Star Wars The Bad Batch: “Tribe” review!

The Bad Batch was back today with a new episode, and it was one of my favorites!

We had known in the trailers that we’d be seeing Gungi and the Wookiees, but to actually see them show up here was thrilling. Let’s dive in to our review of the sixth episode of the season, “Tribe” – and as always, full spoilers are ahead!


Clone Force 99 travels to a space station to deliver some Imperial chain codes to a client, but while there Omega discovers the Wookiee Gungi imprisoned. She helps him and the rest of the squad rallies to his aid, but it turns out that Gungi can fend for himself too: he uses the Force to draw his lightsaber to himself, surprising the heroes. He escapes with them, but aboard their ship he hides in a corner, afraid of the clones. They convince him that they’re on his side, and they learn that he’s been trying to make his way back to his home of Kashyyyk. They agree to take him there.

They land on Kashyyyk and are met by some hungry Kinraths, but Gungi helps them pass in peace. They stumble upon a group of Trandoshans taking a Wookiee prisoner and burning the planet, and Gungi springs into action to free him – backed up by the rest of the squad. They free the prisoner and put out the fire, and they are taken back to the Wookiee’s village. There, the Wookiees implore the trees for aid in the coming fight, while Clone Force 99 commits to help them fight off the Trandoshan and Empire forces.

The heroes lay a trap for the enemy, fighting back and luring them deeper into the jungle – where the Kinraths attack the Trandoshans, killing them. It culminates when the Trandoshan officer pursues Gungi into the jungle and tries to kill him, but is taken by the Kinraths instead. In the aftermath, Gungi and Omega continue to bond, while Hunter and the Wookiee elder lament that these kids aren’t allowed to be kids in this galaxy.


This episode was fantastic, and I loved every minute of it. Seeing Gungi again, seeing Kashyyyk again, seeing Clone Force 99 fighting alongside the Wookiees, seeing the Trandoshans oppressing the Wookiees and trying to take over their world, and so much more were awesome. And the show continues to look beautiful – this was the first time we’ve seen a lightsaber in the series since the premiere, and the lightsaber action, combat, and scenery on Kashyyyk all stand out here. It’s terrific.

It seemed that a lot of the elements from this episode were based on the unfinished arc of The Clone Wars where the Bad Batch went to Kashyyyk to aid the Wookiee fight against the Separatist forces, and it was a great nod to have Wrecker mention not having been to Kashyyyk in a while – a clear reference to the events of that story. (It also helps explain why Hunter is able to understand a bit of Shyriiwook.) This is a different story, yes, but so many of the elements of it (including the Kinwraths) were likely based on that arc.

But it all feels incredibly natural here in the context of the story, and that’s because of Gungi. Even though we knew he was going to appear in this series thanks to the trailers, it was still thrilling to see him. There were some genuinely awesome moments in this episode, and included among them were seeing Gungi draw his lightsaber for the first time, and seeing the Bad Batch fighting alongside the Wookiees. Gungi was first introduced in The Clone Wars, but you don’t really need to know that to understand this episode: you learn enough to know that he’s a heroic Wookiee Jedi who is an ally for Omega and the others. But obviously for those familiar with him, it’s even sweeter. His inclusion here allows us to see a Jedi again, and I appreciated his trepidation upon seeing clones again (I’m glad they didn’t just pretend otherwise). It allowed us to see Kashyyyk again, and it felt perfectly natural since they were taking Gungi home. And Gungi himself felt like a perfect inclusion, since he’s another kid who was raised to fight but now is trying to find his way in this changed galaxy.

Which, of course, is exactly where Omega is at too. Their experiences are different, obviously, but they’re both just kids trying to survive and figure out what their ‘new’ lives look like. For all the debating the Bad Batch has done this season about what they should be doing and whether they should be more in the fight, there was absolutely no hesitation among any of them in this episode about helping get Gungi to Kashyyyk. Because when they see a kid in need, whether it be Gungi or Omega, they’re going to help. And at the end of the episode, we see Hunter lamenting the fact that neither of them are able to just be kids like they deserve. That seems to be a pretty important theme this season, so it’s significant that Hunter directly says it here. Omega is a child, and she deserves to be able to be a kid and not have to worry about the things she’s worrying about. That’s why, I think, we saw Hunter agree to the fun treasure hunt in last week’s episode; perhaps that is a chance for Omega to simply be a child and have some fun.

But as Star Wars has always taught us, even children can be heroes. It’s not about how old you are or whether you fit the profile of what everyone expects a hero to look like; it’s about staying true to the light and fighting to help others. Both Omega and Gungi demonstrate that in remarkable ways, and that’s really what being a hero is all about. Yes, they’re just kids, but they are also heroes.

Unfortunately, things won’t get much better for Kashyyyk. They’ll fall to the Empire, and the Trandoshans will help that happen (I loved seeing them work together here as we get a picture of what it looks like). We don’t know Gungi’s fate, but we do know Kashyyyk’s. But that doesn’t make the fight in this episode worth it, because the fight is always about the effort to help others. When the heroes see the Wookiees in trouble, they spring in to help. That fight is never worthless. Sure, the odds of overthrowing this Empire aren’t great, but so long as good people – both kids and adults – are willing to stand up to evil and fight to help others, the cause will never be defeated.

This episode was one of my favorites in the series and a pure joy to watch. I loved it.

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