WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 1, Episode 3, “Replacements”, which airs on Disney +.

“Replacements” is an appropriate title for Star Wars: The Bad Lotthird episode. Over the course of the story, Omega goes from an unexpected Tagalong to a welcome member of Clone Force 99, helping to fill in the hole left by Crosshair. As for the latter, he too gains a new “family” after becoming the commander of his own squad of soldiers, taking an even darker turn in the process than in the series premiere. At the same time, Crosshair is clearly having trouble forgetting his former comrades, especially when he and his current troops settle in the old Clone Force 99 headquarters on Kamino.

In addition to dividing its attention between Clone Force 99 and Crosshair, “Replacements” also focuses on the Galactic Empire’s continuing efforts to succeed the Republic and convince its citizens to follow them. So far, that hasn’t been a big challenge; as one of the members of Crosshair’s new unit points out, the Empire has fed him, paid him, and given him a roof over his head, which is more than the Republic ever did. Yet as the episode makes clear, the fledgling totalitarian organization is perfectly willing to go to brutal extremes to get the results it desires, creating in the process the very Rebellion that will one day destroy it.

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The episode begins with Clone Force 99’s crash landing on a moon when its power supply is turned off, which then leads Hunter and Omega to track down an Ordo Moon Dragon, a creature drawn to raw energy, taking off with its ship. only working capacitor. It is a story with nuances of The Empire Strikes BackThe asteroid scene, particularly when Tech and Echo donned breathing masks to walk the moon’s surface and replace their ship’s damaged equipment, only to find mysterious scratch marks on their ship’s hull. “Well those weren’t there when we landed,” Tech says, pointing out the obvious.

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Omega, still determined to prove her worth as a member of Clone Force 99, insists on accompanying Hunter when the clones see the Ordo Moon Dragon taking off with its remaining capacitor. In that sense, she still looks like Ahsoka Tano from the early seasons of Star Wars, Clone Wars, serving as a youthful contrast to the seasoned veterans around him. Lest we forget, it took fans a while to warm up to Ahsoka, so it’s no wonder some see Omega as an annoying kid’s companion. (To be clear, it is not).

Thanks to Hunter’s tracking abilities, which mostly amounts to looking at mounds of lunar dirt and squinting (hey, whatever works), he and Omega find the hiding place of the Ordo Moon Dragon, only for Hunter to finish. incapacitated after his breathing mask is hit. during a fight with the creature. Fortunately, Omega is able to follow the Dragon home, and instead of shooting him with Hunter’s blaster, he realizes that the creature is more interested in his flashlight, which he casually exchanges for the capacitor. It’s yet another moment that silently suggests that Omega is Force-sensitive or might have powers that he’s not yet aware of. At the very least, his ability to read the Dragon’s intentions is reminiscent of Ezra Bridger’s talent for communicating with animals in Star wars rebels.

Omega’s human solution to saving the day, something she is rewarded for when Wrecker makes her a room on his ship, is effectively juxtaposed with Crosshair’s chilling methods to complete her own mission. As a test to see if Kamino’s clone troopers can be sufficiently replaced by conscripted troopers, Grand Moff Tarkin orders Crosshair to bring a group of highly skilled enlisted recruits or Elite Troops (future death troopers?) To Onderon. and eliminate the insurgents of Saw Gerrera, in turn completing the task Clone Force 99 refused to perform. In a disturbing display of his loyalty to the Empire, Crosshair shoots one of his Troopers (the same one who responded earlier) point-blank when he refuses to execute Saw’s followers, even after they admit to knowing nothing and were simply promised. transport. -world. “Good soldiers follow orders,” he says, drawing his menacing line.

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Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3

Crosshair’s ruthless actions are exactly what the Empire wants, of course, particularly Tarkin and Vice Admiral Rampart. The latter made a brief cameo in The bad lot Episode 2, “Cut and Run”, when he informed Saleucami residents (via hologram) of the Empire’s new chain codes and invited them to exchange their old currency for Imperial credits, promising to usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the wake of the Clone Wars. However, in reality, Rampart’s top priority right now is Project War Mantle, an operation to fill out the ranks of the Imperial Army with conscripted soldiers and replace the Republic’s clone troopers. That’s also the name of one of the mysterious Imperial projects that Jyn Erso discovered while searching for the Death Star plans in the Citadel Tower on Scarif at the climax of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which creates good continuity. Rampart’s actions even get him a promotion to Admiral, so, uh, good job, you evil Empire type.

On that note, is there any hope left for Crosshair? Thanks to Tech and Omega, the rest of Clone Force 99 realize that their former partner’s still-functioning inhibitor chip was largely responsible for his betrayal, robbing him of much, if not all, of his free will. And again, just as Hunter blames himself for not saving Crosshair (“We didn’t leave ours behind,” he tells Omega), the latter shows flashes of awareness when he is back in his old bunker on Kamino, to despite all the brainwashing he’s doing. has been subdued. (He really is the show’s Winter Soldier.) With Kamino’s prime minister, Lama Su, and chief scientist Nala Se, conducting experiments to create a “superior clone”, rather than the continued degradation of the original genetic material of Jango Fett, it seems the stage is slowly but surely set for Crosshair and the other clones to play a more active role in the fight against the Empire. Bring on the rebellion of the clones!

Created by Dave Filoni, Star Wars: The Bad Batch stars Dee Bradley Baker, Andrew Kishino, and Ming-Na Wen. New episodes premiere on Fridays on Disney +.

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