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Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 14 Ending Explained

We're entering the home stretch of "Star Wars: The Bad Batch," and one can't help but feel as though things are about to get serious. The past several episodes, between the Ryloth arc and the power-grabbing shenanigans of last week's "Infested," haven't gone above and beyond to progress the story of Clone Force 99. The focus has instead been on the likes of Cid (Rhea Perlman) and the Syndulla family, leaving little room for our favorite team of genetically modified clones to truly shine.

Right from the outset, Episode 14, titled "War-Mantle," breaks this trend of side missions and adventure-of-the-week tales. It opens on a clone evading capture from an unknown enemy before hopping elsewhere in the galaxy to spotlight the Bad Batch. As per usual, the squad is out on a job for their employer and they've hardly gotten started, but they're interrupted by a distress call from an old friend — setting the course of the installment, as well as our heroes' lives, in a direction no one could have possibly seen coming.

Here's where we are by the end of "The Bad Batch" episode 14, what its revelations can tell us about the state of the "Star Wars" galaxy, and where the series is most likely headed in its final two entries of the season.

A special rescue mission

As one could imagine, it didn't take long to receive some clarity on what was going on with the escaped clone from the opening sequence of "War Mantle." The Bad Batch are contacted by Rex (Dee Bradley Baker), who's apparently tied down by a prior commitment and needs their help rescuing an old ally on the planet Daro. Although hesitant as always, Hunter (Baker) is eventually won over by both Omega (Michelle Ang) and later Echo (Baker) to go forth with an otherwise fruitless endeavor.

Once on Daro, Hunter, Echo, and Tech (Baker) follow the signal sent by a clone known as CC-5576, who has been imprisoned by the Empire. Despite facing down an entire base of trigger-happy Imperials, the crew presses on and stealthily finds and frees their fellow clone, who clarifies that he prefers the name Gregor (Baker). This reveal surely had longtime "Star Wars" fans jumping for joy, seeing as the famed clone commando popped up previously on both "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels."

It's good to see Gregor once again and presumably get an answer regarding how he wound up reunited with Rex post-Republic. Hopefully, we'll learn how Wolffe managed to do the same down the road.

Out with the old, in with the new

Before discovering Gregor or exploring the base where he was imprisoned, Hunter, Echo, and Tech get a lay of the land. They take a look at the Imperial installation, noting that not only was it manned by a bunch of clone commandoes, but their infantry was wearing a new type of armor set. The plot thickens further when they learn that these were designated as TK troopers and that beneath their awkward helmets, they aren't clones at all. According to Gregor, they're all volunteers that he was essentially forced to help train before he attempted desertion.

So, what exactly is going on with the Empire's military? Well, as the title of this episode directly suggests, Project War-Mantle — the initiative to remove all clones from Imperial service and replace them with non-clone recruits — is in full swing, and the clone army is being slowly phased out. As for the TK designation, this is an identifier commonly associated with Imperial military personnel, specifically stormtroopers, that would be implemented shortly after the Empire's founding. As for the new armor, it's clearly a bridge between phase 2 clone wear and that of the average stormtrooper.

It was only a matter of time, but it seems as though the reign of the clone army is at its end, and so begins the age of poor aim and general incapability of the Imperial stormtrooper.

Betrayal on Kamino

After some time away, "War-Mantle" brings viewers back to Kamino on a handful of occasions. First, we learn that on Vice Admiral Rampart's (Noshir Dalal) orders, all viable clones are to depart the planet immediately, much to the behest of Prime Minister Lama Su (Bob Bergen). Rampart also mentions to Crosshair (Baker) that the Kaminoans are to be dealt with accordingly once the time is right — a concerning comment for all on the planet who aren't Imperials or clones themselves.

Later in the episode, we see that Lama Su's instructions for Nala Se (Gwendoline Yeo) to prepare for a Kaminoan evacuation have been thwarted by the Empire. Rampart catches wind of his escape plan and puts a stop to it, returning Nala Se to the Prime Minister's quarters. There, they are told by Rampart what to expect next, and while Nala Se lands a position within the Empire's medical ranks, Lama Su's fate is far less pleasant. Behind closed doors, a couple of Imperial troopers either execute him or place him in custody, thus preventing his attempted escape.

As anticipated, the Kaminoans get the short end of the stick once the Empire rises to power. By the time of the Galactic Civil War, they've grown incredibly sparse, and it should come as no surprise that the authoritarian regime plays a hand in their scarcity.

An unexpected reunion

In typical Bad Batch fashion, their attempted rescue of Gregor doesn't go off without a hitch. Thanks to an accidental technical error from Tech, the Empire is alerted of their presence in the facility and mobilizes troops to take them out. This leads to the gang having to escape through an exhaust tunnel and await the safety of Wrecker (Baker), Omega, and the Havoc Marauder on the other end. However, this plan takes a nosedive in short order.

With several enemy soldiers firing at their backs, Tech, Echo, and Gregor manage to board their shuttle without issue. Sadly, thanks to the timely intervention of Imperial V-wings, Hunter is unable to make the jump and falls a considerable distance down the mountainside. As his friends attempt to fight off Imperial forces in the air, he orders them to retreat without him — an order Omega strongly disagrees with but can't deny. Clone Force 99 leaves their leader behind and he is thrown in a holding cell, now a prisoner of the Empire.

In the closing moments of "War-Mantle," Crosshair pays Hunter a visit in his confinement and the two stare each other down. Whether or not they'll end up killing one another or end up fighting for the same side once again remains to be seen. Either way, if this cliffhanger was of any indication, the final two episodes of "The Bad Batch" Season 1 will be more than worth watching.