WARNING: The following contains SPOILERS for The Bad Batch Season 2, Episode 10: “Retrieval.”
Those who have power will almost always abuse it — even when they don’t realize they’re doing it. Star Wars is very good at leaning into the extremes of this truth, showing time and again what happens when people hungry for power finally wrap their hands around it.
The Bad Batch Season 2, Episode 10 “Retrieval” is the latest example of this look into such a devastating reality. Clone Force 99 finds themselves literally looking down into a micro-society where workers are forced to compete with one another for status and — more importantly — food and water rations.
“Top performers” earn access to more food and water than those below them. But not because the man at the top of the operation is without plenty of resources himself.
It’s not shocking to learn by the end of the episode that the owner of the mining operation is rich and growing richer every day. He manipulates, punishes, and abuses his workers for no reason other than he can.
He has power, and he has the luxury of using it for entertainment. To seek pleasure. To feel more powerful than he actually is.
That power is only going to lead to his downfall. But that’s not always how these stories end — especially in the real world.
But Star Wars at is core is about hope. It shows the oppressed rising up to take down their overlords because that is what such people hope the most for — to be able to say “no more” to oppression and change their own lives, and the lives of others like them, for the better.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen such stories play out. Solo: A Star Wars Story and especially Rae Carson’s Most Wanted portray the White Worms and Lady Proxima as powerful, greedy beings who seek to control those they claim to want to protect.
But that protection and similar rewards are nothing more than a façade. Maintaining a sense of control, a sense of status and meaning, is the foundation of such promises. And eventually, those oppressed by power will always see through the cracks and discover the evil truths that lie festering underneath.
Power is almost never a good thing. It will almost always harm everyone it touches. No matter how much they promise they will use it for good … it’s never the key to greatness they secretly hope it will be.
New episodes of The Bad Batch drop Wednesdays exclusively on Disney+.
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