Last week on Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the Bad Batch found themselves rescuing a former Separatist, and Omega paid off the squad’s debt to Cid! Be sure to watch the mid-season premiere of Star Wars: The Bad Batch first, because this recap will have SPOILERS.
Still here? Get ready to grab some blasters, because the first sparks of Rebellion are beginning to ignite as the Galactic Empire begins to tighten its grip on the Star Wars galaxy.
Like last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, we open without the titular Bad Batch. A crowd gathers in the city of Lessu, capital of the Twi’lek homeworld of Ryloth. The crowd murmurs, “They shouldn’t be here,” as clone troopers (including Elite Squad) observe the crowd. Crosshair (as with all clone troopers, played by Dee Bradley Baker) reports to Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal) that a Twi’lek freedom fighter named Gobi Glie is in attendance.
On a terrace of the Twi’lek Clan Council estate, Rampart complains to Senator Orn Free Taa (Phil LaMarr) that the Twi’leks are disgruntled by the Imperial military presence, despite the new doonium refinery bringing countless jobs to Ryloth’s economy. Taa assures the Imperial officer that the people welcome Ryloth’s partnership with the new Empire.
Eleni Syndulla (Ferelith Young) offers only a vague remark that she will always support Ryloth’s interests. General Cham Syndulla (Robin Atkin Downes) adds that after the brutal years of the Clone Wars, what will support Ryloth the most is peace.
Captain Howzer (also Dee Bradley Baker) speaks privately with General Syndulla. The Twi’lek freedom fighter admits that he fears that the Twi’leks will not embrace change (even peaceful change) so quickly. Howzer points out that Ryloth is safe, which is what Cham has fought for from the very beginning.
In an address to the Twi’lek people, Senator Taa lauds the Empire as a new and prosperous era for Ryloth. Under the guise of Twi’leks enjoying their “hard-fought freedom,” Senator Taa announces that all Twi’lek soldiers are to step down from their posts, with the Imperial clone army stepping in to “protect and defend” Ryloth. The crowd shouts and jeers in response, demanding to hear from Cham Syndulla.
Syndulla steps forward and states that he shares the people’s unease. He notes that despite how divided the Twi’lek clans are, they have always united to defend Ryloth. Cham speaks of the bravery of the clone troopers, pointing out that it was only because of the clone army that Ryloth was liberated from the Separatists. He trusts the clones to protect Ryloth as they always have.
As he urges the crowd to lay down their weapons and look to the future, the crowd cheers. The only ones who seem unmoved are Gobi and his fighters, who leave the crowd.
On a hill overlooking the doonium refinery, a young Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall) and her astromech C1-10P (better known as “Chopper”) gather intel on the Imperial operation. Failing to spot anything unusual, a bored Hera gazes up at the birds in the sky and daydreams about flying. Unfortunately, a clone patrol interrupts the daydream when they find the pair.
As Cham collects weapons from former Twi’lek guerrillas at the Syndulla estate, Eleni and her brother Gobi Glie (Corey Burton) look on. Gobi is frustrated and offended at the idea of non-Twi’leks defending Ryloth. Eleni recognizes that the Twi’leks are tired of fighting: they cannot continue on as if the Clone Wars are still raging.
Gobi insists that turning over their weapons will leave them defenseless to the Empire. Gobi refuses to accept the “peace,” and reveals that he has already made arrangements to secretly acquire weapons for the Twi’lek forces.
Just then, Howzer and a squad of clone troopers escort Hera and Chopper into the complex. They were inside an Imperial restricted zone. Things are tense on Ryloth between the Twi’leks and the clones. Howzer won’t report the incident as a favor to Cham, but Hera cannot be caught violating Imperial laws again. Cham assures that it won’t happen again.
As the clones leave, Cham demands to know what his daughter was really doing. As Gobi claims responsibility, Eleni escorts her daughter inside. Eleni warns that the Imperial refinery was off-limits. Hera remarks that she never said she was at the refinery. Suddenly, a look of shock crosses Hera’s face as her mother smiles and Hera realizes she just admitted it right then. Eleni asks Hera to spare no detail in describing what she saw.
A furious Cham demands to know if his brother-in-law realizes the trouble that would result if the daughter of Cham Syndulla was arrested for spying on the Imperials. Gobi slyly recognizes that it could only be considered “spying” if Cham admits that the Imperials have something to hide. Cham insists that it is a delicate balance between the Twi’leks and the Empire, and he will not have his daughter caught in the crossfire.
Cham reminds Gobi of the promise they all made to disband after the war ended. Gobi retorts by reminding Cham that the clone troopers also made a promise to leave Ryloth after the war ended. Yet, more arrive on Ryloth every day. Gobi refuses to stand by as his home continues to labor under military occupation.
Cham asks what was the point of fighting for freedom if Gobi cannot accept the peace that followed it. Gobi insists that the Imperials are up to something, and Cham’s desire to move on from the Clone Wars is blinding him to the truth.
In Lessu, Rampart and Crosshair meet with Senator Taa. Rampart notes that Cham Syndulla has been very cooperative with the Imperials, despite Taa’s warnings about Cham’s supposed untrustworthiness. Taa insists that Syndulla is a threat, due to his influence over the Twi’leks.
Crosshair argues that Gobi Glie is the true threat to the Imperial occupation. Taa angrily insists that Gobi was Cham’s loyal lieutenant during the Clone Wars, and demands that Syndulla and all his former fighters must be “dealt with.” Rampart attempts to calm Taa, assuring that everyone on Ryloth has their part to play.
Back at the Syndulla estate, Cham speaks privately with his daughter. Hera wants nothing more than to go far from Ryloth. Cham just wanted a free Ryloth, where all Twi’leks could live happily in peace. His daughter counters that the people aren’t happy, but Cham believes that they are still adjusting from the long horrors of war.
Hera shares that her Uncle Gobi thinks things are getting worse. She declares that if there’s going to be a fight, she’s as capable as any Twi’lek. She begs to know why her father can’t trust Hera as Gobi does. Cham confides that he wants more than the life of a freedom fighter for Hera. War takes a toll on everyone, and Cham’s greatest hope is that her life won’t be anything like his. Hera just pouts and sighs, as a defeated Cham walks away.
Later, Rampart gives Cham and Eleni a tour of the doonium refinery. Rampart claims that the doonium will help rebuild the most war-torn parts of the galaxy. (For more information on just why the Empire is so interested in doonium, we recommend reading Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn.)
Eleni notes that the refinery is not supposed to be a military installation, but it’s staffed by clone troopers and guarded by turbolaser towers. Rampart counters that Ryloth was defenseless to Separatist invasion during the Clone Wars. Unlike the Republic, the Empire is dedicated to defending the interests of Ryloth.
As Elite Squad calls away Rampart, Eleni scoffs and states that Admiral Rampart only cares about his own interests. Cham insists that is Gobi talking, and they need to keep focused on the future they are trying to build for Ryloth.
Eleni questions what it will cost to build that future, and how can they trust the Imperials when they are clearly keeping secrets from the Twi’leks. Cham insists they must try, but Eleni counters that Cham needs to start planning for what he will do if the Twi’leks cannot accept the Imperial “peace.”
Meanwhile, Hera and Chopper rendezvous with Gobi and one of his fighters as they prep a shuttle for departure. Hera explains that she can’t go with her uncle, and she will instead stay behind as a lookout. Gobi jokes that her father ordered her not to spy on Imperials anymore. He reassures her that this is just a simple supply run.
When Hera continues to hesitate, Gobi persuades her to come by offering to let her fly the ship. Hera eagerly agrees to go, telling Chopper to stay behind and watch the landing site. As they takeoff, Crosshair watches from an alcove and fires a tracking beacon at the ship.
On one of Ryloth’s moons, the Twi’leks rendezvous with their contact: the Havoc Marauder! The Bad Batch’s ship amazes Hera. As the Bad Batch unloads blasters and thermal detonators from Cid, Hera goes to talk with Omega (Michelle Ang). Hera asks to see inside, and Hunter agrees to let Omega give the Twi’lek a tour.
Aboard the Havoc Marauder, Hera shares with Omega her desire to be a pilot. She explains that being a pilot is just as much about feeling as it is about technical specifications. She is amazed that Omega actually lives on the Bad Batch’s shuttle. Living on a starship is Hera’s biggest dream.
The Bad Batch finish offloading their supplies. Gobi wants to buy more as soon as Cid stocks inventory. Hunter warns that the more weapons the Twi’leks have, the more attention they’ll attract from the Empire. Gobi waves off his concerns, as Hera waves goodbye to Omega.
As Hera begs her uncle to teach her how to land a ship, they detect an Imperial LAAT gunship. Gobi orders his copilot to fly low in the canyons to lose them. Unfortunately, it is all part of Crosshair’s plan, as he knocks out their starboard engine with a single sniper shot.
After the crash, the Imperials secure the Twi’leks and their cargo. A Juggernaut turbo tank arrives with Admiral Rampart, Howzer, Senator Taa and the rest of Elite Squad. Crosshair reports that the captive Twi’leks were smuggling weapons. Rampart is disappointed about the involvement of a Syndulla.
The paranoid Taa declares that this is proof that Cham Syndulla is plotting an anti-Imperial uprising. Taa wishes to implicate Cham for conspiracy, but Rampart notes that the Twi’leks won’t see it that way. After all, Taa himself said that Cham has influence over them.
Cham hasn’t actually committed a crime, but Hera herself has. Howzer protests that Hera is just a child. Taa corrects him that Hera is an insurgent and orders the clones to arrest the three Twi’leks. Howzer acquiesces.
Crosshair reports to Rampart that he has detected three of Gobi’s fighters watching them on the ridge. He asks for permission to execute them, but Rampart insists that the Twi’leks report back. Instead, he orders Crosshair to “get into position.”
Gobi’s fighters decide to contact Cham Syndulla. Cham is horrified that Hera was helping with smuggling weapons. Eleni declares that they must speak with Senator Taa immediately, but then Chopper interrupts. Taa declared Hera guilty of treason! A shocked Eleni asks how could there be a sentence if they haven’t even had a trial yet.
Cham grimly recognizes it is because Taa has no intention of giving the captives a fair trial. Cham resolves that they must intercept the convoy before the Imperials bring the “traitors” to the capital and inevitably execute them.
Ambushing the convoy in a narrow part of the canyon, Cham hijacks one of the speeder bikes and leads the other speeders away from the tank. This gives a Twi’lek fighter the chance to hop on board the tank and scramble the Imperial comms. As the other Twi’leks fire at the Imperials from above, Rampart and Howzer are unable to call for reinforcements.
With Cham about to blow open the tank door, Rampart orders Howzer to surrender. A grateful Hera realizes that Senator Taa will punish their entire family for this attack. Taa angrily declares that Syndulla and his fighters are all traitors!
Cham finally lets the mask of reconciliation drop, and he lets his hate flow freely. Taa sentenced a 10-year-old girl for execution. Taa put his greed and self-interest ahead of Ryloth for years. And now Taa DARES accuse THEM of being traitors?
Syndulla levels his blaster at Taa, and prepares to shoot. Howzer urges Cham to think about what he is doing, but it is only Eleni who convinces him to stand down. Taa’s time will come, but this is not the way to do it.
Taa breathes a sigh of relief, as Rampart thanks Taa for playing his part. Rampart then looks up and nods. Cham scowls at Taa … as a sniper blast from Crosshair burrows into Taa’s left temple.
Three Imperial gunships arrive to reinforce Rampart. Eleni shouts at Chopper to get Hera out of there, as Chopper pilots the Syndulla landspeeder away. Rampart orders the clone troopers to arrest the insurgents for the assassination of Senator Taa. Rampart tells a shocked Howzer to have Imperial forces find the Syndulla girl.
As the gunships take off, a terrified Hera looks ahead to what awaits her now.
Okay, but seriously: THAT’S HOW THE EPISODE ENDS?!?! How will Chopper and young Hera escape Ryloth? Will the Bad Batch provide a ride for the runaway Twi’lek? What did you think of this prequel to an iconic Star Wars: Rebels character?
Keep that spark of rebellion lit until next week’s episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch!
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