Every time an episode of The Bad Batch lands, Fantha Tracks will be giving their responses, and here are our initial gut feelings, deep dives and thoughts on the sixth episode of season 1 of The Bad Batch – Decommissioned. Beware of spoilerific elements in here.
The Bad Batch has caused quite a ruckus at this decommissioning facility to bring us this latest action-packed episode. Not surprising, as this further complicates their journey and raises their profile with the Empire. Good for us, though, as this means they will need to trust in the kindness of strangers like Cid, Trace, and Rafa, meaning that we will get to meet more residents of this galaxy far, far away.
I do like that these shows acquaint us with some more of the galaxy’s characters and species but not every episode needs to feature a familiar face from the past. I love Fennec Shand and am curious about Rafa’s and Trace’s arc, but I don’t want every episode to have a cameo from a character that appeared in The Clone Wars or other of the many stories.
I will always enjoy the subtle nods to past stories like this episode’s visit to Han’s home planet of Corellia and them leeching a ride on a larger ship past the planet’s censors à la Han in The Empire Strikes Back as well as being reminded of the ever-useful phrase from ESB, “E chu ta.” The decommissioning factory is an obvious antithesis of the scene on Geonosis from Attack of the Clones: the conveyor belts, assembly line, the heated metal, a damsel in distress. However, I take issue with droids destined to be molten metal still having their computing innards intact
Quintessential Star Wars comedic interjections are also present. The fight over the tactical droid was like a wet bar of soap slapstick skit and then there was the echo bit:
“Is there an echo in here?”
“I’m Echo.” Echo replies. Classic cornball comedic Star Wars — a must-have feature and another moment when I smile and say, “Filoni totally gets it balancing those deadly laser blasts with some silliness. I love him!”
War is such a gross diversion of resources. Yes, they are recycling the droids, but imagine the money spent creating these machines just to have something controllable…like the clones–repurposing them so they can be controlled for another use. They are kept ignorant and naive and at the whim of the factions in fighting for power.
The clones’ naivety continues to lead their adventures. Cid should probably not be trusted and neither should Rafa and Trace since they are all working for some unnamed power. But, then again this further complicates their journey and the varied directions in which the series can go. Like Omega, there is a lot for these soldiers to learn about the galaxy.
Omega continues to charm me as she brings out the nurturing side of the clones, draws out my childhood awe in wanting to live and see everything there is in this galaxy, and catalyzes the complexity of their journey. Another running theme in the Star Wars saga continues: kids are trouble! (After all, look at the trouble wrought upon the galaxy by Shmi’s kid and Leia’s and Han’s kid!)
Wrecker’s headache is compounded by injury and remnants of Crosshair’s “Good Soldiers follow orders.” I’m feeling like he will turn against the group soon. Just one more complication in their journey, but I hope I’m wrong. I don’t want Wrecker to be harmed.
As foreshadowed, these adversaries at the start of the episode become allies–another running Star Wars theme. The Bad Batch and Trace and Rafa share a goal but for different motivations. Unlike Rafa and Trace, the Bad Batch are still understanding their mission and who gets their loyalty. This represents the feelings of many in the galaxy who did not see the Republic as deserving of their loyalty but neither see the Empire as one deserving of it, showing the nuances and complexity of the universe and the many “us” versus “them” combinations in life.
Like the other Star Wars series, this one allows us to examine alliances, the sides we had chosen (I still choose the dark side), choices that were so evident for so many of us when we saw the original trilogy as children. Our juvenile cognitive abilities, spurned by the Rebel scum propaganda in the films didn’t give us the information to see the galaxy as more nuanced than the good guys vs. bad guys.
“In the end, we all chose sides.” Rafa states at the end of the episode. The films have always presented just two sides to this conflict: the Empire and Rebellion. But, we know more sides exist. With the Bad Batch’s adventures, we can be thrilled by the action while we continue a deeper analysis of the war and learn the galaxy’s multifaceted response to the new Empire and the welling rebellion.
Another great episode this week with the return of the Martez Sisters from Season 7 of The Clone Wars. How awesome was it to see and hear the Battle Droids back in action, the incredible sound effects from Attack of the Clones and Omega getting some target practice in.
This episode raises so many questions….How did the Martez sisters end up with R7, Ahsokas Astromech, who was the person in the Holofeed and how many times will Wrecker bash his head before the chip kicks in. Tune in next time, same Clone Time, same Clone Channel!
We rejoin the Bad Batch in the underground of Ord Mantell – another gorgeous opening panoramic shot, melting into yet more Attack of The Clones tinged back streets and signage. Cid has another mission for the team, to grab a soon-to-be decommissioned Tactical Droid (the strategists from The Clone Wars) as their knowledge of fighting the clones has gone up in value now that the clones part of the Imperial ranks.
We get another nod to other stories too as they head to the decommissioning facility on Corellia, and as they approach we see the construction yards we first saw in Solo. Inside the facility we get more prequel love as obviously a droid dismantling facility is quite reminiscent of the droid factories on Geonosis, complete with molten metal pits and overhead tracks carrying the droids to their fate. We also get a new “character” in the form of the Police droids that patrol the facility – one for the Hasbro army builders there I guess!
As our team locate the tactical droid it is snatched by what appears to be one of the factory workers. However as they are discovered and the plant goes into lockdown (was that to make us feel better about being in lockdown ourselves !!!) it turns out that the “competition” is Rafa and Trace Martez from the Ahsoka arc of Season 7 of The Clone Wars. Whilst trying to escape Wrecker takes another blow to head and is heard starting to utter the “good soldiers follow orders” mantra, indicating that maybe his chip is starting to exert some influence over him – I’, sure this will come to the fore in future episodes.
Utilising the tactical droid to control the droids in the facility to combat the police droids (yes, a LOT of droids) they all escape but the tactical droids head gets destroyed in the process. As the Martez sisters and the Bad Batch go their separate ways Hunter hands over a data spike (aka big USB drive) to which Tech has downloaded the tactical droids knowledge, and following conversations he believes that their ‘buyer’ will put it to better use in combating the Empire.
The episode closes out with Rafa & Trace and an obscured hologram of their contact, as they confirm they have the tactical droid data and were helped by a group of Rogue clones, which may be of interest to this mysterious person.
Like the best arcs of The Clone Wars and all of Rebels, we are getting great storytelling, advancing the characters stories and dropping breadcrumbs which will surely lead to a bigger payoff down the line.
The Bad Batch Episode 6: Decomissioned sees Clone Force 99 embark on a mission to retrieve the head of a tactical droid from a decommissioning facility on Corellia. Coincidentally, they run into a couple of familiar faces during their seek and recover mission, and new problems arise. Decommissioned was an enjoyable episode on its own, but the Bad Batch is planting very subtle seeds that have the potential of blooming with proper care. Let’s take a closer look at Decommissioned and explore what those seeds are.
The opening shot reveals that the Bad Batch is still on Ord Mantell. I got the impression at the conclusion of Rampage that they were about to leave Ord Mantell. But no, they’re still on Ord Mantell and still in Cid’s hangout. Echo is teaching Omega how to shoot a bow and arrow with moderate success. Two of Cid’s patrons, an Ithorian and a Weequay, bet on whether or not Omega will hit the target. Watching good parenting in Star Wars is a rarity, so much so that when it does happen, you have to take note. Ironic that it’s coming from a group of clones who really have no experience with parents besides the Kaminoans.
Cid interrupts the lesson with a mission if they choose to accept it: Cid tasks the guys to retrieve the head of a tactical droid from a decommissioning facility on Corellia before they’re all destroyed. FYI tactical droid intel has tremendous value. Hunter speaks for the crew when he says they haven’t decided if they will work for Cid or not. Cid is a no-nonsense type and tells them they’re doing this for their benefit and hers. Cid has a point, and it’s an arrangement that makes sense. They’re in. After the briefing is over, Cid tells Omega that she can’t hit the target because her arms are too weak. Trandoshans are known for their long, mighty arms. Cid takes the bow and hits the bullseye like it’s a womprat.
The Bad Batch, aboard their shuttle, sneak past the Corellia’s planetary sensors, much like the Falcon when it’s attached to a Star Destroyer in The Empire Strikes Back. Yes, Echo, this old trick works every time. Next, Omega asks why the tactical droids are so much more important than the regular clankers. I appreciated this bit of setup and exposition for the newer fans who may need some extra info and the longtime fans who could use a refresher. Long story short: the more tactical droids fought, the more they won because they would have more data to analyze, and with that comes more successful battle tactics.
This is the earliest Corella appears in the canon timeline. To put this time in perspective relative to other media, these events occur days/weeks after the Revenge of the Sith. The next time Corellia appears, it is during the prologue in Solo: A Star Wars Story which takes place 5-6 years after Decommissioned. On Corellia, we see a pair of police/security droids walk by, sounding a lot like the Death Star droids from A New Hope. The security droids resemble EV-9D9 from Return of the Jedi. Goggles…I mean Tech, eyes a way to gain entry into the facility. Unfortunately for Wrecker, it involves climbing a very high exterior ladder. But I commend Wrecker for not letting that slow him down. Once they gain entry, right away I got droid factory vibes from Geonosis in Attack of the Clones. With the Clone Wars over, there’s no need for a droid army, so the leftover droids are sent to the scrapyard.
While Hunter, Echo, and Tech locate and retrieve the droid, Wrecker is the lookout. Omega is to stay put and keep an eye out for the droid head. I love the music in the scene. Kevin Kiner continues to create engaging and exciting music for Star Wars. Omega pulls out a pair of macros and quickly locates the droid on the conveyor belt. Just then, a figure picks up the head and runs off with it.
Wrecker eyes the competition, then Omega immediately gives chase only to be stopped by a factory worker. Omega bears her bow and arrow in defense. As the worker flips up her visor, my immediate reaction was, is that Rafa? Rafa and her sister Trace first appear in season 7 of The Clone Wars episodes 5-8. Fans have a divided view of Trace and Rafa. Either they love them, or they don’t. I appreciate their average Star Wars citizen point of view.
It’s evident right off that Rafa and Trace are not set out to do wrong. They were tasked with the same objective as the Bad Batch for a different employer. In a tussle between Omega and Rafa, an errant arrow pierces the sidewall, which sets off a chain reaction. Now the facility is alerted to their presence. Security droids close in as The Bad Batch, and Rafa and Trace are forced to work together to get out, but in competition for the droid.
Meanwhile, Wrecker’s chip is really starting to affect him negatively, and it’s getting worse. When Wrecker starts saying, “Good soldiers follow orders,” you know it’s never a good sign. Just a thought but with Crosshair having a reduced role and Wrecker potentially veering towards a different path, this could make it easier for Dee Bradley Baker to voice the Bad Batch. Leaving only Hunter and Echo and other smaller bit parts.
Omega finds herself stuck on the conveyor belt, but as Hunter closes in for help, Omega miraculously comes loose and nearly falls over the edge. Trace, as the younger and not jaded sister, helps Hunter save Omega. They use the droid head to access commands to order the old battle droids to fight the police droids. They are lucky their previous programing was never deleted. I’m not sure how their programming works. In The Phantom Menace, the droids were controlled by a central computer, but they had more individual programming by the trilogy’s end. Anyway, I love the use of droid march music from the prequel trilogy. The plan, along with Wrecker’s recovery, succeeds.
However, in the ensuing escape, the droid head gets destroyed by blaster fire. Luckily the programming was extracted beforehand. R7 is called to pick them up. Aboard Trace’s Silver Angel, Trace reveals that they needed the information from the droid to help fight back against the Empire. Looks like the sisters decided to take sides after their association with Ahsoka. Before they go their separate ways, Hunter gives the data rod to Rafa because he knows they’ll use it for the right reasons, proving that Clone Force 99 is different. In the last scene, we see Rafa and Trace in the cockpit of the Silver Angel. Rafa asks R7 to “patch him through.” A hologram appears. Of course, it’s a view from the back, and we only get to see a shoulder. Rafa tells the mysterious figure that they retrieved the data and had help from a group of rogue clones, and she knows where to find them.
Now we’re left to speculate who this figure is. Likely it’s a member of the burgeoning rebellion, and we know it’s a male. The most famous member male member at this time is Bail Organa, and he had connections to Ahsoka. At first, I thought with the links between The High Republic, The Bad Batch, The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and The War of the Bounty Hunters storyline in the comics that it could be Dryden Voss, but no, I don’t think that’s accurate.
As you can tell in this review, a lot happened in Decommissioned. Seeds were planted for future stories, and it’ll be fun to see how they develop. The Bad Batch isn’t a slow burn. It smartly moves along disguised as an A-Team action series. Previous Star Wars knowledge is helpful. The Bad Batch is the missing link between the prequel and original trilogies.
In the latest episode of The Dad (Bad) Batch, Decommissioned, the team finds themselves in Cid’s services and tasked to retrieve the helmet of a Separatist tactical droid. In the meantime, Omega is training to use the Zygerrian crossbow that she confiscated in the previous episode.
Flashforward to a decommissioning facility on Corellia and familiar faces from season 7 of The Clone Wars. Yes, the Martez sisters, Rafa and Trace who are after the same dang helmet. The sisters have grown into more tactical sharpshooting and efficient skills since the last time we saw them. All that time with Ahsoka must have paid off, huh? But, amid all the high tension and suspense, there’s some comical dialogue exchanged between Echo and Trace, “is there an echo in here?” “I’m Echo.”
The suspense heats up (no pun intended) when Omega finds herself in imminent danger and comms Hunter for help. The moment is intense and dire, and the Martez sisters make a quick decision to align themselves with the rag-tag clones to help pull Omega out of the conveyer belt in the knick of time.
After saving Omega, they realize the only way out is by rewiring the tactical droid helmet to activate all battle droids to attack the police droids. Of course, the asset ends up destroyed during their escape from the facility. But, luckily Tech transferred all the tactical droid’s information onto a data rod, and Hunter hands it over to the sisters. As Hunter is doing so, he tells Rafa they are doing it for the right reasons. And that is when Rafa leaves Hunter with some last-minute advice: in the end, we all take sides.
After the sisters part ways with the clones, they send a transmission to their contact, who appears by hologram. Rafa informs their unidentified contact that a squad of rogue clones helped them obtain the info they needed and that she knows where to find them if they want to know.
The Filoni Files continue to weave together a web as intricate and cool as if spun by a knobby white ice spider—as The Bad Batch are surprised with encore performances by the Martez sisters, Rafa and Trace, in episode 6, “Decommissioned.”
The crew is hanging out at Cid’s Cantina on Ord Mantell, teaching Omega to use her new Zygerrian crossbow (not a blaster rifle, as I called it last week), when Cid plays the pit boss and informs them of a new mission—while also telling the young clone that she has “weak noodle arms” and needs to get stronger to better use her weapon.
Following the rogue Clone Force 99 to a decommissioning facility in search of a functional tactical droid, and its intel on clone battle tactics, the audience are heading back to the industrial paradise that is Corellia. On the facility floor they encounter Huttese-speaking police droids, conveyor belts of a variety of ravaged and deactivated Separatist battle droids, and unexpected competition that slides in literally under their noses—Rafa and Trace in disguise as facility workers.
The action turns into some strange industrial version of rugby as the Batch and Martez sisters take turns securing the head of the lone remaining tactical droid, attempting to avoid each other; the security droids; and the treacherous maze of stairs; ladders; and enormous, bubbling smelters that are swallowing the continuous droid parts from the conveyor belts.
Eventually the Batch, Rafa and Trace realize they need to work together to get out, and that is just the start of the “greater good” approach this action-packed episode becomes.
Much like Enfys Nest explains to Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rafa—having learned the same thing from Ahsoka in Season 7 of The Clone Wars—calls out Hunter for attempting to provide the valuable droid intel blindly to an unknown purchaser, rather than helping the building cause to weaken the new Empire.
The episode has wonderful moments of levity—Trace asking, ”Is there an Echo in here?” and getting an affirmative response from Omega and Echo—and fear—Wrecker hits his head, yet again, and actually starts to recite, “Good soldiers follow orders,” before shaking it off to rescue everyone.
The 25-minute episode also has a critical moment of reckoning, where Hunter forfeits the tactical droid intel to Rafa, in the name of good and the cause of the burgeoning Rebel Alliance. I loved having the Martez sisters back, in an evolved, idealistic state, and I’m left wondering if they’ll also tie together—in Filoni’s story web—the sisters, the Bad Batch, the Rebel Alliance, and maybe even lead into the Andor Disney Plus series? I’m getting way ahead of things but love that this can go in so many directions after another fun episode.
Mark Mulcaster and Mark Newbold discuss Decommissioned on Episode 94 of Making Tracks