The Bad Batch Continues An Important Storyline From Star Wars The Clone Wars

Spoilers follow for "The Bad Batch" Season 2 Episode 11 – "Metamorphosis."

As the Omega (Michelle Ang) and the Bad Batch (Dee Bradley Baker) comes back into the civilized galaxy after being stranded for the last two episodes, Cid tips them off about a downed ship that might have a great payoff if they salvage the cargo.

Angry with Cid for not retrieving them, they're reluctant to take the gig. But when she offers to split the proceeds with them 50/50, it's enough for them to take the job, though they make rumblings that it might be their last for Cid. They investigate the crash site and find an alien creature there. That was the cargo. Unfortunately, it's eaten the crew. Tech and Omega investigate the ship for more information while Wrecker and Hunter try to stop the beast, though their blasters are ineffective against it. Things go from bad to worse when the monster starts eating the local power grid and growing exponentially in size. When they discover it's actually a Zillo Beast, they aren't even sure what they can do.

But that's when the Empire arrives. Clone Commandos arrive and destroy the downed ship, capture the Zillo Beast, chase off the Bad Batch, and round up all of the civilians who saw the monster.

Meanwhile, on Mount Tantiss—a location we haven't seen since the final episode of the first season—a new character named Dr. Hemlock (Jimmi Simpson) is trying to convince the Kaminoan scientist Nala Se to work with him. He's not getting anywhere with her, but he's told her weak spot is one clone in particular...


The Zillo Beast

This episode pays off a setup that goes back to the second season of "The Clone Wars." It was the subject of two episodes of that show, sendups of "Godzilla" and "King Kong." The Jedi found the Zillo Beast almost impossible to bring down, but were finally able to do so. The beast itself was the seeming result of a weapons test on the planet Malastare, the monster was nearly indestructible. Palpatine wanted it brought to Coruscant, but, like King Kong, it broke through its restraints and rampaged through the city-planet until the Jedi were forced to kill it.

That episode ended on a cliffhanger where Chancellor Palpatine had decided to keep the Zillo Beast for himself, secreting the monster's corpse away for research to weaponize. He demanded it be cloned, and it's no wonder it's part of the cloning projects we see on Mount Tantiss.

Now, we see where it got sent and how they learned to keep the beast under control, even though it got loose on their research ship. That doesn't mean there aren't lingering questions. Tech raises many of them as he goes through the data, but the data leaked. Hunter orders him to send it to Echo and Rex, which effectively puts it in the hands of the nascent Rebellion. Every single thing happening on this show adds more fuel to the fire of the rebellion that will eventually ignite by the time of "Andor" and "Star Wars Rebels."

Mount Tantiss

Mount Tantiss is a location from the Legends of "Star Wars." It was the site of Grand Admiral Thrawn's secret cloning facilities and produced Joruus C'baoth. Thrawn also intended to clone soldiers to operate his fleet of Dreadnoughts. In that timeline, the facility was ultimately destroyed by Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and the heroes of the Rebellion.

Here, we are introduced to a new iteration of Mount Tantiss, a facility opened by Palpatine to control cloning in the galaxy and work on special projects. We know one of those projects is the Zillo Beast, thanks to it getting out in this episode. We can only assume others are in the works as well, including some that might have led to Palpatine's other body and Supreme Leader Snoke.

Notice how they refer to the Zillo Beast as "the asset." Is it any coincidence that they use the same language to refer to Grogu in "The Mandalorian"? It will be interesting to see how Mount Tantiss and this storyline connects to the things going on with Grogu on that show.

Another interesting thing to note is that this cloning facility is protected by Clone Commandos. These were the elite of the normal clone corps and are supposedly the best of the best. In a time when the Empire is phasing out clones, one wonders where these soldiers will end up.


This episode leans a lot on the visuals and tropes from "Alien" and "Aliens," two great sci-fi horror films. This isn't the first time "Star Wars" has leaned on these films for inspiration. The "Brain Invaders" arc draws quite a bit from these films, too. But this episode feels very direct. The way the film opens, with the ominously crashing ship and the harsh lighting in the derelict craft, to the way the Zillo Beast looks and sounds in its infant state, it's all a reminder of those great films.

There's one moment, with the crackling breath of the Zillo Beast, that reminded me so much of the feelings I have when watching "Alien" movies that it sent a shiver right up my back.

Details to watch out for

The voice cast in this episode is something to take notice of. Dr. Royce Hemlock brings Jimmi Simpson from "Westworld" into the role of heavy in the series. His work here is sinister and understated.

There are two other "Star Wars" veterans that joined this episode, too. Helen Sadler plays Doctor Scalder on this episode, and she's the voice of Rey in the "LEGO Star Wars" properties. Emerie Karr might be the most interesting addition, though. She is voiced by Keisha Castle-Hughes, who portrayed Apailana, Queen of Naboo, in "Revenge of the Sith," representing the saddened royalty at Padmé's funeral.

There are some visual things to watch out for, too. As the Bad Batch lands on the planet, with the starry sky in the background, it looks just like the shots of the Imperial Shuttle landing on Endor when they're capturing Luke in "Return of the Jedi." Tech also has a moment of tracking the Zillo Beast that looks a lot like the vision mode from "Predator."

The Final Accounting

This episode moved the meta-arc of the story forward in a lot of ways and offered us hints about what's coming next. The Bad Batch is public enemy number one for Palpatine's secret cloning program. Their ship was spotted at the site of the Zillo Beast and is being hunted for that reason, but they also have Omega, who Dr. Hemlock wants dearly.

The Bad Batch is going to have to make a choice. Do they keep working for Cid — who keeps sending them into harm's way for no payoff — or do they start fighting the good fight? Watching them struggle with that line has been fascinating to watch and I hope we see more of it.

I get the idea Omega is going to be lost to them once more and they're going to have to pick sides in order to rescue her. And if that's where we're heading, I'm really excited to see that conclusion one way or the other.

New episodes of "The Bad Batch" air on Wednesdays on Disney+.