When Kamino first debuted in “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones”, it was hardly a fan favorite, as the weird Grays-inspired Kaminoans delivered scenes with jumbled bureaucracy, and while the clone army they provided was responsible for one of the best sequences in that film (the Battle of Geonosis), it wouldn’t be until the 2003 “Clone Wars” animated show and “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” that fans would fall in love with clones, and it wouldn’t be until Dave Filoni’s “Clone Wars” series that the place would get much development.
Yet in 2021, it brings me a bit of pain to see the place finally destroyed in Episode 15 of “The Bad Batch” (spoilers, though we’re almost at the end of this show, so if you’re reading this afraid of having the show spoiled, what are you doing?)
Context: This week’s episode of “Bad Batch” follows up on last episode’s cliffhanger in which Crosshair (Dee Bradley Baker) captured Hunter (also Dee Bradley Baker) and hopes to lure the entire Bad Batch Squad (also Dee Bradley Baker) into his grasp. For some reason, we learn that he has taken Hunter back to the cloning facility on Kamino they were all created at. This is convenient for Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal) because it means that if things go badly for Crosshair, he can dispose of him with the rest of the facility.
And it does, indeed, go badly for Crosshair, who is set on getting his old squad to join the Empire, even at the expense of his new one (Crosshair kills his new squad once they disobey him). We also learn in this episode something I’ve been suspecting: Crosshair doesn’t have an inhibitor chip, this is just how he is as a person. As a result, Rampart uses three Star Destroyers to destroy the cloning facility, and I really felt like a part of my childhood died when Kamino did.
I honestly did not think I would have this much of a reaction seeing something that was widely panned when it first came out get destroyed like this. The prequels and everything in them have aged so bizarrely not only because of nostalgia, meme culture, but also the supplemental materials like the “Republic Commando” video game and books and Filoni’s “Clone Wars” show that elevated them that I do genuinely love them in a way I don’t think I will ever love the sequels.
There certainly was a lot of setup to this episode, but I can confidently say that this is the moment in which “Bad Batch” joins “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” as some of the best stories in the Star Wars franchise.
“Star Wars: The Bad Batch” Season 1: Episode 15 “Return to Kamino” gets a 9/10