Last week on Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the Bad Batch did a favor for Rex and stumbled upon a secret training facility! Though the squad rescued Gregor, Hunter had to be left behind.

Let me level with you: this week’s episode was a lot. We are in the first of the two-part season finale for The Bad Batch. Our defective defectors, and the Star Wars galaxy as a whole, will never be the same again.

To put this finale in context, Matt Michnovetz wrote this episode. Yup, the writer who gave us the action-packed and heartbreaking Umbara arc on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. If you thought Michnovetz couldn’t achieve more tragic adrenaline than Umbara, OH BOY!

I highly encourage you to catch up on the entire first season before continuing to read this recap. I will be discussing SPOILERS from here on out. You really don’t want this finale spoiled for you.

Still here? Then have a box of tissues ready. The Bad Batch is coming home … only to say goodbye…

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Hunter (as with the rest of the Bad Batch, played by Dee Bradley Baker) travels on a Nu-class attack shuttle with Commander Crosshair and half of Elite Squad guarding the captive defector.

Crosshair confiscates Hunter’s comm and activates it. Hunter points out that the Bad Batch will know it’s a trap. Crosshair snidely counters that Hunter’s squad will come for him regardless.

On Ord Mantell, Omega (Michelle Ang) panics as the rest of the Bad Batch hurries to repair the Havoc Marauder. With Gregor left at Cid’s for safekeeping, the squad prepares to take off. Only Hunter is no longer on Daro…

The captured Hunter is brought back to Kamino on Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

Welcome home, Hunter…

Upon landing on Kamino, Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal) demands to know where the rest of Clone Force 99 is. Crosshair states he has a plan to lure and execute the others.

As Crosshair and Elite Squad march off, ES-02 (Tina Huang) privately confers with Rampart. She questions Crosshair’s loyalties, refusing to trust any clones. Rampart insists that even if Crosshair fails, the Bad Batch won’t be a problem anymore regardless.

Meanwhile, the Havoc Marauder speeds through hyperspace toward Kamino. The Bad Batch recognizes that Hunter’s comm reactivated to lure them all to Kamino, though they cannot determine why. Echo insists that every possible landing pad will be swarming with guards, but Omega knows of an unguarded platform.

As they approach the planet, a surprised Echo sees only three Venator-class Star Destroyers. Normally, an entire fleet guards Kamino.

As Tech hovers the shuttle low over the water at Omega’s coordinates, a landing pad emerges from the ocean. Omega reveals an underwater tube system that will get them into far-off Tipoca City.

Tech notes that the tube system is not on any Kaminoan schematics. When he asks how Omega knows about it, she reveals that it is the only way to access Nala Se’s private laboratory. These tubes actually run throughout the cloning facility.

Elsewhere in Tipoca City, Hunter notices how surprisingly empty the cloning facilities are. No “regs” or Kaminoans. Hunter asks why Crosshair isn’t concerned about the Empire phasing out clones. Crosshair clarifies that it’s only clones that no longer matter.

Crosshair uses Hunter as bait for the rest of the Bad Batch.

Crosshair and Hunter debate the ethics of what the Empire is doing vs. the Bad Batch’s actions.

ES-03 (Ness Bautista) reports to Crosshair that a shuttle matching the Havoc Marauder’s description was detected entering the Kamino system. ES-02 starts to alert the base, but Crosshair tells her not to bother. The Bad Batch came for Hunter so that they will come to Elite Squad.

Most Kaminoans are unaware of the lab’s existence. Because this is not just where Nala Se created Omega, it’s also where the original Bad Batch (Hunter, Tech, Wrecker and Crosshair) were created. The Bad Batch are truly Omega’s brothers.

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Thus, one mystery about the Bad Batch is solved. How did the defective clones survive to maturity in the eugenicist Kaminoan society? Because Nala Se enhanced their mutations in secret.

Suddenly, a noise startles the Bad Batch. A nervous AZI-345211896246498721347 (Ben Diskin) reveals itself to Omega, its former lab partner. AZI reveals it is hiding because the Empire is deactivating Kaminoan droids. Key Kaminoan personnel are being forced onto off-world transports, with resistance being met with execution.

Omega reunites with AZI on Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

AZI helps the Bad Batch make their way through the decommissioned Kaminoan cloning facility.

Echo is surprised that clone troopers would be so harsh to their creators. AZI clarifies that these were other soldiers. Crosshair is the only clone not reassigned and transferred from Kamino. With AZI in tow, the Bad Batch rush off to rescue their squad leader.

Hunter continues to try and reason with Crosshair, pointing out that the Empire is occupying planets across the Star Wars galaxy and silencing any who oppose them. Crosshair insists that Hunter will come to see the bigger picture, as Crosshair has. Hunter begs Crosshair to recognize how the Empire is using him and mentions the inhibitor chip controlling him.

Before Hunter can go into more detail, an alarm sounds. Crosshair gets ready to spring his trap.

On their way into the central cloning facility, the Bad Batch spot soldiers like the TK troopers on Daro. Hunter’s comm signal is on the move, so the Bad Batch follows it to the training grounds.

Hypothesizing Crosshair is trying to lure them onto open ground, Tech decides to enter through the central lift rather than the main entrance. Therefore, appearing in the center field will provide some cover and throw off Crosshair’s pre-sighted field of fire.

The Havoc Marauder sets down on a secret Kaminoan landing pad.

Using a secret landing pad belonging to Nala Se, the Bad Batch infiltrates Tipoca City on Kamino.

Echo orders Omega and AZI to hang back. If they signal her, she must return to the Havoc Marauder and contact Rex.

Unfortunately, when the lift reaches the top, Elite Squad surrounds them. It’s a kill-box. Crosshair orders them to throw down their weapons.

Though Wrecker tries to lie that Omega isn’t with them, Crosshair orders ES-02 to find her. Echo signals Omega, but she decides to try to help her squad. Omega notices all the training droids in storage racks.

Hunter asks if Crosshair will kill them all now. Crosshair claims that if he wanted the Bad Batch dead, he would have killed them many times ago. Crosshair is disappointed that Hunter deserted for a Republic that no longer exists. Hunter claims that the Bad Batch has always been loyal to each other, not an Empire or even a Republic.

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Crosshair bitterly recognizes that Hunter wasn’t loyal to him. He wants to offer the Bad Batch the one thing they never gave him: a second chance.

ES-02 finds Omega below the training grounds. Crosshair orders her shipped off-world with the other clone cadets. Hunter insists Omega belongs with the Bad Batch. Crosshair insists it’s a better option for her than life as a fugitive. 

ES-02 confesses her distrust to Vice Admiral Rampart.

The Imperials conspire against the clone troopers … even the ones still loyal to the Empire.

Crosshair confesses to Hunter that he doesn’t care about the regs because Crosshair believes the Bad Batch to be superior to them. The Empire will need strength to protect the galaxy, and no soldier is stronger than the Bad Batch. The other soldiers of Elite Squad stare stunned at Crosshair as he offers the Bad Batch the chance to be brothers once more.

Tech notices Crosshair’s reflector pads on the walls around them. Crosshair orders Elite Squad to stand down. ES-03 and the others refuse, determined to carry out their orders to execute the defectors. Crosshair fires a single shot, reflecting off the pads to kill Elite Squad.

As ES-02 hears shots above, AZI sneaks up behind her and knocks her out. Omega then activates numerous battle droids, thinking the Bad Batch needs help against Elite Squad.

Crosshair offers the Bad Batch a chance to have a purpose greater than drifting mercenaries. Crosshair warns the Bad Batch not to become his enemy. “Crosshair, we never were,” Hunter answers sadly.

Suddenly, the training program is activated as numerous battle droids surface onto the training ground. Hunter and Crosshair wrestle amid the firefight. Recognizing the threat posed by the droids, Hunter and Crosshair set aside their differences temporarily. As Omega realizes her mistake, she provides covering fire with her energy bow.

Reunited and fighting together again on Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

The Bad Batch fight together once more against hordes of battle droids.

ES-02 comes to and arrives at the training ground. Seeing Crosshair fighting with the Bad Batch and her fellow soldiers dead at their feet, she flees to the hangar bay. Boarding the last shuttle with the remaining Imperial forces, she reports to Rampart. 

Rampart reports to Admiral Wilhuff Tarkin (Stephen Stanton) that Nala Se and other key personnel have been secured. Kaminoan cloning technology is now firmly under Imperial control. “Very good, Admiral,” Tarkin answers, “You may fire when ready.” The Imperial Star Destroyers move into position.

After the last battle droids are mopped up, the Bad Batch holds Crosshair at gunpoint. Hunter insists that Crosshair’s fanatical loyalty isn’t him. He blames it on Crosshair’s inhibitor chip.

Crosshair shares his most jaw-dropping secret: his inhibitor chip had been removed long ago. He claims this is always who he’s been. Hunter stuns Crosshair. Wrecker carries the unconscious Imperial as they make their escape.

Crosshair refuses to abandon his allegiance to the Galactic Empire.

Good soldiers follow orders…even without their inhibitor chips.

However, it is too late. We get one somber last look at the now vacant cloning facility. The barracks and mess halls are barren. Even the growth jars are empty, where once they contained millions of developing clones.

Above Tipoca City, Rampart gives the order to fire. How tragically and bitterly apropos that clone crews carry out the order.

The Star Destroyers bombard Tipoca City. The Bad Batch retreats inside with the turbolaser fire too heavy to cross back to Nala Se’s lab. The central cloning facility sinks beneath the waves as the rest of Tipoca City burns around it.

Well, I’m crying. And this is just the Finale Part I!

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RIP Tipoca City. It was curious that Imperial cloning operations in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II took place in Timira City rather than Tipoca City, but I never thought about why! The bombardment of Tipoca City is a symbolic and destructive transition from the prequel era (The Clone Wars) to the more familiar original trilogy.

It seems like as many answers as we got this episode, more questions sprang up. We learned Nala Se developed Clone Force 99 without the knowledge of the other Kaminoans. What else might she have been working on? Perhaps technology that now belongs solely to the Empire? Maybe we’ll see other cloning technology from Star Wars lore, such as the Spaarti cloning cylinders?

The Imperial Star Destroyers destroy Tipoca City.

The Empire destroys Tipoca City to deny its cloning capabilities to the rest of the galaxy.

What does it mean that Crosshair already has his inhibitor chip removed?!? Is his Imperial reprogramming now permanent even without the chip? Or has he always been this cold and ruthless, and Hunter just never noticed?

What do you think about the season finale so far? Are you enjoying the background on the early Galactic Empire? Are you even more excited and/or terrified for Season Two next year? Geek Girl Authority leaves no brother or sister behind when it comes to all the news and lore about Star Wars and more!

 

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Tyler Boyce
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