Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14 recap: Rescue gone wrong

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14 takes the show in a much darker direction than expected. The episode opens with a clone trooper being hunted, and it’s not long before Clone Force 99 are called on to mount a rescue of this unnamed trooper.

This episode re-introduces another character from the animated shows. The man in trouble is CC-5576, aka “Gregor”, a character who was last seen in Star Wars Rebels fighting alongside other former clonetroopers.

Despite scant details about the location and mission, the squad proceeds with the risky rescue. If you’re wondering why, it’s because of the person who shares the request—Captain Rex.

It’s not long before the squad is flying the Marauder to the planet Daro, a new planet introduced on this Disney Plus show. However, they have little idea of the kind of danger they’re about to face.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14 – Cancelling contracts

Bad Batch Episode 14

Kaminoans and clone troopers on Kamino. “War Mantle.” The Bad Batch. Courtesy StarWars.com.

Ever since Admiral Rampart took over supervision of the clone program, he has made his disdain for the Kaminoans and the clones obvious. He has been unimpressed by the clones and was given the green light—by Grand Moff Tarkin, no less—to dissolve the program.

Rampart has been taking it slow, but in Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14 he begins ramping up his plan. He has secretly begun executing Project War-Mantle by conscripting soldiers from across the galaxy. Rampart has even commandeered elite clones to train these new soldiers while the Empire has canceled all the Kaminoans’ Imperial contracts.

Prime Minister Lama Su reveals this news to Nala Se, lamenting the fact that the Empire is not like the Republic. The Kaminoans may have empowered the Empire too much and to their own detriment. He orders Nala Se to corral other Kaminoans for an escape.

Evacuations of the clones, even the clone children, are underway when Rampart’s guards catch Nala Se trying to gather fellow scientists. Though Nala Se was following the Prime Minister’s orders, Lama Su pretends to be shocked by her actions.

But, in a twist of fate, Rampart admits that he needs scientists like Nala Se. Politicians, on the other hand, are useless to him. Rampart leaves with Nala Se, while two troopers with ominous weapons close in on Lama Su.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14 – Left behind

Bad Batch Episode 14

The Bad Batch in the Marauder cockpit. “War Mantle.” The Bad Batch. Courtesy StarWars.com.

The Marauder arrives on Daro, which is a picturesque, green planet. But, hidden within this serene setting is an unmarked training facility. Hunter orders Wrecker and Omega to stay behind on the ship while he, Echo, and Tech scope out the facility.

They see groups of soldiers in new uniforms performing drills, but unbeknownst to them, these soldiers are not clones. Seeing the massive contingent, Hunter believes they should retreat, but Echo insists on rescuing Gregor.

After all, the only reason Echo is alive is because Clone Force 99 rescued him on a mission similarly ambiguous and dangerous. Echo can’t leave another trooper captive against his will. This convinces Hunter and Tech to proceed with the mission in Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14.

Though the squad locates Gregor, they soon realize most of their codes are obsolete. Tech uses one of his codes and accidentally triggers a security alert. Gregor explains that their inside knowledge is no longer beneficial in Imperial facilities because the clones are being substituted.

While they’re on the run, the squad discovers that the troopers in this facility are not clones. In what is obviously an explanation for why stormtroopers are such terrible shots, Gregor tells the Bad Batch that he was brought in to train the new troops, but he didn’t do a good job because he didn’t want him and his brothers to be replaced.

It’s one of the reasons Gregor escaped—it didn’t sit right with him that the Empire was bringing in soldiers with no loyalty.

Hunter tells Omega to fly the ship to their location, but the Marauder is soon intercepted by enemy ships. Tech and Gregor are able to jump aboard, but Hunter misses the landing and plummets to the ground.

Though he’s all right, Hunter knows the Marauder won’t be safe if it returns to fetch him. He orders Tech to leave and is captured by the stormtroopers. Stuck in a cell, Hunter faces his former brother, Crosshair.

Final Thoughts – Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14 took a dark turn

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14 got dark! It feels like we’re in the endgame of this season, but also of the entire show? Could Hunter’s capture be the beginning of the end for this squad?

‘War-Mantle’ bridges the gap between the Age of the Republic in the Star Wars franchise with Imperial rule, as seen in the original trilogy. The sets and music call back to the films, adding to the episode’s eerie, but familiar feel.

However, we can’t help but wonder, and worry, about what the Empire plans to do with the remaining clones and clone children. They’re being replaced by conscripted soldiers, but does that mean the Empire is conducting mass executions of the clones? What will happen to the young ones, and the non-elite clones? And what will happen to the Bad Batch?

Part of me still hopes that Crosshair will be redeemed and that the squad eventually escape to live exciting lives as Cid’s mercenaries, maybe even as secret rebels working with Rex and Ahsoka. But this is Star Wars, so they’ll probably die in a blaze of glory.

I certainly hope not—I would like a better future for them and Omega. It all rests on the final few episodes.

What did you think of Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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