Hard-Won Forgiveness in Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Joylanda Jamison

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for all three seasons of Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

How should we react when the people we should be able to trust turn out to be the very ones who leave us wounded? How do you rebuild a connection with a person who has severed your relationship? These are the same questions facing Omega and the rest of Clone Force 99 in Season 3 of the animated Star Wars show The Bad Batch, now streaming on Disney Plus.

The Bad Batch takes place after the events of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and focuses on a group of clones called Clone Force 99. Seasons 1 and 2 found Clone Force 99—led by Hunter and consisting of other members Wrecker, Tech, Echo, and Crosshair (all are voiced by Dee Bradley Baker)—trying to adjust to life under Imperial rule. They all wrestle with their duties as soldiers and what they see as injustices committed by the Galactic Empire.

In the midst of deciding where they fit into the Empire’s post-war plans, they cross paths with another clone, Omega (Michelle Ang), while on the planet Kamino. Omega has spent the bulk of her life as a research assistant to the Kaminoans and soon realizes she is in danger of becoming a test subject herself. When she and most of the others in Clone Force 99 decide to go rogue, Crosshair stays committed to the mantra that “good soldiers follow orders.” He is tasked with hunting down Omega and his former squad. Even though Crosshair eventually decides to let them escape, he still remains loyal to Imperial rule until he experiences firsthand how poorly clones are treated. Crosshair is eventually imprisoned for his insubordination and for speaking out against the Empire.

Season 3 of the animated series picks up shortly after Omega has been recaptured by the Empire. While both she and Crosshair manage to escape and reunite with the rest of their squad, they spend the rest of the season trying to unravel why the Empire’s chief scientist, Hemlock (Jimmi Simpson), is interested in Omega for his unethical scientific experiments. They also must work through the tensions of allowing Crosshair back onto their team. Despite Crosshair’s previous involvement with the Empire, Omega in particular chooses to walk in the love described in 1 Corinthians 13:7: a love that “. . . always trusts, always hopes . . .”

Omega chooses to walk in the love described in 1 Corinthians 13:7: a love that “. . . always trusts, always hopes . . .”

Omega exemplifies this unwavering trust and hope in the first episode, “Confined,” when she continues to secretly visit the imprisoned Crosshair, giving him updates on the happenings of the facility and a possible means of escape. Worn down by Hemlock’s painful experiments, Crosshair does not share in Omega’s optimism. An exasperated Crosshair retorts from inside his cell that Omega “trusts too easily” in thinking that Emerie (Keisha Castle-Hughes), Hemlock’s trusted scientist and fellow clone, will aid in their plans. Omega’s quick retort is that Crosshair does not trust enough.

While Omega does not excuse the betrayals enacted by Crosshair, she further embodies the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians as she “keeps no record of wrongs.” She holds him accountable for his mistakes while also reminding him that his life doesn’t have to be defined by the ways his actions have wounded her and the rest of their team. Paul’s words encourage us to avoid rehashing the past faults of those who are genuinely trying to walk out repentance. His words speak of holding onto hope that their hearts will turn towards reconciliation instead of alienation. This is something Omega embodies in her interactions with Crosshair.

Although Crosshair is being given the hope of redemption through Omega, he still has to seek forgiveness with the rest of Clone Force 99. Understandably, his reunion with his previous squadron at the end of the fourth episode, “A Different Approach,” is tense. As Crosshair exits the ship to approach Hunter and Wrecker, the scene pans out to a wide angle to show the literal and emotional distance between Crosshair and the others. The scene suggests a process of reconciliation happening instead of their conflict being resolved within a singular moment.

In episode five, “The Return,” Omega tries to further this process of reconciliation by showing how her love for Crosshair is “not self-seeking,” to quote 1 Corinthians again. She is not trying to gain anything personally by showing him forgiveness, but truly has Crosshair’s best interests in mind. In particular, she encourages Crosshair to stop avoiding any uncomfortable conversations he needs to have with Hunter. The two soon have that opportunity while on an intel-gathering mission at a remote outpost. While Hunter expresses his frustrations and mistrust towards Crosshair, Crosshair himself holds hurts as well. He criticizes Hunter for not being more proactive when Crosshair tries to warn them that Omega is in immediate danger. At this moment, Hunter could have chosen to become defensive and try to deflect Crosshair’s accusations, but he instead leans into a love that “is not proud.” He pauses long enough to see the truth in Crosshair’s words and recognize his own shortcomings.

Through Crosshair's slow and steady redemption arc, the final season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch offers a powerful but sobering portrait of the reality of loving people in a broken world. Paul’s exhortation on love comes at the end of his message concerning spiritual gifts and everyone’s unique place in the body of Christ. He notes that everyone has the ability to walk in love towards others; love is not gifted to a select few, but to all. And while we all have different experiences throughout our lives that may challenge our ability to love, we can take heart in 1 Corinthians 13:6: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

Omega never denied the fact that Crosshair betrayed his squad. But she instead held to the truth of knowing that love “always perseveres” and that the good within Crosshair would eventually overthrow the darkness. We likewise can rejoice in the truth of knowing that our past hurts can be redeemed and that God can give us the supernatural ability to love others as God loves us.


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Topics: TV