By Josh Bate
WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 1, Episode 16: Kamino Lost
With the beautiful structures of Tipoca City toppling into the ocean and the titular crew reunited, Star Wars: The Bad Batch wraps up its incredible debut season in entertaining, albeit underwhelming, fashion. Part two of the finale, titled Kamino Lost, picks up where its predecessor left off as the Bad Batch desperately try to survive after the Empire’s destruction of their home world.
Kamino Lost is a beautifully animated and suspenseful episode that would have worked better in sequence with Return to Kamino, rather than a standalone episode. Much of the emotional weight and more introspective topics this final arc of The Bad Batch had to offer was delivered in Part 1 of the finale, with this second part largely serving as an action-packed aftermath of sorts. There’s nothing wrong with this idea in concept, as we see Kamino’s fall not only offer some brilliant constructed action sequences, but also symbolizes the change in the galaxy with the definite fall of clone troopers. However, splitting these two episodes up ultimately makes Kamino Lost feel somewhat anticlimactic. The episode’s few intimate character moments are great, yet pale in comparison to similar scenes in Return to Kamino. All in all, Kamino Lost would’ve worked better if it was merged with Return to Kamino into a single episode.
Nonetheless, Kamino Lost still has plenty of enthralling scenes to offer and interesting themes to explore. The bulk of the episode follows the Bad Batch (newly reunited with Crosshair) as they desperately escape the demolished cloning facilities of Tipoca City. The action is tense and suspenseful, and offers a number of touching moments, including Omega saving Crosshair and Crosshair saving Omega and AZ. We’ve seen the quirky little droid in previous episodes of Star Wars animation dating back to The Clone Wars, but AZ is given a terrific chance to shine in this episode. His sacrifice for Omega was touching and it was such a relief to see Crosshair step in and save the droid.
As for the other characters, Omega and Crosshair are at the center of the episode’s most intimate moments. Over the course of the season, Omega has developed into a curious, strong-willed, charming, and genuine character. From the get-go, Omega has been the highlight of The Bad Batch’s first season and the season one finale affirms, once again, why this is the case. Omega’s care for and kindness toward others is infectious and, as much as Clone Force 99 have helped her, she’s certainly helped them in more ways than one.
As for Crosshair, the motivations underlying the ‘betrayal’ of the former member of the Bad Batch are explored a little more in this episode. Last week’s reveal that is a clash of philosophies, rather than the influence of an inhibitor chip, was unexpected and made Crosshair’s actions all the more heartbreaking. In Kamino Lost, we see Hunter and Crosshair trade verbal blows about their different stances. And Tech perhaps delivers the best line of the episode when addressing Crosshair’s conflicting views: “Understanding you does not mean I agree with you.” The episode ends on a somewhat underwhelming note of Clone Force 99 flying away, leaving Crosshair behind as he has made his decision to fight with the Empire. It’s obvious the series will continue to explore this strained relationship and dueling ideologies; it’s just a shame the finale didn’t deliver a more emotionally satisfying wrap-up to the conflict between Crosshair and the Bad Batch this season.
Thematically, Kamino Lost marks a significant shift in the state of the galaxy. Kamino’s cloning operations are destroyed, plummeted to the bottom of a deep and dark ocean. The Empire has moved on to cheaper and more numerous conscripted soldiers as they dispose of the cloning facilities they now deem redundant (for the most part that is). This is a big moment in Star Wars canon, and one that has been theorized about for decades now. The fall of Kamino is symbolic of the changes in the galaxy at this time. The Bad Batch’s exploration into changes in daily life, military operations, chain codes, the underworld, and more have provided some great insights into the galaxy under Imperial rule, but nothing in the series has been so dramatically evident of change as the events in Kamino Lost. After the recent announcement of a second season, we’re hoping The Bad Batch continues to delve deeply into the aftermath of the Empire’s takeover with an emphasis on clone troopers. How do other clones feel about the Empire’s decision to switch to conscripted soldiers? Do they feel betrayed? Angry? And now that the clones are disposed of, how does the Empire go about building an army that spans the galaxy? We hope all of this and more are given attention heading into season 2.
It wouldn’t be a Star Wars series without ending on a tease of what’s to come and The Bad Batch is no exception. Nala Se is delivered to an Imperial facility as she is still deemed valuable to the new regime. The Imperial officer’s uniform here is near identical to the uniforms worn by Dr. Pershing and colleagues in The Mandalorian, posing a host of questions moving forward. Broadly speaking, it’s brilliant to see shows like The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian complement one another in such a way. And, now more than ever, we can’t help but think the Empire’s interest in Grogu in The Mandalorian has something to do with cloning.
The Bad Batch caps off it’s first season in characteristically beautiful fashion in an episode that, despite some touching moments and an intrigue closing tease, would’ve benefitted from being merged with its predecessor. Crosshair’s decision is given more attention, as is the kindness and innocence of Omega. And, although somewhat underwhelming, Kamino Lost provides a satisfactory wrap-up to many of the first season’s plot threads, setting up nicely for season 2 coming in 2022.
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+