Star Wars: The Bad Batch season one finale is the definitive end of the Clone Wars. It also marks the true end of the Republic, setting up a galaxy open for the Empire’s taking. However, it is not as easy as that either. As conscripts and volunteers quickly replaced the clones, all the clones are not going to go quietly away. And some like Captain Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) and the Batch themselves (all played by Baker) clearly don’t feel at home within the Empire, even though the former Batch member Crosshair (also Baker) has joined the Empire in full vigor and disparages his clone brothers for not seeing things his way.
That divide between the Batch and Crosshair mirrors the true nature of the galaxy at this moment in time when the events of The Revenge of the Sith took place only a few months before. Some of the clones – no longer serving the Empire and thrown out like damaged goods – will try to blend into society, but some will take up the gauntlet and join the nascent rebellion that is already brewing.
If you don’t want to read any spoilers, please stop reading now.
Episode 16 serves as the season one finale, and it is upsetting as it is nerve-racking. We pick up where episode 15 ended, meaning the Batch and Crosshair are trapped on Kamino as Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal) continues to direct the bombardment of the city and specifically the clone making facility that manufactured the Batch, Omega (Michelle Ang), and Crosshair. It’s extremely fitting that our heroes could meet their end in the place where they were born.
Various obstacles – including an enormous sea beast trying to eat them – stand in their way, but they manage to climb up a tube into Nala Se’s (Gwendolyn Yeo) cloning lab. The seawater is encroaching on their position, but Omega stares at the cloning tubes and achieves all the angst we know she is feeling without saying a word. Crosshair is unclear about how Omega is his “sister,” but Tech explains how she is actually older than they are and had a hand in the Batch’s creation. While Omega appears to be a twelve year old child, she did not receive the enhanced aging process like they did.
As the office crumbles, Omega has a great idea that they can using the cloning tubes to float up to the surface. Droid AZI (Ben Diskin) will guide the tubes through the debris field and make sure they get to the surface. Crosshair is grumbling all the way, but recognizes that to survive he must stick with his clone brothers.
The plan seems to be working as the Batch makes it to the surface, but AZI’s batteries run out and he starts to sink. Omega is his friend, and she jumps out of the tube and swims to save the droid, but then she too starts to sink. Crosshair suddenly picks up a rifle and shoots a rope down into the water and saves Omega and AZI. Later on, he will tell her that they are even now – Omega had saved him from a watery grave earlier in the episode.
They make it back to an elevated platform where their ship awaits. As the sun rises on what is usually a rainy world, Omega stares out over the ocean and watches the smoke drift across the sky from the ruins of the city where she lived most of her life. The facility that produced all the clone soldiers is now gone, the tubes with baby clones never to be born are at the bottom of the sea, and the empire’s ruthlessness is apparent for everyone except Crosshair.
Crosshair believes he is making the only intelligent choice – siding with the winning team – but Hunter points out that they all had a choice. Crosshair has made his, and the rest of the team has taken a different path. Crosshair seems to take this personally, as if the team is rejecting him, but it is really about a code of honor. Hunter and the rest owed their allegiance to the Republic, and even if the Republic is gone, they will go on in opposition to the thing that destroyed it.
As the team all climbs aboard the ship to escape before the Empire’s scout ships come, Omega turns to Crosshair and reminds him that he is the Batch’s brother and hers as well. However he feels about them, Crosshair can’t change that. Omega climbs aboard the ship and they depart, leaving Crosshair alone once again.
We get a final scene of Nala Se as she disembarks from a ship surrounded by Imperial troops. A woman comes out to greet her and lets her know that she is well known for her work making the clones on Kamino. Now that the facility is gone as well as the planet, Nala Se must be having quite an emotional time of it. Being told that the Empire has big plans for her is not the most welcome news.
I’ve previously written about the importance of clones and the cloning process, especially when we discovered that Omega is a first generation clone, making her Boba Fett’s (Temeura Morrison) sister. Considering what we see many years later in The Mandalorian (a series that takes place five years after Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi), when Imperial remnants try to harvest Grogu’s (Baby Yoda) blood for cloning purposes, cloning is something that will no doubt increase in importance during The Bad Batch and the forthcoming live action shows.
In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – which at this point is the most recent in Star Wars canon – we learn that the Emperor (Ian McDiarmid) had prepared a clone of himself to transfer his life force into when he died. We also saw his minions on Exegol working in a clone facility where a version of Snoke (Andy Serkis) floated in a cloning tube. Obviously, Nala Se was not around in those scenes, so maybe the big plans for her didn’t go so well.
This first season wraps up a great story line that connected many dots for fans but also proposed more dangling questions. We understand that the prequels are history as is the Republic, and we see how the Empire quickly rid itself of a clone force that did all the heavy lifting during the Clone Wars and even did the Emperor’s bidding by killing most of the Jedi due to Order 66.
The major questions are how will the Batch move forward? Will they continue to work with Cid (Rhea Perlman in a comic gem voice performance)? Will Crosshair go after his brothers again or will he start to realize the evil in which he is becoming entangled? Most importantly, why was Omega created and what plans did the Kaminoans have for her?
If you’re a Star Wars fan like I am, there is much too look forward to with live action series The Book of Boba Fett, season three of The Mandalorian, and the Obi Wan and Ashoka series. Oh, The Bad Batch has been renewed for a second season. Thank you, Disney+.
Until next time, may the Force be with you!