Star Wars: The Bad Batch: The Solitary Clone
January 11, 2023 2:12 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Crosshair is sent on a mission to rescue an Imperial governer being held hostage.
posted by EndsOfInvention (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
- This show looks so good guys. The visuals of the Seperatist citadel against the red sky... *chef's kiss*

- This was an interesting contrast of factions, asking you to cheer the clones - formerly "the good guys" - fighting the droids, but now for bad reasons, while making it obvious the Seperatist governer had a very legitimate request to stay out of the Empire.

- Crosshair's bullseye of the tactical droid was great.

- Cody's gone rogue! Hell yeah! With his desertion, and Commander Wilco (RIP) from last episode disobeying orders, it's obvious why the Empire are stepping up the replacement of clonetroopers with stormtroopers. Clones programmed to be follow orders aren't as loyal as someone who's chosen to sign up to fight.

- I'm really enjoying this look at the early days of the Republic morphing into the Empire.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:29 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]

Crosshair really is the kicked dog coming back for more. He spent 32(!!) days waiting to be picked up! Even the admiral doesn't understand why he bothered coming back when he's so clearly surplus to requirements.
posted by orrnyereg at 6:50 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]

I think that we're also seeing what may be the beginnings of a character arc for Crosshair. He may insist that he's the last/only Bad Batcher who's doing what he's supposed to do--follow orders, though the heavens may fall--but he's also got his pride. It's one of the ironies of the Republic-to-Empire transition that the clones had names but stormtroopers are only ever referred to by their serial number. It seems to irk Xhair that, even though he's possibly the best sniper in the Empire, if not the galaxy, he's given no more regard than the troops whose poor marksmanship has been a running joke since the very beginning of the franchise. And, of course, he has to take orders from someone who seems to be set up as the season villain even though, and precisely because, he's the stereotype of the dutiful and unexceptional Imperial officer.

I think that Xhair may end up breaking when they take away his special armor... unless a certain Sith Lord comes along and recognizes his special talent. The Empire can recognize special talent, even if they keep them on a short leash (see the Inquisitorius, eventually), and Vader would be the one to find a use for him.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:58 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]

I enjoyed this episode quite a bit more than the season two premiere because frankly, I think there was just more to chew on than the beautiful animation. In the last two episodes, we have Omega being Omega, and generally, the Bad Batch being themselves outside of Echo's complaint about what the team should be doing. Here we have the return of a clone last seen trying to blast Obi-Wan Kenobi to smithereens and Crosshair, the Raphael (the turtle, not the artist) of the Bad Batch. Throw in the dynamics of his place among the remaining clone troopers (generally wearing Stormtrooper armor), how he's being treated by Vice-Admiral Rampart, and then a story about the aftermath of the Clone Wars and it's a treat on a platter.

They haven't bothered to give us an episode guide, so here's some facts about the who, what and so on:
  • The governor, Tawni Ames, is a new character, but she references Senator Mina Bonteri of Onderon. This is a call back to The Clone Wars's episode, "Heroes on Both Sides," in which Padmé and Senator Bonteri attempt to create a peace treaty to end the war. Bonteri is later killed by Count Dooku (if I recall) and her son, Lux, takes her spot in the Separatist senate. Lux, incidentally, becomes something of a partisan leader and is the target of an Imperial hit job by the Inferno Squadron (see Battlefront II novelization).
  • The Clone Trooper memorial in the episode is the "First Battle Memorial," in honor of the Clone Troopers who died in the first Battle of Geonosis (see Attack of the Clones). It is located on Coruscant and was first mentioned/seen in The Clone Wars episode, "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much," an episode that began the story arc of Ahsoka Tano's decision to leave the Jedi Order.
  • Commander Cody, as mentioned above, was last seen (chronologically) in Revenge of the Sith after Palpatine gives Order 66, which activated a secret chip in the Clones that made them turn on their former leaders and friends, the Jedi. One of Cody's last line was, "Blast him!" in reference to Obi-Wan Kenobi attempting to escape the Clones on the planet Utaupu. While this was actually his first appearance in the franchise, he was a major recurring side character in The Clone Wars.
  • The imperial ship seen above the capital of Desix, appears to be a Venator-class Star Destroyer, which were the primary ships of the Republic during the Clone Wars. In an episode in which the Clones found themselves fighting "clankers" or battle droids in a former Separatist world, it was one last reflection on the combatants of the Clone Wars, and perhaps, one last battle of that war.
  • Crosshair's mirrors for shots fired beyond the line of sight were first featured in The Clone Wars initial Bad Batch episodes in Season 7.
As an additional note, so far it seems the names on the memorial are all gibberish.
posted by Atreides at 8:39 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]

Star Wars names? Gibberish? Never!! (j/k)

Agreed that this one was much better than the first two. That Blade Runner-ish music was bold and haunting.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:19 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]

I wonder if Desix was supposed to be Ferrix in earlier drafts of the script.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:51 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]

Were it not Star Wars where we have Tatooine and Dantooine, Onderon and Alderaan, I would say possibly. Though, given the lack of the Corporate Sector Authority and the direct control exerted by the Empire as the very basic ground for this episode, I'd say it's just a similarity.
posted by Atreides at 11:07 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]

My husband was like "boy, they just really made a Clone Wars episode, didn't they" but I like how quietly it made the point that the good guys from the other show are suddenly fighting on the wrong side. Same clones, same droids, same "we'll never join you" rhetoric, but the political environment is so different. Cody is the most upstanding clone there is and watching him violently putting down a revolt so similar to the ones we've just been cheering on over on Ferrix was appropriately jarring. That little "good soldiers follow orders" exchange was chilling. That said, I think a braver show would have had Cody follow the order and go AWOL afterwards, once he'd had a chance to think it through.

I really like Crosshair as a character. I'm glad this show is keeping an eye on him.
posted by potrzebie at 10:43 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]

I love the lighting (or 'lighting', I guess) in this show, to the extent that it's borderline distracting. I want to pause and admire a shot in almost every other scene.

The show itself is definitely growing on me. I found the Bad Batch introductory episode in The Clone Wars clunky and clichéd and I probably wouldn't have watched the series if it wasn't for my 14-year-old's enthusiasm for anything Star Wars. However, the first season was better than I'd thought it would be, so now I find I'm actively looking forward to each episode.

Portrzebie said in the thread for the previous episode that compared to Andor this is like a broth versus that show's rich stew and I think that an apt comparison. But also that that's okay – each have their place, and I don't watch a 30-minute family show expecting a hearty stew (pardon my torturing of the analogy). Plus there are broths and there are broths, and this one has like truffle and stuff in it.
posted by sarble at 3:21 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]

I love the lighting (or 'lighting', I guess) in this show, to the extent that it's borderline distracting. I want to pause and admire a shot in almost every other scene.

Going back a few years into the Clone Wars era, but lighting was always something of great importance to the animation department. If I remember correctly, Lucas (Filoni?) saw it as a way to help make the shows feel more cinematic and it's been a hallmark of LFL's animation team ever since. There's also an upgrade in the Lego Star Wars animation that occurred back during Freemakers, as the principal lighting guy assisted in bringing that same lighting element to that show with very nice results.
posted by Atreides at 1:23 PM on January 17

That little "good soldiers follow orders" exchange was chilling. That said, I think a braver show would have had Cody follow the order and go AWOL afterwards, once he'd had a chance to think it through

My interpretation of that one is that "some clones are wondering.." line from Cody was a leading question - Cody is almost certainly "some clones". Pretty sure he picked up the "good clones" line from 5's or something in Clone Wars
posted by coriolisdave at 2:27 AM on January 18

I'm not sure if it was well known or not, but "Good soldiers follow orders" is part of the chip implant built into the clones to make sure they followed Order 66. When a clone is questioning the order or really, post-66, any order, they often will repeat it as they struggle through their decision making. Last season in Bad Batch, Wrecker did this, for example, after they escaped. I think Crosshair also muttered it a few times.

And also, Cody does go AWOL - or was the original question about this meaning immediately after the mission instead of after reporting back?
posted by Atreides at 7:59 AM on January 18

Yeah, Crosshair was muttering "Good soldiers follow orders" repeatedly as he decided to abandon the rest of the gang. So it's part of their programming, I guess.

The lighting on this episode was really good, and the shots of the citadel made it really look like a matte painting.

There's an episode or two of Rebels where droid troopers and tactical droids are used to great effect, this episode reminded me of those a lot. (Which reminds me, I am probably due to rewatch that again.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:02 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]

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