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In many ways, Star Wars: The Bad Batch has, thus far, played out like it's Season 8 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This isn’t a criticism. The series showcases the same art style, it continues the grand saga of the clones, and it also allows dangling threads to be tied up. Any storylines that weren’t played out before can, theoretically, get a shot now... from a slightly different point of view.
Clone Force 99 (all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) continues to struggle with what their purpose is. Are they soldiers, or are they mercenaries? They’ve had a growing roster of returning Clone Wars characters helping them figure that out each week, including Cut Lawquane, Trace and Rafa Martez, and Clone Captain Rex. Another legend returns to the action this week, but their inclusion isn't good news for them. Instead, it points the way for this show to finally (finally) finish some Clone Wars business that was left up in the air.
This storyline initially didn’t have anything to do with the Batch. But, it will now.
***WARNING: There are major spoilers ahead for Episode 8 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch. If you have not watched yet, get outta here Dewey! You don’t want this!***
It’s been a few weeks since we saw the Batch’s former comrade-turned-Imperial stooge, Crosshair. The episode titled “Reunion” wastes no time in checking in with him, hot with some intel from Bracca that he shares with his superiors on Kamino. Clone Force 99 has been spotted, and Crosshair is going after them. The Empire doesn’t need them alive.
We get more Kaminoan conspiracy this week, as Lama Su (Bob Bergen) and Nala Se (Gwendoline Yeo) talk about how they still need a certain clone, who can't be anyone other than Omega (Michelle Ang) at this point. They have bounty hunters already in play, making us think they definitely sent Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) a few weeks ago, but they’re gonna send more.
Crosshair goes to Bracca with a mix of clones and conscripts, and he does his best to hunt down his former brothers. He knows them well and he’s smart, but… no dice. Sooner or later, Hunter is going to tire of trying to convince him that it’s the inhibitor chip in his head that is causing this behavior. Crosshair’s toxic attitude might be all him. No chip required.
He ends the episode in bandages thanks to his own plan, and those bandages will make it hard for him to twirl a toothpick around. That’s fine, because the greatest Star Wars toothpick twirler of them all steps in towards the end of the episode.
Cad Bane (Cad Baaaaannnee!!!!!) is back, and wow are we happy to see him. Sure, it’s yet another week with a Clone Wars return, and yeah he kidnapped Omega, but we do not care. The second we heard Corey Burton’s iconic Cad Bane voice, we got shivers. Not just because Cad Bane is the greatest bounty hunter in the prequel era, although that's part of it. It’s because his storyline was left unfinished. There's some Mantell Mix left in that box.
Series creator Dave Filoni was planning on a final arc that featured Cad Bane, one that saw him face off with Boba Fett (Daniel Logan). He would lose this match, and Boba would officially take the "biggest, baddest bounty hunter" crown from Bane. Filoni has gone so far as to show animatics of the scene at Celebration Anaheim, but the arc was never fully done. When The Clone Wars returned for Season 7, the arc was not in the mix.
Now? There’s nothing in the way of it finally happening. Boba has not shown up on the new series yet, but he certainly could. If the Kaminoans sent Bane, and have multiple other hunters in their deck, why wouldn't Fettster get involved? Certainly more than one bounty hunter would be interested in bringing in Omega, who would now be the one that they're all fighting over.
Everything is coming up Boba Fett right now, with Season 2 of The Mandalorian bringing him back, and The Book of Boba Fett set for this December. In the comics, Boba is the driving force of the new crossover extravaganza, “War of the Bounty Hunters.” It’s a full-on Bobaissance, so why not go whole hog and finish this pivotal piece of Boba history?
The arc would certainly not be what it was originally going to be, as the Bad Batch and Omega (as far as we know) had nothing to do with it before. They’d be right in the thick of it now, and there’s the added bonus that we could see the first meeting of Boba and Fennec Shand.
Is this a storyline that centers on the main characters of this show? Not really, but who cares. That said, Omega is pivotal to the show and to the Batch, and she’s now in Cad Bane’s clutches. The Batch members don’t necessarily need to be side characters if Boba shows up, either — he’s a clone himself, and he’s no soldier. The Batch could have quite a talk (or a scrap) with him.
For this lost arc to finally happen (on a different show, whatever) we need two important players: Cad Bane and Boba Fett. We just got one of them. Whether they go this route or not, we’re honestly just happy to have both him and his droid Todo 360 (Seth Green), back in Star Wars. He’ll do any job for the right price.
Now that is how you twirl a toothpick, Crosshair. Take notes.
New episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch stream on Disney+ every Friday.