Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

Home Top Ad

Post Top Ad

Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Review

Alexander Wallace gets in with a bad batch.
I’d imagine that somewhere in Burbank, Disney executives are very happy with how they can still make so much money from a movie made in 1977, as even after the end of the sequel trilogy, Disney has shown it will keep milking Star Wars for all it’s worth. Now, I shall discuss the first full Star Wars animated show that the company has released since The Rise of Skywalker: The Bad Batch.

When I was watching Rebels with a friend of mine, he saw all the Clone Wars references and loudly proclaimed “It’s not the Clone Wars anymore, Filoni!” How much you will enjoy The Bad Batch will depend heavily on how much you enjoyed the previous Dave Filoni-led Star Wars animated shows. If you liked them, this is more of the same. If you didn’t, there isn’t much that’ll persuade you otherwise. It leans more so towards Clone Wars than Rebels in that it’s a darker take on the mythos where the crushing oppression of circumstance is on full display.

I have to imagine that Dee Bradley Baker is very happy with the truckload of money that Disney doubtlessly must have parked at his door. He voices almost every clone on the show, including all the protagonists, and given that this show revolves around the clones with no Jedi to take attention away, Baker talks to himself a lot. It is fortunate that he is so good at his job; he can carry so much emotion in so few words.
This show really reminds me of the unnamed clone narrator of the 2005 Battlefront II game, which incidentally is one of my favorite games of all time. The four clones who lead this ensemble are, like the narrator, tired and jaded with the coming of the Empire, and all in their own way channel the shell-shocked Vietnam veteran. It’s a stark reminder of how being trained to be a soldier turns a person into something else, and being trained since birth, nay, being designed for that purpose heightens the effect. Now, with a new government and a new astropolitical environment, these soldiers desert and have to find their way in a strange new galaxy.

This show exploits the fertile ground that is those nineteen years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope; there is a reason why Disney has released so much material set in that time period. As mercenaries, the Bad Batch sees a civilization undergoing a seismic shift from a vantage point that allows them access to the people who are most brutalized to it. This becomes clearest when they visit a planet and meet characters beloved from Clone Wars and Rebels in a duology of episodes that seem at first mere pandering but actually do a lot to immerse you in the crushing, foreboding atmosphere that the death of democracy naturally implies.
Some words ought to be dedicated to Omega, voiced by Michelle Ang (for those, like me, confused by her accent - Ang is from New Zealand). She has the role provided by Ezra in Rebels, Ahsoka in the earlier seasons of Clone Wars, and perhaps Grogu from The Mandalorian. Her character is not the most original for the franchise, but she has quite the charm that turned my initial skepticism to delight as I got to know her. She also has certain things lurking in her character that make her quite compelling.

The Bad Batch does something that Star Wars hasn’t done much before. It’s a series that has its focus on warfare in the name, but few entries in the franchise look at the reconstruction after a war. As the Empire is rebuilding the galaxy in the embers of the Clone Wars, some misfit soldiers have to rebuild themselves. It’s a compelling idea, and one that makes The Bad Batch worth the watch.

Alexander Wallace is an alternate historian, reader, and writer who moderates the Alternate History Online group on Facebook and the Alternate Timelines Forum on Proboards. He writes regularly for the Sea Lion Press blog and for NeverWas magazine, and also appears regularly on the Alternate History Show with Ben Kearns. He is a member of several alternate history fora under the name 'SpanishSpy.'

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad