The latest Star Wars animated series, “The Bad Batch”, arrives today on Star Wars Day (May The Fourth!) and the series follows the elite and experimental clones group known as the Bad Batch. These characters were first introduced in the seventh season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”. These clones aren’t standard, resulting in each of the characters have a unique look and skill. Making them much more interesting and provides more internal conflict than you’d find in your usual clone troopers. You have the usual archetype characters, the leader, the brute, the brains and the tech guy, which together make a solid squad. They all bounce off one another but come together when needed, like brothers.
The first episode is feature-length, coming in at around 70 minutes long, and this gives us, the viewer, much more time to get introduced properly to the characters and setting up the whole series. Had this episode been broken up into 2 or 3 episodes, it might not have had the impact it needed to hook viewers into the new series.
It starts off right at the point of the end of the “Clone Wars”, with the Emperors “Order 66” being issued and the Bad Batch having to come to terms with the change over to the Galatic Empire and finding out where they fit in. One of the things I liked about this episode, was that they took their time in having the Bad Batch come to the realisation that the Empire wasn’t for them. It wasn’t a single action, and they flipped sides. They tried to conform and fit in with the Empire. But it just didn’t sit right with them, since they aren’t traditional clone troopers who do what they are told. It’s very well established in this episode, that this team do it their way, and it gets results, but it can get them into trouble.
I really liked how this episode explored the transition between the Republic and the Empire. It’s not a simple switch over and requires some changes. Bringing in Tarkin as the shows the main villain is a great way of connecting the series with the original trilogy and setting him up as a top villain.
This is a misfit group of troopers, and it’ll be interesting to see the characters develop. I feel the episode did a good enough job in establishing Hunter, Wrecker and Crosshair. However, Echo and Tech are kinda left on the backburner.
One character I really wasn’t feeling was Omega, who just feels a little shoehorned into the series and feels unnecessary. I know these Star Wars animated series are aimed at a younger audience, but Omega just feels out of place and hopefully won’t become too annoying. I also found Crosshair’s storyline to be way too predictable, you could see him turning a mile off, and while they used the machine to give him a boost in compliance, it felt unnecessary. I was hoping the tone was going to be aimed at an older audience, but how both Omega and Crosshair were introduced and handled, has set the tone for this series, as it felt a little too much like the audience was spoonfed these plot points rather than letting the audience work it out themselves.
“Star Wars: The Bad Batch” looks like it’s going to be a fun series that continues to bridge the gap between the events of the prequel and classic trilogies, while also leaning in on the events of “Rogue One”. The tone was a little younger than I was hoping for, but was to be expected. I really enjoyed the first episode and am looking forward to seeing where this show goes. It’ll be fun having some new Star Wars characters to become invested in over the coming months. There is no doubt going to be many little easter eggs and cameos to keep us adults entertained, while also hopefully grabbing a whole new younger audience.
Rating 4 out of 5.