May the Fourth be With You! The 70-minute premiere episode of the new Star Wars series The Bad Batch was released on Disney+ on the official unofficial Star Wars day. What a great way to celebrate the holiday!
Fans across the galaxy got a look into what Clone Force 99 — Hunter, Echo, Wrecker, Tech, and Crosshair — went through during the infamous Order 66 and, as the title suggests, the aftermath of that event. A lot happened, so let’s get into it!
Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch “Aftermath” below.
The episode begins during the Clone Wars with the iconic narration we heard in every episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The narration recaps what has happened during the battles that led them up to where we are now: the events during Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
A battalion of clone troopers alongside Jedi Master Depa Billaba is cornered by Seperatist battle droids on the planet Kaller. Her padawan Caleb Dume, also known as Kanan Jarrus later in life who was introduced in Star Wars: Rebels, claims he has brought reinforcements: The Bad Batch. The squad of “defected” clones rushes in and saves the day. Soon after, Order 66 is executed. Master Depa Billaba fights off her battalion as best as she can before ordering Caleb to run. This moment is extremely emotional for Star Wars fans, because we have heard of this moment and the trauma it caused Caleb/Kanan in Rebels.
The Bad Batch doesn’t seem to be affected by the order because of their genetic mutations. Hunter and Crosshair go after Caleb to find him while the others stay back to figure out what’s happening. However, once Hunter and Crosshair find the terrified padawan, Crosshair shoots at him. His inhibitor chip that caused the clones to follow the order was working to a point, and he decides to “be a good soldier,” which is very unusual for any of the Bad Batch members.
After Crosshair gets knocked over by Caleb’s use of the force, Hunter allows the padawan to get away, reporting he fell to his death down a waterfall after he stunned him with a blaster shot. Crosshair immediately sees through that lie.
Upon returning to Kamino, the squad learns that the Clone Wars are officially over, but Echo reveals he doesn’t believe their mission was a success. This begins a rift in the relationship between Hunter and Crosshair as the sharpshooter calls out their leader for letting the padawan get away.
Shortly after, we are introduced to a new character, Omega, a little girl who is working closely with Nala Se, a scientist on Kamino. She seems to be a big fan of Clone Force 99. Grand Moff Tarkin also arrives on the remote water planet and tells Prime Minister Lama Su, who oversees the cloning facility, that Emperor Palpatine is questioning the need for additional clone troopers following the end of the war. He decides to assess the clones to see how effective and efficient they are.
After putting on a show and initiating a brawl in the mess hall with “regular” clones, the Bad Batch are put through a combat test ordered by Tarkin. The test nearly gets Wrecker killed after droids begin using live ammunition instead of the normal training blasters, which the Grand Moff ordered. But it’s no surprise when the clones come out on top. Tarkin himself is impressed by the “enhanced” clones but is wary of their disobedience and disregard to follow orders, so he sends them on a mission to eliminate a group of “separatist insurgents” as a way of determining how useful they are to the Imperial Army. Before they head off-world, Hunter is warned by Omega that she believes Tarkin doesn’t trust him.
While on Onderon, where the “insurgents” are said to be located, the clones discover that they are in fact not there to destroy battle droids. They instead find a group of civilians led by Saw Gerrera, who fought for the Republic during the Clone Wars and appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as well as The Clone Wars. Saw tells them he and his men refused to fight for the Empire, which is why Tarkin sent Hunter and his squad after them.
“Makes you wonder what else they’re lying about.” – Saw gerrera
Since the clones helped Saw and Onderon during the war, he lets Clone Force 99 go peacefully but warns them about adapting to survive, or dying with the past. This line seems to foreshadow what the rest of the season will bring. The fact that the squad started to leave makes Crosshair angry, because they didn’t complete the mission and kill the group of civilians. As Hunter and Crosshair argue, Hunter spots a probe droid and shoots it down, proving that Omega’s warning was sound. After revealing what his conversation with the little girl was about, Tech nonchalantly reveals she is actually an “enhanced” clone like them (except for Echo, who was a regular clone and joined the group after he became “more machine than man” due to the separatists during the war). Tech discovered this revelation after studying her DNA earlier in the episode. Hunter decides they should go back for her, once again causing a rift between him and Crosshair.
Once they make it back to Kamino to get Omega, Tarkin has the other clones bombard and arrest the group. They are put in a cell with Omega herself, who was arrested for being inside the Bad Batch’s quarters. While in the cell, there is a somewhat heartwarming moment with Omega as she tries to comfort Crosshair, even though she knows he doesn’t want anything to do with her.
“I know it’s not your fault. You can’t help it.” -Omega
Soon after, Crosshair is taken out of the cell, and with the help of Wrecker and Omega, the group is allowed to escape. Their priority is to find Crosshair and get off-world as soon as possible. As the others track down their gear, which was ransacked earlier in their quarters, Crosshair had the programming of his inhibitor chip intensified, as ordered by Tarkin, making him completely loyal to the Empire. Right before the others can find their brother-in-arms, he finds them first with a group of other clones ready to kill.
Clad in completely new armor, Crosshair and his new clone team fire upon the Bad Batch. During the shootout, some of the other clones are taken out, Crosshair shoots Wrecker (thankfully only in his shoulder), and the Bad Batch narrowly escapes after Nala Se holds the docking bay doors open for the Bad Batch (we assume she wanted Omega to be safe), and the girl picks up a blaster for the first time and knocks Crosshair’s out of his hand as he was about to shoot the others.
Clone Force 99 and Omega, who has never left Kamino before, are safe for now as they head toward the sector J-19, where Hunter says he has a friend who can help them there. Meantime, Nala Se tells Lama Su that the “augmentation” of Crosshair’s chip was a success, but the Bad Batch and Omega got away. They decide to keep all of this a secret until they have a better idea of how to deal with the Empire.
Wow! So much happened in this episode. It was a great start to the series as it sets up an exciting adventure with the Bad Batch and Omega with high stakes due to the Empire (and most likely Crosshair) hunting them down!
The first episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch is available to stream now on Disney+. The second episode will be released this Friday, May 7. The following episodes after that will be available to stream every Friday. Make sure to stay tuned for more recaps!