The HoloFiles

REVIEW: Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2, Episode 10

By George Bate & Josh Bate

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Episode 10

Star Wars meets Oliver Twist in the latest episode of The Bad Batch. Following last week’s cliffhanger, Clone Force 99 hatch a plan to recover their stolen ship The Marauder in “Retrieval.”

A decidedly different episode than its predecessor, “Retrieval” is anchored by Omega and the team’s emotional ties to their ship, which is essentially, as Omega points out, their home. Adding weight to their lost ship is that their droid Gonky was also stolen along with The Marauder. When someone says to Omega about Gonky, “He’s a beat up old battery,” Omega responds, “Not to us.” As demonstrated in previous episodes of the series, The Bad Batch once captures a warmth and empathy through Omega in this episode. Her empathy toward Gonky is so endearing and reminiscent of Rey’s kindness toward droids in the sequel trilogy. This isn’t merely an episode about a group of rogue Clones retrieving a stolen ship; it’s about a family recovering their lost home and droid.

Behind the theft of The Marauder and Gonky is Benni Boro, voiced by Yuri Lowenthal, known for his work as Peter Parker / Spider-Man in Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man video game. It’s with Benni and his duplicitous boss Mokko that this episode of The Bad Batch leans heavily into Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. In Dickens’ work, young Oliver falls in with a criminal gang led by Fagin, who trains young boys and girls to pickpocket and engage in various other criminal activities. Fagin disingenuously uses the phrase “my dear” when speaking with others and hoards the profits from his children’s criminal activities, leaving them to live in relative squalor while retaining their loyalty. Fagin is to Oliver Twist what Mokko is to Benni in “Retrieval.” Benni and the other children under Mokko’s “care” deliver stolen goods to Mokko, who keeps the vast majority of the profit while painting himself as a generous caregiver. While Benni and the others fight for scraps and compete for the title of top earner, Mokko eats and drinks in excess. The Dickensian parallels here are well done and show how Star Wars, from its very beginning in the 1970s, has drawn upon themes and characters from other works to craft a unique story. 

It’s through the Bad Batch that Benni begins to realize life under Mokko isn’t optimal. In assisting the team recover their ship and escape Mokko’s base safely, Benni sees how the members of Clone Force 99 respect Omega and treat her as one of their own, a respect sorely lacking in Mokko’s interactions with his crew. Much of the episode’s action in Mokko’s subterranean, Temple of Doom-esque base is serviceable and revolves around the Bad Batch finding their ship and disabling the base’s shields, but it’s the satisfying conclusion to the Benni-Mokko plot that makes “Retrieval” another worthy entry in The Bad Batch. Uncovering evidence that Mokko enjoys the spoils while they toil in the mines and live off of scraps, Benni reveals Mokko’s real nature to the other kids, which leads to a satisfying conclusion in which the kids turn on Mokko and he plummets to his death. 

The episode’s conclusion sees Omega poignantly make a remark about the evil in the galaxy. “The Empire is not the only threat,” she says as she sees the cruelty Mokko inflicted on the children in the mines. With Omega away from the insular security of Kamino, she is out in the real world and witnessing the various horrors of the galaxy. But, there’s also a beauty and peace she can foster through love and compassion, as she did in “Retrieval” with Benni. Omega’s comment also hints, once again, at Clone Force 99’s deliberation over their place in the galaxy. Echo has left the team to join Rex in his fight for Clone rights, while the Bad Batch goes from job to job to make enough credits to survive. It seems as if the season is setting up a revelation for Clone Force 99 – that, although they are no longer soldiers, they cannot sit by and watch evil persist in the galaxy.

Verdict: 7.5/10

The Bad Batch borrows heavily from the Dickensian Fagin trope to craft a story about cruelty in the galaxy beyond the horrors of the Empire. Omega continues to be one of the most endearing characters in Star Wars, conveying an unrivaled sense of empathy and humanity to others. This empathy goes a long way in helping young Benni realize the injustice in living under crime boss Mokko’s care and, eventually, leads to a satisfying finale in which the Fagin-type character is overthrown. “Retrieval” doesn’t particularly push the envelope in terms of Star Wars storytelling, nor does it provide a deeper exploration of some of The Bad Batch’s more interesting themes, but it nonetheless is an engaging installment of a series that continues to benefit from its characters’ endearing warmth.

The HoloFiles

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