After six years, Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns for its seventh season, which will bring a conclusion to the series. It’s the end of the Clone Wars, and the Republic is getting overwhelmed as the evil forces continue their push against them. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s decided it’s time to bring in Squad 99, also known as The Bad Batch, to go behind enemy lines to gather the intel they need to tip things in their favor.
Warning: There will definitely be spoilers for Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 701, “The Bad Batch,” below.
Fighting For Anaxes
Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker have been fighting to protect Anaxes, one of the Republic’s largest shipyards, against the Separatists. If they lose it, it’d compromise their entire fleet. Clone Trooper Rex has a theory why they keep losing battles against the droids. The droids must be using analytics and learning from their tactics. Rex and Cody propose they take a small squad behind enemy lines to figure out how the Separatists are doing this.
Anakin seems suspicious and asks if there’s anything else. Rex says no, but later tells Cody he believes their fellow trooper, Echo, is still alive. They’ve been using plans he and Echo came up with. One way to try something a little different is to use Squad 99.
The Bad Batch
Squad 99 is an experimental squad consisting of defective clones with “desirable mutations.” They don’t look like regular clones. Hunter seems to be their leader with longer hair. He was engineered with heightened senses and can detect electromagnetic frequencies from anywhere on a planet. Wrecker is a big brute with enhanced strength. Tech is a whiz with…technology. Crosshair is an expert marksman.
The mission is to make it to a cyber center, which is the brains of the Separatist campaign on Anaxes. They fly towards it and get shot down by droids. Cody gets trapped in the wreckage, but Wrecker is able to lift the ship with ease. Unfortunately Cody has internal damage. He’ll need to be evaced out with Kix staying behind with him.
When an army of battle droids heads towards their wrecked ship, Rex wants to hold and protect their position. Hunter says that’s not their style. They charge towards the droids with Wrecker carrying a piece of the ship as a shield while the others precisely take out the opposition.
Squad 99 and Rex take out a command post along the way using their head-on methods. They can see the cyber center which only has about 30 droids protecting it. Tech picks up a signal that a whole platoon is on the way.
Tech and Rex make their way inside while the others fight off the droids. Rex hands Tech an algorithm and asks him to look for a program using the sequence. He finds it right away, but it’s not a program, it’s a live signal from another planet. He says it’s coming from Skako Minor and makes an audio connection. The garbled signal almost sounds human, and Rex asks who’s sending it. The reply is “CT-1409.”
As they head back to the Republic line, Tech asks Rex about the number. That was Echo’s number. He’s still alive.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is off to a pretty good start. One of the interesting things about the series is how it often had episodes focusing on different characters. This was a very heavy clone-centric episode and seeing the “mutated” clones was an intriguing change of pace.
One downside with the large gap between seasons is remembering what happened to characters such as Echo. Then again, having all previous seasons available on Disney+ is part of the streaming service’s charm.
Squad 99 and their enhanced abilities almost feels out of place for the show, but it’s also a way for the concept of the clone troopers to evolve. Being an experimental batch of just four clones isn’t too far fetched. Since we’re at the end of the war and with how everything ended up, it’s not surprising the Republic didn’t get a chance to further look into the idea of going this route in fighting the war. Fans might hunger for more Anakin or Ahsoka, but they’ll obviously have big roles in the coming episodes.
Overall, it’s an amazing feeling having the show back. While the vibe feels a little different with the evolved clones, it’s fascinating to see more of what happened in between Episodes II and III. It feels wrong to be happy this war lasted as long as it did, but the result is a fun and exciting series. If this is just the first episode of the season, I can’t wait to see what else is coming up.