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The Bad Batch premieres well, sets up an exciting storyline

There are five members of the Bad Batch, each with a special ability. They were first introduced to Star Wars in season seven of The Clone Wars, released last May. (Photo from Starwars.com)
There are five members of the Bad Batch, each with a special ability. They were first introduced to Star Wars in season seven of “The Clone Wars,” released last May. (Photo from Starwars.com)

On May 4, Star Wars Day, I watched the premiere of the latest Star Wars television series, The Bad Batch, on Disney Plus. The Bad Batch is the first of many Star Wars films and shows to premiere that Disney announced in Dec. 2020 at their Investor Day.

The Bad Batch, created by George Lucas’ successor Dave Filoni, stars Dee Bradley Baker as the voice of five members of the crew, all clone troopers for the Galactic Republic. Baker does an amazing job at making each character unique through his voice, and the animation of the show is fantastic. Filoni has created or co-created every canonical Star Wars show thus far, including The Clone Wars, Rebels, Resistance and The Mandalorian, so The Bad Batch is nothing new for him.

In Star Wars time, The Bad Batch follows up the events of Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars and begins with the dreadful Order 66. The show follows the journey of Clone Force 99, also known as the Bad Batch, a group of elite soldiers with genetic mutations that allow them to excel in battle. Hunter has heightened senses, Tech has an amazing mind, Wrecker has superhuman strength and Crosshair has improved vision. The oddball is Echo, whose ability comes from him being a cyborg. These abilities seemed basic at first glance, but Filoni characterizes them very well to make each clone unique in just one episode.

The show begins wonderfully on the planet Kaller, where the Bad Batch helps two Jedi, Depa Billaba and Caleb Dume, and their clone unit against a droid army. Just after the conflict, Emperor Palpatine declares Order 66, and the Jedis’ clone unit turn against them. Lucky for the Bad Batch’ however, their mutations malfunctioned their inhibitor chip, a biological chip in their brain that forced the rest of the clones to attack the Jedi against their will.

It was tough to watch Order 66 for the third time, but Filoni executes it perfectly, once again. The close relationship and trust between Billaba and her clone officer are shown just seconds before the clone executes her like he never knew her. Additionally, Filoni uses Order 66 as a way to show the Bad Batch’s difference from regular clones. Their mutations make them free from the orders of the new Empire, and they turn from operatives to outlaws throughout the episode. Later in the episode, the Bad Batch begins a lunchroom fight with regular clones, furthering their differences.

The new major character in the Bad batch is Omega, a young female clone who, like the Bad Batch, doesn’t fit in on Kamino, the clone homeworld. While Omega initially looks like an annoying child, Filoni made sure not to create another Jar Jar Binks. Omega feels out of place working as a medical assistant with the Kaminoans and looks to the Bad Batch to be her family. It will be interesting to see what special ability Omega has, as the Bad Batch discovers that she does have genetic mutations.

The best scene of the episode occurs in the final moments, where the Empire experiments of Crosshair, strengthening his inhibitor chip to make him completely loyal, like a regular clone. This causes Crosshair to chase down his old allies before they can escape Kamino. In a fashion similar to Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith, Hunter and Crosshair stare down at each other before engaging in a firefight. The parallels with Revenge of the Sith are significant: two former allies fighting each other due to one being indoctrinated by the newly formed Empire.

The Bad Batch doesn’t have any unpredictable twists and turns, but it sets up an exciting storyline for Disney to explore, and I’m excited to watch the rest. The second episode aired on May 7, and the third episode will air on May 14. The Bad Batch will consist of 16 episodes in the first season, so we’ll follow the crew for a long journey.

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