Last week on Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the Bad Batch helped their benefactor/blackmailer Cid reclaim her criminal control over Ord Mantell. This week … oh wow, A LOT happened this week on The Bad Batch!!! The Dark Times are truly beginning, both for our beloved defective clones and for the Star Wars galaxy as a whole!

You really want to avoid SPOILERS for this one, so stop reading and catch up on this season of The Bad Batch first!

Still here? Then get ready to pursue a distress call and follow an order. And then cry, because if you thought Reunion was our heroes’ darkest hour, then get ready for Operation War-Mantle…

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In the Outer Rim, Captain CC-5576 “Gregor” (as with all clones, including the Bad Batch, played by Dee Bradley Baker) runs for his life on a forested and mountainous world. Hunted by other white-armored troopers and their alien hounds, he discreetly sets a beacon on a nearby log. Though he manages to keep one step ahead of the hounds, he is cut off and stunned twice.

Aboard the Havoc Marauder, Omega (Michelle Ang) is trying to copy Hunter’s knife flips with her hydrospanner as she fixes a gonk droid.

Rex hails the Bad Batch. A clone trooper sent a distress signal, but Rex is busy with something else. It is up to the Bad Batch to rescue Rex’s “old friend,” so Rex forwards the beacon’s signal.

The signal is coming from Daro, but Tech claims that Daro has no settlements or even Imperial military bases. Echo immediately wants to help Rex. Tech argues that they are in the middle of a job for Cid. Deviating to help the “reg” will mean no money for food.

Omega breaks the tie by arguing that helping Rex’s friend is more important than any pay. Despite his discomfort with the lack of intel, Hunter decides to check out the planet.

On Kamino, clone troopers are being shuttled aboard three Venator-class Star Destroyers in the atmosphere. Crosshair announces to Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal) that Operation War-Mantle is ahead of schedule. Rampart insists he mobilize every clone on Kamino (including cadets).

Crosshair asks what they should do about the Kaminoans. Rampart orders him to watch them until “the time is right.”

In Tipoca City, Prime Minister Lama Su (Bob Bergen) confides in Nala Se (Gwendoline Yeo): the Galactic Empire just canceled all of their cloning contracts with the Kaminoans. Nala Se argues since the clone troopers are now famous galaxy-wide, they can find other wealthy clients to support the Kaminoan economy.

Lama Su and Nala Se plan their escape from the Imperials

Realizing that the Empire has no use for Kamino without clone troopers, Lama Su plans for the Kaminoan cloners to flee.

Lama Su predicts the Empire will likely kill or subjugate the Kaminoans to prevent their scientific knowledge from empowering any potential rivals. The Prime Minister of Kamino orders Nala Se to gather all essential personnel. They must leave the planet as soon as possible.

Arriving at the site of the beacon, Hunter quickly determines they are too late. Following the trail, Hunter picks up an EM frequency. There is something inside the nearby mountain! The reg was captured.

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Tech realizes he detected nothing on Daro because someone jams all outgoing signals. Hunter sends Wrecker and Omega back to the ship as a backup. Hunter continues up the mountain with Echo and Tech.

At the mountain’s summit, the Bad Batch stumbles across an installation with an unfamiliar design. Hunter’s best guess is a military base? Getting a closer look, Echo sees squads of clone troopers in strange new armor, escorted by a couple of clone commandos.

Imperial base on Daro

Despite being officially uninhabited, the Bad Batch discovers Daro has a significant Imperial military presence.

Tech assesses that the mountain base is well-fortified and nearly impenetrable. When Hunter orders the Bad Batch to fall back to the Havoc Marauder, Echo protests. The Bad Batch went to Skako Minor with no intel and no reinforcements when they rescued Echo. Now there is another clone who needs them to rescue him.

Hunter comms the Havoc Marauder, telling Wrecker and Omega to stay alert. Comms will be jammed once they go in, so there will be little warning before the trio needs extraction.

Echo determines that the lift is the only way in. As the elevator descends, the Bad Batch jumps and enters the facility.

Echo plugs in with his scomp link to find the imprisoned reg. The personnel report confuses Echo. It lists 50 clone commandos, but the other 1,000 clones identify as “TK troopers.”

In a cell block four levels down, Gregor asks a patrolling TK trooper for some food. The trooper tells Gregor to be quiet … in a voice that is DEFINITELY not Dee Bradley Baker?! (also, Noshir Dalal) The Bad Batch arrives to knock out the guard. Once he hears Rex sent them, Gregor eagerly leaves with them.

Captain Gregor on Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Barely surviving an explosion on Abafar, Captain CC-5576 “Gregor” returned to service as an Imperial instructor.

The troopers muster at the lift for inspection. The elevator is the only way in or out. Tech tries to direct them away. Hunter introduces themselves as defective clones, to which Gregor retorts that the only real defective clones are those still serving the Empire.

Gregor starts to explain his role as an instructor, but then an alarm goes off! Gregor reveals the old Clone Wars codes automatically trigger a base-wide alert! A squad of TK troopers arrives, led by a clone commando.

The TK troopers are not clones. They are the replacements! The Bad Batch quickly dispatches them, unmasking one to reveal a normal human.

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As they escape, Gregor explains Operation War-Mantle to the Bad Batch. Clone troopers are suspect because they were created for a Republic that no longer exists. These recruits can only join on the condition that they swear absolute loyalty to the Empire. While not as skilled as clone troopers would be, recruiting across the galaxy ensures a near-endless supply of fanatically obedient soldiers.

Unfortunately, an ambush at the top of the lift forces the Bad Batch and Gregor back down into the base.

Scorch on Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

No, you saw correctly, fans of Star Wars: Republic Commando. That is indeed RC-1262 “Scorch” … now a soldier for the Galactic Empire.

Gregor takes a blast to the chest, but he can manage. Tech finds the base’s reactor conduits. If they follow the conduits, they can exit through the external reactor exhaust port. Gregor declares that the exhaust vent is halfway up the mountain, so the Bad Batch decides to signal the Havoc Marauder.

Unfortunately, as Wrecker and Omega depart for the pickup, the base scrambles squadrons of LAAT gunships and V-Wing starfighters. Before Echo and Hunter can board, the Havoc Marauder must take evasive maneuvers. Thanks to an extra power boost from the now-repaired gonk droid, the shuttle can make another pass at the exhaust vent.

Echo and Hunter jump for the shuttle, but Hunter slips off. Hunter barely survives his fall down the mountain, as the Havoc Marauder is on the verge of destruction from the pursuing fighters.

As a gunship lands near Hunter and unloads a squad of TK troopers, Hunter orders the Havoc Marauder to depart. Hunter claims he will find another way off Daro, but Tech immediately recognizes that escape will be impossible without the rest of the Bad Batch.

Hunter orders Tech to leave now. A tearful Omega demands that Hunter order them to come back. Hunter apologizes to Omega and then surrenders to the TK troopers.

Hunter is captured on Daro

With the Havoc Marauder under heavy fire, Hunter orders the Bad Batch to retreat and allows himself to be captured.

Back on Kamino, Rampart confronts Lama Su. Rampart warned the Kaminoan that the Empire expected full cooperation. However, Elite Squad captured Nala Se attempting to flee with key medical personnel. Lama Su feigns ignorance, but Rampart is not fooled.

Rampart may not need the clones, but a scientist as talented as Nala Se has other uses. However, he coldly remarks he does not have the same need for politicians. As Rampart escorts Nala Se away, Elite Squad raises their blasters at Lama Su.

In Gregor’s former cellblock, the captive Hunter receives his first visitor. Crosshair confesses his disappointment. He wanted all the Bad Batch, not just one traitor. But Hunter will do for now…

Crosshair reunited with the imprisoned Hunter on Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

One down, four to go…

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AGH, my heart! We are clearly in the endgame now for The Bad Batch! Were you shocked by the sudden transition from clone trooper to stormtrooper? Will the Empire execute Lama Su or keep him alive? Will Nala Se use her position inside the Empire to organize the Kaminoans for a future uprising? What will Crosshair DO to Hunter?!?

Geek Girl Authority is with you for every nail-biting moment in Star Wars and beyond! Hang in there, Hunter! Help is coming!

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Tyler Boyce
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