Bad Batch: What will happen with the Zillo Beast in the series finale (and will it eat Dr. Hemlock)?

The Zillo Beast is back!
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3 "Shadows of Tantiss." Royce Hemlock and Emperor Palpatine. Image Credit:
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3 "Shadows of Tantiss." Royce Hemlock and Emperor Palpatine. Image Credit: /

Warning: This article contains spoilers from The Bad Batch season 3, episode 14, "Flash Strike."

Before The Bad Batch Season 3 began, I speculated about what would happen to Dr. Royce Hemlock, including a theory that he would be eaten by the cloned Zillo Beast at Mount Tantiss. As season 3 progressed, my confidence in this theory waned as the Zillo Beast didn't reappear. It only received an indirect reference when Dr. Hemlock mentioned to Emperor Palpatine in the "Shadows of Tantiss" episode that "The exotic matter facilities have expanded, providing alteration and testing of much larger assets."

Thanks to "Flash Strike," my hopes of Dr. Hemlock being eaten by the Zillo Beast have been revitalized as the creature made its first appearance since Season 2, episode 11, "Metamorphosis." While temporarily sneaking out of the vault and exploring more of Mount Tantiss, Omega has now discovered the tank where the Zillo Beast is being kept. This discovery is the "something big" she tells the other kids about and will be part of her plan in the series finale.

Omega is likely planning on releasing the Zillo Beast. She saw firsthand in "Metamorphosis" how formidable and destructive the creature can be. It will cause chaos, keeping Hemlock and the Imperial forces busy while she and the kids work to escape the vault and free the imprisoned clones.

Beyond just releasing it, Omega may try to direct the Zillo Beast to a source of electricity within Mount Tantiss. From her experiences with the creature, she knows that it feeds on electricity, and doing so allows it to grow exponentially in size, not only making it even more of a distraction for the Empire but also sabotaging the electricity Hemlock and his forces rely on to keep control of the facility.

There is also a possibility of Omega connecting with the Zillo Beast as Asajj Ventress did with the vrathean on Pabu, or even Omega riding the Zillo Beast, much like her brother Boba Fett riding a rancor years from now in the timeline. These outcomes seem less likely given Omega's questionable Force-sensitivity at this point, but these scenarios could still unfold.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 3 "The Harbinger." Asajj Ventress. Image Credit: /

As for whether the Zillo Beast will eat Hemlock, there is a good chance of this happening for in-universe reasons and for narrative reasons. In The Clone Wars, the Zillo Beast was shown to be quite intelligent. It understood when Palpatine said it was nothing more than an animal and ordered that it be killed. The Zillo Beast specifically targeted Palpatine after that.

The Bad Batch has not shown Hemlock interacting with this Zillo Beast, but he surely has. Those interactions would only have caused the beast to hurt as part of the experimentation to turn its impenetrable skin into impenetrable armor. Perhaps the series finale can begin with a scene between Hemlock and the Zillo Beast, solidifying this history between them and making it clear that the Zillo Beast knows who Hemlock is and will be intentionally hunting down and eventually eating the Imperial scientist.

From a narrative standpoint, the Zillo Beast eating Hemlock works well. The villain is destroyed by the creature he experimented on and arrogantly thought he could keep contained, ultimately destroyed by his own hubris as much as the Zillo Beast itself. This would be more satisfying than having the Bad Batch or another clone do it, allowing their focus to be on saving as many innocent lives as possible instead of on who kills Hemlock.

Even if Hemlock doesn't meet his demise this way, Omega saw the Empire's TK troopers hurting the Zillo Beast, so at the very least, it will recognize all of them as bad and go after them. This could explain why the Zillo Beast will attack the TK troopers and the clone commandos but will leave the rest of the clones alone.

Hopefully, the Zillo Beast will not only be a distraction and a weapon in the series finale but also have the opportunity to be free. This Zillo Beast is also a clone and is just as deserving of freedom from the Empire's brutality.

No matter how things pan out, it's exciting to know that the Zillo Beast is back in the picture and has been set up to play an important role in The Bad Batch's endgame.

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The Bad Batch series finale, "The Cavalry Has Arrived," will be available to stream on May 1, only on Disney+.