Star Wars: The Bad Batch, now streaming on Disney+, is this wonderful hybrid of what we love about Star Wars. It’s got epic action sequences, thrilling adventures, and enduring characters that begin to peel back the layers of how the galaxy transitioned from the Republic to the reign of the Empire. And at the center of it all is the leader of the Bad Batch, Hunter. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Hunter such a unique hero in Star Wars.
One of the most important things about being a leader is how you communicate. Whether Hunter is negotiating with Echo to pretend he is a droid, convincing Wrecker not to smash something, or persuading Tech to re-prioritize a course of action, Hunter uses various methods of communication to get the job done. In every instance, Hunter understands that some methods of persuasion work better than others, which is why he changes his style in consideration of his audience. But it is never from a place of manipulation. Instead, it’s because of the deep respect he has for his team.
Omega has never been away from Kamino, but that all changes once she meets Clone Force 99. The galaxy can be a rough place, but it seems a lot easier to manage when you’ve got Hunter looking out for you. He has this uncanny ability to keep Omega safe, but also to let her explore and stretch her own wings. And when she makes a mistake, he never gets upset. Perhaps being a parent is an even more complicated profession than being a bounty hunter, but Hunter appears to be a natural.
Hunter has many natural abilities and gifts that make him stand out, but his humility is a true testament to what kind of character he has. He has eliminated droid armies, fought alongside legendary Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, and can take down enemies all by himself (more on that later), but he lets his actions do the talking. At the end of the day, Hunter wants to complete the mission and will take initiative to make sure that happens, but he also knows it’s not about him. He does not boast or brag and has no compulsion to do so. It’s a personality trait that sets him apart.
Fighter and Adventurer Extraordinaire
While the above is certainly true, let’s be clear about one thing: Hunter is as tough as they come! In a fight with blasters, knives, or a good old-fashioned fistfight, Hunter is a formidable opponent. He has an array of combat skills and techniques to go with agility and toughness. Plus, he’s daring. If you need proof, check out Star Wars: The Clone Wars final season episode, “The Bad Batch,” where Hunter leaps onto a cable attached to a flying keeradak, high above the surface of the planet. It’s an Indiana Jones-style move, and Hunter makes it look easy.
Each member of Clone Force 99 has unique abilities different from any other clone. Hunter’s genetic makeup gives him extraordinarily keen senses that provide an edge when tracking down his targets — be it friend or foe. This ability is perfect for his namesake.
Yes, Hunter is the leader of the Bad Batch, but one of the reasons he’s able to maintain his place among his brothers is because he is loyal to them. He encourages them to use their gifts and talents but also makes sure they stick together like a family. He also refuses to give up on them or doubt them. Even when Crosshair can’t avoid the trappings of his inhibitor chip, he still laments having to leave his comrade behind. As long as Crosshair is a threat to anyone who opposes the Empire, he’s not safe to be around, but Hunter’s compassion for his prodigal friend remains.
Dan Zehr is the host and brand director of Coffee With Kenobi, a podcast that examines the mythology of Star Wars from a place of intelligence and humor. He is the co-author of The Star Wars Book, along with Pablo Hidalgo and Cole Horton, and is also a high school English teacher with an MS in Teaching and Learning.
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