'Star Wars: The Bad Batch' Breakdown: The Details and History That Enrich "Return to Kamino"
With Hunter captured by Crosshair in the last episode, the remaining members of the Bad Batch set their sights on rescuing him in “Return to Kamino.” They do this despite knowing full well that they’re walking into a trap. Crosshair has taken Hunter back to Kamino and lays in wait for the rest. Fortunately, Omega knows of a secret science facility that they can land on in order to infiltrate Tipoca City on Kamino. They manage to break their way in and blunder right into Crosshair’s trap. But Crosshair’s agenda doesn’t quite match his orders from the Empire.
As Crosshair works to convince Hunter to join the Empire and Hunter tries convincing Crosshair to rejoin the Bad Batch, Admiral Rampart begins the complete orbital bombardment of Kamino, wiping the cloning facilities from the planet as effectively as Count Dooku wiping the planet from the Jedi archives.
With this being the first part of a two part finale, the episode ends there, leaving a cliffhanger for next week with little resolution.
Attack of the Clones
This episode is very much a love letter to Kamino. For those who loved the environment and the filmmaking behind the planet in Attack of the Clones will find the references deeply moving. Most apparent are the musical cues from the John Williams score that Kevin Kiner incorporates to create a sense of place here in The Bad Batch. John Williams has a habit of giving planets unique aural qualities in their scores and Kiner plays it up beautifully here, with a hint of nostalgia for all of the amazing things we’ve seen on Kamino over the years, from Obi-Wan’s initial incursion, to the battles of Kamino during the Clone Wars, to our views of it during The Bad Batch.
There’s a beautiful montage before the bombardment begins, set to Kiner’s remix of the Williams music, that offers haunting views of familiar locations of Kamino, empty of everyone, awaiting destruction. Many of the spots we see were first seen in Attack of the Clones, from the cloning pods themselves to the cafeterias.
It’s meant to evoke the end of an era and is particularly effective at it. It’s one more bit of destruction at the feet of the Empire that explains why more of the important places in the prequels aren’t prominently featured in the classic trilogy. Geonosis is another planet that undergoes destruction at the hands of the Empire to keep their secrets of the Death Star. The Empire was never above genocide.
Returning to Kamino means that many of the elements in this episode are things we’ve talked about in previous columns throughout this season. Three big standouts would be AZI-345211896246498721347, who first appeared on The Clone Wars, trying to help Fives unravel the mystery of the inhibitor chips used to evoke Order 66. He’s been on the show before, as part of Nala Se’s science team. The second would be the early-prototypes of the Dark Troopers used in the science facility. We see their ultimate form in the second season of The Mandalorian under the control of Moff Gideon, but these are a little easier to deal with. Especially for a group as capable as the Bad Batch at full strength. Third, would be the Venator-class ships. These capital ships are the ships that ultimately led to Star Destroyers in the classic trilogy, and were in heavy use during The Clone Wars.
There were a few revelations this episode that would be important to note. First, Omega reveals the lab the Bad Batch was initially experimented on and the fact that she’s actually older than them. Since she received no growth acceleration, it’s not so ridiculous to think she could be older than them, but her remembering them being tinkered with means that they might have received even more growth acceleration than previously thought. And the idea that they were just defective clones seems to be a ruse. They were engineered to be exactly what they were.
The other major revelation, which may or not be true, is the idea that Crosshair had removed his inhibitor chip a long time ago. He claims that the reactions he’s having are a result of him being honest to who he is, but what does that mean about him as a person?
There’s a lot of doubt left in Hunter about Crosshair, though Crosshair does everything he can to earn Hunter’s trust back and give his former teammates the chance they never gave him, even going so far as to killing what’s left of his new squad in a single trick shot. But thanks to Omega’s activation of the droids, they can’t talk further and the Bad Batch have to reunite and fight as one once more in order to survive the training room.
Afterward, Hunter’s left confused by Crosshair’s revelation but is able to stun and capture him. Wrecker picks him up and the whole team works to escape, but that’s when Admiral Rampart’s bombardment to destroy Tipoca City begins.
With the destruction just beginning and the escape of the Bad Batch — an unconscious Crosshair in tow — left up the air, the answers of what will come next week are still largely in the air.
A good guess will be that the Bad Batch will escape to bedevil the Empire another day, but with the second season announcement already out, just about anything but their mass deaths can happen. Expect some part of a cliffhanger next week, expect more secrets to be revealed, and expect the finale to be nothing short of explosive.
The season final of Star Wars: The Bad Batch airs next Friday on Disney+. It was announced this week that a second season has been greenlit, though there’s no indication as to how fast it will come.
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