After a long wait Star Wars is finally back on our screens ! A bit less than 5 months after the end The Mandalorian S2, we’ve been finally able to watch Lucasfilm’s new animated show, Star Wars: The Bad Batch. The direct ascendant of the highly appreciated show The Clone Wars was expected by Star Wars fans. Was it good, was it bad, was it better than Clone Wars ? Well let’s talk about it.
A quick resume of the show
Star Wars: The Bad Batch takes us on a galactic adventure with a special unit of the Republic’s Clone Army, the Clone Force 99 known as the Bad Batch. Introduced a few years ago in the last seasons of The Clone Wars, the Clone Force 99 is a group of 4 (later 5 as modified clone soldier “Echo” joined them) clone soldiers who received drastic genetical modifications that turned them into better soldiers but more importantly unique clones. The leader Hunter is a combat expert, highly skilled when it comes to fighting or sneeking into enemies’ positions. Then we got Wrecker, a heavy soldier, dumb sometimes, expert in… smashing everything. Tech who’s a… tech genius (thanks Captain Obvious) and Crosshair a sniper who can’t shot everything from short or long distance. Regarding personalities : Hunter is a leader, Wrecker is a fun guy, Tech is pragmatic and Crosshair is kinda mysterious and introvert.
The events of the show takes place right after the Order 66 and the fall of the Republic as the Empire is taking over the galaxy, directly following the final events of The Clone Wars season 7 and The Revenge of the Sith (2005). In this reshaped galaxy, the Bad Batch will struggle to find its place in this new world ad they refuse to serve the Empire. Starting from that, they’ll host and protect a new member : Omega, a young girl (also a clone) created by the Kaminoans. With her onboard, the team will go through an adventure in order to protect Omega, hide from the Empire and discover the hidden secrets about Clone Force 99 and Omega’s creation.
Good but… disappointing…
I’m a huge Star Wars fan and animated shows like Clone Wars, Rebels and now Bad Batch are sincerely one my favourite contents in the Star Wars universe but I gotta say that despite the quality of the show, The Bad Batch was kind of a disappointment. There is nothing to say about the technical aspect of the show as the visuals and animation techniques already proved their quality in The Clone Wars (and were even improved in The Bad Batch). Besides the visual performance, the show has some good elements : the relation between the squad and Omega is great, Omega herself is probably the best element of this show, the “duality” between Crosshair (who left the squad because he wanted to fight for the empire) and Hunter is seriously interesting and it brings a new vision of clones free will in the Star Wars universe. However, these are all the qualities to the show. It’s not a bad show, not at all, but for the moment season 1 is just a Clone Wars sequel with the same qualities and defaults. No real huge event teased at the end of the last episode, and most of episodes are what I would call “side quests episodes”. The squad is going through various adventures but none of these of adventures are really useful for the main story. It’s a kind of similar to what happened in The Mandalorian but these side quests episode were well managed in The Mandalorian and they were useful and a role to play in the main story. In The Bad Batch they don’t and that’s the problem. From episode 3 to 15 the show is just a run of side quests with one simple role : fill the show while the main story is progressing slowly. Again, similar to what happened often during the 7 seasons of The Clone Wars. But the absence of Jedis, Sith, the force and all the huge drama we had in Clone Wars season 7 makes Bad Batch a simple clone of The Clone Wars. Despite a bunch of elements that had a great potential like the rise of the empire, specific characters like Fennec Shang or Cad Bane, Rex’s exile or even some Kaminoans secrets, the show mostly stay grounded to basic stuff, which is clearly the main source of disappointment. Of course it’s only the first season of what will be a long show with a bunch of seasons, of course it’s getting all the inspiration from The Clone Wars, but still, it could have been better ! The show clearly had all the weapons to provide something great right away with the first season !
So what’s my final word about The Bad Batch ? It’s a cool show, definitely got the same vibe as Clone Wars but it’s been a slow and clearly disappointing start for the show. However, the elements presented during the first and last episodes clearly showed the potential for the next seasons.
Is it “just like Clone Wars” as I said in the title ? Yes definitely but in a way we had to expect the show to be so similar to Clone Wars for a bunch of reasons. It’s not the start we expected, it’s a mixed feelings reaction but it’s still worth to watch it as the show also has some undeniable qualities. A quiet first season for sure, but a future that will be interesting, I’m curious to see what the show will provide us in season 2 !