Star Wars: The Bad Batch runs overlaps with Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and shows just how weird the prequel movie’s timeline is.
The events of Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode 1 run concurrently with Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, which highlights just how strange the timeline of the movie is. Much like Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7 before it, The Bad Batch overlaps with the end of the prequel trilogy. Episode 1, “Aftermath,” opens with the execution of Order 66, shown from the point-of-view of Clone Force 99 alongside the Jedi Master Depa Billaba and her Padaway, Caleb Dume, while also recreating scenes from Revenge of the Sith itself.
The timeline of Star Wars movies has often been unclear at best, and unbelievable at worst. For the most part, the stories work so that the intricacies don’t quite matter, such as in The Empire Strikes Back, despite the passage of time in that movie causing confusion and debate among fans for decades. Occasionally it can hamper things, though, like the fact the sequel trilogy takes place entirely within the course of a year.
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The final prequel movie is a particularly curious case in this regard, as Revenge of the Sith spans just four days, despite the sheer amount of story packed into it: Anakin’s fall, Order 66, Palpatine’s unmasking and the commencement of the Empire, to name but a few key elements. This is something The Bad Batch episode 1 plays upon, and makes the weirdness of the timeline stand out even more. It begins with recreated footage from Revenge of the Sith, such as Obi-Wan and Anakin rescuing Palpatine and Greivous fleeing Coruscant (day 1 of Revenge), then mentions Obi-Wan is facing Greivous on Utapau, and then Order 66 is executed (both of which happen on day 3).
Once Clone Force 99 has overseen the escape of Caleb, there’s then the matter of the trip back from Kaller to Kamino, and then the very next day Palpatine gives his commencement speech in the Senate, declaring the Galactic Empire. All of this happens in a condensed form in The Bad Batch episode 1, packed within the first 15 minutes, whereas it appears to happen over a longer span in the movies, because the presentation is different: in particular, in The Bad Batch the information comes through that Obi-Wan is engaging Greivous just seconds before Order 66 commences, and even accounting for a lag it seems strange those events are so incredibly close together, especially given the liberation of Utapau running alongside it and how Revenge of the Sith frames Anakin’s story with Palpatine in between.
All of this just about works enough within Revenge of the Sith – though even there, the timeline is remarkably quick for how much happens – but taken as a whole is where it becomes stranger, because it’s such a short span and presentations differ in terms of how much time seemingly passes between events. The Clone Wars also overlapped with Revenge of the Sith in season 7, as viewers see Anakin and Obi-Wan leave to rescue Palpatine, and then the Siege of Mandalore seemingly takes place at the same time as the Battle of Coruscant, before Ahsoka herself eventually has to face Order 66, which all takes place over the final mini-arc of the animated series. Even there, Ahsoka’s mission overlaps with Obi-Wan’s just before he faces Greivous, which similarly feels weirder after The Bad Batch because of how crammed it all now feels, though those episodes are at least given more time to breathe. Revenge of the Sith‘s timeline may feel too short and a little odd, but the different presentations of it in the movie itself, The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: The Bad Batch do all add fascinating context to the end of the Clone Wars and the prequel era.
Next: Order 66 Complete Canon Timeline: Movies, Shows, Games & Comics
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