Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 5 Has a Big Return of the Jedi Connection

The galaxy isn't ready for Muchi, the newest character on Star Wars: The Bad Batch.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 5
Photo: Lucasfilm

This Star Wars: The Bad Batch article contains spoilers.

The Bad Batch are in more trouble than ever after running into ace bounty hunter Fennec Shand in “Cornered.” Although they manage to escape with their lives, and with Omega still safe and sound, Hunter and his team of clone mutants know that the bounty hunter (and new Imperial super-agent Crosshair) won’t give up that easy.

In “Rampage,” a plan is hatched to get more info on the mysterious bounty hunter (they don’t know it’s Fennec from The Mandalorian yet) as well as the person who hired her to kidnap Omega. But informant Cid (Rhea Perlman) won’t give them the information they need until they do something for her: rescue an asset named “Muchi” from a group of cruel Zygerrian slavers, a mission that leads to the episode’s excellent twist.

The Batch spend most of the episode trying to rescue a young Falleen boy from the slavers, only to discover that he isn’t Muchi at all. The real Muchi is an adolescent rancor who belongs to none other than crime lord Jabba the Hutt. We learn that Cid has been hired to get Muchi back by Bib Fortuna, Jabba’s right hand Twi’lek.

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In an action-packed third act battle sequence, Omega frees Muchi from her cage, and the already-massive teen rancor absolutely wrecks the Zygerrian thugs and takes down their pet Brezak during a mini-kaiju fight. The rancor actually saves the day for a change!

The episode ends with Muchi’s safe return to Bib, who lovingly pets the “little” rancor that is now happily back under Jabba’s auspices. The Hutt’s infamous criminal organization is known for its cruelty and greed but these crooks sure are nice to rancors.

If this episode set off Return of the Jedi alarms in your head, it’s for good reason: Muchi and her backstory will likely remind viewers of the Original Trilogy’s own rancor, who went head to head with Luke Skywalker and lost big time. You might have even made the mistake of thinking that Muchi was said Return of the Jedi rancor, the Twi’lek and Gamorrean-eating monster destined to die below Jabba’s Palace. But Muchi is a completely different rancor.

The rancor in Return of the Jedi is named Pateesa, who is actually male. But since that movie takes place in 4 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), does this mean Muchi, who we’re meeting about 23 years before Episode VI, will eventually grow up to be Pateesa’s mom? No. According to the Ultimate Star Wars reference book (via Wookieepedia), Bib gave Pateesa to Jabba as a birthday present “before or during 32 BBY,” more than a decade before the events of The Bad Batch. That means that Pateesa is either older than Muchi at this point, or at least the same age as the female rancor, who is described as an adolescent in the episode.

So if Muchi isn’t the rancor in Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi, where did Bib and his Gamorrean guards take her at the end of the episode? We don’t know at the moment, but it stands to reason that Jabba probably enjoys keeping several of these “pets” around. You never know when someone might need to be disposed of…

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With Muchi the rancor, Bib Fortuna, Gamorreans, and a brief mention of Jabba, “Rampage” becomes quite a nostalgic celebration for Return of the Jedi fans. And The Empire Strikes Back lovers are treated to a fun callback, too: Ord Mantell, the planet on which the episode is set, was briefly mentioned in the movie as the place where Han ran into one of Jabba’s bounty hunters before the start of the film. Neat!

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