The inhibitor chips implanted into the heads of the Clones in the Grand Army of the Republic have changed the course of the Star Wars Galaxy. When the self-appointed Emperor Palpatine uttered the chilling words “Execute Order 66,” almost every Clone trooper unwillingly carried out their programming to kill the Jedi Knights and their padawans, or those who aided them.
This was the key element that helped Palpatine consolidate power in the galaxy and reform the Galactic Republic into the totalitarian Galactic Empire. However, not all the Clones fully carried out the order. With the help of Jedi Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex was able to have his inhibitor chip removed and now he plans on helping his fellow brothers, the Bad Batch, have their chips removed.
The seventh episode “Battle Scars” begins after a mission in which the Batch retrieves a lizard, named “Ruby” by Omega, the Batch returns to Ord Mantell to get paid. It is no secret that Clone Force 99 is still acclimating to mercenary life, but they are starting to gradually catch on.
While Omega and Wrecker go to take part in their post-mission tradition of eating Mantell Mix, Hunter, Tech, Echo and Cid hear gunshots coming from the cantina. They see that it was a cloaked figure that took part in a commotion which involved an Ithorian trying to pick a fight. The cloaked figure is revealed to be CT-7567, Captain Rex, formerly of the 501st Clone Battalion (Later the 501st Legion under the Galactic Empire).
I felt that the writers’ inclusion of Captain Rex was integral to the “Clone Wars” television series. The “Clone Wars” may have been Ahsoka Tano’s story but I felt that it was also Captain Rex’s story. Captain Rex made his debut in the 2008 animated film adaptation of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
Like all Clones of bounty hunter Jango Fett, Captain Rex was born on the Planet Kamino around the same time the Battle of Naboo was taking place in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.” Rex would become Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker’s right-hand man during the Clone Wars. He would also form a close friendship with Ahsoka. The Clone would see a lot of action while fighting alongside the Jedi.
Several notable Rex moments include meeting Cut Lequane, a Clone trooper who deserted the Clone Army to start a family and become a farmer, taking part in the defense of Kamino when the Separatists attacked the planet, uncovering the conspiracy of the traitorous Jedi-turned-Sith General Pong Krell, and investigating the mystery behind the inhibitor chips and eventually getting his inhibitor chip removed by Ahsoka.That last moment is the catalyst for this episode.
At the beginning of “Battle Scars,” we discover that Rex was the cloaked figure that Rafa and Trace were in contact with. The Clone captain travels to Ord Mantell to meet the Batch after the Martez sisters inform him of Clone Force 99’s existence.
After Rex deals with an Ithorian trying to heckle him at the Catina, he reunites with the Bad Batch and he quickly learns that the defective Clones still have their inhibitor chips after noticing Wrecker favoring his head. Things further escalate when Tech tells the captain that their inhibitor chips did not work due to the Batch’s defective nature, with the exception of Crosshair. This alarms the captain who is about to draw out his pistol to defend himself but Hunter, being the leader that he is, quickly escalates the tension.
In this episode, I felt that the writers incorporated the stigma of Post Traumatic Stress in this episode when Rex explained to the Batch the dangers of keeping the inhibitor chips inside their brains. Rex tells the Batch that with the chips still implanted into the Batch’s heads, they are a danger to everyone around them including Omega.
Rex also references his experience when under the influence of the inhibitor chip and his perspective after having it removed, as seen in “Shattered,” episode 11 of the final season of “The Clone Wars.”
This was clearly a traumatic experience for Rex since he and Ahsoka did not want to kill the Clones (under the influence of Order 66) while the Jedi Cruiser they were aboard was crashing down to a planet (thanks to Sith Lord Maul destroying the ships engines). The experience was also traumatic to Rex since he was forced to attack his longtime friend Ahsoka and he also did not want to bury any more of his brothers. Rex, being the critical thinker that he is, comes up with a plan to help the Batch remove the chips from their heads.
Rex has the Batch head to the planet Bracca, which first appeared in the novel “Star Wars: Resistance Reborn” which takes place before “Star Wars: Episode 7 – Rise of Skywalker.” It was also featured in the video game, “Star Wars:The Fallen Order.” Bracca is a scrapyard-wide planet and it is where ships go to get scrapped. In “Fallen Order,” the protagonist, Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis works on the planet after five years of escaping Order 66 and seeing his master Jaro Tapal die before his eyes. When the Batch arrives on Bracca, Rex’s plan is to use one of the dilapidated Jedi Cruiser’s medical bay to operate on the defective Clones.
When the Clones trek to the Jedi Cruiser, they notice that the junkyard planet is under the security and jurisdiction of Scrapper Guild. As they reach the inside of the cruiser, they see that the medical bay is still intact. However, the group runs into trouble when they need to jump across to get to the medical bay. Wrecker, being afraid of heights, tries to get across but he ends up falling into an area filled with water which houses a dianoga. The Clones are able to help Wrecker escape and reach the Medical Bay.
As Rex and the Batch prepare for the surgery, Wrecker’s headache starts to intensify. Tech uses his scanner to spot the inhibitor chip but the burly Clone shoves the device away from his head. The headache worsens when Hunter and Rex converse about the Clones murdering Jedi Master Depa Billaba and Caleb Dune (Kanan Jarrus) escaping. As Tech tries to help his fellow Batcher, Wrecker becomes a completely different person.
He tells the Batch that they are in direct violation of Order 66 and he chokeslams Tech against the wall. The Hunter, Rex, and Echo try to get ahold of Wrecker but the brutish Clone overpowers them.
Omega tries to lure Wrecker away from causing further harm and leads him back to the medical bay. Wrecker eventually finds the young Clone and is about to hurt her while she pleads with him. Omega tells the Clone that she is his friend but the Clone utters those words “Good soldiers follow orders.” Before he could hurt Omega, Wrecker gets stunned by Rex. After Wrecker gets his chip removed, his vitals have not stabilized, Omega chooses to stay at his bedside until he awakens.
I felt that the writers made the viewers feel this scene because Wrecker is usually cheerful and childlike. We see Wrecker and Omega bonding as they enjoy a popcorn-like snack called Mantell Mix after every mission. This scene showed just how the chip can change one Clone’s personality. When the chip activated in Wrecker, he was cold-blooded and determined to carry out Order 66.
The same can be said for Crosshair. In the very first episode “Aftermath,” the former member of the Bad Batch was more reserved and determined to carry out Order 66 when he pursued Kanan Jarrus. I believe that without the inhibitor chip, it is safe to say that Crosshair would not like the idea of someone trying to use him as a puppet but at the same time, he has no choice but to comply since Admiral Tarkin plans on having the Clones replaced with a regular intergalactic conscription of non-clone recruits.
After Wrecker awakens, the entire Bad Batch gets their inhibitor chips removed successfully and Wrecker apologizes to Omega. The young Clone is very understanding since she knew that the inhibitor chip made the cheerful brute act against his will. The two share some Mantell Mix after another “successful mission.”
Towards the end of the episode, Hunter and Rex reminisce on all that has unfolded. Rex reminds the defective Clone that the Galactic Republic still exists through those who believe in it and are fighting the Galactic Empire. Rex tells Hunter that he could use the Bad Batch to help him in his fight against the Empire. Hunter tells Rex that his responsibility is Omega and his squad but that if the Clone Captain ever needed help, to turn to him. As the two Clone brothers bid farewell, and little to Hunter’s knowledge, two members of the Scrapper Guild are keeping an eye on him and one of them notifies the other to contact the Empire of the Batch’s whereabouts.
Now that the Scrapper Guild has the Empire trailing the Batch, what will unfold? Will the Batch encounter Crosshair and the special forces under his command? Will this be the start of the Imperial occupation of Bracca as seen in “Fallen Order?”
And speaking of “Fallen Order,” will the Batch bump into Padawan Cal Kestis? And why does Omega not have an inhibitor chip if she is a Clone? I feel that if that really is the case, Omega is the key to Nala Se and Lama Su’s plans to secure their contract with the Empire. Hopefully, we get some, if not all, of those questions answered.