Tensions are high in the latest installment of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, as our favorite group of underdog clones must balance making money with reluctance. With a series of close talks in which Omega almost returned to the hands of the Empire, it is clear that Hunter and Co. are nervous about bringing their protégé on further missions. But the situation is wonderfully resolved which happens to include Star Wars’ version of space chess.
As a reminder: the clones are still on the run from their former employer. A few episodes ago, the group made strides to break away from their previous masters by undergoing surgery to remove a chip in their brain. The chip, we are told, is able to control them even remotely. Not good! And so our happy gang of tough guys set off on their way a site introduced in Star Wars: Fallen Order, just managed to escape. While the clones ultimately got what they wanted, the mission proved traumatic for everyone involved. Not only did the clones have to fight a former member of the squad, but Omega is almost killed by Wrecker, her best friend.
While Omega is obviously forgiving Wrecker, the ordeal is only the beginning of the group’s problems. Immediately thereafter, Omega is kidnapped by a bounty hunter who wants to bring her back to the Kaminoans. Aside from the Kaminoans being split over what to do with Omega, one wants to bring them back to end and the other hopes to get them to safety. And so poor Omega becomes of you second Bounty hunter tasked with pruning the first one.
The clones manage to bring Omega back, but by this point Hunter is tired of the danger of his adopted daughter. In episode 10, released July 2nd, Hunter decides that taking Omega on missions is no longer a good idea, especially not in places where stormtroopers are teeming. Although Omega is unhappy about this, the clones leave them in the arcade they used as a base.
The saloon is owned by Cid, who promises to take care of her while the clones go on the mission. While Cid is grumpy and doesn’t want to bother with Omega, she agrees because it’s the only way to make sure the clones can get the job done and pay the immense debt they owe her. Omega is of course miserable: until now, although she was still a child, she has been an important part of the team. Usually she’s out there kicking the ass and shooting space arrows – but now she’s stuck scrubbing countertops. That sucks!
Since introducing the base to the show, I’ve been fascinated by the visible arcade machines glowing in the background. What kinds of games could people play? war of stars enjoy, I asked myself? To my eternal joy, S1E10 finally uses this setting. While we don’t see any new games, we sometimes see people playing that holographic version of chess that was introduced in the original trilogy. Known as Holochess (or Dejarik to war of stars Nerds), the rules of the game are never fully explained in the films. However, we see enough to get the general gist that this is a two-player strategy game in which a number of aliens are moved around a board, each with their own hit points, attack and movement patterns.
Space chess basically. And if you didn’t know, Omega is a strategy killer. While watching Cid play against other guests, Omega criticizes Cid’s style of play and warns her that her intended move is not a good idea. Cid doesn’t listen and ends up with his piece being killed. The gears turn in your head. If Omega is a genius at the game, can she use her wits to get other players to give away money?
The answer, dear reader, is yes. Omega, always the hot girl, is negotiating with Cid about a 60 percent pay cut. And then they play against unsuspecting competitors who not only allow Omega to make some money, but also repay the clones’ huge debts. Regulate that! I am encouraged that the show take care to show that Omega, regardless of her physical ability or age, is not truly helpless. She’s smart, she’s resourceful, and she’s a tactical genius.
While she is always a help on missions, the forays also push her out of her comfort zone. Sure, she was genetically engineered to have improvements, but she’s not a trained soldier like Wrecker and the rest of her adoptive fathers. While she gets more capable as the show progresses, it’s cool that too The bad batch finds a way to make Omega shine on her own terms. That this is a fictional game is the icing on the cake. It turns out you can still have epic gamer moments in space.