For other uses, see Royce (disambiguation).
Got A Bad feeling

I have a bad feeling about this…

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"Your brilliance is a great asset to this Empire."
―Emperor Palpatine, to Royce Hemlock [6]

Royce Hemlock was a human male doctor and scientist who served the Galactic Empire as Chief Scientist of the clandestine Advanced Science Division and spearheaded Project Necromancer, a secret clone research project that was considered to be of great importance to Emperor Palpatine for the longevity of the Galactic Empire.

Hemlock was originally an officer in the science corps of the Galactic Republic and became acquainted with the Kaminoan Chief Medical Scientist Nala Se but would be expelled in disgrace due to his unorthodox experiments.

Coming to prominence during the early Imperial Era, Hemlock was assigned to the highly classified Tantiss Base around 18 BBY in order to lead operations of the Imperial cloning program, where he held ambitions of ascending to the position of scientific minister and sought to fully unlock secrets known only to the Kaminoans for an envisioned enlightened society.


Early life[]

"All I could find on it was the chief scientist in charge, Doctor Royce Hemlock. An officer expelled from the Republic science corps due to his unauthorized and unorthodox experiments."
Tech, to the Bad Batch[4]

Royce Hemlock was a human male who was an officer in the Galactic Republic's science corps. He was expelled due to his unorthodox experiments,[4] but became acquainted with the Kaminoan Chief Medical Scientist Nala Se, whose talents he praised.[3] Eventually, Hemlock found Emerie Karr, a female clone of the bounty hunter Jango Fett and she became his assistant.[7]

Imperial scientist[]

Working with the Kaminoans[]

"What he seeks is not possible."
"Make it possible."
―Nala Se and Royce Hemlock on the Emperor's plans[8]

Around 18 BBY,[9] Doctor Hemlock was a chief scientist of the Advanced Science Division[4] assigned to work on the Imperial cloning program on an Imperial medical laboratory on Setron.[10] There, Hemlock began experimenting on clone troopers assigned to the facility, including clone cadets, by collecting blood samples for them in search of an individual with a high midi-chlorian count as part of Project Necromancer.[6] In addition to Hemlock's research on Project Necromancer, he also created slither vines, an experimental bioweapon. The vines ultimately broke containment and overran the facility, forcing Hemlock to evacuate and order a bombardment of the facility to destroy it.[10]

Soon after the disaster on Setron, Hemlock moved his operations to Tantiss Base on the planet Wayland. Following the Empire's attack on Kamino, Chief Medical Scientist Nala Se was moved to the facility to work on Project Necromancer under Hemlock.[11]

Hemlock would also select bounty hunters[12] with capturing subjects with high M-counts and had them delivered to Tantiss for experimentation. Dr. Hemlock also ran a secret program to condition several clones into assassins to perform assassinations and other covert operations.[5]

Royce Hemlock and Nala Se

Royce Hemlock asks Nala Se for her cooperation in helping the Empire.

Soon after, Hemlock visited Kaminoan scientist Nala Se, who was being held in a cell due to her refusal to participate in any of the Empire's cloning operations. While Hemlock praised Se's work as a cloner, he chastised her unwillingness to contribute to the Imperial cause. When Se further refused to cooperate, Hemlock threatened that he could have far worse done to her. As he left the Kaminoan to ponder her decision, Hemlock was approached by Emerie Karr and informed of the loss of communication with transport 904, an Imperial transport associated with the cloning program. Hemlock ordered recovery teams to be sent out and the transport's asset to be quickly contained. He inquired about any other Kaminoans that happened to be taken off-world prior to the destruction of Kamino, in which Emerie confirmed that the planet's former Prime Minister, Lama Su, was being held on Coruscant. Hemlock ordered Su to be brought to him.[3]

Karr later informed Hemlock that transport 904's asset, a cloned Zillo Beast, had been recovered and secured in Mount Tantiss. As Hemlock walked to the base's docking bay with Imperial clone commando Scorch to observe the arrival of Su, he was informed by the commando that any witnesses to the Zillo Beast clone were detained and would be dealt with, while also that a rogue military vessel was present during the operation. Hemlock tasked Scorch with tracking down the vessel as Su arrived. Hemlock informed Su that he has had trouble securing Se's cooperation, while Su mocked the Imperials for their lack of expertise in regards to cloning. Hemlock proposed Su's freedom in exchange for information on how to motivate Se, causing Su to reveal the existence of a female clone that Se had doted upon, and that she would be the key in securing the Kaminoan's cooperation. Satisfied, Hemlock invited Su into the facility for further discussions.[3]

Hunting Clone Force 99[]

"No, you are here because I intend to give you a clean slate. And all you have to do in exchange is tell me how to find Clone Force 99."
―Royce Hemlock, to Crosshair[4]

Following an incident on Barton IV, which included the murder of his commanding officer, CT-9904 "Crosshair" was brought to Mount Tantiss.[13] As Hemlock entered the operating chamber, he mentioned that Crosshair healed quickly after the critical condition when he first arrived. Hemlock told Crosshair that he was not sent in for punishment, but rather to give him a second chance. Hemlock asked for his cooperation to help locate Clone Force 99, adding that the clones possessed something he needed. Crosshair quickly guessed that Hemlock wanted Omega and told the doctor that they would never give up the kid. Hemlock said that the kid was a clone, which made her Imperial property. Crosshair responded that he did not know where the rogue clones were, but Hemlock replied that, the clone being a former member of the team, he knew how they operated and thought. Crosshair did not cooperate further, and Hemlock sent in an IT-O Interrogation Unit to torture the clone until he broke. As the interrogation droid started to torture Crosshair, Hemlock was notified by Scalder that one of their transport ships from Balmorra was attacked, and the prisoners aboard escaped. Hemlock told Karr to inform him when Crosshair was ready to talk and left the chamber.[4]


Hemlock inhales his special toxin with no ill effects.

Crosshair soon attempted to escape but was stopped by a toxin gas after he entered Terminal 3. Hemlock then entered the terminal, inhaling the toxin deeply without issue before telling Crosshair that the toxin was his own special formula and that he had built an immunity to it. After the failed attempt to escape, Crosshair was put back in the operating chamber.[4]

Hemlock later informed Governor Wilhuff Tarkin via hologram that the attack on the transport ship was unfortunate but inconsequential, although Tarkin thought it was still a concern. The governor warned him that the stolen data could compromise the location of the facility, to which Hemlock said that there were various protocols in place to prevent that. Despite Tarkin's warning, Hemlock was more concerned with how the transport ship was targeted. Tarkin suspected that the leak came from rogue clones still within the Imperial Army, adding that a growing number of clones had been questioning their orders. Hemlock responded that decommissioning problematic clones would not eliminate the threat. Hemlock proposed that the clones be sent to him and that he could deal with them in other ways. Interested, Tarkin told Hemlock that he expected a full briefing about his plans at the summit, before he ended the transmission.[4]

Royce Hemlock tortures Crosshair

Hemlock tortures Crosshair.

Hemlock later returned to the operating chamber where Crosshair was held, but the clone continued to remain silent. Hemlock tried to tease Crosshair with potential freedom if he helped locate the rogue clones, but to no avail. Annoyed, Hemlock told Karr to increase the injection level of the interrogator droid. The interrogator droid soon came into view and started the torture on Crosshair, and Hemlock smirked as he stood and watched.[4]

The summit on Eriadu[]

"Once we fully unlock the secrets previously known only to the Kaminoans, we will ensure an enlightened society through their advanced technology and molecular alteration."
―Hemlock during the summit on Eriadu[14]

Hemlock went to Raven's Peak, an Imperial fortress on Eriadu, as he was invited by Tarkin to present his plans on what he wanted to do with clones. As his shuttle landed on the docking lane, Hemlock walked out and two TK stormtroopers told the doctor that Tarkin expected him and guided him to the summit. When Hemlock entered the meeting room, Tarkin and a few other top ranking officers were already waiting for his arrival. Tarkin told Hemlock that he was late to which he responded that there were other matters that required his attention, they then started the summit.[14]

The Summit Bad Batch

Hemlock participated in the Summit in Tarkin's Compound

General Hurst Romodi advocated a phased, widespread deployment of stormtroopers to ensure a secure military presence across all sectors. Tarkin disagreed and advocated for a comprehensive strategy for galactic unification to deter dissent and rampant "self-interest." Tarkin then asked Hemlock what progress in the Advanced Science Division he had made with cloning, and Hemlock insisted their cloning efforts were of great interest of Emperor Palpatine. He was eager to unlock the secrets of the Kaminoan's research and build upon it. Tarkin questioned how long these advancements would take, as the project required extensive funding. Hemlock replied that science could not be rushed and that he had found a new purpose for the decommissioned clone troopers, whom he described as test subjects.[14]

When Romodi asked if the clones had consented to his experimentation, Hemlock countered, saying that the clones were Imperial property, and that their consent was not required. Romodi warned there were many people in the Imperial Senate who were fighting for clone rights and them uncovering news about Hemlock's secret operation could hurt Hemlock's cause, but the doctor was unconcerned, as the location and operations under his command were top secret and far from the eyes and ears of the Senate. Barton Coburn then brought forth his concerns, warning Hemlock that the clones are cunning and loyal warriors and questioning the willingness of his peers to cast them aside. Coburn asked Hemlock what would happen to any clone who discovered the truth of what was happening and took up arms against the Empire. Hemlock acknowledged some have already done that and Tarkin backed him up, citing any clone uprisings would be answered with swift and unilateral action.[14]

Unbeknownst to Hemlock and the rest of the Summit, The Bad Batch, as well as Saw Gerrera and members of his Partisans, had infiltrated the fortress. Gerrera and the Partisans planted several detonators on the lower levels of the fortress in an attempt to destroy it and the Imperial officers located there. Meanwhile, the Bad Batch was attempting to discover the location of Hemlock's base by planting a homing beacon on Hemlock's shuttle. The facility was placed under lockdown, sealing off the command room from the rest of the compound for their protection. Shortly afterward, Gerrera and the Partisan escaped in a Nu-class shuttle, detonating the hanger bay and destroying all the other shuttles as they left, including Hemlock's. The Bad Batch were able to escape, but one of their number, Tech, sacrificed himself to allow his squad to make it out.[14]

Capturing Omega[]

The Bad Batch returned to their old base of operations, namely Cid's Parlor on the planet Ord Mantell. While the medical droid AZI-3 tended to their wounds, Cid sold them out to the Empire. Venator-class Star Destroyers arrived shortly after Cid informed Wrecker of her betrayal. While Omega and AZI fled, Wrecker was quickly taken prisoner by Hemlock and his clone commandos. Hunter confronted Hemlock, who told him he was outnumbered. He thanked Cid for her assistance, giving her the payment before ordering her to leave. Omega and AZI silently watched from above as Hunter was surrounded. Hemlock offered to spare Omega's life if Hunter and Wrecker both surrendered to him. He then tossed Hunter Tech's damaged goggles as a "gift." After threatening to kill Wrecker if Hunter did not stand down, Hunter relented, placing down his DC-17 blaster pistol and allowing the clone commandos to place stuncuffs on him. A clone commando reported to Hemlock that the girl was not in the parlor's office, to which Hunter replied that she was long gone.[8]

As Omega and AZI fled Cid's Parlor, Hemlock led his troops and prisoners though the streets of Ord Mantell. As Omega fired her energy bow at the convoy, Hemlock instructed his clone commandos to lower their weapons while he addressed Omega. Omega demanded he release Hunter and Wrecker, but Hemlock offered a trade. If she surrendered, he would spare her friends. He claimed Nala Se needed Omega's help. Hunter said that the Kaminoans were all dead, but Hemlock assured him that Nala Se was alive and well cared for, as Omega would be. Omega rejected Hemlock's offer, but, even as Hunter tried to warn her, Scorch snuck up from behind and stunned her. Hemlock then ordered his troops to search the city for Echo and bring all three of them back to Eriadu, so Tarkin could interrogate all of them personally.[8]

While AZI and Echo hijacked an All Terrain Armored Cannon, Hunter and Wrecker freed themselves, using the diversion to escape from their captives. Simultaneously, Scorch carried an unconscious Omega as he and several clone commandos followed Hemlock to his shuttle and departed Ord Mantell. The Bad Batch attempted to thwart Hemlock's departure, but his remaining forces prevented them from rescuing Omega.[8]

Upon Hemlock's shuttle's arrival at Mount Tantiss, they were greeted by a contingent of clone commandos escorting Scalder and Nala Se. Hemlock told Scalder and the commandos to escort Omega to Emerie Karr to care for her injuries. Meanwhile, Hemlock spoke with Nala Se, reminding her Lama Su spoke highly of her attachment to Omega. He asked her to reconsider working on the Emperor's project. Hemlock told her to make it possible as Omega would suffer if she did not follow his commands.[8]

Downfall and death[]

The Bad Batch would eventually arrive on Tantiss due to Rampart's assistance, who had brought them to Imperial Station 003. When Scorch informed him of the intrusion, Hemlock immediately had starfighters scrambled to patrol the airspace. The patrols eventually ran into the stolen shuttle and managed to shoot it down. Hemlock then had foot patrols scour the surrounding area, knowing that the rogue clones were likely alive. The patrols were not able to capture the clones, but they did find Rampart, who was thrown into a cell.[15]

Hemlock decided to speak with Rampart, who was insistent that the folly of letting rogue clones discover the locations of Tantiss would embarrass him in front of the Emperor. Hemlock believed that he did not understand the importance of his projects and that because of them, he was indispensable to the Empire. After Omega freed the Zillo Beast clone, it wreaked havoc and broke out of the facility, and Hemlock ordered patrols to track the beast down. The doctor later activated four more clone assassins to help CX-2 capture the rogue clones.[2]

Hemlock had the clones being held in captivity, personally watching Hunter being electrocuted. He ordered the voltage stopped, and Hemlock told him that during their last encounter, he had lost a squad member. As such, he told him that he would lose another member, but Hunter defiantly told him that he was the one going to die before Hemlock had the voltage resumed. Governor Tarkin contacted Hemlock in regards of the Zillo beast breaking out and resulted in him deciding to visit the facility, despite Hemlock's persist that he had the situation under control. Echo and the other freed clones soon began fighting Hemlock's troopers, while Omega worked to free her brothers. Hemlock was able to catch her, claiming that the clones' loyalty to each other was their weakness, but Omega had freed Wrecker in time, who then helped Hunter and Crosshair out before entering the fight with other clone assassins.[2]

Along with Scorch, Hemlock flagged a CX Dagger vessel to try escaping the facility, but it was shot down by Crosshair before the two clones killed Scorch. With few options, Hemlock threatened to kill Omega before positioning himself on the edge of the railing, knowing that she would fall alongside him if he was shot. With his attention focused on the clones, Omega managed to stab him, allowing Crosshair to shoot the shackle binding them together. The two clones then shot Hemlock multiple times, who then fell off the railing to his death. Tarkin would eventually arrive and find the facility heavily damaged and the databanks regarding Project Necromancer destroyed. He then ordered the facility be shut down indefinitely and all remaining funds to be relocated to Project Stardust.[2]


Despite Hemlock's death and the discontinuation of Project Necromancer, the project would come back into prevalence during the New Republic Era. Imperial Remnants would continue work on the project, where Commandant Brendol Hux would assume leadership in place of Hemlock. During a meeting amongst the Shadow Council, Brendol brought up the project and explained how its cloning capabilities would introduce new leadership into the Remnants.[16]

Personality and traits[]

"To lose one of your own, it must weigh heavily on you as their leader."
―Royce Hemlock, to Hunter[8]

While Hemlock was outwardly a soft-spoken and seemingly courteous man, he was in reality an extremely twisted individual. He displayed an ambitious, work-oriented mindset and was eager to begin his service in the Imperial cloning program. He was willing to use intimidation and the threat of torture to get those that opposed the Empire to do his bidding.[3] Hemlock spoke in an even tone and was often composed.[4] He directly oversaw some of the most bizarre and inhumane experimentation within the Empire, ranging from simple cloning to creating living bio-weapons. He considered the decommissioned clones he held captive as living test subjects, performing many painful experiments on them that they often did not survive. Although this opinion was not universal among his equals, like several individuals that held high positions inside the early Imperial leadership, Hemlock dismissed the individuality of clones, instead viewing them as nothing more than Imperial property; as such, he relished in any opportunity to torment those who had defied the Empire both mentally and physically. Much like Jedi General Pong Krell and Lieutenant Nolan, he was generally insistent on referring to most clones by their numbers instead of their chosen names as a sign of disrespect. However, like Krell, Hemlock showed a willingness to address clones by their names if they were loyal enough to him, as was the case with his second-in-command, clone commando Scorch, and Doctor Emerie Karr, who credited Hemlock for having taken her under his wing due to the potential she believed him to have seen in her. Hemlock, in return, considered Karr highly capable.

Hemlock was efficient, never raising his voice, and always carrying the air of being in control of the situation, remaining calm even when things failed to fall in accordance with his plans. In spite of his quiet demeanor, however, he exhibited dark enjoyment about the suffering his work brought upon its victims, and was all too happy to threaten anyone with torture. His methods were so extreme that Emperor Sheev Palpatine felt that even a great number of his fellow Imperials would view many of his experiments as abominations, were they exposed. Hemlock further showed admiration at the ruthlessness of other individuals, as he expressed to Crosshair in regards to the commando's insubordination and execution of his own commanding officer.[4] Hemlock displayed a willingness to let no moral interfere with the achievement of his goals, going to immense lengths to ensure the continued secrecy of Mount Tantiss. These include but are not limited to; arresting and executing innocent civilians en masse, ordering the kidnapping and harm of children, and as stated above, horrific torture of prisoners. Hemlock was a foreboding and sinister new Imperial leader actively working to bring about the demise of any surviving clones following the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire.[3]

Unlike other Imperials, Hemlock seems to genuinely believe that scientific advancement was the key to the Empire's control as opposed to sheer military strength. As such, he was willing to take his time and give his enemies short-term victories in order to achieve the long-term goals. That said, Hemlock was also motivated by the same desire for personal advancement as most other Imperials. He strove towards the position of scientific minister, courting the Emperor's favor by dedicating himself to Project Necromancer, an endeavour that most within the Empire would consider abominable. Despite his generally calm demeanor, Hemlock was ultimately proven to be a coward, attempting to kill Omega in his final moments, despite her reminding him that her survival was paramount to Necromancer's continuation and his own life, and barking at Hunter and Crosshair to drop their blasters.[2]

Royce Hemlock was a human male with dark brown hair that had been neatly slicked back, blue eyes, and light skin. Hemlock displayed a habit of holding and tending to his left hand, which was covered with a glove.[3]

Behind the scenes[]

"Also fyi, last week's was supposed to be Hemlock but I got the wrong plant so it was just like a carrot or something."
―Sean Kiner, via Kiner Music[17]

Sean Kiner's cryptic post for Royce Hemlock

Royce Hemlock first appeared in the second season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode "Metamorphosis," voiced by Jimmi Simpson.[3] However, his appearance was first hinted at in a post by Sean Kiner[18] as part of a series of cryptic tweets that hinted at upcoming Bad Batch episodes.[19] Although the post was meant to be a pun on Hemlock's name, the image they used was the wrong plant.[17]



Notes and references[]

  1. Per the reasoning here, Season 2 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch takes place around 18 BBY. The tally marks made by Omega in The Bad Batch Season 3's first episode, "Confined," indicate the episode must take place at least 21 standard days following her capture, as depicted in the Season 2 episode "Plan 99." According to StarWars "Confined" Trivia Guide | Star Wars The Bad Batch on StarWars.com (backup link), Omega then spends about one hundred and sixty-four further days in captivity by the end of "Confined." As such, the events of Season 3 must begin around 18 BBY and carry on from there.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "The Cavalry Has Arrived"
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Metamorphosis"
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Tipping Point"
  5. 5.0 5.1 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Infiltration"
  6. 6.0 6.1 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Shadows of Tantiss"
  7. TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Confined"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Plan 99"
  9. Per the reasoning here, the seventh and eighth episodes of The Bad Batch Season 2, "The Clone Conspiracy" and "Truth and Consequences," can be placed in 18 BBY. Therefore, all Season 2 episodes proceeding "The Clone Conspiracy" occur between 19 BBY, which features the end of The Bad Batch Season 1 according to Star Wars: Timelines, and 18 BBY. The Galactic Empire, the formation of which Star Wars: Timelines dates to 19 BBY, sent Mayday's squad to Barton IV over a year prior to the events of the twelfth episode, "The Outpost." As it occurs over a year into the Imperial Era and is set shortly after the events of "Truth and Consequences," the events of "The Outpost" occur around 18 BBY. Following that logic, the ninth through eleventh episodes ("The Crossing" through "Metamorphosis") are also set around 18 BBY because they occur between the events of "Truth and Consequences" and "The Outpost." Finally, all season 2 episodes set after "The Outpost" occur shortly after its events, thereby placing those episodes around 18 BBY as well.
  10. 10.0 10.1 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Paths Unknown"
  11. TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Kamino Lost"
  12. TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Identity Crisis"
  13. TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "The Outpost"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "The Summit"
  15. TBBtemplate Star Wars: The Bad Batch — "Flash Strike"
  16. The-Mandalorian-logo The Mandalorian — "Chapter 23: The Spies"
  17. 17.0 17.1 TwitterLogo Kiner Music 🏳️‍⚧️ (@KinerMusic) on Twitter: "Also fyi, last week's was supposed to be Hemlock but I got the wrong plant so it was just like a carrot or something. My bad 😅" (backup link)
  18. TwitterLogo Kiner Music 🏳️‍⚧️ (@KinerMusic) on Twitter: "#TheBadBatch" (backup link)
  19. YouTube Help Rose Aid Ukrainian Orphans/Families Raffle Livestream! on the The Convor Call YouTube channel (backup link)

External links[]