Disney, the ultimate experts in brand tie-ins, did something very specific last Friday that stood out to anyone who has played Respawn’s terrific Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game. To go along with the announcement that Fallen Order will get an upgrade for the PS5 and Xbox Series X, Star Wars: The Bad Batch’s latest episode also just happened to unfold in one of the locations found in the open-world adventure.
The Bad Batch, for those who don’t watch the ongoing Disney Plus show by David Filoni, follows a group of ‘deviant’ clone soldiers who escape the Empire’s grasp shortly after Order 66 unfolds. Rather than killing their Jedi allies or the Republic revolutionaries, the elite squad lets those innocent people go. It’s not long, then, before the crew finds themselves travelling across the galaxy, trying to outrun the Empire.
In episode 7, the groups runs into an old friend, who also happens to be a clone on the lam. And, much to their surprise, they learn that while they haven’t been captured yet, each and every one of them has an inhibitor chip implanted in their brain. That chip, the older clone says, could be turned on at any time — making them a danger to themselves and everyone around them until it gets fixed.
And so they take off to Bracca, which is the tutorial level and planet created by Respawn specifically for Star Wars: Fallen Order. It’s a junkyard planet where decommissioned ships are broken down and sold by scrappers. It’s also where protagonist Cal Kestis laid low after losing his Jedi Master. Here, the clones reason, they’ll be able to find the equipment necessary to perform a surgery to remove the chips. And since it’s basically a space landfill, they can do what they need without alerting the Empire.
It’s a particularly sensitive mission because, prior to this, Wrecker suffered a head injury that’s left him vulnerable to Empire control. While I won’t spoil what happens at the end, I will note that we see the gang make its way deeper into a partially submerged ship — which requires them to use a zipline. The rope is yellow, just like the game. But at least The Bad Batch acknowledges that some of the gaps Cal Kestis braves every few seconds are actually freakin’ terrifying.
It’s a small easter egg that will only be legible to those who have played the game, but it’s cool to see the show incorporate the wider universe into its setting. We already knew that Fallen Order is canon, but nods like the one in The Bad Batch really drive that home.
And, more importantly, seeing this connection immediately made me go “I should finish that game,” so clearly Disney accomplished what it set out to do here. But hey, with the new Fallen Order versions, now seems like a great time to do exactly that.
The Bad Batch new episodes release every Friday on Disney Plus. Fallen Order, meanwhile, already has a sequel in development at EA.