After thirteen episodes and a storyline that seems to yank me every which way each week, The Bad Batch has finally completely lost my interest or investment. Don’t worry. I’ll finish the season because I’m a loyal Star Wars fan but my feelings for this series has been annihilated.
The problem with this animated series (that no one wanted in the first place, might I add) is that it hasn’t managed to carve its identity in thirteen weeks! For its first four weeks, it felt like The Mandalorian; a bunch of tough guys have to take care of likable kid. Then it strayed into side quest-ville with a few moments of drama along the way (Wrecker’s inhibitor chip fiasco) and an unnecessary cameo appearance by Rex.
Then there’s a side story with Crosshair and what was a rather fascinating storyline; the decommissioning of the clone troopers and the Empire’s slow but deliberate annihilation of the Kaminoans’ livelihood. That got highlighted for maybe a couple of episodes and hasn’t been revisited since.
Honestly, I’m not going to even delve into the other storylines this series has been dabbling with in the past few weeks because it’s just too much to keep track of and it’s annoying.
Months ago I wrote a post about my disinterest in The Bad Batch and my gut feeling has been realized. Clearly, this series is going to have a second season…because it has to. Clearly this series is setting something up for The Book of Boba Fett (why else would we all of a sudden learn that Boba Fett had a sister just months before his spinoff series drops on Disney+.) And clearly Lucasfilm believes they can continue to give us mediocre content and we, the fans, will just plod along and say, yay, more Star Wars.
I, for one, am not happy with how this series has turned out and I feel this is just another step backward for a franchise that used to be my favorite of all time.
I would rather have a season with eight great episodes than a series with sixteen episodes that don’t have a purpose.
I probably won’t be writing anymore weekly reviews of this series until the series’ finale because honestly, every week has become a rant fest and that’s not fun.
What do you think about The Bad Batch? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a splendid day. May the Force be with you.
2 thoughts on “‘The Bad Batch’: I’ve Given Up”
I’m not ready to give up on it, although it is true that they don’t seem entirely sure about the identity of the series. I do think there’s a few sub threads of the show that are being slept on — e.g. I think that the aborted clone desertion in the last episode is likely to prompt the Empire to crack back on the clones in general, and I suspect that the Kaminoans’ machinations to stay relevant in a galaxy shifting underneath their feet are not likely to end well for them.
That said, they’re obviously trying to do a slow burn on this and make episodic television rather than a serial, which is closer to what the Mandalorian was. It might not be for everyone. The sheer mass of material on Clone Wars and Rebels has kept me from going back and wanting to watch it all, even though I haven’t actually seen more than the highlights as it is. I am highly skeptical that the whole Clone Wars series is nearly as good as the last four episodes were, largely because no action animation show ever has been IMO.
But at some point, it’s true that they are still, at minimum, feeling out who and what the Batch are and what their place is in this period of galactic history. I do think they’re kind of dropping the ball on delving out the story that could be told of this era of history… but at the same time, let’s be real. There’s a hard ceiling on how much difference they’re going to be able to make in this era, because the canon has already established that the Empire became increasingly repressive until the advent of the rebellion proper, that most of the real resistance went dormant immediately after Order 66 and didn’t truly challenge them until much closer to the original trilogy. So, although I had some interest in seeing what this era was like when the series started, I have to admit that the canon has kind of painted them into a corner on what they can really do with it. We’re not talking about the space opera equivalent of World War II, to borrow a historical metaphor, we’re talking about the equivalent of mid 1930s Germany and Japan when things were still somewhat ramping towards that direction and looking increasingly bad on the way.
In that light… it’s possible they set too many obstacles by doing this. They’re boxed in on the story they’re allowed to carve out within the larger canon timeline, they’ve got a whole crew of brand new characters they’re trying to turn into mains after a four episode mini arc in Clone Wars that (as far as we know) aren’t Force sensitive and are relatively limited in their perspective on the universe, and they’ve got no previous guidelines of any sort for where they could’ve gone with all this. At minimum, they were somewhat likely to be hit with growing pains while they tried to fly without a parachute. At worst… yeah, they were setting themselves up for disaster in real time.
I’m not just inspired by what I see so far, but they’re clearly taking a long view. Maybe they’ll find their sea legs. Maybe they’ll crash and burn. It’s probably too early to tell.
Worth noting: Literally zero of the circa-90s Star Trek spin-offs started off particularly well in their first season, either. TNG came out fairly good, DS9 became a bit of a classic that got slept on by a predominantly white audience that was (subconsciously or otherwise) rejecting a black captain, Voyager was a mess that had promise but ultimately kind of failed IMO, and Enterprise was a largely unmitigated train wreck that kind of ended the ambitions for Star Trek in general until the reboot movies came along. Now… going 50-50 might not be too exciting of an example, but in baseball and general entertainment terms, that wasn’t a bad percentage.
We don’t know which this is. I think there’s seeds, and I haven’t written my own writeup on this episode yet. But it’s all right so far to me. I’ve watched worse.
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Agreed. Last weeks episode was just out there. They need to rename this series and shift the spotlight to different characters etc with mini story arcs. Call it Star Wars chronicles or something. At least then they could jump around and see from both sides what was going on in this new era. I can’t figure out why the bad batch can’t get work or won’t work for what is clearly a rebellion. Now that Omega secret is out the life of the show went out. There is no interest anymore with them.
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