‘The Bad Batch’ Episode 1 Review: Big Action, Bigger Character Moments
After the climactic and incredibly cinematic final season of The Clone Wars, Disney+ has returned with a fourth animated Star Wars show. The Bad Batch, created by Dave Filoni, acts as a sequel and direct continuation to The Clone Wars. Consisting of most of the same creative crew from that show, The Bad Batch continues to put on display qualities that made its predecessors work.
First introduced in the Season 7 premiere of Clone Wars, The Bad Batch is a clone force (99) that is defective/enhanced. Consisting of Hunter, Echo, Tech, Wrecker, and Crosshair, this special Commando unit contains many clones with special abilities. Now with an entire show dedicated to them, Filoni and crew seek to recapture the magic of Clone Wars. However, with a different timeline twist.
Whereas Clone Wars painted itself in the tragic light of the audience knowing how everything ends, Bad Batch takes a different approach. Moreover, the beginning foundations of the Empire is an era that Star Wars films or shows hardly explore. There are questions in regards to the clones existence and response to life after Jedi and the Clone Wars. The Bad Batch keeps the same high quality cinematic animation and cinematography of The Clone Wars. It’s a beautiful looking show that puts on display well-choreographed action, as well as smaller more personal character moments.
The Bad Batch provides a backdrop to answer these questions. Moreover, the sudden change in character for Clones due to their programming makes for an interesting story angle. This 70-minute premiere is a great re-introduction, seamlessly connecting itself to the events of The Clone Wars season finale. The story trope of going to a significant time period but in a different location doesn’t get old.
Clone Force 99 also get all the time they need to react to the events of Order 66. In the aftermath of the Clone Wars, the Bad Batch are looking to figure out what’s next for them. Constantly going from fight to fight, the sudden shift in the paradigm of power causes our fighters to pause. Seeing the Clones under new management is unsettling and exciting. Moreover, seeing how our protagonists will respond to the change of status quo.
Hunter, Echo, Wrecker, Tech, and Crosshair are all intriguing leads that help to dive into the psyche of Clones. There are different opinions on the end of the Clone Wars. So, being born and bred to fight you obviously have disarray among the clones. However, the Bad Batch hold their own in the midst of these changes.
Seeing our characters at a crossroads in their loyalty and beliefs was a highlight of the episode. On top of seeing Clone Force 99 work together as a unit of precise and maximized destruction, the smaller character moments between them are just as engaging. This hour-long premiere really sells you on the Bad Batch as a team. The core relationships between them feel authentic.
So, seeing them reach these crossroads and not necessarily see the changing in times the same way as each other makes for great character drama. There is a real tragedy to the change in status quo for our characters. Moreover, watching a group of loyal soldiers who knew they were on the right side of a conflict realizing they’re now on the wrong one. That is probably the best part of this series premiere. After this exciting first episode, I’m looking forward to seeing how The Bad Batch will continue to not only show how they are a part of the larger Star Wars universe, but how these soldiers will evolve as characters and adapt to the changing of the galaxy for the worse. – Ernesto Valenzuela
The Bad Batch drops new episodes every Friday on Disney+