Max sinks his teeth into the triumphant return of The Clone Wars in Season 7.1 – “The Bad Batch”
The Bad Batch has arrived!
The Bad Batch arc was first released, unfinished on StarWars.com a few years back and even though the animation was still in the “sketch” phase; I found it to be one of the best arcs in the entire shoe’s history! Seeing it in its finished form is a very satisfying feeling and it gives me an excuse to watch it again.
The episode name refers to the Bad Batch or Clone Force 99, with each of the team members being clones with “desirable” mutations. Hunter, the team leader has advanced senses. Tech is super smart and techy. Wrecker has superhuman strength (also a touch of nuttiness) and Crosshair is an expert marksman. We are introduced to them quickly and it’s probably the closest Star Wars will ever get to an Avengers.
Commander Cody and Captain Rex call (or comm) this team because they are losing badly on Anaxes, as it appears, the Separatists seem to anticipate the Republic’s every move. The Bad Batch was known for its 100% success rate so that’s good; but if that’s the case, why on Coruscant have they not been utilized early in the war? The Bad Batch, despite being competent, unfortunately also has a bit of an attitude problem when dealing with un-altered clones and they refer to them as “regs”. Crosshair and Wrecker are particularly arrogant, while Hunter and Tech are much less expressive. The dynamic is interesting, and several times, the clones remind each other that they are on the same side.
Their first mission is strictly reconnaissance and we see just how effective these guys are. They use creative, unorthodox battle tactics and work well as a team. I really want to see more of these guys, and I can’t wait for the rest of the episodes. The animation is Clone Wars classic, evoking feels of nostalgia, as the last TV series animation (while still awesome), was much different. There is even a throwback to A New Hope that WASN’T annoying; two B-1 battle droids have a conversation that mirrors two stormtroopers on the Death Star. Normally, I’m not a fan of recycled dialogue, but as I said; it isn’t annoying. In fact, it’s strangely refreshing.
The episode shows Mace Windu and Anakin at the beginning of the episode before the clones go off on the mission, and I can’t help but notice how morose Mace is. The war must be getting to him. Anakin doesn’t really do anything and it’s really a clone-centric episode without any Jedi Generals leading them into the battle. That must be a testament to Clone Force 99’s talents. Die-hard fans of The Clone Wars will recognize the tribute done for Clone 99, a malformed clone who gave his life on Kamino. The force is named in honor of him it seems. Clone 99 was also mutated, but sadly, his mutations were not desirable.
The Separatist leader pulling the strings is that creepy spider-guy, Admiral Trench. He clicks his mouth whenever he talks and as a huge arachnophobe; I don’t think I could ever live too close to a Harch, without passing out. At the end of this episode, a shocking discovery is made and you simply CANNOT miss the next episode. It’s great to have TCW back and this episode, while just a set-up for the main story; gets a 91% out of 100.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is streaming now exclusively on Disney+
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Max Nocerino is a new addition to the Future of the Force roster. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter @MaxN2100 where he channels his passion frequently!