A strong double-bill in “The Clone Conspiracy” and “Truth & Consequences” marks the high point of the season.
This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2 Episode 7, “The Clone Conspiracy”, and Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2 Episode 8, “Truth & Consequences”.
There’s a common but obviously incorrect assumption people make about animation, which is that it’s for kids. Star Wars animation seems particularly prone to this kind of accusation, in part because it’s broadly what would be considered “family-friendly”, but those slapstick comedy droid episodes of The Clone Wars didn’t help, and I suppose the less said about Resistance the better. I’d challenge anyone who holds this view to sustain it throughout “The Clone Conspiracy” and “Truth & Consequences”, a double-bill of The Bad Batch that is really a political thriller more than anything else.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2 Episodes 7 & 8 Recap
If you cast your mind back a bit, you’ll recall the destruction of the rain-lashed planet of Kamino and with it, all of its clone-production facilities. The official line explaining this disaster is that the planet was hit by a storm, but as we know, it was the doing of Vice-Admiral Rampart, who ordered it carpet-bombed. Unfortunately for Rampart, it isn’t just the audience who remembers this, but also Cade and Slip, two clones who were serving aboard his ship when he gave the order and have since become slightly uncomfortable with him covering it up.
This season’s premiere has already shown us how Rampart deals with clones who don’t toe the line, so when Cade is promptly assassinated, we get the idea. As we know, Rampart is looking to replace the clones with a conscripted army, and in “The Clone Conspiracy” we see him trying to push that Defence Recruitment Bill through the Senate. Naturally, he can’t have any clones turning whistleblower, since there are already Senators – including Senator Chuchi, from The Clone Wars – who are making a big deal of how the still-serving clone troopers will be phased out and taken care of.
In case it wasn’t obvious, this is becoming a big theme of the season, and there’s a lot of juicy commentary – and relevant cameos! – in the Coruscant scenes. Of course, Chuchi, who wants to make sure the clones have Senate representation, ends up meeting Slip, who has just enough time to tell her about the conspiracy before he, too, is assassinated. Chuchi is saved by Captain Rex, and the assassin, another clone, ends up committing suicide before he can give anything away.
“Truth & Consequences” brings the Bad Batch themselves into this plot when Rex enlists their support to retrieve the incriminating evidence Slip told Chuchi about from Rampart’s personal ship. While that’s going on – it’s exactly the kind of mission Clone Force 99 seems to have been designed for – Chuchi and Omega try to drum up political support for the clones, or at least political opposition against Rampart.
The cruel twist here is that it seems everything is going well – the Bad Batch recovers the evidence, and Chuchi gets witnesses to testify. Only Emperor Palpatine himself arrives in the Senate and deftly turns the whole matter on its head. He throws Rampart under the bus, claiming he had gone rogue, but then uses his men unquestioningly following orders as evidence in favor of the Defence Recruitment Bill. Now, he says, it’s obviously more important than ever. So, through the daring actions of the clones themselves, the clone army is no more, to be replaced by the faceless Imperial Stormtroopers.
But just as this represents an obviously enormous shift in the galactic continuity, it also represents a major shake-up for the Bad Batch themselves, since Echo elects to remain behind and work with Rex to save more clones. He thinks he can do better work and save more people there than on the odd jobs the Batch are doing with Cid, and it’ll be very interesting to see how the season handles this fracture as we move forwards.
You can stream Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2 Episode 7, “The Clone Conspiracy”, and Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2 Episode 8, “Truth & Consequences” exclusively on Disney+.
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