Star Wars: The Bad Batch's Season 2 Finale Sacrifice Was A Complete Shock To The Cast

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

With all eyes fixed on "The Mandalorian" and the other live-action "Star Wars" series on Disney+, "The Bad Batch" has quietly emerged as one of the best things to come from a galaxy far, far away since the House of Mouse took over. For as much as the "Clone Wars" spin-off played things too safe in season 1, it had an easier time finding its ethos than other animated "Star Wars" shows. Right out of the gate, "The Bad Batch" proved it was willing to go to dark places in exploring the early days of the Galactic Empire, starting with Clone Force 99's experiences during Order 66.

Things only got bleaker from there, revealing how the Empire emboldened enslavers and other criminals to conduct their business in the daylight, all while civil liberties were being stomped out. Season 2 doubled down on that sentiment, further highlighting the price of Clone Force 99's inaction in the face of Palpatine's fascistic regime. It was clear Hunter (Dee Bradley Baker), Omega (Michelle Ang), and their brothers (Baker) would have to face a reckoning sooner than later — though none of them could have foreseen that coming in the form of Tech's tragic death and Omega's subsequent capture in the two-part season finale.

'I was really shocked'

Part of what makes Tech's sacrifice such a gut-punch is the timing. Rather than closing out the first half of its two-part finale, "The Summit," with his selfless actions, "The Bad Batch" waits until the early going of the second episode, "Plan 99." It comes at a point in the story when you least expect it, unlike the cliffhanger twist that arrives in the final scene. 

"I was really shocked," Michelle Ang told the official "Star Wars" website. She explained:

"I normally get the scripts about a week before the recording session, which is really plenty to read and internalize what's going on. But I had no idea — not even an inkling! — that we were going to lose one of the Batch. And definitely not Tech! If anything, it felt like they were building Tech up to be the new primary relationship. So, I was genuinely devastated. It felt a little bit like it was a prank or something. I was really shocked."

As Ang noted, season 2 saw Omega and Tech grow closer after Echo left to aid Rex in rescuing the other clones from the Empire and, in doing so, plant the seeds for the future Rebellion. Even "The Summit" opens with Phee (Wanda Sykes) bidding farewell to a confused Tech in a moment that seems to develop their newfound friendship. From the vantage point of the present, of course, it's obvious their exchange was foreshadowing Tech's death, much like Omega bonding with Tech earlier in the season ensured his passing would be extra hard on her emotionally.

Because of this, Ang had little trouble getting into the headspace to record her lines. "It was pretty easy to get there just because of the way that the story had been shaped," she admitted.

Since when have we ever followed orders?

It's not just the element of surprise. By taking place so early on in "Plan 99," Tech's death allows the episode to devote much of its runtime to Clone Force 99 grieving his passing "and the momentousness of reconfiguring who we were as a team," as Michelle Ang put it. "That's kinda mean isn't it?" she added. (I'm inclined to disagree with her, but I'm also the weirdo animation fan who loves "Watership Down" and sad Don Bluth films about heroes being traumatized by death and loss at a young age.)

To her credit, Ang admitted the shocking nature of Tech's sacrifice "makes it more heartfelt in a way because of this whole ethos behind who the Batch are and what they stand for." She continued:

"They're not going to let that sentimentality have them deviate from what they view as their purpose, you know? And I think that's sort of the bittersweetness of it. If everything had crumbled at that moment, that would've almost been less sad for some reason. But the fact that they still have so many other things coming at them that they have to keep going is what makes it that much more sad and painful and sweet."

The show's commitment to Tech's death is a testament to how much "The Bad Batch" has evolved since season 1. Besides digging deeper into the characters and the show's political themes, season 2 has upped the personal stakes for Clone Force 99 while at the same time examining the Advanced Science Division's research and the Imperials' cloning program — a thread that's becoming increasingly pivotal to the live-action "Star Wars" mythology. Not bad for what many wrote off as an inessential spin-off starting out.

"The Bad Batch" streams on Disney+.