Welcome to The Bad Batch Explained, our new 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 the Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere (“Aftermath”) and examining Omega, a curious new addition to Star Wars lore.
Precocious child alert! Those tuning into the Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere expecting an action-heavy onslaught celebrating the gnarly soldiers introduced during Star Wars: The Clone Wars‘ final season will cock a crooked eyebrow with the introduction of Omega. At first glance, the youngling has no business being on the same poster as Clone Force 99, but as the premiere episode strolls along, it becomes clear this mysterious Kamino resident is hoping to define the new Disney+ series.
Omega is first spotted by Hunter, the Bad Batch’s leader, while he’s struggling to comprehend the newly self-appointed Emperor’s galactic address. The Republic has fallen. The Empire stands triumphantly in its place. Can you take the wars out of the stars? Peace is but a pause, if not a total fantasy.
To add an exclamation to Hunter’s dread, he eyes Omega standing amongst the Kaminoan staff. She should not be there. Kamino is a capitalist kingdom, maintained by their exceptional cloning facilities and the Republic’s desperate need for their clone troopers. From Jango Fett’s cells, they grew an unstoppable armada and secured Palpatine’s rule over the galaxy. Beyond the Kaminoans, the only creatures roaming the facility should be the clones in their various stages of combative education. Who is this girl?
The kid hero trope is nothing new to Star Wars. Hop back one year and look at The Mandalorian for a second. Grogu (a.k.a. “Baby Yoda”) was no Jonathan Lipnicki, but the kid melted a rogue’s heart and ignited the Empire’s fury. Star Wars: Rebels placed its hero’s journey on the shoulders of young Ezra Bridger. Heck, Luke Skywalker barely had hair on his chest when he joined up with Obi-Wan Kenobi. And let’s not forget about little Annie Skywalker.
One more tyke with gumption won’t crack a franchise. Even if you thought you were coming to The Bad Batch for clone-on-clone violence.
Omega is no chump, either. During the premiere’s climax, after Crosshair goes turncoat against his squad and aims his blaster rifle at Hunter’s head, Omega saves his melon with a quick shot. Happy to keep his head on his shoulders, Hunter asks Omega, “Where’d you learn to do that?” The kid has no answer. She’s never fired a blaster before.
While the Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere never makes it explicitly clear, it seems obvious that Omega belongs on the team because she’s just like the rest of them. She’s a Jango Fett clone and a genetic aberration. Baked inter her DNA are all the things that make a good little soldier, but with a few bonuses. So the real question becomes whether or not these bonuses are accidents or intentional.
The regulation clones mock the Bad Batch. They look different; they behave different. Their abnormalities give them advantages in certain situations. As the big brute, Wrecker can bust his way through any tight spot. Tech is the smart one and can think the team out of any jam. Crosshair has a deadly aim, and — well, his skill is obvious in combat scenarios. Hunter’s senses are heightened. He’s practically Marvel’s Daredevil but for the Star Wars Galaxy.
With the Imperial rise, the clones’ value comes into doubt. They served their purpose as cannon fodder in a pretend battle. Now that the Clone Wars have concluded, Palpatine wants to get serious with his Empire. The Emperor has tasked Grand Moff Tarkin (the Death Star daddy who had Darth Vader on a leash in Star Wars: A New Hope) with solidifying his police force. They can no longer afford to spend willy-nilly on these carbon copies. They need bang for their buck.
Clone Force 99 packs a lot of bang. At five strong, the Bad Batch brutes are as mighty as twenty clone regs. The opening of the Bad Batch premiere proves this very point when Hunter and company eradicate the Battle Droid platoon that cornered Jedi Master Depa Billaba and her Padawan, Caleb Hume. Tarkin is ready to scrap the clones, but he offers Hunter’s gang a final training session. If they can track down and slaughter Saw Gerrera’s insurgents, the Bad Batch will earn their rank amongst the rapidly transforming Imperial army.
But whatever’s in their DNA that causes them to resist Order 66 also allows them to think for themselves and reject Tarkin’s command. Witnessing Depa Billaba’s murder at the hands of her clone troopers spooks Hunter. The order doesn’t make sense. Every Jedi could not possibly be a traitor. When face-to-face with Gerrera, Hunter denies the chain of command. Orders are orders, but right is right.
Rather than fleeing the system, the Bad Batch returns to Kamino and rescues Omega. Before they left on their mission, she begged Hunter to take her with them. Omega tried to tell him that things were not like they were before Order 66. Danger envelops Kamino.
As the medical assistant to Kaminoan chief scientist Nala Se, Omega has observed more than she probably should have. Her boss played a critical role in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, running subterfuge against Jedi Master Shaak Ti. Nola Se engineered the inhibitor chips that would eventually ignite when the Emperor gave Order 66. As presented in that cartoon series, Nola Se could care deeply for her clones, but they were only a means for advancing her ideas.
In the Bad Batch premiere, Nola Se’s ruthless nature is seen once more when she intensifies the chip within Crosshair, forcing him to bend to the Empire’s will and turn upon his comrades. She may value the clones more than Tarkin, but she does not value them above her own ambition. They serve her science.
So, Omega’s very presence around her ankles should cause concern. Maybe the Bad Batch were not accidents. Maybe they were bumps along clone evolution. An evolution that leads to Omega.
When Hunter asks Omega about her parents, she responds in shock. The inflection in her voice indicates a lot more than her simple parroting of Hunter’s question. We know she’s offering a big “no duh” with that tone, but Omega doesn’t have a chance to explain her confusion as a clone trooper food fight explodes across the mess hall.
Nola Se made Omega. To what purpose? That’s less of a “no duh.”
Omega’s aberration appears to be more than her gender. The Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiere indicates that Omega might actually be Force-sensitive. When Tarkin tosses Clone Force 99 into the brig, there is a quiet moment shared between Crosshair and Omega. While the others are plotting their escape, Omega places her hand upon Crosshair’s shoulder. “I know it’s not your fault,” she says. “You can’t help it.”
Omega perceives Crosshair’s future betrayal, and she’s already extending her forgiveness. He’s a product of devious engineering. She can relate on multiple fronts. It’s why she wants to get off Kamino and join the Bad Batch’s ranks. It’s also why she doesn’t fire a blaster through Crosshair’s brain when she has the chance. Instead, she shoots to wound so their paths can cross (pun intended) again someday.
The mystery remains with Nola Se. What is she up to on Kamino? Is she turning clones into Jedi or Kamino Force-soldiers? The Bad Batch‘s final scene with Nola Se depicts her exchange with the Kaminoan Prime Minister, Lama Su. She informs him that the clones have escaped. However, he tells her, “We must be cautious. Until the Empire’s intentions have been made clear, say nothing.”
The Kaminoan way of life is under attack. The Clone Wars were a time of great prosperity for them, and no doubt, Nola Se made massive technological strides as a result. Omega was probably meant as a show floor model designed to whet the Republic’s imagination so that they would throw buckets of cash their way. As penny pinchers, the Empire is denied the big Omega pitch. The Kaminoans will probably need the next generation of Jango Fett dupes for their own protection.
So, while Omega’s introduction in Star Wars:The Bad Batch appears as a bit of a swerve, she may prove vital for Clone Force 99 to understand their place amongst the universe. Whatever conversation around identity that began in The Clone Wars is most certainly continuing within The Bad Batch. Who are we? What makes us, us? Who’s to blame for our actions, the actor or the maker?
The kid ain’t precocious. She’s as badass as any other Bad Batch tough. Or she will be once she’s seen the galaxy beyond her birth facility. Omega is another secret weapon in humble dressing because Star Wars can’t Star Wars without a Force-wielder and a hero’s journey.