Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3 recap: New beginnings

The Bad Batch premiere "Aftermath." Photo courtesy of Disney+.
The Bad Batch premiere "Aftermath." Photo courtesy of Disney+. /

In Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3, “Replacements,” Clone Force 99 find themselves fighting monsters, missing their friend, and making their newest member more comfortable.

But amongst the sweeter moments with the Bad Batch, the Disney Plus show goes into darker territory with its B-storyline. Following Crosshair back on Kamino, we see what the Empire really has in mind for the clones and the Republic’s last remnants.

The show also answers a question that many Star Wars have asked for years—why weren’t the stormtroopers in the original trilogy clones?

This is yet another way that the show is expanding our understanding of the existing Star Wars universe. And we love it!

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3: Another happy landing

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3 recap
The Bad Batch premiere “Aftermath.” Photo courtesy of Disney+. /

Clone Force 99 are coasting in hyperspace in Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3 but not for long. Their skirmish with the Empire in the previous episode damaged their ship, and they crash land on a seemingly uninhabited planet.

But this is Star Wars—when was the last time any character landed on an actually uninhabited planet?

The crash landing not only further damages their systems, but it puts Wrecker out of action—he was hit on the head during the crash and is safer on the ship than outside.

While Tech and Echo try and fix the capacitor causing all the problems, they realize that they aren’t alone. There’s a creature out there, and it likes energy. It’s happily feeding off the ship and then takes off with the only capacitor the team had.

If Clone Force 99 are to get off this rock, they need that capacitor. Hunter goes out to search for it, and he’s accompanied by Omega. She’s part of the team, so he can’t tell her to stay back.

They find the capacitor soon enough but end up tussling with the monster. The fight knocks Hunter’s mask off and puts him out of commission. It’s up to Omega to finish the mission and save her crew.

Omega realizes that the ‘monster’ is as afraid of her as she is of it. The creature loves energy, but it hates the light. Once Omega turns her torch off and gives the being some space, it leaves her and the capacitor alone.

Unlike the rest of Clone Force 99, Omega is still trying to figure out her special abilities. Until then, she’s going to learn by experience, as she does in Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3.

And Omega’s not the only one learning. At the start of the episode, Wrecker still isn’t sure how to adjust to having a child around. When Hunter rations their food, Omega offers her share to an extremely hungry Wrecker, who almost accepts the offer before Hunter tells him not to.

Wrecker also has to learn to hold his tongue when he thinks they’re going to die in the crash—not what a child just getting used to hyperspace needs to hear!

By the end of the episode, though, Wrecker has used his time on the ship to build a whole new room for Omega, so she doesn’t need to sleep scrunched up in a corner. It’s an adorable and touching moment that once again shows how far Star Wars has come in terms of space dads.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3: The new recruits

But it isn’t all sweetness and light in Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3. The Star Wars universe has always been about balancing light and dark. And that’s what the rest of the episode focuses on.

Through the Kaminoan inhibitor chip, Crosshair has been forced to fight his family and become the most vicious version of himself. Now, he’s got a new mission.

Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal) is an enthusiastic Imperial with grand ideas for the new galactic order. The Empire needs a formidable and loyal military to protect it—the clones won’t cut it anymore. Tarkin agrees because the cost of creating clones is prohibitive.

Rampart believes that soldiers who choose to fight for the Empire—rather than the clones, who are forced to do so—will create a better benchmark for loyalty. With that end in mind, Rampart has chosen four soldiers, the first of a new kind of Imperial army. Crosshair is meant to train them.

As trainer and leader, Crosshair brooks no argument or insubordination. He believes soldiers should follow orders blindly—not think for themselves. So, when this new team is sent to capture Saw Guerrera on his home planet of Onderon, Crosshair knows what he has to do.

Crosshair’s cohorts, on the other hand, aren’t that eager to agree with him. They think the clones are obsolete and that they’re superior because they aren’t programmed.

By the time they get to Onderon, Saw Guerrera is long gone. But his troops remain behind to protect citizens looking for transport off-world. Crosshair and his team make short work of the troops in Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3. And Crosshair doesn’t stop there—he’s ready to kill the refugees, as well.

When one of his team speaks up against this inhumanity, Crosshair reminds him that soldiers follow their orders—they do not question them. The soldier still won’t stand down, so Crosshair kills him, then orders the rest of the team to kill the refugees.

The Kaminoans aren’t happy about this development. If regular soldiers are recruited to the Empire’s cause, there won’t be any need for clones, and that’s the end of the clone factory.

If the Kaminoans can bring back their most valuable assets, they could remain in business. But that’s a very big “if.”

Final Thoughts: Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3 strikes the perfect balance

Fans won’t miss the throwbacks to The Empire Strikes Back in Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3. The creature in the dark, the ship in peril, even the crew wearing masks in an inhospitable environment. It’s a fun parallel that also foreshadows darker times to come.

As with any transition of political power, the early days of the Empire would have been bloody and horrifying. It’s interesting to see how this show is tackling those darker elements of the Star Wars universe.

Though touted as a series about a rough-and-tumble group of soldiers, this show is surprisingly light on the action and heavy on the emotional connection. As much as I am enjoying this foray into the galaxy far, far away, I think the pace will need to pick up soon to maintain interest.

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What did you think of Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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