Both season endings of The Bad Batch have ended ominously, the first hinting at the focus on the secret cloning facility on Mount Tantiss. This season again ends with a revelation on Tantiss, another female Clone named Emery Karr. Omega was, and still is, unique in that she does not have accelerated growth but has a sister (and possibly more).
Last season, Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Echo, and Omega had to deal with a suddenly different galaxy as the Clones went from soldiers of the Republic to the Empire. While most of the members decided Imperial life was not for them, Crosshair stayed on Kamino and became a personal weapon of Admiral Rampart. Rampart, who introduced the idea of conscripted soldiers, had no love for the Clones. Still, Crosshair remained loyal during the entire season, once again staying behind after the destruction of Kamino.
But staying off the Empire’s radar presents new challenges in season two that Cid makes clear from the start in “Spoils of War” when she employs them to go after Count Dooku’s war chest:
“You wanna really be free? Then pull off this heist, and you’ll have the means to disappear. No more risky missions. No more living hand to mouth. You can have a future. Isn’t that what you’re after?”The Bad Batch: Spoils of War
The first season focused on Identity and Choice within the Clone Army, which is still explored this season, especially with the introduction of Doctor Hemlock, who sees the Clones as the property of the Empire.
However, season two introduces another element to that identity crisis…what do the Clones do when faced with life after war? And can they imagine a future beyond fighting?
This season explores multiple Clone POVs as Rampart’s plan of replacing them materializes with the help of the Emperor himself. To dive into these themes, we will look at each member of the Bad Batch and some additional Clones that were spotlighted this season.
**Spoilers for The Bad Batch Season One and Two**
Captain Rex and Commander Cody
While he is not a big part of season two, Captain Rex is involved in significant plotlines that affect the team. As the original rebel Clone, Rex started the Clone Resistance Network. This consists of rescuing Clones imprisoned and locating Doctor Hemlock’s secret Imperial science center. Echo, Gregor, Nemec, and Fireball save Captain Howzer from season one, who is being transported to Tantiss. Rex will probably play a more significant role in trying to rescue other Clones in season three.
But he is also helping to relocate Clones who want to leave, which brings me to Commander Cody.
We only see Commander Cody in one episode this season, “The Solitary Clone.” Cody requests Crosshair when the latter is cleared for active duty. Perhaps this is to see if Crosshair might consider going AWOL like the other members. Cody mentions that more Clones are questioning their orders. When Crosshair responds that they are traitors like the Jedi, Cody says, “good soldiers follow orders,” almost mockingly. We do not quite know yet what he is thinking, but, in hindsight, Cody was already disillusioned with the Empire.
Cody is still fighting Separatists droids but is no longer confident he is fighting for the right side. He tries to negotiate with Governor Tawni Ames one last time, but the Imperial-appointed Grotton undermines him, and Crosshair kills Tawni.
And Cody does not let Crosshair off the hook for using the excuse of following orders. Soldiers follow orders but do not have to do it blindly. Cody would not follow orders from Grotton, a big difference from the last we saw him—the first Clone to receive and execute Order 66.
Ultimately, he joins the other regs and the Bad Batch in defecting, leaving Crosshair more alone than ever. Where Cody went is still unknown, but the toll was enough for him to start the next chapter of his life.
Wrecker has the least amount of agency of the Clones. He is a follower, only reacting and following the order of his brothers. In any other show, that might be a point of contention and a negative. However, with so many personalities in The Bad Batch, his child-like antics and one-liners offer some much-needed tension release (the scream to bookend the heavy Omega/Tech conversation in “The Crossing” will be a classic for years to come).
And yet, there is a little arc with Wrecker of where his “follow the leader” personality is best utilized. Is it taking out fellow Clones or Imperials? Or is it helping to rebuild a sanctuary for war refugees?
It is also clear that Wrecker feels most at ease and happy around Omega (and later Lyanna on Pabu). But he adapts well to different cultures and leadership, first with Wookiee Chief, Yanna, on Kashyyyk, then Pabu with Shep. Most of this comes through food, an excellent gateway to other cultures. With his ability to pick up local customs, willingness to try new things, and sheer strength, Pabu seems like a perfect place for Wrecker to spend his days.
And the metaphor of Wrecker finally being full has to mean something, right?
“This is where I fit, where I was needed.”The Bad Batch: Truth and Consequences
Last season, I mentioned wanting more from Echo, feeling like he lacked an arc, and mostly criticizing their mission choices. Maybe that was the point.
Echo has a natural loyalty to Rex, but that does not stop him from joining the Bad Batch instead of returning to Rex’s 501st in The Clone Wars season seven. At the time, he believed the group needed him more.
In “Truth and Consequences,” when Rex tells Echo his network is spread thin, the choice is clear for Echo. He can make a difference working with Rex and help other Clones directly.
Echo is not prepared to give up fighting and is more resolved near the end of the season than at the beginning. His motivation for going after Dooku’s fortune early in the season is the means to numbers and weapons to fight the Empire.
But Echo also lets the war chest go when Omega’s life is in danger. And given that Hemlock has captured Omega, Echo will probably stay with his remaining brothers into season three, continuing to make a difference where he is needed.
Hunter is also more on the reactionary side of things, which might be surprising for the group’s de facto leader. So much of his decision-making relies on other opinions about his leadership and the life they think the team should have.
Most of his decisions were behind the events of the first season. This season, he cedes that to the majority rule of the group, including Omega: treasure hunting with Phee, Coruscant to help Rex, and the Eriadu missions are not his missions of choice, but they do serve his character development. In “Entombed,” Hunter is suspicious of Phee but recognizes that she offers Omega something that the team has not: a mother figure.
And I do not say that in any that reduces Phee to a maternal figure and nothing more. It is a knowledge that Omega needs to be a kid and be around other kids. Hunter has grown to let Omega be an integral part of missions and even trust in her training to get out of dangerous situations.
Phee insists to Hunter that Pabu is the best place to raise Omega. Whether Hunter agrees, which he does for Omega’s safety and well-being, there is no indication that it is what he truly wants. And he might want to settle on Pabu, but we are never allowed into Hunter’s thoughts this season. We know little about Hunter’s ambitions or desires outside of the war outside of what is best for the team.
And, due to all those side missions, Hunter also starts to see the value in Pabu for Omega and his brothers. But he hesitantly tells Shep that putting down roots for soldiers is an occupational hazard. Shep asks him, “Is that all you are, soldiers?” Hunter has no idea how to respond, and luckily he doesn’t have to as flying Maurader interrupts them.
And Hunter continues to evade answering the question as he has more pressing matters to deal with when the new season starts.
“I’m a soldier of the Empire.”The Bad Batch: The Solitary Clone
Crosshair is a part of three episodes this season and makes the most of them. But Rampart is correct that the Clones around him keep disappearing. Crosshair has bought into the Empire despite the consistent dehumanization that he now stands out from the regular Clones in a different way. The rest of the Clones have always isolated the Bad Batch because of their mutations, but Crosshair has also isolated himself with self-importance. He has never respected regular Clones, separating himself from the discouraging remarks made about them.
When the team makes their first appearance in “The Bad Batch” season seven of The Clone Wars, Crosshair is antagonistic towards Captain Rex and Jesse. He questions Rex’s ability to lead, given that their unit was called in to help. He mocks Hunter’s leadership when he tells Crosshair that a real leader protects his squad in”Kamino Lost.” Hunter tells Crosshair that blind allegiance makes him a pawn.
But Crosshair does not consider himself a pawn, still choosing to remain behind and wait for the Empire to find him. Tech described Crosshair’s nature as “severe and unyielding” and suggests that neither his brothers nor Crosshair can change that; however, this season, we see that give a little.
In “The Solitary Clone,” you get a sense that Crosshair is starting to FEEL that isolation. Cody is the one who originally introduced them to Captain Rex and brought them in to help extract Echo, so they have a history of working together. When someone he respects turns “traitor,” as Crosshairs calls it, this does affect him, and it segues perfectly to the next time we see him in “The Outpost.”
In “The Outpost,” the Imperials drop all niceties and bluntly share unsolicited opinions about the Clones, with Lieutenant Nolan calling them “used equipment.” This offhand diss wouldn’t bother first-season Crosshair, but these digs from Nolan pile up. The bond between Crosshair and a new regular Clone, Commander Mayday, contributes to this and shows how far Crosshair has come from that defensive soldier in The Clone Wars.
That episode takes place after the passage of the Defense Recruitment Act passes in the Senate, so the Clones are on their way out. Whatever the future holds for them, Crosshair does not want Mayday to die on a forsaken outpost fighting for his replacements’ armor. When Mayday passes away after Nolan refuses to get him a medic, Crosshair stops being a soldier of the Empire, shooting and killing Nolan point blank.
After he is taken to Mount Tantiss, Crosshair makes several decisions that show his growth. First, while killing two Clone guards, he only stuns Emery Karr, the one person there who shows him humanity. Then, he sends a signal to the Bad Batch, warning them that the Empire is after them. Crosshair put the team before himself, knowing he would be caught and using his few moments to help the Bad Batch. We see him briefly in “Plan 99” on a table in a room full of other Clones.
So Crosshair ends this season as a prisoner of the Empire along with Omega and apparently on his way to redemption. Crosshair is similar to Echo—it is hard to believe that he can ever stop being a soldier, and season three will likely have him process what life past the Empire might look like.
And, while it is never articulated directly, Crosshair learns there is a difference between being a soldier for the Empire and being a part of a family with the Bad Batch.
Just as the Hunter puts the needs of Omega and his brothers ahead of his, Omega is a people pleaser and wants to make her brothers happy. She is hyper-aware that her presence has changed things, not just with Crosshair. Omega feels responsible for them being on the run from the Empire, which Echo reassures her that it was for the best. She also was the most affected by the destruction of Tipoca City last season. Unlike her brothers, she never left Kamino, which was all she knew. It was her home.
Omega has some unresolved anger over that, hinted at in “Ruins of War” but brought to the forefront in “Truth and Consequences” when she persuades Kamino Senator Burtoni to testify in the Senate against Rampart.
But since leaving Kamino, Omega has transferred her attachments to her brothers and the Maurader, making the seasons’ events quite traumatic. Losing Echo deeply affects Omega in a way that doesn’t affect her brothers. Part of that may be because Echo leaving was a discussion that happened off-screen and involved everyone except Omega, which is not great (but certainly done for dramatic effect at the moment). Omega views Echo no longer being with them (joining Rex’s network) as a permanent loss. Her brothers telling her in various ways that life moves on does not help and highlights Phee’s point of needing more friends her age and a home that is not on a ship.
The breakthrough comes when she lashes out at Tech for asking about her issue in “The Crossing.” When they are alone, Omega tells Tech they are more than soldiers; they’re a family. The two begin to understand each other, and Tech tells her that even though he processes things differently, it does not mean he feels any less. And that they should respect both Echo and Crosshair’s decisions. In hindsight, this conversation is key and possibly foreshadows Tech’s decision in “Plan 99” to self-sacrifice for the team.
But even after that heartbreaking loss, there is still the possibility of Pabu, where Omega has built other relationships. She has made friends with the mayor’s daughter, Lyanna, and the two of them (along with Wrecker) seem like the best of friends. Unfortunately, she is captured by Hemlock’s forces, refusing to leave Hunter and Wrecker behind.
One of the things that has set Omega apart throughout this show is the assuredness of her agency. She not only views herself as worthy of a better life, but she also is the first Clone to be surprised that they do not have representation in the Galactic Senate. Omega perhaps realizes more than anyone that the Empire is trying to erase the Clones and their contributions to the galaxy, much like the Empire did with the Jedi Order.
Her independent spirit will clash spectacularly with Hemlock’s view of the Clones (the Doctor views her and the rest of the Clones as Imperial property). But her view could ultimately win over Crosshair and Emery, who revealed herself as another Clone. Like Crosshair last season, Hemlock will probably underestimate her, and she will make him regret it.
Season one does highlight Tech’s unique skills, but season two positions him as invaluable to the team and shows he is the most adaptable to the changing galaxy. When Cid takes Wrecker, Tech, and Omega to Safa Toma for security, she really wants Wrecker as the muscle, but Tech’s ability to pick up the racing strategy saves her. He fills in as team leader and cautions Wrecker, who wants to “take out” Millegi, saying they cannot use their military tactics as Millegi’s network will seek retribution.
However, by observing a few races, Tech adjusts his speeder and outwits Millegi’s men, impressing the gangster who offers the group a word of advice: do not trust Cid. And Tech is the first to call out Cid’s problematic pattern of putting the Bad Batch in danger with her dealings.
While Hunter is considered the father figure, Tech also plays a part in that role. He teaches her how to fly and encourages her studies of the entire Imperial fleet of ships. And while Tech is neurodivergent and expresses his emotions differently, he misses Crosshair and Echo. Before his conversation with Omega in “The Crossing,” he is clearly irritable, not letting up on Wrecker when the big guy fails to prevent their ship from being stolen. But he still passes on wisdom to Omega, telling her they will always find a way out of tough situations.
Tech is never one to back down from soldiering on. He continuously puts the crew in front of his health and safety, going after Omega on a fractured femur in “Spoils of War,” fighting off two troopers and passing out from exhaustion. But he also makes connections and develops relationships outside of his brothers. On Serenno, he makes quick friends with a citizen, Romar. Tech fixes Romar’s data core which houses Serennian culture. Tech first comments that it is a Separatist archive, only relating his culture to the Clone Wars, but the older man tells him Serreno is more than its connection to Dooku and the war. Romar saves Tech, whom he nicknames “Ace,” when he collapses after fighting the two troopers.
Tech has a whole wealth of facts in his head and on his datapad, but this season explored instances where he learned important lessons, either about culture (like Serenno) or more personable skills. And there were instances where he learned both. Enter pirate/liberator of ancient wonders, Phee. Phee appears in the first episode of the season and immediately takes a liking to Tech, calling him “Brown-eyes.” The two’s connection deepens throughout the season (though most of this must have been off-screen). It is probably not a coincidence since Phee is also in the business of preserving various cultures that she would know facts about places Tech would not. And where Tech sees a pile of junk, she finds a compass with coordinates in the Kaldar Trinary System, a place that Tech does not even have a record of in his datapad! Phee also has difficulty admitting when she is wrong (her spin on the failed treasure hunt is impressive).
The two complement each other quite well, but Tech struggles to communicate his feelings at the beginning of “The Summit.” We are left with an awkward but real interaction between a neurodivergent character and his love interest, an interaction rarely seen on screen, let alone in animation and Star Wars.
The team knows the mission will be dangerous, and with that comes certain risks. When Phee goes to him to say goodbye, Tech returns to soldier mode, burying his head in his datapad while Phee attempts to get something out of him. When she says goodbye, Tech does turn to say something but ultimately decides against it. Romantic relationships are a different challenge for the Clones as we have only seen one, Cut Lawquane, married with two step-kids in The Clone Wars and the first season of The Bad Batch. It would have been nice to continue to see Tech try and navigate a romantic relationship.
Tech stays in soldier mode and makes one last decision, putting the team ahead of himself, executing Plan 99, and sacrificing himself so the group can escape from Eriadu. We do not see his body, but he falls from a great height under a sidecar. Still, others have survived much more dire circumstances in Star Wars. According to Hemlock, all that was recovered from the site was his goggles, which Hunter now has. It leaves quite the opening for a return in season three.
When the group leaves Serenno, Tech worries about Romar, but the old man tells him, “I’m a survivor.” I hope all these skills that Tech acquired this season foreshadow that he, like Romar, is also a survivor and is still alive on Eriadu; however, his journey appears complete for now.
The Clones have accelerated aging because they needed to get on the battlefield quickly, and, frankly, the Republic did not envision a life for them past the Clone Wars. So now the Clones must shape what that life could be.
While they have allies in the Senate like Riyo Chuchi, they are primarily on their own. How that fact develops further into the third season as we see more Clones and the stakes increase with Doctor Hemlock’s experiments, there is no doubt that they will be their best advocates for whatever the future holds.