While Clone Force 99 themselves hardly show up, this week we went back to Ryloth to visit with the Syndullas on The Bad Batch.
This episode has almost no honest to goodness Easter Eggs, references, or deep cuts as much as a parade of important characters who you may not recognize if you hadn’t tuned in for Star Wars: Rebels. But realistically, you probably did because you’re watching The Bad Batch and Rebels was awesome. But just in case you didn’t watch Star Wars: Rebels, don’t remember who some of these people are, or could just generally use a refresher, let’s review the who’s who of this week’s The Bad Batch.
Cham Syndulla is a character we’ve met a few times over the course of The Clone Wars and Rebels, as a resistance fighter and leader of Ryloth. His commitment to the cause caused some strain to his relationship with his daughter, Hera, but they’ve continued to partner to work towards defeating the Empire. Eleni Syndulla is a character who we have known about for a while and only formally met this week. Hera’s mother was a resistor of the Empire along with Cham, but was killed at some point during the resistance. This episode makes it unclear if she is lost while in Imperial custody or sometime after, but the introduction to her gives Hera and Cham more context throughout Rebels as well as a character whose story I would love a chance to see more of.
Two of the main characters of Rebels, fan favorites, and cameos in Rogue One, Hera and Chopper are actively difficult not to know about if you’re familiar with the galaxy far far away. Hera is leader in the Rebellion, becoming de facto group mom to the main cast in Rebels and piloting the Ghost. And Chopper is her C1 astromech droid who you can tell is swearing in binary just about all of the time.
This episode was an interesting look at Hera’s past and earliest days as a revolutionary as well as her first few piloting lessons before she eventually grows up to be one of the galaxy’s best starship pilots. Rebels gave us a few hints and whispers about her childhood, family life, and mother, but this week we got to see one of the more formative days in her career. Also, while we knew from Rebels that Chopper has been with her for a long time and came from her family, we’ve learned that she was more or less entrusted to the droid as a child after her parents were taken into Imperial custody, cementing their relationship a little more clearly.
Gobi has shown up in The Clone Wars and Rebels a small handful of times as a member of the Free Ryloth Movement and a strong opposer of the Separatists, but this version existed in the time in between as a resister of the Empire and Hera’s uncle. He obviously supports Cham’s ideals completely, but has his own way of doing things, which unfortunately include getting a young Hera involved in the resistance and putting her in direct danger. But it’s pretty easy to see that while she takes her leadership and patience from her dad, Uncle Gobi made her into a more proactive and headstrong individual. After the happenings of this episode of The Bad Batch, Gobi Glie will continue to be a supporter of Cham and a free Ryloth as well as one of Hera’s and the Rebellion’s contacts on the planet.
Some of the Twi’leks ride these gloriously ugly beasts of burden in this episode. While they’re not the most popular, famous, or glamorous creatures in Star Wars, you’ve probably seen them quite a few times recently. Aside from showing up as a favorite mount of Twi’leks throughout the animated shows, you may remember seeing a “live action” Blurgg in The Mandalorian.
May The Force Be With You, Adventurers!