Warning: This review contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 1 Episode 6
Familiar places and faces dominate Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode 6 and, while the universe keeps getting smaller, “Decommissioned” deftly handles the shrinking galaxy.
It appears some time has passed since episode 5 as we see the Batch and Omega hanging out on Ord Mantell in Cid's bar, helping the newest member of Clone Force 99 learn how to use her Zygerrian bow. It's nice to see the crew finding a little home away from the cloning facility, but it's hard to imagine they'll be safe there for long. Even if Cid stays loyal and doesn't rat them out to the Empire, there's plenty of other shady characters darkening her doorstep that would jump at the opportunity to get some new imperial credits.
Cid, however, seems to like using the Batch for some personal errands, and sends them to Corellia to fetch a tactical droid that's about to be decommissioned. I half-expected Han Solo to show up as soon as they arrived, but The Bad Batch thankfully doesn't re-tread that territory too much. The most interesting Solo callback is a sequence of shots that show Corellia in all its robo-policed glory – for a brief moment it looks exactly like a scene from the film.
The Bad Batch breaks into the decommissioning facility and gives us our second callback to other Star Wars media: the battle droids, lying in pieces along the (de)assembly line. Before we even have time to think about the implications of that, though, we get yet another callback – this time from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. There's two other people sneaking around the facility attempting to grab a battle droid, and after the Batch quite literally collides with them, it's revealed to be none other than the Martez sisters, Rafa and Trace. We first meet them in The Clone Wars Season 7 Episode 5 when Ahsoka flees to the depths of Coruscant after leaving the Jedi Order.
It's nice to see how Ahsoka's influence has changed the previously directionless Martez sisters, who were consistently dragged into shady transactions by the older one, Rafa. While it initially seems like the two are up to yet another one of Rafa's schemes, it's revealed that they're attempting to get the battle droid for a contact who wants to use it to help "fight back against the Empire." It's clear that the two have ceased operating in a morally grey area and have chosen to side with the Rebels, which is a great way of showcasing how allegiances shift in this universe shortly after the Empire comes to power.
Naturally, Clone Force 99's allegiance is called into question by Rafa, who wonders why they aren't fighting for the Empire. All of these reveals and conversations are interspersed with some tight combat taking place in the somewhat claustrophobic setting of the decommissioning facility. It's great to see Clone Force 99 and the Martez sisters dispose of Police Droids together, all while arguing over who is taking the tactical droid's head. And Omega gets a chance to be in the center of the action instead of relegated to a seat on the ship – although she quickly learns how dangerous it can be, as she's almost melted alongside some broken down droids.
Ultimately, the tactical droid gets a blaster shot through its CPU and is rendered useless, but as the Martez sisters and the Bad Batch amicably part ways, Hunter gives the information Tech downloaded to Rafa. "You’re using it for the right reasons,” he says when she asks why he's giving away the intel. “Things were clearer when we were just soldiers." It would have been great if the Bad Batch had a few more episodes to toil in this strange space between Republic soldiers and gun-for-hire, but it's still nice to see Hunter struggle with that dichotomy in some way.
There are two things left hanging ominously overhead after “Decommissioned” ends. One is Wrecker, who is clearly getting closer and closer to his inevitable betrayal by way of his inhibitor chip. His frequent references to a splitting headache lead up to him absolutely cracking his head during this episode's mission, upon which Crosshair's voice echoes: "Good soldiers follow orders." Oh Wrecker, please don't do this to us.
The second cliffhanger is yet another Star Wars callback. After the Martez sisters return to their ship, they command Ahsoka's astromech droid, R7, to pull up their contact on a holo call. We can also see a portion of their contact, who is clearly donning robes. Rafa tells this mysterious figure about Clone Force 99, calling them a squad of rogue clones, and tells the figure "we know where to find them. Thought you might wanna know." While rumors are swirling over who this person could be, I've got my money on Ahsoka Tano. She's got a personal connection to the Martez sisters and the clones, and she acts as a rebel informant under the pseudonym Fulcrum in Star Wars: Rebels.
We'll have to wait and see next week, or if other theorists suggesting Bail Organa, Saw Gerrera, and Rex can take the credit. Frequent callbacks aside, The Bad Batch episode 6 is full of well-choreographed combat punctuated with emotional breakthroughs. It's hard to get annoyed at the shrinking Star Wars universe when it's all folded together like a lovely little space calzone.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode 7 debuts on Disney Plus on Friday, June 11.For more, check out all the upcoming Star Wars movies and shows heading our way.