Warning: This article contains spoilers from season 2 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Even though Crosshair is an original member of the Bad Batch, he has been absent from many episodes in The Bad Batch television series. He appeared in nine out of 16 episodes in season 1 and has only been in one out of the five episodes released so far in season 2.
Crosshair may no longer be with the rest of the Bad Batch, but he is still an original member of the group, and remains a vital part of the overarching story. Episodes like “Return to Kamino” in season 1 and “The Solitary Clone” in season 2 that focused heavily on Crosshair are widely considered to be among the strongest and most important Bad Batch episodes so far, leaving many fans to wonder why Crosshair isn’t in more episodes.
Like most Star Wars animated television series, The Bad Batch episodes usually have a runtime between 20 and 30 minutes. These shorter runtimes make it difficult to do justice to Crosshair serving the Empire while also doing justice to following the rest of the Bad Batch in their own separate storyline.
Instead of introducing and resolving two storylines in ways that feel half-baked in a single episode, Crosshair got a whole episode without the rest of the Batch in season 2–“The Solitary Clone”–to explore his character and current storyline in-depth while the other Batch members have had various episodes to explore them and their storylines.
It is also an issue of tone. The dark tone of Crosshair’s story in “The Solitary Clone” wouldn’t have meshed well with the often lighter tone of the Batch’s adventures. An episode can’t exactly transition from the brutality of Crosshair killing Tawni Ames after she was promised a peaceful resolution to the fun of Tech riot racing.
Of course, Crosshair’s storylines sometimes intersect with the rest of the Bad Batch as they did on Bracca and Kamino in season 1, and in these cases, a consistent tone can be struck. This will definitely happen again, but fans will have to be patient to see Crosshair reunite with his sister and brothers in season 2.
There is also the matter of character development. While Omega, Hunter, Tech, Echo, and Wrecker have already grown a great deal over the course of the series, Crosshair’s development has remained relatively stagnant. Omega and her brothers have stepped outside of their comfort zones and forged new lives for themselves while Crosshair has remained a loyal and obedient soldier to the establishment in charge, even after the removal of his inhibitor chip.
No matter how many times Omega and her brothers offer a hand, or no matter how poorly the Empire treats him, Crosshair always stays or goes back to the Empire. Even in “The Solitary Clone” it is Commander Cody and not Crosshair who gets the most substantial character development in that episode. It is not feasible to spend every episode on a character who is not growing or changing.
That being said, his story is just as essential as the story of Omega and the rest of the Batch. The Bad Batch is the story of what happens to the clones and what they do after Order 66 and after the purpose they were created for has been served. Making a new life as Omega, Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, Echo, Rex, and now Cody are doing is definitely part of that story, but so is the story of Crosshair and others like him who choose to remain in service to the Empire.
The challenge that The Bad Batch has with balancing the stories of Crosshair and the rest of the Bad Batch is somewhat akin to the challenge of balancing the story of Tam Ryvora and everyone aboard the Colossus in season 2 of Star Wars Resistance.
Tam was separated from the main cast of characters after she joined the First Order in the season 1 finale and her appearances became less much less frequent in season 2. Whenever she appeared and fans got more insight into the First Order, it was almost always a good episode, but it often felt like a struggle to balance her story alongside the story of Kaz and everyone else on the Colossus, and at times it almost felt like the show had forgotten her.
A key difference between Tam and Crosshair is that it was pretty clear that Tam knew she made a mistake, and would eventually redeem herself by leaving the First Order and rejoining Kaz and her old friends. It is not clear where Crosshair’s story will end up and fans continue to debate if he will stick with the Empire to the very end or if he will eventually defect to be with Omega and his brothers.
One good thing about the infrequent appearances from Crosshair is that when he shows up, fans know they are usually in for a particularly good episode. Making the audience wait to truly understand what was going on in Crosshair’s mind made the moments with his character in “Return to Kamino” hit much harder. When it comes to Crosshair, sometimes less is more.
After two episodes that didn’t feature Crosshair or the Empire, The Bad Batch season 2 will likely return to them very soon. Unless something drastic changes, Crosshair won’t be in every episode, but when he does appear, the audience can know they are usually in for an excellent episode of Star Wars animation.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch is now streaming on Disney+.