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 fourth episode of season 1 of The Bad Batch – Cornered. Beware of spoilerific elements in here.
The latest episode of The Dad (Bad) Batch, “Cornered,” is richly infused with vibrant colors and Star Warsy sound effects that are very reminiscent of the chase scene from Attack of the Clones. Dave and his creative team, including the talented family of Kiner Music, have captured the nostalgia from the prequels and yet, given us something new all together on Pantora. And that’s no easy feat.
The fourth episode moves the story forward by adding an even deeper level of threats and urgency to Omega and her Batch of Dads. Like Padme’ Amidala from the prequels, Omega has a bounty on her head, but instead of Zam, we have Fennec. Coincidentally, Fennec’s introduction in “Cornered” is her prequel to what we see in season 1 and season 2 of The Mandalorian.
In a way, both Omega, and Padme’, and Fennec and Zam are similar deuteragonist and foil character types. And knowing Dave and his creative team that symbolism and symmetry are intentional. What that reasoning is, well, we’ll have to wait and see.
The bigger question is, what’s that funky tune the Aqualish is “jamming out to?”
Today’s episode of The Bad Batch was an action-packed doozy! Cornered sees the Bad Batch plotting their next move. With the uninhabited destination of Idaflor in their sights, they soon realize without enough fuel or rations, Idaflor will have to wait. On top of that, Echo informs the crew that their ship is on the wanted list. They decide to land on the nearest planet to make some modifications to their ship. The closest is a moon, Pantora, home to the other blue species, the Pantorans. Notably, Republic Senator Riyo Chuchi (first appeared in The Clone Wars Season One Episode 15: Trespass) and Chairman Baron Papanoida (first seen in Revenge of the Sith portrayed by George Lucas). What should have been a quick pitstop quickly turns into a run-in with a deadly assassin.
In true Star Wars fashion, the dockmaster looks to make a quick credit by alerting a nearby bounty hunter that her prey has arrived. The bounty hunter, Fennec Shand (who we first see in The Mandalorian Season One Chapter 5: The Gunslinger), closes in. What makes Fennec Shand interesting as a character is how sly she is. Shand pursues her bounty with snake-like stealth, and if she finds herself in a tight situation, she can defend herself with significant effect.
Shand possesses a class not typically shared in most hunters. Other notable bounty hunters like Cad Bane, Aurra Sing, and even Boba Fett sit comfortably on the game’s darker side. While Shand has more respect for the prize. We see Shand hold out her hand for Omega and generally treat her with kindness. Yes, it’s all to lure her in (like a snake), but like Shand says, “it’s okay to break the rules sometimes.”
This is about three decades before her appearance in The Mandalorian (Shand can’t be more than 20-25 in Cornered), and even now, Shand is a top talent—good enough to nearly defeat the Bad Batch on her own. Shand is the epitome of calm and calculating.
When Tech is slicing into the city computer, we hear heavy nods to THX 1138 in the dialogue, the sound quality of the audio, and how Omega is on the run, just like THX. On a side note, was that dog-like creature who took Omega’s doll the same kind Torra Doza had in Star Wars Resistance?
It’s uplifting seeing Hunter and Wrecker turn on full dad-mode to save Omega, and Echo and Tech all doing their fair share to help the group as a whole. Love the R2 unit with the arms and legs—a great nod to Huey, Dewey, and Louie, the robots in Silent Running, who influenced the look of R2-D2 in the early Star Wars concept art. Loved all of the classic aliens in the background on Pantora.
Who is Shand talking to at the end of the episode? One would assume it has to be either the Empire or the Kaminoans. What if it’s a member of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild like Greef Carga? It was great seeing Bobby Moynihan back doing voices for Star Wars animation. Taran Killam was credited for voicing the Gotal, but it’s spelled Goatal. Is that a bad pun or a misspelling? Lastly, Wrecker is really funny! I truly enjoyed Cornered and can’t wait for next week’s episode.
I have to say that we’re really enjoying The Bad Batch here in Henrytowers! This latest episode with Fennec in it was great, I know it’s the classic missing kid plot in that they lose their toy and the bad guy gets them, but put that in a Star Wars context makes it so much better.
The links throughout the series are great and bring the universe together. Where this series is going I’m not sure, but I love the fact I’m watching a cartoon and not realising and that is because of the amazing production team and direction.
A new level of richness and depth is introduced, along with the mysterious bounty hunter Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) in “Cornered,” episode 4 of The Bad Batch. Once again, the rogue crew of Clone Force 99 are forced into an unplanned landing—this time for ship alterations, supplies, and—most importantly for Wrecker—more rations.
Omega is becoming a quick study that all is not as it seems now that she is away from the protected confines of Kamino. She laments having spent her entire life on the water world of the cloners and is eager to experience and see all the galaxy has to offer—not anticipating danger, or even that her closest friends now have to bend the rules to survive and keep safe.
As Hunter, Echo, and Omega immerse themselves in a major bazaar of Pantora there is a feel of a combination of Black Spire Outpost on Batuu and Coruscant Level 1313 from season 7 of The Clone Wars with Ahsoka and Trace Martez. An intergalactic marketplace, thriving with a colorful atmosphere and population of blue-skinned Pantorans and other vividly dressed humanoids and aliens—immediately at visual odds with the black and white clone troopers who are seemingly drawn to the holo of Vice-Admiral Rampart and his chain code and Imperial credits propaganda.
In their first dealings, the young clone watches Hunter and Echo deceive a shop owner for 3,000 credits, but is immediately distracted by some cute pets being transported down the street of the Pantoran bazaar. She follows to retrieve her Clone Trooper doll, snatched by the chubby beast, only to realize she’s lost.
Then Fennec oozes into the equation, with Omega as her intended prize. The measured, cerebral, cunning, and deadly bounty hunter attempts to befriend the innocent and naive clone—and it goes well until Hunter tracks them down. Omega has now watched her friends break the law and has been duped by a stranger who goes on a deadly rampage in an attempt to keep the young girl.
Fennec bests both Hunter and Wrecker in one-on-one battle before eventually losing Omega back to her friends and their escape off of Pantora. The episode ends with Fennec revisiting the informant who alerted her to the arrival of the Havoc Marauder, our heroes’ space shuttle. The Sullustan, Raspar Six, continues chewing on his toothpick as he fears for his life with the bounty hunter arriving at the Ro Station depot he manages. Rather than being terminated for letting the ship get away, he is paid some credits, by the measured Fennec, to remain on the lookout for her prize.
We learn the Bad Batch needs to fear the toothpick (hello, Crosshair) and they learn a bounty hunter is after Omega—though it is not crystal-clear who has done the hiring yet.
I am loving the Attack of the Clones vibe that is permeating this series so far. In this episode, whilst we weren’t on Corruscant, it certainly sometimes felt like the core planet. The chase through the sky roads, with neon-lit buildings, was very reminiscent of the early scene from Star Wars Episode II.
In Attack of the Clones we honed in on a Sebulba type character, commenting ‘Bantha Poodoo’ as he got tangled in the chase. So I especially liked the glimpse of a ‘Walrusman’ pilot wearing the same colours as the Kenner action figure in the Bad Batch hunt.
Fennec Shand is essentially Zam Wesell. Not only is she a bounty hunter wearing a facemask revealing just her eyes, but she got to take part in the aforementioned chase – only with the roles reversed.
Attack of the Clones is an underrated movie. With these affectionate nods from The Bad Batch and the recent use of seismic charges in season 2 of The Mandalorian, someone close to these projects clearly thinks it’s time to give the 2002 film some love.
Another episode of the Bad Batch has come and gone this past week and I have to say I’m more cautiously optimistic this time around. We have the Bad Batch on a supply run, some pretty amusing antics ensue during their efforts, but what most people are excited about is Fennec Shand’s debut appearance in animation.
Now I personally love the character and think we are fortunate to have Ming-Na Wen in the Star Wars universe, but I am curious as to what purpose her character will have in the series and how much we get to see her character evolve. I mentioned being cautiously optimistic because while it’s awesome to see characters pop in and out of the animated content they can be a bit of a throw away at times. I don’t think it’s the case here, but I want to taper my expectations.
My favorite highlight from this latest installment had to be Echo posing as a droid, then again he’s now more machine than man, so it’s not the biggest stretch. Despite his tragic existence he manages to maintain a unique sense of humor.
While the episode to me isn’t memorable in and of itself, I do hope it serves as a solid foundation for a fantastic story arc. I continue to be excited for this series and am still theorizing what could possibly happen to all these characters, I only hope this series keeps delivering as it is some of the best Star Wars we’ve gotten in a long time.
I’m absolutely loving this show! This episode had such an Attack of the Clones vibe with the speeder chase and excellent sound straight out of Episode 2. Seeing a classic Kenner style Walrusman was a stunning touch and Fennec Shand linking to the Mandalorian. The Bad Batch is doing a stunning job of building the Galaxy out more and tying things together.
With episode 4, we really start to get into the meat of this series with a few familiar faces to boot. With our titular band in need of supplies before their planned return to Kamino to ‘rescue’ Crosshair, they stop at nearby Pantora.
The docking bays are reminiscent of those seen previously in Star Wars, on Tatooine in particular, and our first meeting is with the bay controller – a Sullustan like our old chum Nien Numb. Along the way we meet several other species we’ve seen before, and a protocol droid who shares more than few characteristics with Threepio.
As Omega becomes detached from the group, we get our introduction to Fennec Shand, her animated debut albeit still voiced by Ming-Na Wen, who has been hired by someone as-yet-unknown to capture the clone child. Could this be the Empire or indeed the Kaminoans trying to get their prized asset back?
As the capture and pursuit escalates we get scenes very reminiscent of the chase in Attack of the Clones where Obi-Wan and Anakin are chasing another bounty hunter, Zam Wessell. This really made the episode feel rooted in familiar territory, and made the episode really connect for me.
Another episode with great storytelling, fabulous music and enough breadcrumbs and questions to keep you hungry for more Bad Batch!
Brian Cameron and Mark Newbold discuss Cornered on Good Morning Tatooine
Mark Mulcaster and Mark Newbold discuss Cornered on Episode 92 of Making Tracks
- Fry, Jason (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 176 Pages - 04/27/2021 (Publication Date) - DK Children (Publisher)