Last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch concluded with Omega being captured by the infamous bounty hunter Cad Bane. This week, Clone Force 99 sets out on a mission to find and rescue her. We also learn quite a bit more about the Kaminoans and why Omega is so important to them.
As always, the recap portion of this review will contain plenty of spoilers along with some brief explorations of Star Wars lore.
Setting the Board
The episode opens with the Havoc Marauder being pursued off the planet Bracca by Crosshair. Despite Wrecker’s best efforts with the gun turret, their former teammate has nearly wiped out the ship’s rear deflector shields. Tech warns the team that if they don’t jump to hyperspace soon, they’ll be shot out of the sky.
Hunter initially refuses to retreat, insisting that they stay and look for Omega. Thankfully, Echo talks some sense into him by pointing out that the bounty hunter who took her is probably long gone by now (and that they won’t do Omega much good if they’re dead).
As Crosshair continues to close in, Hunter finally gives the order for them to escape into hyperspace.
Meanwhile, Omega wakes up in a holding cell aboard Cad Bane’s ship (the Justifier). She spots a hobbled Todo 360 and demands the droid release her. Instead, Todo gleefully declares that her communication device has been confiscated and that she has no choice but to be their prisoner.
After Cad Bane walks in and introduces himself, Omega demands to know where she’s being taken. She also warns him that her friends will find them and rescue her. Bane languidly responds that her friends have no chance of locating them and refuses to divulge their destination.
As he saunters back to the cockpit, Todo follows behind him begging for his leg to be fixed.
Over on Kamino, Cad Bane radios in to inform Prime Minister Lama Su that he has Omega and will be at the rendezvous point soon. After he hangs up, head Kaminoan scientist Nala Se offers to deliver the payment and retrieve the young girl herself. Lama Su responds by claiming that her personal interest in Omega has “threatened their operation enough.”
*Side Note: Unless Lama Su is referring to things that happened on Kamino before the ‘Bad Batch’ series began, then I honestly don’t know what he’s talking about.
He then declares that Taun We will deliver the credits to Cade Bane at one of their abandoned cloning facilities (???) on the planet Bora Vio. Despite openly accusing his head scientist of being compromised, he instructs her to take the necessary genetic material from Omega once Taun We returns with their “property.” After that, the young girl is to be terminated.
This leads to one of many close up shots we’ve had of Nala Se’s eyes bugging out with concern.
*Side Note: An abandoned cloning facility? I have so many questions!
Also, you may recognize Taun We from ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.’ She was the Kaminoan who met Obi-Wan Kenobi at Tipoca City (or “Larry Kenobi” if you’re an Araulnauts fan). She also worked alongside Jango Fett to monitor the development of the original clone troopers.
Bargaining with Fire
Over on the Justifier, Todo decides to attempt his own repairs after being ignored by Cad Bane. Omega observes the droid struggling to do so and offers to help him, explaining that she’d done similar repairs for AZI-3 many times back on Kamino. Todo sees right through Omega’s Scooby-Doo level ruse at first, but eventually becomes frustrated/desperate enough to unlock her cell and accept her help (ugh).
Predictably, Omega uses the opportunity to shut Todo down and begin looking for her comm device–but not before actually fixing the leg of the droid who helped imprison her (UGH).
*Side Note: I love Todo 360 as much as anyone, but Omega should have turned the little guy into scraps right then and there.
Back on the Havoc Marauder, Echo uses Hunter’s description of the person who took Omega (and shot him in the chest) to positively identify their nemesis.
When Wrecker points out that this is the second bounty hunter they know of who’s gone after Omega, Tech reveals that he’s been analyzing her genetic profile. Based on his results, it appears that she’s one of only two clones to have pure/unaltered DNA from Jango Fett, the original clone trooper template.
The other clone, codenamed ‘Alpha,’ was also known as Boba…i.e. Boba Fett.
Tech goes on to say that with Boba Fett presumed dead since he went missing at the start of the Clone Wars (HA!), Omega is the only known source of pure/unaltered DNA from Jango Fett, thus making her a vital component of any effort the Kaminoans might undertake to create a new clone army (and perhaps attempt a Kaminoan uprising).
While the mystery of who put the bounty on Omega’s capture has been solved, it still doesn’t get them any closer to finding her. Hunter tells Tech to contact Cid and see if her sources have heard any intel about where Cad Bane might be. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know anything besides who the bounty hunter is and that he has quite a reputation.
As far as Cad Bane’s whereabouts or where he’s planning to take Omega, the Bad Batch are completely on their own.
Meanwhile, Omega is in the middle of searching for her comm device when Cad Bane’s ship arrives at Bora Vio and begins making its descent. He calls for Todo’s help navigating through the atmosphere (despite not needing it) and lands on a skybound platform that looks very similar to the architecture on Kamino.
After continuing to not get a response from his droid, Bane finally becomes suspicious and goes to check things out in the cargo bay. Omega manages to find her comm device moments before the bounty hunter spots her. As she flees the craft and runs onto the landing platform, Todo awakens at his master’s approach and expresses surprise that their prisoner betrayed them.
Bane angrily tells the droid to stay put while he goes after their asset.
As Omega runs across the platform into the abandoned facility, she manages to make faint contact with Hunter on the Havoc Marauder. She’s thrilled to hear his voice, but unable to tell them where she is. She’s also out of range for the Havoc Marauder to track her comm device’s signal and establish a location.
Tech tells Omega that she’ll need to create a power surge to help them find her signal. Luckily, she just happens to come across a door panel that looks like the ones she remembers on Kamino/Tipoca City. Also, despite the facility being abandoned, the panel is still operational, although it only opens its corresponding door part way.
Tech begins instructing Omega on how to overload the panel’s circuits when Cad Bane shows up and declares that “by hook or by crook,” she’s coming with him.
Bane handcuffs Omega, smashes her comm devices, and begins dragging her back toward the Justifier. Along the way, he gets a call from Todo that an unidentified ship is approaching. After telling the droid to check things out, he continues back down the facility’s hallway before a blaster shot stops both him and Omega in their tracks.
The pair round a turn to find Taun We shot dead courtesy of Fennec Shand, who’s also carrying the case full of credits the Kaminoan brought with her.
After formally greeting each other, Bane tells Shand that she has no business undercutting his job. Shand responds that it was her score first. The pair trade bravado for a bit before Shand proposes that Bane trade Omega for the credits. Bane accepts, which might have been a ruse, but is made a moot point when Todo sneaks up behind Shand and snags the case from her.
An awesome shootout predictably ensues.
After trading some blaster fire, Bane tosses a thermal detonator, which Shand deftly kicks toward Todo. The droid manages to fly away from the platform, but not before the case pops open and dumps all the credits, causing Cad Bane to become exceptionally grumpy. He growls at Todo to find Omega while he and Shand continue to shoot at each other.
During a brief lull in the gunfight, Bane stalks Shand down a corridor where she strategically placed a explosive. He barely manages to escape being blasted to smithereens, but is still knocked out cold.
Meanwhile, Omega flees down another hallway into a room filled with green vats containing what we can assume are failed cloning experiments or discarded props from a David Cronenberg film. Either way, it’s pretty disturbing.
Omega overcomes her curiosity/revulsion and finds a control panel, which she uses to activate the abandoned facility’s long range transmitter and send a signal to the Havoc Marauder. Upon receiving the transmission, the Bad Batch manage to pinpoint her location and take off.
*Side Note: Despite this being an “abandoned” facility, there are still experiments still in stasis (which would have contained plenty of genetic material for anyone to grab), enough juice to power multiple control panels, and an operational long range transmitter. Whoever is in charge of overhead and discarded inventory for the Kaminoans needs to be abandoned by their department’s payroll.
Todo finds his still unconscious master and promises that he’ll recover their target. Unfortunately for them, Shand manages to locate Omega first. When the girl asks why the bounty hunter killed Taun We, Shand reveals that it was part of the job — and that what the Kaminoan prime minister had in store for Omega is much worse than what the person who hired her wanted.
Omega glances over at the green vats and realizes in that moment exactly how bad it could be.
*Side Note: So it appears Shand either wasn’t hired by Lama Su originally or has been payed by someone else to double cross the Kaminoan prime minister. It should be pretty obvious who that is by now, but will be revealed shortly if you haven’t figured it out yet.
Just as Shand is about to take Omega, Todo burst in like Kramer on Seinfeld and promptly gets his ass kicked. Omega uses the commotion to unlock one of the vats, causing it to collapse and shatter. Something that looks like a modified (and very dead) Kaminoan falls out of the container and lands on top of Shand, allowing Omega to escape and completely grossing the bounty hunter out.
Omega flees outside, where she notices that the facility has flight pods nearby (which of course will be operational). Before she can reach them, however, she’s stopped by Cade Bane, who is apparently immune from the effects of a having a massive concussion.
Just as he’s about to stun her, Shand tosses bolas at him, knocking the gun from his hand and allowing the pair to engage in some awesomely choreographed/animated hand-to-hand combat. While they fight, Omega finds a ladder descending toward the nearest flight pod and begins climbing down. When Todo flies over on his rocket boosters to try and stop her, she ends up jumping on top of the droid and using him to make a hard landing on the flight pod platform.
Despite suffering a leg injury, Omega is still able to limp to the pod, get inside, and take off. Todo makes one final (and very lame) attempt to stop her, but is thrown from the craft as it hurtles skyward.
Back on the platform, Cad Bane appears to have the upper hand in the fight before Shand wraps him up with another bolas and kicks him over the edge. He uses his rocket boosters to keep from falling to his death, but still finds himself immobilized after falling back onto the platform.
Things go from bad to worse when Bane finally gets free and makes it to the Justifier only to discover that it’s been sabotaged by Fennec Shand.
Meanwhile, Omega’s pod loses power and begins to fall. Just as she’s bracing herself for a fatal impact, the Bad Batch show up and somehow maneuver the Havoc Marauder to snag the pod in midair.
*Side Note: I would’ve really liked to have seen that.
After embracing Wrecker and Hunter, Omega asks why the Kaminoans are after her. Hunter begins to explain that she’s more valuable than other clones because she’s different.
I assume he told her the rest, because the next time we see them, the pair are both fighting insomnia while the rest of the crew sleeps during their flight. Omega says she doesn’t want to end up being experimented like the beings she saw inside the tubes, but knows that Lama Su will never stop looking for her.
Hunter promises the young girl that they will do everything they can to protect her — and that she will never have to go back to Kamino ever again.
*Side Note: It can now be safely predicted that before this season is over, Omega will get captured and sent back to Kamino, causing Hunter to fall into a grief spiral about letting her down that ends with him engaging in some badass heroics to save her.
Meanwhile, Fennec Shand takes a call from Nala Se from inside her ship. She tells the Kaminoan scientist that Omega was saved by the same clones she encountered back in Episode 4. She also offers to continue tracking them, but Nala Se declines, explaining that as long as Omega is not in the hands of Lama Su, she’s safe.
While this episode was enjoyable, there were enough issues that it didn’t shine like the last one did. Aside from the obvious/aforementioned contrivances, it had a couple major elements that deserved a lot more screen time:
- The Havoc Marauder’s midair rescue: I don’t doubt that the Bad Batch are awesome enough to pull off this maneuver, but such a terrifying life-or-death circumstance deserved more than to be accomplished offscreen–especially with how incredible the animation has been on this series.
- The abandoned cloning facility: While I get the need to have a place to meet Cad Bane away from Imperial eyes (and create an appropriately creepy atmosphere), the abandoned cloning facility on Bora Vio creates a ton of burning questions that made it hard to focus on the rest of the episode’s narrative.
- Why was it abandoned?
- What was in the cloning vats?
- Why were the Kaminoans doing work on another planet?
These questions might get answered in expanded universe material (which could make for a fantastic Star Wars horror story), but it’s unlikely the Bad Batch‘s narrative will ever touch on it again. And even if I’m wrong about that last one (which I truly hope I am), it’s still an odd thing to stick in the background of an episode — especially when it’s so weird/intriguing that it almost overshadowed a fantastic brawl between two of Star Wars’ best bounty hunters.
Thankfully, the Cad Bane vs. Fennec Shand showdown was superb. It was so good, in fact, that it almost completely negated the episode’s more ridiculous moments (like Todo actually trusting Omega not to shut him down). Even though we’ll certainly see these two face off again, their first onscreen match was everything you could’ve hoped for and then some.
On the narrative side of things, it’s great to see things like a Kaminoan conflict and a potential appearance by Boba Fett being seeded. It’s also worth noting that the political machinations and infighting among the Kaminoans has become much more intriguing than most of us likely expected.
But the most powerful part of the episode (aside from the bone crunching hits between Bane and Shand) was Omega’s fear, helplessness, and despair. Even if you somehow aren’t a fan of her by this point, you had to feel for the poor kid after everything she went through during this ordeal.
The Bad Batch‘s writers deserve a lot of credit for making sure Omega believably grows into a heroic character while maintaining a believable degree of fear and uncertainty. Finding out that the people who raised you are now trying to capture you for the sake of horrific experimentation would shake anyone to their core. Omega showed every bit of pain and terror that it caused her, but also continued to display the warmth, courage, and resourcefulness that makes her such a great character.
Yes, the moment with Hunter was predictably sappy, but it also felt heartbreakingly real…and like a huge setup for him and the rest of the Bad Batch to eventually fail her.
Now that Omega is back with her adopted family, it will be interesting to see where things goes from here. While there will certainly be more jobs from Cid, the Bad Batch also have Cad Bane, Crosshair, the Empire, and the Kaminoans all gunning for them.
Being a Galactic A-Team might not be possible anymore with a list of enemies like that on their tail.
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