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‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’: A Worthy Successor to ‘The Clone Wars’

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Star Wars: The Bad Batch, is certainly an honorary successor of the beloved Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. In recent years, Dave Filoni, (the creator of the original series and the CCO of Lucasfilm) proved that Star Wars animations, never fail, no matter if they’re for kids, teenagers, or more mature audience. With The Bad Batch series finale now aired, it’s time to talk about how the season turned out and why was it important to the Star Wars universe.

[Warning: Spoilers from Star Wars: The Bad Batch series and other Star Wars projects are below! If you’d like to check out Drew’s review of the final season’s premiere, go here.]

The Bad Batch‘s transformation into a breathtaking animated drama

When it comes to proving that animations/cartoons are not only for kids, Dave Filoni is the man. He proved it by changing the climax of Star Wars: The Clone Wars after the first two seasons, making it more and more mature content with each season until the end.

One of the most significant shifts that is present in The Bad Batch are the visible explorations of complex themes such as identity, morality, and the consequences of war. Filoni’s storytelling shines through in the unique character development of Clone Force 99, allowing each member to grapple with their individual struggles and growth in a way that resonates with older audiences.

Moreover, Dave Filoni expanded the narrative horizon of the series by incorporating elements from various corners of the Star Wars universe. He connected this series’ events by adding characters from the past or teasing events from the future. Like bringing back Martez sisters, showing Rex gathering other clones to fight against the Empire, or making Project Necromancer the main part of this three seasons story.

This expansion not only enriches the storytelling, but also shows Filoni’s focused and respectable approach to world-building and remembering his older projects. Furthermore, the tone and atmosphere of The Bad Batch take on a slightly darker vibe compared to its predecessors, while creating a more mature and immersive viewing experience without forsaking its family-friendly ratings.

In the first two seasons, for each darker/more mature episode, we’ve got some fillers that were meant to release some tension. And that’s good, but it’s also something that caused many fans to lose interest throughout the seasons, and just go back to the seasons finales.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch group image
Clone Force 99 in Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Disney+)

The story of The Bad Batch started simply with Order 66 and the Clone Force 99 (all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) not being affected by the controlling chips inside their heads. Then they landed on Kamino and were meant to be loyal soldiers of the Empire, but none of it worked. Later, Omega (voiced by Michelle Ang) joined them, and the adventures they had were fascinating. But for the most of the time, 60-70% of the show had filler episodes. That changed in The Bad Batch season 3, and oh boy, was it the best decision ever.

We immediately started off with Omega and Crosshair being held on Tantiss and trying to escape, while Hunter and Wrecker were looking for her. From what I’ve noticed, it looked like season 3 was chopped intro 3 segments. Episodes 1 to 4 were about Omega’s and Crosshair’s escape, 5 to 10 about Omega’s importance, and the last five episodes were about stopping the Empire.

But each episode had a drama and seriousness in it, that resonated perfectly with a more mature audience. Even when the last episodes were setting the stage for something horrible to happen in the finale, we were glad it didn’t happen. Constant tension and amazing writing resulted in giving us another fantastic Star Wars animated project, that unfortunately had to end.

Clone Force 99 and Omega were more important than we first thought

When Clone Force 99 appeared for the first time in Clone Wars season 7, we thought they’ll be just a nice addition brought back from the initial ideas before the cancellation. And after Clone Wars ended, we immediately got the confirmation they will have their own show, and people went nuts. For the first 2 seasons, we were constantly teased about the importance of The Bad Batch series’ protagonists, but we weren’t quite sure in what way they were important. Besides having the special abilities, of course. But all of it changed when we found out about Project Necromancer, the Emperor’s (Ian McDiarmid) secret plan.

Project Necromancer was a biological research program conducted by the Imperial Advanced Science Division. Its main goal was to achieve and duplicate the exact amount of midichlorians in the blood of the host and the clone. It was a backup plan just in case Emperor Palpatine died, so he could somehow return. But we knew almost nothing how he achieved this, and the answer is easy… by using clones’ blood. Omega was the only one whose blood was the perfect match for transferring midichlorians from Palpatine’s blood into a clone. That’s why she was being hunted by the Empire, and that’s why Nala Se (voiced by Gwendoline Yeo) protected her.

Omega Bad Batch Season Three
Omega in Season Three of The Bad Batch (Disney+)

Because they all knew how valuable she was to achieve Palpatine’s goal. She was the necessary part of his plan; therefore she had to be taken alive and unharmed. But what was the part of Clone Force 99 in Palpatine’s plan? Well, from what was shown in the finale, Hemlock (voiced by Jimmi Simpson) wanted to brainwash them to blindly serve the Empire. He wanted to have his own manipulated and enhanced clone force army of assassins that could guarantee him protection and finish the job no matter what, which regular soldiers could not provide.

The character utilization of Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, Tech and Echo was amazing, and I was flabbergasted how well most of their history ended, unfortunately not Tech’s. Throughout the whole series we were getting teases on how The Bad Batch and Omega are like family, with Hunter being big dad, Wrecker that cool uncle, Echo a techy brother, Tech a know-it-all guy and Crosshair a misfunctioning part of the family who left.

And in the end, they become a family who settles down on a planet Pabu, where they decided to live a quiet life. The final scene takes us to the near future, to see a much more adult Omega saying goodbye to old Hunter as she flies off to help the Rebellion (as they are looking for pilots to fight the Empire).

Even though I’ve had my ups and downs with this show, it was a perfect ending because for the most part of it, I thought they will just kill the whole team. I’m grateful they didn’t, and gave them a happy ending they deserved.

Future of The Bad Batch in the Star Wars Universe

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is more proof that Star Wars animations are still high quality and fun but with some more serious themes as well.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an announcement about new animation from Dave Filoni in the works soon. My guess is, we may get more than one.

Instead of focusing on The Bad Batch, and showing how they live after the war ended and Empire fell, we could get a show about Omega helping the Rebellion or how the young clones they rescued in season 3 decided to train other soldiers. Or perhaps we could get to see the continuation of Force sensitive children who go to train in Luke’s academy after they were rescued from the Empire and the war ends.

But there is one character I’m pretty sure we’ll see once again, and she already appeared in season 3 of The Bad Batch, and it’s Asajj Ventress (voiced by Nika Futterman). She made a surprise return to our screens, and people still loved her after all these years. Her story happens right after the book she appeared for the last time in, so it would have been a really nice chance to give Asajj her very own show. We could see Quinlan Vos (voiced by Al Rodrigo) again, and see them work together and fight against other Bounty Hunters like Cad Bane (voiced by Corey Burton) or young Boba Fett.

There are countless possibilities, but what I think we’ll get to see is the continuation of those story arcs in the heavily rumored Tales of The Clones/Bounty Hunters animated series. Hopefully those will be announced after Tales of the Empire premiere.

My other guess is that since we’ve got an animated series during The Clone Wars, and one during the times the Empire was in power, then it’s time to get one during the time of the First Order. It could tell the story of characters like Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Zorii (Keri Russell) before they went separate ways, or we could see new characters introduced.

All in all, Star Wars: The Bad Batch gave us a very intense three seasons of action and a very interesting story, that in the end, and certainly didn’t disappoint. I hope we get more Star Wars shows like this. Star Wars: The Bad Batch is now streaming on Disney+. Have you seen the finale? Let us know your thoughts on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord!

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Wiktor Reinfuss

Big fan of all sorts of pop culture stuff. I also enjoy ambitious cinema. Games, music and graphics are all within my interests. I have a great fondness for the Arrowverse series, especially The Flash.

Wiktor Reinfuss has 122 posts and counting. See all posts by Wiktor Reinfuss