*Warning: the following review contains spoilers for episode six of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2*
Well, I’d like to apologize. We have another filler episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 on our hands after I thought they would surely pick up the pace by now. It is more interesting than the last episode since it has some compellingly shot action, but it does not move the needle in any meaningful way and feels like it’s just killing time before the midseason episodes premiere next week.
Some of it is cool. In this episode, Omega (Michelle Ang) rescues Gungi from the clutches of the Vanguard Axis and brings him back to his home in Kashyyyk. However, once there, they find the planet taken over by a group of Trandoshan mercenaries who work for the Empire to eliminate the Wookies. They don’t know that Gungi is a Jedi youngling and was likely captured during Order 66. He can use the Force and wield a lightsaber during battle.
As much as this is a complete filler episode and has nothing to do with the main story, the initial premise is interesting. What did happen to Kashyyyk and the Wookies after Order 66? That sounds like a great path to explore in a post-The Clone Wars world. Unfortunately, the episode doesn’t do much with its premise and prefers to team Gungi up with The Bad Batch for 28 minutes for some cool action without much substance. None of the more expository-driven scenes are as compelling to watch as the action, which is amazingly vibrant and kinetic.
And it is a shame that the exposition dump isn’t that great, but it also doesn’t help that the episode’s antagonists aren’t that interesting. They’re so forgettable that you won’t even remember the name of the main Trandoshan antagonist as soon as it’s over. Instead of exploring how the Empire relegates different clans to do their bidding and get rid of their detractors, the episode follows an awfully conventional storyline in which Gungi (and the rest of the Wookies) will team up to defeat the Trandoshans and reclaim Kashyyyk from the Empire. Of course, that’s what it was always going to be, and it’s fairly boring to watch, as vibrant as the action is.
I wonder how long they will keep veering away from the story in favor of Glup Shitto. The filler should expand the universe and the characters. So far, Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 has briefly expanded the universe and touched upon a few plotholes from Order 66, but it hasn’t expanded the character arcs. It’s apples and oranges, but look at how The Last of Us‘ third episode did filler.
Most of it was completely pointless in terms of the story since the crux of the episode is about Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank’s (Murray Bartlett) relationship over the years because it doesn’t have anything to do with the main plot. But it expands upon the characters and gives way more depth to the world of The Last of Us than the game has offered, and makes the reveal of their deaths filled with massive emotional resonance compared to if Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) came up to his house without the audience knowing what happened.
Again, apples and oranges. But that’s how you do filler. The characters grow, the world expands, and we learn more about the show. Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 is too preoccupied with looking for cameos that it forgets to properly do filler so that the main story becomes more interesting once it goes back to it. When The Last of Us returns to Joel and Ellie, it hits harder, doesn’t it? When Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 goes back to what episode 3 has established, it won’t be as effective because the showrunners didn’t take the time to build upon what was the most important.
The sixth episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 is now available to stream on Disney+.