Hello and welcome to Laughing Place’s regular recap of Lucasfilm’s animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch on Disney+.

The third episode of The Bad Batch, entitled “Replacements,” begins with the Havoc Marauder traveling through hyperspace. Hunter (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, as are all the members of the titular Bad Batch) brings Omega (Michelle Ang) a ration bar, and Wrecker gobbles one down as well, but Hunter says they have to conserve because rations are low. The clones also point out that some of the systems on the ship have been glitching since they left Saleucami and got shot up by the Empire. “Repairs would go faster if I had some help,” says Echo, but Tech is busy building a scanner to test the functionality of their inhibitor chips. Suddenly the ship drops out of hyperspace unexpectedly and hurtles toward a nearby moon. The team prepares for a crash landing. “We’re gonna die, we’re gonna die, we’re gonna… be fine,” murmurs Wrecker, trying not to alarm Omega too much.

The Havoc Marauder sets down roughly on the moon, and Tech says they won’t be able to take off again until they replace one of their damaged capacitors. Omega asks if the replacement part is in a case she finds leaning against the way, and the rest of the crew gets solemn when they realize it’s Crosshair’s weapon kit. “I kinda miss him,” says Wrecker. “He shot you, remember?” reminds Echo. Tech brings up the notion that Crosshair’s actions were influenced by his inhibitor chip, which Echo confirms. Back on Kamino, Crosshair is being examined by AZI-3 (Ben Diskin), who says his vitals are at optimum levels. Watching from behind a two-way mirror, Nala Se (Gwendoline Yeo) tells Admiral Tarkin (Stephen Stanton) that Crosshair is responding favorably to their procedure. They’re interrupted by Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal), who says he’s been laying the foundation of the new Empire by implementing the chain codes we found out about in the previous episode.

Rampart also says he’s brought some top recruits to Kamino to begin their training under their new commander: Crosshair. The Imperial officers and Nala Se argue about whether conscripted recruits or clones alone are a better option for maintaining order under the Empire. Rampart brings Tarkin, Crosshair, and Nala Se to another room, where he introduces them to his “first Elite Squad”– top soldiers from across the galaxy. “Imagine more squads like this being trained by skilled clones. Together they would make a formidable army.” Tarkin sees promise in this idea, but Nala Se seems worried. Meanwhile, stranded on the distant moon, Tech and Echo work in the dark outside to replace the broken capacitor, when they start hearing growling noises and notice claw marks on the side of the ship. They wander off to investigate and a small creature sneaks up behind them and steals the fresh capacitor from its housing.

Inside the Havoc Marauder, Wrecker complains of a headache, but thinks he may have hit his head in the crash. Tech and Echo return to the ship and tell the others that something is causing damage to the hull. The lights go out and the creature runs across the cockpit canopy, startling Omega, who spots the stolen capacitor in its mouth. Doing some research, Tech reports that the creature is called an Ordo Moon Dragon, which feeds on raw energy (much like the Mynocks from The Empire Strikes Back). Hunter says he’s going after the dragon to retrieve the part, and orders Wrecker to stay on the ship because of his apparent head injury. Omega offers to join Hunter, reminding him that she’s now part of the squad, and he reluctantly agrees. On Kamino, the new recruits get examined by medical droids and discuss their life under Imperial conscription, comparing the Empire favorably to the Republic.

When Lama Su (Bob Bergen) says these recruits will never be as skilled as the Kaminoans’ clones, Tarkin proposes a test and orders them sent to Onderon to wipe out Saw Gerrera’s rebel camp. “Let’s see if they can succeed where Clone Force 99 failed.” Hunter and Omega track the Moon Dragon, with the latter mimicking the former’s movements and attempting to pick up his skill. Hunter says he’s angry at himself for leaving Crosshair behind and Omega says they’ll find a way to get him back. The recruits arrive at Onderon, already questioning their leadership for putting Crosshair in charge of their mission. “If you all are so efficient, how come the Empire’s scouting soldiers like us?” At the rebel camp, the freedom fighters prepare to meet Saw Gerrera at a rendezvous, when they’re ambushed by the Imperial recruits.

A firefight breaks out, but we cut back to the moon where Hunter and Omega have found the capacitor lying on the ground. Hunter attempts to pick it up but is attacked by the Moon Dragon. He loses his breath mask in the fight and is rendered unconscious, but when the dragon runs away with the capacitor again, Omega attempts to help her friend. She replaces the mask and takes Hunter’s blaster, going after the dragon down a hydrothermal vent. On Onderon, we see Crosshair taking out rebel soldiers with his sniper rifle, while one of the recruits uses a flamethrower against the targets. Some of the rebels attempt to flee on their shuttle, but Crosshair shoots the pilot and it settles back on the ground, where they surrender to the Empire. One of the rebels refuses to give up Saw Gerrera’s location and is immediately killed by Crosshair.

Crosshair moves to similarly wipe out the rest of the rebels, but one of the recruits says they should bring them into custody instead. “Those weren’t our orders,” says Crosshair, echoing the arguments he had with Hunter in earlier episodes. The recruits ignore Crosshairs orders, with one of them saying “we signed up to be soldiers, not an execution squad.” Crosshair says Tarkin put him in charge because he’s “willing to do what needs to be done,” and proceeds to kill that recruit. He orders the others to “finish the mission,” and they hesitantly comply. In a tunnel on the moon, Omega finds a collection of machinery evidently stolen by the Moon Dragon over time. She locates the capacitor, but is immediately jumped by the dragon. Outside, Hunter wakes up and follows Omega’s trail and calls for her, which distracts the dragon long enough for her to figure out that the creature won’t attack her if she turns out her flashlight.

Omega throws the light into a corner as bait and sneaks off with the capacitor, crawling out of the tunnel to the surface, where she is reunited with Hunter. “I tracked the dragon like you did,” she says proudly. On Kamino, Crosshair returns with the recruits, minus one trooper, but Tarkin is impressed that the clone followed his orders. He admits that the clone trooper program is “a cost-prohibitive relic of the past,” but that it will continue to serve its purpose “until the time is right.” Rampart commits himself to giving the new squad “more time and training,” and Tarkin promotes him to Admiral, leaving the project in his hands. In another hallway, Lama Su and Nala Se worry that their clones are becoming obsolete. “I fear for the future of our operation,” says Lama Su. “We must ensure our clones remain essential.”

Nala Se says the original genetic material contributed by Jango Fett has degraded, to which Lamu Su concludes “it is time to begin the next phase.” They discuss an experiment to create superior clones using the Bad Batch’s DNA. In another part of the station, Crosshair and his new team arrive at their quarters to find that it has been cleaned up significantly from when it was occupied by Clone Force 99. On the Havoc Marauder, Tech pilots the craft away from the moon, and Wrecker presents Omega with a surprise: a bunk of her very own, complete with the Tooka cat doll he prizes so much. “I thought this place could feel more like a home,” says Wrecker, and Omega replies, “It’s perfect.”

New episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch are released Fridays, exclusively on Disney+.

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