The Bad Batch is back this week with the seventh episode, entitled “Battle Scars,” and it’s one of my very favorite episodes yet.
Let’s dive into the review – and as always, full spoilers are ahead!
We first meet the Bad Batch as they escape from some pursuing fighters, trying to escape with a creature of some sorts. Echo gets the hyperdrive fixed and they return to Cid, having completed another job. While Wrecker and Omega celebrate another job well done in their typical fashion, the rest of the crew gets paid by Cid – though less than they expected or wanted. A gunshot in the cantina catches their attention, and they find Rex, hooded, waiting to meet them. He tells them that Trace and Rafa Martez told him where to find them, and he begins asking Hunter questions about the kid. Wrecker and Omega soon return, and Wrecker complains once again about a headache. Rex immediately reaches for his blaster and tensely asks about it. Hunter talks him down, but Rex convinces the crew that they need to have their inhibitor chips removed.
They follow his lead to Bracca, where a scrapped Jedi Venator is. Rex had his chip removed on one of them, so his plan is to remove the chips of the Bad Batch aboard it. They have to sneak aboard it to avoid being spotted by the scrapper guild, and this leads them further into the ship. At one point Wrecker falls and a dianoga attempts to eat him, but thanks both to his strength and will, as well as the aid of the other clones, he escapes. They make it to the medical facility and Tech locates Wrecker’s chip – but before he can begin the procedure, Wrecker snaps. Executing Order 66, Wrecker begins targeting the other clones for treason against the Empire.
Realizing that he will destroy the equipment in the medical facility, Hunter, Rex, and Echo lure Wrecker into the hallway. They attempt to subdue him, but Wrecker gets the upper hand. Just as he’s about to kill Hunter for being a traitor, Omega fires her blaster at him and draws his attention. Wrecker pursues her, saying that aiding traitors is also treason, and just as he catches up to her, Rex manages to stun him. They get him into surgery and remove his chip, anxiously awaiting him waking up to see if it worked – with Omega sitting by his side.
He does wake up and everything is normal, and the other three members of the Bad Batch then have their chips removed. Afterward, Hunter and Rex talk outside the Venator. Rex is heading to rendezvous with someone, and Hunter mentions that he knew Rex was still in the fight – but now there’s no Republic to fight for. Rex says that the Bad Batch can join him and others in fighting for what the Republic stood for, but Hunter says he’s got to do what’s best for the squad – and especially Omega. As Rex leaves, Hunter tells him that he knows where to find them if he’s ever in a bind.
After Rex leaves, some members of the scrapper guild spot Hunter, confirming that there are trespassers aboard the Venator, and orders the Empire to be alerted.
This episode was absolutely fantastic, and it was one of my favorites of what has been a very strong season so far.
There was a lot familiar about it, but I thought it was all done in a way that fit really well. Rex showed up, obviously, and it was confirmed that he was the one Trace and Rafa contacted at the end of the last episode. He’s surprised to learn that the Bad Batch hasn’t had their chips removed, and so that becomes the plot of the episode. It’s reminiscent of the scenes in The Clone Wars at a number of points, as they must board a Venator, travel to the medical facility, and remove their chips. Even the point when Omega, inside a room, staring at a door with a medical logo on it, with a clone looking to kill her on the other side, reminded me of when Ahsoka was facing a similar situation. And going to Bracca was familiar too, and it made a ton of sense: of course Rex would look for a Venator to remove their chips in! Bracca, if you remember, was first seen in Jedi: Fallen Order, as ships from the war were being scrapped and a young Jedi, Cal Kestis, worked as a scapper on the planet, trying to blend in.
I think not only is Bracca a great choice storytelling-wise, but it also works really well thematically. This show has been exploring the transition from the Republic to the Empire, especially with the clones, but here we see a crashed Jedi Venator, waiting to be scrapped, abandoned and forgotten. It’s a symbol of just how much has changed so quickly.
It was great to see Rex show up, even though we knew he had to be coming soon, and he helped answer some questions – like who Trace and Rafa were working for. I’m glad they didn’t stretch that out forever. And Rex seems to still be in the fight too, as at the end we hear the end of a communication with someone as he’s about to rendezvous with them. Who is it? I’m not sure this show will really explore that question, but my guess is that it’s Ahsoka or another clone.
And the thing we’ve all been dreading to see actually happened in this episode, as Wrecker’s inhibitor chip caused him to turn on the group. It wasn’t a super long sequence, but it was harrowing. In the dark hallways of the Venator, with the usually joyous Wrecker now turned stoic and harsh, fighting his brothers and hunting Omega. The whole sequence was really well-done and really heartbreaking, and I imagine that it has to have lasting effects on Omega especially. That didn’t show in this episode, however, as she was the one who insisted on staying by his side until he woke up from the surgery. I think that shows the compassion and understanding of Omega – remember, she’s the one who knew about the inhibitor chips all along – and how she’s loyal to her friends. But I imagine that there’s got to be some emotional fallout from the whole encounter that will still be coming. Especially since Omega in this episode voiced her fears to Hunter about being left all alone if something went wrong with the procedure.
I also really loved the conversation between Hunter and Rex at the end. Rex is still fighting for what he believes in, but Hunter points out that there’s no Republic anymore. It’s a very interesting discussion to consider, as these clones are trying to figure out how to move forward. Rex does offer Hunter the chance to join him, and I’m guessing we could see some payoff from that down the line. Hunter says that he’s got to do what’s best for the squad (and Omega), and I’m guessing before long he’ll realize that taking jobs for Cid – who is quite shady, keeps subtly threatening the batch, doesn’t tell them who they’re working for, etc. – isn’t that. Just a guess, but I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Rex in this series.
But there’s a more pressing concern, and it’s that, unbeknownst to the Bad Batch, they’ve been spotted by the scrapper guild. The Empire is surely on their way, and that means that next week, we may see Crosshair show up. It’s overdue, and I like that he’ll be probably showing up on Bracca, where there’s the chance for him to have his inhibitor chip removed too. I don’t think that’ll happen, but I like that it’s probably going to happen in the place where it could.
Overall this was a fantastic episode. I loved it!
My grade: 10/10
3 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Bad Batch: “Battle Scars” review!”
Loved it too, so so happy to see Rex 🥺 Also loved the connection with Jedi Fallen Order (Bracca, Scrapper Guild)
To be honest after they got spotted by the guild, my dream scenario would be that the Empire sends Crosshair to hunt the Batch and that they managed to capture him and remove his chip. I’m so sad since the first episode to see Crosshair gone all order 66 and be separated from his crew 😔
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I know some fans didn’t like the “inhibitor chip” retcon. But I think that once The Clone Wars became an ongoing animated series it was an essential change, because it enabled Filoni & Co to develop the Clones into actual three-dimensional characters and still have a plausible reason for why they would then immediately turn on the Jedi the instant Sidious told them “Execute Order 66.” In the way, the Clone Troopers were just as much victims as the Jedi were, having their free will stolen from them, forced to betray their oath of loyalty, turning them into murderers.
And as this episode reveals via Rex and Wrecker, on some level the Clones with activated chips know they’re being controlled but are completely powerless to do anything about it, which is just horrifying.
Anyway, I’m glad that The Bad Batch got the business of the chips getting removed out of the way now, because I don’t know how much more suspense I could have taken, wondering each week if Wrecker or one of the others would get activated and turn on everyone else.
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I totally agree with you! I wasn’t sure what to think about the inhibitor chips at first but was very quickly sold in that original arc. They handled it well and it explain how these clones would all just turn on the Jedi. Now it makes so much sense that I can’t imagine it otherwise.
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