Features and Columns · TV

With Bounty Hunters Brawling, Boba Fett Can’t Be Too Far Behind in ‘The Bad Batch’

All clones lead back to the original badass bounty hunter.
The Bad Batch Episode 9 Explained
By  · Published on June 25th, 2021

Welcome to The Bad Batch Explained, our weekly column dedicated to those rough and tumble Clone Wars leftovers and their march through a bold, new galaxy far, far away. In this entry, we’re charging into Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 9 (“Bounty Lost”) and considering how its child hero connects to Boba Fett and The First Order. So yes, there are spoilers here.

It’s time to tell your friends the news. If they aren’t watching Star Wars: The Bad Batch because they think it’s an inconsequential branch of the franchise, then they’re being foolish. This week’s episode delivers one major revelation regarding Clone Force 99’s youngest member, and in the process, it makes another massive connection to the most recent sequels. Those looking to understand The Rise of Skywalker‘s wonky Emperor resurrection will find answers in these early days of the Empire.

The Bad Batch Episode 9, entitled “Bounty Lost,” picks up immediately after Cad Bane’s Omega abduction. Hunter and his mates are scrambling to avoid Crosshair’s blasters while also tracking the location of their kidnapped friend. They can’t do it. They have to jump, leaving their rageful former ally twitching his trigger finger.

In their desperate attempt to locate Bane, Tech stumbles over why so many bounty hunters are after Omega. Her DNA is incredibly valuable because it’s rare. She’s a first-generation clone. Not only that, her DNA is not muddied with enhancements like most troopers. Omega ages like all children age. There is only one other like her in the Star Wars universe: Alpha, a.k.a. Boba Fett.

As you should recall from Attack of the Clones, the Kaminoans built the Republic army from genetic material harvested from Jango Fett. For his part in their construction, Jango was given an unaltered clone child for him to raise as he saw fit. Boba Fett is his mini-me, and when Jango had his head lobbed off by Mace Windu, the child swore vengeance against the Jedi. This path eventually led to several confrontations in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and sharpened him into the brutal bounty hunter that would eventually haul Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt’s palace.

Tech’s discovery effectively makes Omega the sister of Boba Fett. Are they aware of each other? Hard to say. But it’s unlikely Omega understands this connection, as she would have most definitely brought up a sibling by now. She’s chatty.

On the other hand, Boba Fett may have some knowledge of Omega. His sudden appearance in The Bad Batch‘s back half seems logical and could strengthen his connection with Fennec Shand, the bounty hunter who gives Cad Bane a serious beatdown in this week’s episode.

In The Mandalorian, why did Fennec partner so quickly with Boba? Was it a matter of a simple life debt? Or was there more history between the two? The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch consistently show how there’s always more history to every decision in Star Wars.

While Clone Force 99 is reeling from their discovery, Omega breaks free from Cad Bane’s chains. On Bora Vio, Omega sneaks through an abandoned Kaminoan cloning facility. In a dark room, she runs headfirst into a series of tubes. Sloshing against the glass is a bank of jellied corpses. Who or what are these wretched creatures?

We’ve recently seen several tanks such as these. In The Rise of Skywalker, on Exegol, Rey discovers similar tubes containing Snoke duplicates. The First Order’s big bad is explained away as a manufactured puppet, and the new Emperor details his own resurrection as a cloning trick. What’s good for the grunts should be good for the commander.

However, recreating Force-sensitive clones is trickier than replicating soldiers. They need some special sauce to make a Snoke. They need someone like Grogu, the youngling stolen from the Coruscant Jedi temple at some point during Revenge of the Sith‘s climax.

The hunt for Jedi blood is what drove The Mandalorian‘s plot, and as we saw in its second season finale, Moff Gideon was tasked with cooking clones in his cruiser. That series implied that Grogu was critical to their success, a necessary puzzle piece in birthing Snoke and returning the Emperor to life. Thankfully, Luke Skywalker arrived at the last second and rescued our green friend.

But we also know that The First Order eventually arrives, and Emperor Palpatine draws a second breath. Does that indicate an ill-fate for Grogu, or did Gideon get enough of what he needed from him already? Or, was there another source in their databanks?

Omega displayed some Force-sensitive behavior in the first episode of The Bad Batch, making her pure Jango Fett DNA not the only thing that stands her apart from other clones. Yes, she’s unaltered by the Kaminoans, but you never can tell where those pesky Midi-chlorians might show up. And their appearance would make her even more valuable to all kinds of different parties.

Kaminoan Prime Minister Lama Su hired Cad Bane to collect Omega. His righthand scientist, Nala Se, wants to rendezvous with the bounty hunter on Bora Vio, but her boss doesn’t trust her close connection with Omega. Lama Su sends Taun We in her place, and Taun We is rewarded with a blaster to her chest.

Lama Su only wants Omega for her genetic material. Once retrieved, she’s meant to be scrapped. Nala Se cannot allow such a thing, so she hires Fennec Shand to kill Taun We and free Omega from Cad Bane’s clutches. Shand succeeds in that mission but doesn’t get her hands on Omega either.

During the final moments of The Bad Batch Episode 9, Clone Force 99 arrives and snatches Omega away while Fennec and Bane are rough-housing. Fennec offers to go after her, but Nala Se is satisfied knowing the child is under Hunter’s protection. Cad Bane, meanwhile, is definitely not satisfied. We can expect his dogged pursuit to continue.

The Kaminoan way of life is threatened. With the Empire halting their clone purchases, the Prime Minister fears their economic collapse. If they don’t concoct an essential Imperial purpose, he and his people will fall into ruin. Snoke-production is their meal ticket.

This is bad news for Clone Force 99. Their plan for rest and relaxation is a fantasy. As long as they have Omega with them, the Empire, the Kaminoans, and every bounty hunter in the galaxy will be on their tail. And if Boba learns he’s got a sister out amongst the stars, he’ll turn them all over to find her.

Cad Bane and Boba Fett had a run-in or two during The Clone Wars. A Bad Batch Season 1 climax between the two would sure seem fitting in a franchise that fancies Western gun duels. This galaxy ain’t big enough for them both. There’s only the quick and the dead. And Cad Bane has yet to appear in live-action.

Watch Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 9 on Disney+.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)