Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode 10
A new addition to the Star Wars canon further supports George Lucas’ original villain plans for the sequel trilogy. Star Wars creator George Lucas initially planned massive crime syndicates and the galaxy’s underworld to be the next significant threat after the end of the Empire. Disney ultimately took another direction, of course, instead choosing to feature a resurgent First Order and ultimately the return of Palpatine. However, it’s striking that recent Star Wars Disney+ TV shows and even tie-in comics have aligned with Lucas’ vision in focusing on criminal organizations. The comics have even made Darth Maul’s Crimson Dawn a rival for the Sith themselves.
The latest example can be seen in Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2, episode 10, in which Clone Force 99 attempted to retrieve their ship after it had been stolen by Benni Baro, a thief from a mining crew run by the brutal criminal Mokko. The mines in question were revealed to have been owned by the Techno-Union, a major faction in the Separatist Alliance subsequently dismantled by the Empire. This left their facilities in the hands of criminals like Mokko, who proved oppression and fear were not exclusively used by the Empire. This idea, curiously, was a central part of Lucas’ plans for the sequel trilogy.
George Lucas’ Sequel Plans Involved Crime Syndicates
According to Lucas in the book Star Wars Archives Episode 1-3 The Prequels, the original idea before Disney purchased Lucasfilm was for Darth Maul to serve as the sequels’ big bad. Essentially, Lucas wanted Darth Maul to become “the godfather of crime in the universe… as the Empire fails”. The basic framework of this idea can be seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars Rebels where Maul creates the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn before the original trilogy. Maul’s second in command Qi’ra took over operations following his final demise at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine.
Qi’ra was determined to continue Maul’s mission of revenge against the Sith who rejected him. As seen in Marvel’s ongoing comics, Crimson Dawn started a massive war between other syndicates such as the Hutts, Pykes, and Black Sun in a bid to get the Emperor’s attention after Empire Strikes Back. However, there were plenty of other criminals and syndicates beyond Maul’s Crimson Dawn who took advantage of the transition of power from the fallen Republic to the new Empire before A New Hope.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Sets Up Crime Syndicates As The Next Threat
With The Bad Batch having a particular focus on what the Techno Union devolved into, Tech and Omega reflect on the fact that there are other threats beyond the Empire like Mokko who take advantage of the struggling and desperate. Likewise, there are also the larger crime syndicates within the galactic underworld. Combined with other shows such as The Book of Boba Fett featuring tensions with the spice-running Pyke Syndicate or the comics with the rise of Maul’s Crimson Dawn, Star Wars has certainly begun to explore the themes Lucas toyed with for his sequel trilogy.
Star Wars has explored the criminal underworld since 1977, when Obi-Wan Kenobi took Luke Skywalker into the Mos Eisley Cantina and hired a smuggler. Now, though, the battle against crime syndicates is becoming a major part of the ongoing Star Wars story. It will be thrilling to see other Lucas ideas incorporated into Disney+ TV shows like Star Wars: The Bad Batch going forward.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2 is currently streaming on Disney+ with new episodes released on Wednesdays.
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