So it turns out the back half of the season will not be a prolonged search for Omega, which is a nice surprise. Watching this episode and contemplating its revelations, I was starting to feel dismayed for the first time about some of the similarities between this and The Mandalorian. Plot-wise, this is a far superior approach to ongoing storytelling because stuff actually happens. Don’t get me wrong: I loved most of The Mandalorian‘s second season, but it’s nice to feel like each episode here progresses the larger arc.
Still, Omega is a Clone whose genetic material is desired for further cloning operations, which is what we assume is the reason why the Imperial Remnant wants Grogu on The Mandalorian. Bounty hunters are hired to catch them, but one of them ends up as a protector figure; although here, Fennec is still just doing it for the money rather than an emotional connection. I’m not sure why the two shows mirror each other so much. It seems like a weird move on Disney’s part.
At least here, the cloning stuff makes sense. The Batch are dealing with the post-Clone Wars fallout, and so are their creators, the Kaminoans, known for their advanced cloning techniques. It’s apparent that the post-CW Galaxy is becoming a difficult place for the long-necked aliens, and they’re splitting into factions, which have different uses for Omega’s genetic material. She’s a pure-strain Clone with no artificial growth, which makes normal Clones unsuitable for making further Clones. We learn here that Alpha — now named Boba — is the only other pure Clone of Jango, but has disappeared into the Galactic Underworld. So Omega is all the Kaminoans can use to make further Clone soldiers. Some of them want her back. Some of them want her as far away from becoming raw material as possible.
Naturally, the Batch are caught in the middle — simple men trying to make their way in the galaxy.
I have a few random thoughts while watching this episode.
- I really like the expansion of Fennec’s character in this era, as she seems to be on the verge of major importance in the big live-action story Disney is telling, which continues later this year with The Book of Boba Fett.
- I like the appearance of the giant green cloning vats in what appears to be a much grimier cloning facility than the one used to make the Clones. It’s nice connective tissue with The Rise of Skywalker‘s depiction of cloning, although it’s hard to shake how little J.J. Abrams cared about established canon. Giving Charlie from LOST the line “Cloning … secrets only the Sith knew” is so frustrating when an entire trilogy and animated series established that a species had perfected cloning and built armies of Clones before. Perhaps they’ll retcon the line into meaning cloning with Force sensitivity is something only the Sith knew. Or maybe they’ll just write it off as that annoying character being a dumbass. Who knows? Fuck J.J. Abrams.
- It appears Cad Bane has a metal plate on his head — which he uses in combat! — implying the untold story of him facing off against Boba has canonically already occurred (except he survives it now). That’s OK with me, as it gives us more Cad Bane and makes him more of a nemesis for the Batch. That said, the rumors that there may be more Clone Wars-era Disney+ CGI movies make me hope one of them still tells that story with Boba Fett. So what if he’s starring in a big comic series and a big live-action series this year? Give me more of his story.
- I was happy with the way this episode is structured, allowing Omega to solve her own captivity while the two bounty hunters fight. Omega is a great character so far, and treating her as more than simply an object to protect is a great decision. She’s more Ahsoka than Grogu so far. I really hope they’ve cast a live-action actress to play Omega in the post-Return of the Jedi era, seeing as they’re hyping up a big mega-story sometime later this decade once they’ve launched all their Disney+ series. It would be cool to see The Bad Batch connect in that fashion.
I didn’t buy any Star Wars merch myself this past week, although my brother gifted my son a few Black Series 6” figures. Two were from the Lucasfilm Publishing Anniversary line: a Jaxxon the Rabbit and a Kir Kanos, Royal Guard. He also found a Gaming Greats Imperial Rocket Trooper for the shelves. Great additions to an already outrageous display. I was unable to pre-order anything announced last week as the Han Solo and Luke Skywalker re-issues are way too damn pricey.
Looks like July may be an expensive month, though. My pre-order of the forthcoming Star Wars Legends: The Old Republic Omnibus should be shipped in early July. The newest wave of 6” Black Series figures is also starting to appear in stores. And I have a friend who might send me something from Galaxy’s Edge. Exciting times.
Nothing new that I’d want from this episode, though.