Bad Batch Cornered Breakdown

This post contains major spoilers for the latest episode of the series.

In the latest episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, titled “Cornered, the team seek out an uninhabited planet to lay low on while the transition from Republic to Empire settles down. They choose the planet Idaflor (which seems like it might be Space Florida?). But with no supplies, a wanted ship, and no fuel, they make a pit stop on the planet Pantora. After bribing a Sullustan dock master, they get to work retrieving supplies. Things go wrong when Fennec Shand is tipped off to their whereabouts to collect a bounty inexplicably on Omega’s head. After a lengthy chase, they’re able to escape from the Pantoran authorities and Fennec Shand. Since they only met some of their objectives, they’ll have to go somewhere else to finish getting supplies, but at least they refueled and got their ship’s signature scrambled.

The Guest Stars

Fennec Shand, voiced by Ming-Na Wen, is the Bounty Hunter chasing Omega. She first appeared in The Mandalorian and in that story is currently indebted to Boba Fett and will be appearing on the new show, The Book of Boba Fett. This show takes place around 25 years prior to those shows, or so, meaning that Fennec Shand has been living this life of a bounty hunter successfully for quite a long time. Ming-Na Wen returned to voice the character in her younger state.

As far as other vocal cameos this episode, you might recognize Saturday Night Live alumni Taran Killam as the Sullustan dock-worker that sells the Bad Batch and Omega out to Fennec Shand. He voices the Goatal seen briefly in the episode as well.

Another SNL vet, Bobby Moynihan, returns this episode as well, taking on the role of the Gran trader in the marketplace, as well as other roles. Moynihan first appeared in Star Wars in the role of Orka (and others) on Star Wars Resistance.

The Small Details

There are many small details and easter eggs hidden in this episode. Chief among them is the planet of Pantora. Pantora was seen briefly on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Its residents are blue-skinned near-humans with golden facial tattoos. Pantorans first appeared in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, played by George Lucas and his family. Though Lucas and his family didn’t provide the voices, these characters of the Pantoran Papanoida family reappeared on The Clone Wars as well.

The marketplace on Pantora evokes a combination of the marketplace at Black Spire Outpost (the setting of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Disney theme parks) and the Coruscant underworld, showing that Pantora is likely somewhere between the two technologically and culturally.

The parade seen on Pantora shows the Empire actually greeted as liberators with people cheering. This is a stark contrast to the Empire Day parade as depicted in the first season episode of Star Wars Rebels called, aptly, “Empire Day.” 15 years after this cheerful parade, the Empire marches to forced happiness and the resistance has built up enough by then to openly bomb one of these celebrations.

In the marketplace, Omega finds a doll of a Clone trooper that is similar to the one Jyn Erso has in her room in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The Stormtrooper variant is found in a very similar shop for people to buy at Zabaka’s Toydarian Toymaker shop in Galaxy’s Edge. Omega ends up stealing the doll and gets distracted by a pair of passing dog-like creatures. These are called voorpaks, and were first seen on Star Wars Resistance. Torra Doza owned one named Buggles.

Though Hunter ends up selling Echo to the Bobby Moynihan voiced Gran, he tries to sell him pyro denton explosives. These are early versions of the same sort of explosives that first appeared in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. They were the explosives Han and Chewie planted around Starkiller Base, just before Han’s fateful, final meeting with his son.

As all hell breaks loose in the episode, Tech is able to tap into the camera systems around the city and you’ll notice that the cameras are the same sort that the Empire employed on the Death Star. You’ll remember that Luke, Han, and Chewie shot up a number of them as they blasted their way toward Princess Leia in the detention center.

One of the most subtle references might be the name drop of Raspar-6. The Sullustan identifies himself as Raspar-6, which was a moon that suffered an atomic blast according to one of the earliest Star Wars source books, Monsters and Aliens from George Lucas by Bob Carrau. Carrau wrote The Ewok Adventure: The Caravan of Courage and had been the nanny for George Lucas’s children when he got the job to write the Ewok movie.

The Influences

Three of the biggest influences in this episode couldn’t come from more disparate sources.

First, the marketplace, with its neon lights and fast running and chase shots, evokes some of the very best stuff from the opening of Attack of the Clones and its Coruscant chase. Those scenes themselves were influenced by the work of Fritz Lang in Metropolis. (I’ve written about this previously.)

The circling police lights on the Pantoran authority’s speeders bring the flashing lights of Blade Runner’s floating cop cars to mind. And the taxi cabs floating throughout Pantora look a lot like the taxi cab Korben Dallas drives around in Luc Beeson’s The Fifth Element.

When the chase heads to the maintenance tunnels, the lighting gets more muted and dramatic and feels like a direct reference to The Third Man or The Fugitive, both of which have been referenced heavily in Star Wars films and television before.

The moment where Omega dangles from the tower evokes a number of different Alfred Hitchcock films. First, Saboteur, where a character dangles off of the Statue of Liberty. But so, too do the shots of the ground below remind one of the harrowing plight of Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo. Fennec Shand grabs Omega’s hand in a shot sequence that feels very much like Cary Grant rescuing Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest. Fennec Shand and Omega don’t end up on a train together, but they certainly end up on a fast-moving garbage truck.

Off Again

After that narrow brush with a bounty hunter, the Bad Batch need to be more on guard in how and where they stop. As they head off at the end of this episode, they still need to acquire supplies in order to go into proper hiding, but things are going to continue to be complicated.

Where will they end up next? Only time will tell.

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