It has been one year since Star Wars: The Clone Wars came to an end and those you who miss it will hopefully be pleased with the results of its new spin-off series, Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch begins at the birth of the new Galactic Empire, and a genetically altered troupe of clones, Clone Force 99, otherwise known as The Bad Batch, are none too pleased with the way things seem to be heading. With Order 66 underway, the clones have begun to question where their loyalties are. Is it with the Jedi whom they’ve fought alongside for years, or is it with the new Empire? You’ll have to watch and see because that’s all I’m going to say about the plot.
Admittedly, I’ve not watched the entirety of The Clone Wars, so I’m somewhat unfamiliar with The Bad Batch (who were introduced in the final season), but if you’re wondering whether you’ll have to catch up with all 133 episodes of The Clone Wars then rest assured that isn’t the case. The writers have done a great job of continuing this era of the Star Wars canon and the legacy of The Clone Wars without alienating newcomers.
For newcomers, the animation style may be a bit jarring since it’s very cubist, and the characters sometimes move as if they’re marionettes, much like Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, but trust any fan when they say you’ll get used to it. When you compare it to the animation of The Clone Wars series, it’s more in the style of the seventh season with better CGI effects and characters that move in a more fluid and natural-looking way which helps make the fight scenes look fantastic – even if the Clone Troopers are seemingly allergic to actually shooting anything on target. But that’s just Star Wars tradition at this point anyway.
The biggest amount of praise I have to give goes to Dee Bradley Baker and Dave Filoni (the latter I’ll speak about in a bit). Baker reprises his role of literally every single speaking clone (including every member of the titular group), and he’s just fantastic doing it. Baker’s ability to make each member of the Bad Batch sound the same yet distinctly different is on a whole other level. But praise doesn’t stop at Baker because the series has many talented individuals, particularly Stephen Stanton, who is reprising his role as Grand Moff Tarkin. Stanton continues to perform an exceptional imitation of the late great British actor, Peter Cushing, who originated the role in Star Wars (1977).
Despite it being very early, I feel like it’s safe to say that creator Dave Filoni has yet another hit on his hands. After acting as supervising director for The Clone Wars and Rebels and executive producing the fan-favourite, The Mandalorian. Filoni’s involvement only continues to prove that having a huge Star Wars fan working behind the scenes, helping carve, and creating these projects is beneficial for both LucasFilm and its fans.
Much like its animated predecessors, Star Wars: The Bad Batch isn’t just a show for kids, but one for everyone. It has enough humour and even a new character, Omega, for kids to relate to, but it also packs enough punches to engage older viewers and a plotline that fans will hopefully be keen to learn more about.
Since Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett is still quite a while away, no new movies until 2023 (Star Wars: Rogue Squadron) and the third season of The Mandalorian not hitting our screens until next year, Star Wars: The Bad Batch will certainly fill that insatiable need we all have for more Star Wars content.
The first episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch debuts on Disney+ on May 4th with a 70-minute special. The second episode will debut on May 7th, with all following episodes launching weekly.
Are you excited for The Bad Batch? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below!