Review | Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Episode 1: Aftermath)
The Bad Batch is finally here. But can the narrative survive turning the page on The Clone Wars? Max thinks it has potential!
The Bad Batch is finally here! I’ve waited for months and months for this show, and it was a talisman in my chest allowing me to push forward. Ever since they were first introduced as unfinished animatic episodes back in 2013 or 14, I said that they should get their own show. Clone Force 99 is the cornerstone of badassitude, and this series started with a huge bang. However, it does sacrifice continuity for the story.
While incredibly awesome, the events of the Kanan comic miniseries from 2015 have been shifted, well severely. I am curious to see the Story Group’s explanation for this, but I am starting to learn that sometimes you need to bend the rules of continuity to produce great new content. That’s what this was.
At a whopping 70 minutes long; this episode shows where we left off with The Bad Batch. Echo has joined full time and it starts with the final battles of the Clone Wars, Order 66, and then the beginning of the new Empire. Tarkin is the big boss man and he has come to Kamino because he does not feel that the Empire should use clones anymore. It is cheaper to just get regular recruits, and he is setting the grounds for the rise of incompetent non-Clone Stormtroopers. His mistake.
CLONE FORCE 99
Anyway, the members of 99 are genetically modified, and it is unclear throughout the episode if it was intentional or accidental. Tech, the voice of reason for the team seems to think they were engineered with special traits on purpose, while the Kaminoans imply that they are mutations. I would REALLY like this to be cleared up in the future. Tech is as smart as Wrecker is dumb and it’s fun to see their personalities clash when in the heat of battle or just hanging in the mess hall.
Crosshair is the only one of them who seems to have his inhibitor chip working. And he views Hunter (the leader)’s unwillingness to follow orders, as a sign that he is not loyal to the Empire. Why does Crosshair have less of a pull towards his comrades and more towards the clone conditioning? It’s very intriguing.
The newest main character is a young girl named Omega who is basically a stan of Clone Force 99 and wants to be their friend and help them. At first, Hunter wants her to beat it; but soon grows to care for her as she does for them, and finds a bond with her as she is also a mutated clone. Yes, it isn’t spoken about, but apparently, she was a Jango Fett clone that came out as the female gender. And this raises many questions about the cloning process. Are there more female clones among the millions created on Kamino? Yet, another mystery.
What I liked about this episode was the constant action and the team utilizing their special skills to survive. There isn’t a dull moment and we see a lot of progress in just one episode. Yet it doesn’t feel rushed at all. Saw Gerrara makes an appearance. And Lucasfilm did a nice transition stage for him in between his youthful Onderon rebel appearance and his later middle-aged appearance. Saw started fighting the Empire from literally the very beginning of the Empire and is truly the galaxy’s first rebel.
My favorite character is Tech, because his role is the analytical one, despite Hunter being the true leader. From Galactic time zones to encrypted comm messages; Tech has an answer for everything. Wrecker is humorously annoying because he’s kind of a bonehead, but I was very satisfied to see him use his strength to put the regs in place. The regs are the slang term 99 has given non-modified clones and there is some interesting hostility between these groups. It’s like the regs are the jocks and the Clone Force 99 are the “nerds”; better but not the status quo.
My only complaint about the series so far is how they messed up canon. A certain Rebels fan-favorite storyline has been altered dramatically, but as I try to tell myself; you have to make sacrifices. Let’s just hope the retcon is sound. Omega has a British accent which struck me as unusual since none of the other clones do. And even though I love British accents; Omega was kinda like the kids from Mary Poppins and somewhat annoying. Yet, I do admit she has a lot of spunk and her innocent caring for the Clone Force 99 is very refreshing. I think this series has potential and can’t wait to see where The Bad Batch goes next!
The Bad Batch is streaming exclusively on Disney Plus NOW!
Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!