As we wait for Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 3 and the story’s thrilling conclusion, I want to talk about this tale’s Campbellian and Jungian archetypes. Specifically, I want to discuss the character archetypes for Wrecker, Hunter, Tech, and Crosshair.
If you’d like to watch this in video form, you can watch below:
Now first a little background:
The Bad Batch, Joseph Campbell, and Carl Jung
Many of you may already know this, but George Lucas was a huge fan of Joseph Campbell, who’s the man that gave us that famous graphic, The Hero’s Journey, which has in turned spawned many other Journey diagrams popular among essayists and of course, writers.
I recently talked about Omega’s possible story trajectory for The Bad Batch season 3 based on the Heroine’s Journey, and I’ll link to that here:
Now how does this relate to the Bad Batch?
In one of my very first articles on The Bad Batch season 1, I talked about the Snow White motifs present in the first few episodes.
Two of the most famous Jungian archetypes that Star Wars regularly employs is the concept of the Shadow, which is the “dark side” version of ourselves, and the Animus/Anima.
What do we mean by Shadow? For a good example, remember Luke Skywalker seeing himself in the cave on Dagobah wearing the helmet of his father, Darth Vader? Vader represents Luke’s archetypal Shadow that he fears becoming, while also representing the archetype of the Father. It is the negative aspects of ourselves, that in fiction must be integrated within oneself. In Star Wars, the Dark Side cannot simply be avoided, but must be recognized, understood, and integrated without succumbing to it.
For The Bad Batch’s Omega, Emerie Karr will likely represent that Shadow in season 3, and she certainly was shown in a similar position to Darth Vader in Empire Strikes Back.
The Animus and Anima
But our main focus today is on that other popular archetype: the Animus/Anima. Now this is a bit of an oversimplification, but in fairytales, space operas, etc., heroes typically have an Anima (if they are male), or Animus (if they are female).
These archetypes represent the different sides of themselves that is traditionally associated with “masculine” and “feminine”, and in a story the protagonist must integrate those aspects of their anima/animus into themselves as part of their maturation.
The Bad Batch Anima and Animus archetypes
Carl Jung said a long time ago, that in Snow White stories, the multitude of dwarves or Knights or brothers that the heroine finds and lives with represent her fractured animus. The early episodes of Bad Batch echo the common fairytale motif of the basic Snow White tale. I suspect that later episodes with more reflect the “Birds changed into Brothers” fairytale motif, in which the heroine has a more active role in rescuing her brothers.
Some fairytales, such as The 12 Wild Ducks, combine both motifs of Snow White with its heroine living with a strange assortment of brothers in the woods, with the tale of a heroine that must rescue her brothers from a curse. This latter story, it the most likely motif that the Bad Batch Season 3 will take.
For Omega, the Clone Force 99 represents aspects of her Animus, and her relationships to her brothers help her to mature and develop as a character. For her brothers, Omega is the Anima, the feminine side of themselves, that animates them to act heroically. Leaving home from the Kaminoan world of Creation, with her strange Mother Nala Se, she plunges into her adventure with the brothers that represent the parts of herself she must learn from.
It’s important to note that Jung believed that the anima and animus archetype goes through four stages representing an individual’s relationship to their idea of men and women, and how that perception shapes them as they grow.
Clone Force 99 starts out as Wrecker, Hunter, Tech, and Crosshair, but the group later add Echo to their members. And since Echo is a later addition to the band, I don’t think he’s a part of this fractured animus in quite the same way as the other original brothers that Omega saw growing in the tubes. This doesn’t mean he’s not important, just that he represents at times a mix of the other brothers, or someone else entirely.
The four original members of the original Bad Batch neatly line up with the four stages of animus development for the heroine.
Wrecker, Hunter, Tech, and Crosshair: the Four Stages of Animus
1.Wrecker is the Muscle Man
The first stage of the animus is called the “Muscle Man”. This is the idea of men as physical, powerful beings, how a child views the first men in her life. Characters such as Tarzan embody this role, and it’s exactly who Wrecker is to Omega. He’s the brawn of the group, but he’s also the most childlike, and bonds with Omega readily and instantly. Because again, this is the first stage of the animus for the young heroine, and Wrecker is a positive Muscle Man influence for her.2.
2.Hunter is the Hunter (Man of Action)
The second state of the animus is called the “Man of Action”. He is also called the Byronic poet, and the Hunter. Yes, that’s right. Hunter. Hunter has the most obvious name!. He’s the stage of development that represents the capacity for planning and action, he’s not just brawny guy being brawny, he’s an active leader, and someone for Omega to see as a role model for leadership.
3. Tech is the Professor
The third stage of the animus is called the “Professor”, and yeah, it’s Tech. This stage of development is about the animus as the “Man of Word”, and about knowledge. It’s men as instructors, a source of knowledge. In the second season of the Bad Batch, Omega is older, and we seen that she has been learning non-stop from Tech about everything. He’s the positive role model of education and learning, and growing through that education.
4. Crosshair is the Psychopomp
Now the final and fourth stage of the animus is called the “Psychopomp”. If you’re unfamiliar with that word, it’s the archetype of the figure that transports people from the world of the living to the world of the dead. It’s really about spirituality and learning about the relationship to inner subconscious.
The psychopomp is the spiritual guide to and from the Underworld. For Omega, this is the last brother for her to learn from. If you notice in season 2 episode the Outpost, Crosshair goes through a journey of the soul and ends up at the lowest point in his life, killing Nolan. His break from the Empire is a form of spiritual death that will lead to rebirth. Throughout the episode, an ice vulture is shown flying over him, again and again.
In many mythologies of the world, the vulture is a psychopomp, that transfers the dead to ascendance into the spiritual realm.. Brad Rau, director and writer for the Bad Batch has said that the ice vulture represents Crosshair. This means that Crosshair is now a psychopomp, and the final role model for Omega to learn from.
The Bad Batch Season 3 and Beyond
How will this play into season 3 of the Bad Batch? For Omega, her 4 animus figures have represented different lessons, and aspects of her growth as a girl and Campbellian Heroine.
All Jungian archetypes can have dark and positive aspects. For Omega, her animus figures and stages have been positive. Wrecker represents safety, and using one’s strength for good.
Through Hunter, Omega learns to take action and be a leader, to take charge and think of others. Through Tech, now possibly gone, she has her lessons of navigation, ship flying, the value of continuing to learn.
Through Crosshair, Omega will learn how to go through despair, learn who she truly is as an individual, and rise to ascendance.
As I’ve stated in a previous blog on Omega, her relationship to Crosshair will likely be a part of the Heroine’s Journey, the step of healing the wounded masculine. She will heal the ice vulture destined to fly and transcend, and herself transcend.
If you saw the trailer for the Bad Batch season 3, you’ll know Asajj Ventress is in it. I HIGHLY recommend reading Dark Disciple, which you can get here.