The Bad Batch: “Tribe”

Welcome to my weekly review of The Bad Batch, where I will be walking us through each episode and giving my thoughts on the show. 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 the sixth episode of season 2: “Tribe”.

star wars series the bad batch season 2 poster december 2022

Plot Summary

The Bad Batch arrive on a space station for an agreed business transaction with the droid group Vanguard Axis, selling a batch of fake chain codes that Tech has created. Echo and Omega look after the Marauder while the rest go to to make the deal, however Omega hears some commotion so goes to investigate, finding a young Wookie being attacked by 2 droids wielding electrostaffs. Her arrival distracts one of the droids, giving the Wookie an opportunity to fight back and take down one droid, with Omega shooting the other. As more of the droids come to investigate the noise, Omega and the Wookiee start sneaking their way back to the Marauder, but the Wookiee takes a diversion via some crates of weapons and appears to be searching for something. They are found by Echo, who had come looking for Omega, but the trio are quickly found by the droids.

As the leader of the Vanguard Axis continues the exchange with the rest of the team, it receives word of a situation in the hold, and the droids go to investigate. The trio soon receive a message from Echo requesting reinforcements, so they follow the droids to where they have Echo, Omega and the Wookie hunkered down behind a barricade. Now providing an armed response both in front of and behind the lead droid, Hunter and the lead droid try to negotiate for the other side to stand down, however the Wookiee realises that the item it is looking for is on the lead droid’s belt and uses the Force to pull the item—his lightsaber—back to him. The Bad Batch help him fight off the droids and they all escape in the Marauder, though the Wookiee is initially scared of the group due to them being clones, though they soon convince him that they are no threat.

The Wookie eventually reveals that his name is Gungi, and that since escaping from Order 66, he has been trying to make his way home to Kashyyyk, and the Bad Batch decide to help him get there, though Echo is nervous at the potential for an Imperial presence there.

“The Empire could have outposts there by now. We don’t know if it’s safe for him there.”

“He’s a Jedi. He’s not safe anywhere.”

Arriving and setting down the Marauder, the group make their way through the village to a settlement that they know of, only to find that it has been burned to the ground by tanks. They soon find the perpetrators: a group of Trandoshans using AATs that have been repurposed, with the main cannons replaced by flamethrowers. The group also appear to have taken a Wookiee hostage. Gugni runs out to attack the group and free the hostage, forcing the Bad Batch to also engage. After taking out the Trandoshans, they then work hard to put out the fires present to stop further damage to the forest.

The Bad Batch are soon confronted by a trio of Wookiee warriors riding Mylala steeds. These Wookiees take the Bad Batch and Gungi to their tree village and bring them before their chief, Yanna. Hunter explains the situation to her: they are trying to return Gungi to his family but don’t know which village he is from; they were former Republic soldiers who don’t support the Empire and came to help Gungi because he is a child who is in trouble.

The main convoy of Trandoshans—led by their commander Venomor and including a clone escort—arrive at the remains of the unit that the Bad Batch wiped out. Looking at the damage, the clones recognise some of it was caused by a lightsaber. Venomor tells the Clone officer to delay reporting a Jedi and promises his Trandoshan followers a hundred Wookiee pelts to whoever finds the Jedi.

Yanna agrees to let Gungi stay with their tribe and explains to the Bad Batch that the Empire has been using their Trandoshan allies to strip Kashyyyk’s resources and that many Wookiee villagers have fled deeper into the jungle. News reaches the tribe that the main convoy is approaching and Yanna gives the Bad Batch a chance to leave, but Echo refuses to abandon the Wookiees and the rest of the unit agree to stay and help in the fight. The Wookiees pay to the roots of the nearest Wroshyr tree, during which the team explain to Omega that the Wookiees believe the Kashyyyk belongs to the trees and that they are their allies. As the prayers end, Gungi tells the clones that the trees have a plan.

As the convoy nears the village, the combined forces of the Bad Batch and Wookies ambush the convoy. While they suffer some losses, they successfully disable all of the tanks and gun down many of the clones and Trandoshans, while the rest are led deeper into the forest, where a group of Wookiees have roused a nest of Kinrath spiders, which attack the invaders. Venomor chases after Gungi with a personal flamethrower, and Omega follows the pair. Gungi successfully ambushes Venomor and destroys his flamethrower, but only after he has set the surrounding foliage on fire, however before the pair can engage in battle again, more Kinrath climb down from a nearby tree and—ignoring Gungi as he shows that he poses no threat to them—attack Venomor and carry him back to their nest. Gungi and Omega return to the victorious Bad Batch and Wookiees to warn them that the fire is about to get out of control, and everyone works together to stop it.

Back at the village, while Gungi and Omega meditate under a Wroshyr tree, Hunter tells Yanna that the two of them are just kids. Yanna explains that the trees celebrate when one of their kind returns and hopes that they will someday find a new path, to which Hunter hopes the path is far away from war.

star wars series the bad batch s2e6 tribe hunter gungi omega


Oh this is much better! After a couple of really tough weeks, I was worried about where the show was going, but this was a massive improvement.

People can certainly argue that this is another filler episode, but that was not my issue in the last 2 weeks, it was the fact that characters weren’t really moving forward and that there was no stakes. But here, we see the Bad Batch effectively confronted with their past as they find themselves working alongside a Jedi and helping them return home after escaping Order 66, which eventually sees them make a conscious choice to help the former allies (the Wookiees) against the Empire. It feels like a turning point, which will begin to see the team doing more action to help others against the Empire rather than jobs for Cid.

What makes this episode really interesting is how the show has recycled ideas that were intended for other shows. Gungi was created for the “Young Jedi arc”, which was itself adapted from the pilot for a proposed but cancelled spin-off series. A young Wookiee Jedi was always going to be noticeable and memorable to fans, so with no confirmation of what happened to him during Order 66, this was a great way to bring him back. But even further, ao much of this episode closely resembles a 4-episode arc that was planned for The Clone Wars but not completed due to the show’s cancellation. In fact, some of you may have seen me refer to this arc in some of my previous articles over the years…

The following is copied from Wookieepedia’s page on The Clone Wars Legacy:

A four-episode arc written by Matt Michnovetz with production codes 6.17–6.20 starred Yoda and the Bad Batch on Kashyyyk. At the “Untold Clone Wars” panel at Celebration Anaheim, Dave Filoni talked about the plot of the arc. He revealed the the characters would ride on giant ape lizards that were holy to the Wookiees. In one scene, Tarfful would ask the tree spirits for permission to go into battle against the enemy, which was a number of Trandoshans led by Babwa Venomor, and the Separatist Alliance. To get the enemy out of some of their cities, they would have to burn some of the trees. The clones had no problem with it, but it was upsetting to the Wookiees. A part of the arc would be about the clones and the Wookiees finding a common ground to fight the Separatists. Some of Yoda’s troopers would have his head silhouette on their helmets, and Echo would now be part of the Bad Batch squad. A story-reel clip was shown at the panel, which showed the Bad Batch and other Wookiees—including Major Clausito—battling kinrath, creatures originally from the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic game. Only parts of the four episodes of the arc were made into animatics before the series’ cancellation. Dave Filoni revealed at Celebration Europe II that Yoda would be in the arc to give credit to the line “Good relations with the Wookiees I have” from Revenge of the Sith. Matt Michnovetz revealed that Chewbacca would have played a huge role, and that the arc would have contained some references to The Star Wars Holiday Special.

So let’s look at what appears to have been taken from this arc:

  • The main villain is the Trandoshan commander Venomor, who is leading his Trandoshans to work alongside the era’s villainous faction (replace the CIS with the Empire). His unit are even still using Separatist tanks, perhaps saving money by adapting existing models rather than creating new ones from scratch
  • The Bad Batch aids the Wookiees alongside a notable Wookiee character (replace Chewie with Gungi)
  • The Wookiees are seen riding Mylala steeds, which somewhat match the “giant ape lizard” description above. Sticking with the local fauna and we see Kinrath were in both
  • Both make a point of showing us the Wookiees praying to the Wroshyr trees for assistance
  • Both made a point of showing the impact of fire in the forests

This is a very clever way to revisit old ideas in a new way. Star Wars often does rhyme thematically, which makes it easy to transfer these ideas along the timeline and adapt them as necessary.

Was it still filler? Maybe. But even just Venomor’s order to not pass on word of this Jedi allowed the story to play out while lowering the risk to our heroes. And that combination of fun action, familiar characters and locales, and stakes that have been accounted for and addressed is what made this episode so much better than the recent ones.

“They’re both just kids. But they don’t get to be. Not in this galaxy.

A few final thoughts from the episode:

  • What is with these constant one-word episode titles? “Tribe”, “Entombed”, “Faster”. It doesn’t make them sound more intriguing, if anything it just sounds like someone decided to get the job of naming the episodes done as quickly as possible
  • I really hope that we get a continuation of Gungi’s story somewhere. Not necessarily on screen (although the idea of him joining the Bad Batch did run through my mind during the episode) due to his inability to speak basic, but a novel or comic could show his survival of Order 66 and his next steps on Kashyyyk
  • Seeing Gungi’s lightsaber reminds me that I need to do a Top 10 lightsabers ranking at some point, I’m sure his would be near the top!
  • Can we please just get the Droid Gotra soon?! It feels like this mission was a perfect opportunity gone wasted and would not have really changed the episode at all to have the Gotra rather than Vanguard Axis.

Moments in Canon

  • Wrecker refers to a previous visit to Kashyyyk, suggesting that the Bad Batch’s mission to Kashyyyk during the Clone Wars is still canon, even if the exact details of the arc (as discussed above) may have now changed.
  • We first met Gungi and saw him creating his lightsaber in a 4-episode arc during season 5 of The Clone Wars

star wars series the bad batch s2e6 tribe echo hunter gungi omega wrecker tech

What did you think of the episode?

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2 thoughts on “The Bad Batch: “Tribe”

  1. I thought it was great. Throw a Jedi in there, and I’m absolutely on board, lol. I like how this episode will probably speed the Batch along to helping others against the Empire rather than doing Cid’s bidding.

    Liked by 1 person

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