This Star Wars: The Bad Batch article contains spoilers.
After weeks of being on the run, after making contact with Rex and having their bio-chips removed, the Bad Batch are finally able to head back to their “base” on Ord Mantell. But the respite doesn’t last very long in “Common Ground.” In fact, it’s only minutes after their arrival that they’re off again, on a new mission for Cid (Rhea Perlman), this time to save a former Separatist senator from the Empire.
To say that their new job makes the clone troopers of the Bad Batch uncomfortable is an understatement. Their rescue mission on Raxus, the former capital of the Separatist systems, is new territory for these soldiers. Mere months ago, their goal was to take down the Separatists in the name of the Republic, but their new lives as mercenaries now find them helping one of their key leaders, the Separatist senator Avi Singh.
But as the title of the episode suggests, the former Republic soldiers and the Separatists now have a common enemy: the Empire, which wastes no time seizing the Raxus capital by force when Senator Singh refuses to become their puppet. By the end of the episode, the Batch and Singh have formed a fragile alliance, a sign that things continue to change in the galaxy in the aftermath of the rise of the Empire — and they’re changing rapidly.
The ending leaves Senator Singh’s next move in question. Forced to flee Raxus and the people he swore to protect — you can tell the citizens adore him by the way they cheer him on at the start of the episode — will Singh hatch a plan to free the planet? And will that path lead him to become a member of the fledgling Rebellion already quietly taking root? Hopefully, the show will pick up these plot threads later.
But the fact that Singh is a Separatist isn’t the only notable thing about him. Longtime Star Trek fans also likely recognized the voice actor! Yes, that’s Alexander Siddig, best known for playing Dr. Julian Bashir on the TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.In case you don’t remember, Bashir is the chief medical officer of the titular space station, a friendly doctor who also happens to have a big secret that eventually comes out later in the series. Siddig’s portrayal of the multi-layered Bashir remains one of the highlights of the Star Trek universe to this day.
You should also turn your attention to Singh’s trusty protocol droid GS-8. The droid who puts the entire rescue plan together is voiced by none other than Sian Clifford, who plays Claire on the hit British dramedy series Fleabag. That means that both of the main Fleabag characters have now been in Star Wars projects. Series creator, writer, and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge previously played L3-37, a droid rights freedom fighter and Lando Calrissian’s companion in Solo: A Star Wars Story. I’d pay good money to see Waller-Bridge and Clifford reunite as Star Wars characters. Maybe in a future episode of The Bad Batch?
“Common Ground” also features the return of voice actor Shelby Young to Star Wars. Best known for voicing Princess Leia and Kneesa the Ewok in Forces of Destiny, Young brings her talents to The Bad Batch as the cruel Captain Bragg, who leads the Imperial occupation of Raxus in the episode. Young has also done voice work for the Galaxy of Heroes video game and The Mandalorian.
Liam O’Brien, who voiced characters on Rebels, and Sam Riegel, who did voicework for Jedi: Fallen Order, also appear as Cid patrons Bolo and Ketch respectively.