Season 2 of Star Wars The Bad Batch was very much an Empire Strikes Back ending…Omega is in the hands of the Empire (the extra creepy Empire because “science” is involved), the Batch are down a brother, Crosshair is recovering from his torture sessions, and oh yeah, a random “sister” of Omega’s got thrown in.
Also, both Dr. Royce Hemlock and Cid are walking around without a single blaster hole in them, a major oversight on everyone’s part.
For a season that started slow and appeared to have multiple “filler” episodes, the ending was a total rip-roaring gut punch of action, emotion, and high stakes. I don’t doubt that we will get Omega back (though I hope it doesn’t take a whole season to reunite our beloved clone family), and I think Crosshair is gonna make it.
But the biggest question I have hanging over my head right now is this: is Tech really dead? I have thoughts from both perspectives, read on and see which one you agree with.
Answer 1: yes
Tech was already an amusing character in Season 1, but in Season 2, he became a beloved character. His emotional growth was both stirring and delightful. In the season opener, we watched him grow in his perspective on formerly Separatists worlds–he learned to see them in a new way. He also proved what a tough cookie he is by kicking butt and saving the day while limping around on a broken femur and barely complaining about it. Intriguing.
Tech’s ability to think on his feet and think creatively caused him to utterly dominate the riot races. It was a wild and reckless side of him that was even more delightful because of his methodical and mathematical approach. Somehow even the simplest action or word spoken by Tech has a way of taking on new meaning or even humor.
Tech’s difficulty in conversing with Omega and understanding her heart’s need surrounding Echo’s temporary exit from the team made for one of my favorite episode interactions this season. His acknowledgment of the losses they have suffered, as well as the fact that they are not just a squad, but a family…well, that got me. It got me good.
One of my favorite actions in the entire season was when Omega fell down the mine shaft, and without hesitation, Tech dropped his pack and dove after her. I loved that so much. He didn’t know what would happen, he didn’t know if he could even help her or improve the situation, all he knew is he was going after her. Once in the water, Tech grabs hold of her and doesn’t let go, even if they drown they will drown together. That powerful visual spoke of a love that was so powerful and unquestionable, to see it come from him just really drove home what a remarkable individual he is.
Even the small momentof Tech noticing Omega’s laugh at Pabu, and his comment, “I have not heard her laugh like that in a very long time” was such a powerful detail. He knows what her laugh sounds like, and he can tell when there is a deeper joy in it. He’s paid attention in a way only someone who loves you can.
Crosshair was the logical choice for an expected casualty for the Bad Batch, but Tech was the one they set up for it, aside from Hunter or Omega–who occupy roles that really cannot be replaced or removed–Tech was going to give audiences the greatest emotional impact. They built him up, just to take us down, and I’m still smarting over it.
Answer 2: no
There is such a thing as a cheap fake–out death, and this should not be done regularly. Death is pretty intense, y’all, and should not be treated lightly. But I believe that it is okay to bring a character back whom everyone thought was dead–you just have to do it the right way.
Tech’s death was implied, but it was also never confirmed. All that piece of rat poop with legs named Dr. Royce Hemlock said is that he was only able to recover Tech’s goggles. So, he found the goggles. Or Tech’s fractured body. Or maybe he has Tech in a bacta tank somewhere on ice, and he intends to keep Tech around for nefarious purposes. After all, Tech isn’t just muscle and skill, his brain is breathtaking in its abilities…what crazed and dehumanized genetic scientist wouldn’t get excited about that? It’s also possible Tech is roaming around on the planet below, having come up with a way to not only survive the fall but also plan his escape to regroup with his family. Anything is possible.
Here’s another thing, Star Wars is pretty consistent about confirming a death. The body count for this galaxy far, far away is pretty high. We watch everyone from soldiers to beloved OG characters (NO, HAN, NO!!!) die right in front of us. The Clone Wars became an absolute bloodbath in the later seasons as the approach of the Sith’s triumph and Palpatine’s reign grew nearer. We watch Jedi after Jedi fall over and over again (because Star Wars is convinced we want to see Order 66 from every angle possible). The only character you are allowed to have any confidence in seeing survive in Andor is Cassian himself and that’s because you know he can’t die until Scarif (a mere few years later). You’ve got a limited amount of time with this guy, but at least you know he won’t kick the bucket on screen like the dozens of other characters that die with more or less ceremony. Star Wars: Rebels killed their beloved mentor Jedi, Kanan Jarrus/Caleb Dume several episodes before the series finale.
Star Wars is pretty okay with killing off characters and they have never apologized for it.
But what do all of these deaths have in common?
You always know for a fact that they are dead. You see it happen, whether it happens fast or slow, you can always know that they are dead.
(Ahem, and this is why we should have hired an escort to ensure that Palpatine fell ALL THE WAY down that shaft and died in the cold of space rather than having time to resurrect himself in the Sequel Trilogy. Shafts are clearly the wrong way to kill someone as has been shown in the failed deaths of Darth Maul, Sheev Palpatine, and Ben Solo.)
Echo–another Bad Batch member–appeared to have been killed in the classic Citadel episode series in Season 3 of The Clone Wars. But as we found out in Season 7 when we first met the Bad Batch, if you don’t see a death confirmed, then you may keep that death in question.
Tech disappeared into the mist. True, he was about to fall hundreds of feet with a rail car falling above him…but we know Tech. If anyone can figure out how to NOT DIE in the time it takes to fall that far, it’s Tech. After all, he does have the ability to “…think clearly in high-pressure situations.”
Whether it’s a clone, Jedi, smuggler, spy, or random background Rebel pilot, you always know when they are dead. And with the mention of Tech’s goggles, I find that an even greater implication is that Tech may indeed be alive. Will he be the same on the other side of all of this? I can’t say, but he may still be alive.
And you know what? I’m okay with that. Because they never explicitly showed me he was dead, and I’m okay with him being alive…he deserves it, and so do we.
It’s not like Star Wars has to prove it must be taken seriously by showing that they are willing to kill off a beloved character, that’s kind of a Star Wars MO. It would be a change to actually see a group all make it out together!
Franchises like Marvel have overplayed the death fakeout, but Star Wars? Actually no, they have not, especially where heroes are concerned. Villains in this universe seem to have amazing bounce back abilities, aren’t we due for a hero to get a second chance as well?
Answer 3: yes
Foreshadowing, ah, that subtle, frightening weapon that when put in the hands of a master storyteller can create such a gut punch it leaves you breathless and coughing.
And the truth is, this season was chock full of foreshadowing that Tech wasn’t going to make it.
His life was endangered more times than the other Bad Batchers. There were lines and phrases (lsubtle things) sprinkled throughout the episodes that would be meaningless on their own…but frightening in the light of impending death. Even the fact that it required a “precise shot” to separate the rail cars, something that we knew was Tech’s wheelhouse after he shot their way out of the ipsium mine.
Tech had the most notable character growth of anyone this season, does that mean his story is done? He died a noble death, saving his siblings with a calm focus and love that is so in line with who he is.
Tech is the one who prepared Omega to face hardships when they found themselves stranded on a hostile planet, would it not be poetic that Omega takes his lessons and uses them to survive a future without him? It hurts, but it was well-written, almost hidden in the “filler” episodes that we complained about.
Answer 4: no
Tech has made a big impact on the Star Wars fandom.
One of my favorite things that Tech has done is to show some of both the unique beauty and the challenges and hardships of individuals who are on the spectrum, as he exhibits many qualities of someone on the spectrum. More TV shows are seeking to include characters who think and see things differently, and they are finding incredible success with it (just google Matthew on The Chosen).
Everyone is different, and not everyone can relate to Tech, but he has become a fan-favorite for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s Tech’s humor, his brilliance, his unexpected moments, or his character growth, Tech is a gift. Is Star Wars really done with this remarkable character?
What do you think?
I think it would be nice for once to see a Star Wars family actually get to remain intact and survive all of the chaos. Not that they won’t face hard times, not that they won’t change or grow, but that they actually get to all make it through together.
Answers must be had…we must have a Season 3. There is no way around it, we must have a Season 3.
So, do you think Tech really dead?