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Proper childcare techniques were not something the Clones learned on Kamino. Now that Hunter and the rest of Clone Force 99 have fled and taken the gifted child Omega with them, what exactly are they gonna do next? They’ve rescued this kid, what are they going to do with her?
***WARNING: From this point on, there will be spoilers for Episode 2 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch. If you haven’t seen it yet, then what are you doing? Get outta here Dewey, you think you want this but you don’t. Get outta here!***
Who is the friend they're going to see? A clue is in the episode’s title, “Cut and Run.” Once the Batch (Dee Bradley Baker) and Omega (Michelle Ang) pull up on the planet Saleucami, fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars may have a good idea of who the friend is. After Hunter says that the friend is a deserter, fans almost certainly know who is about to make an entrance.
The friend is none other than Cut Lawquane, a Clone who decided to abandon the war and start a family. Rex (and audiences) met him back in Season 2 of The Clone Wars in the episode “The Deserter.” He and his family tended to a gravely wounded Rex.
Cut’s family is back too, and they consist of his wife Suu (Cara Pifko) and his children, Jek (Kath Soucie) and Shaeeah (Nika Futterman). The latter two teach Omega how to play catch, and that’s just one of the many wonders Omega enjoys on this planet. She’s never been anywhere but Kamino before, so dirt is fascinating to her.
Even though the war is over, the Empire has increased it’s presence on this planet. They’re seizing ships, and are being really high about checking everyone’s chain codes. The Batch notes that they aren’t just registering ships, they’re registering people. That’s not great for anyone here, as they’re all deserters now.
The main story involves Cut choosing to get himself and his family off of the planet with the help of the Batch, but the heart of the episode lies with Hunter and Omega. Hunter is going with the first instinct many characters apparently have after saving a child who loves them: Dump the child off on someone else.
He wants her to go with Cut’s family, as she is not a soldier and would be in serious trouble if she kept traveling with the Batch. He doesn’t tell her that he’s planning this, and he doesn’t ask her what she wants either. He thinks that he’s doing this to protect her, and that may be true... what's also true is that he’s protecting himself. To take care of this kid, he’s going to have to learn and grow. Who wants to do that? Better to just pawn her off on some farmers and bail.
Cut and Suu teach him a few things, not judging him for breaking out the “I’m doing this to protect you and keeping it a secret to protect you” trope. Kids will always get into trouble, as Cut and Suu’s kids prove just as much as Omega. It’s their job to protect them from that trouble.
When Omega gets into a tangle with a Nexu, Hunter doesn’t know what to do. Waxer and Boil got a crash course in something similar back in the Season 1 episode of The Clone Wars, “Innocents of Ryloth.” They had to care for little Nera in the middle of a war zone, and they didn’t have Cut Lawquane standing by to help.
Hunter does, and Cut talks to Omega and demonstrates how a father behaves. Hunter isn’t built for that, at least he doesn’t think so, but in the end, his choices don’t matter. Omega almost accepts going with Cut after she finds out what’s happening, but then she doesn’t. She runs back to the Batch (having taken the medallion off her head earlier in the episode), and makes it clear that they're her family now whether they like it or not.
She tells Hunter that she has a lot to learn about how they all live. That's nice of her to say, but she’s not the one who really has to adapt. Hunter is aware of this and tells her that he has a lot to learn too.
“If this is where you want to be, then this is where you’ll stay,” he says, and hopefully we’re now officially past the “dump the kid on someone else” phase and can move on to growing as a family unit.
It was great to catch up with Cut Lawquane, who must have left his soldier life behind to such a degree that the Order 66 programming didn’t affect him at all. He knows about what's happening, though: He recently had a visit from Rex.
We love Cut, but the mention of Rex has us hoping that the show is getting ready to bring in the greatest Clone of them all.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch streams new episodes every Friday on Disney+. Dirt is amazing.