This week’s double bill of Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021) is an insight into a key period of Galactic history not yet fully seen on screen: the transition from the Clone Troopers of the Republic to the Stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire. It’s a riveting tale of espionage, subterfuge and deception on Coruscant, and another terrifying depiction of the insidious nature of fascism and the disposability of life in the pursuit of power. Let’s get into it…
In a Coruscant dive bar, among the neon lights, two clones, Cade and Slip (Dee Bradley Baker) talk about the destruction of Kamino by Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal) and the subsequent cover-up. Cade is threatening to unveil the whole thing, but is silenced outside by an unseen assassin’s blaster bolt. Slip manages to escape into the night and the busy Coruscant traffic.
In the Senate, we discover that the Kaminoans’ obliteration is being sold as a natural disaster, a world swallowed by a cataclysmic storm. The information is dropped during a debate about the Senate Defense Recruitment Bill, a move which would see Clones retired and a new conscripted military, made of the people, take their place.
Senators Pamlo (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) and Organa (Phil LaMarr) are arguing against the motion, making the point that the galaxy has more pressing issues than establishing another military. Senator Chuchi (Jennifer Hale) is speaking in defense of the Clones themselves, giving them a voice in the crowded political hall, but she is fighting a losing battle: the Clones are being rendered obsolete due to their accelerated aging process.
Post-Senate, Admiral Rampart and Mas Amedda (Stephen Stanton) are discussing the urgency of silencing the political dissenters and pushing the bill through.
Related: Fan Points Out How ‘Bad Batch’ Episode Criticizes The Jedi
Senator Chuchi has headed to the same 79s Cantina from the start of the episode to meet the Clones themselves. The scoff at her idea of a Pension Plan, but she manages to rally them to her side with an empathetic plea for them to let her speak on their behalf. One, Slip, tells her the truth about Kamino, alongside a record to check and a lead to follow.
Chuchi has taken it to Rampart directly, asking him how he survived the destruction on the Clones’ homeworld. He sells her a story about being off-planet on a training exercise during the discussion, and spins a series of statements telling her just what she might want to hear.
Later, Chuchi is covertly asked to a secret meeting with Senator Organa. He hints to her about growing revolt in the Inner and Mid-Rim, and how convenient it is that the Emperor is rallying a new military cause at a time of civil dissent.
Elsewhere, we see Rampart commissioned a masked mercenary to find Chuchi and her Clone contact and silence them both permanently.
Within a factory facility, Chuchi is reunited with Slip. He tells her the evidence she needs is on board Rampart’s ship, with a copy of the command log kept within the database – but the assassin finds his target before he can say anything else. Chuchi flees deeper into the industrial complex. She sprints up to a upper walkway where a figure emerges from the darkness. Just as you think she is about to meet her doom, it’s revealed to be Captain Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) who stuns the assassin approaching behind her.
Rex takes the killer and Chuchi to the garage of Trace and Rafa Martez, a relatively safe space to interrogate him. But the conversation doesn’t last long: the killer, revealed to be a fellow Clone, says he is a ‘believer’ and then kills himself with a hidden weapon.
What did you think to this first part of the two-episode story? Tell us in the comments below.
About The Bad Batch:
From showrunner Dave Filoni comes a new animated Star Wars sensation. Created as clones of bounty hunter Jango Fett, Clone Force 99 — ‘The Bad Batch’ — are an elite force of Clone Troopers who turned their back on the Galactic Empire’s regime to carve their own path through the galaxy. Alongside young ward Omega (Michelle Ang), they embark on adventures during a time of great turmoil in the galaxy.