Star Wars: The Bad Batch–Replacements

The Bad Batch Spoilers Ahead!

The title of the third episode of The Bad Batch–“Replacements”–refers to several different things: the ship the crew are travelling on, the Havoc Marauder, crash land on a planet and need a replacement part; Omega is proving to be one of the crew and, in essence, she is replacing Crosshair as the fifth member; and finally, the Clones are slowly being replaced by enlisted soldiers in the Empire’s armed forces, in a project called War Mantle.

There’s a lot going on in this episode. Hunter and Omega go after the moon dragon that took their capacitator; Hunter gets knocked unconscious, and Omega decides to go after the part alone, down into the dragon’s lair. She finds it, but the beast gets vicious. I don’t know about you, but to me she seems to calm the dragon down (perhaps with the Force?) before throwing the flashlight so it will go after that instead (it feeds off the electrical power). She tells Hunter that she “tricked” it, and indeed she did. But how? Did she use the Force, perhaps even unknowingly? Maybe. Omega is still an enigma, and probably will be for some time.

Meanwhile, Echo is working on repairs to the ship, and Tech is working on something that will give them more information on the chip inside their heads. Which is a good thing, because Wrecker suddenly has a bad headache, right where the chip would be. He hit his head in the crash, and maybe it’s done something to the chip–I don’t know, but I have a bad feeling about this. Like Wrecker is gonna go Crosshair real soon, which is even more heartbreaking than it was with Crosshair. Crosshair was naturally stand-offish, but Wrecker is just a big kid, with a big heart–while confined to the ship, he makes Omega a little room of her own, and gives her his tooka doll (the fact that a big, tough man like that had a tooka doll in the first place speaks volumes about him).

Crosshair, meanwhile, has been put in command of some non-clone soldiers and given the same mission the Bad Batch had failed: take out Saw Gerrera’s insurgent group on Onderan. One man gave Crosshair some lip on the way to the planet, mocking his clone status; but he was the first to refuse the orders to kill the people in the group. Crosshair kills the soldier, and when the other soldiers hesitate, he turns and kills Saw’s group himself (Saw wasn’t even there). “Good soldiers follow orders,” he says. Chilling. And a taste of the Empire’s war crimes to come. Back on Kamino, however, Crosshair sits on his bunk after the mission, as if regretting what he did. Or at least questioning his own actions. As Omega told Hunter, it’s not his fault, it’s the chip. And she tells Hunter that maybe because of that, they can get him back. I really hope so, because it’s heartbreaking to witness Crosshair’s manipulation. I’m hoping Tech’s contraption will have a role in bringing him back.

We’ve been introduced to General Rampart, who is in charge of transitioning from clone soldiers to a volunteer military force (Project War Mantle, first heard about in Rogue One, when Jyn was naming off various projects while looking for what turned out to be Stardust). This force will be trained by clones, and then they’ll be transitioned out completely. The Kaminoans, of course, are alarmed by this development, as their entire business is dependent on the government needing–and paying for–their clones. Lama Su and Nala Se talk about creating an even more enhanced clone, with abilities that would make the Empire want them. I’m guessing they mean the enhancements that the Bad Batch have, and they say that they already have one to use–Crosshair–but I’m also suspicious that they may want Omega, too, for her mysterious powers. So they’ll be hunted for even more reasons, is my guess.

So there’s a lot to chew on in this 25-minute episode, and I can’t wait to see where it all leads!

What did you think of “Replacements”? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

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