The Clone Wars TV series ended a few years ago with legions of fans bemoaning its untimely end. Years later, fans continue to clamor for more stories set in this pivotal time period of Star Wars and even unfinished episode arcs are being released now because we want more!
One of the most interesting parts of Star Wars Celebration for me was watching some of these unfinished episodes. It was all storyboard and rough animation, but the framework was there for them. This set of episodes is actually one of TWO story arcs that was to have involved Squad 99 (the “Bad Batch”). Filoni mentioned that these episodes may eventually be posted online, probably with the other Clone Wars Legacy stuff, but it’s not there yet. (http://www.starwars.com/tv-shows/the-c…
Since I’ve only seen some general summaries posted online, here is my attempt at a semi-complete recap. Keep in mind that Star Wars Celebration is almost a week old so I’m pretty much going off memory here. Week old memories to boot, and since I didn’t record any video or take any notes... hopefully I don’t get anything confused. I took some pictures, of course, but the bright idea of RECORDING what I saw at the different panels I attended didn’t actually occur to me until the last panel I went to on Sunday. Oops. And one other thing before we begin. Unfortunately for you, the reader, I will be interjecting my own thoughts and observations into this recap. I also don’t have too many pictures and I don’t want to steal anyone else’s work. If you were there and took some good pictures and are okay with me using your pictures (with full credit going to you), please let me know! As always, any pictures I use are ones I took unless otherwise noted.
So be warned. I will go into spoilers for all four episodes. No generalizations here. Go no further if you don’t want details.
Seriously, stop now if you hate spoilers. Everyone else, proceed!
Wrecker - The “heavy” who likes to blow stuff up
Cross Hair - The sniper
Hunter - The lone wolf leader
Tech - The techie (You were shocked, weren’t you? Shocked. Didn’t the name give it away?!)
Wat Tambor - The completely neutral Techno Union leader. Yep, totally “neutral”...
Admiral Trench - The spider commander you last saw in The Lost Missions.
Various disposable droids
Episode 1 - The Bad Batch
Things start off badly for our Clone Wars crew. The Republic and Separatists are squaring off and fighting for Anaxes, but the Republic is getting completely WRECKED in, not just one battle, but battles all over the planet. Apparently, this campaign is being plotted out by Rex, and the Separatists have been able to counter everything. This gets the people in the room (Mace, Obi-wan, Anakin, Commander Cody, Rex) thinking. Apparently, Rex has some sort of algorithm and he can’t understand how the Separatists are able to anticipate him so well but suspects maybe they have it. He tells Anakin that he only shared the algorithm with... Echo. Did Echo have this algorithm on a datapad and the Separatists were able to salvage some of the data? Hmm.... And we’re off and running!
So for story purposes, we find out that there’s some sort of data center from deep within Separatist territory and Rex needs to investigate it and get back his “algorithm”. But our heroes can’t send regular troopers or commandos in because the Separatists seem to be anticipating the Republic really well right now. Luckily, Commander Cody has just the unconventional squad for the job. Did the Bad Batch just happen to be in the area when this impending disaster on Anaxes was happening so Cody could whistle them up? Doesn’t matter, reasons! The Bad Batch is on the way! And Rex will get to the bottom of why his strategy isn’t working. We’ll just ignore the fact that if they did have Rex’s algorithm, it would be shared everywhere instead of just on Anaxes.
Cut to the next scene when the Bad Batch steps out of a shuttle. First up is Wrecker, a big hulking soldier with what looks to be a stylized death’s head mask on. He’s big, bald, and completely does NOT look like a clone, which shocks our “regular” clones. Then comes the sniper of the unit, Cross Hair. A clone with sunken cheeks and seems to be much older than the others. A Clint Eastwood looking guy of few words. He has a standard helmet, except for the right eye of the helmet, which is fully exposed. It made me wonder, is his eyesight so much better than he doesn’t need the HUD for his “sighting” eye, or perhaps that eye is actually a cybernetic implant? Next is Tech, filling the nerdy stereotype, right down to the glasses. Finally, Hunter is shown, and he brings the squad together because he can stand them. So he’s the nominal leader. He seems to have a regular trooper helmet as well, although the top seems to be ventilated because you can see his hair when he puts it on. When his hat is off, you can see one side of his face painted gray and he has a random bandana. All four are wearing non-standard black/red armor.
Oh and they have to establish that they don’t play by the rules when they first talk with Rex, so a little tension to start. After a brief stare down between Rex and the Bad Batch they, along with Cody, all board a gunship and head off. Hunter discusses that the Bad Batch has been on a lot of covert missions, so we know it’s not their first rodeo. The ship takes off and everything seems to be going normally for a time, but their position is given away and the gunship starts taking anti-aircraft fire. After a few more hits, it goes down in a canyon and a massive influx of Separatist droid troops can be seen converging on the downed gunship. Around this time, Trench is shown as the mastermind of the Anaxes offensive for the Separatists and he seems concerned.
Back to our heroes stumbling out of the gunship. Everyone makes it out except for Cody, who seems to be trapped under the remains of the gunship. The Bad Batch wants to get the hell out of Dodge before the droids come around since, you know, they crashed in Sep occupied territory and a burning gunship sort of signals their presence. But Rex won’t abandon Cody, and he has a brief argument with Cross Hair and Wrecker. Finally, Hunter steps in, flexes his muscles a bit, then LIFTS THE ENTIRE GUNSHIP off Cody. WHAT! Why would you not give this super power for every clone? He’s not done yet, though, as soon after, an entire LEGION of droids appears (Okay, maybe not an entire legion. A battalion? It was a lot of droids). See, this is why the Bad Batch wanted to book it, Rex. But no, you had to save Cody.
So, Wrecker casually breaks off the door of the gunship and starts running TOWARDS all the droids, holding the gunship door in front of him as a shield. The other Bad Batchers join him and take cover behind the running shield and the quartet starts gunning down the droids. They stop occasionally, and Tech tosses some high explosives into the air in the droids’ general direction. He calls out some distance numbers for Cross Hair and Cross Hair is able to shoot them out of the air for maximum droid damage. A few minutes and a few hundred destroyed droids later, only our Republic heroes are left standing. Trench is not happy after he gets the report that the troops he sent to investigate has been wiped out. He still has no idea what’s going on.
Scene and move to the next part of the story, where Rex asserts that he’s in charge now since Cody is too injured and can’t command. Hunter finally accedes, but it was more like “eh, whatever” and Rex wonders how they’ll get to the communications tower now. Don’t worry, now that we’ve seen Clone Hulk’s power, we need to see what Hunter’s specialty is, so Tech tells us that Hunter is a human GPS. In fact, he’s more accurate than any map since he can “feel” the land. So he’s a super friend and a human GPS!
They end up taking a Separatist outpost, and Trench sends a bunch of his troops there. However, our clones aren’t there when the droids arrive. In fact, the attack was a ruse and the Bad Batch + Rex actually launch an assault on a special communications tower at the same time while it’s lightly defended. They easily take it, then Tech runs in with Rex to figure out what the hell is going on. While the others defend, Tech taps into Separatist communications and tries to slice (hack) the network to get the algorithm. But after a little while of him failing to find it, a new communication comes in that contains bits of the algorithm and something else... Rex thinks it’s Echo and the transmission is traced back to Skako Minor. Wait... Echo?!
(Note - Not my video)
So what’s going on? Didn’t Echo blow up? It’s pretty hard to come back from that, right? On the other hand, in TV and comics, no body = not dead.
Well, it looks like this recap is running much lengthier than I thought it would, so I’m actually going to stop here for tonight. Yes, I work a normal 9-5 job for a living, and this is just a fun little thing I do, so check back tomorrow for Part 2 of the Bad Batch Story Arc! Part 2 will probably cover Episodes 2 and 3, and Part 3 will cover the last episode + discuss some other Clone Wars Legacy tidbits.
-As stated before, I didn’t think the recap for the 1st episode would actually go this long, so you’ll just have to be kept in suspense on why I chose the picture I did in the beginning (although it isn’t much of a mystery, since I’m sure it’s already on the internet). Just humor me, the payoff is good.
-Cross Hair needs to be named Clint if Bad Batch survives into the Rebels time period and they go into hiding. He’s pretty much Hawkeye (Clint Barton) combined with Clint Eastwood. This needs to happen.
-Unit 99, aka The Bad Batch, is named after Clone 99, the malformed clone.
-Does this Bad Batch group also come with their own chips to make them compliant? Because they don’t seem follow orders too well and openly question authority.