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The Bad Batch Is Completely Changing How We See the Empire

Why did the Rebels beat the Empire? Because they used to be Imperials.

Lucasfilm

One of the funniest bits in A New Hope wasn’t entirely written by George Lucas. When Han Solo tries to fake his way through a check-in from Imperial security, he famously concludes the call by blasting the intercom and saying, “Boring conversation anyway.” According to 1997’s Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays by Laurent Bouzereau, this dialogue was punched up by Lucas’ friends Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, a husband and wife writing team who provided more than one iconic Star Wars moment.

Han and Luke’s ad-hoc plan to rescue Princess Leia set a canonical precedent: the Empire has horrible security, and it’s much easier than it should be to sneak into top-secret facilities. Decades later, with The Bad Batch, the franchise is explaining why the Empire has such a tough time being competent. Spoilers ahead for The Bad Batch Season 3, Episode 13, “Into the Breach.”

In order to obtain the unknown hyperspace coordinates for Tantiss, the Batch team up with their old enemy, Admiral Rampart. The disgraced prisoner just has to act like he’s a big-shot Imperial officer in order to get everyone aboard Station 003 in orbit of Coruscant.

The episode may not have intended to make a double meaning of its title, but here, the notion of a “breach” seems twofold. The Batch and Rampart are really getting into the mud, but the entire episode also represents a massive, ongoing security breach that’s existed within the Empire since the very beginning.

What does Rampart have in common with Han Solo? More than you might think!

Lucasfilm

As in A New Hope, Admiral Rampart, Hunter, Crosshair, and Wrecker make things up as they go along. They have a bit of help because Rampart used to work for the Empire, but so did Han Solo. The Empire, it seems, is incredibly bad at tracking people who understand the Empire’s systems, but no longer work for them. And this episode makes it clear that, even at the very beginning of the Empire’s reign — about 18 years before A New Hope — the cracks were already showing.

Han Solo was a second-generation flunked-out Imperial pilot turned deserter who later used his experience to stick it to the man in A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. But what’s interesting about Rampart sticking it to his former bosses in The Bad Batch is that the Empire is barely a year old. Even from the very beginning, the Empire had disgruntled workers who were more than happy to throw a wrench into the machinery, and could do so simply because they knew a thing or two about Imperial procedures.

In A New Hope, General Tagge tells Admiral Motti that the Rebellion is “more dangerous than you realize.” But it seems the Rebellion is only dangerous because the Empire can’t retain some of its best people. Han Solo and Admiral Rampart are very different people, but they’re both very talented at what they do. At least part of the reason the Empire collapsed is because its smartest people turned on it, willingly or not. And what did they remember about their service? That most of the Empire runs on very boring conversations that are easy to subvert — if you know what you’re doing.

The Bad Batch streams on Disney+.

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