This post contains major spoilers for the latest episode of the series.
The Clone Troopers of The Bad Batch look for help anywhere they can get it, and in the latest episode “Rampage,” Echo has an idea. Cid was an old contact of the Jedi and they seek out this mysterious barkeep. The group heads to Ord Mantell, hoping they can learn more about Fennec Shand, the bounty hunter that chased them down in the previous episode. As things like this tend to go, they eventually discover that in order to get the information they want, they’ll have to do a job first. Cid tells them they’ll need to rescue Moochi from Zygerrian Slavers. Cid also fails to mention that Moochi is an adolescent Rancor, which is a fine how do you do for the squad. Eventually, they’re able to complete the job and get paid, but not without a lot of heartache and only a taste of the information they wanted.
The Guest Stars
This episode is full of real life guest stars, even though most of the characters are brand new for this episode.
The biggest name might be Rhea Perlman who voices Cid, the diminutive Trandoshan who owns the drinking hole and gambling den feels like an indirect reference to her role as Carla, the diminutive waitress on Cheers. The pearls around her neck can’t be a coincidence, either. The character of Cid was an informant for the Jedi, but laments the new Empire and how all of her work for the Jedi dried up. She seems like the sort of character in the same vein as Dexter Jettster from Attack of the Clones: a colorful character who was likely friends with someone like Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The biggest name from established Star Wars mythology in this episode is Bib Fortuna, the majordomo of Jabba the Hutt. He’s voiced in this episode by Matthew Wood, the Skywalker Sound chief who has been in the role since 1999 when he appeared as Bib in The Phantom Menace. He reprised his role most recently for the post-credits sequence on the second season finale of The Mandalorian, having the character getting assassinated to kick off the upcoming series The Book of Boba Fett.
The Zygerrians appeared in previous iterations of Star Wars (more on that later) but some of them (and a few other characters) are voiced by Liam O’Brien and Sam Riegel, both from the web series Critical Role. The two of them also host the All Work No Play podcast together. This isn’t O’Brien’s first crack at Star Wars, though, because he voiced some characters on Star Wars Rebels.
Into The Details
The plan for the Bad Batch is to lay low on Ord Mantell and collect information. Star Wars fans will find Ord Mantell familiar, since it was first referenced by Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. This isn’t our first look in the canon of the planet. Even on screen, it appeared quite a bit on the show Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, but it’s been name-dropped in Star Wars media for more than forty years. It’s appeared in books and comics as well. It seems as though its appearance in Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir could mean that it was being prepared for use on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as that comic series was based on unfinished episodes of the show.
Cid’s Bar has a lot of touchstones from bars around the galaxy. You’ll notice the IG-style heads for drink dispensers that were first used in A New Hope and were built from repurposed scrap. In the case of IG-88 and the drink dispensers, that scrap was the combustion chamber of a Rolls Royce Derwent jet engine. These seem like distinctive features that are required of every bar in Star Wars.
The Bad Batch get sent after Zygerrian traders to rescue a kid named Moochi, and this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this band of slavers in Star Wars. They first appeared in this iteration of canon in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, though they were first mentioned in the old West End Roleplaying Game book The Star Wars Sourcebook from 1987. These Zygerrians utilize brezaks as mounts, known also as Zygerrian gliding lizards. These were first seen in the trilogy of Clone Wars episodes that featured Anakin Skywalker rescuing Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, and a lot of Togruta, from the Zygerrian slavers. This arc of The Clone Wars occurred on the planet Kadavo, which is referenced directly by one of the slavers in The Bad Batch. They’re eager to get back what they lost at the hands of Anakin Skywalker, tying the two episodes together rather neatly. If you wanted to go back and watch these episodes, they were the 11-13th episodes of The Clone Wars’s fourth season.
As for Moochi, which may well be a reference to the classic Disney child-actor Kevin Corcoran, she’s a Rancor. Bib Fortuna needs Moochi to be captured alive for Jabba the Hutt. Some might jump to the conclusion that Moochi is the Rancor that Luke Skywalker kills in Return of the Jedi, but this is not the case. Luke kills a male Rancor named Pateesa, who was given to Jabba by Bib Fortuna long before the events of this episode. Moochi is much younger and a female. Where she might be located after Jabba’s death is anyone’s guess. This could very well be a dangling plot thread left to be dealt with on The Book of Boba Fett. Between this and the untapped storyline about Cobb Vanth hiring Malakili, the Rancor keeper from Jabba’s palace, to raise an orphaned huttlet on Tatooine to fill the vacuum of power left by the death of Jabba the Hutt, it seems like Boba Fett will have plenty to deal with.
The last major reference comes from a line Wrecker delivered. “It’s a simple smash and grab like that time on Kuat!”
This gives us a window into another one of the adventures of the Bad Batch during The Clone Wars. And for those who know, Kuat is the site of one of the great shipyards in the galaxy. It was where many of the Empire’s Imperial-class Star Destroyers were built. In the Star Wars book Battlefront: Twilight Company, the Rebels led a daring strike against the shipyard after the destruction of the first Death Star with the hope of damaging the Empire’s ability to make ships. The attempt was well-intentioned, but ultimately had little impact in the war. During The Clone Wars, the Kuat shipyards built ships for the Republic, making one wonder what exactly it was that the Bad Batch were smashing and grabbing there.
This episode ends with Cid offering Hunter and the crew more work after paying them off for rescuing Moochi and giving them some of the information they need about Fennec Shand. They discover the bounty hunter is being hired by a private party and not through the normal bounty hunting routes, which implies the Bad Batch are a very high value target.
Hunter tells Cid that he’ll think about her offer and the episode ends. Will the Bad Batch remain on Ord Mantell for more work? Or will they begin the next episode having traveled further across the galaxy, hoping for another lead that will solve the mysteries they wish to solve? We’ll find out next week.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch airs on Fridays on Disney+
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