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 fifth episode of season 1 of The Bad Batch – Rampage. Beware of spoilerific elements in here.

Eric Onkenhout

The Bad Batch episode 5 Rampage was chock full of callbacks to The Clone Wars and possible links to events that have yet to happen. Omega continues to develop as an integral part of her newfound family, performing deeds that display her resiliency while maintaining her child-like perspective. In Rampage, Hunter vows to discover why a bounty hunter is after them, and so has the team fly to Ord Mantell to visit an informant named Cid. It’s never that easy though, is it?

During the voyage to Ord Mantell, Omega is fitted with Crosshair’s old comlink. Having her own comlink is like a badge of honor. With it, Omega comes closer and closer to becoming a larger part of the team, with even more responsibilities Hunter wants to find out why a bounty hunter is after them. Two thoughts come to mind: first, why does it matter? Second: you kidnapped a young child; that might have something to do with it! Hunter understands they are after Omega but doesn’t know why. Tech has confirmed that Omega is a clone, and the Kaminoans do not seem like the type to turn a cheek when it comes to their property. Michelle Ang does a great job picking up the nuances of a child’s voice—sounding curious, inquisitive, and a little rebellious. When Omega says, “Right, not a toy,” with a smirk, you can’t help but love her.

The team arrives on Ord Mantell, which appears to be partially in ruins, and heads straight for Cid’s hangout. Whether it’s a by-product of special order cloning, The Force, or just a child’s intuition, Omega knew the Trandoshan-like alien was Cid before any of the squad. Just moments before, Cid had all of them fooled, even Hunter. When the facade fades, Cid’s look is animation perfection—such a natural reaction (chef’s kiss).

It’s a very Star Wars-y trope where one party needs information from a source, but they must complete a mission first to obtain it. I suppose it’s necessary to expand the plot. As they’re called in video games, this side quest is prevalent in Star Wars comic books. It’s becoming telegraphed. It’s that play a team keeps trying. Whether it works or not, you know it’s coming.

It’s interesting to note Wrecker’s off and on migraine, the likely cause being the faulty implanted chip. This is something to watch with great interest. Will Wrecker’s chip kick in and change his tune and transform him from a child-like loveable character to an Imperial who can’t shoot? Stay tuned. The return of Zygerrian slave traders is a fun callback from The Clone Wars as they were one of the most-hated villains. Slave trading will do that. Tech focuses on a pair of Falleens, a father and a child. Assuming the child is Muchi, the squad begins their approach.

As the group closes in, a gliding beast called a brezak, similar to the zillo beast, swoops in and attacks. The Zygerrians are at the ready, capturing Hunter, Wrecker, and Tech with an electro-net. Next, we see a hologram of Bib Fortuna arranging a deal with Cid to recover Muchi. Now we know Jabba is involved with this caper somehow. Let’s face it, Jabba is always involved. We’re really getting a sense of how powerful and omnipresent he is in the galaxy. In the latest issue of Bounty Hunters, Bib is seen on a conference call with Dengar arranging a deal for his boss much in the same way. Bib, getting the deals done!

One has to wonder how slavers are still active in the galaxy. Yes, the Outer Rim has less control, and I suppose with The Clone Wars, the Republic had more pressing issues to deal with. Maybe given time, the Empire would clamp down on slaving and trafficking. Safe and secure society, right? The Zygerrian leader claims that “Under this new empire our operation will flourish once again.” These Zygerrians seem tough when their slaves are chained up, but when a stronger force comes along, they fold pretty fast, just like any bully. Having said that, Echo says the Republic outlawed slavery. Sounds like a lot of back-slapping, while nothing good actually came of it.

Omega unlocks the cage and lets an adolescent rancor free, who turns out to be Muchi, the bounty Bib, was discussing with Cid. So does that mean Muchi is the rancor from Jabba’s palace? Sure seems that way. In legends, this rancor was named Pateesa. The brezak chases down Muchi but underestimates the rancors strength and flies off in retreat. Wrecker decides to wrestle the rancor, as one does, until he tires out. We never learned the names of the father and son Falleen. Even the Zygerrians go nameless. Muchi reminded me of Rotta, Jabba’s son, seen in The Clone Wars movie. Maybe that’s why Jabba wanted the rancor so bad; Jabba has a soft spot for kids. Bib seemed genuinely happy to see Muchi. Perhaps that’s why Jabba was so ticked when Luke killed him. If they release a series in the future where Luke is the bad guy a la Daniel La Russo in Cobra Kai, I’ll retire from Star Wars. In the end, the squad gets paid and discovers the bounty hunter who’s in hot pursuit is Fennec Shand, a young but cunning hunter. Cid lets on that she may or may not be trusted. Something tells me we’ll be seeing more of Cid.

Some final thoughts, I loved how Omega modified her doll to become a “Bad Batcher.” That hit my hobbyist self right in the feels. The Zygerrians quintessential snarl in their voice, you can’t be evil without it, it’s a prerequisite. As a huge fan of the television show Cheers,hearing Rhea Perlman voice Cid was a blast! Of course, when hearing Ord Mantell, it brings in thoughts of Han Solo’s experience of “that bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell changed my mind.” By the way, that bounty hunter was called Skorr in the old Dark Horse comic books. When the Zygerrian leader mentions returning to Kadavo and rebuilding what was taken from them, he’s referring to the slaver’s arc of The Clone Wars. In the end, a lot has changed since The Clone Wars, while the song remains the same. Evil exists on the edge of the galaxy, regardless of who’s in charge.

Becca Benjamin

Rampage, Episode 5 of The Dad (Bad) Batch begins with Omega receiving a new gadget, not a toy, from her found family unit. Her very own com-link! Ok, well, it’s (actually) Crosshairs’, but it’s not like he needs it right now considering which side he is currently on.

As their latest adventure continues, they find themselves on Ord Mantell looking for an old Jedi informant named Cid, hoping she can shed some light on the bounty hunter who’s after Omega, but, nothing is free in the galaxy far, far away, especially information. So, of course, Cid wants something in return for her services. She tasks them with retrieving a missing child named Muchi from the Zygerrian slaveholders. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong.

As it turns out, Muchi is not at all what the group expected. She’s a rancor! And that’s not all. No. Muchi belongs to some familiar faces, Bib Fortuna and Jabba the Hutt.

Interestingly enough, Omega springs the trap (pun intended) and saves the mission. She does tend to save the day or solve a mystery, doesn’t she? Anyway, speaking of puzzles, Cid (our informant) ends this episode with one of her own as she says, “you must be pretty valuable targets. Don’t worry, I’m good with secrets.”

Joey Clark

The Bad Batch continues to deliver in fun and excitement this week with its latest installment, Rampage. We get some fun callbacks along the way and get to revisit some elements from the various parts of the Star Wars franchise.

While the audience knows the notorious bounty hunter Fennec Shand, Clone Force 99 hasn’t got a clue who the mysterious woman is. In order to unearth the mystery they locate the former Jedi informant, Cid on Ord Mantell. In exchange for the information the Bad Batch must save someone named Muchi from Zygerrian slave traders. The twist is that Muchi turns out to be a young rancor!

I really enjoyed this episode overall, it had some nice callbacks like the character Bib Fortuna and teased the beginning of a possible storyline in which the Bad Batch become hired mercenaries. Even if it appears to be filler episode it does ultimately touch upon the bigger story and was entertaining enough for me.

There was a couple major highlights for me in this episode. One was the the fight between Muchi and Wrecker; it was hilarious how it played out, and in the end Wrecker made a new friend. When the Bad Batch realized Muchi wasn’t one of the captured slaves, they did the right thing by making sure the slaves escaped and got to safety. So Rose and Finn, next time save the slaves not just your space horses!

The two issues I had were that it felt incredibly rushed and it’s already a bit tiring how much the Bad Batch still underestimate Omega. I wanted some moments to breathe more; 10 or 15 seconds here or there would’ve allowed this episode to feel more natural. I know the trope of underestimating Omega will probably continue for a bit but it gets old pretty quick.

Not like I know for sure, but Omega has got to be force sensitive or have some kind of sense/ strength to connect with living beings. I Hope they address this soon because it’s in no way subtle!

Carl Baylis

Despite many people’s thoughts that The Bad Batch was going to be ‘Star Wars does The A Team’, it’s taken us until this latest episode Rampage for the team to get a mercenary mission. Concerned that there is a bounty on Omega, the team set out to track down who is so keen to find their ‘little sister’. They head off to Ord Mantell (nice nod there to The Empire Strikes Back) to find Cid who Echo believes will be able to help them, as she was trusted by the Jedi.

When the team locate Cid (an Transdoshan) she agrees to help them but only if they do a job for her in return. A gang of Zygerrian slave traders have kidnapped a child, Muchi, and there is a reward for her safe return. The Team agree to what they believe will be a simple mission, but get captured, leaving Omega to sneak up and open a large crate before being captured herself. However the crate she has opened contains Muchi, an adolescent Rancor who escapes and causes the Zygerrian to retreat, allowing the Bad Batch to escape and grab their gear before taking out the rest of the gang.

After Wrecker takes on the Rancor in a fistfight, he eventually wears her down to the point that she submits to them and is taken back to Cid, and the person offering the reward, one Bib Fortuna, who turns ups with two Gammorrean Gurads and tells Cid that Jabba will be most pleased.

So is the lovable Muchi the Rancor that Luke eventually kills (sorry, spoilers!!!) in Return of the Jedi? If so this now makes that whole scene more tinged with sadness, and gives me much more empathy with the Rancor Keeper’s tears.

Cid goes on to tell them that the bounty hunter is Fennec Shand, a new face on the scene but already with a fearsome reputation. She also tells them the commission is not via the bounty hunters guild but direct – promting her to say they that must be valuable to someone.

The series is building nicely, once again the animation is beautiful, and the nods to other events in Star Wars are subtle enough to be unintrusive but bring a smile to fans ‘that know’.

Ross Hollebon

The post-Republic underworld continues to evolve and the Bad Batch, in Episode 5, Rampage, is again providing a front-row seat to the re-establishment of scum and villainy as a fruitful business option.

On the run from mysterious bounty hunter Fennec Shand, the Batch seek out Cid, a former informant for the Jedi, in hopes of getting a better understanding of their new nemesis. The intricate quilt of storytelling in this episode bombards the viewer with Easter eggs (IG unit drink dispensers in the cantina) and cameos from “The Clone Wars” and numerous Star Wars films, as Clone Force 99 has it spelled out that they are now reluctant mercenaries, caught up in a game of survival.

Cid, a Trandoshan female, voiced by Rhea Perlman—randomly, one week after I requested Danny DeVito, her real-life husband, play a live-action Raspar Six during my guest appearance on the Coffee With Kenobi podcast has seen better days for her business, but now sees an opportunity to make a score and build out her offerings, using the deserting clones that have fallen into her lap.

In order to get the information about Fennec, Hunter and crew need to recover Muchi, a “child,” from Zygerrian slavers on the other side of Ord Mantell. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka once went undercover as slaves in The Clone Wars to infiltrate a Zygerrian slave operation—and the slavers remain formidable, especially with their Brezak gliding lizard.

Omega, always positive and eager to learn, continues to prove her bravery, smarts, and willingness to act after Hunter, Wrecker, Echo, and Tech are captured by the Zygerrians. Seeing her friends bound by electrical restraints, she unlocks a crate housing a large beast—which ends up being Muchi, who is not a humanoid, but an adolescent rancor.

An action-packed sequence ensues that sees the Batch overcome the slavers and rescue Muchi—after the cutest fight, between the rancor and Wrecker, that will ever exist in Star Wars. It is also fantastic to see Omega secure a Zygerrian blaster rifle, after being provided a comm device by Tech—she’s like a video game character leveling up each episode.

Upon returning to Cid’s Cantina, the pieces are put together that Muchi belongs to Jabba the Hutt. Bib Fortuna, with a pair of Gamorrean Guards in tow, has been the middle man (middle Twi-lek?) funding the rescue and arrives in person to return the rancor to its owner.

Cid provides the Fennec intel and earned credits to Hunter, reminding him of the reality that the Bad Batch must consider moving forward, “You’re going to need two things: friends and money. Mostly money.”

Clone Force 99 has likely reached the point of no return and can no longer consider themselves just good soldiers.

Ben Turfrey

What a fun-filled, fantastic episode that was! From start to finish, this week’s episode of The Bad Batch boasts a compelling narrative filled with Easter eggs both obvious and illusive. This is exactly what I want The Bad Batch to be, and so far, exactly what it has been; an action-packed joy ride through the back streets of the galaxy that gives us a fresh and exciting new perspective on the Rise of the Empire glimpsed through the eyes of a group of character that are quickly finding a special place in my heart.

Putting aside the easter eggs for a moment, this episode gives us some solid character development for Omega and the gang, and it’s interesting, though slightly saddening, to see how she’s slowly starting to grow into a soldier, with her equipping herself with military grade comms and weaponry. We all know that the Imperial Era is not a time for happy childhoods, and although Omega still enjoys some childhood luxuries, it’s clear to see that hers is fleeting, and Omega is having to adapt to survive.

And it is not just Omega who is having to adapt to the new state of the galaxy, but her crew as well. We watch as a once well-oiled war band struggle to take on a fairly simple mission, and it’s clear to see that the absence of Crosshair is having an impact, as their tactics quickly prove ineffective once Echo is placed in a lookout role that Crosshair would have taken before him. Despite their fumbles and mistakes however, the crew still proves their ability to overcome any challenge, aided by the frankly wonderfully talented Omega who clearly has a tenacity to rival the rancor wrangler himself.

Of course, the real shining star of this episode, at least for me, HAS to be Muchi. If you had told me ten years ago that I’d be cheering for a RANCOR, then I would have had you shipped off to the spice mines of Kessel in fear of you having gone mad! What a crazy and fun concept, and such a brilliant Easter egg with her turning out to be Jabba’s! I can only hope that she was not the Rancor in Return of the Jedi, as her heroics in this episode must surely earn her a kinder fate than that.

The rancor alone would have been a big enough Easter egg to satisfy me, but the episode this week went above and beyond. From the regalia that littered Cid’s office (did you catch the Mandalorian helmet?), to the presence of two of my favourite voice actors, Critical Role stars Liam O’Brien and Sam Riegel, as well as the fun call back to the Zygerrian slavers from The Clone Wars, this episode blew me away. I’ll have to rewatch it a few more times at least to make sure there is nothing I have missed, but if this is the direction The Bad Batch is going, then I’m strapped in and along for the ride. I can only hope now that Wrecker’s headache from a few episodes back was simply a red herring, and not a hint as to what the future holds.

Paul Naylor

Episode 5, and I have fallen in love with my new, favourite Star Wars female – Muchi.

When Star Wars writing is at it’s very best, it gives you something surprising, something that you have never considered and a back story that changes the way you think.

Muchi, as it turns out, is the name of Jabba’s Rancor. The Bad Batch have to rescue her and return her to a third party, on behalf of another familiar character who turned out to be Bib Fortuna.

When Muchi is rescued – well, exhausted in a wrestle with Wrecker – a rotund gent, who looks more than a little like Malakili, the Rancor Keeper, skidaddles with them. It served as a bit of a decoy to the audience. Well it did to me. I was certain he was going to be the one to calm Muchi down.

It’s great fun and I doubt I’ll ever be able to watch Return of the Jedi in quite the same way again.

Brian Cameron and Greig Robertson discuss Rampage on Good Morning Tatooine

Mark Mulcaster and Mark Newbold discuss Rampage on Episode 93 of Making Tracks

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Star Wars The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia: Join the battle!
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