The Bad Batch: A Project Stardust Roundtable (Episode 3)

Featuring Anna, Jamie, Jennie, Lauren, Lindsay, Nessa, Patty, Staci, and edited by Liv

The Project Stardust team has decided to come together to have a roundtable after each episode of The Bad Batch! Each week we will be discussing the things we liked and the questions we have about this episode. In preparation for this new series, we watched the Bad Batch Arc of The Clone Wars season 7, and most excitingly, some of us were brand new to The Clone Wars! In the coming weeks, we will be discussing the things we liked and the questions we have about each episode. This week, this group made up of both Clone Wars veterans and more recent fans of Clone Force 99 will be tackling episode 3 of The Bad Batch. As such, there are spoilers—if you haven’t watched the episode yet, come back here once you have!

One Thing We Loved

Anna: Omega’s adventure. I am thrilled that she is taking what could be a very scary situation for someone her age and she is GOING FOR IT. She went on a mission with Hunter, she wants to learn how to track. She clearly wants to contribute and be a part of the team. Her interaction with the moon dragon was really interesting and reminiscent of Ezra’s relationship with animals. And I’m thrilled that Wrecker made her a room of her own. It was so sweet and it just touched my heart.

Jamie: This episode may have ended with one of the most wholesome moments in all of Star Wars because of Wrecker.

Jennie: I know this will sound odd to most, but I really liked the introduction of the recruits to the Empire’s mix. We know they eventually stray from clones and seeing how this unfolds is fascinating. The tension between the recruits and clones is an interesting one that I hope they will expand on and that we get to hear more of the recruits’ side of things. Well, minus one.

Lindsay: Everything I loved about this episode centered around Omega. She is eager to assert herself as a contributing member of the team, not just someone who happens to be tagging along. She’s comfortable on the ship and with the clones and wants to learn and grow. She’s also brave: a central theme I think that tends to show itself in our heroes in Star Wars. She gives herself a pep talk and then jumps right into that dragon tunnel to get the part. And she recognizes exactly how she can distract the dragon to safely secure that part. She’s proving herself and I love that.

Nessa: There was quite a bit about this episode that I liked! Despite my general dislike of him, I was really fascinated by the characterization and exploration of Crosshair in this episode. It was interesting to see that the Kaminoans are consistently “treating” him to maintain the influence of the inhibitor chip and that he’s being used as the crux for introducing stormtroopers into the Empire’s ranks. His cruelty and blind obedience are nothing short of shocking, but they directly correlate with the cruelty of the Empire and the Empire’s expectations for its soldiers. I really enjoyed the juxtaposition of Crosshair’s dynamic with the conscripted soldiers and Omega’s dynamic with the Bad Batch… Overall, the episode gave a really interesting insight into these different groups while also speaking to the overarching influence of the Empire.

Patty: Omega’s connection with the moon dragon. I have a lot of thoughts on the interaction between characters in Star Wars and animals. Omega here gives a hint of connection (is it possibly even Force sensitivity?) and in contrast to Crosshair’s storyline is able to resolve the issue without violence, through simple understanding and kindness. I am absolutely loving Omega’s development so far.

Staci: It was so cute watching Wrecker learning how to care about Omega. I’m so curious how this will continue. He always wants to destroy everything and started out wanting to eat her food. Then he ends up actually creating something when he made that space for her and even gave up his Luna! What? So adorable. I actually teared up!

One Thing We DID NOT Love

Anna: Crosshair shooting the Imperial recruit who questioned killing civilians was REALLY uncomfortable for me. I know that it was intended to cause that discomfort, and it worked beyond a doubt this week. And I am not loving my Wrecker anxiety.

Jamie: We’re totally getting set up to get our hearts broken. They alluded to it in episode 2 that something is going to happen to Wrecker, and episode 3 really hits us over our heads with it. Literally. Previously Wrecker had hit his head accidentally in the town while on Saleucami, and seemed to have an aggressive outburst that deeply surprised him when Cut’s battle droid trap popped up in the field. Wrecker seemingly doesn’t know his full strength, and that’s terrifying. So fast forward to episode 3, he hits his head again during the crash landing. But this time right in the key spot, close to where the inhibitor chip is. 

Jennie: I have not been a fan of Crosshair at all, even since the Clone Wars arc. But this episode made me feel such disgust, almost hatred of him (but I cannot hate, it’s a path to the dark side). The killing of innocents and then his own team member was abhorrent and painful to watch. He and Anakin should never hang out at this point, everyone would be screwed.

Lindsay: We all knew the Empire was evil and ruthless but we saw that come to life in new ways. The standout in this particular storyline is that the inhibitor chip adjustment in Crosshair basically equates to brainwashing. He’s a pawn. He might have always been sus, but this is not what I wanted for him. He no longer has loyalty to the Bad Batch, but to his orders. In this case, it also appears to rid him of any shred of humanity he might have once had or learned from his brothers in arms. I already dread what might happen when they inevitably face off.

Nessa: Wrecker’s headache. I am really stressed out about Wrecker’s headache. Like, seven or eight kinds of stressed out about it. I’m really hoping it won’t amount to anything with lasting damage and will drive some story development while ultimately ending up with Wrecker being okay… but we’ll see.

Patty: So I wasn’t expecting for us to get this level of brutal war crimes on screen. Saying this is something I didn’t like seems strange, because I also can’t say I liked it. Crosshair’s mission with the Imperial volunteers is necessary for the story in that it sets the tone for the dehumanizing of enemies of the Empire, the desensitizing of the Imperial forces, and the absolute devastation that the Empire unleashes on the galaxy. But to say I liked it… it was jarring, uncomfortable, and it was supposed to be. I am curious to see if these recruits will be given more development, more character, and if we will see them resist this training. I hope so.

Staci: I do not like what is happening with Crosshair! We speculated that he was suspect and we were somewhat right. The way he shot those innocent people so easily was pretty scary and he even shot a team member. I don’t like that at all. I find it pretty scary that he might be considered for a new clone host.

 We Have Questions

Anna: I am worried about Wrecker. I don’t know if my heart can take it if my favorite Uncle doesn’t get some help.

Jamie: We need to have a look at Wrecker ASAP. And what is Echo working on? Whatever this device Tech is fiddling around with is definitely going to be tested on Wrecker, and let’s hope he doesn’t go full Hulk on us too soon.

Jennie: Omega is a girl clone. Read that again. Omega is a GIRL CLONE. How did the Kaminoans alter her into a female and what new traits will that bring to the clones? How else could they have altered her? Think about the interaction with the moon dragon. Could they make someone Force sensitive? We’ll save the discussion of her name for another time. Right now she’s a giant question mark.

Lindsay: Since all my thoughts are so Omega-centric, I need to know how she differs from other clones. Tell me the story around her creation or origins! And maybe most importantly, when will we learn more about her capabilities?

Nessa: I’m still percolating on my questions, but y’all know I really want to know what the heck Nala Se and Lama Su were talking about when it came to the next phase for keeping their clones relevant and useful to the Empire. I need to see where all of these pieces are leading!!

Patty: WHY DOES WRECKER’S HEAD HURT LIKE TUP’S, FILONI? ARE YOU GOING TO FIX THAT, FILONI? DON’T YOU TAKE MY BELOVED HIMBO AWAY FROM ME SO QUICKLY! THERE ARE STILL 13 EPISODES LEFT! 

Staci: Can you clone a clone?

Bad Batcher of the Week

Anna: OMG WRECKER!!! Creating that space for Omega just killed me in the best way. UNCLE WRECKER IS THE BEST.

Jamie: Gonky the power droid. Look, Gonky has been a fixture on this ship since the first arc with the iconic shot of Wrecker lifting the poor thing as a weight. And we see this exact thing again. But episode 3 really made Gonky even more somehow, getting two chances to shine this episode. Omega leaning against Gonky like it’s some kind of a big dog, while she’s chilling there with her iPad and having a snack. It’s so mundane and I love it. Gonky shines again during the crash landing when they fall over and one of Hunter’s first moves after they land is to set Gonky right on its feet again. Gotta love a droid companion, even if it’s just one that can only say one word. Echo is a close second though this week, this man has so much pent up sass for the Batch it’s ridiculous. Love him.

Jennie: I know everyone is getting attached to Wrecker, but I’m cautious about getting invested in him. I am liking Hunter more and more each episode, but still stand by my nerd clone Tech. He’s just got some great lil jabs!

Lindsay: Obviously Omega—she’s one of the gang now, after all! She even has a room (another incredibly touching moment in this episode!).

Nessa: I’m gonna shake things up a bit because, you know what, she’s part of the crew—this particular episode my favorite Batcher was Omega. She kicked butt this episode, facing her fears and picking up Hunter’s pistol to get the part they needed to get off that moon. Omega has shown time and again that she’s willing to do what it takes to support the Bad Batch team, despite the limitations of her age, experience, and stature, and this episode really solidified it.

Patty: Omega. Like I mentioned before I love how Omega’s developing, how she’s different from the other Batchers, and her learning how to function outside of Kamino. I am so excited to see where she goes. And the child’s innocence at getting her own space for the first time in her life? My heart melted.

Staci: I feel like the standout Batcher might be Crosshair. He is clearly not a part of the Bad Batch anymore. We might have to call his batch Worse Batchers. Kind of breaks my heart that the clones are bad guys now!