By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
The Bad Batch finished its first season run, and I’m still wondering when and if Hera Syndulla and Kanan Jarrus will meet. Technically, part of the runaway Jedi’s journey was covered in the comic book series published by Marvel Comics and written by Greg Weisman. I doubt the two-parter with Hera can be left just like that, with her and us knowing she’ll become a resistance fighter. As for getting cameos from past fond favourites, like Ashoka, I feel that’s not the direction Dave Filoni is aiming for.
What this season represents is in how various civilizations are not pleased at the fact The Republic has fallen and the Empire is taking over. Democracy has fallen.
The Bad Batch–Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, and Echo–are only a handful who’s fighting back. At first, they thought they’d be able to keep their head low, but all the jobs they’ve taken on mid-season are putting them on the radar. Crosshairs is their fifth member who’s having an identity crisis of sorts and although he’s all Empire, I’m hoping he can be saved if the finale is any sign.
The first six episodes were a long setup. Eventually, they are mercenaries under the employ of Cid, an information merchant. As part of the underground Criminal Empire, the episode “Rampage” revealed she’s part of Jabba the Hutt’s network. For someone who loves money and hates the Empire, she isn’t interested in the price on Omega’s head. Not only has this young girl impressed the crusty trader but also she’s proven herself valuable to the team.
By episode nine, “Bounty Lost,” we learn her survival is vital to the Kaminoans. They want her back so she can be spliced and diced to help create more clones. As the Empire is hiring anyone who wants a regular paycheck to become soldiers. After all the “Bad Blood” suggested in the early episodes, the animosity between clone and regular soldier is a subplot that is revisited by the season’s end. The episode “War-Mantle” sets up what’s still to come.
I’d love to see how The Empire can tear itself apart because of differing ideologies in how to maintain the troops. At some point, the Emperor will interfere and take the cloning technology to levels to insure his survival. I feel that’s where this series will go. In season two. He’ll eventually be part of the story. This overlord knows the Sith way. Eventually his disciple Darth Vader will turn on him and he’ll die too.
However, in Episode 10 (“Common Ground”) I can’t help but wonder if Admiral Thrawn may figure into the series. A member of his species, the Chiss, is seen going up against Omega. I doubt Thrawn would willingly allow any bit of himself to get copied, but others might be open! At this point in the narrative, he’d be in military school. The chronology reveals the events before A New Hope and Return of the Jedi.
Although the wait will be long for the next season, I’m finding this series is essential watching for any Star Wars fans. It’s a better bridge between the prequel Fall of the Jedi trilogy and Age of Rebellion (Episodes IV to VI). A lot of material can be skipped, namely Solo, but it‘s safe to say an encounter with a middle-aged Ben Kenobi will no doubt happen. I’m sad Rex isn’t as involved. He may have more of a role as the series progresses. As for the other return appearances, I don’t expect this series to show how Hera and Kanen meet. But the Civil War on Mandalore may well play a key role. The time-line is correct to show the prestigious House Vizsla at its height of power. We may even see a young Sabine Wren. As for whether separate adventures are in store, including having the Bad Batch witness Lasan destroyed, and Zeb make that obligatory appearance, some conveniences need to be written out.
The series should stick to the story of how free will plays into running an Empire. The clones will obey because it’s in their programming, but raw recruits can be more of an issue should they say screw this, I’m going home. The Kaminoan scientist Nala Se looks like the last of her race and holder in the secrets of cloning. Although those wars are over with, a new cold war is slated to begin. Whoever “owns” Omega is the key to this galaxy’s future.
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