The Bad Batch

The Bad Batch Is Back and Better Than Ever

Dept. of Cloning Around


The Star Wars animations have always done a lot of heavy lifting. The Clone Wars retconned and reinvented the prequels in a way that actually made them better and more bearable. Rebels was a powerful look at what it was like to survive under the yoke of Imperial reign. Even Resistance played some part in salvaging the train wreck that was The Rise of Skywalker. (Not by much, mind you, but just enough to make it a series that’s worth watching.) Where their live action offerings have often been a mixed bag, the animated shows, over the course of hundreds of episodes, have introduced some of the franchise’s best and most memorable characters, pulled off some tremendous worldbuilding, and put forth concepts and plots that have had long-reaching implications for the universe. These cartoons have quickly become some of the most essential pieces of Star Wars media. And The Bad Batch is no different.

We were furnished with 14 episodes for the purposes of this review and can happily report that this second outing with The Bad Batch is brasher, brisker, and even better than the last.

Four Men and a Little Lady

Every episode of The Bad Batch still centers around a mission, with Hunter, Wrecker, Echo, Tech, and Omega doing odd jobs in order to eke out a living, all while avoiding capture by Imperial forces. But despite its formulaic nature, none of it feels repetitive or boring. Every one of these episodes – anchored in plenty of action, drama, and heart – are both incredibly emotional and immensely fun. The numerous side quests – from treasure hunts, to Indiana Jones-esque tomb raiding, to pod racing silliness, also serve a bigger purpose in shaping a maturing Omega’s world view.

Which brings me to the biggest change in The Bad Batch. While Hunter was ostensibly the protagonist of Season 1, Season 2 shifts its focus to the impressionable young Omega who is fast growing up and becoming an indispensable member of the squad. There’s a Lone Wolf and Cub sensibility at play here (only Omega has four fathers instead of just one) with the lot of them constantly learning from each other, growing their understanding of love, and loyalty, and friendship. Star Wars shenanigans aside (and there are a lot of great Star Wars shenanigans in this series), the found family dynamic of this group of outcast underdogs remain the emotional core of this series. It’s great storytelling that will satisfy grown-up fans while giving younger viewers a lot to sink their teeth into.

The Baddest of the Batch

The Bad Batch

Now as much as I love Hunter, Wrecker, Echo, Tech, and Omega, there will always be a special place in my heart for the baddest of the batch: Crosshair.

Undoubtedly one of the most complex villains in the Star Wars universe, this second season does well to delve even deeper into his psyche, drawing into sharp focus his doubts about having to serve a heartless totalitarian regime, and forcing him to confront that age old Tuah/Jebat dilemma of being true to your King or faithful to your friends. There is a lot that I just can’t talk about (because spoilers), but I will say that there is a special tension that exists in the Crosshair-centric episodes that make them stand out as some of the finest written television out there.

Karma, Karma, Karma, Karma, Karma Kamino

The Bad Batch

The genius of The Bad Batch has always been its focus on character. From the very first episode, there has been a concerted effort in getting us invested in the lives of these six lost souls. They may be sci-fi clones in a galaxy far, far away, but their relationships are written with such care and consideration that we can’t help but relate to their plight.

There is a real complexity to their stories. Just take the forsaken friendship between Crosshair and the squad. The resulting sense of despair and disloyalty is felt by both sides for different reasons. Hunter and the team can’t grasp Crosshair’s decision to betray their friendship, while Crosshair feels let down by the squad choosing to abandon the very principles of good soldiering. How they continue to navigate that hurt remains a crucial arc in the series.

This depth of storytelling is everywhere. So much so that there is no unwarranted fan service here. Every cameo is meaty and works in service of the narrative. They drive the plot forward, change these characters in important ways, and even tie up old plot threads that were all but forgotten.

This isn’t just great Star Wars, it is great television. Full of nuanced performances (it continues to baffles me how Dee Bradley Baker manages to voice every clone, make them sound similar, while still giving each of them distinct personalities), great character development, magnificent worldbuilding, and beautiful animation, The Bad Batch is an indispensable addition to the canon.

You can watch The Bad Batch on Disney Plus and Disney Plus Hotstar.

Uma has been reviewing things for most of his life: movies, television shows, books, video games, his mum's cooking, Bahir's fashion sense. He is a firm believer that the answer to most questions can be found within the cinematic canon. In fact, most of what he knows about life he learned from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He still hasn't forgiven Christopher Nolan for the travesties that are Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises.

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