This post contains major spoilers for the latest episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
With Captain Rex gone, Clone Force 99 remain on Bracca to see if they can make a score large enough to get them out from beneath Cid’s thumb. They discover the Jedi Cruiser still has munitions hidden in its hold and information in its computer banks. They split up to retrieve it all, but things go from bad to worse when a contingent of clones and troopers from the Empire, led by their former colleague, Crosshair, arrive to apprehend or kill them.
They fight it out and Hunter is able to make it back to the Marauder with Omega in tow, but that’s when another complication arrives: Cad Bane.
Bane is able to best Hunter in a quickdraw match and take Omega for a bounty set by the Kaminoans, leaving them to wonder what their next move is. Crosshair, left burned badly from his own plan literally backfiring on him, he’s more determined than ever to take down his former colleagues.
We’re finally able to learn for certain the identity of the group who has placed a bounty on capturing Omega alive: the Kaminoans themselves. They refer obliquely to a contingency plan and their long term goals. What they are, we aren’t sure, only that they involve Omega and that the secrets she represents remain hidden. The only thing we know for certain is they want her back and the Bad Batch are no match for the resources they can bring to bear.
The Kaminoans are hiding things from the Empire and Admiral Rampart, who makes another appearance this episode. This could very well be a dangerous game, but the Kaminoans are accustomed to it. They spent more than a decade working in secrecy to create the Clone Army in the first place and worked directly with Sith Lords to do it. If anyone understands how to utilize subterfuge, it’s them.
If the Kaminoans are able to take possession of Omega, we may well learn what’s so special about her. On the other hand, we may learn that regardless, as whatever power or ability she possesses might manifest itself while she’s separated from Hunter and the crew.
The bounty hunter they hired to capture Omega in this episode is none other than Cad Bane, voiced by Corey Burton. Bane is one of the most notorious bounty hunters in the galaxy and is highly capable. During the Clone Wars, he was hired to break Ziro the Hutt out of Republic prison and Darth Sidious himself hired Bane to steal a holocron right out of the Jedi temple. He succeeded.
Bane was also one of Boba Fett’s mentors, taking the young clone in after the death of his father during The Clone Wars. His fate and reputation were linked to Fett and, in unproduced episodes of The Clone Wars, he and Bane allied on a job on Tatooine. His fate through the end of The Clone Wars was unclear. As he hasn’t made an appearance further along the timeline than this, there’s no telling what could happen to him on The Bad Batch.
Accompanying Bane is his trusty droid, Todo 360, voiced by Seth Green. Todo was instrumental in helping Bane break into the Jedi Temple. It’s an odd pairing, the most serious bounty hunter in the galaxy side by side with one of the most adorably silly and disconcerted droids, but it works very well, especially thanks to the personality Green brings to the role.
There are a couple of references this episode that are worth pointing out. First is Cad Bane. Bane himself is a walking reference to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. His appearance is also hinted at before he comes on screen with Kevin Kiner’s Ennio Morricone-esque riffs on the score. Bane was visually based on Lee Van Cleef’s character of Angel Eyes in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and he and hunter have a very classic western quickdraw contest.
The Bad Batch has leaned heavily on ‘80s action movies and this episode is no different. After Hunter goes down in the shooting match, there’s a first person shot of him in his helmet, with the source audio and video feed feeling reminiscent of scenes in Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop. It feels like a combination of this and the M*A*S*H episode called “Point of View”, which spends an entire episode in this first person perspective, right down to the sound design and groggy hearing. Both references are classics and its good to see The Bad Batch playing with perspectives like this.
The iconography and world of the show, including many of the included characters, could lead one to believe that this is going to presage a lot of what The Book of Boba Fett could feature. Fennec Shand and Bib Fortuna, two characters who have already figured into that show, have appeared. Could Bane or other elements of The Bad Batch pop up there, knowing that current Star Wars mastermind Dave Filoni and his team are working hand in glove on all of Star Wars?
The overarching story of The Bad Batch is really kicking into high gear. We have another cliffhanger, and since the previous episodes implied that the Batch had gone on at least 10 missions for Cid in-between episodes, any amount of time could have taken place, paving the way for anyone from Bail Organa and Ahsoka to Hondo Ohnaka to show up on future episodes.
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