Warning - This article contains spoilers for the latest two episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Lucasfilm Animation's latest animated series on Disney+, has provided Star Wars fans a perspective of the post-war galaxy in the early days of the Galactic Empire from the perspective of a unique group of clones — Clone Force 99.
Following the loss of Bad Batch member Crosshair to the Order 66 inhibitor chip and gaining new member Omega early on in the season, The Bad Batch so far has largely focused on character-building mercenary missions and exploration into Omega's identity.
However, that all changed with Episode 11 titled "Devil's Deal" and then Episode 12 "Rescue on Ryloth," as both episodes detoured the series to tell the origin story of a character from another Star Wars animated series — Star Wars Rebels.
HERA SYNDULLA'S FIRST STEP INTO A LARGER WORLD
From 2014 through 2018, Star Wars Rebels was set in the years leading up to A New Hope. The series followed Twi'lek pilot Hera Syndulla, former Jedi Padawan Kanan Jarrus, Lasat fighter Garazeb Orellios, and young Ezra Bridger in their missions against the Empire.
Hera was often the brains of the crew's operations by utilizing her expert piloting skills and her ship, the Ghost, to impede the Empire's plans. She was also the daughter of Ryloth freedom fighter Cham Syndulla who lost his wife, Hera's mother, in a fight against the Empire.
In "Devil's Deal," fans familiar with Hera's story saw her as a child on Ryloth at the start of her home planet's Imperial occupation and her first time in the pilot's seat. However, the latest episode "Rescue on Ryloth" showed young Hera truly coming into her own as a leader, pilot, and tactician.
With her parents framed for the death of a Ryloth Senator and in Imperial custody, Hera calls on her new friend and Bad Batch member Omega for help. However, Hunter fears a rescue attempt is a suicide mission, leading Omega and Hera to convince him with strategy as opposed to emotion.
Having spied on the new Imperial refinery on Ryloth, Hera formulates a plan to create a diversion there while her parents are rescued, which Clone Force 99 agrees to execute. Although, things don't go according to plan, resulting in Hera and Omega stealing a shuttle with Hera at the controls.
Hera's parents do escape safely thanks to not only Clone Force 99 but also Clone Captain Howzer, resulting in a reunited family, a successful mission, and young Rebel Hera's first step into a larger world.
MORE HERA SYNDULLA & REBELS CAMEOS TO COME?
While some Star Wars fans expected a Hera Syndulla cameo in The Bad Batch, perhaps no one expected two episodes focused on her and her family.
Considering the effort and time Lucasfilm put into her role in these two episodes, it's possible that the studio is laying the groundwork for even more Hera Syndulla in its future projects.
Whether that proves to be the case or not, it's been a welcome surprise for fans of Star Wars Rebels with "Rescue on Ryloth" in particular truly serving as her origin story. After all, after learning the power of strategy and persuasion from Omega, Hera flew a ship all on her own for a mission she planned and bested the Empire.
While Hunter may have been the first to tell the young Rebel "I guess we'll follow your lead," he and Clone Force 99 sure won't be the last.