Who is Dr. Royce Hemlock in Star Wars? Villain Explained

By Kieran Burt
Published: April 9, 2023
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Who is Dr. Royce Hemlock in Star Wars? We explain who the nefarious doctor is in Star Wars: The Bad Batch, along with who voices him. It will contain spoilers for The Bad Batch Season Two. 

Star Wars: The Bad Batch has always been at its strongest whenever there is an Imperial aspect to it. Whether it’s Vice Admiral Rampart pushing for the replacement of the clones, the return of Commander Cody and his defection, and Crosshair learning that the Empire really doesn’t care about him in the most horrible way possible, there are always solid and compelling stories.

Later in the season, a new Imperial is introduced, and his story is just as enthralling as the previous Imperials. Doctor Royce Hemlock, a new creation for the show, is brought into the fold, showing audiences the darker and more insidious side of the Empire than Rampart, who has to put on a nice face to the Senate.

Who is Dr. Royce Hemlock in Star Wars?

Doctor Royce Hemlock is a villain introduced in The Bad Batch Season 2. He is head of Mount Tantiss and a member of the Imperial Advanced Science Division, a secretive branch of the Empire focused on cloning. Hemlock was a Republic scientist before it became the Empire but was cast out for his unethical and unorthodox methods.

Sometime after the transition, he was recruited by the Empire to fulfill Palpatine’s goals with cloning. At an Imperial summit, Hemlock explains that he wants to use clone troopers as test subjects for his cloning efforts to achieve his aim of benefiting society.

It’s hinted that part of his goal is being able to make a Force-sensitive clone and eventually prepare a clone for Palpatine, but this hasn’t been openly stated yet.

Hemlock is derived from a poisonous plant of the same name. A disturbing fact that audiences find out about the character in the show is that he’s become immune to a special gas he’s developed, revealed when he incapacitates Crosshair with it.

He has a close advisor called Emerie Karr, who is revealed to be a female clone like Omega. Very little else is known about Emerie.

Another person who is often seen around Hemlock is the clone commando Scorch, first introduced in the 2005 video game Star Wars: Republic Commando. He is part of Delta Squad, though none of the other members have appeared in the show yet. Mount Tantiss is guarded by several other Imperial clone commandos.

When does Dr. Royce Hemlock appear in The Bad Bad Season 2?

Doctor Hemlock first appears in The Bad Batch Season 2, Episode 11, titled “Metamorphosis.” Audiences are introduced to the character when he arrives to take over operations at Mount Tantiss, a cloning facility.

In this episode, a cloned Zillo Beast escapes its confinement on a ship headed for Mount Tantiss. Hemlock orders that it is recaptured and sends an Imperial fleet to get the job done. They are successful with their mission, with clone commandos and Scorch capturing any villagers that saw what happened.

Hemlock also orders the former Kaminoan prime minister Lama Su to Tantiss and wants him to explain how to get Kaminoan scientist Nala Se to work for the Empire, as she is unwilling to do so.

Who voices Dr. Royce Hemlock in The Bad Batch Season 2?

Jimmi Simpson voices the mad scientist, giving him a quiet but menacing tone. Fans might know him for his role as Liam McPoyle on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or from his appearance in the 2020 film Unhinged as Andy.

This is Simpson’s first role in Star Wars

Where else does Dr. Royce Hemlock appear?

Doctor Hemlock hasn’t appeared in any other Star Wars media as of yet. As The Bad Batch season two ended on a cliffhanger, with Doctor Hemlock capturing Omega and taking her back to Mount Tantiss, he will likely appear in future seasons of the show.

At the time of writing, season three of The Bad Batch hasn’t been confirmed.

As Hemlock is closely tied to Mount Tantiss, a location which itself is tied to Thrawn, there is a possibility that if Mount Tantiss were to appear in live-action, Hemlock might appear too, though this is unclear.

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