Viewers have known since the earliest episodes of the Bad Batch that Nala Se had an ongoing experiment. What was Nala Se’s experiment?
Surprisingly, the answer to that question has been in front of us for a very long time. I’m not suggesting that Nala Se had only one singular experiment. It’s very likely the Kaminoan scientist had several experiments ongoing.
Nala Se’s experiment is improved accelerated aging
However, I think one issue dominated Nala Se’s experiments. That was the matter of accelerated aging. It’s important to remember that Nala Se is an applied researcher working for a business. That business is in cloning.
From the film Attack of the Clones, we know that it takes 10 years for a clone to be ready for battle. These clones age at twice the rate of a normal human. According to the film, a ten year old clone is approximately 20 in human years.
Now of course, these clones had been ordered by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas about 10 years prior to the Galactic Conflict. This Jedi Master had was gifted with foresight, and was able to commission an order of clones long before the fight began.
However, most conflicts aren’t predicted in this way. The Kaminoans now had a profitable contract, and that required constantly making clones. With a new Empire taking the reigns from the Republic, this also meant a need for clones to be created in a shorter amount of time.
Therefore, the Kaminoans needed to find a way to create clones that were ready for battle as adults in a shorter amount of time to ensure a constant supply on demand. The faster clones can be produced, the more that can be made and sold. In our real world, in the last century, agricultural scientists worked hard developing poultry breeds that could reach slaughter weight at a younger age. The principle is the same here—more clones ready to fight at a younger age.
This is Nala’s Se’s experiment. Her research is largely to create clones in a shorter amount of time.
The Evidence part 1 | Clone Force 99 itself
How do we know Nala Se’s experiment was in increased accelerate aging? The answer was right in front of us the whole time! The Bad Batch are officially known as Clone Force 99.
Why Clone Force 99? They are named after the clone 99. This clone was introduced in season 3 of The Clone Wars. This clone was considered “defective” but allowed to work as a janitor. What was his “defect”? Accelerated aging.
The problem with 99 is that his aging acceleration, aged the entire man directly to old age. It’s unclear if 99 was someone Nala Se created directly as a first trial in increased age acceleration, or if this was a mistake that led Nala Se to ideas on refining this trait.
The ideal for a battle clone would be to eliminate as much as possible the childhood portion, go directly to being a young man in his prime for about a decade, and most likely die afterwards. Why do I say it’s ideal for them to die afterwards? Because most governments would not care to spend money on their clones’ old age and veterans’ benefits.
Unfortunately, the Kaminoans and many who purchase clones regard them as products, not people. Their only utility is battle in their eyes.
Thus, Clone Force 99 is named in honor of 99 not just for his honor as a human being, but because Clone Force 99 is entirely a newer batch of clones made with increased acceleration.
The Evidence part 2 | Omega is the Bad Batch’s older sister
The last few episodes of The Bad Batch season 1 confirmed that Omega is older than the Bad Batch. I, and some other fans, have also posited that Omega is the template and “mother” of the Bad Batch as well.
But let’s delve into this a little bit further.
We know that Omega, like Boba Fett, does not have the accelerated aging modifications of any of the other clones, including her Bad Batch brothers. Omega’s age has not been given, but she is visually younger than her brother Boba who would be 13 to 14.
The Bad Batch series takes place shortly after Revenge of the Sith. Thus, 13 years have passed since the commissioning of the first clones. Boba Fett was made first as part of the agreement between the Kaminoans and his father/template Jango Fett. Then, came the first batch of the clone army. Some time a year after, Nala Se creates Omega for unspecified reasons.
Omega is likely 10 to 12 years old. She also remembers the creation of her Clone Force 99 brothers. For her to have this memory and to be deeply emotionally impacted by it, she would need to be at least 4 years old at minimum. The oldest the Bad Batch could be is 8 years old if Omega is 12, the youngest they could be is 5 years old.
The Bad Batch themselves look to be in their 30s. There is no way for the Bad Batch to be 10 years old, much less 13. They have accelerated aging at a far greater rate than their brothers. THIS is Nala Se’s experiment, her work. This is why the Bad Batch are called Clone Force 99. They are experiments in increased accelerated aging, far greater than what the Kaminoans have done before.
Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Tech are not defective. That’s simply a line the Kaminoans gave to keep other clones and Republic (later Imperial) people from questioning any further into their real experiment. The Kaminoans zealously guard their corporate secrets.
What Does Nala Se’s Accelerated Aging Experiments Mean for the Future?
For Clone Force 99 itself, this could have several different implications for the future of our characters. If the Bad Batch accelerates at 4 times the rate of a normal human throughout their entire lives, this means Omega will lose her brothers by the time she is in her twenties. If Nala Se’s increased aging experiments allowed the clones to plateau in age as adults, it may not be quite so tragic.
After all, this was the problem with the old clone 99. He accelerated the same heightened rate until his old age. I don’t think Nala Se would want a repeat of that. So I hope it is indeed the case that her experiment simply accelerated the childhood only.
But what about for the rest of Star Wars? Nala Se was taken by the Empire to apply her research for Palpatine. We get musical hints of this illustrated below:
The notes of Rey’s theme in the Bad Batch finale indicates this is the start of the creation of Rey. While that is definitely where Nala Se’s research will be used, that may not be all. The mountain where Nala Se is stationed played a role in Star Wars Legends books. Namely, the Thrawn Ascendency. Grand Admiral Thrawn would make use of the clone army he found at the Emperor’s Mount Tantiss. These were the Spaarti clones. Guess what the Spaarti clones were known for?
Being the fastest made clones out there.
Spaarti clones were made in a year, as opposed to ten years.
And now Nala Se is working at Mount Tantiss. This will be the fruits of her research. While the Spaarti clones of Legends weren’t as good as the 10 year Kaminoan clones, I suspect her ~5 year old Bad Batch clone technology will be of much interest to the Emperor, and possibly Thrawn. Nala Se’s experiments into increased accelerated aging, first started with the Bad Batch, will make it’s way into future clones for the Empire.