Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere recap: Aftermath

The Bad Batch premiere "Aftermath"
The Bad Batch premiere "Aftermath" /

Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere, “Aftermath” takes place during the events of Order 66. While chaos reigns around them, the Bad Batch aims to stick together and adjust to the Empire.

The Disney Plus show expands upon this period of turmoil in the galaxy far, far away, through the eyes of five highly skilled and unusual clones.

Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Echo (Dee Bradley Baker) make up Clone Force 99, aka the Bad Batch. And they’re the only ones unaffected by Order 66. Though Crosshair seems determined to carry out the order, the rest of the Bad Batch are uncomfortable turning against the Jedi.

As the clones turn on Master Depa Billaba (Archie Panjabi), Hunter decides to let Billaba’s padawan, Caleb Dume (Freddie Prinze Jr), go free. If the name Caleb Dume doesn’t sound familiar to viewers, it wouldn’t be surprising.

In Star Wars Rebels, Caleb was better known as Kanan Jarrus. We never knew how he escaped the destruction of Order 66. Now we know—Hunter saved his life, and Kanan would go on to become a key member of the Rebellion. But this kind of act is going to come back to haunt the Bad Batch.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere: An Imperial Inspection

The Bad Batch premiere "Aftermath"
The Bad Batch premiere “Aftermath” /

Clone Force 99 return to Kamino in the Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere and immediately notice that something’s wrong.

Yes, the other clones are going about their business, but nobody seems to be bothered by the fact the Jedi are being killed. And the unanimous reaction to Palpatine announcing the birth of the Empire makes it clear that Clone Force 99 isn’t like the others.

But there’s yet another problem to deal with—General Tarkin (Stephen Stanton) has arrived to inspect the clones. Never fond of the clones, Tarkin sets about making the Bad Batch’s life miserable.

First up is a routine test that almost becomes deadly when Tarkin programs the droids to shoot live rounds. The ingenuity and teamwork of Clone Force 99 keep them alive. They even impress Tarkin.

However, the Empire wants absolute loyalty, and that’s not something you’ll get with Clone Force 99. Their programming is just too different, and they’re too individualistic to fall in line. Tarkin needs proof that they can change. He sends them on another mission.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere: Finding Insurgents

Despite their wariness of Tarkin and the Empire, Clone Force 99 aren’t about to shirk their duties in the Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere. When they’re sent to find Separatist insurgents on a planet, they get there as soon as possible.

But what they find aren’t the insurgents they’re looking for, but ordinary people. These are the last vestiges of the Republic, in hiding, desperately looking for any resources to survive. They have help though, in the form of Saw Guerrera (Andrew Kishino).

Saw, who Star Wars fans will recognize from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Rebels and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is an extremist. He hates the Empire as much as the Rebels do but his methods are often violent and put him at loggerheads with the Rebellion.

It’s surprising that Saw doesn’t immediately battle Clone Force 99, but with so many helpless civilians around, he chooses to be the better man. Interestingly, he is ready to believe that Clone Force 99 might be on his side—clones once helped him free his planet, so he gives them the benefit of the doubt.

This exchange leads to Hunter ordering Clone Force 99 to stand down and let the so-called insurgents escape. This second breach of Imperial orders is too much for Crosshairs. He doesn’t think Hunter is fit to lead any longer.

But when Hunter shoots down a probe droid sent by Tarkin to spy on them, he gets the upper hand in the debate. The Jedi never did such things—they allowed the clones autonomy, and many of the Jedi were friends with the clones. Will Crosshair see through his programming to remember that?

Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere – The Secret Member

Alongside Clone Force 99, the Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere introduces a new character into Star Wars canon—Omega (Michelle Ang). An adolescent human, as described by Tech, Omega is charged with helping Nala Se (Gwendoline Yeo) with medical duties on Kamino.

Surprisingly, Omega takes an instant liking to Clone Force 99, joining them for lunch, and instigating a fight against the other clones for insulting her friends. She doesn’t really fit in with anyone else, but why does she want to hang out with Clone Force 99?

Tech hypothesizes the reasoning behind her actions and soon has an explanation for his team—Omega is one of them. Nala Se had told Tarkin that there were five clones with unusual skills.

But Echo is technically a regular clone. He was absorbed into Clone Force 99 after being tortured by Separatists since he could no longer function as a part of the troops. Tech’s scans of Omega prove he’s right—Omega is part of the Bad Batch.

After the meeting with the insurgents, Clone Force 99 could have disappeared somewhere but not when one of their own is on Kamino. They decide to go back for her, no matter how much Crosshair complains.

Of course, Tarkin is waiting for them and takes no time in reprogramming Crosshair to become more obedient. He deploys Crosshair against the rest of Clone Force 99, and if not for Omega’s excellent—and unexpected—shooting skills, they would not have got away.

Crosshair remains on Kamino, now in the thrall of Tarkin. But Clone Force 99, along with Omega, have an entire galaxy to disappear into, with some help from their shortlist of friends.

Little do they know that they have an ally on Kamino—Nala Se seems to be more fond of Omega than she’s let on. She even helped Clone Force 99 escape. Can she keep Tarkin at bay? And who are Clone Force 99 going to meet on J19? We’ll have to wait till Friday to find out.

Final Thoughts: The Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere is an emotional Start to the Series

Among all the clones we’ve met in the Star Wars, I can’t say the Bad Batch stood out to me. But the Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere is already changing my mind.

These characters have distinct personalities and a fascinating dynamic. I’m already upset that Crosshair was forced to turn on them. I want to see this team back together!

The Caleb Dume and Saw Guerrera cameos were exciting but I wish Archie Panjabi had been given a bigger role. Nevertheless, this was a solid start to the series, with the promise of even more cameos and excitement to come.

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What did you think of the Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is streaming on Disney Plus.