REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch,’ Episode 4 – “Cornered”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Bad Batch Episode 4Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 4 pits a character from The Mandalorian against our heroes, as they continue to adapt to life in the post-Clone Wars galaxy. “Cornered” finds the Batch heading to the planet of Pantora after the events of “Replacements,” as they are running dangerously low on fuel and food. While Tech and Wrecker attempt to repair the ship, Hunter goes on a supply run with Omega and Echo. Unbeknownst to the Batch, they are being pursued by bounty hunter Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) who has been hired by an unknown party to find Omega.

Shand’s presence in The Bad Batch was teased throughout trailers for the series, and her first full appearance more than lives up to the hype. Wen is no stranger to voice work, having committed voice performances to series including Yasuke and her iconic performance as Mulan. Her vocal performance as Shand is just as calculated and deadly as her live-action appearance, and she is more than able to hold her own against the Batch despite their genetic alterations. With Wen set to reprise her role in The Book of Boba Fett, Shand is fast becoming one of the Star Wars universe’s most iconic bounty hunters, and it’s well deserved.

The episode also features some stellar action sequences, including a hand-to-hand combat scene between Hunter and Shand and a high-octane chase scene throughout the streets of Pantora. The latter sequence builds in intensity, with Omega hanging from a tall building as Hunter commandeers a hover-bike to rescue her and Shand is hot on her heels. Not only is this a well-executed sequence—kudos to director Saul Ruiz—but it also continues to solidify the father/daughter bond between Hunter and Omega. You can hear the panic in Dee Bradley Baker’s voice as Hunter realizes Omega is missing and asks the Batch to help him find her, as well as the relief when they finally reunite.

Another welcome element of the episode is how the Batch’s usual roles are shaken up. Wrecker, who is normally the “muscle” of the group, has to help Tech, aka the “brains,” fix the ship. This leads to a few hilarious moments such as Wrecker not understanding what a bribe is when he’s cornered by a shipyard owner, and thinking that “fixing” the ship means ripping certain parts out. Echo, on the other hand, ends up being mistaken for a droid and sold to a merchant, which actually helps the Batch in a crucial moment. And once again, hilarity ensues as Hunter tries to pass Echo off as a droid, with Echo even attempting to argue his price. “Cornered” continues to show how the rise of the Empire and the absence of Crosshair has shaken up the Batch’s operating method and also continues to explore the post-war life is affecting soldiers who were literally bred for war, which adds the thematic depth that has often driven the best Star Wars stories.

The episode also raises an interesting mystery about who hired Shand to collect Omega. Omega, much like the Batch, is a clone that possesses genetic aberrations; what those aberrations are is another mystery that the series has teased. Setting up mysteries is a great way to keep the audience invested, and hopefully, the series will pay them off in a satisfying way. It also gives the series a bit more meat on its bones, as the mystery plot is now running parallel to Crosshair’s training of Imperial troopers and the Batch’s journey across the galaxy.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 4 introduces a fan-favorite character from The Mandalorian while continuing to showcase how the Batch is adapting to the Empire’s reign. I hope that Shand returns in future episodes, as I’m curious to see who hired her to take Omega and what exactly is special about the young clone.

New episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch will be available to stream Fridays on Disney+.

The Bad Batch Episode 4 - "Cornered"
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    Rating - 9/10
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TL;DR

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 4 introduces a fan-favorite character from The Mandalorian while continuing to showcase how the Batch is adapting to the Empire’s reign. I hope that Shand returns in future episodes, as I’m curious to see who hired her to take Omega and what exactly is special about the young clone.