Last week on Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the Kaminoans talked about a contingency. They need one specific Clone to make it happen. We wonder which Clone that could be? Perhaps it’s the mystery Clone child at the center of this animated series.
Though it isn’t confirmed that they sent a bounty hunter after Omega (Michelle Ang), they almost certainly did. The encounter provides another first for Omega, and it’s something that she’s gonna have to be aware of if she’s going to survive in the Star Wars galaxy. She gets a gray area crash course in Episode 4, “Cornered.”
**SPOILER WARNING: From this point forward, there will be spoilers for Episode 4 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch. If you haven’t seen it yet, you don’t want this, it’s not habit-forming, but get outta here Dewey.**
Who else would have sent a bounty hunter? The Empire is all shiny and new and hasn’t gotten to that point yet. They don’t really know who or what Omega is, either, but the Kaminoans do. She’s pivotal to whatever longer game they are playing, and though they helped her escape in the premiere, it was likely to keep this contingency plan away from the Empire.
Now they need her back, so who are they gonna call? A bounty hunter, naturally. They already work with them. Jango Fett was the basis of the entire Clone army (though they didn't recruit him), and in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, other bounty hunters stepped in to help them train. It makes sense that they’d call in someone who isn’t a legend yet, but may grow into one as the years move forward.
Who shows up? Fennec Shand, last seen much later in the Star Wars timeline (and in live-action form) in The Mandalorian. She’s obviously younger here, but thankfully she’s still played by the legendary Ming-Na Wen. We knew she was coming thanks to the trailers for this show, but now she's here. She'll make a fool out of you.
Anyone who thought that the Bad Batch (all members voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) would make short work of her was wrong. She more than holds her own in dealing with them. If all four of the Batch took her on at once, things might have been different. That’s not the case — Tech is repairing the ship, and Echo (deep breath) is dressed up as a droid because Hunter had to sell him and now he’s stolen other droids to help Tech including an astromech with stubby legs named Clink.
Fennec knocks Wrecker out in one swift move, so it’s mostly Fennec vs. Hunter, with a wide-eyed Omega in the middle of it all.
Fennec uses Omega’s innocence against her at first, pretending to be friendly in the big city when Omega gets separated from Hunter and Echo. She takes her helmet off, plays nice, and offers to help Omega find her friends. Omega goes along with it, though she takes issue with Fennec stealing fruit for them. “It’s okay to break the rules sometimes,” Fennec says. Omega also notes that she has a blaster, to which Fennec replies, “The galaxy is a dangerous place to be on your own.”
She’s on her own? Well, Omega thinks she should come with them! Yay for new friends! Not exactly, because Hunter catches up with them and it turns into shootout central.
This is Omega’s lesson of the week. She knows that there are soldiers, and she knows that there are civilians. Before this, there was no in-between. Why would a lone civilian carry a blaster? Bounty hunting is not a complicated profession for her, it’s not a profession at all.
It’s interesting that in all of her time on Kamino, the notion of who and what bounty hunters are didn’t come up. Whether the Kaminoans sent Fennec or not (they did, come on) is beside the point — she was constantly around Fett Clones. They either hadn't gotten around to this subject yet, or the Kaminoans were veeeeery happy to keep her in the dark.
It’s Omega’s first taste of the Star Wars gray area, something that bounty hunters symbolize perfectly. Some work for bad guys, some work for good guys. Some shift their loyalties. Some are all about that gray-helmeted life until they meet a force-sensitive baby and proceed to go on a two-season journey with him.
Omega and the Batch escape, but this was a necessary thing for Omega to learn. All of her wide-eyed wonder is great, but there are people out there who will do anything for money. They’ll sell you out, they’ll buy you, and they could be voiced by Bobby Moynihan or Taran Killam, both of whom play disreputable characters this week.
What are the rules? There aren’t any, as Omega learns. Even if there are, these characters are constantly breaking them. She’s growing up fast, which is for the best. She may have escaped with the Batch this time, but Fennec is still after her. For all we know, she’s not the only one who is.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch streams on Disney+ every Friday. Ming-Na Wen shines brighter than two suns put together.