What Is Project Stardust in ‘The Bad Batch’? (& Who Is Director Krennic?)

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Throughout the entire storyline of Star Wars, one of the things that we’ve always known was how sinister the Empire was and how the people running the Empire were so intent on making sure that they held on to their power. We saw this during episode 15 of season 2 The Bad Batch when the Imperial officers were meeting to discuss important matters regarding the future of the Empire. One of the things mentioned was Project Stardust, which Commander (eventually director) Krennic oversaw. So, what is Project Stardust?

Project Stardust is the codename of the project that involved the construction of the Death Star Mobile Battle Station, which was the space station that could destroy planets. Meanwhile, Krennic was the man overseeing the entire project and its construction before Tarkin took over the helm of the Death Star.

As we all know, the events of The Bad Batch take place just after the rise of the Empire, and that means that this is still the early portion of the emperor’s reign. Despite that, we already see just how early the development of the Death Star was as it was already in the planning stages during the first few years of the Empire. Of course, completing such a project would take a long time, which explains why Krennic was already looking into it in The Bad Batch.

Project Stardust Explained

During episode 15 of The Bad Batch season 2, we saw how the members of the Bad Batch were looking to infiltrate an Imperial compound to learn more about the mysterious Dr. Hemlock and where he was keeping all of the detained clones, which included Crosshair. That’s because they were looking to rescue their brothers from the Empire. However, while Clone Force 99 was infiltrating the compound, they didn’t know that the Imperial officers were meeting there to discuss some of the most important matters regarding the Empire.

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Headed by Wilhuff Tarkin, a politician, and a high-ranking officer within the Empire, these officers met in relation to the experiment Hemlock was conducting regarding Kaminoan cloning. Of course, while the episode’s focus was Hemlock’s update on the status of his research, Tarkin quickly dismissed the doctor after learning more about what he was planning with the clones. 

After that, Tarkin quickly turned his attention over to Project Stardust by asking Commander (eventually director) Krennic about the status of this top-secret project. While we didn’t hear Krennic’s status update, this project still caught our attention. So, what is Project Stardust?

tarkin and krennic

Project Stardust is the codename of the top-secret project involving the construction of the object that the Rebels feared the most during the original Star Wars trilogy. We are talking about the Death Star, the mobile space station that the Empire used to threaten any insurgents looking to defy the will of the emperor. Of course, we all know that the Death Star could destroy an entire planet with a single shot.

While we know that The Bad Batch takes place just after the rise of the Empire and probably a year since the end of the Clone Wars, we also know that the Death Star became active in 0 ABY, which is nearly 20 years after the rise of the Empire. That means that Project Stardust was already in its planning and development stages during the first few years of the Empire. Of course, that is understandable because it would take a long time to gather the technology and resources needed to construct a massive space station with the capability to destroy entire planets.

We saw how the Death Star was constructed during the events of both Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Andor. In Rogue One, we saw how the Empire took Galen Erso, a brilliant scientist so that his knowledge of synthetic Kyber crystals could be used to power the Death Star’s ability to destroy planets. Meanwhile, in Andor, we saw the early stages of the construction of the actual Death Star and how the Empire was able to acquire the manpower needed for the development of such a massive and menacing space station.

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As such, it is clear that the Death Star was always one of the things that the Empire put a lot of resources into ever since Emperor Palpatine rose to his station as the most powerful man in the galaxy. And as shown in The Bad Batch, Krennic was the man in charge of the entire project since it started.

Who Is Krennic?

In The Bad Batch, Krennic was addressed by Tarkin as a commander because he was yet to rise in power at that time. However, during the events of Rogue One, Krennic was already the director of the Imperial Military Department of Advanced Weapons Research, which belonged to Imperial Intelligence and the Imperial Security Bureau.

Krennic was the man who was overseeing the development and construction of the Death Star, which still had a codename of Project Stardust during its development stages. As such, he was responsible for taking Galen Erso away from his family so that he could be forced to share his knowledge and secrets regarding synthetic Kyber crystals and their ability to power the planet-destroying weapon of the Death Star.

krennic and erso

During the events of Rogue One, Krennic was the main antagonist that Cassian Andor, Jyn Erso, and the rest of the Rogue One crew faced in their attempt to learn more about the weapon that the Empire was constructing. He was there during the Battle of Scarif, which was the event that allowed the crew of the Rogue One to acquire the blueprints of the Death Star and discover the single weakness (the thermal exhaust port) that led directly to its reactor.

However, the Death Star had already been completed during the events of Rogue One. Meanwhile, during the Battle of Scarif, Cassian, and Jyn successfully delivered the blueprints to the Rebels. Tarkin, however, emerged with the Death Star just outside of Scarif. In an attempt to kill all of the Rebels while making sure that they wouldn’t be able to escape with the Death Star plans, Tarkin blasted the planet with a weaker ray from the Death Star, killing Director Krennic and the rest of the Rogue One crew members in the process.

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