Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 1 Episodes 1 and 2 Spoiler Review

Even though the premise of The Bad Batch did not have me excited, knowing that Dave Filoni was the show creator had me looking forward to some more Star Wars content.  I really enjoyed season two of The Mandalorian, I still have not watched season 7 of The Clone Wars (I know), and I hated Star Wars Episode IX.  I am at a really weird place in my Star Wars fandom; even though I am excited about the new Disney Plus content, but I am still bitter about how the Skywalker saga ended.  The Mandalorian had a great cameo in the season two finale, though I am unsure if that cameo will negatively affect season three.  The Bad Batch will take place after order 66 was initiated, that area of Star Wars canon has not really been explored in the Disney era.  Star Wars fans should be excited to learn some more details about the time period between Episode III and Episode IV.  The first episode is titled Aftermath, and before I watched the episode, I assumed the title was about what happens to Clone Force 99 after the war is over.  I was sort of right, the episode is more about the immediate aftermath of Order 66, the opening scene of the episode blew me away.  We got to see Caleb Dume, if you don't know who Caleb Dume is, he becomes better known as the character Kanan Jarrus from Star Wars: Rebels.  We see Kanan as a padawan, he is with his master Depa Billaba and they are fighting the droid army.  I was not expecting to see Caleb Dume, but I am very happy we got to see him.  

Episode one was filled with great dialogue, action, and intrigue.  Aftermath was quite possibly the first three episodes of the series that were made into one gigantic premiere.  If you are a fan of The Clone Wars, or a fan of Star Wars then I think The Bad Batch is a must watch.  Episode one sets the premise, Clone Force 99 is not affected by the programming that was put into the other clones, so when order 66 is triggered the only member of Clone Force 99 affected was Crosshair.  The unaffected members of Clone Force 99 are not liking what is happening, Hunter the leader of Clone Force 99 is not a fan the new Empire.  Hunter let Caleb live, did not follow orders and kill the separatists, and he came back for Omega.  Hunter has shown a lot of compassion, while also proving to be a deadly combatant; I am wondering if his compassion will come back to haunt him at some point.  The introduction of the Omega character was another thing I did not expect.  Omega seems to have a connection to Clone Force 99, she like them is also an enhanced clone, but Omega is a child, and she has never left Kamino.  Even though Crosshair was a bit of a jerk in this episode, we feel bad that Tarkin experimented on him and he has turned against his brothers.  Though I do think Crosshair is being setup for a character arc where hopefully he is able to be saved by his brothers.  It is hard to not like all of the members of Clone Force 99, they all have unique skills, traits and personalities.  Wrecker might be my favourite member of the show, not only is he hilarious he is also so dangerous.  

Where episode one was full of action and plot, episode two was a slower paced episode that spent more time with the characters.  Episode two was titled Cut and Run, and it featured the Bad Batch (minus Crosshair) and Alpha head to visit an ally.  The ally is revealed to be Cut Lawquane, a former clone trooper who deserted and had a family.  Cut was a character who disappeared and has been living a life he was never meant to live.  Hunter was hoping Cut could help them, but in the end, Cut needed their help to get off the planet before the Empire discovered him.  Omega and Hunter are developing a father and daughter dynamic, Hunter tried to leave Omega with Cut and his family, but Omega did not want to leave Hunter and his team.  Cut and Run was not as good as episode one, but it was essential in developing the dynamic between Hunter and Omega.  Hunter needed to see that clones are capable of having a life that is all about war, he also needed some parenting tips.  Cut and Run also needed to further explore how the Empire is taking control of the galaxy, we see the galaxy is becoming much stricter with the Empire in control compared to the Republic.  


There has not been a lot of canon answers about the post-order 66 world, we know some of it from Rebels and Rogue One.  I think The Bad Batch will give fans a much clearer picture of what happened after Episode III, the clones who saved our Jedi's in Episode II are now the villains.  Clone Force 99 will be forced to battle fellow clones in order to keep themselves alive.  We know from the trailer that Rex will appear at some point, since I have not watched season seven of The Clone Wars yet, so I have no idea what to expect from Rex when he does appear.  In Star Wars (Episode IV), when Obi Wan Kenobi is talking to Luke about the fighting with his dad in the Clone Wars, I was always so curious about the Clone Wars.  In Episode II (Attack of the Clones) we got to see the beginning of the war, and in Episode III (Revenge of the Sith) we got to see the end of the war.  I always wanted more information about the Clone Wars, and The Clone Wars scratched that itch, but the animation (especially early on) took me out of it.  I like that an arc would take place over a few episodes and focus would switch between multiple characters.  The alternating focus gave us a broader view of the war, but sometimes the arcs were boring or the characters in focus were not ones I cared about.  The first episode of The Bad Batch instantly hooked me with what happened after Order 66.  I think The Bad Batch has so much potential, it can use Clone Force 99 as a means of exploring the galaxy and known characters in the period after the emergence of the Empire.

Aftermath was showed yet another side of Order 66, we saw Caleb watch as his former compatriots turned against his master.  The scene where Depa Billaba is fighting off the clones while imploring Caleb to run was incredibly well done.  The series seems poised to explore the idea of free will in terms of the clones.  Wrecker, when faced with the idea that he might be programmed showed how strongly he feels about that the idea of free will.  One thing to keep in mind is that all the clones are voiced by one man, Dee Bradley Baker.  Baker's voice work in Aftermath was phenomenal, he was able to give each of the clone's unique voice ticks and personality.  I am wondering if at some point will Clone Force 99 cross paths with Darth Vader or some Jedi who managed to escape the chaos of Order 66.  The lack of material released during this period will allow the show to have all the room it wants to explore the galaxy.  Cut and Run was a much slower paced episode, but it was a necessary episode to see what is happening now that the Empire has emerged.  Based on the first two episodes it is hard to tell what the series will be like week to week.  The first season will consist of 16 episodes and with a group like Clone Force 99 we can expect some great action and also some funny dialogue.  


The Bad Batch is more my type of show than The Clone Wars was, to me following Clone Force 99 is a much more interesting type of a show then one who changes focus so often.  I liked The Clone Wars, but I found myself bored by some of the episodes.  The Bad Batch will focus on the members of Clone Force 99 and will likely be more a traditional type of series.  The first two episodes set up a universe that is now completely different than the one that existed at the beginning of episode one.  The Bad Batch is an exciting new entry into Star Wars canon, between the mystery of Omega and the changing galaxy, I think we have a lot to look forward to.  I look forward to a more thoughtful exploration into how the clones feel about being controlled, I have a feeling Captain Rex's appearance will delve into this.  After order 66 the clones are being portrayed as crueler and meaner, we know that they will be retired and replaced with conscripted soldiers.  Tarkin's appearance was another nice surprise, in recent years Tarkin has become more of a main character in the Star Wars universe.  Tarkin will likely be the main villain of the series, he just appears to be so slimy.  Tarkin is perfect as a villain because he is so ambitious, and he is more of a politician than a fighter.  Tarkin will do whatever is necessary to move up and remain in a position of power, he has no allegiances or allies.  I liked the explanation for why the clones will be retired, it is cheaper.  I know some people have issues with that being the reason, but I really like it.  The Emperor won, he eliminated the Jedi order, and took control of the Republic; he no longer needs an expensive force.  The Emperor is in complete control of the galaxy now, and he is confident that with Vader by his side there is nobody left that poses a threat.

Whenever we encounter a new hero in Star Wars that existed after the Emperor came into power, we have to wonder how their story will end.  In Rogue One we met Jyn Erso, and by the end of the film we learned why he never heard of her before, she was dead.  I do not want to be a pessimist, but I am worried that Clone Force 99 will not have a happy ending coming their way.  I will be very happy to be proven wrong, but I can't shake the feeling that the end of their story will make me sad.  I also am cheering for Crosshair to be rescued and freed from the inhibitor chip in his head.  I liked his dynamic with the rest of the team, and I think he will be a big part of the first season.  Crosshair did not appear in episode two, but I expect to see him in episode three.  Crosshair will likely be used by Tarkin to hunt down his brothers, he will be tasked to bring them in dead or alive.  The members of Clone Force 99 that are on the run with Omega will likely be moving planet to planet, trying to stay one step ahead of the Empire.  

Let me know what you thought of episodes one and two of The Bad Batch and join me next week for my review of episode three. 

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