A rescue mission gone wrong gives Omega the chance to prove herself in “Rampage”.
This recap of The Bad Batch season 1, episode 5, “Rampage”, contains spoilers.
The first thing I thought while watching The Bad Batch episode 5 was that I, like Omega, would probably enjoy a wrist communicator of my own, which probably speaks to the kind of arrested development necessary to build a career around writing about Star Wars animations. (This, coming from someone in possession of a life-size 3D-printed version of the Mandalorian’s Amban phase-pulse blaster — the pieces are all coming together aren’t they.) But anyway, in “Rampage”, Clone Force 99 is heading to Ord Mantell to find out why Fennec Shand is after Omega, and an informant there named Cid, who was apparently trusted by the Jedi, might be able to help in that regard.
Echo, it turns out, never actually met Cid and only heard about him, which makes finding him more difficult than is ideal, or at least for the Bad Batch. Omega figures out straight away that it’s the proprietor who told them she had never heard of Cid. She doesn’t know Shand but recognizes her as a bounty hunter, but can find out her background if the Bad Batch pulls off a job for her, which is that classic video-game storytelling logic we’ve seen applied elsewhere in the series. The job’s a rescue of a kid named Muchi who has been taken by Zygerrian slavers.
This all seems simple enough but goes wrong pretty quickly. The Bad Batch is captured almost immediately, and in a cutaway we see Cid assuring someone that looks very much like Bib Fortuna that Muchi will be retrieved soon. Wishful thinking? Well, not with Omega on the case, who was left back on the ship for her own safety and quickly becomes Clone Force 99’s only hope of salvation. (“Rampage” is smart to have the Bad Batch’s plan be foiled by the unforeseen involvement of some native fauna rather than them being outsmarted by slavers.)
It’s worth noting that the slavers justify their line of work on the basis of the Republic no longer being in charge — that activity was outlawed prior to the Empire’s rise, which is another little way in which this show is digging into that interesting changeover period between two wildly different systems of governance. For long-time serious fans, that’s where the real value is, though it’s undeniably fun for everyone that Omega’s plan to free the Bad Batch also involves freeing an aggressive adolescent rancor that the Zygerrians had captive. And, lo and behold, that rancor is Muchi — which means, since we saw Cid talking to Bib Fortuna, Muchi is probably the rancor that Jabba the Hutt sicced on Luke Skywalker in The Return of the Jedi. Now there’s an origin story I didn’t think I’d see.
The Bad Batch season 1, episode 5 can’t help but impress with its animation — Muchi fighting off the slavers and their giant winged beast has a real Kong vs. Godzilla vibe, and Wrecker challenging the rancor for authority by headbutting it at full sprint is a nice comedic beat. He has to fight it to complete exhaustion just to get it back to Cid, whose office Bib Fortuna himself is in at that very moment. He’s pleased to see Muchi, and Cid is grateful enough to provide some backstory on Shand, who is on a direct commission from persons as yet unknown. Cid tells Hunter they’ll need money and friends, neither of which they’re flush with at the moment; working for Cid might give them access to both, but their parting dialogue exchange suggests that if the Bad Batch is that valuable, they might not be able to trust anyone at all — including Cid.