This week was another solid episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, with some familar faces and locations thrown in for good measure.
When the Bad Batch visited Cut and his family back in Cut and Run, I expected many more episodes to come revisiting familiar characters from The Clone Wars across the length of the series. Since then, our heroes have mainly been encountering new characters (Fennec Shand and the Zygerrians don’t really count). It meant that this week’s familiar faces really caught me offguard, which was nice. I doubt every Clone Wars fan will be particularly excited to see these people again, but it’s an interesting appearance all the same.
While this was another “mission of the week” episode, some important plot developments were set in motion and Omega had some further personal development which is always appreciated. It seems it won’t be long now until the stakes get ratcheted up for the Bad Batch. They’ve spent the last few episodes on the run and off the grid, but it seems that’s about to change very soon.
I was pleased to see the Bad Batch staying at Ord Mantell, even if it was only for the opening scene. They’ve been forced to run from place to place so often that it was nice to see them beginning the episode in a familiar spot. Their working relationship with Sid gives them an excuse to stay in one spot for a while, and I am all for that, though it seems their stay will soon be shortlived.
As I mentioned frequently last week in my Rampage review, I like that the clones are starting to train Omega to use a weapon, giving her a cool bow and arrow for protection. It would have been easy to have Omega stay out of the action while the men do all the work, or become a liability in combat as a way to raise the stakes, but the show seems to be treading a fine line regarding her role in the squad. It’s the right move to integrate Omega into their own operations, without forcing her into dangerous situations. They seem to be training her so she can handle herself when they’re not around to protect her, so hopefully soon she won’t need their help as often.
Yes, she did need rescuing in this episode, but not from the latest villain or her own stupidity. The clones were right to keep her posted as a lookout; the fact that Rafa got the drop on her isn’t something they could have planned for. Omega will learn from this experience and should need far less rescuing as she grows her skills over the course of the season.
Speaking of Rafa, this episode saw the return of the Martez sisters! I had assumed Omega’s attacker was one of the regular workers, so it was a huge surprise to see a familiar face instead. However, my initial delight at seeing Rafa for the first time since The Clone Wars quickly dissipated when I remembered how frustrating and unlikeable she is.
Unfortunately, her personality doesn’t seem to have changed all that much since her encounter with Ahsoka. I was hoping her rough edges might have smoothed out a bit but no, this is still the same stubborn character who refuses to take responsibility and blame others when things go wrong (though her claim that “In the end, we all choose sides” does suggest some important personal growth).
Thankfully, her sister Trace (who doesn’t get quite as much to say in this episode) is still the nicer sibling. Seeing her go back to save Omega from the molten pit was a nice reminder that at least one of the sisters has grown since their time with Ahsoka and likes to look out for others. It was fun watching Omega and Trace try to steal the tactical droid’s head from each other beforehand as well; it’s an easy way to get fans to root for Omega, assuming there are people out there who haven’t been one over by her yet, as she is certainly more likeable than the sisters.
If some fans weren’t particularly excited by the return of the Martez sisters, then the return to Corellia was surely a welcome one. Though this time we only saw the planet under cover of night, I was pleased to see its architecture was in line with what we saw in Solo. It was fun seeing them sneak on to the planet using the familiar technique of landing on another ship and powering down out of sight, like Hera did with the same model of cargo ship in Star Wars Rebels and Han did in The Empire Strikes Back (honorable mention goes to Obi-Wan with the asteroid in Attack of the Clones as well).
A mission to Corellia would have been exciting enough on its own, but the return of the battle droids was also interesting. We learned that after the Clone Wars, the remains of the Separatist droid army are being melted down for scrap, and the factories on Corellia are at least one of the places where this happens.
It was a smart move to make this week’s mission the retrieval of data housed inside a tactical droid. The clones of the Bad Batch have been forced so far out of their comfort zone since the end of the Clone Wars that I imagine having to fight droids again (even if they were Corellian police droids) must have been strangely comforting for them.
The twist to reactivate them as allies to help them escape was well done; this is a concept that was explored in an episode of Star Wars Rebels and it’s always interesting to see clones confront their past by having them work with battle droids. It’s also a great excuse to get Matthew Wood to return as the voice of the B1 Battle Droids, who were delightfully hilarious as always.
Wrecker also got some interesting bits this episode. I enjoyed seeing him have to challenge his fear of heights to help his friends, and his subsequent entrance to save them from the police droids was badass. I would have been fine if that was all the development we got from him. But, it seems I was on the money last week in noting that the show is building to Wrecker’s chip activating.
While in Rampage it was only a small tease, this week they made it clear that this was what was happening as Wrecker smacked his head again and muttered the words “Good soldiers…” more than once. I thought there was going to be a slow build to this reveal, but at this rate it looks like we might see Wrecker’s chip activate in the next episode.
Finally, Hunter gives the tactical droid’s data to the Martez sisters at the end of the episode, another confirmation of his own sense of honor after learning that the sisters are working for someone against the Rebellion (Fulcrum, anyone?).
While Rafa’s sense of honor is a little greyer than Hunter’s, she does appreciate the gesture. We then get to see her inform a mysterious hologrammed individual of the Bad Batch’s location. The show purposefully keeps this person’s identity hidden, so we’re left guessing as to whether Rafa has sold out our heroes or sent a useful ally their way.
Personally, I think it’s the latter. Rafa may still only consider herself loyal to herself and her sister, but it would be particularly cold for her to sell them out after they just helped her and I don’t think she’s the kind of person interested in tying up “loose ends”. I imagine this person is the current “Fulcrum”, who of course would be interested in rogue clones as highly skilled fighters against the Empire.
It doesn’t look like Ahsoka is Fulcrum at this point though, so their identity is still a mystery. It could potentially be Cassian Andor, who we know did operate as Fulcrum before the events of Rogue One and Star Wars Rebels. It would be a handy reminder for fans ahead of his own show next year.
Decommissioned was another strong “mission of the week” episode of The Bad Batch, complimented by the return of some familiar faces and locales. It looks like the tension is simmering to boiling point – with Fennec Shand, the Empire and now a third party out looking for them, and with Wrecker’s chip about to come online, hopefully the show will be able to “punch it” and deliver some great Star Wars stories in the coming weeks.
For more of our thoughts on Decommissioned, watch James Baney of The Resistance Broadcast discuss the episode below.
Come back next week for our review of the seventh episode, and make sure to regularly check out Star Wars News Net for everything going on in a galaxy far, far away.