Warning: This article contains spoilers from season 2, episode 3 of The Bad Batch.
When Commander Cody tells Tawni Ames that the Empire stands for peace and order, she scoffs at him. She explains that she believed it was once possible and that as the Governor of Desix, she once worked with her Separatist ally Mina Bonteri to put forth a treaty made by Separatist and Republic leaders to end the Clone Wars. When Supreme Chancellor Palpatine rejected the treaty, Tawni realized that peace was never an option.
The mention of Mina Bonteri is exciting and unexpected, making it the perfect time to revisit who she is and to explore how her story aligns with Commander Cody’s arc in “The Solitary Clone.”
Mina Bonteri explained
Mina Bonteri was a senator representing the planet Onderon in the Galactic Senate. During her time in the Galactic Senate, she became friends with fellow senator Padmé Amidala, with the origins of their friendship shown in the novel Queen’s Shadow by E. K. Johnston.
As Mina lost faith in the Republic, she aligned with Count Dooku and the Separatist movement, even before the Clone Wars started. Later on, Mina officially left the Republic and became part of the Separatist Senate.
The Clone Wars episode “Heroes on Both Sides” showed Padmé meeting with Mina during the war to initiate peace talks between the Republic and the Separatists. Mina agreed to work with her old friend and to convince the Separatist Senate to join the peace talks with the Republic. When she presented this peace initiative to the rest of the Separatist Senate, the majority voted to move forward with the negotiations.
The proposal was favorably received when Padmé brought it to the Galactic Senate as well, but all of that changed when infiltrator droids sent by General Grievous (on orders from Count Dooku) sabotaged the power generator in the Senate District on Coruscant. With the sabotage confirmed as a Separatist attack on Coruscant (the capital and heart of the Republic itself), any hope of peace talks came to a grinding halt, and the Galactic Senate moved forward with passing a deal that would deregulate the banks and lead to more Republic troops, thus prolonging the war further.
Even though Mina, Padmé, and many other Separatist and Republic senators were willing to work together to bring peace, Dooku ensured that would never happen. With Palpatine aware of Mina’s influence and her desire for peace, Mina was killed, with her death orchestrated to appear as if it was a Republic attack. She was killed to be a martyr for the Separatists and to twist the knife further between the Republic and the Separatists.
Why Mina Bonteri is mentioned in The Bad Batch
Mina Bonteri is mentioned in The Bad Batch as a reminder that peace was never an option where Palpatine and the Empire are concerned. Tawni Ames was presumably one of the Separatist leaders who supported the peace talks in “Heroes on Both Sides” based on what she says to Commander Cody in this episode.
Between what happened to those peace talks and to Mina herself, Tawni knows firsthand that the peace and order Cody speaks of is a farce. She recognizes this even without knowing that Dooku was in league with Palpatine, that he sabotaged the peace talks, and that he engineered Mina’s death, as the continuation of the Clone Wars at that point was part of the Sith Lords’ master plan.
Even without this knowledge, Tawni understood the truth long ago. It’s not until this episode that Cody sees the truth as well. He promises Tawni a peaceful resolution if she lets the Imperial Governor Grotton go, only for Grotton to be released and order that Cody execute her immediately.
Cody questions Grotton’s order, but Crosshair doesn’t hesitate to shoot and kill Tawni. Cody has always been a loyal soldier, but he doesn’t recognize the army he is part of and the side he fights for anymore, leading to his decision to defect from the Empire by the end of the episode.
Mina is mentioned because of Cody’s arc and due to the episode’s many strong ties to The Clone Wars, but it may not be the only reason she was referenced. Heading into speculation territory, perhaps the mention of Mina Bonteri could tease her son Lux Bonteri appearing in future episodes of The Bad Batch.
Lux is still alive at this point in the timeline and could appear in the series. As a former Separatist, a senator of Onderon, an eventual member of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans, and as someone who married an Imperial, it would be interesting to check in with him in the early days of the Empire.
Regardless of whether Lux appears, the mention of Mina Bonteri was a pleasant surprise for Clone Wars fans that worked well with the themes and Commander Cody’s arc in this episode.