“There is an encouraging surprise at the end of this episode of The Bad Batch that opens the door to a wide range of storytelling possibilities,” says Max Nocerino in his review
The Bad Batch S2.E3: The Solitary Clone is Star Wars action storytelling fun at its best, and I overall, enjoyed the episode immensely. The title of the episode lets fans know that this is a Crosshair episode as he is the only member of Clone Force 99 that is still fighting for the Empire. Indeed, this episode is completely devoid of Omega and the other Bad Batchers, and honestly. That’s okay. This episode tells a self-contained story that is both enlightening and exciting.
We start with the Empire trying to establish control over a former Separatist planet Dresix. Dresix seceded from the Republic during the Clone Wars and has no intention of being under the Empire’s thumb. The governor takes the newly installed Imperial governor hostage and prepares its battle droids for further defense stratagems. It’s awesome to see battle droids operating Post-ROTS and nothing has changed about their lethality.
The pompous, sociopathic Imperial Rampart has dispatched Crosshair to re-take control of the situation. As Rampart briefs Crosshair, he without even the slightest restraint basically taunts and mocks Crosshair for being loyal to the Empire. Even though he was left for dead on Kamino and remained on that platform for over a month! Crosshair does not take the bait (which is commendable) and plainly says he is a soldier who fights for the Empire. Rampart commends his determination and loyalty but it is very clear that he has prejudice toward Crosshair for being a clone. And it would be wise of Crosshair to never trust this guy.
COMMANDER CODY RETURNS!
Crosshair leads a squad to Dresix with another familiar face, Commander Cody! It’s great to see Cody and even though all clones sound and look alike, I felt a familiarity when he came on screen. Cody served with Obi-Wan Kenobi and himself ordered the mass-driver cannon to fire on Kenobi when Order 66 was initiated. You can tell that Cody struggles with that decision throughout the episode as his loyalty to the Empire is tested. Is the Empire really about changing the galaxy for the better? Is there such a thing as peace? These are deep questions and even Crosshair’s blind loyalty may eventually be questioned as well.
I also really enjoyed seeing the convergence of traditional clone troopers and the new Imperial TK troopers. These will eventually replace the clones and evolve into the Stormtroopers we know and love (to hate). It’s great symbolism for the changing of the guard (so to speak) as the Empire deems the clones obsolete and is ready to replace them. Lastly, Crosshair was picking off battle droids with his sniping talent. It very much reminded me of American Sniper when Chris Kyle cleared the battlefield with his covert sniping allowing the other soldiers to advance unencumbered.
At the end of the day, we basically see in a nutshell how faux the Empire is as a government. They treat loyal soldiers like expendable pieces of junk. They have leaders who care for nobody. Finally, they preach that they want peace but as the Sith say “Peace is a lie. There is only passion”. I can’t wait to see how the Empire continues to evolve in this respect and there is an encouraging surprise at the end of this episode that opens the door to a wide range of storytelling possibilities.
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!