Welcome to my first episode review for The Bad Batch. My reviews will follow my usual format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole. Today, we’ll be looking at episode 7: “Battle Scars”.
The Bad Batch are in the middle of another mission for Cid, stealing a lizard back from the Rhokai, who had stole it previously. Having managed to capture the lizard, the Bad Batch are now trying to escape, but are being chased by a number of Rhokai ships. Hunter successfully holds them off until Echo gets the hyperdrive fixed and Tech successfully jumps them to hyperspace.
Arriving back at Cid’s bar, Hunter agrees to let Omega and Wrecker leave for their after-mission “tradition”, while he, Echo and Tech follow Cid to her office for payment. All of them fail to notice a hooded figure watching them from a set in the bar. The trio are unhappy at the lack of credits Cid gives them as their cut, however Cid explains they are also covering their debt to her, for docking fees, port charges, gear, fuel, rations and Mantell Mix—Omega and Wrecker’s tradition, which Wrecker had been billing to Cid’s tab. Cid explains that after bungling the job with the tactical droid, they need a big job to be square with her. They are drawn back to the bar by the sounds of a fight and discover the hooded figure, who reveals himself to be Rex.
“It’s been a while, boys.”
Rex explains to the group (including the returning Wrecker and Omega) that he has been keeping a low profile, but was informed about the Bad Batch by the Martez sisters. Wrecker’s headaches flare up an Rex is immediately n edge, realising that the group have not removed their inhibitor chips, having not deemed it a priority due to their mutations impeding their functionality. Rex convinces the group to make removing the chips a priority and has them meet him on Bracca.
Rendezvousing on Bracca, they find the old Republic ships being scrapped. Rex explains that they need a medical facility to remove the chips, and plans to use the med bay of one of the scrap Venator-class Star Destroyers. The group manage to avoid the Scrapper Guild workers and survive an attack from a dianoga and make to the med bay. Tech uses the scanner he has been creating (now completed and upgraded with a diagnostic of Rex to show what the clones should look like without the chip) to locate Wrecker’s chip, and prepare the pod to remove the chip. However before they can get him in, his chip activates and he begins attacking the other for violating Order 66.
“This will do nicely.”
“I would no longer call this medical bay a sterile environment.”
“Do you prefer to use the facility on Kamino?”
“This will do nicely.”
To ensure that Wrecker does not destroy the medical equipment, Hunter, Rex and Echo draw him away from the med bay and through the corridors. Wrecker manages to grab Echo and throw him into Rex, knocking the pair out, and engages Hunter in hand-to-hand combat. Wrecker successfully overpowers Hunter and is about to execute him, when Omega shoots at him, distracting him and leading to him chasing her, giving Rex just enough time to regain consciousness and stun Wrecker before he can shoot Omega.
The unconscious Wrecker is loaded into the pod and has his chip removed, but does not initially return to consciousness and his vitals are unstable. Rex and the Bad Batch keep vigil until Wrecker comes around. Hunter, Echo and Tech take it in turns to remove their chips, while Wrecker apologises to Omega for his actions while under the chip’s control. She immediately forgives him and shares the remaining Mantell Mix she had in her pockets.
“Things aren’t like before. Our priorities have shifted.”
Hunter finds Rex on the outside hull of the Star Destroyer contacting someone and arranging a rendezvous. Rex explains that he and some others are still in the fight, trying to protect the Republic. Rex offers Hunter the chance for the Bad Batch to join him, but Hunter explains that now they have Omega to look after, their priorities have shifted, but tells him that he knows where to find them if he is ever in a bind. The pair bid farewell to one another and Rex makes his way back to his Y-wing.
Neither of the clones realises that they have been spotted by a pair of Scrappers Guild workers. One keeps a watch on Hunter, while telling the other to notify the Empire.
This was another fantastic episode and a great way to continue and/or tie up a couple of the storylines from the first 6 episodes.
After last week’s hints, I was not at all surprised to see Rex appear this week, and his introduction felt earned. While I still wish there had been more of a moment between Echo and Rex discussing Fives’ sacrifice and remembering his life, I am happy in the familiarity between Rex and the Bad Batch allowing them to be fully trusting of each other, leading to the group’s revelation that Caleb Dume survived Order 66—which appeared to help trigger Wrecker’s turn—and also the Bad Batch’s decision to focus on removing their chips at Rex’s warning. Having Rex involved allowed us to revisit familiar assets from The Clone Wars with the interior of the Star Destroyer suitably scrapped up to look different in this episode to what we saw in the final episodes of The Clone Wars, while a trip to Bracca was a great way to bring in the possibility of using a Star Destroyer med bay, tying together more of the wider universe—the planet features in the opening of the game Jedi: Fallen Order and also in a couple of chapters of the novel Resistance Reborn. The farewell certainly leaves me feeling that Rex will reappear in the show, but I’m not sure it will be a happy story, as Rex seems heavily involved in the early stages of fighting back against the Empire, but it felt like he had been long out of the fight by the time the Spectres found him in season 2 of Star Wars Rebels, set approximately 15 years later.
Of course, Rex’s return was the perfect occasion for the storyline with Wrecker’s chip to make its climax, with Rex immediately able to guess the reason for Wrecker’s headaches. Wrecker has been such a likeable and comedic figure so far in the series and has quickly developed a close relationship with Omega, so it was obvious that his turn would have an impact on us, but I think I was still caught by surprise at the darkness of it. Perhaps it is how often his fighting massive groups is used to comedic effect, but seeing him controlled by the ship showed just how ferocious he could be, dispatching Echo, Hunter and Rex with ease. Thank goodness he’s back to normal now. The big question now becomes “can the same be done for Crosshair?”
I must admit that I enjoyed the way we start the episode already part way through a mission for the Bad Batch, as it jumps us immediately into the action to grab our attention, but also is a clever reminder that we’re not seeing everything that happens to them Time has clearly passed since the last episode and that is clearly shown by the way that Wrecker and Omega have had time to develop a tradition after missions—and wrack up quite a debt in the process! What I also really enjoyed about these early minutes was how it was made clear that Hunter has taken Rafa Martez’s comments about not knowing or caring who he does jobs for by the way that he was not comfortable about these jobs from Cid being for just anyone.
The one thing that felt out of place in this episode was the dianoga attack. While it was paying off the moment of the group saying to stay above the water level, I think that this is actually more of a set-up for the next episode, as I feel that we will be picking the story back up almost immediately, with either the scrappers or (hopefully) Crosshair’s group trying to capture the Bad Batch before they can leave Bracca, with the dianoga then being used as a trap to help the Bad Batch escape.
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- We got a new little tidbit of information this episode with mega saying that she doesn’t have an inhibitor chip, rather than having one that inactive due to her mutations. So why doesn’t Omega have a chip? The mystery of Omega deepens…
- It was great hearing so many callbacks to the events of The Clone Wars but I still cant help hope for an episode that doesn’t appear to tie into anything familiar in any way
Moments in Canon
- Rex is considered KIA in Imperial records. Though it appears that the finale of The Clone Wars changed this a little, the novel Ahsoka told of how he and Ahsoka created a grave for him and filled it with another clone, with one of her lightsabers left to suggest that he gave his life killing her as part of Order 66
- Rex is still using the Y-wing he escaped in during the finale of The Clone Wars
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. Good soldiers follow orders….