The Bad Batch is bringing back a familiar face from the Clone Wars. Fans gasped and rejoiced to see a particular Wookiee youngling appear in the season two trailers. But if you’re unfamiliar with him or just need a refresher course, I’m here to give you the rundown on who exactly Gungi is.
Gungi first appeared in season five of Clone Wars in the episode “The Gathering.” He was part of a group of younglings being led by Ahsoka Tano and Yoda to the planet of Ilum to find his kyber crystal and make his first lightsaber. This event is called, as the episode title noted, the Gathering. It was also the first time in the current canon seeing Ilum on screen since Genndy Tartakovsky’s 2003 Star Wars: Clone Wars. It’s not only a holy site for the Jedi, but it’s also the planet that eventually becomes Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens once the Empire and First Order get their hands on it. This planet is a bit of a big deal.
With his fellow younglings, Gungi travels into the caves of Ilum. Each child had their own unique trial and lesson to learn. He heard the call of his kyber crystal, but it was on an island in the middle of a frigid lake. Gungi sat and meditated while the lake froze over, allowing him to cross and get his crystal. Yoda noted his particular lesson was patience.
Ahsoka took all the younglings back on a ship called the Crucible where they met a delightful droid named Professor Huyang. Fun side note, Huyang’s voice actor is Doctor Who’s David Tennant who won an Emmy for voicing this lovable Star Wars droid. It’s also important to note that it looks like Huyang might be returning to the upcoming Ahsoka series as well. Huyang led each of the younglings through the process of building their lightsabers. Gungi’s lightsaber was made of the wood of a Brylark tree which was just as strong as metal. Huyang noted it was a rare choice of material just as a Wookiee Jedi like Gungi were rare.
What should have been a chill trip back to Coruscant was cut short when the pirate Hondo Ohnaka showed up in all of his wonderful Hondo glory. It’s actually one of Hondo’s best arcs of the series as he goes from being cool with murdering children to bonding with the younglings. One youngling in particular, Katooni, left such an impression on Hondo that he later named a ship after her. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Hondo and his pirate crew attacked, looking for kyber crystals to sell on the black market. Gungi, the younglings, Ahsoka, and Huyang did their best to outsmart the pirates and push them out. But Ahsoka was separated and captured by Hondo. The Crucible was damaged too. The younglings and Huyang were left alone. It was a true trial of all the individual lessons that each youngling learned as they each finished their lightsabers and gently flew the damaged ship to Florrum to find Ahsoka.
The younglings came up with a memorable plan to rescue her from Hondo. Gungi and the kids met a delightful Dug male named Preigo who had a traveling circus. They joined his troupe as a group of acrobats and clowns to infiltrate Hondo’s pirate camp while putting on a show. Ahsoka basically watched the whole thing like, “Welp, I’ve seen Anakin come up with worse plans so this is fine.” During the show, the younglings manage to free Ahsoka and escape. Hondo is way too drunk to follow himself so he sends his pirates after them while he chills out.
Gungi, Huyang, Ahsoka, and the rest of the younglings try to escape from the pirates. They almost make it back to the Crucible. But the pirates shoot a missile and blow up the ancient vessel. With no escape, the pirates recapture the Jedi. But to everyone’s surprise, when they get back to camp, it’s being invaded by Separatist forces.
This is where we need to backtrack a little on Hondo’s story because it sets up the next part of Gungi’s. Way, way back at the beginning of Clone Wars, Hondo managed to capture Count Dooku. The pirate was going to sell him off to the Republic. Long story short, Dooku of course gets away. But the Count did not forget this as he sends General Grievous to Hondo’s pirate camp for a bit of revenge while he invades the planet of Florrum.
Gungi, Ahsoka, and the younglings team up with the pirates to rescue Hondo. It’s where Ahsoka has one of my personal favorite lightsaber fights as she faces off against General Grievous. It’s not a clean fight. In fact, Ahsoka gets kicked around quite a bit. But she’s not trying to best Grievous. She’s buying time for everyone to run to safety. She knows she can’t beat Grievous one-on-one. It’s one of the few times where Ahsoka is completely on the defense until she can escape. Hondo, with some urging from Katooni challenging his pirate honor, ushers everybody on the Slave I which happens to be in his possession, and flies them out of there.
He takes everyone back to a Republic cruiser where Obi-Wan Kenobi is waiting for Ahsoka and the younglings. Hondo tries to make Obi-Wan and the Republic pay for all of the damages on his pirate camp, but Obi-Wan is basically like, “We won’t arrest you for attacking the Crucible and call it even,” and sends Hondo on his way.
This is essentially the end of Gungi’s story that we know of at this point. He’s only seen one other time later in Clone Wars training with his peers in the garden. One of the biggest lingering questions after the series ended was what happened to Gungi and the other younglings. Did they all perish in Order 66? We now know that Gungi got away, but what about Katooni and the others? Now with The Bad Batch season two, it looks like we’re finally going to get some answers to those questions.
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