There are major spoilers here for the latest episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

This episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch is unique in that it puts a focus on larger galactic events and the Bad Batch play only a tangential role (at least at this point.) Trouble brews on planet Ryloth, home to the Twi’lek people. They don’t take occupation well and rebelled against the Confederacy during the Clone Wars, fighting side-by-side with Jedi and clones. Though Cham Syndulla trusts the clones to help, the former freedom fighters don’t find much difference between the occupation of the Separatists than they do the Imperials. Gobi Glie, one of Cham Syndulla’s chief lieutenants, works to keep the resistance armed, and Admiral Rampart uses all of this as a ploy to eliminate any would be rebel movements from starting. 

Gobi Glie enlists the help of Cham’s young daughter, Hera Syndulla, to help smuggle weapons to Ryloth with a contract from Cid and the Bad Batch. Crosshair, on Ryloth as part of Admiral Rampart’s detachment, is able to take down their ship as they arrive and use this as a catalyst for bringing down Cham Syndulla, Gobi Glie, and any other problematic element on Ryloth.

This episode plays very much like the first part of a larger arc and ends on quite the cliffhanger, with all hell breaking loose.

Key Twi’leks

There are a number of characters in this episode of The Bad Batch that have ties to other bits of animated Star Wars. Most importantly, we get Cham Syndulla and his wife, Eleni. These are Hera Syndulla’s parents. Cham appeared in The Clone Wars and then returned again in Star Wars Rebels, but this is the first time we’re catching a glimpse of Hera’s mother. Eleni Syndulla is killed at some point during Cham’s resistance to the Empire, causing a rift between father and daughter. It feels like this key moment might very well be where this story arc is leading.

Their daughter, Hera Syndulla, alongside her trusty droid Chopper, is here on Ryloth, doing her best to learn to fly and be part of the resistance against the Empire. Hera is a central figure in the Rebellion and one of the leading characters on Star Wars Rebels. There were episodes of Rebels that showcased her rift with her father and her connection with her mother, but none of that conflict has been on screen before. Vanessa Marshall returns to voice this young Hera, before she drops her accent, which still comes out in her later life when she’s angry. Though the voice of Chopper is credited as “himself,” it’s likely Dave Filoni is still providing the voice for the droid, as he did through all of Star Wars Rebels. 

Gobie Glie is another important freedom fighter in what will become Cham Syndulla’s Free Ryloth movement, and the Empire is already on to him – he’s who Crosshair is watching at the beginning of the show. Gobie first appeared on Star Wars: The Clone Wars in the first season, fighting alongside the unfortunately named Nikto Jedi Ima-Gun Di, who lived up to his name in that story arc. He did, indeed, die. He’s an important character that appeared in The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and the novel Lords of the Sith, which we’ll get to later.

Senator Orn Free Taa traces his appearances to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. He served as the Senator from Ryloth and was a member of Sheev Palpatine’s Loyalist Committee. He’s a greedy, self-interested senator and a model of the problems and corruption in the senate Palpatine told Queen Amidala about in The Phantom Menace. He never got a voice in the films, but Phil Lamar took the duties for Taa’s appearances in The Clone Wars and reprises his role here. It’s important to note that, despite appearances, Senator Orn Free Taa is not killed at the end of this episode. Wounded, perhaps, but he features prominently in future storytelling, and you’ll notice that Admiral Rampart accuses the Syndullas of attempted assassination. 

Lords of the Sith

If you enjoyed this episode, you’re going to want to read the novel Star Wars: Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp. Taking place sometime in the future, after the events of the Bad Batch but long before the Rebellion has coalesced into an actual movement, Cham Syndulla is leading the Free Ryloth movement with Gobi Glie at his side. His wife, Eleni, is already dead at this point and Hera has left him. They get intelligence that says Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader will be arriving on Ryloth and they take their chance to assassinate the both of them. Knowing they can’t defeat them in a stand up fight, they decide to bring down their entire Star Destroyer. 

Not even that can take down two lords of the Sith, who make it to the wild jungles of Ryloth and have to cut their way through Cham’s Free Ryloth fighters across the planet until they can escape. Senator Orn Free Taa plays a part in the book as well, it was one of his aides that got the information out to Cham Syndulla about Palpatine’s travel plans. Taa was aboard the Star Destroyer brought down by Cham Syndulla, but he was able to get to the surface as well.

The book is well worth a read, and it would be worth your time to watch all of the Ryloth episodes of The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch before reading it because of all the characters it features. 

Other Details

The secret Imperial facility is, according to Admiral Rampart, a Doonium mine. It’s no wonder the Empire wants to keep the facility secret and keep the Twi’lek people from rising up. Doonium is a key metal used in the construction of Star Destroyers, but more important than that, the construction of the Death Star project, well underway at this point in the timeline, requires massive amounts of it, forcing the Empire to acquire and stockpile as much as they can. You can read more about Doonium in Thrawn, by Timothy Zahn and Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno.

Blurrgs played a part in this episode as well. They were brought into canon from Ewoks: The Battle For Endor based on unused design sketches for The Empire Strikes Back. These two-legged, reptilian mounts made their first canon appearance on Ryloth in the first season of The Clone Wars. They reached a new level of popularity when they were used in The Mandalorian by Din Djarin and Kuiil on Arvala-7. 

The transport Gobi and Hera are carried in after being convicted of treason is a HAVw A6 Juggernaut. They’re referred to as turbo tanks or juggernauts. They first appeared in Revenge of the Sith and were used in The Clone Wars, but the most recognizable use of them might be on Wobani in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This is the same sort of transport used to take Jyn Erso from prison to her work assignment. And it was from here the rebels rescued her to bring her to Yavin. You’ll notice the same interiors and binders on the inside.

The other cool bit of technology in the show connecting this to the rest of the universe are the speeders driven by the clones through the canyons of Ryloth. These BARC speeders (BARC stands for Biker Advanced Recon Commando) first appeared in Revenge of the Sith but have appeared in many episodes of The Clone Wars and even a couple of previous episodes of The Bad Batch. 

Where’s the Bad Batch?

This episode ends with Hera on the run from the Empire and Cham and Eleni Syndulla captured by the Empire. The Bad Batch only appear in one scene of this episode (not counting Crosshair’s role on Ryloth), and they were merely the gunrunners handing weapons over to Gobi Glie. 

This episode ends on a very significant cliffhanger and it makes one wonder if the Bad Batch will be hired to come help rescue Hera by Gobi. Could Hera join their crew? It makes me wonder if this arc leads to the events that set Hera down her path of Rebellion, pave the way for her mother’s death, and give Cham Syndulla all the reasons he needs to launch the Free Ryloth Movement in earnest. 

It seems likely.

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