I’m starting to think Crosshair deserves his own spinoff. The surly former member of Clone Force 99 (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, as are all the male clones of Jango Fett) has had two episodes focused on him so far in the second season of Lucasfilm’s animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch, and they’ve both been outstanding.
This week’s installment, entitled “The Outpost,” sees Crosshair assigned to an inexperienced new superior officer named Lieutenant Nolan (video-game regular Crispin Freeman) on a mission to a desolate frozen planet, where they meet a disgruntled clone called Mayday (also Baker).
Mayday shows Nolan very little respect as a commanding officer, saying that such things are earned, and seems largely disaffected by the war and the Empire thanks to the way his men have been treated– many of them have died waiting for reinforcements, supplies, and replacements. There are also raiders in the mountains surrounding Mayday’s outpost, who attack the base and steal the crates of equipment that his troops were ordered to protect. Nolan partners Crosshair and Mayday together and commands them to venture into the snowy wasteland to track down the raiders and retrieve the crates that were taken, and along the way Crosshair comes to better understand his new acquaintance’s grievances with the Empire’s treatment of their clone troopers. Mayday helps Crosshair disarm a mine he stepped on before it can explode, and then the two eventually find the raiders’ camp, but their attack causes an avalanche that buries Mayday alive. Then we see a shift take place in Crosshair’s general demeanor, as he goes against what he said earlier in the episode about carrying dead weight, digging Mayday out and lifting him up on his shoulders for the long trek back to the outpost.
Arriving back at the base exhausted and with a nearly dead Mayday on his back, Crosshair is exasperated when Lieutenant Nolan berates the two clones for failing to retrieve the stolen crates, instead of calling for a medic– he says this would be a waste of the Empire’s valuable resources. When Mayday dies right there on the ground due to lack of medical attention, Crosshair finally becomes fed up and shoots Nolan in the back, likely ending his time as a soldier of the Empire. But instead of being court-martialed, Crosshair passes out as well and wakes up at what certainly seems to be Mount Tantiss under the watchful eye of Emerie Karr (Keisha Castle-Hughes from Whale Rider, who also played Queen Apailana of Naboo in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), who we met last week. I’m very intrigued to find out where all this is going and what the Empire might want from Crosshair in its cloning project– my guess is they’re going to task him with retrieving Omega– but as of right now I’ll just say how fantastic I thought this episode was again. I’m always a sucker for snow, and that combined with the extremely dark themes that seem to accompany Crosshair-centric outings made this an ideal installment of The Bad Batch for me, even though– like “The Solitary Clone” before it– it did not feature most of the title characters. For whatever reason, this show seems willing to take itself and its characters more seriously whenever Tech, Wrecker, Hunter, and Omega aren’t around, and as a viewer I can’t say I really have a problem with that.
New episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch are released Wednesdays, exclusively via Disney+.