Let’s take a look at why the first episode of the Bad Batch worked.
This week saw the premiere of the Bad Batch. The show, on Disney+, follows the exploits of Clone Force 99, the “Bad Batch”. It takes place at the end of the Clone Wars and the start of the Empire, and is more or less a direct follow up to the Clone Wars. The first episode, Aftermath, was a real doozy, so let’s talk about the things a loved, and one thing I didn’t like, in this episode.
Loved- Another Side of Order 66
The episode starts out with a fun action scene and then almost at once transitions into the tragic events of Order 66. I’ll be honest, I’ll likely never get tired of seeing parts of Order 66. This isn’t because I hate the Jedi or anything, it’s just that this is one of, if not the, defining events of the Star Wars setting, and took place on a vast scale. What’s more, I like that the Bad Batch gave us a new angle. We’ve gotten the Jedi, pov, one of terror and betrayal. We’ve also gotten the normal Clone pov, one of either mindless compliance, or outright horror at what they’re being forced to do. The Bad Batch gave us a few new ones ranging from confusion to a sort of indifference. The Bad Batch Clones reacted a lot more like I would expect normal people too. They aren’t in danger and didn’t know what was happening, and were just to figure out what side to be on.
Kanan Jarrus, known as Caleb Dume at the time, was a Jedi Padawan during Order 66. We’d known this since Rebels, but the Bad Batch brought Caleb into its opening section. It was really cool to see Kanan again, and see him as a brash young Jedi. It also helped give another personal connection to the events of Order 66. I liked checking in with him and seeing him in action.
Loved-Saw Guarrea’s Rebels
The Bad Batch brought in a lot of familiar faces. This isn’t always a good thing, but overall I think the show handled it well. One of the welcome faces we saw was good old Saw Guarrea. I liked Saw’s inclusion because it did a number of things. I enjoyed that Saw, a freedom fighter who had supported the Republic all during the Clone Wars, took a look at the Empire on day 1 and was like, “screw that”. It’s also interesting to get a look at how fragile the early Empire might have been. We’ve kind of got this view where it takes 15+ years for any real resistance to form against Palpatine, but now we can see how people fought back early on. It was also a great way to give the Bad Batch a wake up call and show how much things, and alliances are changing.
Loved- Politics and Budgets
Speaking of shifting alliances I really enjoyed the stuff with the Kaminoans who’ve suddenly gone from indispensable to the Republic, to being on the outs with the Empire. You can see a lot of maneuvering as someone like Tarkin tries to consolidate more power. At the same time the Kaminoans are desperate to appease the Empire and keep their favored spot, but also aren’t above playing a double game. I don’t think it is going to end well for them.
Didn’t Love – The Test Fight
Towards the middle of the episode, the Bad Batch are engaged in a long test fight vs some droids to show off how good they are to Tarkin. This sequence was really the only part of the episode that didn’t work for me. It went on for quite some time, and didn’t really teach us anything. Sure it showed that the Bad Batch are badasses, but we already knew that, we’ve seen them in action before. Yes, it showed that Tarkin doesn’t like the clones and is ruthless, but again we knew that already. Even though live ammo was used, it was still Clones vs some random drones and there weren’t really any stakes. In an otherwise amazing episode this was a bit of a misstep.
Omega is a new character introduced in the episode. She, like 4/5th’s of the Bad Batch is a modified clone. I assume she is also a Clone of Jango Fett, though it’s not specifically said, and it’s possible this could be a major twist (what if she is a Palpatine clone???) Star Wars, especially the animated stuff, has a history of introducing child characters. Often they start out kind of annoying and grow on you, much like children in real life. However I think they did a good job with Omega and she brings a very different outlook. I liked everything we saw of her so far, and loved the look of joy she had as they blasted off into hyperspace. She is a great addition to what promises to be a great show.
Let us know what you thought about the Bad Batch Aftermath, down in the comments!