Let’s Talk About “The Outpost” – Star Wars “The Bad Batch” – SPOILER WARNING!!


Crosshair leaning against the Imperial ship in S2E12 “The Outpost.”

Izzy Casillas, Journalist

“The Outpost.”

These two words that make up the title of S2E12 of “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” now strike fear and anguish, heartbreak and anger into the hearts of fans. This article is not an entire breakdown of the episode, but more of my review of it, so emotions will be high. SPOILER WARNING FOR “THE OUTPOST.”

Before we get into the heartbreak, let’s acknowledge the fact that we got to see Crosshair again! It’s been eight episodes since we’ve seen him, and last time we did see him, it was when he felt truly alone. But seeing him again was great, and seeing him without his helmet was even better! Until Lieutenant Nolan made his appearance. Off the bat, the Imperial is horrible, rudely ordering Crosshair to cover his face with his helmet and making the degrading comment that clones were “used equipment.”

They leave to their mission on the snowy planet, where they are in charge of transporting equipment that’s been stuck on the planet for well over a year. Out of the whole original detail that was there, only three clones remain, the leader being a bearded clone named Mayday. Lieutenant Nolan is extremely rude to Mayday and his men as well, even as Mayday explains the situation. Raiders, ice vultures, and the harsh weather have ravaged their equipment and have killed off most of the men, and Mayday speaks about the vultures. “Vicious creatures, but you have to admire ’em,” the clone says. “They find a way to survive.”

Before I continue, I would just like to applaud the writers of the show. On the surface, this quote doesn’t seem like much, but the poetry is so heartbreaking. These creatures symbolize Crosshair. He is alone, his choices (at the surface level) seem vicious, and he has made his decisions to survive. He is a survivor, at his core, and as Tech once stated, “Crosshair has always been severe and unyielding. It is his nature.”

Digital art by me (@lingo_doodles on Instagram) of Crosshair with vulture wings and Mayday’s quote.

Continuing on with the episode, Crosshair and Mayday are ordered to go out alone to retrieve some crates that were taken in a raid. It’s revealed that the men don’t even know what they have been guarding for the past year. They track the raiders, and Crosshair makes the offhand comment that there’s no use in carrying dead weight. Mayday chuckles and jokes that he should remind hismelf not to die on Crosshair’s watch. They continue, but the journey is almost stopped right there when Crosshair steps on a land mine. Mayday disables it, and they talk about Crosshair’s batch and the fact that clones are being replaced unceremoniously, even after everything they have done.

They track the raiders and figure out that the precious cargo that Mayday has fought for and been guarding for over a year has just been stormtrooper armor, equipment for the clone’s replacements. Before they can truly retrieve the equipment, an avalanche hits. Crosshair and Mayday are hit but both survive, though Mayday is barely hanging on. Mayday urges Crosshair to leave without him, but he refuses, and they both trek back through the mountains and a deadly winter storm to get back to the base.

These scenes are absolutely heartbreaking. The pure pain and desperation in Crosshair’s eyes as he tries to protect Mayday is so real and almost unbearable to watch.

Art by @anartisticfighter on Instagram of Crosshair helping Mayday back to the base.

They get back to the base, and Mayday is very clearly on his last legs. Crosshair is looking much worse for wear, with his armor nearly frozen blue. Lieutenant Nolan coldly orders the stormtroopers to continue their work, and mere moments later, Mayday dies. Crosshair is infuriated and nearly growls at Nolan that Mayday could have been saved, but Nolan has a smirk and a cutting response for Crosshair.

He says, “He is expendable, as are you. And if you speak to me again with such disrespect, I’ll see to it you meet a similar fate, clone.”

And Crosshair has a response for Nolan. He shoots him dead in the chest, then promptly loses consciousness and is transferred to what fans assume is the medical facility on Tantiss.

This episode really struck such a different and devastating tone compared to the mostly-lighthearted content of the previous episodes.

Just… the symbolism and parallels and character growth in this episode. Crosshair goes from blatantly not caring about clones and even wondering why someone would save Echo because “he’s just another reg,” to nearly giving up his own life on the mere hope that he could save “a reg.” Plus, the symbolism of the ice vultures and how they relate to Cross’s story.

Art of Crosshair and Mayday in the snow by @madsayo on Instagram!

Many fans, including myself, speculate that Crosshair saw Hunter in Mayday. That Crosshair misses his brothers, misses Hunter and most likely the opportunity he had to leave the Empire and join them. That when Crosshair was asked about his squad, the only thing he could say in a cracked voice was that they were gone.

Further solidifying the argument that Crosshair is not a villain. Yes, he made questionable choices to survive. But he was and maybe still is under control of the inhibitor chip. Yes, he tried to hunt down the batch, but never used the full extent of his sniper skills against them in particular, and even helped them to survive and fought alongside them again.

Yes, Crosshair was an antagonist. But I firmly believe he is not the villain, that the Empire is the true villain. “The Outpost” makes it even more blatantly obvious that he is starting to question his loyalty to the Empire, and that he is a human who made mistakes but ultimately cares about his brothers.

Art by @hidden_scribble on Instagram of Crosshair through a sniper’s cross hair, with vulture wings and Mayday’s quote about clone troopers being replaced

“I loved the episode. It was so gritty and just showed the reality for many serving clones, and how they just got shoved to the side, for just the idea that another army may be ‘superior,’ although they were bred under the same thoughts,” said @annie_is_ok05 on Instagram. “I realized that after the episode that Mayday probably reminded Crosshair of Hunter. And how hard he pushed for him in a short time, and how he was so angered by his death, really I think just put a reminder of his brothers and how much pain he was feeling regarding them.”

“‘The Outpost’ is, in my opinion, one of the best episodes of any Star Wars TV series to date, and hands-down a new high for the Bad Batch. Every aspect of the episode was masterfully crafted to an extent we had not yet seen from this show,” said @hidden_scribble on Instagram. “The vulture. Don’t even get me started on the vulture. I was not prepared for the amount of deep, literary symbolism that would permeate this entire episode. Every time it showed up, I got chills to the bone.”

New episodes of “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” premiering every Wednesday on Disney+!