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"Using my comm won't work. They'll know it's a trap."
"They'll still come for you."
―Hunter and Crosshair[3]

Early in the Imperial Era, Clone Force 99 launched a mission to rescue their leader, Hunter, from the Galactic Empire. Hunter had been captured on Daro while the squad was rescuing another clone, Gregor, from Imperial custody. He was taken to Kamino by Crosshair, a former member of the so-called "Bad Batch" who had remained with the Empire, as he hoped to lay a trap for the rest of the squad. Unbeknownst to Vice Admiral Rampart, who was overseeing an operation to strip Tipoca City of anything useful to the Empire before destroying it, Crosshair wanted to try and persuade his former comrades to join the Empire. During a confrontation in the city's training facility, Crosshair killed most of his own Elite Squad Troopers while attempting to persuade the Batch, who refused the offer. After ES-02 reported to Rampart that Crosshair had lost control of the situation, Rampart had her evacuated before commencing bombardment of the city. The Batch stunned and took Crosshair prisoner before fleeing the sinking city. They eventually made it back to their ship after a dangerous underwater journey, but left Crosshair behind after he refused to leave the Empire.

Prelude[]

The Clone Wars was a three-year conflict between the Galactic Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems.[7] The Republic's army was composed of clone troopers created by the Kaminoans, under the command of Jedi Generals.[8] Unbeknownst to all but a few, however, the clones had been secretly engineered with inhibitor chips which, when activated, would compel them to turn on and kill their Jedi commanding officers, as part of a conspiracy by the Sith to take over the galaxy.[9]

In 19 BBY,[10] the Clone Wars abruptly ended just as the Sith had planned: Republic Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, truly the Dark Lord of the Sith, issued Order 66, marking the beginning of the Great Jedi Purge as almost all of the Jedi Order's members were wiped out, with the few survivors forced to go into hiding from the new Galactic Empire.[7] Very few clones were immune to the command,[11] among them most of the members of Clone Force 99, an experimental unit initially composed of genetically defective clones. Echo, the squad's only "reg" member, was immune thanks to cybernetics implanted[12] during his time as a prisoner of the Techno Union.[13] The sole exception was Crosshair, the team's sniper, whose chip was functional, albeit initially less active due to his genetic mutations, which changed after its effects were amplified on the orders of Admiral and Governor Wilhuff Tarkin. The so-called "Bad Batch" defected from the Empire shortly after its formation, leaving Crosshair behind as he had tried to kill them but taking along Omega, a uniquely modified and enhanced clone[12] who was a special project of Chief Medical Scientist Nala Se.[3]

Officially wanted by the Empire,[14] the Batch eventually settled into working as mercenaries for the information broker Cid out of Ord Mantell City.[15] Crosshair, meanwhile, became involved with Project War-Mantle, the Empire's plan to phase out clones in favor of a recruited military. He was placed in charge of the first unit of Elite Squad Troopers by Vice Admiral Rampart, and after the unit's first mission was a success, Tarkin gave Rampart permission to continue with the project.[16] Secretly, Crosshair resented his former unit for abandoning him,[3] and developed a desire to hunt them down.[17]

The Batch found out about the existence of the inhibitor chips after leaving Kamino,[18] although Tech initially concluded that they were not a danger to the squad. They eventually had their chips removed at the insistence of fellow rogue clone Captain Rex, who unlike them had personal experience with how dangerous they were, travelling to Bracca to do so. After Rex had parted ways with them, however, the Batch's presence on Bracca was discovered,[11] and Crosshair was sent in with Imperial forces to eliminate them. During the ensuing confrontation, Batch leader Hunter and Omega attempted to get through to Crosshair that he was being controlled by an inhibitor chip, but it did not work, and Crosshair was severely injured by the backblast of an ion engine as the Batch escaped.[17] However, Crosshair eventually had his chip removed, but remained loyal to the Empire, believing that he would never be replaced as he was superior to standard clones and feeling that the Empire gave him a purpose his former squad was sorely lacking.[3]

The Batch next faced Imperial forces when rescuing several high-profile Twi'lek freedom fighters from Imperial custody on Ryloth, during which they narrowly avoided a confrontation with Crosshair in Lessu. Impressed by the destruction the Batch had been responsible for, Rampart expressed a wish that the team was on the Empire's side, and granted Crosshair permission to hunt them down.[19] However, the renegades' next encounter with the Empire came on Daro: Rex asked them to rescue Gregor, a clone commando who had been assigned to a secret base there in order to train recruited "TK troopers" as part of Project War-Mantle. At the time, Rampart and Crosshair were overseeing an operation which saw the removal of all viable clones,[1] personnel, and equipment from Tipoca City on Kamino, before the Empire intended to remove the threat its cloning facilities posed to their supremacy.[3] During the rescue mission on Daro, Hunter was separated from the rest of the Batch, ordering the others to escape without him as he was captured by the Empire.[1]

Crosshair took Hunter to Kamino as bait for his compatriots.

In the aftermath, Crosshair visited Hunter in his cell, saying that he would do although he had hoped for the whole squad,[1] before transporting him back to Kamino. The rest of the Batch had regrouped on Ord Mantell, leaving[3] the injured[1] Gregor with Cid while they repaired the Marauder in preparation to rescue Hunter. Once repairs were complete, the squad picked up a signal from Hunter's comlink, which had been intentionally sent by Crosshair as he hoped to lure them into a trap. Echo and Tech realized this was likely, but they decided to go anyways. Upon arriving on Kamino, Crosshair's party was met by Rampart, who told Hunter that his squad's actions on Ryloth had drawn his attention, before giving Crosshair permission to deal with Hunter as he saw fit as long as he remained on schedule. Elite Trooper ES-02, however, privately informed Rampart that she was suspicious of her commander's motives regarding his former unit, not trusting any of the clones. Noting that none of them would be a problem if Crosshair's plan failed, Rampart ordered her to monitor the situation.[3]

The rescue[]

Entering Tipoca City[]

As the Marauder travelled through hyperspace, Tech noted that the signal was obviously a trap, although he did not know why the Empire wanted them to come to Kamino. Omega gave Tech coordinates to a safe landing pad in Tipoca City they could use. Echo pointed out the city's landing bays would be swarming with troopers, but Omega insisted this one would not be. When the shuttle emerged from hyperspace, Echo wondered why there were only three Venator-class Star Destroyers above Kamino instead of the entire fleet, although Wrecker assumed that was a good thing. Tech took the ship down through Kamino's stormy atmosphere towards Omega's coordinates, but there appeared to be nothing there. Omega told him to take the ship lower, but when the Marauder was very close to the water, Tech said he could not go any lower as they would then be beneath the ocean's surface. The girl responded that that was the only way to activate the landing pad, and Echo reported that their sensors were detecting a large structure beneath them. The platform rose out of the sea, allowing the Marauder to make a safe landing.[3]

The Bad Batch used the underwater tube system to reach Tipoca City.

After the Batch disembarked, Wrecker told Omega he had never doubted her for a second. Tech wondered how they were going to get over to the city, visible some distance away, and Omega said they would take the tube system, something that both Tech and Echo were unfamiliar with. Omega walked over to a hatch on the landing platform which opened to reveal a circular pod, which the squad boarded. Activating the pod's controls, Omega took it back the way it had came, deep under the surface into a long transit tube. Tech noted that the system was not on any official schematics, and Echo responded that the Kaminoans kept a lot of secrets before asking Omega how she knew about it. Omega said that Nala Se had told her, and that the tunnel led to her private research lab. Observing that Omega seemed sad about something, Echo asked her if she was alright, and she said she was.[3]

Being led through the hallways of Tipoca City, Hunter commented on the absence of any "regs" or Kaminoans, realizing the facility was being decommissioned, although Crosshair was confused as to why he even cared. Hunter retorted that it meant the Empire would be phasing out clones next, to which Crosshair responded "Not the ones that matter." Crosshair brought Hunter to the main control room, where ES-03 informed him that a ship had been detected, although it had been lost below scanner range. He stated that it was the Batch, but told ES-02 not to bother informing the scouts because the renegade clones would come to them, before pointedly remarking that they did not normally leave their own behind. Hunter said that they had not had a choice since Crosshair had tried to kill them, to which he asked Hunter if he thought he had had a choice either, something Hunter glared at as he assumed Crosshair was still under the influence of a chip.[3]

The team hears noise made by AZI-3 in hiding.

When the rescue team arrived in Nala Se's lab, Wrecker commented that it looked just like every other Kaminoan laboratory. As Echo worked to access the city's computers, Omega explained that she had actually been created there, and so had the Batch. Wrecker asked if that was true, but Tech quipped about how he was supposed to know that. Omega said that she had been present as the Batch's mutations were enhanced there, before they were sent back to be with the other clones. The conversation was interrupted when Echo announced that the city's computers had apparently been wiped and he could not find anything, something which puzzled Tech. The group was startled and drew their weapons when a noise came from a corner, but it proved to be the medical droid AZI-345211896246498721347, a friend of Omega's. He explained that the Empire had been rounding up important medical personnel and killing those who protested, and that he had escaped the mass deactivation of the city's droids. AZI-3 revealed that the only clone still officially assigned to Kamino was Crosshair, leading Wrecker to comment that he should have known the sniper would be present.[3]

AZI-3 told Omega that it was no longer safe in Tipoca City and they had to leave, but she said they would not do so without Hunter. Tech detected the signal from Hunter's comlink coming from the main cloning platform, and Omega led the way out of the lab, pulling AZI-3 along. In the central control room, Hunter attempted to get through to Crosshair about what he had seen the Empire doing, asking if he couldn't see that it was not right. Crosshair retorted that Hunter was still unable to see the bigger picture, and Hunter asked him if he couldn't see that he was being used by the Empire, bringing up the inhibitor chip. The conversation was interrupted by an alarm, and ES-02 reported an unauthorized entry on platform five. Noting that it was right on schedule, Crosshair said it was time to go, moving Hunter and the Elite Squad to the training facility to stage an ambush. He was prepared to ambush more than the Batch, however, and secretly planted some of his blaster bolt-reflecting mirrors in the room before arranging the Elite Troopers to ambush the clones when they entered.[3]

The training room[]

As the alarm blared, the Batch crossed an outdoor bridge to reach the building where the training facility was located, following Hunter's signal. Taking point, Echo led the way through the empty hallways, before the group took shelter in a doorway to avoid the notice of a group of TK troopers moving boxes out of the city. Omega asked AZI-3 about the clones being gone, and he confirmed that the troopers were not clones; Echo further explaining about the troopers on Daro. As they continued on, Tech reported that Hunter was on the move and led the group in a different direction. The Batch eventually entered the storage rooms just beneath the training facility, Tech announcing that Hunter's signal was coming from directly above. Echo said the training room was open ground and that Crosshair would pick them off, Wrecker agreeing that the sniper would be lying in wait. Tech said that was why they would be using the lift to enter instead of the main entrance, which he believed would give them a slight advantage. Echo told Omega to wait in the storage room, which she was not happy about, insisting that they stay together. Wrecker agreed with the cyborg, however, stating that Crosshair was only after them, and Echo told Omega that they would signal her if things went south, upon which she was to go to the ship and contact Rex. Tech activated the lift and the trio rose out of the storage room.[3]

The Bad Batch found Crosshair, having predicted their plan, with Hunter as his prisoner.

Crosshair, however, had anticipated that move, so when they arrived in the training facility they found themselves surrounded by the Elite Troopers. Wrecker commented that Tech had been wrong, and Crosshair, tossing Hunter's comlink on the ground, remarked that they were all together again before stating they would not need their weapons. Echo, Tech, and Wrecker initially kept their blasters as the Elite Squad closed in, but dropped them after a nod from Hunter, prompting Crosshair to sarcastically comment that it was not so difficult for the Batch to follow orders. He asked where Omega was, and Wrecker unconvincingly lied that the Batch had not brought her to Kamino. Seeing right through it, Crosshair ordered ES-02 to locate the girl, and Echo covertly signaled Omega. Upon receiving the signal in the storage room, AZI-3 said they should follow Echo's instructions and head to the research lab, but Omega refused, saying something had obviously gone wrong and they had to help the others. AZI-3 was concerned that they would also be in danger, but Omega told him to focus. Noticing the many storage cabinets full of dangerous training droids, Omega hit upon the idea of activating them to attack the Imperials, beginning to open the cabinets.[3]

Upstairs, ES-03 reminded Crosshair that they were running out of time, but Crosshair told the Elite Troopers to hold their positions. Hunter sarcastically remarked on Crosshair's "grand plan" to lure the Batch to Kamino and kill them. Crosshair responded that the Batch would already be dead if he had wanted to kill them, calling out Hunter for supposedly betraying everything the squad had ever stood for no apparent goal other than the fallen Republic. Hunter responded that the Batch was loyal to each other, not the Empire, and Crosshair retorted that they had not been loyal to him. Reminding a chagrined Hunter that he had once been one of them, Crosshair announced that he was going to give the Batch the chance that they had not given him, leading the Elite Troopers and the Batch to react in surprise and confusion. Down below, ES-02 found Omega while she was working on activating the training droids, ordering her to freeze. When she reported to Crosshair that the girl had been located, she was ordered to send Omega on a shuttle offworld, leading Hunter to protest. Crosshair claimed it was for her own good, brushing off Hunter's argument that she belonged with the Batch by saying they were living as fugitives and it would be better to let her go.[3]

Telling Hunter he should stop trying to be something he wasn't, Crosshair said they were and always had been superior to the "reg" clones. He said the Empire could not protect the galaxy without their strength, arguing that was their purpose. Striking off Hunter's binders with his own knife, Crosshair said they had been brothers once and pushed him towards the other members of the Batch. As the Elite Troopers reacted in surprise, Crosshair continued that they could be brothers again. Tech noticed one of Crosshair's mirrors on the wall and silently alerted Wrecker. Hunter asked why they would trust Crosshair, and the sniper raised his blaster pistol and ordered the Elite Troopers to stand down. After a moment, they refused, ES-03 out loud, raising their weapons and aiming at the prisoners. Crosshair fired a single shot, utilizing the mirrors to kill all of the Elite Troopers. Approaching the others and removing his helmet, Crosshair asked if that answered Hunter's question.[3]

ES-02 caught Omega but was promptly knocked down.

In the storage room, ES-02 found herself unable to raise her squad on the comms, and attempted to order Omega to move. The girl nervously said she was in the middle of something, and ES-02 only noticed AZI-3 moving around just before he opened a storage cabinet, which slammed into the Elite Trooper and knocked her unconscious. AZI-3 exclaimed that he had done it, and Omega complimented him before beginning to activate the droids, saying they had to hurry as the two ran off. In the training facility, Crosshair insisted that the Batch should join the Empire, saying it was time for them to stop running as they were meant for greater things. Hunter responded by flatly stating that Crosshair really did not understand who they were. Crosshair's response was to coldly warn him not to make the same mistake twice or they would become his enemy, which Hunter said they never had been. The conversation was interrupted when the training facility activated due to Omega's actions, deploying the training droids. Hunter took advantage of the distraction to tackle Crosshair, while the other members of the Batch reclaimed their weapons and began destroying the droids. Wrecker assumed Tech was responsible and demanded to know why, but Tech said it was not his doing.[3]

Venator-class Star Destroyers over Tipoca City

Omega and AZI-3 observed the scene from one of the training room's corner turret towers, and the medical droid observed that Omega had activated far too many droids. Agreeing, Omega drew her energy bow and began firing on the droids. Below, Hunter fought Crosshair, the two exchanging blows before Hunter flipped the sniper over onto the ground, reclaiming his knife and Crosshair's pistol before opening fire on the training droids. As another unit of droids arrived in the room via the lift, the Batch began attacking them, and Crosshair, getting to his feet, joined forces with his former squad to fight the droids. Wrecker charged the droids, and the entire Bad Batch fought them as a unified force. Having regained consciousness, ES-02 entered the training room and discovered the fight. Seeing her fellow Elite Troopers were dead, she destroyed a droid which attacked her before retreating from the room. Upon reporting to Rampart that Crosshair had lost control of the situation, he ordered her to pull all remaining forces of Tipoca City, leaving the clones to die together.[3]

Imperial bombardment[]

As the battle in the training room continued to rage, ES-02 boarded the final Rho-class transport shuttle, which flew to the three waiting Venator-class Star Destroyers commanded by Rampart. The Vice Admiral reported to Tarkin that Tipoca City had been cleared of all essential personnel and cloning technology, and that Nala Se had been secured by the Empire. Tarkin gave permission for Rampart to fire when ready, and Rampart ordered the Star Destroyers moved into position.[3]

After a standoff, Hunter stunned Crosshair.

Once all of the training droids had been destroyed, Hunter held Crosshair at gunpoint as the rest of the Batch moved in on their former comrade. Hunter attempted to appeal to Crosshair one final time that he had only served the Empire because of his inhibitor chip and that they could help him. The sniper countered by revealing that he had had his chip removed some time before, to the others' shock, and Hunter demanded to know when. Crosshair claimed it did not matter and that this was who he really was. Hunter managed to stun Crosshair before the sniper could shoot him, and Omega ran to Hunter and gave him a hug. He apologized for breaking his promise that she would never have to return to Kamino, but she said he had done the same for her. Hunter crouched down to investigate the burn scars on the right side of Crosshair's head, but Tech alerted them that three Venators were descending on the city and they had to leave immediately. Taking Crosshair's sniper rifle and backpack, Hunter said they were taking the sniper with them, having Wrecker carry him. The Batch ran out of the training room and headed through the empty corridors.[3]

The clones' escape was cut off by an explosion, forcing them back inside.

With the Venators in position, Rampart gave the order to open fire. The Batch was alerted to the bombardment when the lights flashed and went out as the city shook, and Hunter shouted for them to hurry and get to the lift. When they reached the outside bridge they had to cross, however, it was destroyed by the bombardment, and they had to retreat inside. Horrified, Omega hesitated, but AZI-3 took her by the hand and dragged her back in. The bombardment destroyed Tipoca City, causing it to sink into the ocean.[3] The Batch was trapped inside the structure as it collapsed and sank, while the Venators departed with the completion of their task. As the group was left sliding down a hallway, a door separated Omega, AZI-3 and Crosshair, who was pinned under rubble, from the others, as the upper compartment began to flood.[6]

Underwater hazards[]

Omega and AZI-3 attempted to save Crosshair, who had regained consciousness, from drowning, while Wrecker attempted to leverage the door open from below with Tech's assistance. Crosshair was eventually freed from the rubble after Omega had AZI-3 pull while she fired her energy bow at the debris, and the three of them were washed into the lower room when Tech and Wrecker managed to get the door open. The flooded chamber was sealed shut after them as the section of city continued to plummet towards the bottom of the ocean.[6]

Appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "War-Mantle"
  2. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the events of "Landing at Point Rain" in 21 BBY, and Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 76 (Highlights of the Saga: The End of Endurance) dates the death of CT-411 "Ponds," as depicted in "Lethal Trackdown," to the same year. Since StarWars.com Star Wars: The Clone Wars Chronological Episode Order on StarWars.com (backup link) places "Brain Invaders" between "Landing at Point Rain" and "Lethal Trackdown," it must also be set in 21 BBY. As the second occupation of Geonosis begins in "Brain Invaders," it must have started in 21 BBY, and Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel establishes that the Galactic Empire carried on the occupation after the end of the Clone Wars. Dawn of Rebellion specifies that the Empire continued to hold its presence on Geonosis until the sterilization of Geonosis and that, within months of the genocide, Project Stardust had been entirely relocated to Scarif. As Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide states that the DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station was moved to that planet nine years before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which occurred in 0 BBY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, the Death Star was moved over Scarif in 9 BBY. Based on what Dawn of Rebellion notes about how the sterilization occurred months before the project was situated over Scarif, the sterilization and Imperial withdrawal from Geonosis must have occurred around 9 BBY. Therefore, the second occupation of Geonosis lasted from 21 BBY to around 9 BBY. As "Return to Kamino" establishes that the rescue of Hunter occurred during the early days of the Imperial Era, it must be concurrent to the occupation.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 3.35 3.36 3.37 3.38 3.39 3.40 3.41 3.42 3.43 3.44 3.45 3.46 3.47 3.48 3.49 3.50 TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Return to Kamino"
  4. Ahsoka
  5. Star Wars: The Bad Batch begins with Order 66, an event that Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY. Battlefront: Twilight Company establishes that the Stormtrooper Corps was founded by clone commandos, an event that occured shortly before and during the fourteenth episode, "War-Mantle." Because Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know dates the formation of the corps to nineteen years before the Battle of Yavin, an event that Galactic Atlas dates to 0 BBY, the Stormtrooper Corps was founded in 19 BBY, and "War-Mantle" takes place in the same year. "Return to Kamino" and "Kamino Lost" take place shortly afterwards, so they take place in approximately the same year.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Kamino Lost"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  8. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  9. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Orders"
  10. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  11. 11.0 11.1 TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Battle Scars"
  12. 12.0 12.1 TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Aftermath"
  13. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Distant Echo"
  14. TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Cornered"
  15. TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Decommissioned"
  16. TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Replacements"
  17. 17.0 17.1 TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Reunion"
  18. TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Cut and Run"
  19. TBBtemplate.png Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Rescue on Ryloth"
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