Uncovering The Lost Storyreels: The Bad Batch

Man, it feels good to be blogging on some new TCW again! I’m bringing you today the first of my Uncovering The Lost Storyreels posts, talking about the fantastic opener The Bad Batch! I’m super-happy they decided to get these up when they did since I wasn’t at Celebration to see them first-hand. So now, join me as we dig deeper into this exciting opener for this thrilling storyarc! And just to note… I’ll do my very best to write this. Because of their unfinished quality, it’s sometimes hard to recognize character expressions and unfamiliar locations. If I screw up in any way, I apologize.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from TCW episodes Counterattack and The Bad Batch (storyreel)

“The battles are over, but the heroes live on. Thank you Clone Wars fans.”… interesting choice of lesson for this one! Haha pff. Have to wonder what it would be if this had been fully-animated and had aired as a normal episode. Wonder who writes those incredibly insightful things anyway. I mean, that is seriously a talent to articulately and poetically point out what the heart of the episode is and then do it well over a hundred times! And every time without fail I nod my head and say “wow that is major deepsauce” or “so true, so true”. OK moving on…
So it’s a seemingly average battle going on. Anakin and Mace and the clones taking on Admiral Trench on Anaxes… you know, the usual. It hasn’t been going that well though. It’s definitely been one of those days where you just can’t win. And it happens to be that Captain Rex might just know why. He believes that the Seps got ahold of one of their strategy algorithms. And he also is considering the fact that his old Arc Trooper buddy Echo used it a lot… and it might’ve been on him when he didn’t make out of the Citadel. Anakin and Mace send out Rex and Cody and a small team to investigate and see if this is indeed the case. And Cody already knows who he’s gonna have join them… a little quartet called Clone Force 99 (Hehe I can’t believe I just called them a quartet. Anyone else kinda want to hear the bros sing? XD )
As Rex and Cody, along with Jesse and Kix, head out to meet up with the “Bad Batch”, these useful-mutation bros make quite a landing. I don’t exactly know who’s driving that ship but I have a feeling he’s had his license revoked a time or two. While their driving isn’t the most favorable, these dudes are pretty much some of the coolest human beings to grace the SW galaxy. Meet Hunter, the shadowy supertracker, Tech, the superintelligent supergeek, Crosshair, the quiet supershooter, and Wrecker, the gregarious supermuscle. They’re pretty super I would say 🙂 Clad in dark, specialized armor and far from the typical-looking clone, it’s no surprise Jesse and Kix exchange a look of disbelief. The Commander’s hung out with them before and knows them all well, so he’s totally cool with the batch. Wrecker made a lovely first impression by discussing how you kill a Yavik XD Hunter takes his comrade’s excitement all in stride, while Tech points out some useless fun facts about the critters. As for Crosshair… he just stands in the back of the crowd giving a less-than-friendly glare. You don’t need much extra animation to get that fact across. So introductions out of the way, our team boards the gunship… right after Wrecker throws a friendly (though probably painful) jab at one of the younger bros XD I don’t want to play favorites, but I’m kinda attached to Wrecker… his enthusiasm is contagious!
So as they were flying off, the gunship was filled with some major awkward silence. It’s got to be a tad unnerving if you’re a clone and find out you have four “brothers” who look nothing like you, who also rock long hair, pale skin, thin faces, and a blind eye, respectively. Especially when one of them is still shooting a deathly glare (I’m lookin’ at you Crosshair). And the feeling’s mutual for the Bad Batch boys, too, as they don’t typically hang out with “regs”. Anyone wanna bet these guys make fun of normal clones in their spare time? They won’t admit it to anyone, and probably never do it when Cody’s around but yeah wouldn’t surprise me… “Ooh look! I’m a normal clone! I follow protocol! Haha!” Cody interrupts the awkward conversation to fill in his team on the mission at hand: a Separatist cybercenter on Anaxes is where they will find out if the bad guys snapped up their intel. But what they don’t realize is that a battle droid or two or three has taken notice of the gunship… and they brought alllllll their little Seppie droid friends! Yeahhh our team doesn’t stay airborne for very long after that. Just thinking of being caught in that crash makes me queasy. The rest of the bros are OK, but Cody’s caught in the rubble. But before the rest of the clones try their hands at freeing the commander, Hunter sends in Wrecker. And Wrecker totally has no problem whatsoever LIFTING THE GUNSHIP and THROWING IT ASIDE to rescue him. Have to say, that shot of Wrecker carrying Cody as the gunship explodes in the background it pretty darn epic. Yay Wrecker! Cody’s alive, but not doing too well. Kix can help him, but Crosshair eloquently points out that the battle droids are coming over for a visit. ALL the battle droids. But the Bad Batch crew isn’t worried. They grab the decimated gunship’s door as a shield and BRING THE HEAT! They move like a force of nature as Wrecker holds their shield, letting the rest of the bros shoot through the slots in the door. Tech calculates just the right trajectory to aim a droid popper, and Hunter blasts it like a boss, knocking those droids down like dominoes! Hunter pulls out a knife on the unsuspecting droids, tearing them apart. Wrecker slams a droid with the door still in hand, causing it to incinerate itself. And just like that, the field’s nothing but a Seppie droid burial ground. Color the “regs” impressed! And ermagosh Wrecker messing around with that droid head! *Dies laughing* I’m pretty sure Wrecker’s the only one who can make fun of Crosshair and not get killed for it XD With that, our clones head out, leaving all those destroyed droids in their wake. A handful of Sep droids arrive later, and they, along with Admiral Trench, are confused, yet intrigued by all this Jedi-less, no-lightsabers-necessary damage. The droids also head out, in search of these mysterious troopers.
Elsewhere, we find our heroes taking a short breather as Hunter uses his epic heightened senses to point into the direction of the cybercenter. Probably means he overheard Kix and Jesse doing a little poking at him, too. But if he did, he doesn’t show it. Hunter’s too cool to stoop to the level of a couple of “regs” 😛 Knowing that Cody’s no longer in any condition to continue the mission with them, Rex is in charge and he’s got a new plan. But it seems Crosshair don’t like that plan. And Jesse don’t like his ‘tude. And Wrecker just likes grabbing Jesse by the neck. Hunter’s the only one who could stop the clone kerfuffle from actually kerfuffling (whee fun with vocabulary!), reminding them of the fact they’re all on the same team. And continuing in his keeping of the peace, he agrees to give Rex’s plan a try. So with that settled, the clones head back out once more, stalking stealthily through the forest. In the midst of their stealthy stalking, they find themselves looking on a Sep outpost covered in battle droids. Rex decides he’d like to do this one the Bad Batch way 🙂 And there they went, blasting and knife-slashing away the little skinny metal boogers. While the rest of the team jumps aboard a turbolift, it seems Wrecker rather’d stay around and continue making the battle droids eat laser 🙂 Yes the rest of boys make quick work on the droids upstairs. Watto would go nuts over all the scrap metal they make in a day’s time! 😀 Though clearly Wrecker is disappointed he missed the party. I’m pretty sure Wrecker is to battle droids the way Zeb is to stormtroopers 🙂 But just their luck, the cybercenter is only a hop, skip, and a jump away! The only problem? Those droids who took notice of the carnage from earlier are on their way there. Psh this is not a problem for this awesome crew. Those droids didn’t see it coming worth beans. Though admittedly a certain Admiral might have an idea…
“An attack is coming?! Whe–” *blasts*
Pfff gotta love the delightful cluelessness of those battle droids, right? XD Yeah doesn’t take the rest of the clones long to get the rest of the droids away from the back door, where the rest of the Bad Batch lies in wait. Wrecker basically kicked down the door and wrenched it open with his hands. So I’m guessing he always ate his veggies at the cloning facility dinner table? Ahhh how do these clones manage being so awesome without exploding from so much awesomeness?! I’m thinking they just did the fastest break-in/droid-decimate run ever. Wrecker and Hunter leave Tech to work his magic on the computers while they get ahold of their reg bros. And then along comes a Sep transport with lots and lots of super battle droids. Jesse and the Batch boys handle them while Rex joins up with Tech to see what they came here for. After a few minutes of typing about, Tech finds that the algorithm’s coming from a live signal on Skako Minor. What could that mean, I wonder?? Rex and Tech don’t have a clue… yet. But as the battle heats up outside with the boys, the signal starts to reveal its source… someone Rex can hardly believe. Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Jesse are starting to get overrun and make a dash back into the center. And now… Rex is hearing the voice of… ECHO. Ohmaigersh. The crew’s gotta make a run for it, and while Rex does… he can’t help but linger a bit, for the possibility that this awesome, noble Arc Trooper might still be living and breathing. Our bros board their old Separatist transport without any problem and jet on outta there. The Seps don’t quite get what their game is, but for sure this won’t be the last time these particular bad guys tangle with the troopers. But all the same, Rex can’t shake the voice he heard, and the number he read… and he’s gonna find out the truth no matter what.
So yeah I know I’m a little rusty at this closer-look-writing but EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE I’M SO EXCITEDDDDDDDD TO SEE WHERE THESE EPISODES GO!!! That is all.

Oh, also, Happy Star Wars Day in advance! Next week I’ll tell you how it went for me! 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Uncovering The Lost Missions: Orders

So we’ve arrived now to the last of this first series of Season 6, and whoo boy, this one’s intense with a capital “I“! But yeah, I think we’re all quite aware of that. It’s about to get crazy heady in this blog… but don’t despair! I’m good at sprinkling in some positivity here and there, even in an intense-ish episode of the sort. And even in the midst of the crazy headiness, I hope I’ll spark some interesting conversations, incite plausible theories, and fascinate with my potentially crazy points of view. Well, I wouldn’t say my points of view are that crazy but… I guess you can be the judge of that. Anyway there’s no point in making you read all this blathering, let’s move along and start my commentary on Orders!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode II, Episode III, Episode VI, The Force Unleashed, and TCW episodes The Deserter, The Jedi Who Knew Too Much, To Catch A Jedi, The Wrong Jedi, The Unknown, Conspiracy, Fugitive, and Orders

When we last left our clone hero, Fives had dug up a boatload of information that could potentially dethrone the entire Sith game, and the awesomely awesome Shaak Ti decided that the best thing to do would be to let Fives tell Palpatine what’s going on. Of course, as we well know, uhm… the so-called “Chancellor” is kinda orchestrating the whole uncool evil Order 66 thing! I’m sure somewhere in the midst of The Force Unleashed, Shaak Ti is facepalming herself looking back. But at the moment, she’s pretty calm with everything going on. Until then, we as the audience are facepalming ourselves in the crazy ironicness of it all! But unbeknownst to her, the “honorable” Kaminoan doctor Nala Se does something that quite possibly alters the outcome of the entire episode: she rather subtly hits Fives with a medicinal drug (possibly a sedative?). How does that affect him ultimately? We shall see. But looking back myself… let’s just say any sliver of respect I had for Nala Se just went out the window.
So once they get there, Palpatine is all smiles and old-man-charming as usual, and Fives is having a hard time having any meaningful conversation with his vision blurred and his senses dulled. The Jedi and the Kaminoan explain both sides of the story in the midst of Fives’s inability to get his thoughts out right. So then the Chancellor thought it’d be just great to have a casual chat alone with Fives to help chill out his clone “compadre” out. The dueling dudettes comply, even though it was with a bit of a raised eyebrow. We don’t see or hear this mano y mano conversation, but considering what happened in the end, I’m not sure we want to. I’m guessing that Palpatine tried to explain his ultimate plan without giving away all the details and trying to make it sound like he’s the good guy (and he’s aware that he’s really good at that) and Fives read between the lines, leading him to just nearly rid the galaxy of the ultimate terror. But of course, everyone buys his “I’m an innocent sweet old guy and he totally just tried to kill me for no reason!” act as usual; the only one who didn’t was, well… Fives. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a clone run as fast as Fives did as he somewhat groggily made a dash for the door. He was too fast even for Shaak Ti — and she awesomely jumped off the staircase to catch up with him! She explains the situation to Mace, Anakin, and Yoda and they’re all like “whuuuuuuut?”, which is the logical explanation one would have if they heard that a friend attacked the Republic’s grand poobah. Gets a bit more confusing (or not so much for us as the audience) when they’re told the Jedi haven’t been asked to help find him. But Anakin knows that Fives would no doubt listen to him and Rex, so the secret search is on…
Meanwhile, no one looked more out-of-place in the busy Coruscant city than Fives… in full armor, minus a helmet, and walking about, looking lost and little off. He’s about as free at the moment as any clone ever had been or would be (well, if you don’t count the fact that he’s on the run and stuff, and I suppose that’s only if we’re not counting Cut Lawquane from Season 2… oh never mind), but he’s not out here for fun — he’s out here once again searching for the truth, or at least a friend who will truly listen to him (oh, don’t we wish AZ were here right now!). Fives doesn’t know exactly who to talk to, but he knows where to start, and he’s going to get there by taxi.
I must take a moment and talk about the Coruscant taxi and its driver. It’s absolutely surreal seeing something even more so familiar to what we have in our world in the midst of this major drama. And the driver’s kinda hilarious and true to the New York drivers we all know well. And on top of all this crazy similarity, there’s what sounds like hip-hop/rap music going on in the cab! I guess that’s not terribly abnormal really (especially since I watched Episode II not very long ago), but in this scenario, in this episode, it sorta knocked me for a loop. Of course, all the funky music and jabbering drivers couldn’t distract Fives from his clear mission, though he certainly didn’t mind having some rather awkward and not-too-pleasant conversations with the driver, who isn’t surprised or swayed by anything. I’m sure our clone hero was quite glad it was an ultimately short ride to his destination (and that he can just get the fare billed to the Republic, since he probably doesn’t have pockets for pocket change in that armor). His destination was the clone bar 97’s, to which I thought “The clones have their own hangout? Oooookaaaay I didn’t know that…”. Though it almost looks like a club for Imperials, because that infamous gray uniform is evidently party wear for clones. And the fact that the clones have any casual wear aside from their fatigues is mind-boggling to me. And plus, it feels a bit weird to see these normally steadfast clones chilling out (not to mention a tad tipsy…). So in a room full of clones, Fives, wearing only a borrowed uniform hat, scopes out for any familiar 501st face he can find… and the first he finds is fellow teammate Kicks (forgive me if I spelled his name wrong). And in the quiet of the men’s room (again, something else I couldn’tve imagined I’d ever see in the SW Universe), Fives asks Kicks for a favor: to tell Anakin and Rex to meet with him alone. Kicks is awesome and is all “sure thing bro” and Fives proceeds to grab a speeder bike and stealthily sneaks out of the club and to his rendevouz spot. But unfortunately for him, he wasn’t stealthy enough to avoid the eye of a Republic probe droid. You know, a lot of this situation reminds me of Ahsoka’s plight in Season 5, in which we find our hero on the run, searching for truth, and at odds with both our good guys and bad guys (plus, Anakin doesn’t end up helping either of them the way they’d wanted to be helped). It’s one of those episodes that put things in perspective as we recall that the Republic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (as it’s kinda run by the most evil guy in the galaxy and that same guy will shut the whole thing down pretty quickly in favor of his new empire). It’s not easy to return to that viewpoint after so many heroic missions and brave deeds and great rescues by so many Republic heroes these past five seasons, but being reminded of the finiteness of the Clone Wars and where they’re headed is important, so we don’t forget the ultimate outcome and the ultimate victory for the Jedi and Rebels in the end. So yeah I was actually booing the Republic probe droid as he followed Fives closely behind as our hero found an old secluded warehouse of which to meet General Skywalker and Captain Rex. But as far as Fives could tell, everything was going to plan: he’d finally be able to get the truth out.
When Anakin and Rex arrived, they were a bit wary as Fives wouldn’t come out and face them until they put their weapons down. Understandably so, since they’re pretty certain that their clone friend has lost his marbles, oh, and then Fives traps them in a ray shield. Well, maybe “trap” is a bit harsh, but I’m not sure how to say it better. Oh, poor poor Fives… he’s trying to explain the whole crazy conspiracy, but he’s not doing the best job of getting the words out (aside from already being pretty freaked out, he’s also drugged, you might remember) and isn’t doing the best job of not coming off loony. That’s a pretty big question, isn’t it? Is Fives just crazy to reveal the truth… or is he actually just crazy? I like’d to believe that it’s the first option, with the added disadvantage of the drugging. Though he probably shouldn’tve added “I’M NOT CRAZY!”, as that sentence tends to make people believe the opposite. Anakin tries to calm him down and get him to come quietly, but Fives is not having it. He knows that Palpatine’s involved and that a bazillion clones are awaiting orders to kill their leaders and friends in the Jedi, and of course Anakin’s all “Bro, Palpatine’s awesome! How could you say that?? Let’s just chill out and try to think things over” (Yeah, and Ani’s an excellent judge of character, as we all know…). But such chilling out couldn’t happen because along came Palpatine’s clone gang with weapons drawn. Fives doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but they weren’t interested in listening, so he grabbed Rex’s blaster to get them to stop. Buuuut well… the other clones didn’t get that message and shot first. And that’s where I started ugly crying. Anakin and Rex manage to escape the ray shield and come by Fives’s side. And OMGosh there’s not a dry eye in the house… I about lost it further when I saw Rex tearing up just the slightest. The Arc Trooper’s mission has ended, but not alone… with his friends and leaders General Skywalker and Captain Rex, and several of his brothers in armor 😥 IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL AND SO SAD THAT I CAN’T EVEN… 😥
I had originally hoped that maybe Fives would ultimately escape from the eye of Republic, like Cut Lawquane, but in retrospect, Fives joining with the Force was probably the inevitable. And after much thinking, I realized that even if Fives had convinced the Jedi and his fellow clones of Palpatine’s true identity and Order 66, it probably still wouldn’tve changed much. I mean, we’ve seen what happens when Jedi attempt to arrest the Chancellor; it doesn’t end too well. And with Dooku and Grievous still be alive, who knows what they would’ve done! Or would Palpatine have found a way to kill them off early? And I’m guessing that he still would’ve found a way to convince Anakin to join the Dark Side. Plus, any clone with the chip could still be told to execute Order 66, probably even if they did know the truth. Not to mention Fives would probably get killed anyway, and probably in an even worse way, if not just memory-wiped and dumped in the middle of Hoth or something. While I would’ve loved to see the good guys win this one entirely, the likelihood is that the SW story would continue onward as it already does, Vader and all, just possibly even worse (Just thought about this: what if Padme had died before she was pregnant with Luke and Leia? Ahhh the idea is terrifying!! It would definitely be even worse!). So Palpatine supposedly got reports from a biopsy that Tup and Fives both had some parasite they picked up from the last planet they were on, and the Jedi are like “OK, that seems reasonable”. Dooku gives props to Nala Se for keeping the secret (and also being a huge part of what led to Fives’s death; think about that! If he hadn’t been drugged…), and then Sidious gives props to Dooku for overall keeping the secret, and proceeds to emit the most creepy laugh ever as the SW drama continues onward, closer and closer to the day when the he would say the fateful words that would destroy the Republic and the Jedi Order: “EXECUTE ORDER 66“.
So that was indeed a heavy episode and a lot to take in, but amidst tragedies of this sort in the SW universe, I always remind myself of the beauty that will come out of it when Luke brings the good back to his misguided father (and of course the awesome Ewok party the ensues afterward). And it helps to have drawn a very humorous TCW sketch on tumblr yesterday 😀 So I’m glad you guys joined me for this edition of the Uncovering The Lost Missions and managed to sit here and read all my jabberings. I’m quite excited for the next series — Aname draaamaaaaaa!! (My couple name for Anakin and Padme ❤ ) Until next time…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight