Warning! Spoilers ahead for The Bad Batch finale, “Kamino Lost.”
And then it was over — 16 episodes full of building up, tearing down and evolving. The Bad Batch‘s first season kicked off in the last moments of the Republic and the first of the Empire. By the end, the Republic and its mainstays were gone — including the clones’ home of Kamino.
While the journey to survive a collapsing Topica City on Kamino was fraught, it was inevitable that Hunter, Echo, Tech, Wrecker, Omega and Crosshair would make it out alive. There is another season coming, after all.
Though avid Star Wars fans have voiced their issues with the series, it seems safe to argue that season 1 was a success. It brought back many Clone Wars favorites — including our eponymous heroes — and filled in some major plot holes between the prequel era and that of the Rebellion and the original trilogy. And with episode 16, titled “Kamino Lost,” The Bad Batch even sticks the landing with a finale focused on Clone Force 99’s relationship with each other, with Omega, with Kamino and with their brother Crosshair.
An almost impossible escape
In Finale Part I, “Return to Kamino,” the odds were fully stacked against the Bad Batch. It was the ultimate rescue mission as the crew rushed back to Kamino to retrieve Hunter from Crosshair’s and the Empire’s grasp. Freeing Hunter was easy, but the hard part came when they were all reunited with Crosshair, who told them he wasn’t being controlled by his inhibitor chip after all. He just wanted to put the squad back together and be brothers again — this time, with all of them serving the Empire.
Their hostile reunion was cut short by the Empire’s Vice Admiral Rampart commanding a squad of star destroyers to fire on Kamino’s stilted city. And that’s where episode 16 opens — with the Bad Batch frantically trying to escape their home’s destruction.
There was little doubt the clones would make it out, but there were plenty of dangers along the way. Omega and Crosshair are moments away from drowning when they get separated by a door and a giant sea creature tries to eat them in the underground tunnel seen in the last episode. When they make it back to Nala Se’s secret research lab, they find the rest of the tunnel has been destroyed, cutting off their route back to the Havoc Maurader.
They all do make it back to the ship in one piece — even after an intense journey to the surface involving untested medical capsules and nearly losing Omega and droid AZI to the depths of the sea.
“You’re still their brother”
There was plenty of hostile banter between Hunter and Crosshair as each clone tries to prove to the other that he’s right and the other is wrong. Crosshair notably criticizes Hunter’s leadership skills, Omega’s importance and inexperience and pokes at Wrecker having a “tiny brain.”
Crosshair also continues to elicit shock and bewilderment from the group when he touts the Empire’s fascist regime as something he yearns to be a part of. No matter how many times Hunter and Omega offer a way out, Crosshair turns them down. He’s made his choice and he’s sticking with it for the foreseeable future.
Even the perpetually optimistic and empathetic Omega is finally broken when it comes to Crosshair. Before they head to the surface, she tells Crosshair that she was wrong — it wasn’t the inhibitor chip making him like this. He’s been like this all along. Her admission might have gotten to him a little, seeing as he rescued Omega from drowning while she tried to save AZI.
When they all finally make it back to the ship, they’re treated to a rare sunrise on Kamino — a glaring metaphor for change if there ever was one. Before the Batch leaves, Omega takes a few more moments to watch the only home she’s ever known smolder in its destruction.
“It’s…all gone,” she says.
It’s clear Crosshair isn’t going with them as he stands off to the side while Hunter tells him they don’t have to be enemies even if they want different things.
Omega is the last to talk to Crosshair, thanking him for saving her life and telling him “you’re still their brother; you’re my brother, too.”
While in Nala Se’s secret lab, Omega recalls that the Bad Batch’s mutations were enhanced in this lab. When Crosshair questions how Omega knows this, Tech explains that Omega was there when it happened.
“Omega was created before us. Technically, she is older than we are,” Tech says.
A little later, Omega tells Crosshair that she spent most of her life in that lab, “alone down here until you four were created.” This confirmation of her life before the Bad Batch cements her desire to reunite with the clones she helped create and “grew up” with back in the first episode. It’s a heartbreaking reminder of how isolated Omega was for most of her young life.
The revelation is also a reminder of the cruelty of the Republic’s cloning program. The clone troopers may look and act like grown men, but in reality, they are chronologically childhood age. The Kaminoans, funded by the Republic, used rapid aging technology to force the clones into adulthood to become soldiers. Omega, on the other hand, doesn’t have that rapid aging gene.
What’s next for The Bad Batch?
Before the episode ends, we’re treated to a look where Kaminoan scientist Nala Se ends up. She’s one of the few (if not, the only) Kaminoans left, and she arrives on an unnamed Imperial facility built into a mountain. Then, an unnamed Imperial officer greets Nala Se, saying the Kaminoan’s work is something the Empire is very interested in.
“The Empire has big things planned for you,” the office says.
Though the Kaminoan cloning program has been wiped out, that doesn’t mean the Empire is done with cloning. Star Wars fans roughly know of Emperor Palpatine’s experimental cloning of himself, which created Rey’s unnamed father and the monstrous First Order Supreme Leader Snoke. The Mandalorian also clearly showed the defeated Empire’s continued interest in cloning, so it’s possible future episodes of The Bad Batch could connect to that series as well.
With a second season of The Bad Batch confirmed for next year, there are plenty of things to look forward to and theorize. And with nearly 20 years between Order 66 and the rise of Darth Vader, and the moment when Luke Skywalker picks up his father’s lightsaber and then destroys the Death Star, there’s still so much of the Star Wars galaxy to explore.
The Bad Batch season 1 is available to stream on Disney+. Season 2 is expected to arrive in 2022.