This post contains major spoilers for the latest episode of the series.
“Battle Scars,” the new episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, begins in medias res, with the Bad Batch escaping from their most recent job, stealing a creature named Ruby from an uncouth group of ne’er-do-wells called the Rhokai. When they return to Cid’s, they encounter none other than Captain Rex, hoping to feel them out and check on their status. He insists they’re ticking time bombs with their inhibitor chips still installed and they agree to rendezvous with him to have them removed.
Things get complicated when Wrecker’s headaches turn lethal and his inhibitor chip goes off. They’re able to subdue him and remove all of the inhibitor chips. But that’s not the end of their troubles as the episode ends with them being sold out to the Empire.
Captain Rex is the clone who has likely been in the most Star Wars media. Introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this story helps bridge the gap between his last appearance on The Clone Wars with former Jedi Ahsoka Tano in the wake of Order 66 and his first appearance in Star Wars Rebels, where he’s living in retirement with two other clones with removed inhibitor chips.
He mentions this Imperials list him as killed in action by the Empire, which helps him move through the galaxy unnoticed, though his clone armor might be a tip-off for places he’s going. He also mentions that he found the Bad Batch thanks to the information given to him by Trace and Rafa Martez, which implies Ahsoka had, at the very least, told Rex to check them out if he needed help. Whether they’re working for the early stages of the Rebellion or not remains to be seen.
More than anything, it almost seems as though Rex’s mission during this time is to help as many clones remove their inhibitor chips as possible. It’s implied that he’s done the same with Gregor and Wolffe. But something tells me we won’t see a lot more of Rex’s story on this show.
When Rex contacts the clones, he tells them to meet him on the planet Bracca. For those fans of Star Wars video games, this might be an exciting sight. Bracca was the planet where Jedi Master Joro Tapal and his apprentice Cal Kestis were stationed just prior to Order 66 being executed. Master Tapal was killed in the process, but Cal made it to the surface of Bracca and made his way as a member of the Scrapper Guild, hiding his Jedi nature…that is, until Inquisitors arrive on Bracca looking for Jedi, as seen in the opening sequences of Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order.
The levels of the game that take place on Bracca are similarly treacherous to the terrain that the Bad Batch must get through in order to get to a medical bay capable of removing their chips.
Rex has found a downed, first generation Venator-class Jedi cruiser, a relic of the wars, in order to complete their task. But because of the territorial nature of the Scrapper Guild, they have a while to go before they get there. Rex mentions this ship is just like the one on which he had his chip removed, a direct reference to the final arc of The Clone Wars, and it was a ship just like this that crashed on that unnamed moon that killed so many clones. Fortunately, he and Ahsoka survived. There’s a bit of a Lord of the Rings vibe to their descent into the Jedi cruiser, reminding one of the descent into the Mines of Moria from The Fellowship of the Ring. This is the only way through, despite the danger.
The Scrappers who report the Bad Batch at the end of the episode are very much a part of the same organization Cal Kestis fell into. It’s easy to imagine a young Cal on that planet. Will he make an appearance in the next episode? I can imagine if he did, he would be none too happy to see any clones around.
Into the Details
There are a couple of small details worth pointing out. The first would be the Mantell Mix popcorn. This is another reference to the Galaxy’s Edge theme park land at Disney parks and the Outpost Mix they sell in the marketplace. It’s a sweet and spicy popcorn mix that tastes incredible. Seeing it on screen in Star Wars brings about memories of that specific flavor now. And when you go to Black Spire Outpost, after you’ve completed a mission, you’ll have to get some of this tasty stuff, just like Wrecker and Omega.
The other connecting moment in the episode comes during the sojourn through the Jedi cruiser. The creature below the water is a dianoga. These creatures seem to like scrap and the water. One was found on the Death Star and Luke Skywalker had a run in with one just like Wrecker did here. Speaking of Black Spire Outpost, there’s a dianoga there, too. It’s inside the water fountain and, when it’s working, can startle people looking to sate their thirst in the heat of the rising suns of Batuu.
This episode ends on a cliffhanger. With the Scrapper Guild spotting the Bad Batch after Rex’s departure, and vowing to report them to the Empire, there’s a distinct possibility that Crosshair will be the one coming back to haunt them.
That leaves an interesting question raised from this episode: If they get the chance, will they stun him and try to remove his chip? Or will they be forced to kill them? Only time will tell, but there is still plenty of time left. We still have nine episodes left of this season.
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