Things are heating up in The Bad Batch, with “Bounty Lost” delivering long-awaited answers on Omega’s purpose to the Kaminoans.
*Warning: This piece contains spoilers for episode 9 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch*
I’ve been aching to find out what Omega (Michelle Ang)’s purpose in Star Wars: The Bad Batch was, and why in the hell is she being hunted by two bounty hunters: Fennec Shand (Ming Na-Wen) and Cad Bane (Corey Burton), both of whom work for the Kaminoans! There’s only one difference: Shand is actually trying to protect Omega from Lama Su (Bob Bergen), by working for Nala Se (Gwendoline Yeo), whereas Cad Bane directly works for Se, who is planning to use Omega’s genetic code to produce more clones, which will result in Omega losing her life at the hands of good ol’ capitalists who now serve a powerful Empire.
And, plot twist, Omega is kind of…Boba Fett’s sister—since the “alpha” child based on Jango Fett’s genetic code was the legendary bounty himself. We now have Alpha and Omega, both of whom have “pure, first-generation DNA.” I don’t particularly understand the purity of “first-generation DNA”, but it didn’t really matter for me, as the only information that will draw our attention is Omega’s connection with Boba Fett. However, the real question is, will he show up? Man, only time will tell.
The rest of the episode is fairly standard, which is quite disappointing considering how excellent episode eight was at setting up a legitimate threat in the form of Crosshair (Dee Bradley Baker) and Cad Bane. Crosshair only appears during the episode’s opening scene, and then the episode slowly transforms itself in a game of cat-and-mouse between Cad Bane, Fennec Shand, Omega and Bane’s droid, Todo 360 (superbly voiced by Seth Green). None of it feels particularly inspired, with Omega stuck in the middle of a war she doesn’t understand and, for the first time, feels legitimately scared for her life.
Whenever she would purposefully get in trouble in previous episodes, she’d always have “her friends” (Clone Force 99) to save her from dire situations. This time around, her friends aren’t there to help her around and the threat is far more menacing than anything else she’s ever faced. Cad Bane is a ruthless, stone-cold killer who will do anything (literally anything) to get his bounty and complete the task at hand for credits and Fennec Shand has already abducted Omega once. She didn’t know why, but it’s enough for her to keep her distances when Shand shows up again. Omega cannot trust anyone but her friends, and it’s almost a divine intervention when they show up and miraculously save the day.
Omega being on her own and frightened for her life was the most compelling part of “Bounty Lost”, because we progressively see her childlike innocence as an extra member of Clone Force 99 slowly dissipate through a traumatic and fearsome event a child gets to experience. Omega narrowly escapes death many times in this episode, but always finds a way to push through, thinking her friends will be there for her. And when she thinks she has been caught by Cad Bane, out comes Clone Force 99 to rescue her, and finally tell her the truth about her genetics.
It’s not a particularly memorable episode, but “Bounty Lost” succeeds extremely well at developing Omega further, a character that lacked a compelling arc and a reason for you to attach yourself to her and her innumerable perils. We’re finally seeing why the Kaminoans through bounty hunters are after and understand how she is crucial to the development of newly enhanced clones and possibly the rise of the Empire. If the series made Omega an important presence from episode one and planted the seeds at something bigger with her, instead of making her get in trouble all the time, it would’ve gripped audience members further when the “truth” on her genetics and connection with Boba Fett were revealed to the audience and would’ve had a bigger emotional impact when she is in dire trouble and desperately needs a miracle to save herself.
Still, it’s a step in the right direction for an otherwise conflicting series, which finally revealed that the main plot of the show will likely center on Omega, Clone Force 99 and the Kaminoans, with Nala Se protecting Omega from Lama Su, who seeks to kill her. It’s an interesting dynamic that will likely carry the next seven episodes, with the story starting to fully kick into gear as of next week, which I’m 100% ready to see in what misadventures will The Bad Batch land this time around.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Bounty Lost (Ep. 9) is now available to watch on Disney+.
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