Crosshair, Rampart, and the Empire’s growing indifference toward clones

Crosshair in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
Crosshair in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

As Season 2 of The Bad Batch progresses, we are beginning to see the Galactic Empire’s abandonment of the Clones Troopers that helped to bring it to power.

The third episode titled, The Solitary Clone, starts to show that abandonment that was sowed since Admiral Tarkin’s arrival on Kamino.

It is revealed that former Clone Force 99 squad member CT-9904, Crosshair, survived being stranded on Kamino after he refused to rejoin his former comrades and Omega after the orbital bombardment of Kamino.

Now stationed in the Imperial capital of Coruscant. Crosshair is the focal point of the episode as he starts to see the number of clone troopers dwindling among the Imperial military ranks and the rise of TK-Troopers thanks to Project: War Mantle.

Crosshair also overhears two clones expressing their concern on the “Defense Recruitment Bill being up for a vote again” and hoping for it to not pass.

When Crosshair is called to Vice-Admiral Rampart’s office, the high ranking Imperial only addresses the clone by his CT number rather than his name. Rampart also asks Crosshair how long he stayed stranded on Kamino after Tipico City was destroyed. When Crosshair reveals that he had been stranded for 32 rotations, Rampart inquires why Crosshair came back to the Empire despite being left for dead.

“I’m a soldier of the Empire,” said Crosshair.

It is the interactions between Crosshair and Rampart that show the Empire’s growing indifference towards the once loyal and obedient clones due to some of them going AWOL or questioning the order.

Rampart assigns the clone a new mission to the former Separatist world of Desix to save the Imperial governor being held hostage. When Crosshair asks what squad he will be leading, Rampart chuckles and tells him that he is not ready to play commander again but instead will be assigned a new commander which turns out to be none other than Commander Cody, the clone who served under Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi in the 212th Attack Battalion during the Clone Wars.

Clearly, Rampart is referencing Crosshair’s performance as a commander of his elite squad during the time Kamino cloning facility was being decommissioned. A soldier under Crosshair’s command witnessed Crosshair helping the Bad Batch shoot down the Imperial droids attacking them and told Rampart that he lost control of the situation.

After Crosshair and Cody’s mission on Desix which was reminiscent of the Clone Wars due to the clones once again combatting B1-Battle droids, BX-Series droid commandos, and Droidekas, Crosshair and Rampart’s second interaction is more darker and foreshadowing than the first.

When Crosshair questions the Vice-Admiral why he was no longer reporting to Commander Cody, Rampart with a confused glance inquires as to who Cody is. Crosshair responds by staying Cody’s identification number CT-2224.

“Ah, yes it appears he has gone AWOL,” Rampart responds. He also added that “clone loyalty does not seem as advertised anymore” and how funny it is that clones are suddenly disappearing.

This is seen as a jab to Crosshair and his fellow Clones. It can also be argued that Crosshair is beginning to realize that Hunter and the rest of the Bad Batch were correct to defect from the Empire due to how they treat the clones and despite their loyalty and also how they treat others. Crosshair may very well be an ardent and patriotic super-soldier of the Empire but at what cost? And at what gain?

Unlike the Jedi who remembered the names of the clones that served under them and the Republic, Rampart not remembering Cody clearly shows how the Empire, and Palpatine, view the clones: as tools to achieve power. In the eyes of the Empire, all clones are expendable. The Empire uses the clones to achieve their power just like the Separatist, under Count Dooku, used their droids to terrorize the galaxy.

Overtime, we would see most of the clones be cast aside from the Empire they swore loyalty to after fighting a conflict that took so many lives. Some clones would end up homeless, others like Captain Rex would end up fighting against the Empire under the banner of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Where will Crosshair chart his path? Towards the Empire that clearly hates his kind or his very own, just like that of his brothers?