she appears Caucasian in the show, per io9.

  • “All this has lead to fans concerned about the show’s visual changes — which to them can be read as at best somewhat ignorant, and, at worse, as a racist creative decision — to rally on social media,” io9 reports.

Indeed, the hashtag #UnWhiteWashTBB has been circulating on social media with fans calling on Lucasfilm to address their concerns. The fans want “The Bad Batch” to make changes as the show continues to release episodes.

Lucasfilm has not responded to the controversy. A source told io9 that “changes to the lighting tools utilized by the animation team were made to moderate their effects in the premiere episode’s starkly-lit primary settings. Such tweaks will also be made in future episodes of the series.”