Star Wars The Bad Batch Isn’t Without Its Rough Spots

7 May

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Gets All-New Poster

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Dave Filoni’s love for Star Wars makes this latest instalment, The Bad Batch, a must watch. One reason is simply because it’s a continuation of the ongoing narrative which started in the animated Clone Wars series, and another is how the psychological action-adventure drama sees the loss of freedom (and will of an individual) a permanent theme. It’s safe to say knowing the movies, Episodes 2 “Attack of the Clones” and 3 “Revenge of the Sith” will do more to establish the backdrop for anyone needing a refresher.

The first ten minutes of the pilot reveal when this tale takes place in that timeframe. One detail to take note on is that Caleb Dume, a.k.a. Kanan Jarrus of Star Wars Rebels is a Jedi in training who’s escaped death.

A hundred eighty rotations later, the team of Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, Crosshair finished their mission and are headed home to Kamino. They are still wondering what Order 66 is supposed to be about and whether that kid died “a long time ago.” When they land, the newly minted Empire is setting up shop. The passage of time is perplexing because, according to most resource guides, a cycle is often in reference to a day instead of an hour. Unless we’re dealing with a theory that there’s 42 hours in a cosmic day (aka rotation), not much time has really passed.

The team soon has Grand Moff Tarkin wanting to see how well they function. Their way of independent thinking is a result of their faulty programming. They are one of the first batches of clones created for the Republic’s War against a Phantom Menace, and since their introduction in The Clone Wars Season Seven, I’m enjoying this look at the war from a conscript’s perspective (even though they’ll eventually turn into mercenaries).

Crosshair is further brainwashed (actually his behaviour chip is altered) to believe in the Empire when the rest have their doubts. A young girl, Omega, takes a liking to this group. She’s a clone herself and because she’s considered a reject, has no friends. This girl becomes a side-kick when the Hunter’s team decide to abandon their post. They know the newly minted Galactic Empire is worse than them, and as for whether they’ll do anything about it remains to be seen.

It's a Dream Come True": Brad Rau's Road to Star Wars: The Bad Batch |  StarWars.com

The first episode has the feel of a Stephen J. Cannell / Glen A. Larson tele action adventure. The reason each character looks different is because they want to look different from one another and may have requested changes to alter their appearances. I suspect the series will be about this team thwarting every attempt the Emperor has planned to extend his reach. The trade wars are over and a civil war now begins. Now he can focus on taking away the freedom of many species. Even the loss of free will is mentioned and this focus is over emphasized. Some writing teams do a better job at transitioning the themes (and tech jargon) to layman’s terms, but with this episode, I was regularly bashing my head against the wall.

Long time fans know who the Padawan is, and I suspect we won’t get a fully chronological narrative as the series may skip many years so that Dume may return as Kanan from Rebels. A series like this can’t have previously known characters make one appearance and never return. In a later season, we might see this A-team hired to rescue this Ezra Bridger from wherever he went. That’s my hope, as early press releases have billed this chapter as a standalone product where this group of mercs can do anything as long as they set their minds to it!

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