After his introduction in the first season finale of The Clone Wars, bounty hunter Cad Bane quickly became a favorite among fans. For years it was assumed he met his end at the hands of Boba Fett towards the end of the titular conflict, but even though he reappeared in The Bad Batch, a visual detail suggests their fateful encounter canonically took place.
First, a bit of history. Prior to the initial cancellation of The Clone Wars in 2014, a four-episode arc was planned seeing Bane tutoring a young Boba in the same way Boba’s father Jango had done for him. As seen in a pre-rendered clip, the culmination of the story saw Bane and Boba engage in a Western-style duel (not unlike the one in The Bad Batch episode “Reunion” where the mercenary faced off with Hunter) that ended with each of them shooting the other in the head. Until now Bane had not appeared in any material set chronologically later, so it was taken that he had been killed, allowing Boba to rise as the galaxy’s premier bounty hunter while also explaining the distinctive dent in his helmet.
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In ”Bounty Lost,” the most recent episode of The Bad Batch, when Bane formally yet sarcastically introduces himself to Omega after kidnapping her he removes his hat, revealing a large metal plate covering part of his skull, something not seen previously. From this, it’s a small step to assume that his duel with Boba actually occurred, and Bane survived due to some kind of cybernetic implant replacing the grey matter forcibly removed by a blaster bolt.
The canon of Star Wars is an ever-shifting thing, with some events and characters first being relegated to Legends before being made official again. It can sometimes be a little challenging to keep straight, but as The Bad Batch has proved, with a little ingenuity even apparent contradictions can be cleared up.