So yeah, I didn’t expect the Ryloth arc of “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” to be a two-parter, but here we are. Last episode ended with Ryloth resistance leader Cham Syndulla (Robin Atkin Downes), his wife, Eleni (Ferelith Young) and his right hand man, Gobi Glie (Corey Burton) captured and framed for treason against the Galactic Empire, even though he was betrayed by Imperial Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal), who is, to put it simply, an arrogant idiot who will probably get himself killed. Cham and Eleni’s daughter, Hera (Vanessa Marshall) managed to escape, and sent a transmission to the Bad Batch (all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker), in hopes that they’ll help. While Hunter is reluctant, Omega (Michelle Ang) convinces them to take on the mission. There’s only one problem: Former Bad Batch member Crosshair (also Dee Bradley Baker) is on Ryloth, and knows how they think.
The group attack a foundry important to the Imperials to divert them from he capitol, where Cham and co. are being held. Rampart leaves the capitol in the hands of clone Captain Howzer (also Dee Bradley Baker), who has a deep relationship with Cham, and he unsurprisingly helps the Bad Batch escape, which is convenient seeing that Crosshair predicted that the foundry wasn’t their real target and stayed behind in the capitol to intercept them. They escape, with Howzer and his men captured, and the episode ends with Rampart finally giving Crosshair permission to hunt down the Bad Batch, wishing that they were on the side of the Imperials.
Well, they could have been, had Tarkin not alienated them on Kamino. Really, combined with what we know of him from “Rogue One”, I think you can make a valid argument that Tarkin’s shortsighted arrogance and inability to maintain key assets set the stage for the Empire’s fall, as he took an elite fighting force in the clone army and led the push for its degradation into the untrained and at-time amateur Imperial army, pushed away competent allies like Clone Force 99 and Director Orson Krennic, and fundamentally overestimated his own abilities to the point where he could no longer see his own mistakes, leading to his fiery death upon the Death Star. And his toxic philosophy of authoritarianism over logic, strategy, and competence clearly trickled down to his underlings, as we see Rampart making the same mistakes with Ryloth. All he had to do was not antagonize them, and they would have been content with peace. Instead, his inability to negotiate or reason with Cham Syndulla lead to the seasoned freedom fighter contribute to the formation of the Rebellion.
But on the plus side, it looks like Crosshair will confront the Bad Batch in the season finale, and they’ll either bring him back to the light side, or kill him (probably the first one).
“Star Wars: The Bad Batch” Season 1: Episode 12 “Rescue on Ryloth” gets an 8/10