Serial Consumer celebrates and interrogates Evan’s relationship to franchised media and his addiction to purchasing its licensed products.

Reunion is an even bigger episode than Battle Scars, in very unexpected ways.

Last week’s episode ended with Rex leaving the Batch on Bracca to go on his separate journey to find and awaken their brainwashed brothers. Presumably Rex will return in The Bad Batch, but even if he doesn’t, his final scene in that episode sets up where he is 17 years later in Star Wars Rebels — living with some of his fellow Clones, retired from the fight. I hope we see him again. There’s no Clone quite like Rex. I really hope Temuera Morrison can grow out some white hair and a beard for the Ahsoka show.

We’re presented with an opportunity here.

With Rex gone, the Batch is left to decide how to pay off Cid. Tech points out that they’re sitting on a goldmine; most of the Venator class starships around them still have armories and parts available. So the team sets out to scavenge the ruins of the Republic’s prized fleet to escape from their debts. Little do they know that the native scavengers have alerted the Empire to their presence.

We get a little more Rampart here. Long story short: He really does not give a shit about Clones, so much so that he could barely care when Crosshair points out that the Batch needs a special approach. Crosshair gets his extra men, teaming his little three-man Elite Squad with a few extra shuttles of regular Clones — cannon fodder to an Empire quickly turning to conscripts. Meanwhile, the Kaminoans decide to escalate their off-the-books hunt for Omega by hiring another bounty hunter. And boy, I thought Rex was an exciting reappearance.

Aim for the Kid

But first, it’s worth gushing about the fact that this show remains willing to make Crosshair truly despicable. The third episode, Replacements, did a great job showing him commit war crimes, and now we see him do so even in the presence of his former brothers. Dee Bradley Baker’s sinister and deliberate voice choices for Crosshair land the character and make him an ever-interesting villain. His defeat here — by necessity temporary due to the nature of serialized storytelling — doesn’t feel cheap. Oftentimes the storytelling of the prequels and The Clone Wars instigated fights and conflicts and then chickened out by having a character simply run away so both live to fight another day; seriously, it’s way too prevalent in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones). Thankfully here, Crosshair gets the Anakin treatment due to a well-timed Ion Engine burst … though now his new Imperial Crosshair Black Series figure is already inaccurate to the show … alas.

I also love the use of Bracca. One of J.J. Abrams’ best decisions in the sequels was having Rey explore the ruins of what came before. Her introduction in The Force Awakens and journey through Death Star II in Rise of Skywalker are both great bits of contrasting a tiny human with the sheer physical scale of Star Wars. It’s a lot of fun to return to that idea in Battle Scars and now Reunion. It also provides a lot of fodder for sight gags with Wrecker, whose physicality is endlessly amusing.

War of The Bounty Hunters

It’s a good time for Star Wars fans who love bounty hunters. All of the ongoing Marvel comic series are engaged in a massive summer-long event called War of the Bounty Hunters, which focuses on Boba Fett trying to recover Han Solo’s Carbonite block between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The old Expanded Universe told a similar story, but it’s much more interesting here: Rather than introducing a new sexy fuccboi lizard man to sidetrack our heroes during the interquel as in Shadows of the Empire, War of the Bounty Hunters is about Qi’ra, Han’s love interest from Solo, kidnapping his body as a way of re-establishing herself and Crimson Dawn as a force to be reckoned with in the Galactic Underworld. We haven’t seen Qi’ra since that movie and she has a whole lot of potential so …

But I’m getting sidetracked.

War of the Bounty Hunters focuses on the main hunters from the Original Trilogy (Bossk, Dengar, Zuckuss, 4-LOM, Boba Fett) and a few interesting additions like Durge, a Tartakovsky Clone Wars villain making his canonical re-appearance during the event. Obviously, we’ve already seen Fennec Shand in The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch, and she’ll return alongside Boba Fett in The Book of Boba Fett this December for some post-Return of the Jedi bounty hunter goodness.

However, one essential Star Wars bounty hunter has been off the table since the end of the original seasons of The Clone Wars almost a decade ago: Cad Bane, the Lee Van Cleef-inspired baddie, who held the honor of Best Bounty Hunter in the Galaxy after Jango Fett’s demise in Attack of the Clones.

And he returns today, establishing his significance by shooting Hunter right in the chest during a Western stand-off.

It’s exciting to see Cad Bane’s story continue here. As most fans know, Bane’s destiny was (is?) to die in a The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly-style standoff with a teenage Boba Fett, effectively passing the mantle of deadliest man in the galaxy to Fett (and denting his helmet in the process). These episodes were never produced. Now that Bane is back, I really hope the creators of The Bad Batch bring Boba in, too. The idea of Boba interacting with Clones is interesting in and of itself, but giving him and Cad Bane their moment would be wonderful too.

I’m just happy to see more of Cad Bane, though. He amps the “Western bounty hunter” aesthetic up to 11. Wide-brim hat, spurs, dual revolvers, ammo belts. Bane is the real deal. Plus, I already own his action figure.

Good stuff. Seems like the next few episodes may deal with a “retrieve the kid we were caring for” subplot, which gives the back half of the season a different direction from the first even if it’s extremely familiar to a lot of recent Star Wars media.

I just hope the resolution isn’t as fucking terrible as Mando’s lame rescue of Grogu.

What I’ve Wished For

It’s midseason, so I figure it’s worth taking stock of which figures I’ve hoped for that have now come to pass.

Since the start of the series, Hasbro has announced 6” versions of:

  • Omega
  • Coruscant Guard
  • Imperial Crosshair
  • Admiral Rampart
  • Fennec Shand
  • Bib Fortuna
  • Cloaked Rex

I have pre-ordered a Coruscant Guard, and will likely pre-order Fennec and Bib when they’re made available. Imperial Crosshair and Cloaked Rex are going to go up for pre-order at Walmart today, but both are a little on the pricey side for re-packs of characters I already own. Cloaked Rex is incredibly tempting, though. We’ll see!

What I Want

Not many new figures introduced in this episode that I would buy that haven’t already been announced or that I haven’t wishlisted in previous episodes. I’ll take this space to reiterate my confusion over why Hasbro has yet to release a single-pack blank Reg Phase 2 Clone. It wouldn’t be hard at all. They even just announced a new variant for the 212th Legion (Walgreens exclusive, wish me luck). I’d army-build the fuck out of regular Clones. I already own three Phase 1 Clones. Give it to me, Hasbro!