The Bad Batch episode “The Crossing” had a huge first for on-screen Star Wars. The series all but confirmed that Tech is neurodivergent. This is a huge step of representation for a galaxy far, far away. I can’t say for sure this is a franchise first as I haven’t read all the books and comics, but it’s a major moment for on-screen Star Wars.
What does it mean to be neurodivergent? Very Well Mind defines it as “the term for when someone’s brain processes, learns, and/or behaves differently from what is considered “typical. Neurodiversity is the concept that there are a variety of ways that people’s brains process information, function, and present behaviorally. The idea of neurodiversity also seeks to frame these differences as ones that are not inherently “bad” or a problem; instead, it treats them in a more neutral manner and also highlights the many different ways that neurodivergence should be celebrated and how it can be beneficial.”
Now it is so important to note that this is a huge umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of things as Star Wars Explained’s Mollie Damon points out in this tweet:
What many fans, myself included, have zeroed in on is how Tech is coded as being autistic. His writing always reminded me of the character Entrapta from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. She was purposely written to be autistic, and she’s had many similarities to how Tech has always been written.
I again want to note that autism is also a very wide spectrum and no two people are alike with it. Tech and Entrapta, as well as other characters like Norma from Dead End: Paranormal Park, are just one portrayal of autism. It’s the most well-known portrayal. That said, Star Wars needs to start somewhere. The fact that they even took this step should be praised. Looking back on the development of LGBTQIA+ characters in this franchise, they didn’t start all nuanced. There were many bumps along the way like Lando being pansexual in Solo. But since then, queer characters have become more nuanced and have covered a much wider range of the queer spectrum. Tech is the first step of on-screen Star Wars tackling autistically coded characters, opening the door for more exploration and nuance later. Progress can’t always be giant leaps; sometimes it requires taking that first step to building a longer journey.
This reveal in “The Crossing” is also being well received by fans too which is spreading all over social media.
Tech confirmed as being neurodivergent is a major moment for the franchise. “The Crossing” was a beautiful episode and a big highlight of season two for The Bad Batch. To get personal, it left me sobbing this morning and left me feeling so seen in this franchise that I love so much. Fantastic work, The Bad Batch crew!
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