Fennec Shand makes her animated debut and inadvertently gives the Bad Batch much-needed lessons for surviving their new reality.
The planet hoping continues in this week’s episode “Cornered” as the team has to land on the closest planet, Pantora, so Tech can scramble their ship’s signature key to evade the Imperial wanted list. And they also need more food rations and credits. I loved the Pantorans we saw in The Clone Wars so it was great to see their home planet. It was also weird to see them cheering the Empire but when the message is laser-focused on the war being over, cheering is better than questioning.
Adapt and Survive
Saw Gerrera’s speech to the Bad Batch in “Aftermath” feels more like a running theme for the show after this episode. Ignorance is ever-present with all characters as the team learns some lessons about surviving in the galaxy. First up are Tech and Wreck when, after landing on Pantora, a Sullustan attendant attempts to scan the ship. Wrecker tries to thwart him and the attendant implies that he can look the other way…for a price. Wrecker has no clue but Tech offers up some credits, having no understanding of how many is appropriate. Shady people will do shady things and the Sullustan contacts Fennec Shand, who is on the lookout for Omega. Having spent their entire life being fed and housed by the Republic (and briefly by the Empire) these former soldiers have no clue about actually living day-to-day. Omega is even more limited in her understanding and automatically trusts Fennec when she shows up offering to help after the girl gets separated from Hunter. He does catch up to them and Omega manages to escape but another lesson to be learned. At least there seemed to be some red flags for Omega (noticing Fennec’s blaster and the fact that she stole fruit from a Pantoran) but those still weren’t enough for her to realize something was wrong. And given that there is a dedicated bounty hunter (and possibly more) targeting Omega, it seems impossible that she can continue to be treated like a child. Aside from the fact that she could literally grow up fast, she needs to grow up fast and learn how to fight and defend herself.
Wrecker learned that he can’t always rely on his brute strength to win a fight, instantly being taken down by Fennec who is a faster, more strategically skilled fighter. And he hits his head…again! Please stop the Wrecker abuse and let the man be! There is a nice payoff for Hunter, who tries to sell a pyro denton to a merchant who rejects it only for him to use it later to get Fennec off their backs and escape.
Overall, everyone could benefit from a question-and-answer session with Cut Lawquane on survival basics. And where to find a black market dealer for some of the weaponry that they can part with to get more credits.
A Good Droid Is Hard To Find
I toggle between whether this show knows what it is doing with Echo or not. The nods in each episode thus far on him being “more machine than man” are clues they do and I feel like it is going to pay off when the Bad Batch catches up with Rex but this is another episode where he is put to the side. In this episode, Echo is wearing a helmet and armor that makes him indistinguishable from a droid and, while the same vendor doesn’t want to buy Hunter’s pyro denton, he offers 2,000 credits for Echo (whom he mistakes as a droid). Echo, rightly insulted, wants to say something but Hunter stops him, realizing the opportunity to acquire some much-needed credits. Echo, hurt at the mistaken identity, says he’s worth more than 2,000 and one can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. He is also being used to cheat an honest merchant out of thousands of credits so that’s awful too.
Echo goes along with the plan and gets the merchant’s other droids to help repair their ship but Echo is dealing with an identity crisis and could probably use a therapy session with someone willing to listen, which currently doesn’t seem to be any of his teammates. I’m betting it will be Rex that will ultimately help him but I also wouldn’t rule out Omega.
Fennec Shand…from a Certain Point of View
Even though she has only been in the Star Wars universe for a short time, Ming Na Wen’s Fennec Shand has made quite the impression. After her debut in The Mandalorian, she will be co-starring, along with Temuera Morrison in The Book of Boba Fett later this year. And now, she makes her first appearance in animation as a younger Bounty Hunter long before she meets Mando. The first time we see her in The Mandalorian, she is an antagonist (although not the main one) then becomes a protagonist when she and Boba Fett help Mando fight Moff Gideon to get Grogu back. Here, she is in full villain mode and even though her intention is not to kill Omega, she leaves some bodies behind in her pursuit. Characters that can toe the line of protagonist/antagonist depending on the story are exciting and it is great to get a prequel-type story for a character that Lucasfilm seems to be doubling down on.
A Little Resistance Love Goes a Long Way
This episode was pretty intense but on a lighter note, there were some nice cameos of creatures and droids from Star Wars Resistance, the shortest animated series from the Disney era (I seem to be more of a fan of that show than most). The first one we see is the two Voorpaks that take the doll away from Omega, causing her to run after them and get lost. We know from Buggles, Torra Doza’s pet Voorpak, that they can travel great distances in a short amount of time so at least these two stayed relatively close by so Hunter could find Omega. The second cameo was the little LE droid that belonged to the merchant who “bought” Echo. One of the cutest droids yet made their first appearance in Resistance as a droid named LE-12. I expect to see both of these at Galaxy’s Edge in the Creature Stall and the Droid Depot just in time for Summer.
Add the person (or entity) that hired Fennec Shand to the list of mysteries that need to be revealed. The obvious answer would be the Kaminoans…so it is definitely not the Kaminoans. I think there is a reason that the show is being vague on both ends (who the Kaminoans are searching for and who Fennec was talking to) but it could be someone who knows what enhanced skills Omega possesses. Perhaps Fennec’s appearance means we will get one of those answers in next week’s episode where the team will likely dive into her backstory.
Exploring Every Corner of the Star Wars Universe.