Star Wars: The Bad Batch S2, Ep. 3 Review
“What happened to Commander Cody?” That’s been a question Star Wars fans have been asking since we got to know him better in The Clone Wars. We know he tried to kill Obi-Wan under Order 66’s influence, but beyond that, we don’t know his ultimate fate. Did he remain loyal to the new Empire until he eventually died, or did he follow Rex’s example and leave? After years of asking, The Bad Batch finally gives us an answer about Cody. And it does this by twisting our nostalgia for The Clone Wars series into a dark reflection of itself.
Crosshair & Cody Team Up For a New Mission.
Even though the Clone Wars are over, the Empire’s still trying to clean up the mess. I.E., travel to any remaining Separatist hold-outs and assert their brutal dominance, with mixed results. The example in this episode is the planet Desix, whose governor not only refuses her Imperial replacement but she also takes him hostage as a bargaining chip.
The Empire, though, doesn’t negotiate. Instead, when they see a problem, they use a sledgehammer. The hammer, in this case, is a squad of Clones led by Commander Cody, including a returned Crosshair. Standing in their way is a battalion of battle droids the locals reactivated.
The resulting action sequence reflects the best days of The Clone Wars series. A handful of Clones fighting against overwhelming numbers, only to come out on top in the end. It’s what we’re used to, and even though I was still tired from watching this early in the morning, I felt nostalgia wash over me. Seeing Crosshair pull off seemingly impossible feats like shooting down the barrel of a tank or using little mirrors to make the mother of all trick shots was amazing. It felt like the old days…and I think they did this on purpose.
As fun as it is to see the Clones fighting their familiar enemy again, the context makes it a very bitter pill to swallow. This time, the Clones are fighting for the wrong side, coming to help oppress a world that doesn’t want them, something Cody very much knows. Despite this, he still tries to complete the mission without compromising his ideals, only to fail. Immediately after talking down the Separatist governor, the new Imperial one ungratefully orders her execution. Cody can only watch as Crosshair carries out this order, with the woman’s replacement ordering her body be put on display as a warning.
It was at this point, it seems, that Cody finally reached his limit.
Cody Finally Wakes Up to the Truth, But Can Crosshair?
We already started to see its last episode with Wilco, but it’s this week that really homes the point home: the Clones are getting fed up.
Now that some time’s passed since the initial start of Order 66, the biochip-induced hypnosis has started to wear off. Once that’s happened, they’re starting to question why they turned on their Jedi comrades; ignored the years of potential camaraderie they built up. But, more importantly, they’re beginning to see the writing on the wall: the Empire doesn’t want them anymore. Their free-thinking and moral integrity clash with the Empire’s “everyone for themselves” mentality and their desire for unthinking, obedient soldiers. So, Cody does what many fans hoped for: he goes AWOL.
It’s not just Cody, either. Earlier in the episode, Cody told Crosshair how more Clones are leaving the Empire. They question the rightness of Order 66 and realize the Empire’s full of it. Good; as I said before, the Clones are just as much victims as the Jedi. They were manipulated into killing and deserve a chance at a better life. So while I sincerely hope we see more of Cody in the future (and to see him reunite with Obi-Wan), I’m happy he’s not a slave to the Empire.
Crosshair, though? He’s still staying with an Empire that doesn’t care about him. Rampart doesn’t address the Clones by their names, showing a lack of respect. I want Crosshair to wake up and realize he’s wasting his life for the Empire and his real place is with the Bad Batch. For now, though, I’m happy Cody bailed.