Star Wars: The Bad Batch Gives Us An Empire Strikes Back Of A Season Finale

This post contains spoilers for the "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" season 2 finale.

Knowing that the imprisoned Clones are being taken to Dr. Hemlock's (Jimmi Simpson) secret facility, and that's where Crosshair is being held as well, the Bad Batch (Dee Bradley Baker) decide they need to mount a rescue. With no indication of where Hemlock's top-secret facility is, they decide they need to find Hemlock and plant a homing beacon on his ship. They work to infiltrate a summit being held by Tarkin (Stephen Stanton) on his home planet of Eriadu. As they make their way to Eriadu and begin infiltrating Tarkin's base, they realize there are other anomalies that make them believe the base has been infiltrated by others. They plant the homing beacon successfully, but Saw Gerrera's partisans are hell-bent on destroying the base, regardless of the importance of the Bad Batch's mission. With the base blowing up and their mission parameters completed, even if Saw Gerrera ensured it was futile, they board a sky rail car for escape. With Stormtroopers in hot pursuit and power failing on the rail car, they're trapped miles up in the air and under attack.

While Governor Tarkin orders an air strike, Tech separates from the group to restore power. He's able to do so but gets trapped on a falling rail car. Wrecker and Omega try to save him, but he initiates "Plan 99" and sacrifices himself for the squad. Heartbroken at Tech's loss, the Bad Batch finishes their escape and makes their way to Ord Mantell, hoping Cid (Rhea Perlman) can give them a safe harbor long enough to lick their wounds.

Unfortunately, Cid sells them out, bringing Dr. Hemlock right to their doorstep. Wounded and out of bargaining power, the Bad Batch is put in a bad situation. Omega is taken by Hemlock, and they're left to escape without her. Hunter, going back on his pacifist hopes for a quiet life in the future vows to scour the galaxy until she's found.

Omega is taken to Mount Tantiss, where she's introduced to Emerie Karr. Emerie has a shocking secret to reveal, though. She, too, is a clone of Jango Fett and Omega's sister!


The brunt of the action in these two episodes is centered on the planet Eriadu, a planet we've long read about but haven't seen much of in the on-screen world of "Star Wars." It first appeared in the new canon in James Luceno's book "Tarkin," which I would suggest is a must-read for fans of "The Bad Batch," "The Mandalorian," and "Andor" since it lays so much groundwork we're seeing the fruits of on-screen. In that book, Eriadu was described as a harsh planet and made Tarkin's upbringing feel like something out of one of Hemingway's stories about African safaris and child abuse.

Eriadu's first appearance, though, came from the original West End Games "Star Wars" roleplaying game supplement "The Imperial Sourcebook." This is where Tarkin was raised and where he was Governor for a time. It's also interesting to note that they're falling back on Tarkin's gubernatorial rank rather than his military one.

Saw's partisans

The appearance of Saw Gerrera and his partisans is another indication that the timeline is moving forward apace. Saw appeared in earlier episodes of "The Bad Batch" and was still trying to figure out how best to take his fight to the Empire. Now, we see the fruits of his labor, and he's content to be a blunt force instrument, regardless of the strategic initiatives at play.

Despite the pleas of the Bad Batch to let them get the information they need, Saw just wants to wreak havoc. It's no wonder he has significant disagreements with all the other aspects of the Rebellion and doesn't come to hell when Mon Mothma or other rebel leaders ask. He has his own mind set on what's right and no one will change it for him.

With Saw's appearances in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," "The Bad Batch," "Star Wars Rebels," "Andor," and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," he's seen a lot of screen time and we see a really fascinating arc to his character, and where he finally ends up. Like Maul, you have to piece together the sweep of his story across a number of series, but once you put it all together, it paints an utterly fascinating picture.

Plan 99

For those wondering why the episode is titled "Plan 99" and why Tech invokes Plan 99 before sacrificing himself, it's important to remember where Clone Force 99 got their name. They took it from the malformed clone designated 99. We saw his story play out in episodes of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" that took cues from "Gunga Din." Instead of a water carrier, he's more of a janitor, hanging around Tipoca City on Kamino. He believes in the clones and wants to help serve them in any way he can. When an attack on the base turns dire, he ends up sacrificing his life in one of the most tearful episodes of the show ever.

It's got a sad and sweet poetry to it that Tech would give his life to the team in a way that evokes 99, both in spirit and verbally by name.

Palpatine's project

This episode offered us our clearest window yet into what's going on with Dr. Hemlock and the covert cloning projects on Mount Tantiss. As he brings Omega back to Nala Se, she seems very confident that what's being asked can't be done.

"What he seeks is not possible," she tells Hemlock.

To which Hemlock replies, "Make it possible."

What can they be talking about? It really seems more and more like this is the project that led to Palpatine's resurgence in "The Rise of Skywalker" and will give way to Supreme Leader Snoke. It makes one wonder if the Bad Batch will ever find the facility because the plans for this secret project come to fruition so completely fifty or sixty years hence.

It will be interesting to see if the seeds planted here bear more fruit on "The Mandalorian" as well, since that show this season has teased out more information about the Advanced Science Division as well.

Details to watch out for

One of the best things this pair of episodes gave us was an animated look at then-Commander Krennic (voiced again by Ben Mendelsohn) as he gives a briefing about Project Stardust. For those fans of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," this was a very welcome cameo and tie to the rest of the canon. Given the codename Stardust being used, it feels like this might actually take place after the opening sequence of "Rogue One," but Saw Gerrera's look and demeanor might belie that. For more about Krennic in this period of time, don't hesitate to read the book "Catalyst," another James Luceno novel.

The sky rail car sequence evoked a lot of imagery and tension from what I think is the best of the James Bond movies, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." That movie has James Bond sneaking into a mountaintop base and back out again using a skyway tram in a similar fashion. The tension of falling and getting caught in the gears matches both projects pretty well.

There's a "Return of the Jedi"-like moment, too, as the Bad Batch approaches Eriadu and they have to offer stolen codes. It mirrors the approach to the Forest Moon of Endor that Han Solo and his strike team are forced to endure. It's also worth pointing out the "THX-1138" reference here. When Tech disables the sensor, the monitoring Imperials reference a malfunction in sensor 38-11, which inverts the number referenced in most "Star Wars" projects as an homage to George Lucas's first feature film.


This is an "Empire Strikes Back" finale for "The Bad Batch" and if there's not an announcement soon about the third season of the show, I expect there will be a lot of very upset "Star Wars" fans. These two episodes synthesized virtually every dangling thread from this season and pull it all together in one momentous finale where they lose so much. They are at the bottom of the barrel and they can only climb from here. For my money, there were two major "Star Wars" releases today, this and "The Mandalorian," and this is by far the better release. Losing Tech was emotional and well-executed, the music throughout the episode touches on moments of greatness that evoke the music John Williams put together for Order 66, and it actually made me cry.

It's such a well-synthesized show. Looking back after two seasons, I'll admit I was skeptical about my desire for a show about "The Bad Batch." I was lukewarm about their episodes of "The Clone Wars" — partly because they were surrounded by so much other cool stuff. But as we've waded deeper into this show, I've become more and more invested. It's one of the best things to come from this new era of "Star Wars" and shows the depths of despair the Empire will sink to as it clings to power. Whether that power is by building Death Stars and terrorizing people politically, or whether it's forcing clones into scientific experiments against their will to unnaturally prolong the life of a Sith lord, it's horrifying. 

This window into the galaxy has been a wild ride and I hope it gets to continue.

Watching the clones of the Bad Batch struggle with their place in the universe, as clones, as soldiers, as parents, we're left to examine those things for ourselves. What is the price of inaction against tyranny? Is it ever worth giving up the fight? Or does that always aid the oppressors? Hunter is going to have to make some hard choices and something tells me that whatever happens in a hopeful third season isn't going to let them go back to the quiet life they wanted.

Both seasons of "The Bad Batch" are available on Disney+.