*Warning: the following article contains spoilers for episodes seven and eight of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2*
Well, it was about damn time for Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 to pick up the pace. After two lethargic episodes, Disney+ releases its midseason finale at once, with The Clone Conspiracy directly feeding into Truth and Consequences. As such, it’s only natural for me to review them at once, instead of separately, because of the overarching arc it presents in two episodes. As a result, there’s quite a bit to unpack, and most of it is interesting to watch.
The most exciting aspect of the show is for the audience to find out how stormtroopers eventually replaced the clones. This is the only reason the show will ever justify its existence. The Bad Batch finally delivers on its promise by ending its midseason episode with a shocking reveal that shows Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) phased out the clones in favor of the stormtroopers.
The episode fully leans into the political conspiracy aspect that made Andor so great and is exactly why it works so brilliantly. After a clone trooper is killed by an assassin working for Vice Admiral Ramprt (Noshir Dalal), Senator Chuchi (Jennifer Hale) begins investigating Rampart’s actions towards Kamino. Of course, audiences know exactly what happened there, but what happens when someone in the inner ranks finds out about Rampart’s lies and tries to expose his corruption to the senate?
Rampart has an assassin eliminating anyone who dares come forward against him, further complicating things when Chuchi meets a clone with critical information that will help her expose Rampart. The clone tells her a bit of information before he gets shot and killed by the assassin. After a suspenseful chase sequence involving Chuchi and the killer, Captain Rex (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) rescues Chuchi and neutralizes the sniper…who is a rogue clone! Unfortunately, his identifying marks have been erased, and the clone kills himself while being interrogated instead of revealing information. Jaw on the floor. What the hell just happened? How can Star Wars: The Bad Batch be, at times, extremely frustrating and dull and then flourish in other parts?
I don’t know, but the following episode is even better. The Bad Batch (Dee Bradley Baker) receives a call from Rex, who tells them of a mission to retrieve a log from Rampart’s ship that shows he purposefully ordered the destruction of Kamino, which led to thousands of deaths. So they go on an exciting mission, retrieve the log, Chuchi shows the proof to the senate, Rampart gets arrested, and … the coup de grâce begins.
Palpatine wanted The Bad Batch to retrieve the log all along. He wanted Chuchi to show the proof to the senate and frame the idea that Rampart did this on his own (he was, of course, following orders from Palpatine). He wanted to do this to phase out the clone program to bring in stormtroopers. That’s right. It’s The Bad Batch’s fault that clones will be decommissioned and stormtroopers will usher in the Empire’s new era.
That’s not something I expected, and it seems to be getting a polarized response on social media. But why have a happy ending when the period The Bad Batch tackles are some of Star Wars‘ darkest days? This subversive reveal has again hooked me, not knowing which direction this show will go! Like Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in The Godfather: Part III, “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in!” Ridiculous. They can’t keep doing this. But here’s one thing I know will be happening: the dynamics have changed. There will be a massive fallout from these episodes, and I hope it will make the latter half of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 (even the filler episodes) more interesting. Let’s see what happens next.
The seventh and eighth episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 are now streaming on Disney+.