While there was plenty of pain and trauma in Star Wars: The Clones, The Bad Batch feels like a dark turn for the Star Wars animation as the atrocities of the Empire are shown every Friday morning over breakfast.
The Bad Batch: Episode 3, “Replacements”
The episode starts out with the Bad Batch after their hasty departure from Saleucami, with a badly damaged ship. Hunter, and the team, reflect on the loss of Crosshair, but it’s clear that the former is taking the loss a lot harder.
Omega is still the bright-eyed optimist, taking her new situation in stride, including happily going without a bed and willingly giving up her meager food portion because Wrecker was extra hungry.
Tech seems unconcerned with the ship’s electrical issues, focused instead on creating a scanner to check their inhibitor chips. That is, at least, until their ship crash lands and needs to be repaired.
It’s important to note that Wrecker smashes his head against the metal harness during the crash landing and spends the rest of the episode rubbing at his sore head. This feels like a misdirect about the inhibitor chips, given Tech’s interest in researching them further. Also, I just refuse to accept anything bad happening to Wrecker.
On the planet, the Bad Batch faces an Ordo Moon Dragon that steals the capacitor, which they need to fix their ship. Hunter and Omega set out to track down the beast, but their adventure is not without perils.
Back on Kamino, Admiral Rampart and Tarkin plot the next phase for the soldiers of the Empire by introducing an elite team of recruited soldiers who will work under Crosshair.
Side Note: For those theorizing that the one recruit has to be Iden Versio… She’d be a child at this point. Luke and Leia were just born like last week. Chill.
Crosshair and the new recruits set out to track down Saw Gerrera, and they find a transport filled with civilians and a handful of Gerrera’s Partisans. One of the recruits resists Crosshair’s order to mercilessly kill the civilians, instead suggesting they take them into custody.
But good soldiers follow orders. Crosshair kills the recruit and then watches on as the other recruits follow his command and murder the civilians.
Is The Bad Batch really a children’s show? I swear I’m not a wuss. I watched Spiral over breakfast yesterday morning and yet somehow watching the animated troopers kill innocent civilians was worse than actual gore.
Crosshair seems to reflect on elements of the Bad Batch’s former quarters, which seems to allude that some part of that brotherhood remains, despite the inhibitor chip. But in the wake of watching him dutifully murder innocent civilians — it’s hard to care.
Back with the Bad Batch, Omega saves the day by realizing the Ordo Moon Dragon just wants something to chew on. She trades her flashlight for the piece and gets out of its lair unscathed.
On the ship, Wrecker has a surprise for Omega. He’s outfitted part of the ship to be her very own room, complete with a privacy curtain and Lula! Omega is in awe of finally having her own room — as she never had one on Kamino.
Speaking of Kamino, the Kaminoans reflect on what will happen if the Empire makes their clones obsolete with their new recruiting program. They devise a plan to keep themselves relevant, but they’re going to need one of the Bad Batch to succeed in creating viable specimens. It’s no surprise that Jango Fett’s original DNA is starting to deteriorate.
I’m interested to see how far they plan to go with the cloning program in The Bad Batch. Will we see the origins of whatever program they wanted Grogu for in The Mandalorian. Will we see the beginning of Palpatine’s failed cloning attempts?
As we move past the first few episodes of the series, several interesting plots are starting to develop. We have the Bad Batch trying to navigate life on the run, the potential of their inhibitor chips activating, Omega coming into her own, Crosshair being a dutiful soldier, the rise of the Empire, and the Empire trying to track down Saw Gerrera which seems like a potential recurrent subplot. But what else are they going to surprise us with?