Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14 Review
Last week, The Bad Batch dropped the ball with a filler episode. However, this week, the show returns firing on all cylinders! With only three episodes left, the show’s headed towards its endgame with a lot left up in the air. Besides telling the story of Omega and the Bad Batch, the show gives us insight into the early days of the Empire. And this week, we got a surprise that few could’ve seen coming. This week, we got to see the very first Stormtroopers!!
No, seriously. The early Stormtroopers appear in this episode.
An Unexpected Rescue
While on yet another job for Cid, the Bad Batch gets a surprise call from Captain Rex. Another Clone Trooper’s trying to desert the Empire, but got captured doing so. Thus, Rex wants them to bust him out, something that Echo persuades the others into. It’s not just any Clone that they’re rescuing, though. It’s none other than Clone Commando Gregor.
Fans of The Clone Wars and Rebels may remember seeing Gregor in the past. In The Clone Wars, he was an amnesiac Clone who went MIA after being found by Republic droids. Years later, he’s living with Rex and Wolfe on an old AT-TE in retirement, and his sanity has taken a hit or two. In this episode, though, we get to see what he’s like in that transitional period of his life. He’s already displaying some of his craziness in Rebels, and he’s not happy with how his life’s going.
The reason’s simple: Stormtroopers. While it’s not made clear how much time’s passed since the Clone Wars ended, it’s likely only been a few months. A few months, and already Darth Sidious’ begun replacing the Clones with their largely inferior successors. And it is glorious! In a great tribute to their designer, the late Ralph McQuarrie , the early stormtroopers wear armor based on his original concept art. The rugged and rough nature of this new armor serves as a great transition between the Clones and the Stormtroopers. The message is clear: the days of the Clones are done.
The End of the Clone Troopers
In another inevitable development that reinforces the end to the days of the Clone Troopers, this episode reveals that the Empire’s cancelled their contracts with Kamino. In other words, no more Clone Troopers will be created, and the future of the ones remaining is in doubt.
It’s common knowledge that within a few years, the Clones were largely phased out in favor of the Stormtroopers. While there were a few still serving the Empire by the time of the classic films, most of them seemed to have vanished. Now the answer may be far clearer than it once was. With the coming of the Stormtroopers, the Empire couldn’t have an army of elite Clones running around. Thus, they may have decided to wipe most of them out.
The events of this episode bring further credence to this idea. The Empire starts moving Clones off Kamino, and when their Prime Minister tries to cut and run, the Empire arrests and executes him. In other words, they’re tying up loose ends, and the Clones could be next.
Set for the Endgame
While the Bad Batch gets Gregor out of prison, it comes at a cost: Hunter gets captured. The last we see of him, he’s being met in his cell by Crosshair.
Just like that, the stage becomes set for a final confrontation between Crosshair and his former squad. And there’s no guarantee if any of them will make it out of this fight alive. With only two episodes left, the stakes are high, both in-universe and in a meta sense. If The Bad Batch pulls this off well, then fans can chalk this series up as a success. If not, then the Bad Batch will likely be forgotten as fans move on. I’m hoping that it will be a success though, as there’s plenty more stories to tell in this era of Star Wars.
I Give “War-Mantle” a 4.5/5. Bonus Points for Delta Squad Member Scorch Appearing!
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