In episode 15 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Echo and Omega infiltrate Governor Tarkin’s complex on his home planet of Eriadu, with the aim of attaching a homing beacon to Doctor Hemlock’s ship. But, unfortunately, their plan goes awry when they bump into Saw Gerrera.
Saw’s plan is to blow the entire base up with no survivors, to and wipe out the top leadership of the Empire – Tarkin, Krennic, Hemlock, Romodi and Coburn – in one fell swoop. This is something that contradicts with the Bad Batch’s plan, as they need Hemlock to leave without suspecting foul play.
Hunter and Tech, the ones who discover Saw, try and talk him out of it. Their arguments are that Saw is wasting a chance to get valuable intel, and that Hemlock must live so they can find the location of Mount Tantiss to save Crosshair and other clones. Wiping out the Empire’s top commanders wouldn’t change much, as the Empire would install new ones.
Saw’s arguments are that by killing the commanders he’ll deal a huge blow to the Empire, and a rather vague notion of sacrifices must be made for the greater good. Lets unpack these arguments below, and see who’s right.
Starting with the Bad Batch’s arguments against blowing up the base. Tech’s claim of valuable intel is with some merit, as if Saw were to have bugged the meeting or hacked the mainframe, no doubt he would have found some amazing information. If Tech meant Saw to capture one of the Imperials, this claim falls apart, as it’s very unlikely he’d get anything out of them. They’d probably use the suicide tooth to prevent their capture anyway.
More importantly though, is saving Crosshair and the clones. The Bad Batch’s actions are born from a love of their brother, and a genuine care for all the other clones. To quote Rose Tico from The Last Jedi “That’s how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.” While a widely mocked quote (it is a dumb thing to say given its context in the film) Star Wars has expressed this idea several times since.
The Bad Batch’s actions are right because they aren’t seeking out to cause senseless destruction like Saw. They’re genuinely compassionate and want to save as many people as they can from the destruction and horrors Hemlock is exposing them do. There is also the wider point that’s overlooked that they expose Mount Tantiss, a base that must be stopped.
Moving to whether Saw is right in that killing these five commanders will deal a blow to the Empire, and it’s possible he may have a point. All five of the Imperials present at some point served in the Republic, meaning they’re all extremely experienced in their fields.
By killing them, sure they will be replaced, but the Empire will be forced to promote underexperienced officers. This in turn will make it easier to take the entire Empire down as a result. Lieutenant Nolan is the type of unexperienced moron that would reach a higher rank because of this action.
So there is actually a benefit here. But this needs to be weighed against everything else. And it’s unlikely Saw had thought all this through. It’s more likely he’s blowing s**t up to cause chaos. He is an anarchist after all.
Finally, there’s Saw’s notion of sacrifice “for the greater good”. Apart from it being vague, it’s overlooking the help the clones could be to a galactic uprising. Given their experience, they would be very useful to any rebel cell. The greater good is something that’s invoked whenever someone wants to justify goals that actually only benefit themselves, just like in this case. This is another example where Saw is acting on vengeance, not strategy.
Ultimately, while Saw does raise some valid points, it is Hunter and Tech that are right in this scenario. Unfortunately though, neither Saw or the Bad Batch succeed in their mission. It’s a point of tension that might rear itself in a possible season three of The Bad Batch, something that’s undoubtedly coming soon.