“Star Wars the Bad Batch Season 2 Episode The Solitary Clone” REVIEW by Darth Slobo
One of the BEST episodes of the series overall, and we didn’t even see the Batch! The core theme of this episode was internal conflict and how it is manifesting in clones questioning of the Empire’s from of peace that they are bringing to the galaxy, and the debate among clones about being on the wrong side of peace. This episode follows Crosshair and a familiar face Commander CODY on a mission to rescue an Imperial Officer taking over the former Separatist Planet of Desix.
This episode had it all for The Clone Wars Animated Series and Prequel fans, classic battlefield action between Clones and Battle Droids, and a level of thought provoking depth that sheds some light into the struggle of what clone troopers (“regs”) were going through post Order-66. The emotional turmoil and internal debate makes this episode an easy favorite, and the classic prequel-era elements such as droids, and their distinct sounds, is the cherry on top!
This episode is in my top five for the series overall. I will give show runner Dave Filoni and the Lucasfilm team a 10 battle droids out of 10.
Stand out Scenes
A Clone Wars Classic
The match-up that we know and love, Clones vs. Droids, is back. Knowing Filoni, we were bound to get at least one of these classic match-ups again. (See Rebels for more post Order 66 Battle Droid interactions)
Key Theme: Internal Conflict
Seeing the internal conflict of clones as they struggle to cope with the direction of the Empire, who they believed were good, and the fear of being replaced by new recruits makes this one of the deepest and most interesting episodes of the series yet. Watching Cody slowly become disillusioned with the Empire’s promises of peace, while Crosshair seemingly remains dogmatic in his pursuit of following orders is a perfect contrast of free thought among regs vs. narrow mindedness among an enhanced clone.
The main theme of the episode is constantly top-of-mind as they brilliantly highlight the idea of internal conflict through the interactions between Crosshair and Cody, and the generalized fear of the Empire that the clones are becoming witness to, as they believe they are liberating a planet and bringing peace to its citizens, but are in fact the terrorists. By the end, after the execution of Tawni, and the descent of Desix into Imperial occupation, we hear Cody question his own involvement in the new Empire, and reflect on his struggle with the decisions of war… We can only assume that, among other things, he is referencing his turn on Obi-Wan—a valued comrade during the clone wars—during Order 66 on Utapau in Revenge of the Sith.
We open on the desert like planet Desix with an ominous castle shadowing over a settlement. We start off with Governor Grotton and a platoon of Stormtroopers preparing to land on Desix.
The inhabitants of a planet are clearly fearful of the empire as the run for shelter as the sirens continue to sound. The imperial office meets with a masked Tawni Ames, Governor of the planet. The Governor Grotton is there to inform Tawni Ames that she is being relieved of her political duties by order of the empire. In repones to this, Tawni calls on her battalion of BATTLE DROIDS to surround the imperial forces.
Cut back to CROSSHAIR, on what looks to be an imperial facility on Coruscant with several other clones, with a brief mention of the defence recruitment that would see the Empire recruit citizens (For more, watch Rebels)
Admiral Rampart calls on Crosshair and briefly interrogates him to understand how long he was stranded on Kamino (Season 1 Finale) and his motivations for returning to the empire. Admiral Rampart tasks Crosshair with a mission on Desix where the new Imperial Governor has been taken hostage by Tawni Ames. We see that this mission is more of a hostile takeover rather than a diplomatic resolution.
COMMANDER CODY, General Kenobi’s clone commander is back, after his turn on Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith, to lead Crosshair on this mission to Desix. We see an interesting interaction where Cody mentions more clones going AWOL from the empire. We see Crosshair’s dogmatic belief of Empire vs. everyone else, and Cody reassures him—after a suspicious pause—that “good soldiers follow orders.”
Leading the squad to what looks like it’s going to shape up as a classic clone wars interaction, Clones vs. Battle Droids.
Tawni seems to be a wise tactician as she is expecting the envoy to be a trap. We also get more details into the background of Dooku’s leadership of the Separatist nations, and his warning of the Republic leading to the rise of something worse, which we see is now playing out exactly how he had predicted it.
Back to the action we see a strategy droid organizing battle droids to “welcome” the clone battalion. In this sequence we get some classic battle droid humor as two Hi-five over a nice shot and joke about dead troopers.
The battle begins, Crosshair single headedly takes out a tank while the other clone troopers make their way towards the castle to deal with Tawni Ames. We get to see again why Crosshair has the nickname he does, as he picks off most of the droids. A droideka makes things especially nostalgic as we get those classic droid sounds that we have come to love from the Prequels and the Clone Wars Animated Series. The clones proceed through the city in their search of the Governor and the tactical droid controlling the movement of the droids.
All the droids are coming out to play here as Cody and Crosshair battle their way to the top of the city bell tower where Tawni Ames and the Tactical droid are holding the Imperial Governor Grotton. This leads to the coolest action sequence paired with the most thought provoking stand off as Crosshair uses his signature reflection shots to take out the tactical droid, then both Tawni and Cody debate peace, war, and their respective sides of the conflict.
Tawni sharing her history and desire for peace with the republic leads her to name drop her close involvement with Mina Bonteri.
For those who remember or for those who don’t, Mina Bonteri was a Separatist Senator from Onderon, who worked closely but in secret with Padme Amidala to bring forth a peaceful resolution to the war. This was a HUGE story arc in The Clone Wars Animated series that featured lots of espionage and betrayal from both Sidious and Dooku eventually leading to Bonteri’s orchestrated death. For more see Wookiepedia’s Summary (https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Mina_Bonteri)
Tawni hints of her knowing the tragic details of Mina Bonteri’s demise by sharing “peace was never an option.”
We get to see some internal questioning from Cody as he negotiates a peaceful resolution with Tawni, only to be ordered by the Imperial governor to execute her. We see Cody show some empathy to which we can already guess what will happen as Crosshair is the one to make the shot.
After Tawni’s execution we see the Empire roll in in to occupy Desix, interrogating their civilians and taking crops and supplies.
As the Clone Troopers are leaving the planet, we see Stormtroopers take over, as we are led to believe Cody is questioning his role in the Empire and is he is on the right side as people are being rounded up and Imperial Star Destroyers are descending upon the planet.
Outside the memorial at the Imperial facility, we see another interaction between Crosshair and Cody. Commander Cody reveals he is questioning the Empire he thought he was supporting and the challenge of living with the consequences of war.
We end with a final interaction between Rampart and Crosshair as Admiral Rampart gives Crosshair new orders. From this conversation we learn Commander Cody has gone AWOL, leaving the door open for a potential future interaction between Cody, the Batch, and maybe even Rex!