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Star Wars: The Bad Batch is here, chronicling the adventures of the elite squad Clone Force 99 following the end of the Clone War. In Bad Batch Declassified, we’ll explore our favorite moments from each episode of the series, available only on Disney+. Armor up and join us for the ride.
Spoiler warning: This article discusses details and plot points from the Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode, “Aftermath.”
When we first met them in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, it was clear that the Bad Batch, a.k.a. Clone Force 99, were different from their brothers in the clone army. And not just in looks and abilities, gifted to them by genetic mutations. A squad of elite soldiers, it was the fierce independent streak of Clone Force 99’s Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair, and new addition Echo that truly set them apart. And that sense of individuality lies at the heart of “Aftermath,” the epic and emotional series premiere of Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Picking up at the end of the Clone War — and the transformation of the Republic into the Empire — the Bad Batch (formally known as Clone Force 99) must choose the path they feel is right. For these soldiers, it’s the ultimate test of who they are, not just as clones or soldiers — but as human beings. “Aftermath” delivers plenty of action, as would be expected from a story involving the Bad Batch, but also spades of character drama, surprises, and a beating heart. It all sets up what looks to be thrilling series — a cat-and-mouse action/adventure, asking questions of loyalty, bravery, and forging one’s own destiny. Here are five highlights.
1. “You’ve gotta see these clones. They’re different.”
With the Jedi and clones pinned down in a clash with battle droids on Kaller, matters seem dire. But Padawan Caleb Dume — a.k.a. Star Wars Rebels’ Kanan Jarrus (!) — recruits Clone Force 99. And when they show up, it’s what we can already call classic Bad Batch: each member uses their unique talents to take out the clankers, making for a rip-roaring action set piece to start the series and introduce our heroes.
2. Order 66.
The execution of all Jedi, or Order 66, is one of the most significant and tragic events in all of Star Wars. But we’ve never seen it through these lenses — a frightened Padawan and the confused troopers of Clone Force 99 — and the experience adds another layer of complexity to the saga. Hunter, the leader of the Bad Batch and who proves to be the conscience of the team, refuses to kill Caleb. This decision would prove to have far-reaching implications.
3. Meet Omega.
The Bad Batch have a fan, and she rules. After the team returns to Kamino, a young child named Omega stops them in a corridor to introduce herself, and later joins the crew in the mess hall. When some clones pick on our favorite band of weirdos, it’s Omega who stands up for them — leading to an all-out food fight/brawl. A fun and unexpected sequence, but it also sets up that there’s something special about Omega…
4. Tarkin’s test.
While Tarkin seemingly has no love for clones — indeed, he came to Kamino to terminate the Empire’s deal for the army — the Imperial can’t deny the success of the Bad Batch. He tests them in a training exercise, but switches to live ammunition when it seems too easy. It’s typical, twisted Tarkin, but the Bad Batch, only armed with training weaponry, get creative. In the end, they prove why they’re the best.
5. Showdown with Crosshair.
Who would’ve thought it would come to this? Crosshair had been at odds with Hunter ever since he let Caleb Dume escape. It all comes to a head when Crosshair, under further inhibitor-chip programming by Tarkin, aligns with the Empire. All sides are playing for keeps in this final standoff, and it’s truly intense. But when the Bad Batch escape, Omega in tow, the episode ends with a feeling of hope — as all great Star Wars does.
Dan Brooks is a writer and the editor of StarWars.com. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks.
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