Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3 Review
We all knew what was going to happen to the Clone Troopers once the Clone Wars ended. The Empire no longer needed them, so they were phased out, discarded like a tool that’s no longer needed. Given how much The Clone Wars humanized the Clones, it’s a bitter pill for longtime fans to swallow. But now, Star Wars is showing us the start of how the Empire would get rid of the unwitting pawns that put it in power. And Crosshair gets a major part in deciding how it happens.
Never Got Used to the New Guys
As established in the premiere, the Empire no longer needs the Clone Troopers due to the fact that they’re in total control of the Galaxy. Ergo, they’re starting to phase them out in favor of volunteers and conscripts, something the Kaminoan’s are not happy with. While some of them may protest out of genuine concern for the Clones, it’s clear that the higher ups on Kamino only see them as their products to sell, and they don’t want to lose their money. Thus, they’re determined to make the Clones as important as possible, and that requires Crosshair as their biggest piece.
In this episode, Crosshair is now put in charge of his squad of conscripts, something that, despite his (enforced) loyalty to the Empire, he’s not happy with. Neither are the new soldiers, either; one of them openly talks down to Crosshair and makes it clear he’s gunning for the CO position. That tension then boils over when the new squad’s sent to finish the Bad Batch’s last mission. They succeed, but that same guy from before refuses to shoot the civilians. So Crosshair shoots him and orders the others to kill everyone.
Crosshair at War with Himself
Seeing the new soldiers execute the civilians is a chilling call-forward to the moment in THe Force Awakens in which Stormtroopers murder an entire village. The fact that all we hear are the sounds of blaster fire makes it even more chilling. The message is already clear: the Empire expects its soldiers to fight for them, regardless of morals or ethics. In other words, be mindless killing machines.
Despite his brainwashing, though, Crosshair continues to show cracks in his armor. As he returns to the barracks where the Bad Batch once lived, it’s made clear that he misses his brothers. And the guilt over what happened between them is eating him up inside. This makes his betrayal all the more tragic, and leaves little doubt that there will one day be a reckoning for him and his former squadmates.
Omega Becomes Part of the Team
Meanwhile, the Bad Batch crash lands on a barren moon after their ship took damage from the fire fight from the last episode. As a result, they spend the episode doing two things: fixing the ship, and dealing with their unresolved feelings about Crosshair.
The Bad Batch makes it apparent that they’ve got mixed feelings about Crosshair’s actions. Echo points out that he shot at them, but the others can’t help but miss him. Hunter, though, feels the most guilt over leaving him behind, as he admits to Omega. However, Omega, and by extension, the audience, know that it’s not Crosshair’s fault. It’s the chips in their heads that are making the Clones act like this. Omega even states her belief that they can still bring him back.
In this episode, though, Omega begins to prove her worth to her new family. When the crucial part they need to fix gets stolen by an animal, she manages to get it back. It’s a big moment for her that proves that Omega’s not just a tagalong. She’s just as capable a fighter as the Bad Batch. And, she also gets her own room.
I Just Love Omega!
At this point, it’s safe to say that fans have been won over by Omega. Like Ashoka before her, she was created to appeal to the younger members of the audience. While Ashoka took some while to warm up to, in time she went from being that teen apprentice to a legendary hero in her own right. And I think that Omega has the potential to have the same thing happen to her.
The show makes it no secret that Omega’s important, both in a meta sense and to the Kaminoan’s long-term plans. As a result of this, and having to live in a more dangerous Galaxy, Omega will likely take several levels of badass in a short amount of time. By the time the series ends, we could be seeing her being just as tough as her surrogate family, if not more so. Hopefully, we’ll be vindicated in this faith, but for now, I’m just enjoying seeing Omega’s growth and what happens to Crosshair.
I Give “Replacements” a 3.5/5. A Slower Episode, But a More Personal One
Also, Happy Birthday to George Lucas, the Big Man Himself!
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