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Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 15 Ending Explained

When "Star Wars: The Bad Batch" kicked off in May of 2021, it wasn't totally clear what the first season would give us. How would Clone Force 99 fit into the Imperial vision of the galaxy? When will clones be replaced by stormtroopers? What will happen to Kamino and its citizens? Questions like these dominated the "Star Wars" fandom, and, for the most part, they've been fully answered. However, that's not to say that the final few installments didn't give everyone plenty more to ponder ahead of the recently announced Season 2.

Episode 14 of "The Bad Batch," titled "War-Mantle," had a lot to say and a lot to reveal in a mere 28 minutes. We learned what became of clone commando Gregor (Dee Bradley Baker) pre-"Star Wars Rebels," witnessed a major step in the replacement of clone troopers with Imperial TK troopers, and tragically had to process the titular team leaving their leader, Hunter, behind to be captured by the Empire. Suffice to say, that made its successor, "Return to Kamino," quite the eventful and tense affair that didn't hold back when it came to providing a cliffhanger ending.

Here's what "Return to Kamino" had in store and what led to its conclusion.

The rescue begins

In typical "Bad Batch" fashion, even the penultimate episode of this season had to give us a good old-fashioned rescue mission. As noted previously, Hunter (Baker) was surrounded and imprisoned on Daro by the Empire during "War-Mantle." He and Crosshair (Baker) don't stay there for long, however, and they travel to a nearly deserted Kamino in hopes of drawing the rest of Clone Force 99 to them for whatever nefarious reason Hunter's captors had in mind. To do this, Crosshair uses Hunter's comlink to alert the squad of his current location.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Bad Batch has returned to Ord Mantell, dropped off Gregor with a very disgruntled Cid (Rhea Perlman), and gone to work immediately on repairing the Havoc Marauder. Everyone is understandably frantic to get their brother back, but perhaps none more so than Omega (Michelle Ang), who has spent all season trying to be as helpful and selfless as she can be. Thankfully, it doesn't take Echo (Baker) and Tech (Baker) long to get the ship in flyable condition, but Omega's fears are about to get much worse.

They soon find out that Hunter is on Kamino, the one planet where he promised Omega she'd never have to return. Nevertheless, it's their only option, and so they make their way to their old home one last time.

Just like old times

It doesn't take the Bad Batch long to reach Kamino, but it's clear that something isn't quite right about the planet. Once inside Nala Se's (Gwendoline Yeo) secret research lab, they discover that all of Tipoca City's personnel have evacuated, and the main data files have been wiped from the computers. Despite this, they press on covertly into the main cloning facility via underwater tunnels and eventually track Hunter's signal to their old training area. Certain it's one of Crosshair's traps, Echo, Tech, and Wrecker (Baker) enter through the floor, only to be greeted by their old teammate and his Imperial underlings.

While her brothers deal with Crosshair, Omega is tasked with laying low until they returned or if things went South and she had to contact Rex (Baker). Given her naturally helpful nature, she cooks up a plan to activate a bunch of old training droids as a diversion, giving her squadmates a chance to evade certain doom. This is a great idea in theory, but it quickly becomes clear that she powers on too many droids on and almost gets everyone killed in the process. However, it did give Crosshair a chance to fight alongside his old squad one more timen.

Seeing the full team of Hunter, Tech, Crosshair, Wrecker, and Echo standing shoulder-to-shoulder against a common enemy for the first time in ages was a nostalgic sight. If only it was an enduring image.

Bitter free will

Throughout Crosshair's time holding Hunter hostage, it's driven home even further that he'd changed for the worse during his time as an Imperial agent. He's dismissive of his former team, talks down about Omega and Hunter's ability to take care of her, and refuses to see that the new regime is in the wrong. He even attempts to recruit the Bad Batch to his cause, promising to ship Omega off somewhere safe and ensure they'd be used as effective enforcers for the Empire. Of course, this is all just his inhibitor chip talking, right?

As we learn toward the end of "Return to Kamino," not only is Crosshair chip-free — having gotten it removed some time ago — but he's not being influenced by an outside party of any kind. He kills multiple elite squad troopers without a second thought upon them rejecting his orders, proving he's not so blindly loyal to all Imperial forces. He explains that when his brothers left him behind on Kamino, it was devastating and proved to him beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Empire was all he had. Even still, he wants to use his free will not to kill them, but to bring them into the fold.

Shortly after hearing this news, Hunter stuns Crosshair and takes him with them during their escape from Tipoca City. One can only hope he'll be able to rehabilitate his long lost brother –  if they make it off Kamino in one piece.

Caught in the crossfire

As the incredibly hostile family reunion of Clone Force 99 takes place on Kamino's surface, Vice Admiral Rampart (Noshir Dalal) stands on the bridge of an Imperial Venator-class star destroyer — though not as seen in the original trilogy quite yet — overlooking the planet. He's alerted of Crosshair's deception and decides that his fate shall be the same of the cloning program. He confers with Grand Moff Tarkin (Stephen Stanton), who gives him the order to fire his Venator's cannons upon Tipoca City now that everyone the Empire desired is out of harm's way.

Moments before Rampart gives the order for his forces to open fire, we're greeted with a handful of harrowing shots of the old cloning facility. The mess hall, cloning pods, and more sit still and quiet, two descriptors that never applied during the clone war and just beyond. Its destruction at the hands of the Empire is almost depressing, considering that this once great stronghold of the Galactic Republic's backbone is now reduced to debris. More importantly, our heroes are still present on the rapidly deteriorating platforms, with their fate uncertain as the credits rolled.

"Return to Kamino" was advertised as part one of a two-part finale, and with a conclusion like that, next week can't come soon enough.