- "The best defense is a strong offense."
"The Bad Batch" is an unfinished episode of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. The episode was originally intended to be the premiere for a seventh season, but production on the television series was halted before the episode was completed. Scripted by Brent Friedman, it is the first in a four-part story arc focusing on a ragtag unit of clone commandos, Clone Force 99. The episode, along with the rest of its arc, premiered on April 17, 2015 at Celebration Anaheim, and was released on StarWars.com shortly after on April 29, 2015.
The Republic campaign on Anaxes begins to take a turn for the worse when the Separatists capture the main production facility for the Republic's battle fleet. While Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker debate on how to proceed, Commander Cody and Captain Rex join them with a theory as to how Trench, the leader of the enemy forces, has been able to predict and counter their every move so far. As Rex relates, he had developed a special algorithm to analyse the usual Republican strategies and develop corresponding responses to counter the army's performance weaknesses. From the latest happenings on the local battlefield, he has concluded that somehow the algorithm has fallen into enemy hands; but besides him, only two other people knew about the algorithm's existence and layout: The late ARC troopers Fives and Echo. Since Fives' death is confirmed, and Echo's body was never recovered during the secret mission to the Citadel, Rex reasons that somehow Echo must have fallen into the enemy's hands and been coerced to surrender the program.
Upon hearing this, Windu and Skywalker task Cody and Rex to infiltrate the Separatists' planetary cyber center to find and recover the algorithm. Cody suggests calling in a crack commando force squad he has worked with before to assist in the job. This elite squad - Clone Force 99, informally known as the "Bad Batch" - consists of defectively born clones who underwent unique and "desirable" mutations. Accompanied by Jesse and Kix, Cody and Rex meet the squad, consisting of Sergeant Hunter, the team's leader; Wrecker, the squad's brash strongman and assault specialist; Crosshair, the teams grim, sarcastic sniper; and Tech, the hyper-intelligent and knowledgeable tech specialist. Mounting a gunship, the assembled team departs for the cyber center.
However, on their way the clones are spotted and shot down by a battle droid squad, and end up crashing in a ravine, leaving Cody seriously injured and trapped inside the vessel's wreckage. It is there that the Bad Batch begins to demonstrate its unique qualities: Wrecker singlehandedly lifts the gunship off Cody's body, and then he and his squadmates engage the incoming droids in a surprisingly aggressive move, taking down the entire enemy force by themselves. After the clones have left, a second droid force investigates the crash site and inform Trench of their findings.
The clones makes their way to the cyber center on foot, guided by Hunter's extraordinary sensory capabilities. With Cody incapable of continuing, Rex announces that he will take charge of the mission. This creates tensions with Crosshair and Wrecker, which threaten to escalate into a fight until Hunter intervenes and concedes command to Rex. Proceeding without Cody and Kix, they reach a Separatist outpost near the cyber center, which Rex decides to take, hoping that it will contain vital information. Using the Bad Batch's prior performance as his attack strategy, Rex and his fellow clones quickly overwhelm the outpost's droid garrison and capture its command and communication center. But while trying to hack into the cyber center's computers to investigate its defensive capabilities, Tech intercepts a message which announces the impending arrival of heavy droid reinforcements.
Rex splits up the squad for a diversionary three-front attack on the center's guard force, just as the droid relief forces arrive at the outpost; but before Trench can warn them about the clones' assault, the cyber center droids are taken by surprise. While Rex, Crosshair and Jesse keep the guards occupied, Hunter, Tech and Wrecker penetrate the building and capture its command center. As the other clones hold the incoming droid reinforcements off, Rex joins Tech in the command center. Tech hacks into the computer system and discovers the algorithm, but strangely it is not stored inside the center's memory banks but is instead broadcast from Skako Minor, a planet whose indigenous population has declared its neutrality in the war. Digging in further, Tech manages to receive an audio signal which sounds like a human voice - and identifies itself with Echo's birthcode!
In the meantime, the encroaching enemy force drives the remaining clones back into the command center. The clones fight their way out of the structure and escape aboard a speeder craft secured by Crosshair. While Trench learns about the clones' infiltration of the broadcast, Rex in turn is left brooding over the startling discovery that Echo may still be alive.
Series Writer Brent Friedman, who scripted "The Bad Batch" as well as the other three episodes of the arc, released information about the episode via his Twitter account in May 2014. Jedi General Anakin Skywalker is involved throughout the arc to an extent, though most of the action focuses on Rex and The Batch. Friedman stated that the "emotional hook" of the arc is Rex's relationship with ARC trooper Echo, a character who had been killed in the third season episode "Counterattack" but was resurrected for this arc. The setting for the episodes is split between Anaxes, a planet from the Star Wars Legends line, and a new world called Skako Minor.
On April 9, 2015, StarWars.com announced that "The Bad Batch" and the other three episodes of the story arc would be released on April 17 in story reel form, in a special screening at Celebration Anaheim.
- Dee Bradley Baker as clone troopers, computer voice, and Admiral Trench
- Matthew Wood as battle droids, commando droids, and tactical droids
- Terrence "T.C." Carson as Mace Windu
- Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker
- Tom Kane as Narrator
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Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ Rebels Report #2: Behind the Scenes with Brent Friedman. Rebels Report (2013-11-22). Retrieved on May 1, 2014. "[starting around 26:50] So my episodes that I wrote for Season Six were going to be—I was told by Dave [Filoni] they were going to be the premiere episodes for Season Seven."
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 . “OK, the fortune cookie of the 1st episode in my Echo arc (called 'The Bad Batch') was: The best defense is a strong offense.”
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2
- ↑ 5.0 5.1
- ↑ . “Here's the 2nd episode ('A Distant Echo') fortune cookie: Wars are not won with superior weapons, but with superior strategy.”
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 . “Anakin's involved on/off throughout the arc but it's mostly Rex in charge of The Batch. Takes place on Anaxes & Skako Minor.”
- ↑ . “Yes on Rex. The emotional hook of the arc was Rex & Echo's relationship.”
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Counterattack"
- ↑ The Essential Atlas