The “Star Wars” galaxy is expanding rapidly and now the focus is on “The Bad Batch.” The electrifying new Disney+ series following the elite group of disfigured and modified clone troopers in the aftermath of Order 66 has hit the streaming service with its first two episodes. Fans love this new adventure in a familiar time and many are curious about what is to come next, as well as how this will all tie into the franchise’s future plans.
These new characters have emerged into the universe with a loud bang, and this is just one of the many seeds Disney is planting for upcoming stories. With a slate of Disney+ series already announced, “The Bad Batch” serves as a part of the foundation for what is to come. Fans were disappointed with the ending of “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” animated series, but “The Bad Batch” has spoken to that withdrawal. With a duo of beloved episodes, it is off to a great start and as always, fans have emerged with an onslaught of commentary.
Fans of “The Clone Wars” will recognize The Bad Batch squad from the first four-episode arc in the final season of the series. In those episodes, Echo became a part of the team as they frequently exhibited their badassery alongside Anakin Skywalker and Captain Rex. Many wondered what happened to this group when Order 66 was broadcasted, which ordered the clone troopers to kill their Jedi generals; to the relief of “Star Wars” fans, this series endeavors to answer these dire questions.
The first episode felt as if it was a movie — a twisting tale about how The Bad Batch reacted to the final events of “The Clone Wars” and how the Republic begins to transform into the Empire. The extended length of the episode gave fans reasons to love each of The Bad Batch members: Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Echo, Crosshair and the frisky new character of Omega.
Hunter seems to be the moral compass and leader of the squad. Wrecker is a doofus brute with a heart of gold. Tech is a wildly brilliant expert in all things electronic. Echo is a long-time fan-favorite character that has returned from the depths of Separatist slavery and mind control to help the team. Crosshair is a rugged veteran with a special skill for sniping droids, and it is revealed that the inhibitor chip that made the other clones kill the Jedi is still working in his brain. The final addition to the group is the one and only female clone and a new introduction to the “Star Wars” universe: Omega.
The second installment of the series laid out the groundwork for the relationships between the characters. It became clear that Omega will be a focal point of the storyline as she and Hunter develop a very father-daughter-like relationship. Her growth is the focus of these episodes, explored as they visit the estranged clone trooper Cut Lawquane for advice and wisdom about what all of the betrayals meant. As they learn about each other in this peculiar situation, they also learn about their purpose in the galaxy and all of the mischievous things erupting beneath the surface. While their former brother Crosshair remains in pursuit, they have much to discover and much to fight.
Some of the highlights from the series so far include the masterful animation and cinematography, the creative and compelling characters, as well as the time period it explores. The long stretch of time between the prequel trilogy and original “Star Wars” trilogy has been left a mystery before “The Bad Batch” and, as a result, it has been the source of much speculation. How exactly did the Republic transform into the Empire? How were the clone troopers phased out of the army? What happened to the troopers who weren’t susceptible to Order 66?
These first two episodes have delved into these questions and have subsequently added even more lore to the galaxy from a long time ago in a place far, far away. There have been countless gems of information dropped about the inhibitor chips, how it impacts the clones, and the Empire’s true plans behind it all. The detail of the scenery surrounding this time period is being articulated through content like “The Bad Batch” and the series will continue to discover the mysticism and secrets within it all.
Animated series are often overlooked as children’s shows, but this one is taking itself a bit more seriously. As it takes place in the heart of one of the most beloved stories in modern history, fans can expect many more emphatic twists and turns to come. Fennec Shand and Captain Rex are confirmed to be a part of this season, and I would be willing to bet that several other beloved characters will be making an appearance.
This series could perhaps explore the young days of bounty hunters like Boba Fett or Jedi on the run like Ahsoka Tano. Darth Maul was also running around somewhere wreaking havoc at this time while the stories of other clone troopers escaping the wrath of the Empire are bound to come up. There are unlimited places and planets for this series to travel to, and it shows no fear of touching on all of them. The Bad Batch is now on the search for Captain Rex in the middle of a galactic revolution, and who knows what monsters or Sith Lords lie in their way.
“The Bad Batch” has also opened the door to a whole new realm of questions. What exactly is the deal with their inhibitor chips? Why is Omega special? What is the future of Clone Force 99? The theories have begun to unravel across the internet but like always, there is only one way to find out. The series will be debuting new episodes every Friday and with a 16-episode season, there is plenty of time to see all sorts of different characters and stories. “Star Wars” continues to express itself with precise creativity and explosive storytelling, and “The Bad Batch” seems to be an incredible example of this dynamic storytelling as well as the abounding possibilities for the future of the franchise.