The second season of The Bad Batch has come to a close with an epic two-episode finale, which is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time and deliver some fist pumps – and gut punches – that you didn’t see coming.
It wraps up what was an incredible season of the animated series, particularly over the latter half of the season. I’ll have a full review of the season in the coming days, but I think it’s one of the strongest seasons of Star Wars animation we’ve seen.
These final two episodes of the season, “The Summit” and “Plan 99”, work together to form a terrific story. If you haven’t seen them yet, it’s best to watch the episodes first before proceeding, as full spoilers are ahead. But without any further delay, let’s dive in!
Clone Force 99 doesn’t know where Crosshair is being held, but they do know one thing: Doctor Hemlock is traveling for a summit with high-ranking Imperial officials at Tarkin’s place on Eriadu. Driven by Tech, the squad decides to infiltrate the base and plant a tracking device on Hemlock’s ship, which would allow them to find Crosshair. They land on Eriadu using a stolen Imperial code and land out of range. Tech jams the sensors of a railcar temporarily, and they hitch a ride up to the tower. Inside, Tarkin is meeting with Hemlock and a few other officials (including Krennic), getting updates on the Tantiss project (and the Stardust project).
The clones infiltrate the base, and Omega successfully plants a tracker on Hemlock’s ship. Tech and Hunter discover that they aren’t the only ones in the base, however, and stumble upon explosives planted elsewhere – leading them to Saw Gerrera and his men, disguised as stormtroopers. Hunter tries to persuade him not to detonate their charges, as they need to uncover the secrets at Hemlock’s location, but Saw wants to take down these officers. Their efforts are compromised and they are discovered, however, and both groups of rebels have to make their way out separately. The Bad Batch boards a railcar and heads out of the base, while Gerrera’s men steal a shuttle… and once onboard, they detonate the explosives.
The explosion doesn’t destroy the base, but it does destroy Hemlock’s ship (and the tracking beacon aboard it), as well as kill the power to the railcar. That leaves the batch stranded high in the air, and they come under heavy fire from other troopers, as well as ships. Tech works to get the power back up and running, but as the car continues to take aerial bombardment, Tech is unable to get back aboard. As Tech hangs in the air, he sacrifices himself to free the car and send it running, plummeting to his death but saving the others.
In the aftermath, Omega is injured when the car crashes on land, and they rush her to Cid’s, where AZI-3 nurses her back to health. But unbeknownst to them Cid has turned them into the Empire, who soon arrive. The clone commandos capture Echo, and soon after take Hunter prisoner as well. Omega, who began to escape but then turned back, confronts Hemlock. She is soon captured as well, but Echo hijacks an Imperial walker and begins to fight. Hunter and Wrecker break free and join in, but they’re too late to save Omega, who is taken by Hemlock off-world. The clones escape, but they have no idea where Omega has been taken. Hunter makes it clear that they won’t stop scouring the galaxy until they find her.
Omega, meanwhile, is taken to Mount Tantiss, where she is ‘reunited’ with Nala Se. Hemlock orders Se’s cooperation, or else Omega will pay the consequences. Omega is taken to a lab and finds Crosshair, unconscious, recovering from tests. The Imperial scientist, Emerie Karr, talks with her and reveals that she is Omega’s sister.
These episodes were a beautifully orchestrated gut-punch that had been building all season. The foreshadowing of Tech’s death has been evident for a while, and that was particularly the case at the beginning of “The Summit”, as Tech was the one to insist on going to save Crosshair, and then Phee went to say goodbye to him. From that point on I was convinced he wasn’t going to make it, but that didn’t lessen the emotion of him sacrificing himself, orchestrating “Plan 99” to save his friends. His final line, as Wrecker urges him to hold on, is perfect: “When have we ever followed orders?”
It’s such a fitting final line for the character, but it’s fitting on a far deeper level, because that’s precisely the theme of the series. The Bad Batch didn’t follow orders as they didn’t execute order 66, even while other clones (including Crosshair) repeated “good soldiers follow orders.” But what the Empire fears is clearly seen in Clone Force 99: disobeying orders that are wrong doesn’t make them bad soldiers, but better soldiers. The Empire, however, demands blind loyalty, which is why the free-thinking clones have become too much of a liability – and why Doctor Hemlock proposes a plan to use them for test subjects.
This show nails the emotional moments and it’s heartbreaking to see Tech’s death. Granted, we don’t see his body, which in Star Wars means to assume he’s alive, and Hemlock did find him (saying that all he could recover were his goggles), so there will be speculation about whether he actually survived. But as much as I love Tech, I hope not. It was a long fall (he couldn’t realistically survive it), it was a perfect send-off, and it would be far too repetitive… particularly with Echo, who in the first season already had quite a few similarities. Tech sacrificed himself for the greater good.
Because of him the squad survives, but Hunter takes that to mean they should retire quietly to Pabu and stop fighting. That all changes by the end of the episode, when Omega is taken. All of the sudden the remaining squad members have a clear purpose: they’re going to save Omega, and I presume that in the process they’ll aid other clones too. We didn’t yet know that there’s going to be a season three, but this is all the confirmation we need, and I’m sure it’ll be made official at Celebration next week. And I hope that Hunter and Wrecker join Echo and Rex and the other clones in working to save their brothers from this mysterious fate that awaits.
What surprised me most about this finale was that the squad never even made it to Tantiss. That was a twist I didn’t see coming, but it’s obviously still building toward that – especially now that Omega is there. We also got a bit more insight into Hemlock’s plan during the summit, as he wants the clones for testing for the Empire’s cloning projects. The Emperor obviously wants something – and Nala Se doesn’t want to give it to him – but we don’t know what it is, besides them wanting to learn the Kaminoan secrets. It was great seeing the summit too, and I loved the cameo from Krennic, and the hints of Jyn’s theme that played too at the mention of project Stardust. That’s a fun connection.
Another cameo appearance that was entirely unexpected was Saw Gerrera. It came a bit out of nowhere, but the more I think about it the more I actually think it’s an important moment. Gerrera is an extremist, as we’ve seen in plenty of other Star Wars stories, and he’s working here to try to kill these high-ranking Imperials. Hunter, on the other hand, doesn’t want that to happen because it would prevent them from finding Crosshair and discovering the Empire’s secrets. What’s compelling about this is that actually both of them make a great point. Hunter is right to value the life of Crosshair, and he’s right in thinking that discovering the Empire’s secrets could save other clones. But Saw is right that taking down these high-ranking officers would be a crushing blow to the Empire, one they couldn’t recover from as quickly as Hunter suspects. Illustrated in this is a major theme of Star Wars that has shown up really recently in Andor, and The Bad Batch as well: why someone fights matters a great deal. Hunter’s actions are about trying to save Crosshair and other clones; Saw’s actions are about trying to kill as many Imperials as he can. Both of them are advancing the same end goal – victory over the Empire – but going about it in radically different ways.
Just last week, we saw Hunter talking with Echo about this fight, telling him that they can’t beat the Empire. But Echo responds that it’s not about beating the Empire but rather saving their brothers. Whether one fights from a motivation to kill or to save is a key theme in Star Wars, and this is a perfect example of it. Like the contrast between Luthen Rael and Mon Mothma in Andor, the conversation between Saw Gerrera and Hunter in this episode is compelling because it’s easy to resonate with both sides, yet it’s important to reflect on the motivations behind it all.
That’s why I think the third season of this show will dive even deeper into the efforts of Rex, Echo, and presumably now Hunter and Wrecker to save as many other clones as they can. This fight against the Empire is really the fight to save as many people as they can, and that includes Omega and Crosshair. Two of their own have been taken, but many more of their ‘own’ have been taken by the Empire before them. The clones are quickly being removed from the galactic picture by an Empire that sees them as threats, nuisances, and test subjects.
I also suspect we’ll learn more about the Empire’s cloning efforts, particularly with the reveal at the end of the episode. It’s one that a lot of people (myself included) saw coming, but it still worked well: Emerie is actually Omega’s sister. The similarities and foreshadowings were just too obvious to be anything else, but I’m very intrigued to learn more about her and the Kaminoan cloning secrets.
All in all, these episodes were an emotional end to a fantastic season, one that will immediately stand out for years to come. It’s tremendous, and it has picked up steam as this second season has gone on. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.