Our march towards a season finale continues, and this latest episode of Bad Batch really feels like it’s setting up the pieces for that final battle. The stakes continue to rise, but t what end? Episode 14, titles War Mantle, maneuvers some people into tricky situations. In the end, I think this episode really pushed the question for the Bad Batch – who are we? Or more appropriately, who do we want to be? The choices leading to the finale will go a long way to answering this question.

In War Mantle, we see a clone being hunted. He lacks recognizable marks, to begin with, but when Rex contacts the Bad Batch, we learn this renegade clone is none other than Gregor! If you can’t place the name, but it sounds familiar, it’s because we already know his story. Gregor shows up in the series Rebels and helps Rex and the crew of the Ghost in the final battle of Lothal. This episode sets up his metamorphosis from Republic clone to Rebel fighter, so rescuing him is no small feat.

In the opening scene onboard their ship, the message from Rex really shows us the mindset of the BB crew. Rex asks the group to go and rescue Gregor, but the crew doesn’t see eye to eye. Due to the clones surrounding him and the actions of the Jedi in command, Echo feels loyalty for his clone brothers. They must be rescued as they once rescued him. Tech, on the other hand, is always the pragmatist and realist. They need money to survive and function, so they need to complete their jobs and get paid. Wrecker states his usual ‘what he said’ mantra. He will go with the flow. Once again, Omega agrees with Echo and thinks they need to rescue Gregor. She remains the heart of the crew. Does the crew do the ‘right thing’ and rescue their clone brother, or do they decide to maintain the status quo and survive?

War Mantle – Omega takes the stick

Era of Transition

The crew finally decides to go after Gregor, and once they reach the base they realize the task ahead will not be easy. What I really enjoyed while at this base was the mix of eras. Most of the troopers look to be an early version of the actual stormtrooper. They are no longer clones, but the helmets still look a bit different from the standard stormie helmet. We also see the old V-wings attack the Bad Batch shuttle. TIEs haven’t taken over yet. Perhaps the most prominent tech came from the squad leaders. At the head of the Stormtrooper squad was a trooper that wore the Republic Commando helmets. I loved seeing creators still using this design. The suits looked like the old Commando suits, but they no longer showed the color markings the older Commandos used. They now look pure white, suggesting the new Empire mantra of ‘no individuals’. Kinda funny how the Clones show more identity than the differing humans that replace them

We also continue to see the transition away from the clone army to the conscript Stormtrooper army. Lama Su tells us their contracts with the Empire have been terminated, and he is not stupid. The Republic dealt fairly (for the most part) with systems and governments. The Empire being, well, an empire, sees the cloners as a threat to their power. Lama Su knows the Empire will not let them continue to exist when their tech could end up in the hands of the enemy. The real question right now is what happened to Lama Su?

After the Empire discovers the Kaminoans attempts to flee the upcoming purge, Vice Admiral Rampart makes a rather cold observation. The Empire can always use more scientists, but it does not need any more rogue politicians. The door closes, leaving Lama Su alone in the room with two troopers. Do the troopers kill Lama Su or take him captive? This could play out big with the episode ahead. Is an old Legends event about to take place?

War Mantle – The Future of Kamino

War Mantle – a transition takes place

In the original game, Battlefront II, the game introduced the story of the final battle for Kamino where the Kaminoans and the last of the clones take on the Empire in a last desperate attempt to live. It feels like these final two episodes of the season continue to push towards this event. Filoni and Company have done a great job of giving us new material while continuing to reintroduce legends material back into canon.

So we head into the final two episodes with certain sides in very precarious positions. Not only do the Kaminoans need to pull a Gundark out of their hats, but after the rescue attempt, the Bad Batch now sits at a crossroads. They may have rescued Gregor, but Hunter falls from the shuttle’s ramp (which should have killed him but whatever). The pain in Omega’s voice as the squad jumped to safety was heartbreaking. It really showed the bond growing between the two.

The ‘father’ of the group now sits in an Imperial cell with Crosshair taunting him. Will the Bad Batch strike back to rescue their leader, possibly bringing some early Rebel help? Will this trigger the final war over Kamino? And if creators stick to the Legends story, will we see a young Boba Fett returning to assist the Empire?