What’s better than a new episode of Star Wars Animation? TWO episodes in the same week! Yes, that’s right. After celebrating Star Wars Day (a very belated May the 4th Be With You), we’re back with The Bad Batch crew for another adventure in a galaxy, far, far away.
As per usual, a quick reminder that this recap will contain spoilers for the episode and so if you haven’t caught up yet – please do not read any further! Well, watch the episode and come back, but if you need something to pass the time away, don’t forget you can watch our new discussion show ‘The Bad Betches‘.
Are we allowed to let out an excited squee yet? Because what an episode, full of returning characters/creatures and a look at how fast fascism can set in.
Firstly, the episode kickstarted off with a simple title card and no narration from Tom Kane. This emphasises the usage of it in the first episode and reinforces the fact that we are not in The Clone Wars anymore. This is The Bad Batch, post-war, and their journey through this new twisted galaxy.
But not everything is evil in the galaxy, as we see when we get to see a glimpse of Hunter and Omega asleep on the ship looking absolutely adorable. After Episode 1, it was clear these characters were some of the audience’s favourites and I think this episode gives us even more of that. A delightful respite from all the evil-doing that’s going on elsewhere.
At the end of the last episode, The Bad Batch said that they were going to find an old friend who could help them out. That journey takes the squad to the planet Saleucami, which is the first planet outside of Kamino that Omega has ever set foot on. In a moment that feels very much like the scene in The Force Awakens when Rey first steps on Takodana, we get to view Omega’s joy and giddy enthusiasm about something new – even if it’s just dirt. The characters find their ‘old friend’, who is revealed to as an old friend of ours too, – Cut Lawquane!
The character, a deserter clone, first appeared in the second season of The Clone Wars alongside his Twi’lek wife Suu and her children Shaeeah and Jek. Here we see the Bad Batch get to interact with another Clone who would be considered ‘an outsider’, as they ask for his advice on laying low and avoiding being found. It’s a lovely moment, which is sure to elicit some fond ‘homely’ memories as they use the sound effects from A New Hope – namely from the Lars’ homestead. A nice touch.
Cut informs the group that Captain Rex has visited the family recently too, informing him of the situation regarding the inhibitor chips and presumably looking to see if it had affect Cut in any way. Omega lets The Bad Batch know about the specifics of the chips, as Tech once again thought that it would have been obvious to everyone else – another bit of levity in an otherwise heavy scene. We also get to see more of Wreckers’ adorable side when Cut’s children Shaeeah and Jek call him ‘Uncle Wrecker!’ – which continues throughout the episode.
We see Omega learning what it’s like to have a somewhat normal life, examining and learning games alongside her new friends. We still don’t know the full details about Omega, which has led some people to theorise that she may have force sensitivity. That mystery is helped set up by Cut’s intrigue, noting “The Kaminoans don’t create without a purpose”.
Speaking of the Kaminoans creations, we see how the Clones and newly-found Empire are really clamping down (both metaphorically and literally) on the Galaxy. Outposts are being set up, ships are being clamped and the Empire has now introduced a new system of chain codes, practically a government-issued number that puts you on their database. The idea of chain codes was first introduced in The Mandalorian but adds an even more chilling note in this series. They’re practically the Star Wars equivalent of ‘identification papers’, something used by fascists like the Nazis during WWII, particularly in countries that they had forcefully invaded. It’s a chilling representation of a police state, giving the Empire full access to details regarding their citizens.
The core struggle in this episode is Hunter’s unease around raising a child, and whether it’s safe for Omega to stay with The Bad Batch. Especially, since the Clones themselves were created for one purpose – to fight. There’s a scene in which Omega accidentally endangers herself trying to receive a ball back, and the difference of approach between Hunter (a soldier) and Cut (someone who has been a parent longer than a soldier, practically) is interesting. It shows that these core characters are learning as much as Omega is, for her, it’s visiting planets for the first time, for them? It’s living their lives.
The Squad work together to create false codes for Cut’s family so that they can escape the planet before the Imperial lockdown begins. We see a nice nod to ANH, with the Clones investigating the ’empty’ ship only to find that Tech, Echo and Omega are stashed away in secret. You know the Clones are officially part of the Empire when they implement those extremely shifty black and orange Astromechs, who quite frankly are no good.
The sequence where Hunter stays by Cut and the family as they slowly but surely make their way through the spaceport while waiting for their codes is fantastic. The tension is built superbly through the music, and the Cut’s anxiety in everything not working. Thankfully, all does eventually go to plan.
There’s the classic “go with them, you’re safer there” trope where Hunter thinks it might be safer for Omega to go with Cut, but thankfully she decides that she wants to stay with her brothers (uncles? how are we phrasing this? Lucasfilm, please clarify!)
Overall, Cut and Run was another fantastic episode and continues a great introduction to this series. After the action-packed 70-minute opener, it was nice to have a relatively quieter episode that delves more into the impact fascism is starting to affect the galaxy.
Oh, And Another Thing:
- We get our first look at a new Imperial Bad Guy! Vice Admiral Rampart (whose figure was seen recently online) makes his first appearance in the episode as a hologram.
- Tech makes a great point about how the Clones tried so hard to give themselves their own identity away from their designation numbers, while ordinary citizens line up to be given numbers instead of a name.
- But seriously, fuck that Astromech and its snitch-scream sequence.
- This episode was written by Gursimran Sandhu, who wrote for Game of Thrones!
- You know this an official Star Wars Animation when the ‘Generic White Mandalorian Woman’ (pictured below) makes an appearance.