As predicted, most of this episode is an “escape from” story with a series of conversations. The team comes to terms with Crosshair’s nature and says goodbye, with a whole lot of tension in between. Thoughts on the finale, “Kamino Lost”:
The Production Design is Felt and Heard
This has been evident in some episodes more than others, but the first and last episodes have felt particularly cinematic. In the beginning, when the team is running inside the main facility with the sirens going off, an explosion temporarily impairs Omega’s hearing. No one is saying anything. All that can be heard are explosions and a crumbling structure as the Bad Batch tries to survive. It is a tense few minutes to begin the episode, but the cinematography, production, and sound design shine during these few minutes. The weight of water is also felt during the Bad Batch’s escape, even when they are not in immediate danger. Tensions rise in both conversation and environment when the team is in the tube system headed towards Nala Se’s office. They must walk through the compromised system surrounded by cracked glass, which is the only thing separating them from death. All while listening to Crosshair berate them for following Omega’s advice. While all of the episodes have had standouts, the entire production design takes center stage in “Kamino Lost,” giving Kamino one last hurray before going into that sweet goodnight.
No One is Left Behind
This is the first time that everyone is together since the first episode. Numbers-wise, it is the biggest group in a Star Wars staple (with AZI it is one more than Rebels). And throughout the whole episode, there is an eery sense that someone is going to die. The circumstances are too dire, and the obstacles keep piling. One of the tensest scenes comes when the team uses medical tanks to float to the surface. It’s a brilliant idea, but they have to avoid debris cracking the glass so they turn to AZI. The droid is waterproof and can help navigate the tanks. But the little droid’s battery is depleted, and he is tapped into his reserve power. This is not going to end well. Before he can get to the surface, AZI’s power runs out. He shuts down, sinking to the bottom of the Kamino ocean…nope! Omega breaks her medical chamber and goes after the droid, almost getting herself killed. Then Crosshair shoots a rope wire hitting the droid to bring both AZI and Omega up.
The act makes sense and does not seem out of place for Crosshair, given that Omega saved him from drowning earlier in the episode. He makes it clear that they are even. It is a good bookend to the season and a chance for both sides to correct their mistakes. But the Empire’s ascendancy has driven a wedge between Crosshair and his former teammates that cannot be fixed by simply removing an inhibitor chip. And now the Bad Batch has another droid on their team that has Kaminoan medical knowledge. Medical knowledge that could include more information on “Alpha” aka Boba Fett. Very interesting.
Acceptance and Moving On
It took all season, but the Bad Batch finally came to terms with Crosshair’s nature. There is no inhibitor chip excuse. Wrecker calls Crosshair out on his hypocrisy that he, too, could have sought the team out after removing his chip. And Crosshair is a hypocrite. He accuses Hunter of taking things too personally when Crosshair has been holding a grudge against his former teammates this entire season for leaving him. But Tech is the one who puts it plainly, telling Wrecker “Crosshair has always been severe and unyielding. It is his nature. You cannot change that. He cannot change that.” Tech adds to Crosshair that he understands him, but that does not mean that he agrees with him.
And Executive Producer Jennifer Corbett and her writing team do not let up on that fact. Crosshair only starts to help when Omega confronts him and says that she wanted to believe it was the inhibitor chip that made him the way he is, but she was wrong. Proving that, even if you are an unyielding person, there is something about a child’s disappointment that can shame you into doing the right thing. Crosshair suggests AZI as the directional tool to escape through the medical tanks and then saves Omega when she is about to drown. But he still stays behind for the Empire to find him…and the rest of the team finally lets him go. Where his journey will take him next season is entirely up to Crosshair.
The Shows Cannot Do All the Heavy Lifting for the Films
Just like The Clone Wars is credited with redeeming the Prequel trilogy (there is still a lot of awful to be found in those films), The Bad Batch is attempting to make The Rise of Skywalker make sense. Good luck. And I mean it. I wish nothing but good luck to Star Wars animation (and The Mandalorian) to try and make me like The Rise of Skywalker. The last scene brings Nala Se back, and she does not appear to have any Kaminoan medical personnel. Arriving on what could be Doros flanked by TK troopers, an Imperial scientist greets Nala and says the Empire has big things planned for her. It is a slow wink that Nala Se will be working on the cloning project referenced in The Mandalorian and likely leading to Palpatine’s return in The Rise of SKywalker.
But is this how Lucasfilm wants to continue to operate? To keep having the shows correct the plot holes from the films? Hopefully, now that Disney’s Lucasfilm has gotten sloppy out of their system, they have put poor planning behind them. The shows can be great complements to the films while telling their own individual stories, like Rebels. But when you have to watch seven seasons of an animated show to get all of the development for major characters like Anakin and Padme or understand why Order 66 was so tragic (not just for the Jedi, but for the clones) your script is lacking. Granted, there is more time between Episode VI and Episode VII where certain things can be explained in detail, but it should not be on these shows to completely support the films.
Everyone in the main cast got their moment in the finale except Echo. This whole season has felt like a holding cell for Echo, who only had one side story focused on him (Cornered where he was mistaken for a droid). They are not wanting for conflict: between the entire clone army being replaced, to further exploring the galaxy without Jedi, there are plenty of avenues to travel with Echo. His trauma from being a Separatist tool has barely scratched the surface, and that is only if one watched The Clone Wars. Next season needs to do right by him, and I have confidence in the story team that they will.
Overall this season has been a rollercoaster of thrilling episodes mixed with ones that did not quite fit. Now that a second season is confirmed, those episodes and the characters introduced will likely come back. But within the context of a single season, momentum does slow down. I also hope this season has closed the book on Crosshair as the main antagonist. He will likely have a storyline with the Empire, but the conflict between him and the Bad Batch (now truly separate) should be over. The Empire and Admiral Rampart is more than enough for the Bad Batch to have to contend with next season.