As Clone Force 99, The Bad Batch acclimates further into mercenary life, and they are sent on their second mission as mercenaries. Cid has tasked the clones to retrieve a separatist tactical droid from a decommissioning facility on the planet Corellia so that she can sell it and make money.
Cid presents this assignment as a solution to the heat the Batch has been getting since they have deserted the Galactic Empire. However, things go from smooth to… interesting during the mission as the Batch runs into Trace and Rafa Matez.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
“The Bad Batch ”the sixth episode, “Decommissioned,” begins as the Batch heads over to Corellia and they land near the docks. When I saw this scene, I felt that Dave Feloni and the writers positioned this episode as a homage to “Solo: A Star Wars Story ”where the buildings at the dockyard are lit with that golden light, and the evening sky is dark.
I felt the scenery evoked a sense of the rough and nefarious vibe of Corellia that Han Solo and Qi’ra experienced while growing up on the slum-infested streets of poverty where the only way to escape was to be a smuggler or join the Empire. To note, I always felt Corellia was symbolic of a blue-collar atmosphere in the “Star Wars” galaxy since ships, like the YT-1300 freighter (The same model ship as the Millennium Falcon), are built-in in various docks.
As the Batch sneaks into the decommissioning facility, they can find the tactical droid’s head, but Trace and Rafa, the sisters that befriended Jedi Ahsoka Tano, steal it. To note, if you ever watched the final season of “Clone Wars,” you would know that things can get interesting when the Martez sisters are involved.
Rafa and Trace Martez debuted in the final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” They were born on Coruscant in Level 1313, which is in the lower levels of the city-wide planet. Both sisters had a hard life growing up after their parents died in an accident involving Ziro the Hutt, bounty hunter Cad Bane, and the Jedi. The Jedi were in pursuit of Bane and Ziro, and it was the Duros bounty hunter who fired on the transport that led to the deaths of Trace and Rafa’s parents. While the orphaned sisters were grieving, a green-skinned Jedi told them that she had to choose while pursuing Bane and Ziro and that the Force would be with them. The experience traumatized Trace and Rafa and made them resent the Jedi Order.
I enjoyed the Martez sisters arc in the “Clone Wars” because it was about two sisters who had to look out for each other. Due to being orphaned, Rafa became a con artist to make ends meet, while Trace tried to make an honest living by working as a mechanic. In addition, Trace purchased her own ship, the Silver Angel and learned to fly by operating random vehicles she got her hands on. What was more astounding about the story was that I felt the Trace and Rafa symbolize the people the Galactic Republic forgot.
One thing that made the “Clone Wars” series stand out was the brilliance for bringing Ashoka Tano into the established canon. I always felt Ashoka began to grow in popularity and importance the more the years passed and the series continued. I need to give Dave Filoni immense kudos for creating a still juvenile character and, in turn, reflected the audience’s perception of what truly transpired during the tragic events of the “Clone Wars.”
In simple terms, Ashoka was stepping into a much larger world akin to the way fans were first introduced to Luke in Episode IV (A New Hope).
However, what made Ashoka different from Luke was how she grew throughout the war while questioning the placement of the Jedi and, in turn, the decisions enacted by the Republic. It was clear that the Jedi were losing their sense of fragility and balance by toeing the line of consequence. Only to realize the longer they participated in the war, they devolved from peacekeepers to a militaristic regime foreshadowing and planting the seeds for the Galactic Empire growing in the shadows.
Gone were the days of keeping balance and staying out of conflict; now was the era of annexing territory and liberating other worlds from the grip of the Separatists. The hubris of war and pride clouded the Jedi, which caused them to neglect the actual war going back on Coruscant: the people’s suffering in fundamental need.
If there is anything that the writers of “The Bad Batch” and “The Clone Wars” are good at, they like to infuse real-world issues into these stories. Even today, some of our politicians here in the United States of America don’t pay much attention to the events going on in their jurisdiction. Poverty, healthcare, mental health, and other social services are only looked at by very few of our elected leaders. The story of Trace and Rafa is a reminder that while the events aboard are indeed important, the events close to home are just as important. And we see some of that in this episode.
Trace and Rafa tell the Batch that they need the tactical droid because they have an unknown informant who wants to use it to fight back against the Empire—echoing what Ahsoka instilled in them during the events of S7; of “Clone Wars.” It’s clear to see the sisters have flipped their perception and formed a new perspective on the Jedi and the Republic. I noticed Hunter was moved by the sisters’ story of wanting to do their part in fighting back at the Empire. That is why he gives them the data stick that fellow clone trooper tech copied from the tactical droid.
Little does the Batch know, the Martez Sisters inform an unidentified informant that they have the tactical droid data and notify him or her of the Batch’s presence. We are left wondering who this informant truly is. Some have hypothesized. Is it Ahsoka Tano? Senator Bail Organa? Or is it someone else?
Another important arc that materialized was the inhibitor chip in clone trooper Wrecker’s head. Wrecker had grown into a fan favorite due to his child-like personality and cheerful attitude. The fan theory that the inhibitor chip being the source of the clone trooper’s headache proved to be true. When the clone trooper Echo used his droid device to shut down the decommissioning facility temporarily, Wrecker had to find a way to get across a platform to turn on the facility. We notice at the beginning of the mission; Wrecker has a fear of heights.
The phobia comes full circle when we see Wrecker having to face his demons by swinging across a chasm to get to the control panel. Of course, even though Wrecker is successful, he does hit his head, and his headache is triggered. The clone begins to mutter the words “good soldiers must follow orders” and begins to hear fellow clone trooper Crosshair uttering those words. Wrecker’s catatonic state is short-lived as he snaps out of it to help his fellow brothers and Omega.
It will be interesting when the Batch discovers that Wrecker’s inhibitor chip has been affecting him. How will they be able to restrain the hulking clone if he decides to execute Order 66? Will this be triggered if he sees a Jedi? Hopefully, Tech can use that device to somehow remove the chip from the rest of the Batch heads.
My favorite character development element of this episode was Omega showing her worth as a formidable member of the Bad Batch. It felt organic to witness her learning how to use a bow that she found on Ord Mantell. This shows that she may be a clone made for a purpose, but she still has a lot to learn, given her juvenile nature. I still believe that Omega might be Force-Sensitive given how quickly she learned how to use the weapon with little training. She went from aiming the bow the wrong way to accidentally trigger the security droids to finally handling the weapon with ease.
As we go into the next episode, several questions remain. Who sent Fennec Shand after Omega? Is there more to Omega than meets the eye? Will Wrecker finally execute Order 66? And, who was Trace and Rafa speaking to?
“Star Wars: The Bad Batch ”is available for streaming and new episodes release Fridays on Disney+.
Rating: 4.7 Stars out of 5