by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron
WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Episode 2: Cut and Run
After a stellar pilot, Star Wars: The Bad Batch continues the momentum into its second episode with the unexpected appearance of an interesting character and a furthering of the father-daughter bond between Hunter and Omega. Episode 2, titled Cut and Run, sees Clone Force 99 continue their evasion of the newly-formed Galactic Empire by reuniting with an old friend on the planet Saleucami.
In its second episode, The Bad Batch largely leans into a number of motifs and themes explored in other Star Wars projects, while adding its own really interesting, unique layers. Cut and Run largely plays like Chapter 4: Sanctuary of The Mandalorian. Our central characters flee from Imperial forces to what appears to be a safe haven, where they rely on locals for safety. We’re treated to a number of callbacks from Cut Lawquane’s appearance in The Clone Wars (we’ll get to him in a second). Omega’s amazement at the greenery of Saleucami captured Rey’s childlike wonder after taking in the beauty of Takodana. And, perhaps most touching of all, the Hunter-Omega bond mirrors that of Mando and the Child in presenting a reluctant father figure taking care of a gifted, mysterious youngster. It’s this bond that appears to be the emotional backbone of The Bad Batch moving forward. Omega has an immediate, intangible connection to Clone Force 99, in particular Hunter. But, Hunter, being a renegade Clone on the run from the most powerful entity in the galaxy, wants to protect Omega and thinks she would be better off with Cut and his family. The parallels between this and The Mandalorian are striking and perhaps some may find the two projects to be a little too similar, but, at least for the time being, their burgeoning relationship is really captivating.
Also captivating is Omega as a character herself. Her inclusion in the series, as evidenced by her role in Cut and Run, excels on a number of levels. Omega is somewhat of the audience’s entry point into the Bad Batch. This crew are hardened, experienced soldiers, each with their own unique abilities and personalities. They’re seasoned and products of war. Omega is not. Omega enters the scene with bright, curious eyes – she is taking in these new characters and this new world just like we are. In addition, Omega’s appearance in promotional material for the series led to much fan speculation and, after two episodes, much mystery still surrounds the new member of the Bad Batch. Star Wars always excels in presenting these mystery boxes to unfold, whether it be Rey’s parentage in the sequel trilogy or everything to do with Grogu in The Mandalorian. Omega adds a certain intrigue and gravity to The Bad Batch – this is not just a story of Clones post-Order 66, which would be incredibly interesting on its own. No, this is also a story that appears to have broader relevance with more wide-reaching implications than we realize yet.
One of the highlights of Cut and Run is the titular character, Cut, and how the Bad Batch’s interactions with his family provide insight into the quickly changing structure of the galaxy. The Skywalker saga films present really broad-based pictures of the most important events in the galaxy’s history, but it’s projects like The Bad Batch that really deepen the mythology and make the universe feel truly lived in. We don’t just see Order 66 happen in Revenge of the Sith and left to speculate what effect this had on the galaxy. Instead, we, along with Cut and the Bad Batch, are experiencing what it’s like to live amidst the beginning days of the Empire.
Cut and Run continues the impressive start to Star Wars: The Bad Batch with an interesting detour that draws upon various elements through Star Wars lore. The episode excels in its depiction of the growing father-daughter bond between Hunter and Omega, while depicting what it’s like to experience the change from Republic to Imperial rule.
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+