Star Wars: The Bad Batch Series Premiere Review

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Series Premiere Review

Note: this is a spoiler-free review of the first episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch. The series debuts on Disney+ on Tuesday, May 4, with the second episode following on Friday, May 7. [poilib element=”accentDivider”] The Clone Wars is the one Star Wars project that just refuses to die. One year after the series returned for a belated seventh season, Lucasfilm kicks off a spinoff series focused on the elite, eccentric members of Clone Force 99. It’s a series that might as well be labeled The Clone Wars: Season 8, given the visual and tonal similarities between the two. That’s really all the reason Star Wars fans need to tune in. None of this is to say The Clone Wars is required viewing before diving into The Bad Batch. The 72-minute premiere is basically a movie unto itself, one that reintroduces Hunter, Crosshair, Tech, Wrecker, and Echo following their original The Clone Wars: Season 7 debut. The key difference here is that The Bad Batch takes place shortly after the events of Revenge of the Sith rather than before. What place is there for a team of misfits and outcasts in Palpatine’s newly minted Empire? What happens to an army bred for war once the war ends? Those questions make for a strong foundation on which to build a new series. [poilib element=”poll” parameters=”id=386232f2-bc49-42d5-9b34-96e060a9d614″] Like so many Star Wars projects that fall outside the scope of the three film trilogies, The Bad Batch is tasked with filling in holes and bridging gaps between established pieces of the timeline. Presumably, this series will address the lingering question of how and why Palpatine phased out his clones in favor of conscripted Stormtroopers (a topic that’s been addressed in various stories but never definitively answered). There are plenty of larger franchise ties to be found, with Grand Moff Tarkin (Stephen Stanton) and a young Saw Gerrera (Andrew Kishino) both appearing in this episode, and another familiar Star Wars character featured in the trailers. But if that was the only goal here, The Bad Batch might have trouble justifying its existence. The best Star Wars spinoffs are the ones that honor the example of the original trilogy – putting the emotional journey ahead of lore and minutia. [poilib element=”quoteBox” parameters=”excerpt=This%20episode%20is%20able%20to%20add%20far%20more%20depth%20and%20nuance%20to%20these%20characters%20than%20we%20saw%20in%20The%20Clone%20Wars.”] Thankfully, that doesn’t appear to be a problem with this series. “Aftermath” is very rooted in the emotional struggles of Hunter and his…
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